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2,362 of 2,386 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully full-featured camera at an unbeatable price
I've had the T1i for about almost week now and after some extensive use, here are my thoughts:

1. 15.1 megapixel sensor. Yes, the high megapixel count is impressive, but keep in mind that, as you approach higher resolutions, you need to ensure the lens on the SLR can resolve that much detail. Sadly, the included 18-55mm IS lens is functional, but the high...
Published on April 29, 2009 by Rimesh Patel

530 of 575 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Video Problems with some sdhc cards (especially Kingston), You may miss some good shots unless you use sandisk extreme lll.
**see update below, now give this camera a 4 star
**** Video Test memory consumption rates and max minutes per clip contained below.

I couldn't wait to my hands on the new Canon T1i. It was a stretch for my budget but had most of the 5d mkll features. I was excited. I pre-ordered a body (I already have 2 xti's and lenses) but the only the kits are/were...
Published on May 4, 2009 by smithnwesson

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2,362 of 2,386 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully full-featured camera at an unbeatable price, April 29, 2009
Rimesh Patel (Washington D.C.) - See all my reviews
I've had the T1i for about almost week now and after some extensive use, here are my thoughts:

1. 15.1 megapixel sensor. Yes, the high megapixel count is impressive, but keep in mind that, as you approach higher resolutions, you need to ensure the lens on the SLR can resolve that much detail. Sadly, the included 18-55mm IS lens is functional, but the high resolution really shows the so-so quality of the lens. Even if taken at the proper focus, pictures can appear soft with this kit lens. Shots I have taken with Canon EF-S 17-85mm and EF 70-200mm L lenses are crisp. I don't have any gripes on image quality. There are some issues with noise on the higher ISOs that don't seem to show up on the Nikon digitals, but overall, the quality is amazing for the price. Skin tones, textures, colors are reproduced very accurately.

2. Digic 4. The Digic 4 processor appears to process/save the 15 megapixel images in the same time (if not faster) than the Digic III processor on the XSi (even in RAW+Jpg mode). I have also noticed that at higher ISOs, the sensor and the Digic 4 produce images with less overall noise compared with its predecessors.

3. LCD. The 920,000 pixel LCD screen is large (3"), crisp, vibrant and fully visible even in bright sunlight. In comparison, the Canon XSi SLR (which the T1i replaces), also has a 3" LCD, but with 230,000 pixels. The viewing angle is great as well and the LCD can easily be seen nearly 180 degrees around.

4. ISO 12800. Canon and Amazon are correctly identifying that the T1i maxes out at ISO 3200. Some less reputable dealers are listing an ISO 12800, which you should disregard. The ISO 6400 and 12800 settings are expanded ISO settings. The pictures taken on these two settings are ISO 3200 images pushed to ISO 6400 or 12800 by the Digic 4 chip before saving to the memory card. These pictures are extremely grainy and contain a lot of noise to the point of only being usable as for snapshots or adding an artistic effect to certain compositions.

5. Penta-mirror. That Canon is still using one in the T1i is disappointing. The penta-mirror viewfinder image is functional, but still noticeably darker than that of the penta-prism viewfinder in the Nikon D90 (which is the T1i's main competitor). I really would have preferred if Canon had kept the XSi's 12.2 megapixel sensor, forgone 1080p video altogether, and maybe upped the cost of the camera slightly to cover the production cost of using a penta-prism in the T1i. Honestly, unless you are massively cropping your images, or creating large photos, the difference between 12.2 and 15.1 megapixels really is negligible.

6. Size. This is the same body as the XSi, and therefore a bit on the smaller side compared to other digital SLRs. I have small hands, so the T1i is comfortable for me. If you have big hands, I can see this being a very difficult camera to use over an extended period of time. If you haven't handled a Canon XT, XTi or XSi, I would suggest you go to a store and hold the T1i yourself before purchasing it online. (I will upload a picture of the T1i in my hands to the user gallery for a size reference.)

7. HD Video. Yes, the Canon marketing department made a horrible marketing decision and pushed the T1i onto shelves limiting the 1080p recording to 20fps (frames per second). Recognize this as a marketing gimmick that allows them put a 1080p sticker on the camera box. The 1080p @ 20fps is fine most times, but seems a choppy if you have a lot of action in the frame or are panning quickly. The T1i's 720p video is recorded at 30fps and is clean, smooth, and sufficient for all but the most discerning consumers. One major criticism though is that the sound is recorded in mono, AND there is NO input for an external microphone.

