Monday, September 24, 2007

Canon EOS 400D Digital Rebel XTi Review

Though it was still the hottest selling digital SLR on the market, the Canon Digital Rebel XT was due for an upgrade, and right on the expected 18 month schedule comes the EOS Digital Rebel XTi (called the EOS 400D overseas). The new Rebel XTi has a 10.1 megapixel sensor, a 2.5 inch LCD screen, and a new dust cleaning system; and like its EOS brothers, the Rebel XTi will work with a vast system of over 50 lenses and a wide array of accessories. It borrows a lot of other recent innovations from recent EOS cameras, including PictBridge printing enhancements, Picture Styles mode settings, and it and comes in at $100 less than its predecessor. More importantly, the Rebel XT maintains the high image quality we've come to expect from Canon's SLRs, from the Rebels to the 1D-series.

Improvements include:

  • 10.1 megapixel sensor
  • EOS Integrated Cleaning System
  • 2.5 inch, 230,000 pixel LCD with 160 degree viewing angle
  • Improved interface
  • Better grip
  • Greater buffer depth of 27 Large/Fine JPEGs or 10 RAW frames
  • Folders that will hold up to 9,999 images
  • Picture Style settings for quick color mode changes
  • More precise 9-point AF system
  • Faster image processing
  • Improved Print/Share functions
  • Photo editing functions plus index print options
  • Custom auto-rotation

For a detailed report prepared on the day of the Rebel XTi's announcement, click on the Improvements tab above.

Canon Rebel XTi User Report

Similar in weight and size, much of the user experience with the Canon Rebel XTi is like the Rebel XT. They're both small digital SLRs with good heft and a solid feel. But there's more to like about the XTi, from the finish to the fit to the interface.

We were fortunate to see both the black and silver models this time around. I'm not fond of the silver on either the Rebel XT or XTi, though I didn't much mind the silver on the original Digital Rebel. Both black and silver finishes have been changed from the XT. The black finish is smoother and more of a satin black. It gives an impression of painted metal rather than bare plastic, as the Rebel XT's finish did. The XT tended to collect what looked like scratches on its surface, but they were very often fingernail dust, abraded from my nails when they rubbed against the paint. Most conspicuous were the marks between the grip and lens, where my fingers are still too often pinched as I wrap my hand around the grip. It was just rough, tough paint they used on the XT's body. The paint on the Rebel XTi is smoother and makes the camera look metal rather than plastic.

The silver paint, which I think they call "chrome" is a brighter silver, also more metallic looking. It looks garish to my eye, but I'm sure many will like it. Like Canon's legendary white lenses, the silver body should tend to get a little less hot in direct sunlight.

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