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Detailed Review of Canon Digital Rebel XT 8MP Digital SLR Camera

    Canon Digital Rebel XT 8MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 Lens (Black)

    Canon Digital Rebel XT 8MP Digital SLR Camera

    From the Manufacturer

    The Canon EOS Digital Rebel camera now has a new, faster, even smaller big brother. Sibling rivalries aside, the 8.0-megapixel Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT SLR adds resolution, speed, extra creative control, and enhanced comfort in the hand to one of the smallest and lightest digital cameras in its class.

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    Even with its advancements in ergonomic design and technology, this easy-to-use EOS digital camera is compatible with all of Canon's EF lenses, including the EF-S lenses.

    Rebel Without a Choice No More

    The EOS Digital Rebel XT camera takes its place alongside the original 6.3-megapixel EOS Digital Rebel camera that first placed an affordable, high-resolution digital SLR into the hands of Canon consumers. The EOS Digital Rebel XT model is offered in two kit configurations: with Canon's high-quality EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-f5.6 zoom lens (in matte black and in brushed silver) and as a body only (in matte black and in brushed silver).

    The Rebel XT's image sensor has the same 3:2 ratio as film cameras, creating an effective angle of view that is 1.6 times the normal EF lens's focal length.

    While many of the feature advancements and innovations on the new EOS Digital Rebel XT digital camera are inherited from Canon's EOS 20D "prosumer" SLR, the two cameras' most striking technological similarities are their use of Canon's newly developed large-single-plate, high-sensitivity, high-resolution color CMOS imaging sensor technology. While the size of the APS-C CMOS sensor on the EOS Digital Rebel XT SLR is fractionally smaller than the APS-C CMOS sensor on the EOS 20D camera (22.2 x 14.8 millimeters versus 22.5 x 15.0 millimeters, respectively) accounting in part for the cameras' 8.0- vs. 8.2-megapixel resolution rating, individual pixel dimensions are identical, and they both provide the same effective angle of view, equivalent to 1.6x the normal EF lens focal length.

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    There are, of course, some very real differences between the EOS Digital Rebel XT digital camera and the more advanced EOS 20D. While the 20D SLR includes performance features such as faster continuous shooting speed (5 frames per second [fps] vs. 3 fps) with larger burst capability (23 frames vs. 14 frames) and custom function settings (18 vs. 9) that more than justify its heftier price tag, this new Rebel XT model was created for those dedicated SLR users who are migrating to digital for the first time and don't wish to give up the flexibility an SLR system offers.

    Choose a single point of focus or predictive autofocus, or direct the camera to make the determination using its 7-point AF system.

    Autofocus Made Easy

    Utilizing the same 7-point autofocus system as the EOS Digital Rebel camera, the new EOS Digital Rebel XT SLR is capable of analyzing where a subject is--even when it is off center--and almost immediately bringing it into focus. It can also analyze subject movement and automatically select locking or tracking AF modes as needed. These features simplify the camera's operation and optimize its performance. The Digital Rebel XT allows users to select locking or tacking AF modes independently, adding a new dimension of creative control.

    Finer Photos Faster

    The new EOS Digital Rebel XT digital camera can shoot up to 14 consecutive large/fine (8.0-megapixel) JPEGs, five RAW files, or four RAW + large/fine JPEGs at a rate of up to 3 fps. The EOS Digital Rebel camera's smaller buffer permits bursts of only four large/fine (6.3-megapixel) JPEG or RAW frames at a rate of up to 2.5 fps.

    While reprising the Digital Rebel SLR's ISO range of 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1600, Canon raised the Auto ISO setting on the Digital Rebel XT model to 400 help improve image quality, reduce camera shake, and brighten the scene behind the subject when taking a flash photo. The new Digital Rebel XT camera also offers 12 exposure modes that are user selectable at the turn of a conveniently placed dial. The exposure modes--Full Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, Flash Off, Program AE, Shutter Speed-Priority AE, Aperture-Priority AE, Manual, and Auto Depth-of-Field AE--take into account virtually all shooting conditions and preferences.

    In addition to its lossless compression 8.0-megapixel RAW image file option, the Rebel XT Digital SLR offers users the option of shooting in a range of sizes and quality JPEG settings from large (8.0-megapixel) and medium (4.15-megapixel) to small (2.0-megapixel). Within each resolution option, the user may also select quality settings: large/fine, large/normal, medium/fine, medium/normal, small/fine, and small/normal.

    RAW Power

    What's more, while the original Digital Rebel camera required dedicated software to extract embedded medium/fine resolution JPEGs from the larger, uncompressed RAW image file, the new Rebel XT model saves RAW and large/fine resolution images as separate files on the CompactFlash card. The user also has the option of selecting RAW (8.0-megapixel) files only, saving valuable space on the CF card. As with the EOS 20D, the Digital Rebel XT camera's RAW files are denoted by the CR2 extension.