A lot of pre-production reviews of the T1i criticize its inability to automatically autofocus while recording. I wouldn't put much weight in this criticism, mostly because neither of the other two SLR cameras with HD recording capabilities (Canon 5D Mark II and Nikon D90) can automatically autofocus while recording either. What you can do with the T1i is pan/zoom the lens and then press the AE lock (*) button to make the camera autofocus on the new subject (all while recording). A problem with using the AE lock button to have the camera autofocus is that the microphone for the camera is on the front upper left of the body near the lens mount. Therefore, the lens motor noise is picked up just as much as ambient sounds. Even with my quietest Canon USM (ultasonic motor) lenses, this lens motor sound is pretty loud in video playback. Although, remember, you can always manually turn the focusing ring on the lens to get your subject back into focus. It's not easy, but after a little practice, it's not all too hard, either.

Ultimately, you shouldn't let the HD recording limitations sway you one way or the other. This is an SLR camera -- not a video camera. The HD video is a great feature, but if you're looking for something primarily to take video, look elsewhere. There are much better, cheaper VIDEO cameras out there which can record true 1080p.

8. Record button. For some reason, the record video button is next to the LCD screen (the same button used for direct printing). The first few times you take video, you'll intuitively find yourself using the shutter release button used to take pictures. The reason for this switch is that you can take a still picture while recording video, although, doing so will interrupt the recording.

9. Battery life. My first fully charged battery only lasted about 250 shots (no flash), but all charges since have given me in the range of 500-700 shots per charge. I'm guessing the first charge had such a short life because I spent quite a bit of time learning the camera, its menus, and settings.

10. Live View. I honestly can't review this as I haven't used it too much yet -- I prefer using the viewfinder. One feature I can say is nice is that, on the LCD, you can digitally zoom in (up to 10x) on a section of your shot to ensure it is properly focused. This, and the fine focusing, can really help if you're into macro-photography.

11. HDMI cable. The T1i has an HDMI Type C output on the body to allow you to directly display pictures and video on an HDTV. A minor criticism is that the HDMI Type C cable is not included in the box. You have to buy it separately. It would have been nice if it were included, as it's not an expensive cable.

Conclusion. The T1i is a bit on the light end, yet the construction still feels solid. For the camera's price point, you'd be hard pressed to find any digital SLR out there which gives you all the capabilities and growth range of the Canon T1i. The camera is intuitive enough for those new to photography to pick and learn easily, yet configurable enough for advanced amateurs. If video is not a big deal for you, then get the Canon XSi. There is very little the T1i has (other than ISO 3200 and a sharper screen) that the XSi doesn't. Plus, with the release of the T1i, you can probably pick up a used XSi for a great price on eBay. My wife recently gave birth, and I'm not looking to record endless (never to be watched) tapes of video footage of our son, but I do want several minute clips of him as he grows through the years. I've always been more inclined towards photography, so this camera gives me a very versatile digital SLR that I need with the wonderful capability of recording HD video that I want.
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299 of 310 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First hands on experience...Very positive!, April 29, 2009
Here's a quick, first impressions (from hands on shooting) of the Rebel T1i. Although we'll need more scientific examinations to determine ultimate image quality and usability, I'll try to give a hint into the camera's potential.

I'll not go in to any real detail on the kit lens, which has been well reviewed. Let's just agree that $100 for a good quality IS (image stabalized) lens is a very reasonable value it you don't have another option. There are no obvious reasons this kit lens should make or break your choice of this camera over a competitor's.

Styling and build wise, the T1i is an XSi made over, which is not a bad thing. Some found that camera to be a bit on the small size for their hands, or a bit lacking in weight, but most like the size and weight (include me). It uses the same, proven battery and accessories of the XSi. I've already used some generic batteries that worked well in an XSi, with similar good results, but I do not want to lump all generics in the "good to go" category.

In using the camera, the first thing you'll notice over the previous Rebels in the marvelous LCD screen. Yep, the images look much cleaner even at the original size. Don't get confused if you compare this camera side-by-side and think it's images are all that much better. They just look much better on such a sharp LCD.

