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Lunch » Tags » Camera & Photo » Reviews » Canon Digital Rebel XSi 12.2 MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens » User review

A great introductory DSLR camera

  • Feb 26, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+5
Like most people these days, I have been using digital point and shoot cameras for years, and have greatly enjoyed taking pictures with them with reckless abandon. Soon enough, however, you start appreciating the intrinsic limitations of point and shoot cameras, even the best ones on the market: no matter how sophisticated the camera, shooting objects will never be as sharp as when you saw them with your naked eye, the colors are not exactly what you saw, and unless you have the perfect lighting conditions all of those problems only get exacerbated. Sometimes post-production in Photoshop or a similar program can improve things to a great extent, but even this can only take you so far. For most everyday shooting this still might not be the problem, but if you want to get a bit more sophisticated with your pictures you need to take the plunge and buy a truly qualitatively different camera: a digital SLR. These cameras used to be an almost exclusive domain of professional photographers, but with the improvements in technology and the increased marketplace competition they have become accessible to regular consumers.

There are many manufacturers of DSLRs out there, with seemingly more and more entering that space every day. However, there are two well-established brands that still more or less dominate over all the others: Canon and Nikon. If you are an amateur photographer who is just starting out in the DSLR world, chances are you'll do more than fine with any one of those brands. One of the main reasons I decided to go with Canon is that it seems that for about the same price you get more megapixels. I like to play with images in Photoshop, and more pixels in general give you more stuff to play with. 12 megapixels of this camera are more than sufficient for most of my creative needs.

The first thing that you'll notice with any DSLR camera is its relative size as compared to dainty point and shoots. You can never carry DSLR around as an afterthought. When you take one around you make a conscious decision to take pictures, and furthermore you will be conspicuous when taking them. These might be some of the considerations to think about when deciding on a switch from point and shoots.

In addition to size, you will also notice a very solid feel of this camera. It is not made out of cheap materials, and every part of it has been thoughtfully designed for durability. You shouldn't casually toss this camera around, but it is comforting to know that it can probably withstand most everyday small bumps if they come its way.

This camera has many features and settings, and all of this might be overwhelming to a first-time SLR user. In addition to automatic settings that are now also a familiar feature of most point and shoot cameras, there are multiple "creative" settings that include various levels of manual control, including a completely manual operation. When you first start shooting I would recommend using these "creative" settings to experiment and play with. However, if you are still unsure of what you are doing and there is shot that you absolutely have to take then the automatic settings would be much more appropriate. One of the annoying features of this camera is that it doesn't allow you to preview your shots on the screen while in one of the automatic modes. The so-called "Live View" can only be used in one of the manual modes. When shooting in automatic mode, you will have to use the viewfinder. This in itself may motivate you to learn more about photography and the manual shooting.

The picture quality of the photographs that I have taken has been spectacular. You will notice a clear difference from the point-and-shoot photograph from the very first shots that you take, and so will all of your friends. Just prepare yourself for becoming the "designated photographer." :) The only problem that I've had is that in low light photographs have pretty noticeable orange glow. I've been able to avoid this only when fiddling with shooting controls in one of the manual modes.

Another amazing feature of this camera is the speed with which it takes pictures. At 3.5 frames per second, you will be able to capture some pretty amazing shots if you go into the continuous shooting mode. I've been able to capture electric sparks on the Van Der Graaf generator and some really neat sports action photos.

This is the last of the Canon Rebel DSLRs that does not allow you to shoot video. Unless you really care about high-definition video this may not be that much of a problem. I for one don't find myself filming videos all that often, and when I do a stand-alone video camera is more than sufficient for all of my needs.

Overall I have been extremely satisfied with this camera over the last two years that I've had it. Most manufacturers (Canon included) keep coming with bigger and better models almost every year, but unless you really need some of the latest top-of-the line features you will be more than well served with this camera. I for one don't feel like I have even scratched the surface of what this camera has to offer.

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More Canon Digital Rebel XSi 12.2 M... reviews
review by . March 15, 2010
The XSi is my first DSLR camera. I have, for many years, been shooting with point-and-shoot (also called "compact") cameras, so I have a lot of experience with point-and-shoot cameras. But the image quality of the XSi simply blew me away! The images captured on the XSi is much, much, much sharper than the ones from a point-and-shoot camera!    If you're looking at the XSi, you're probably a budding photographer like myself. The XSi is, debatably, the best entry-level DSLR camera, …
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Bojan Tunguz ()
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I am a benevolent rascal. I love lounging in bed on a Sunday morning. Rainy days make me melancholy, but in a good kind of way. I am an incorrigible chocoholic. I hate Mondays, but I get over it by Wednesday. … more
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Wiki

For stunning photography with point and shoot ease, look no further than Canon’s EOS Rebel XSi. The EOS Rebel XSi brings staggering technological innovation to the masses. It features Canon’s EOS Integrated Cleaning System, Live View Function, a powerful DIGIC III Image Processor, plus a new 12.2-megapixel CMOS sensor and is available in a kit with the new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens with Optical Image Stabilizer. The EOS Rebel XSi’s refined, ergonomic design includes a new 3.0-inch LCD monitor, compatibility with SD and SDHC memory cards and new accessories that enhance every aspect of the photographic experience.

Canon EOS Rebel XSi Highlights

New Technology for Outstanding Images

Canon EOS Rebel XSi Features and Highlights

12.2-megapixel APS-C Size CMOS sensor
New Canon 12.2-megapixel CMOS sensor and DIGIC III image processor Canon's CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) sensor captures images with exceptional clarity and tonal range, and offers the most pixels in its class. It offers many of the same new technologies to maximize each pixel's light gathering efficiency that were first seen with the professional EOS-1D Mark III model. It's an APS-C size sensor (22.2 x 14.8mm), and there's an effective 1.6x increase in the lens’s marked focal length when attached. Canon’s DIGIC III Image Processor dramatically enhances image quality and speeds up all camera operations for intuitive operation. It works in concert with the EOS Rebel XSi’s sensor to achieve unprecedented ...
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