Jim Doty - Photo Blog

Photography: Photos, News, and Tips
Saturday, August 26, 2006

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi/400D

New Canon Digital Rebel XTi/400D

New Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi/400D

This week Canon announced the new Digital Rebel XTi (400D in Europe). The XTi will have a 10.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor, a new EOS Integrated Cleaning System, and a larger and brighter 2.5” LCD and 9-point AF system. The maximum frame burst increases from 14 to 27 large JPEGs and from 5 to 10 RAW files. So how much better is this camera?

This camera appears to be an incremental improvement rather than a big step forward. A bigger LCD is nice. A bigger burst rate may a help a tiny percentage of photographers. After all, who shoots 14 or 27 frames in a row anyway? Going from 8 to 10 megapixels shouldn't mean an increase in image quality at any but the largest print sizes. The new dust reduction system might be really nice. Dust in a D-SLR is a digital photographer's curse.

If you are ready to buy your first Digital Rebel, and if testing shows that this camera is up to the quality of its predecessors (and it should be), then this camera would be a good choice. If you have a recent Digital Rebel, it may not be worth the price simply to upgrade for a few minor improvements. If you have one Digital Rebel and you need a second digital body, this would be a good choice.

Is this camera better than similar models from competing brands? Maybe, but that really shouldn't matter. I've long maintained that a camera brand should be chosen for the quality and selection of the lenses rather than the current camera bodies. This is especially true if you have (or some day will have) specialized lens needs. Bodies get replaced, lenses are forever (or at least a long, long time).

Look for a full review to appear at DP Review some time in the future. That will tell how significant the improvements really are. I will keep you posted.

Canon has more information here.


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