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Customer Review

316 of 324 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great camera, amazing battery life, now the perfect price!, April 22, 2008
This review is from: Canon Rebel XSi DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
I have had the XSi for about 3 months now and I am thouroughly impressed with it. This is my first DSLR and I was a little wary about going with a brand-new and untested camera, but I have always like Canon (I used an ELAN II in High School and I bought a SD600 about 2 years ago to take snapshots of my son). Overall, I have not been disappointed with the quality of the photos that the XSi produces. The IS lens works great and I have taken some pretty amazing photos (for me at least). I do have just a couple of issues, both good and bad, that I think those who are looking at buying this may want to know.

Battery life -- Great battery life. I should say, AMAZING battery life. I have taken over 5000 photos and I have only had to charge the battery twice.

Live View -- LiveView is not for beginners. It is not a replacement for your Point-and-Shoot. You can't use it in the AUTO mode (Green Square). This isn't that big of a deal for me, I prefer full manual myself, but the whole point of this feature, I thought, was to make it more user friendly for the Point-and-Shoot photographer. My wife can't use Live View in it's current form (I specifically bought a DSLR with a live view function so she could still use the camera). So, if Live View is a big selling point for you, You may want to look at some others (If it isn't that big of a deal to you, then this is still an amazing camera -- added 4-23-2008). If you do studio work, though, you can hook the camera up to your PC and use it as a remote viewer. But it is not a point-and-shoot camera in Live View. In my earlier review, I said that it would be nice if Canon fixed some of the Live View issues with a firmware update, I was mistaken. Live View is a nice feature once you figure out it is not meant for beginners. Studio and landscape photographers will find Live View a great tool.

Image Quality -- I have had some great success shooting in a studio setting as well as some great outdoor shots. In the studio, I used tungsten "hot" lights with the subjuect against a white background. The photos turned out great. Skin tones are perfect and there is very little, if any, chromatic abberation at the edges. It shoots great outdoor shots as well. We just got into beekeeping and I was able to get some AMAZING shots of our bees up-close outdoors. The bees looked dirty and not very interesting from a distance, but the macro photos I got up close are beautiful and full of wonderfully crisp details. The lens is a little short, the image quality you get from it is pretty good considering it only costs $100. I do plan on buying a longer lens in the near future.

Overall, the camera is solid and feels nice in the hand. It isn't too heavy, yet still feels sturdy. If you can afford the higher price, I don't think you will be disappointed. If you can't, the XTi is still a great camera. And if you can afford to wait a few months for the price to drop a little (LIKE IT ALREADY HAS!!) I would. I was able to work a few extra weekends so I could afford to get this, and I can tell you, I don't mind it a bit, because the quality of photos I am getting has been totally worth it.

--- Update ---
I was incorrect when I said you couldn't use the 9-Point autofocus in Live View. You can use the 9-point autofocus while in Live View, but the mirror flips down and focuses so you can't see what you are trying to focus on until after the camera has actually gone through the autofocus process.

--- Update #2 ---
I have now had this camera for almost two months and I am happy to report that the more I use it, the more I love it. Once you learn the layout of the camera and you load the MyMenu with the tools you use most often, the camera becomes an absolute delight to use. I have taken over 5000 photos with it so far and now I need an extra hard drive to put them all on.

I was able to rent a Canon EF 24-105 IS L lens and a 580 EX II Speedlite for my sister's wedding. WOW! What great photos. The camera interfaced with the flash flawlessly and I am more convinced than ever that much of the quality of your photos comes from the glass you use and not as much from the camera itself (I think it is about 65% lens to 35% camera body give or take a few points-- I know there will be those who disagree, but that is my take on it, and I am sure if I had a 1Ds MkIII I would think that there wasn't a peice of glass good enough for my camera).

This is a great beginner dSLR and a great camera all around. I am very happy with my purchase and I have had no regrets whatsoever about spending the $900 to buy such a great tool. Amazon now sells it for $799, you can't go wrong at that price!
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 22, 2008 2:14:25 PM PDT
Hyun Yu says:
Thanks for the review. However, your comment about the live view is a bit confusing. First you say, "I have not yet learned how to get the camera to autofocus in Live View," but then further on you go on to say "it was one of the reasons I bought this Camera. So, if this is a big selling point for you, don't go for it." There are two ways to autofocus in live view, both of which are clearly described and explained in the manual. Your not having learned how to autofocus in live view should not be a detracting factor against the camera.

