316 of 324 people found the following review helpful
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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