Canon EOS SL1 camera bolsters the argument of a converging DILC market

Ed Lee
Mar 29, 2013

The new Canon EOS SL1 camera is a welcome addition to the DSLR market. Its small size and light weight help it to stand apart from other DSLRs in the market and put it in a very competitive position again compact interchangeable lens cameras (CILCs).

Touted as the world’s smallest and lightest DSLR that uses an APS-C size sensor, the EOS SL1 hits back at the argument that DSLRs are too big, bulky, and heavy. Now, photographers who want a lighter, smaller camera body that is compatible with Canon’s full line of existing EF lenses have a clear choice. (While the Canon EOS M compact interchangeable lens camera is smaller and lighter, it requires a lens adapter in order to use the EF lenses.)

Canon EOS SL1 Compares well against other DSLRs and CILCs

Currently, the digital interchangeable lens camera market is divided into two segments: Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLRs) and Compact Interchangeable Lens cameras (CILCs). To the general observer, the biggest differentiator between the two segments is size and weight; with CILCs offering a smaller and lighter camera body than a DSLR.

However, recent camera announcements have signaled that change is coming. Last fall, we saw CILCs take a step closer to DSLRs in size, weight, and styling when Panasonic announced the Lumix GH3 CILC. The GH3’s dimensions and weight put it into the same class as DSLRs. In addition, its styling made it very difficult to distinguish it from a DSLR. One of the reasons behind these decisions was to position the GH3 as a camera which the advanced amateurs and professionals should consider if they were considering buying a DSLR. Now, Canon’s announcement of the EOS SL1 suggests that DSLRs are taking a step closer to CILCs in size and weight.

InfoTrends Outlook

Looking forward, InfoTrends believes that as DSLRs get smaller and lighter and CILCs get bigger and heavier, the two segments will eventually merge back into one category called Digital Interchangeable Lens cameras. At that time, it will not matter if the camera contains a mirror box or not. The camera sale will be determined by which vendor offers the best quality, highest performance, and best price to the potential buyer. And finally, when the market becomes one category again, the debate about what to call compact interchangeable lens/mirrorless/non-reflex/compact system cameras will be settled by default.

The 2012 U.S. Interchangeable Lens Camera Market Study: Consumer Imaging Behaviors and Industry Trends multi-client study addresses this issue as part of an in-depth look at the DILC market and consumers’ behaviors. For more information, please contact Matt O’Keefe at or +1.781.616.2115.

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