I'm looking to replace my rebel xt for a new canon from 2004. The camera store mentioned the SL1? I know it will be a newer camera. Will this be a side step or an upgrade? Trying to look at the pro/con of this camera. I know it is smaller. Help.
The Rebel XT was an entry level back when it was still produced. It had an 8 megapixel sensor, a max ISO of 1600, and a Digic II processor.
By comparison, a Rebel SL1 has an 18 megapixel sensor, a max ISO of 12,800, and a Digic V processor. It also has a capacity touch-screen display and Hybrid CMOS AF (allows auto-focus during video).
The SL1 is a bit special in the line-up because it was a camera specifically designed to have the smallest size body for any DSLR with an APS-C sensor. All the other cameras are larger (even though the sensor is the same size.)
The SL1 is a bit dated in that the latest of the Rebel line is the T6i & T6s cameras which offer 24 megapixel sensors, still ISO 12,800 (but with perhaps a bit less "noise" in the image), Digic 6, and have inherited the 19 point AF system that was previously only available in mid-grade bodies.
So the answer is, the SL1 would definitely be an upgrade (as would the T5i) as the XT is so very old that all of the cameras currently offered are upgrades. But the SL1 is not the latest offering in the Rebel line-up... for that you'd want to look at the T6i or T6s.