Canon revs EOS Rebel line with T8i, adds cheap full-frame zoom for R series
The entry-level enthusiast DSLR line gets its traditional hand-me-downs from above and its mirrorless RP finally has an affordable lens to match.
Lori GruninSenior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
ExpertisePhotography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
triannual update to its EOS Rebel i-series DSLR cameras has arrived with the usual mix of minimal upgrades. In this case, the EOS Rebel T8i improves on the T7i with the more recent Digic 8 image processor, which helps deliver 4K/24p video, better battery life and eye-tracking autofocus. It also gets slightly better continuous shooting speed using the more capable metering sensor from the higher-end 90D.
The T8i is $750 for the body and $900 for a kit with the 18-55mm f4-5.6 STM lens. Outside the US it's the EOS 850D, and prices for the kit are likely £895 and AU$1,400, the same as its predecessor at launch.
At this point, I can only think of one reason to buy the T8i over the far more capable, but similarly priced mirrorless EOS M50: battery life. If you're still wedded to the idea of a Rebel-series DSLR, look for deals on the T7i, especially during discount seasons.
Where the Rebels are the past and the EOS M-series cameras are the present, Canon's EOS R series is its future. At the moment, the future is too expensive, though. That's partly because full-frame bodies are relatively pricey, but in this case it's also because Canon didn't have a less expensive lens option to bundle with kits. Even buyers of the entry-level, full-frame EOS RP mirrorless camera only had the choice of $900-plus RF lenses if they wanted a zoom.
Now, Canon's unleashed the light, compact RF 24-105mm f4-7.1 IS STM lens as a standalone option for $400, and plans to include it in R-series kits.
It has all the specs you'd expect from an inexpensive lens in its class. That includes positives like five stops of optical stabilization and a video-friendly stepper motor for quiet, smooth focus during recording, and negatives like a slow maximum aperture of f7.1 when zoomed all the way in.
And for the mobile-first photographer, Canon is expanding its line of Selphy portable dye-sub printers. The Selphy Square, which spits out -- you guessed it -- square prints a la the Fujifilm Instax Square, albeit a few millimeters larger.
Available in black, white, pink and white or green and white, the Selphy Square printer is $150, with packs of paper plus ink rolls for 20 prints running $15 each.