Sunday, June 15, 2008

Canon EOS Rebel XS (EOS Rebel 1000D)

The very newest of the Canon EOS Cameras

Canon recently surprised quite a few people with the announcement of its newest addition to the EOS line of DSLR cameras: The new Canon EOS Rebel XS, also known as the Canon EOS Rebel 1000D. This appears to be a move by Canon to define an entirely new level of lower cost entry-level DSLR cameras, somewhere below that of its existing Rebel XSi/450D. The new Rebel XS essentially appears to be on the surface, a repacked Rebel XTi / 400D with a few of the new bells and whistles of the XSi thrown in to make it interesting. Will Canon find a market for its lower priced entry-level DSLR?

The New Canon

Here are the main details:
The new XS comes with a 10.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor, which even though it shares the same specs with the older XTi/400D, it may actually be an entirely different model. Canon is not really saying at this point. Judging be some pre-production images posted over on DPReview, this may be a new sensor. The new sensor certainly appears to be better in ow-light / high ISO situations.

Also included on the new model is the EOS Integrated Cleaning System which was first introduced on the XTi/400D. In a surprising step back in time, the XS only has a 7-point wide-area AF system with f/5.6 cross-type center point. This looks to be a throw back to the XT/350D specs, but may actually be a different system. The frame rate remains unchanged from the XTi/400D at 3fps, but only when shooting jpeg. When shooting raw, it drops to a measly 1.5fps.

As with all of Canons recent offerings, the XS has a 2.5” LCD with Live View shooting. This is the same size LCD as the one found on the XTi/400D, but with the added Live View feature first introduced on the XSi/450D. The XS does benefit from the use of the XSi/450D's newer DIGIC III image processor, a definite step up from the XTi/400D's DIGIC II processor. Canon appears to be fully committed in moving away from the CF cards as the XS is only capable of using SD and SDHC memory cards, again just like the newer XSi/450D.

Canon decided to wrap all this up in a new lighter-weight body which makes this Canons smallest and lightest DSLR currently in production. A move aimed at the Olympus E-420?

At first glance, the XS/1000D appears to be nothing more than a stripped down XSi/450D, or maybe a supercharged, live-view XTi/400D. After seeing some of the pre-production images, we may actually have more than that. There is a definite improvement in the early low-light / high ISO image noise, when compared with the XTi/400D. With the XSi/450D arguably qualifying as the "40D lite", Canon seems to be bent on redefining "entry-level DSLR", and this looks to be its answer to the popular Nikon D40.

Marketing ploy? Time will tell.

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