First looks at IQ (Image Quality) were very impressive. I tried using the camera in a variety of situtations (biased to how I would use it), and got very good results throughout. Focusing was typical for a better Rebel, and images looked good throughout the ISO range, based on reasonable expectations. I thought the Auto White Balance is a very good job compared to previous results I'd had with Canons in general. They weren't perfect, but the tungsten areas seemed to look better than average. All in all, I'd say Canon made reasonable progress with the jump to 15 meg, but probably no reason to trade-in your XSi.

Live View never has been one of my biggest thrills, but the sharp LCD makes it a bit more enjoyable. If I was still shooting macros, I would like it much more.

But the biggest advantage of the newer screen for some will be while shooting videos. I only did videos in the 1080p mode, and was impressed by the quality. Sound was OK, and I was a bit disappointed that Canon doesn't have an option audio input (ala the 5D mkII or camcorders with intellegent shoe). I'm also not sure how practical the videos will be, considering they aren't using a "direct to HiDef player" format like AVCHD or AVCHD Lite. Also, 20fps is a bit odd for 1080p, but their software does support frame grapping, which should give nice 4x6 prints (there's a bit more than 2meg per frame). The 720p is recorded in a more standard 30fps, which should also help with moving subjects. You can also shoot a full 15meg image while recording your videos. You videos are interrupted for about a second (you'll see a still image for that length in the video playback), but the high quality image will be recorded in its own file (no need to frame grab). BTW, autofocusing did work during this recording, but the noise was picked up by the mic.

OK, so I liked the camera, but how would I rate it compared to the competition. Well, compared to the XSi, it's better, but maybe not worth the money. The LCD is grand (that alone would get my money), and it's a no brainer if you need video or shoot lots of macros. But with resent price drops and combo deals from Canon, the XSi should still be strong based on value.

I've also had a bit of experience with the new Nikon D5000 (but even less so). Although initial pricing is about $50 higher on the T1i, I thought the Canon was clearly more interesting. I like the way Sony incorporated an articulated LCD, but hate it on the D5000. I was constantly setting the camera down with the LCD back being the first thing to touch. You might never break it, but you'll surely scratch the cosmetics. The D5000 doesn't have the motor built into the body, so there's a bit of a limitation to lens. However, the biggest drawback was that the D5000's built-in flash doesn't support their wireless flash system (with their new lineup, we'll have to move up to the D90). The D5000 really needs to be lined up against the XSi, not the T1i.

The 14mp Sony Alpha 350 might be a good value oriented competitor (when Sony offers bundles), but the IQ of the Canon's CMOS sensor is probably better in most moderate to low light conditions. I think you'll be seeing something soon to replace this model.

Thus, it's prime competitors should be Canon's own XSi, the D5000 (especially if they drop the price about $100 more), and for those with a bit more money, the Nikon D90.

The T1i carries on the tradition of Canon Rebels with a lot of "curbside appeal" matched with solid performance.
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530 of 575 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Video Problems with some sdhc cards (especially Kingston), You may miss some good shots unless you use sandisk extreme lll., May 4, 2009
**see update below, now give this camera a 4 star
**** Video Test memory consumption rates and max minutes per clip contained below.

I couldn't wait to my hands on the new Canon T1i. It was a stretch for my budget but had most of the 5d mkll features. I was excited. I pre-ordered a body (I already have 2 xti's and lenses) but the only the kits are/were available so I upgrade to get it before a SciFi convention I attended.
Higher iso and video, for the less than optimal lighting in the hall where the Celebs were speaking, attracted me.
I tested the video for memory consumption rate the day I got it, no problem for a 20 minute test run. I saw a little white bar on the right side of the screen appear get a little bigger, then disappear. I figured it was a buffer level. Next day at the convention during Jeri Ryan's appearance I took a few stills and flipped into the video mode, nice.... until it stopped after a few minutes. Set it back up, pushed record again a few minutes later stopped, no warning, no beep, just stopped. Try again, now I notice the buffer bar reaches the top, it stops. I am using a kingston 8 gig class 6 sdhc, freshly formatted by the camera. That sucks! I missed a lot of good video because this new marvelous camera can't write fast enough. This occured on 2 different but identical cards so I thought the camera was having problems. It was on the 720p mode, 1080 mode could only go 8 seconds.

