Canon Rebel XT Review
The Rebel XT is a pretty old model released by Canon in 2005. It's Canon's follow up to the original Digital Rebel. It's considered an entry level DSLR right now, and a great bang for your buck, considering the low prices you can get this at online. What we especially love about the XT was its good performance - top notch and amongst the best in this price range.
The XT is pretty lightweight - that's the first thing you'll notice when you hold it in your hands. Subtracting a lens, it weights just 17 oz - which is incredibly light. There are only a few DSLRs that are as compact as the XT is. So it's especially suitable for traveling. You can practically take it anywhere you want.
However, we find it a bit cumbersome using the Rebel XT for prolonged periods of time. It's not exactly the most ergonomic camera in the world. The grip isn't that comfortable, and there just isn't much space for your hands. Using the XT for a day, we found it quite easy to stumble upon the wrong buttons. If you're using the zoom included in the kit, you probably won't notice any of these problems, but they become more apparent when you switch over to a EF-mount lens.
As for the layout - we thought it was pretty intuitive. The camera status is displayed in the rear LCD, not in the top. All the buttons are laid out in an organized manner, and for the most part you expect things to be where they are. In the back of the XT are four directional buttons, which enable you to tweak the ISO level, autofocus, white balance and metering.
If you're a beginner, don't fret, because the XT offers an automatic mode that does all the work for you. No need to mess around with any settings. If you want to graduate from a point and shoot, and start playing with stuff, the XT offers plenty of options to tweak as well. Full Program mode, or full manual mode - the XT offers something for everyone.
Speaking of the LCD, we thought this was another weak point for the XT. It wasn't as bright as we hoped, and we found it sometimes didn't show accurate colors in the preview. So it's hard to tell how your photos will really turn out until you send them to your computer. It tends to show pictures brighter than they truly are - which is a tad annoying to be honest.
There's no live view, as live view was introduced into many DSLRs only recently. You got to rely on the viewfinder at all times. The LCD is just use for changing the settings, and previewing it right after the picture is taken. The viewfinder is okay. It provides 95% coverage, not 100%, but it's fairly bright. The LCD screen, which is 1.8 inches is also sharp and bright, although we had trouble seeing in sunlight sometimes.
A feature that wasn't in the original Rebel is the ability to record raw and High Quality JPEG at the same time.
As for performance, as we mentioned at the start, this is where the XT shines in our opinion. From power on to shot takes a solid .2 seconds. The shutter lag is a low .2 seconds. The shot to shot time is just .4 seconds when shooting RAW, and a little less when shooting JPEGs. One thing that you'll notice is that the shutter sound is pretty loud - it delivers a funky loud sound that is pretty much there to stay.
The speed for continuous shooting could be improved though. It was just 3 frames per seconds for JPEG, and 4 frames per second for RAW.
The kit lens is okay, but not great. We'd recommend pairing the XT with a better lens if possible. It would certainly unleash the true potential of this camera. We recommend you stick with Canon lenses though because we've often gotten burnt using third party lenses that weren't compatible with Canon DSLR bodies. If you're one that will use the camera a handful of times a year though, the kit lens will be sufficient.
That said, even with the kit lens, we think the photo quality is pretty solid. Colors turned out to be fairly accurate, natural with good saturation. White balance was OK, although it tended towards warm in some scenarios.
Our suggestion is to shoot in RAW as much as possible, so you can tweak the white balance after shooting. The Canon XT handles noise reduction quite well. In fact, we couldn't notice any noise when using an ISO less than 1600.
In low light conditions, the XT produced solid photos, and we think it handles dim lighting well. No visible artifacts or blurriness in our photos. If you're using the XT to shoot close up photos of nature, the XT also performs well.
The battery life is mediocre. You probably will need to carry an extra battery wherever you go. The flash really eats up those batteries - the XT relies on lithium batteries by the way.
The software that comes with the Rebel XT is useful, although we here tend to use Photoshop to brush up on our photos afterwards.
- 8.0 megapixels
- Kit lens includes Canon's 18-55 mm, f3.5-5.6 zoom lens
- .2 seconds startup time
- DIFIC II Image Processor
- 3 X optical zoom
- 1.8 inch LCD screen
- Includes pop up flash
- Very cost friendly, easy to find in bargain prices
- Good image quality and solid performance
- Continuous shooting speed not that good
- Preview in LCD not reliable
Overall, the Rebel XT, even though it's an older model is definitely worth a look. Because it's old and discontinued you can definitely find it for sale in places like Amazon, making it a great bang for your buck DSLR.
If you're serious about improving your photography skills though, we would recommend a more expensive DSLR though. Don't get us wrong, the XT is a solid camera, but it just won't produce the same image quality and offer the numerous features more professional DSLRs will.
If you can't afford other newer models like the XS, or XSi, the Rebel XT is a solid option. It even has some advantages like being able to use compact flash storage (which is much faster to use). If you pair this body with an excellent lens like the 50mm f/1.8 lens, you can probably have a setup that rivals other expensive DSLRs in the market.
Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Where to Buy It:
Lowest Price: Amazon for $689.98
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|Amazon||$689.98 (Cheapest Price)|
Prices last updated on: Thu, 15 Apr 2021 19:17:18 PDT