Canon EOS Rebel XS Review
Canon released the Rebel XS in 2008 as a lower-cost, yet effective alternative to the Rebel XSi as an entry-level DSLR. They are almost identical in design, and the Rebel XS has retained some of the features present in the XSi, but there are many noticeable differences. First and foremost, at its price range, the Rebel XS is a good choice for people who want to transition from point-and-shoot to DSLR and creative people who enjoy photography as a hobby.
Again, the Rebel XS looks just like the XSi in terms of design. The dimensions of the XS are 4.96 x 3.8 x 2.4 inch, and weighs 15.9 ounces. It is smooth but feels cheap because of its plastic body. The buttons are placed to the right of the screen and have different textures. The camera is not heavy, bulky, or hard to hold, so one-handed operation is possible. There is a 2.5” LCD screen, which is a downgrade from the XSi (3”). The display is straightforward, simple, and uncluttered. The XS offers My Menu, a feature seen in the more higher-end Canon models. It creates a list of the most accessed settings so it is quick to set up the camera and begin shooting.
When you start up the camera and take a picture, it takes about 0.2 second. It takes 0.8 seconds in dim settings, and 0.4 for continuous shooting. This means you’ll hit a continuous shooting rate up to 3 fps. It is somewhat faster than the XSi in some conditions, and is comparable to its competitors. In addition to its speed, the XS takes great pictures, almost as good as the XSi. The resolution goes up to 10.2 megapixels. The XS takes relatively noise-free pictures at all ISO sensitivities, which range from ISO 100 to 1600. A lot of cameras offer up to ISO 3200, but at point, the quality is almost unusable.
The camera uses a 7-point autofocus system, which may be a bit less than what other cameras offer. The focus is slightly slow and annoying since the XS uses small red dots to focus the subject and does not always choose the correct subject when focusing. However, you can select your own points and the autofocus will be more useful, even in dim settings. As with Rebel DSLRs, the shooting modes are divided into Basic Zone and the Creative Zone. The former allows you to change some settings, but are limited, yet simple and to the point. The modes include auto exposure, portrait, landscape, sports, macro, and night. The Creative Zone allows users to change many more settings, including shutter priority, aperture priority, auto depth of field, and more.
The Rebel XS comes with its own kit lens. Canon is known for its great lenses, but the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit lens doesn’t seem to work well with the XS. It is a bit flimsy and collects dust easily over time. It doesn’t work that well under low light and it’s suggested that you invest in another kits lens and perhaps by the camera without it. Canon cameras are made very compatible with other lenses.
If the picture you took wasn’t perfect, you can use the feature found in the XS and XSi, the Auto Lighting Optimizer, which automatically adjusts contrast and brightness and can expose faces that appear dimmed by the setting. A photographer can also invest in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, which allows them to alter pictures for the best quality (and are advised to shoot in RAW mode for this). Users are encouraged to take as many pictures as they like, because the XS has a battery life of up to 600 pictures. In the end, pictures taken are so high quality they are hard to beat and are the reason why Canon Rebel models have been so successful and popular.
- 10.2 megapixel DSLR camera with 2.5” LCD screen
- Dimensions of are 4.96 x 3.8 x 2.4 inch, and weight of 15.9 ounces
- Lightest and most compact DSLR from Canon
- Battery life of up to 600 shots
- 7 point autofocus system
- Sensitivity ranges from ISO 100-1600
- Continuous shooting rate at 3 fps
- My Menu feature
- Auto Lightning Optimizer/Picture Style settings
- Comes with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit lens
- Lightweight, same design as XSi
- Simple display and easy menu navigation
- My Menu feature allows for faster shooting and familiarity of camera
- Fast shooting speed
- Amazing photo quality
- Low price for its class
- Great battery life
- Kit lens isn’t that great
- Low max. ISO
- Autofocus system may be annoying
The Rebel XS is a solid choice for amateurs, students, casual photographers, and anyone who wants to give DSLR photography a try. If you’re completely new to DSLRs but ready to make the leap into creative photography and get the XS, you will need to experiment with it a lot in order to get the full feel and become comfortable, as there is more to learn than how to take snapshots. It is a nice alternative from the slightly more expensive XSi, but it does lose some important features and comes with a shoddy kit lens. Otherwise, the image quality is great for its class and is the only reason why the Rebel XS is ahead in the competition. However, it isn’t particularly the best value for the price, but is a great option. The XS will take you a long way and last for years if you’re just looking for a great camera to record your daily life. i
Rating: 4.4 out of 5
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Prices last updated on: Wed, 12 Dec 2018 12:45:04 PST