Life is made up of little moments. I know you’ve probably heard this before, but it never applies more than when it comes to kids. I can’t quite imagine bringing up my kids and not taking a photo of them almost every single day, because time flies, moments pass, and they change right before my eyes.

But since the iPhone came around, I’ve managed to capture the majority of my photos and some videos on my phone. I haven’t gone so far as to snap any on my iPad, but the thought has crossed my mind in a pinch. This is a weird thing for me, because before I had kids I had an old school SLR film camera and I took it with me absolutely everywhere I’d go. When I had the kids, life became crazy and things went digital, so it was packed away. But I missed the experience of trying to capture the best photo. Snapping one on the smartphone just doesn’t have the same kick.

My experience with SLR cameras (however ancient) made me the perfect person to try out three of Canon’s latest and greatest DSLR’s – The Canon EOS Rebel SL1, the Canon EOS Rebel T5i, and the Canon EOS 70D. The goal of this test? To get behind the lens of these three for a few days and share the features of these beauties from a mom’s perspective, so you’ll know before you pick it up what it’s best for.

Canon EOS Rebel SL1

Canon EOS Rebel T5i

Canon EOS 70D

If you’re switching from a point and shoot or aren’t getting what you want from your smartphone pictures, let me introduce you to my 3 new best friends from Canon. I’m pretty sure you’re going to love them as much as I did.

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1

It’s lightweight, has 18 gorgeous megapixels, and shoots full HD movies – those are only 3 reasons why I love the Canon EOS Rebel SL1. This is the camera I’ve heard my mom friends describe as their ‘first step’ into DSLR territory, and there’s a good reason for that.

In a nutshell, the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 has:

  • 18.0mp CMOS sensor with DiG!C 5 image processor so every picture you take is crystal clear
  • Wide Hybrid CMOS AutoFocus for beautiful still shots or to capture action easily
  • 3.0 inch LCD screen lets you zip through your photos after you’ve taken them or see your shot right after you’ve snapped it
  • Full HD recording so you don’t have to have a video camera and a camera, because it does both
  • Scene modes make your photos even more creative with options like Kids, Food, Candlelight and more
  • Creative filters and cropping so you can edit your photos right on your camera
  • ISO range up to 12800 if you want to go beyond a simple snap and save, you can adjust your ISO settings up to 25600 for any environment or shooting condition

For the mom moving on from a pocket camera

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 was the first camera I picked up from the three, and because I haven’t used an SLR camera in so long, I’m glad I did. This camera is perfect for moms who might feel intimidated by technology, someone who wants a DSLR camera, doesn’t think they have the time to learn all the bells and whistles, but still want to take great photos.

And take great photos it does. All I had to do was turn it on and start snapping pictures – no fussing with settings or worrying something wasn’t right. Because it has amazing AutoFocus, this camera will capture any type of photo right out of the box. It’s great for action shots too, so if your goal is to capture your little soccer player or hockey star in action, this camera’s photos will seriously impress you.

If like to Instagram (who doesn’t?), you’ll love the Creative Filters on the Canon EOS Rebel SL1. You can edit any photo right on the camera, or you can download these high-res images and edit them on your computer. Because it takes 18mp photos (as opposed to the 8mp on an iPhone), you’ll be able to zoom in, crop, and even frame the amazing photos you take.

All of this camera goodness comes packaged in a very small, lightweight package. I’m not kidding – the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 will fit into most purses (unless you carry a clutch) or bag, and although I took it everywhere with me over two days, I never felt like I was being weighed down by it.

And I can’t forget to mention the Full HD recording. This means everything you capture has a max video resolution of 1920 x 1080. There’s no fooling around when you want to watch your video either – you can plug it straight into your big screen TV via the HDMI port, then break out the popcorn.

Want to sharpen your photography skills? Here’s your camera

For the mom who has experimented with DSLRs and wants to take a step up in a more technical direction, the Canon Rebel T5i has the features you’re looking for. I think this is a great camera for a mom with kids are in action sports or if she wants to improve her technical photography skills. Although it’s feature rich, this is also a camera you can take straight out of the box and start taking photos.

