One of the most intriguing balancing acts is the set of competing features that makes one camera appeal more than another for a specific purpose. Size and weight are two important factors, both of which have made m4/3 and mirrorless systems in general so appealing to those seeking the smallest and lightest kit possible while still achieving high image quality. Not long ago, Canon brought to market their own mirrorless model—the EOS M, but while a competent body it just didn’t stand out from the crowd and hasn’t sold all that well.
Now Canon has just announced a new DSLR—the EOS Rebel SL1—that is not mirrorless, but is purported to be the smallest and lightest APS-C DSLR on the market. What makes this interesting is the direct challenge to other mirrorless offerings (including their own), somewhat muting the size/weight argument while still allowing use of the full array of EF/EF-S lenses and accessories. The 18MP sensor and DIGIC 5 processor assure more than adequate performance, and while the body is diminutive, the control layout will be quite familiar to Canon users.
There is another side to the size argument of course and that is that a camera body can simply be too small to handle well. After all, if it’s hard to use it’s not much good in the first place. Time will tell whether the SL1 measures up in this regard or not.