The Canon Rebel XTi was highly regarded by prosumer camera enthusiasts. And now that Canon has released the XSi (also known as EOS 450D), the jump from 10.1 to 12 megapixels, the addition of image stabilization to its stock lens and new, optional Live View (where you see the camera's preview image on the LCD) should combine to make the XSi the most pantsworthy Rebel yet—all while staving off sub-$1000 DSLR competition from Nikon, Sony and Olympus. To find out, hit the jump for the first 5 takes on the Canon Rebel XSi.
Digital Camera Info
Canon elected to include a SD/SDHC memory slot on the Digital Rebel XSi, in lieu of the traditional CF slot on SLRs... Canon updated the battery pack with a new LP-E5 lithium-ion battery, different from previous Rebels. Canon claims that the new battery will take 50 percent more shots per charge...users upgrading from the XTi to the XSi won't be able to keep using their old batteries.
The viewfinder is now nearly as big as the one that graced Canon's 30D...Many of the remaining differences between this model and its predecessor are little detailed things that users have been asking for: ISO displayed in the viewfinder, spot metering, an ISO button you can reach with the camera to your eye.
Live View is limited, or you might even say crippled. You can't preview autofocus—I'm not even sure the autofocus works very well in this mode. In the manual, Canon concedes that this is really for still life shooting and other limited applications...[still] It's an all around decent camera.
Regardless of the other entries in the XSi's pro and con columns, it delivers hands-down, best-in-class photo quality, surprising given the higher-resolution sensor... At 0.5 second in good conditions, the XSi's JPEG shooting lag is a bit longer than the rest; its 1.2-seconds duration in dim conditions, while not very zippy, is about average for its class... It's also the fastest burst shooter among entry-level DSLRs, snapping 3.4 frames per second, for more than 60 JPEGs in testing.
If you want fuss-free Live View, quick AF and the closest thing to a point and shoot experience, then Sony's system is undoubtedly better. But if you use Live View for precision work like architectural, macro or astro-photography, then the technical benefits of Canon's system will be preferred.
- If you liked the XTi, then you'll like the XSi even more. It runs a retail of $800 (body only) or $900 (with lens). Just realize that if you're looking to upgrade from an old Rebel, you'll have to drop some extra cash on new flash memory and batteries.