Canon Rebel XSi Review Discussion

Discussion in 'Digital Camera News' started by David Rasnake, May 1, 2008.

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  1. David Rasnake

    David Rasnake News/Review Writer News/Review Writer

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    With its long-running Rebel series of consumer DSLRs, Canon has earned a reputation for cranking out new models on a consistent timetable that are rarely revolutionary, and yet often set the pace for the entry-level market nonetheless. Sitting somewhere between a basic "true entry-level" model and an advanced-amateur camera, the new Canon Rebel XSi continues to push the resolution envelope, reprises the XTi's well-regarded auto focus system, and at once offers a fairly mature live view implementation aimed to entice shooters to step up from compact point-and-shoots. Expectations are always high for Canon, but early murmurs about class-leading sensor performance served up at the same list price as the previous generation XTi have made the XSi look more and more promising as the new consumer-grade DSLR standard bearer.

    Read the full content of this Article: Canon Rebel XSi Review

     
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  2. usapatriot

    usapatriot Well-Known Member

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    Re: Canon Rebel XSi Review

    Excellent review! The XSi is a nice camera, shame they did not make the kit lens a bit better optically.

    I seems to me that the XSi underexposes quite bit and also does not have as much dynamic range (Seems to easily blow highlights) as the Pentax K200D.

    On the other hand it does sport a faster continuous shooting speed although apparently not as fast as claimed in the spec sheets. The autofocus on the XSi also seems quite impressive.

    However, to get excellent quality pictures with the XSi it seems like you will have to buy something in place of the kit lens which could very well push the price over $1000 and into Canon's 40D territory.
     
  3. David Rasnake

    David Rasnake News/Review Writer News/Review Writer

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    Re: Canon Rebel XSi Review

    Thanks. The XSi may tend to underexpose just a hair in normal shooting situations, but I think I'd prefer that to the alternative. Likewise, in high-contrast situations its behavior is pretty typical (slight clipping on the highlights side). Also, it looks to my eye at least like the XSi is pulling out just a hair more shadow detail in the bottom quarter of its range than the Pentax - with a little post-process curving, a couple of the samples above (which were intentionally down compensated to preserve highlights) could be brought "back to life" as it were, so I'm not sure I'd take that as a great indication one way or the other.

    You're definitely getting a bit kit lens with the K200D, but the XSi is a little newer, technologically, all around. It's certainly a give and take, and having spent time with all of the new entry- and mid-level cams that are out there at the moment with exception of Sony's latest, the XSi and the K200D are probably the two most powerful and well-rounded, in my opinion.

    dr
     
  4. usapatriot

    usapatriot Well-Known Member

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    Re: Canon Rebel XSi Review

    It's so difficult, it's an even trade-off.

    With the Pentax you get:

    -Good build quality and weather sealing.
    -Good Kit Lens.
    -Slightly better dynamic range at low ISO's (According to DIWA test charts).

    With the Canon you get:

    -Fast AF.
    -Fast Continuous Shooting speeds.
    -Better high ISO performance.

    It's the most perfect trade-off I have ever seen, oh well, It will probably take me a few more weeks before making a final decision.

    What would you suggest as a good lens (<$500) to get with the XSi in place of the kit lens?

    Never mind, the EF-S 17-85mm seems like it's the only decent lens but its a bit expensive which would mean spending over $1000 initially which is over my budget. Pentax K200D, here I (most likely) come.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2008
  5. AaronM

    AaronM News/Review Writer News/Review Writer

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    Re: Canon Rebel XSi Review

    there are a couple of other options for basic glass on the XSi that won't break the bank:
    --Sigma's f2.8 18-50 It's not USM stabilized, like the Canon 17-85, but it is a stop faster at the wide end, and 2 faster at the other end.
    --There's also the kit lens from the 40d, 28-135 IS/USM f3.5-5.6 it's not as wide as the standard kit lens, but a nice piece of glass, probably about 350-400. NB: it's a full frame lens(EF, not EF-s) so somewhat larger and heavier
    -a
    ps just checked, the 28-135 outweighs the XSi by 2 oz!
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2008
  6. usapatriot

    usapatriot Well-Known Member

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    Re: Canon Rebel XSi Review

    Such complication! If the XSi drops another $100 or $200 then getting it will be a real possibility for me but right now I just don't think that the XSi is worth $899 with the kit lens.

    Image stabilization is definitely something I want, in-body IS systems do seem to be more effective.
     
  7. jetstar

    jetstar Well-Known Member

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    Re: Canon Rebel XSi Review

    Thanks for the review!
     
  8. David Rasnake

    David Rasnake News/Review Writer News/Review Writer

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    Re: Canon Rebel XSi Review

    Yeah, the 28-135 is a great lens optically, but it is rather sizable and heavy for a camera as light as the XSi. To that list of recs for possible third-party glass that isn't too pricey I would add the Tamron 17-55 f/2.8. It's comparable, if not maybe even a hair better than the Sigma, and priced about the same. Wait a little while and you could probably swing the entire setup with the body and either the Sigma or the Tamron for under $1000.

    The Canon 17-85 f/4-5.6 IS USM is also a great handling lens. I played with one a little bit on the XSi, and while it's a tad heavy for this body (then again, what isn't), the size and balance are good. The image quality probably isn't quite up to the standards of the third-party glass mentioned previous, and you definitely pay a premium for both USM and IS. Obviously, some people will balk at how slow it is as well. Street price is in the low $300s, so you could probably get into this and XSi body as well if you're patient for under $1000.

    dr
     
  9. arubinst

    arubinst New Member

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    Re: Canon Rebel XSi Review

    I just purchased an xSI and after using the kit lens for 2 days, I think I am upgrade sell it on ebay and buy a better lens. I've been considering the new Tamron 28-300mm XR Di LD VC Macro Zoom Lens plus a Canon 50mm f1/8. I take a lot of photographs of musicians on small stages and at festivals, and am coming over from a Panosonic TZ3, which takes great pictures but isnt fast enough much of the time. My other photos are mostly of my garden (flower closeups) and of friends. If money were no object, I'd probably get the 70-300 F/4 IS Canon lens, but I think the Tamron might be a good compromise for around $550 or so for most uses, plus the 50mm for portraits and in the garden. Comments?
     
  10. David Rasnake

    David Rasnake News/Review Writer News/Review Writer

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    Re: Canon Rebel XSi Review

    The 28-300 is a pretty decent lens that should work well for musician/venue photography. It won't compare to the 70-300 f/4, but very few things do in my opinion. I would say that on a DSLR with an APS-C sensor, the 28mm wide end is not that wide at all; you may find that you really miss the difference between 18mm or so and 28mm, so I'd definitely try before you buy or consider adding a wide angle lens to that kit at some point for general shooting.

    A 50mm prime is a great investment for any kit as well. I use my 50mm probably half of the time, and given that these tend to be relatively inexpensive (the Canon f/1.8 certainly is, and the f/1.4 isn't terribly pricey given its great optical quality either), they're excellent values in my mind.

    dr
     
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