Mar 6, 2005

Canon Digital Rebel XT First Impressions Review

Those of you interested in the Canon Digital Rebel XT will want to check out DigitalCameraInfo's Canon Digital Rebel XT First Impressions Review of this second generation Digital Rebel.
Canon Digital Rebel XT

They write-
"Attracting attention and spectacle, Canon stole the show at the annual Photo Marketing Association convention in Orlando with the release of their second generation Digital Rebel. Many heads were turned to the Canon booth booth from the start, desperate for a glimpse of the EOS Digital Rebel XT.

The 8-megapixel Canon Digital Rebel XT single lens reflex camera (Kiss Digital 2e in Japan and EOS-350D in most of the rest of the world outside the US) is the successor to— but not a replacement for— the original 6.3 megapixel Rebel. It will be available in March 2005 for $899 (body only) or $999 (with the surprisingly sharp EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens). The original Rebel will remain available, dropping into a more affordable consumer market, selling for $799 with the series I 18-55mm EF-S lens; although the original Rebel will no longer be offered as just a body.

The new Rebel outperforms the original in almost every respect: it's 15% smaller and 10% lighter, turns on faster, has a higher pop-up flash, reduced shutter lag (an important number often omitted from the spec sheets), to go along with an 8 megapixel CMOS sensor; 1.7 million (20%) more pixels then its precursor, with a feature set closely resembling the prosumer EOS-20D. The faster XT also records subsequent images at 3 frames per second with an inflated 14 shot buffer, up from the 2.5 fps, 4 shot burst of the original Rebel – a substantial and necessary improvement!

The Rebel XT is almost small enough to be mistaken for a compact digital camera, but compared to compacts of similar size and appearance, the XT offers a much a larger sensor (nearly 6 times the area of the sensor in the 8.0 megapixel PowerShot Pro-1). While the pixel offering is the same, the larger sensor will provide an expanded dynamic range with less visible noise. It also has interchangeable lenses and less shutter lag. But, like all digital SLRs, its LCD screen cannot be used to preview and compose the image.

Initially unveiled at PMA 2005, roughly a year and a half after its predecessor, the Canon Digital Rebel XT appears to be a real winner. Offering high image quality, rapid shooting and processing speeds, and the ability to apply a range of Canon and independent lenses in a compressed package, the XT should have a wide appeal. Canon seems to have corrected the majority of the flaws apparent in the Original EOS Digital Rebel, with the only remaining question concerning the feel of the body. As with the original Digital Rebel, the XT is again formed out of an extremely lightweight polycarbonate, retaining the same consumer-grade frailty that forced some to denounce it as amateur. Although meager to some, the compact frame will unquestionably be an asset to other users, as the 17.1 oz. Rebel XT, currently the lightest digital SLR on the market, offers the portability of a compact camera, with the performance and lens interchangeability of a prosumer model.

The XT is backed by an 8.0 megapixel CMOS sensor along with a second generation DIGIC II Processor. The DIGIC II is responsible for the XT’s increased start up time, shot-to-shot rate, and processing speeds. With the virtual elimination of lag time, the XT bears a far closer resemblance to the EOS 20D than the original Digital Rebel in terms of performance. Straight image quality should parallel or surpass 35mm film. Based on my experience with the EOS-20D, you should expect the XT to make razor-sharp 13 x 19 inch prints, even with the inexpensive, but excellent EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens."

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