****Update---I talked to Canon, to make a long story short, this camera is a bit finicky about which cards you put in it. Both kingston class 6 (fastest class) had problems, tried a kingston micro class 4 (slower) 4 gig and it worked fine, tried 2 Polaroid/pny 8 gig class 4's and they worked fine with only 1 buffer bar appearing occasionally, even on 1080. Canon guy seemed to like the sandisk brand. This begs the question of how can a class 4 work better than the class 6? I have a sandisk extreme III on order and will update this info if I have more problems with that.
My wrath now turns to Kingston, who service has been xlnt.
***update kingston- I returned a card to kingston, they sent a new one just as bad as the slow originals, which indicates ALL this type kingston are mot going to work in this camera for video.

******Another update, with a Sandisk 8 Gb Extreme lll card the video worked fine, no buffer bar at all. Perhaps there should be a recommended list of sdhc cards so others don't have the trouble I did.

That said, I was able to test the video as follows:
I have tested my T1i for memory usage in video mode, here are the results using a Sandisk 8 Gig Extreme III:

T1i Video Memory Usage Rates for a 1 minute file.

1080 mode 282 MB
720 mode 194 MB
480 mode 131MB

Following is for 5 minute file
1080 = 1,383 MB
720 = 988 MB
480 = 638

Any 1 clip can be 4GB max, so the following is an approximate max clip length

1080 about 14 minutes
720 about 20 minutes
480 about 30 minutes

These figures are approximate as the content of the video will affect the compression and amount of memory actually used but these are pretty close to an average time you should expect. I did a little rounding so these are probably the on the low side you may get a little more time, but not much, maybe a minute.

You can shoot as much video as the card will hold, just any 1 uninterrupted clip cannot be longer than 4 gig.

Shooting Video also eats the battery, buy extras, one Battery per every 8 gig card should be about right.

Bottom line-MAKE SURE you thoroughly test and 'season' the memory card BEFORE counting on getting complete videos. The first cards I tried did work on day 1 for 20 minutes but the buffer bar got to 3 or 4. Day 2 (the convention) was a different story, you read it above. DO NOT use KINGSTON CARDS.

Stills are pretty good but I noticed on blowing them up the noise almost looks like dusty distorted scratchy marks on the sensor, not just the colored freckles. My XTi is better, My Nikon d200 is better, my Nikon d40 is better in the noise department. I cranked up the iso to speed up my shutter and some of the shots looked like very dirty/dusty slides I have from the 70's. I guess you can choose between the noise or slow shutter speed with the movement blur, or both. See the customer images for a sample of the noise at 6400 iso.

****update on stills
Still shot Capacity on 8 gig card
Large + RAW =286
Just RAW = 359
Large = 1375
Medium = 2334
Small = 4175
* if you shoot any video mixed with the stills these numbers drop very fast.

Other review sites had a pre-release version of this camera and they had the same video problem, (they did not name the sdhc card they were using, but I'd bet it was a kingston). Unfortunately there were not any reviews of actual cameras when I ordered it, just press releases. Now you have been warned and now you have this review. When you lose the video as the couple says 'I do' or other critical moment, you'll curse too.
***I currently put a SanDisk 8 gb sdhc extreme III rated at 20 MB/Second, far and above the minimum class 6 rating of 6MB/sec, it seems to work flawlessly today, we'll see about tomorrow, but this showed no signs of the buffer bar on the side, looks promising!
***update SanDisk still working xlnt.

If you are going to do Video, and it important at all, I can only recommend the SanDisk 8 gb sdhc extreme III at this point. Just be warned that the video mode is very demanding and picky about the performance of the card, just the class rating is not to be counted on, as I found out the hard way. Some class 4's may work, even class 2's but that buffer bar will start showing up.

>>>>>>>> Be Safe Buy the Sandisk Extreme III.
>>>>>>>> Another user says Transcend 16GB Class 6 SDHC is performing well in video
>>>>>>used A-Data class 10 sdhc 8GB card with no problems
>>>>>>WARNING ---Centon Class 6 16GB SDHC crashed and as slow as Kingston DO NOT use CENTON cards, they do NOT comply with the speed rating.
>>>>>>Polaroid/pny 16GB Class 4 cards work OK as long as you do NOT take a still pic while videoing.