    Creative Control

    Among the new features found on the EOS Digital Rebel XT camera are user-selectable metering and AF modes, flash exposure compensation control, improved E-TTL II evaluative flash metering, and, for the first time in this product category, custom function control. The Digital Rebel XT SLR even offers a monochrome mode for consumers who enjoy the subtleties and shadings that only black-and-white images offer.

    The Rebel XT camera incorporates nine of the Custom Functions previously found on the EOS 20D model. Designed to fine-tune camera operation according to personal preferences, the custom functions offer users a set of programming options for the SET button/cross keys, as well as control over long exposure noise reduction, flash sync speed in AV mode, AF start from the shutter button or AE lock button, AF assist beam, mirror lockup, E-TTL II metering patterns, and shutter curtain sync.

    All This and DIGIC II

    Canon's newest and most powerful SLR imaging engine, DIGIC II, provides high precision and high speed, natural color reproduction including high saturation, bright subjects, improved auto white balance, and increased white balance correction control and white balance bracketing over the original Digital Rebel camera.

    The white balance correction control is a digital color filter that works like a light-balancing filter or a color-compensating filter. Both the blue/amber bias and the magenta/green bias can be adjusted to +/- 9 levels. While the blue/amber bias adjustment is standard on the original Digital Rebel model, the Rebel XT camera's additional magenta/green bias adjustment provides increased color compensation from the earlier model.

    The XT's DIGIC II image processor ensures natural colors, accurate white balance, and speedy write times.

    The Rebel XT SLR's white balance bracketing mode enables the camera to automatically take three images for every shot snapped, each with a different bias setting. The user can then select the best shot and discard the other two. White balance bracketing can also be used in combination with white balance correction. The benefit of all this white balance wizardry can be found in the photographs with colors captured accurately and precisely under a wide range of conditions.

    In addition to the legion of image-quality improvements, DIGIC II speeds up the camera's performance from startup, which is 10 times faster on the EOS Digital Rebel XT model (0.2 seconds) than it is on the EOS Digital Rebel with the original iteration of DIGIC (2 seconds).

    Another feature improved by the presence of DIGIC II is the speed of the direct printing function, which is PictBridge compatible. DIGIC II also produces faster startup times, faster CompactFlash card writing speed, and approximately 10x faster data transfer speeds thanks to the processor's new USB 2.0 high-speed interface. As an added bonus, the DIGIC II chip is so efficient, it actually reduces the EOS Digital Rebel XT camera's power consumption (and extends battery life) by approximately 35 percent. Indeed, this new Rebel XT camera is so energy efficient, it is powered by the same lighter-weight NB-2LH battery pack used by the PowerShot S60 (as opposed to the larger BP-511A battery pack used by the original Digital Rebel model).

    Select 35-zone AF point evaluative metering, partial metering at the center of the image, or center-weighted averaged metering.

    E-TTL II: Exposure Control in a Flash

    The new Rebel XT camera also features the next step in the evolution of evaluative, through-the-lens exposure control, E-TTL II. Though compatible with all Canon EX-series Speedlites, this smarter new E-TTL II system helps ensure that, even in situations with highly reflective subjects or backgrounds or when shooting in most other similarly difficult lighting situations, the image will be optimally exposed.

    The E-TTL II system compares the ambient light with the reflected pre-flash off the subject reported in all 35 metering zones and selects the areas with a small difference to be weighted for flash exposure calculation. This system also helps eliminate or underweight areas with large differences, recognizing them as an extremely reflective object in the background or a highly reflective subject.

    Bundled Software

    Both the Rebel XT Camera and lens kit and the body-only kit are shipped with three software discs, including EOS Digital Solutions Disc 10 featuring ZoomBrowser EX, ImageBrowser, and ArcSoft PhotoStudio together with other utilities; another disc containing Digital Photo Professional 1.6 for RAW file conversions; and a third disc containing PDF versions of the instruction manuals for each application.

    Want high digital-camera performance in an SLR format? For convenience, ease of use and no-compromise SLR performance, look no further than the EOS Digital Rebel XT. Featuring Canon's Digital Trinity 8.0 Megapixel CMOS sensor, Canon's own DIGIC II Image Processor and compatibility with over 50 EF Lenses-the new Digital Rebel XT has an all new

    • Lightweight And Compact Body,

    • Improved Performance Across The Board And The Easiest Operation In Its Class,

    • Simplifying Complex Tasks And Ensuring A Perfect Shot Every Time.