Live View in the XSi/450D works well, accurately, and as advertised. It certainly adds another dimension to studio shooting and macro photography for the photographer.

Posted on Apr 22, 2008 6:37:50 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 22, 2008 6:39:34 PM PDT
M. Wang says:
I'm glad to see the user reviews are starting to come in! I'm still waiting for my XSi to arrive, but it sounds like I won't have any regrets. Would love to see some of your photos. Thanks.

Posted on Apr 22, 2008 7:34:45 PM PDT
I'm looking for my first one too and have narrowed it to the Canon XSI and the comparable Sony A300 or A350 and the NIKON D60 or D80. Your succinct comments are in line with what I've read in the main stream news so I will drop the Canon to the #3 position for now. Good commentary.

Posted on Apr 23, 2008 3:20:24 PM PDT
FroggyM says:
I'm hoping that more reviewers explain the LiveView limitations. I'm looking to purchase my first DLSR, and I thought it would be very useful to be able to see on screen exactly how the picture will turn out with different manual settings. I'm too ignorant on this topic to really understand what the reviewer was saying.

For instance, if I choose ISO100, and an aperture of 1.4, and a shutterspeed of 1/120th of a second, will it show on the screen how that will look? And if I change it to an aperture of 2.0, will that change show up in LiveView?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2008 3:58:11 PM PDT
J. Lane says:
I agree that Live View is great for studio photography and SOME macro photography. But it is not easy to use. I did read the instruction manual, and I consider myself pretty good at figuring out how things work and I still couldn't figure it out right away. It is a feature specifically marketed toward Point-and-shoot photographers, but the manual specifically discourages it's use as a point and shoot camera. This leads me to beleive that Canon tacked this on as a marketing ploy and not as a real useful function to anyone but studio photographers. I tried to write about the things that would affect my decision to purchase to help those who are trying to make an informed decision.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2008 4:47:49 PM PDT
J. Batsell says:
That's not really what it's meant for. You *can* preview changes in aperture size (because this affects depth of field) by holding a button on the front of the camera, but it isn't going to preview your shot at your set ISO and shutter speeds.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2008 12:22:27 PM PDT
L. Shuler says:
Canon NEVER marketed it as a point-and-shoot DSLR. You make an assertion that is not true and then you criticize Canon for YOUR assertion? What do you expect. If you had too high of expectations, that is YOUR fault, not Canon's.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2008 6:28:09 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2008 6:36:13 AM PDT
Samuel says:
Relax Shuler,
Go to the Product Tour at Canon's website, watch the Introduction video and then click the "Live View Function" button and watch (and listen) the explanation. "Capture memorable photographs with point-and-shoot ease"... You can then see why some may think Canon is hinting that live view creates a point & shoot functionality.

No need to come down him. It's not as if he's totally trashing Canon, he likes the product! Just relax. :)

Posted on Feb 14, 2009 9:15:19 PM PST
I don't think that the live view function is useful for normal photography, but it is really useful for using telescopes, microscopes, etc. where the DOF is very, very small.

Posted on Mar 19, 2010 12:47:48 PM PDT
Jason Jensen says:
Light is the other factor you really need to mention in photo quality. I totally agree that the lens is the most important part and the camera body is secondary. I'm investing in lenses and will only buy an upgrade camera when I have a solid set of lenses to pair with it....otherwise I will regret my hasty purchase as cheaper and better camera bodies keep rolling off the line. BUT my initial point, Light is the key and your use of that flash for the wedding photos is the reason they turned out so well, no doubt. I was taking indoor shots of my newborn and could not get anything to turn out well with the house lights and built-in flash. I bought the 580 flash and it is amazing. Bounced off the ceiling it looks like I am shooting in a photo studio now.

So, I would say, purchase in this order:
1) Lenses
(For me: All Purpose Zoom for walking around, Wide Angle, Macro, and finally a Super Telephoto)
2) Best Flash (nothing like shooting fast and getting no flash due to slow recharge)
3) Good Tripod (save money elsewhere, you don't want your camera and lens in 1000 pieces).
4) Upgrade the Camera Body
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