***Notes on Video File format generated by the t1i-
This camera saves the video in .MOV files, which is fine if you have an apple/mac, BUT if you run xp, you must convert this format file to something else (avi, mpeg,...etc)in order to make a dvd with the commonly found software. Canon DOES NOT provide any software to deal with .mov conversion or transferring to a dvd to be played by a dvd player. This makes life a lot more complicated. Sure you can search around, get a file converter, then import to a dvd maker, then burn a dvd. Why should I have to search for these utilities and go through all that? Why couldn't canon have just put a simple dvd transfer or mov converter program in the bundle? Or have I just not found it yet?

Canon, please remember, K.I.S.S. is a good principle.
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69 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Camera - Canon Rules, June 13, 2009
My Requirements for a DSLR were as below:

1. High Resolution LCD Screen.
2. Great/Easy to use - User Interface.
3. HD Video - 720 (30FPS) - (1080 was optional for me).
4. Live View.
5. Amazing Image Quality.
6. Comprehensive Software Package.
7. Large Variety of Lens options.
8. Performance.
9. Obviously, Cost (<1000$).

In the curent market, i narrowed down to 2 cameras - Canon EOS 500D/T1i or Nikon D5000 (Since i trust both brands for amazing image quality).

Canon EOS 500D Scored over Nikon in below areas:

1. LCD Screen 3inch 920,000 dot compared to Nikon's 2.7inch 230,000. For me high resolution screen is very important to enjoy the pics in the camera itself and obviously for better judgement of the focus. I bet, you will fall in love with T1i, immidietly after seeing pics in its brilliant LCD screen.

2. I verified both Ti1 and D5000 user interface and i felt T1i's user interface/menus were well organised keeping in mind of the entry level DSLR users. Again i love this on T1i.

3. I have seen many people complaining about T1i's 1080 (20 FPS) HD video. But Nikon doesn't even have this feature. And T1i has HD video 720 at 30 FPS which is a treat to eyes when you see it on HDTV. But Nikon provides 720 at just 24 FPS.

4. Both has Live View - Here T1i has the advantage of better resolution screen and D5000 has Lower resolution vari angle screen. My preferenece was high resolution screen.

5. Image Quality, I am very very happy about the Super sharp images of Canon T1i. My interest is mainly Macro and Landscape. And T1i gives me Amazing Quality images (I don't believe much in camera reviews) combined with Canon's brilliant lenses.

6. Canon's provides the best - with camera software package. Digital Photo Professional, EOS Utility, Photostitch and many more are very simple to use and powerful tools and provides necessary inventory for more than basic image editing (Don't compare this with specialized photo editing tools like Adobe Photoshop).

7. Again Canon has the most comprehensive Lens set to choose compared to Nikon (Again don't bring in the theory of 3rd party lenses). I own the kit lens, Canon 100mm Macro, Canon 10mm super wide angle. And these leses combined with T1i produce breathtaking images.

8. When it comes to performance, T1i has got very great start up time, fast focus and good continious burst (9RAW/170 JPEGS at 3.4 FPS) which satisfies my needs. Nikon D5000 can shoot at 4FPS.

9. Cost wise, T1i is cheaper than Nikon D90 and Canon 50D.

I have read many reviews comparing T1i and D5000, saying Nikon has better Low light performance. It may be true, but T1i produces brilliant pics till ISO3200 (Nikon may produce little better than this at same ISO range), but I use my camera very less for low light photograpy and Canon T1i's JPEG quality in normal light is a very sharp, captures more detail due to its 15MP resolution and it is better than that of Nikon D5000.
Handling wise i never felt T1i as bad. It has a great grip and due to its less weight, it is very portable compared to Nikon D5000.

Final word:

For my use/requirements Canon T1i fits perfectly and it produces Amazing Super sharp images with market leading feature set for an Entry level DSLR. T1i has many improvements compared to that of 450D XSi keeping the similar (Better JPEG quality - compared to both 450D XSi and 50D) image quality and it is way ahead of Nikon D5000.

Hats off to Canon for giving a Brilliant Entry Level DSLR again.
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107 of 116 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Too Shabby..., May 5, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I received this two days ago and was really unsure about the T1i. I've read what scant reviews existed on Amazon and became somewhat concerned about the complaints of soft images. In the brief time I tested it I noticed my shots were coming out soft as well compared to my S3. Then after toying around with the settings I found that the "Standard" profile's sharpness was set on low. Not having dug that deep into the menu system, I believe it was the default setting making the images really soft. I now have it on max, or near max, and am more satisfied with the images. While increasing sharpness, images remain really smooth even at high ISOs. Overall, I'm more satisfied with the unit now that I've got the image sharpening down. With that said I still have more deliberating to do.