    With intuitive simplicity, powerful performance and unprecedented affordability, the Rebel XT is for everyone. File Size - JPEG -

    • Large/Fine - Approx. 3.3 MB (3456 x 2304),

    • Large/Normal - Approx. 1.7 MB (3456 x 2304),

    • Medium/Fine - Approx. 2.0 MB (2496 x 1664),

    • Medium/Normal Approx. 1.0 MB (2496 x 1664),

    • Small/Fine - Approx. 1.2 MB (1728 x 1152),

    • Small/Normal - Approx. 0.6 MB (1728 x 1152);

    • RAW - Approx. 8.3 MB (3456 x 2304) USB 2.0 HighSpeed Interface (maximum speeds vary)

    • Exposure Control Systems - Program AE (shiftable),

    • Shutter-priority AE, Aperture-priority AE, Automatic Depth-of Field AE, Full Auto,

    • Programmed Image Control modes (Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, Flash Off),

    • E-TTL II Autoflash Program AE, and Manual Focusing

    • Modes - One-Shot AF, Predictive AI Servo AF,

    • AI Focus AF (Automatically selects One-Shot AF or AI Servo AF selected according to shooting mode),Manual Focusing (MF) Auto pop-up,

    retractable, built-in electronic-flash in the pentaprism (shoe available for adding optional Canon Speedlite Electronic-Flash) 10-Second Self-timer PictBridge and Canon DirectPrint compatible 1.8 LCD Viewscreen - Any of the following 15 languages can be selected - English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Italian, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified/Traditional Chinese, Korean, Russian, and Japanese Dimensions (W x H x

    Another stunning winner from the bright minds at Canon

    Reviewer: Gadgester

    I spent three hours yesterday playing with the brand-new Canon Digital Rebel XT digital SLR camera, and man, was I impressed.

    I hadn't been too impressed with the original Digital Rebel, except for its revolutionarily low price (for a d-SLR), because it was slow and felt slimsy. The new DR XT is quite different. Even though it's 3 ounces lighter than the original DR -- mostly due to the use of a smaller battery; see below -- its smaller form factor actually makes it feel more solid and "real". In other word, unlike the original DR, this one feels professional, not toy-like at all.

    By now you probably already know Canon makes some of the best digital cameras in the world. Even though I'm a Nikon shooter when it comes to d-SLR (sorry, loyal Canon shooters!), I own a couple Canon compact digital cameras and love them, too. The DR XT's image quality is once again excellent. I took a few indoor shots with the camera, both with and without flash, and then the store clerk let me download them to their PC. The JPEG pictures (I didn't try RAW) looked excellent on the Sony LCD screen, on par with the more expensive EOS 20D d-SLR. Color tones were accurate and the resolution was really good.

    The improvement picture quality over the original DR ("DR Classic"? BTW it's now $200 cheaper) comes from both the 2 extra megapixels and the better color accuracy. BTW, the DR XT reportedly uses a tecchnically different CMOS sensor than the original DR, although I haven't been able to find out exactly how this one is better in technical terms than the old one (other than the two extra megapixels). No matter, my limited true-world testing showed the image quality is indeed better than the already-excellent image quality of the original DR. And, as in the past, Canon does a wonderful job at keeping noise low -- I considered noise acceptable up until ISO 800.

    The kit, which I recommend, comes with the same flimsy 3x EF-S lens (which won't work on regular film SLRs) as the original DR. You should most definitely get a better lens, although the kit lens works well as a "street zoom." I didn't get a chance to test the lens outdoors as the store wouldn't let me take it outside, but I have no doubt that this new model can only be better than the original DR, which was already very good even before you considered its low price.

    The DR XT is fast: at last, you can turn it on and start shooting without waiting several seconds like you had to with the original DR. The only downside compared to the original DR is the smaller, lighter battery in the DR XT also means shorter battery life. I highly recommend you get an extra battery or two. You won't be able to go through a full day of shooting on just one battery, even if you don't use flash much. (But all pros and pro-wannabes use fill-in flash, don't we?) I also recommend a good camera bag; I personally like Tamrac for that. In addition to the spare battery (batteries), bag and a better lens or two, also consider getting a tripod (Sunpak ones are cheap but ok quality), an external flash as well as filters -- esp. a high-qual circular polarizing filter.

    In summary, the Canon Digital Rebel XT is another stunning winner from Canon. It features faster speeds (start-up and shot-to-shot), excellent image quality, and terrific look-and-feel. Despite my personal preference for Nikon pro-level gear, I can recommend this Canon d-SLR to my friends without reservation.

    Canon Digital Rebel XT 8MP Digital SLR Camera

    Buy Canon Digital SLR Camera, Buy SLR Camera


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