  • 18.0MP CMOS DiG!C 5 image processor
  • Hybrid CMOS AutoFocus shoots action at 5 frames per second and every shot is amazing
  • Full HD recording and easy watching with built-in HDMI port
  • 3.0-inch LCD touchscreen so you can pinch, zoom, and edit right on your screen
  • Multi-shot noise reduction for when you’re shooting in low light
  • Creative filters and you can add them before you even take the photos, so you can prep your photos before you take them

Oh the joys of a touch screen camera. Because of smartphones and tablets touchscreen is the most natural thing in the world to moms these days, so it’s a great feature to have on the Canon Rebel T5i. After you take your photos, you’ll just tap to scroll through, edit, or delete. The LCD screen actually pops off and rotates too, so if you’re take a selfie or family photo you can see exactly what it will look like.

Because I live out in the valley, I took the Canon Rebel T5i to the local set of the A&E TV show ‘Bates Motel.’ I usually drive past it on my way to Costco, and sometimes I’ve stopped to take a photo or two with my smartphone. Those photos don’t measure up to the detail I was able to achieve with the Canon. It was dusk when I went out there, and thanks to the multiple noise reduction for low light shooting, the photos I took were still crisp and clear. I even used the Creative Filters before I took the photo, so a couple of shots were taken in sepia. Very scary stuff when you live near the Psycho house.

Just like the Canon EOS Rebel SL1, there’s full HD video recording with HDMI port to plug in to your big screen TV, and it takes amazing action shots too. Just press the shutter and capture up to 5 frames per second.

The total camera package

I was a bit intimidated when I picked up the Canon EOS 70D DSLR, in part because it was bulkier, heavier, and clearly more camera than the other two. But I didn’t need to worry, because just like the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 and the Canon Rebel T5i, this camera is designed to take amazing photos from the minute you turn it on. In my opinion, this camera is perfect for the mom with advanced photography skills or someone who wants to start their own photography business. It’s like a treasure chest of photography fun, with cool features around every corner:

  • 20.2mp CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5+ image processor for the high resolution images and videos
  • Built-in WiFi is such a great feature, and it lets you share your photos on Facebook, Twitter, or straight to your computer without cords
  • 7fps burst shooting so you capture every second of action
  • All Cross-Type 19-Point AF to capture fast, detailed photos
  • Dual Pixel CMOS Auto Focus will actually track whomever you’re shooting and predict their next movement
  • Canon CameraWindow app uploads your photos to your iPhone for easy sharing on Instagram or wherever else you like to share

In my house, the Canon EOS 70D DSLR was known as the Big Kahuna, and all it takes is once glance to know this is a serious camera for serious photographers. What I loved about it is, even though I’m not an expert photographer At All, this camera made it easy for me to pick it up and start shooting. Even after playing with all the features, I found there was more to discover, and I’m positive that this would be the best camera for a mom who wants to constantly challenge herself to grow her photography skills.

I shot photos of my kids at the local watering hole, and I was shocked at how fast the shutter went. It takes 7 amazing, clear frames per second, so I managed to capture each and every splash and swing. This camera is smart too, because it has built-in Dual Pixel CMOS Auto Focus. That means it predicts where the subject will go next, so it’s ready and right where the action is.

I’ve heard of built-in Wifi on cameras but I’ve never tried it. Let me just say that this is one of those things that makes life so much easier during a busy day, because it basically eliminates the “Where’s the cord?” game you have to play when you want to download your photos. It also connects to the Canon CameraWindow app so you can share the photos you take with your iPhone.

                              If that’s not a great feature, I don’t know what is.

I love how easy it as to shoot photos with this highly technical camera, I loved how crystal clear every single shot was, and I loved the touchscreen LCD. I also really enjoyed using the Live View. It lets you take the shot, review it, and add filters if you want to.

For photo quality, versatility, and overall portability, you just can’t beat these Canon cameras. Even the Canon EOS 70D wasn’t difficult to carry around, and the other two fit very nicely in my bag. Plus the photo quality is so amazing, even I felt like a professional photog after a few days with them.

So what did I learn after trying out these 3 amazing Canon cameras? When it comes to capturing memories, it’s time to put away my smartphone and pick up a DSLR camera – and you will be very happy with one of these three from Canon.

          Want to see my photos in high-res? Check out my Flickr slideshow.


Check out all of the great DSLR cameras on right now.

Shelly Wutke
Editor TV & Home Theatre
I'm a Vancouver freelancer and tech enthusiast. When I'm not writing you'll find me on my farm with my alpacas, chickens, and honeybees. Visit my website Survivemag