A note about video: I do enjoy having the video capability on the camera only because you can set the WB, unlike a Flip. I can't squeeze 1080 out of my system anyway so 720 works just fine. As others have pointed out, the autofocus is a bit odd to get used to but manageable in video. You're better off shooting fixed distances. Noise is loud during focus, but if you're putting together a clip most likely you'll overlap it with an audio track instead.
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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best technology for the money, May 12, 2009
I consider myself an above average amateur, and I want to share why I decided to buy the T1i. I know the concept of white-balance, aperture, speed, and metering, and I've experimented with them on my Point & Shoot camera (Canon G2).

My budget is in the $800-$1000 range, and I narrowed down my selections to Canon T1i, Nikon D5000/D90, and Pentax K20D. I wasn't worried too much about who has the best image quality. I felt that all 4 cameras (should) produce excellent results for most cases.

I'm a big fan of technology, and I'm willing to spend money to get latest technology (well.. as long as it's within my budget). I mean, if I just want good quality image, I'd go with Nikon D40/D60 or Canon XSi.

I based my decision on user reviews and professional reviews, and the like.

Pentax K20D has weather sealed body and in-body image stabilization, but they're not must-have features to me. It's reported to have slow focus, which is a deal-breaker.

Nikon D5000 has the same CMOS sensor as D90's, which has better DxOMark (better dynamic range, better low-light ISO) than Canon's 50D sensor, the same one in Canon T1i. But it only has 2.7-inch/230-kpixel LCD, not to mention 0.78x viewfinder magnification (compare to T1i's 0.87x).
dSLR buyers be warned: you just don't use LCD for focusing, it's too slow. D5000's swiveling LCD is a hard sell to me.

Nikon D90 has better sensor, and pentaprism viewfinder. It can capture more frames/second (4.5 vs T1i's 3.4). It also has more AF area (11 vs T1i's 9). I mostly use single-focus point, so more focus points is not that useful to me. I plan to experiment with RAW capture, and Nikon charges extra for its RAW converter software (NX2 $180 MSRP).

For $799 (body only), I feel that T1i gives the best & latest dSLR technology for the money:
3-inch 920-kpixel LCD, fast focus, free RAW converter software, latest DIGIC4, HDMI. 1080p/720p video is a bonus.
I'm not too crazy for the 15-Mpix, but now when I take pictures,I don't worry much about zooming on my subject,
knowing I can crop the image later.

Again, all 4 cameras take excellent pictures. It's the non-image-quality features that got me sold on T1i.
Be prepared to have a steep learning curve
on white-balance/metering/ISO etc. Don't expect a $900 dSLR to give you excellent image everytime
on full-auto. You'll need to learn to use it. Oh, and get the $100 50mm f/1.8 lens, you won't be sorry.
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82 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real reasons for getting this over the Nikon D5000, May 13, 2009
If you are upgrading and already own Canon or Nikon lenses, you should stick with your brand, the differences between these two cameras should not be enough to cause you to switch, otherwise read on.

First I will list the commonly wrong reasons to pick one over the other:

1) Image Quality - Not because image quality is not important, but because the image quality difference between these two cameras is too minimal to have it be a reason. They are essentially equally great with respect to image quality.

2) Megapixel Count - 15 megapixels is indeed qualitatively better than 6 megapixels, but 15mp (t1i) and 12mp (5000D) from similar sized sensors is again not much real difference. There are point and shoots with higher megapixel counts on tiny ccd sensors, doesn't mean they are better. Again, image quality of the d5000 and t1i are both great and is no reason to pick one over the other.

3) 1080p video - The t1i has it at 20fps, the d5000 doesn't have it at all. But the 20 fps on the t1i renders this essentially pointless. The human eye needs about 24fps for the illusion of smooth continuity. If you will be using video, you can consider both 720p.

Now for what I believe are valid but minor reasons to pick one over the other:

1) LCD difference: canon's is almost double the resolution and bigger, nikon's can swivel out. I prefer the higher res and bigger size to the swivel. The higher res is very important as you will be able to tell if a shot had problems that you couldn't at lower res. This is really an important factor that is hard to emphasize in words but makes a huge difference once you see it.

