Canon Rebel XTi Review
The XTi (otherwise known as Canon 400D) is Canon's follow-up to the XT camera, the most important being it replaced the XT's 8 megapixel resolution with a higher resolution.
First off, the Canon Rebel XTi feels pretty well balanced. It weights a bit more than the XT, but since the kit lens is really light, the end result is a weight that isn't that heavy. You still can't fit it into a regular pocket like a point and shoot, but you can definitely bring it to you everywhere you go without it feeling bulky, and cumbersome. If you got large hands, the grip may not be that comfortable - it's more suited for small hands.
People have complained that the XTi feels kind of plasticky. Those claims are a bit exaggerated, but if you drop it from a large distance, it'll probably no longer usable.
The control layout of the XTi is pretty much the same as that of the XT, which is similar to most Canon camera layouts. They include dedicated buttons for the important settings such as white balance, ISO, autofocus modes, and exposure. Very convenient, smooth and user friendly. If you've used Canon cameras your entire life, you shouldn't have a problem using the XTi. And even if you haven't, it shouldn't take long to get adjusted to the controls.
The LCD screen is adequately sized and is an improvement over the Rebel XT. It's 2.5 inches, which isn't large by today's standards (others have 3+ inches), but it's more then adequate for your needs.
The rear LCD is not as nice as we'd hope. Unlike other cameras like Sony's, you can't rotate the rear LCD at all. You can't even increase the font size.
One nice feature that was added to the XTi is self cleaning. Whenever you power this camera on or off, it shakes dust away from the sensor. There's also an adhesive in the sensor that grabs any dust it encounters, which prevents it from getting inside the camera - pretty neat.
The viewfinder of the XTi is average. It's good enough for our needs, but we would have preferred a larger, brighter viewfinder. In general, the larger the viewfinder is, the more comfortable and easier your shooting experience will be.
The autofocus speed is pretty fast, and one of the more impressive features we like about the Rebel XTi. It's quick and works extremely well in all lighting conditions. When the lighting is too low, it uses the flash as a focus assist light.
Let's get to the performance numbers. From power on to start is a pretty good .4 seconds. Shutter lag is also pretty good - .2 seconds with full autofocus, .105 seconds, prefocused, .12 seconds continuous AF, and .13 seconds manual focus. Shot to shot time is .35 seconds for JPEG, and .36 seconds for RAW.
Continuous speed is 3 frames per second for anywhere from 8 - 24 shots in a row. The flash is pretty quick - it takes just 3 seconds to recharge after a full power shot.
While the XTi is fast by most people's standards, we felt it wasn't the top of its class. Sometimes it felt as if a shot was captured a fraction of a second later than we had wished. Nonetheless, overall it should be more than responsive to suit your everyday needs. It delivers whether you're shooting still objects or busy children running around the place.
As for the image quality, we have almost no complaints. The images always turn out very nice with broad dynamic range, accurate white balance, and good color depth. If you stick to low ISO levels of 100 - 200, you shouldn't see any noise whatsoever. After ISO 200, you'll start to see a bit of noise and will need to do some cleanup and post processing. But even at a high ISO of 800, we thought our photos had an acceptable level of noise. Try shooting a photo of any person's face using an ISO of 800-1600, and you'll still be able to capture the finer details of their hairs, wrinkles, and skin discolorations.
Another thing to note is that the Rebel XTI does not have in camera image stabilization. So you're going to have to spend more on the lenses. But since the camera is pretty good at handling noise, this is not as glaring as you might think. Plus, it does have mirror lockup, which tends to decrease vibration that is caused by mirror movement.
We recommend getting the book "Understanding Exposure". It'll definitely help you choose the best lenses possible for the XTi or any other camera. Here in DailySnap, we recommend pairing the XTi with the Canon 50 F1.8 or the Canon 70-300 IS. The 50F 1.8 is well known for its excellent performance at a reasonable price.
The kit lens is not awful by any means, but it's designed to be an introductory lens, not a high quality lens. It's definitely not ideal for shooting in low light conditions. We recommend either buying just the body, or buying the kit lens, and upgrading later. Note that when you buy the body only, you still get all the usual freebies like the CD, software, battery, charger, etc.
- 10.1 megapixels
- 2.5 inch LCD display
- DIGIC II image processor
- Includes pop up flash
- Supports up to 1600 ISO
- Compact size, one of the smallest DSLRs
- Good, but not top of the class performance
- Great image quality for the price
- Easy to use
- Viewfinder is a tad too small
- Battery life is adequate, but not great
- no built-in image stabilization
The XTi is certainly not a perfect camera by any means, and is an old model. It has some weaknesses such as lack of image stabilization, a small viewfinder, and lack of illuminated buttons (for taking shots at night).
But if you're looking for a solid entry level DSLR that delivers accurate image quality at a lower price than competitive cameras, the Rebel XTi is certainly a solid option. When you take your first shot using the XTi, you'll be amazed at the different in quality between this and a regular point and shoot.
It's basically a DSLR designed for the beginner looking to upgrade from a point and shoot, and travel enthusiasts because of the compact size and fantastic image quality. In fact, if you're a beginner looking to get his/her first DSLR, the Canon Rebel XTi is a great choice. As with all DSLRs, the power of the camera depends on the skill of the person using it. Buy the XTi, get out and start learning!
Rating: 4.3 out of 5
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Prices last updated on: Mon, 10 Mar 2014 08:32:32 PDT