Canon EOS Rebel XSi 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|
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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|
Canon Rebel XSi Highlights
Sensor-Size: 22 x 15mm
Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI
|12 Megapixels DSLR||ISO 100-1600|
|Canon EF Mount|
|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|
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