2) movie mode differences: nikon d5000 is fully manual here including for the focus. the canon is fully auto here including a pretty slow and disruptive auto focus. For an SLR you WANT manual control, especially of aperture so you can control the depth of field to make videos that are less home video looking and more 'artsy'. If you wanted full auto, get a point and shoot that does video. Fortunately for canon, there are workarounds to be able to control aperture, but they are a hassle. But my opinion is to get the Canon based on the auto focus. It is not really useable during movie capture (loud slow and disruptive), but you can atleast use it before hand to get focus. It brings quite a bit of convenience. And you can look on the web for hack ways to manually control the aperture. The Canon is also 30fps at 720p compared to 24fps at 720p for the nikon. You can get a 25% slow motion effect with the canon without going under 24fps, where as with the nikon doing any slow motion will mean choppy frames (under 24fps).

Everything else I feel comes down to personal factors like form factor, feel in hand etc.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First time DSLR Buyer- Chose over Rebel XSi, July 27, 2009
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I am a first time DSLR owner. Took about three weeks to research before finally taking the plunge. If you are like me, you probably read about a hundred reviews from amazon, [...], cnet, consumer reports, and the like. Your head probably hurts by now. I'm going to try to make it as simple as possible. If you are in the market for a great entry level DSLR that you can grow into, and you don't have a budget that equals the gross domestic product of a small country, then you've probably been looking at the Canon XSi, some Nikons, and this guy.

Why you should choose the T1i over the Rebel Xsi or Nikon:
1. The screen is way better. There are 920,000 color dots on the 3" screen. Your pictures look awesome even before you load them onto your computer. This is better than either the XSi or the Nikon 5000- both have 230,000 dots. It may not seem like it makes a difference, but it's like comparing a shiny new HDTV plasma to a CRT television of the 90s. There is a difference and you won't want to go back.

2. Movies! You can record really high quality HD movies with the T1i, but you can't with the XSi. The Nikon has movie capabilities, but it stops at 1280 x 720 (24 fps). The T1i does 1920 x 1080 (1080P, 16:9) @ 20 fps (which is probably way bigger than you need). There have been some complaints about the microphone placement and overall ambient noise being caught in the video recording capabilities, but I've had the same problem making movies with my movie capable point and shoot. If you want to make a full length film, you probably need a camcorder. But this is more than capable of capturing things you happen across- like waterfalls, grandchildren playing, or puppies falling asleep. I found the movie capabilities convenient (it's not hidden in some menu screen- there are dedicated buttons) and you can even take pictures in the middle of recording a movie if you see an awesome shot in the middle of filming.

3. HDMI output. I didn't think this would be a big selling point, but it's pretty neat to plug the camera into your HDTV and see a big version of your pics and videos. The HDMI makes a huge difference in showing each hair on your dogs face; each leaf in a landscape scene. Could also be pretty impressive if you have to show a slide show at a party, etc. The HDMI cable is not included, but it's relatively inexpensive. There is an included cable that plugs into your television if you don't need the HD capabilities.

4. Finally, and this is more a personal preference, but if this is your first DSLR you are buying into a whole family of products when you choose a brand. I was dead set against the whole idea of lugging all those lenses, accessories, and bodies around. But ultimately I was hitting a wall with my "prosumer" point and shoot, and needed to get to that extra step. There is a satisfying "snappiness" to the rebel series, and the t1i is an incredibly well built camera that will last a long time. It feels great in your hands, is the lightest of the three cameras mentioned above, and has technology that should stretch pretty far, considering that it was announced only a few months ago.

It's worth the extra hundred or so dollars to get the t1i vs the xsi, since this is the newest model in the rebel series and makes enough improvements (movie mode, better screen, and the obvious 15.1mp vs 12.1 and 12.3) to warrant the step up if buying your first DSLR.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love This Camera, July 22, 2009
I'm not going to go over the technical merits of this camera as they are well detailed in other posts. I can speak only for myself. I was really waiting for an affordable full frame D-SLR to come out. However, this camera came out with great reviews and it has a great looking LCD screen as well as HD video and the latest DIGIC 4 image processor onboard. So I went for it.

I do not regret that decision at all. Now, I may still get the full frame camera later, but in the meantime, I am enjoying this technological marvel. My last camera was the Canon G6 and it served me well for a number of years. But this T1i is the kind of camera I have been dreaming about owning for the past 40 years.

I bought the EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM and EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lenses and I am now taking photos I never dreamed I could shoot.

