Cannon has earned a reputation for setting the pace for entry level SLR Digital Cameras, and the Cannon Rebel XSi is no exception. With some new built-in technology, like live view and a new 12.2 megapixel CMOS (Complementary-Symmetry Metal Oxide Semiconductor) sensor, the XSi sits somewhere between the true “entry level” category and the “advanced amateur” camera categories.
The 12.2 megapixel high resolution CMOS sensor makes this camera the highest resolution entry level camera offering to date. Combined with its large 3 inch LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) on the back, this is the first entry level Cannon camera to offer a live view system which allows the screen to be used for shot composition.
In addition, the XSi uses the more compact SD/SDHC memory card format, has an impressive continuous shooting speed, and the highly regarded Cannon DIGIC III processor. It supports the EF/EF-s lens mount and comes packaged with an optically stabilized 18-55mm lens.
The camera sports 2 shooting mode groups, the “Basic Zone” and the “Creative Zone”. The Basic Zone consists of the XSi’s auto exposure and scene preset options as follow:
- Auto– where the camera chooses all exposure values;
- Portrait – settings are optimized for portraiture with image tone and flash mode adjustments;
- Landscape – for shooting landscapes and sunsets;
- Close-Up – moderate aperture settings are preferred in this mode;
- Sports – continuous drive and auto focus options enabled, higher shutter speeds are given preference;
- Night Scene – enables slow flash synchronization to capture both your subject and the background;
- No Flash – flash is disabled.
Be aware that in this Basic Zone mode many of the exposure and shooting options are either limited or locked out.
The Creative Zone settings consist of:
- A-DEP – the camera selects aperture and shutter speed;
- Manual – the photographer chooses aperture and shutter speed;
- Av – the photographer selects aperture and the camera selects shutter speed;
- Tv – the photographer selects shutter speed and the camera selects the aperture setting;
- P – program mode where the camera chooses an aperture and shutter speed combination; however, the photographer can change on of these combinations.
While image quality is the most important consideration in choosing any camera the Cannon Rebel XSi’s physical appearance is less than impressive. Encased in a smooth finish plastic the camera gives the appearance that it is cheap; perhaps if the finish had a lightly textured finish it might look more expensive.
On the other hand the Cannon XSi has lots of dedicated buttons to provide quick access to functions like white balance, ISO settings, auto focus settings and more. This should appeal to more advanced shooters who want quick access to these stetting without scrolling through some menu to find them.
Add to this the crisp 230K pixel 3 inch LCD and a refined live view system with good color reproduction and the LCD is up to the task of on-screen composition.
All in all the performance of the XSi camera is quick and responsive, making it easy to work with for day to day shooting while being good enough to serve as a moderate duty sports shooting camera.
Image stabilization is housed in the lenses and is selectable with a switch on the lens, and is good for shutter speeds as slow as 1/15 seconds.
Cannon claims the battery is capable of taking some 600 shots with a single charge of its 1050 mAh lithium-ion battery, and you can even get an optional battery grip for a pair of lithium-ion packs or 6 AA batteries.
Superior image quality has always been a hallmark of the Cannon Rebel series of cameras since their introduction, and this model is as competitive as ever with other manufacturer’s cameras. If you are looking for an above-average entry level DSLR camera, then the Cannon Rebel XSi Digital Camera
is what you need!