Eventually, it'll become old hat, but for now, the addition of video capture to dSLRs still merits some oohing and aahing. Especially as it comes down to the less expensive models--you know, the ones within reach of the rest of us. So let us buzz eagerly about Canon's latest consumer dSLR, the EOS Rebel T1i, which becomes the cheapest dSLR thus far to support video capture.
Slipping neatly into the company's dSLR product line between the
First, a brief specification comparison of the XSi and the T1i, along with its most recently announced competitor, the Olympus E-620.
(with 18-55mm IS lens)
(with 14-42mm lens)
|Canon EOS Rebel T1i
(with 18-55mm IS lens)
|Sensor||12.2-megapixel CMOS||12.3-megapixel Live MOS||15.1-megapixel CMOS|
|Color depth||14 bits||12 bits||14 bits|
|Sensitivity range||ISO 100 - ISO 800/1,600 (expanded)||ISO 200 - ISO 3,200||ISO 100 - ISO 3,200/12,800 (expanded)|
|Continuous shooting||3.5 fps
53 JPEG/6 raw
n/a JPEG/5 raw
170 JPEG/9 raw
all twin; 5 cross-type
|Live View||Yes||Yes||Yes||Video||No||No||720p at 30fps, 1080p at 20fps|
|LCD size||3 inches fixed||2.7 inches articulated||3 inches fixed|
Though not quite as robust as on the
Since the body is almost identical to the XSi, the shooting experience is unsurprisingly similar. That includes the annoying tiny focus points in the viewfinder, unfortunately. Though it's higher resolution, it doesn't feel particularly slower, probably because of the jump from Digic III to Digic 4 for image processing. The pixels are, as you'd expect, smaller than those of the XSi: 4.7 microns versus 5.2 microns. Though we didn't shoot our official ISO test photos, the ISO 800, 1,600 and 3,200 shots I took looked pretty good. (I forgot to try the extended ISO 6400 and ISO 12,800 settings. Grrr.)
As for other notable features in the T1i, it inherits Canon's Auto Lighting Optimizer, LensIllumination Correction, copyright information embedding, and Creative Auto mode from its higher-end siblings. Creative Auto, which is a simplified Program exposure mode that lets you change parameters like exposure on a 5-step scale, rather than third or half stops, fits nicely this class of camera.
Canon also announced a new entry-level Speedlight, the 270EX, which replaces the 220EX at a currently unspecified price. It's small and runs off two AA batteries, with bounce angles of 60, 75, and 90 degrees. It's very cute.
Since the T1i is only the second of this year's consumer dSLR models to be announced, it's not clear yet how the T1i will stack up against imminent competitors. And, of course, we have to see how well it really tests over more than just a couple of hours. Stay tuned.