Oh yes, about the kit lens. You either love it or hate it. I am definitely on the "love it" bandwagon. For many situations it does an excellent job. Of the 3 lenses that I have the kit lens is the most versatile for shooting HD video because of it's wider FOV. It can't match the other lenses I have for stills, but if the kit lens is all you have, it will do an excellent job for you. Just give it a chance.

There are so many little features on this camera that come in handy, like spot metering and mirror lock up to name a couple, that it becomes hard for me to believe they call this an "entry level D-SLR."

I like that the Mode Dial has Basic Zones like portrait, landscape, etc. They come in handy when you need to shoot NOW and you can't remember fast enough what aperture, ISO or other setting is best for a shot. When you have the time to think you can use the creative zone to fine tune your shots.

The HD video is fantastic and it looks great on a HD tv. The mono sound is o.k. It works for me. After all, I am not trying to make a Hollywood blockbuster or music video with this camera. The video really is good.

The included Digital Photo Professional software is fine. If you don't have Photoshop you still can do some pretty decent basic photo processing with the included software.

So what's not to like. Well, I wish the live view would work in the Basic Zones. It can't fetch the newspaper from the front yard, but I'm working on that. ;)

Wish List:

Full frame image sensor
Higher continuous fps
Weather resistant sealing
More metal, less plastic in the body.

I guess I could shell out another $1800 or more and I can get these wishes in the professional models. But is it worth it? You be the judge.

All in all, this is a great camera package because it has great flexibility, tons of features, great video and adequate software for basic photo processing. The Rebel T1i is an amazing value considering price and features. And it does takes great pictures.

I love this camera!

Edited July 25, 2009
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction to DSLRs, May 25, 2009
The T1i (500D to me and the rest of the World) is my first DSLR camera. My digital cameras previous to the 500D consisted of Olympus' 570UZ, Canon's Powershot S70 and the (almost vintage!) Powershot S110. Given my absence of experience with DSLRs, I obviously would have no real world basis to compare the 500D to other DSLRs.

With that disclaimer out of the way, let me unequivocally state that I am absolutely thrilled with the quality of the pictures taken by the 500D, especially at night.

I love night photography and it has been a continuing source of frustration for me that point-and-shoots, even advanced point-and-shoots like the 570UZ or the S70, have singularly so-so night photography performance, even on Manual mode where one is allowed to choose the ISO, shutter speed and aperture. The 500D convincingly erased that frustration. In fully automatic mode it takes absolutely goregous night photos at high ISO (usually 800 and occasionally @ 1600) and a very quick shutter speed with nary a hint of noise or blurring. (A guy I talked to concerning the night photography capabilities of the 500D and Nikon's D5000 commented that he found the Canon a more capable night shooter. I took his word with a grain of salt. Now, I absolutely believe him!) If there is one problem with the 500D's night capabilities on Automatic, it's that it tends to overlight the scene, which may not be what you want in certain situations. (For those kinds of photos, may I recommend "Manual" mode?)

(Note: I have finally gotten around to posting sample night pictures taken during a recent trip to Madrid. Please do view the images to see what I mean.)

I consider myself a mid-level amateur (I understand the concepts of shutter speed, ISO, aperture, white balance, etc.) but have not fully learned how to manipulate the different variables to great(er) effect. The 500D, however, makes it easy to learn. The menu is (more-or-less) intuitive and worded in plain (non-technical) English. The "Creative auto" mode provides a good example of the use of simple, descriptive English.

The LCD screen (@920000 pixels) is stunning. I compared the screen on the 500D with that in my 570UZ (@230000 pixels) and the difference between the two are indeed worlds apart.

The 500D, however, is not as comfortable on the hand as my 570UZ. Also, the kit lens that comes with the 500D lacks the close-up and zoom capabilities of my 570UZ. (The 570UZ can take crisp pictures with the lens less than 1 cm from the object being photographed. Try that with the 500D equipped with the kit lens... you can't.) Which leads to one drawback to DSLRs... having to purchase separate lenses in order to do truly close-up and/or super zoom photography. Finally, the 500D is, of course, much heavier than an ordinary point and shoot.

I have not used the video mode (for video, I'd recommend that one buy a dedicated video recorder not a DSLR).

To sum up, the two main reasons why I love this camera:

1. Stunning LCD; and
2. Equally stunning night photography capabilities, even in full automatic!
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