Canon EOS Rebel XSi Review Summary
Canon EOS Rebel XSi Assessment
The Canon Rebel XSi is finally a more complete camera than any Rebel before it. Despite being part of the entry-level Rebel series, the XSi features spot-metering, a 3.5 FPS continuous drive with a deep buffer, depth-of-field preview and finally exposure-priority live-view with 100% frame coverage. Autofocus is slow in live-view and the controls are just bizarre, but this is the most accurate live-view we have seen so far, making it the first camera to receive our Live-View icon.
Performance is great but not perfect. Image noise is low and dynamic range is better than average. Exposure and focus system are just a little less reliable than most, but still mostly accurate. The ergonomics of the Rebel XSi are all right given its size but things are crowded and the grip is rather small. Definitely it is worth trying it in a store to find out if it is comfortable.
While it's hard to go wrong with the Canon Rebel XSi, it does face several tough competitors including the Nikon D60 and the Pentax K200D. Image quality is too close among these three digital SLRs to make it a deciding factor. The standout model here is the K200D which has builtin image stabilization and a weather-sealed body. It is also powered by convenient AA batteries and can get 1100 shots on a single set of those. On the other hand, the XSi is faster and has a much deeper buffer during continuous shooting. Aside from these features of the K200D, the largest difference between different brands of DSLR cameras is the selection of lenses available.
Need help choosing one or more lenses for a DSLR? See our short lens selection feature article.
|Excellent rendition of details||Poor white-balance under artificial lighting|
|Low image noise at all ISO sensitivities||Occasional over-exposure problems|
|Exposure-priority live-view with 100% coverage||Very slow autofocus in live-view|
|Fast and responsive||Above average number of focus misses|
|Great LCD visibility||Small hand-grip|
|Eye-start sensor||LCD flush with side|
Recent Similar Cameras
Canon EOS Rebel XSi HandsOn
In use, the Rebel XSi is normally straight forward. Certain things are not intuitive but can be learned easily. This is the first DSLR with a complete - but not ideal - implementation of live-view. Live-view being still an emerging feature tends to be implemented to various levels of uselessness. With this digital camera, we finally have an exposure-priority live-view with 100% coverage and autofocus. The exposure-simulation is very well done and any under-or-over exposure can be seen on the display, even when the metering limit of the camera and lens is exceeded. This is critically important to give an advantage to live-view over the standard optical viewfinder (OVF). The main problem with the XSi's live-view is a very slow autofocus system. An unfortunate problem is that the live-view interface is not only different but also bizarre. Many buttons no longer work the way they do when live-view is Off and a number of features become inaccessible.
|Canon Rebel XTi - 10 Megapixels, 2.5" LCD, 3 FPS, Compact Flash|
|Canon Digital Rebel XT - 8 Megapixels, 1.8" LCD 115K Pixels, No dust reduction system, 3 FPS, Compact Flash|
|Canon Digital Rebel - 6 Megapixels, 1.8" LCD 115K Pixels, No dust reduction system, 3 FPS, Compact Flash|
|DC Resource||DP Review|
|Photography Blog||Steve's Digicams|
|Trusted Reviews||Digital Camera Info|
Canon Rebel XSi Facts
SLR digital camera
|12 Megapixels DSLR||ISO 100-1600|
|Canon EF Mount|
Sensor-Size: 22 x 15mm
Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI
|Full manual controls, including Manual Focus|
|Built-in Dust Reduction||Custom white-balance with 2 axis fine-tuning|
|3.5 FPS Drive, 53 Images||Spot-Metering|
|3" LCD 230K Pixels||Hot-Shoe|
|Secure Digital High Capacity|
Fuji XQ2 Review
Ultra-Compact Fuji premium camera. 12 MP 2/3" X-Trans CMOS II sensor with built-in Phase-Detect AF. Ultra-Bright F/1.8 wide-angle 4X optical-zoom. Dual control-dials, 3" LCD and built-in WiFi.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 Review
Unique premium compact with 12 MP effective multi-aspect resolution and ultra-wide ultra-bright 24-75mm F/1.7-2.8 lens. 11 FPS Drive and 4K Ultra-HD video at 30 FPS. Plenty of direct controls plus a built-in 2.8 MP EVF with Eye-Start sensor, a 3" LCD and WiFi.
Nikon D7200 Review
New Nikon flagship APS-C DSLR with a revised 24 MP CMOS sensor without anti-alias filter. 6 FPS with deep buffer and 1080p @ 60 FPS video capture. Dual control-dials, 100% coverage viewfinder and WiFi in a weather-sealed body.
Mirrorless Camera Buying Guide - 2015 Edition
Our detailed mirrorless digital camera buying guide, fully updated for 2015. This is the best and more current mirrorless guide!
Nikon D5500 Review
Compact entry-level DSLR with a 24 MP APS-C sensor without anti-alias filter. 5 FPS drive and full 1080p HD video at 60 FPS. A 3.2" 1 MP rotating touchscreen LCD plus built-in WiFi.
Canon Powershot G7 X Review
Premium compact with a large 20 MP 1" CMOS sensor. Stabilized ultra-bright ultra-wide-angle 4.2X optical zoom lens. ISO 125-12800, 1/2000s-250s shutter-speed, 6.5 FPS and full 1080p HD @ 60 FPS. Dual-controls dials and a tilting 3" LCD.
Fuji X100T Review
The latest classically-styled fixed lens camera from Fuji packs a 16 MP sensor with built-in Phase-Detect AF and a bright F/2 fixed 23mm lens. It offers a unique hybrid EVF/OVF with Digital Range Finder in a highly mechanical design.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Review
The most compact interchangeable lens digital camera capable of 4K Ultra-HD video. Equipped with a 16 MP Four-Thirds CMOS sensor capable of 12 FPS. Its class-leading autofocus system is sensitive to -4 EV. Fitted with a 2.4 MP EVF with Eye-Start sensor and 1 MP 3" Rotating LCD.
Fujinon XF50-140mm F/2.8R LM OIS WR Review
Fujinon XF50-140mm F/2.8R LM OIS WR Review added to the Fuji X-T1 Photographer Experience. This is the top-of-the-line X-mount lens with constant maximum aperture in a weathersealed and freezeproof body with built-in optical image-stabilization.
Fuji X-T1 Graphite Hands-On
The Graphite Edition of the excellent Fuji X-T1 adds an ultra-fast electronic-shutter with 1/32000s maximum speed and a number of improvements in a new smooth and highly durable finish.