Battery Grip Eos

Battery Grip Eos

Canon Xsi Rebel – Great Camera For The Beginning Photographer

I’m a photo enthusiast who’s been using the Canon XSi Rebel for six months now and here are my impressions.

Weight/Handling: First off, the camera is really light. If anyone tells you that this camera is heavy, then they probably never held a full-frame professional DSLR. The light weight makes it a joy to carry around when traveling. However, serious/pro photographers might feel that the small weight and size lend to an unprofessional feel. Also, this is a minor point, but the shutter makes a high pitched noise as opposed to more professional cameras that have a low, unobtrusive noise. This camera doesn’t have too many buttons, as opposed to Nikon cameras. Rather, many of the more specialized functions have to be accessed through menus. Some people will find this very annoying. I personally don’t mind. In addition, if you have big hands, you will have a hard maintaining a comfortable grip on the camera because the grip is rather small. If this is the case, consider purchasing the optional battery grip.

Image Quality
: At low ISO settings, the image quality is very good and I actually performed a professional portrait shoot using this camera. The 12 megapixels are enough to get good 8x12inch prints, and in really ideal situations with a good lens, proper lighting, exposure, etc, you might be able to squeeze out 12x18inch prints. At ISO 800 and above, noise does become perceptible and if you use heavy amounts of sharpening, images will appear quite nasty. However, if you stay away from over-sharpening at high ISO’s, a small amount of software noise reduction should take care of most problems. Thus, this camera is not very good in situations with low light AND moving subjects, such as parties. For this reason, I am considering upgrading to the 5D for better noise handling. And remember, image quality has more to do with a good lens than it has to do with a camera’s megapixel number.

Kit Lens:
The kit lens is enough to handle basic photographic needs. My personal copy of the lens is very sharp in the center but you might not be so lucky. The focus ring is REALLY TINY and so if you’re a manual focus type of person, you’ll want to find a new lens very quickly. Also, if you want to take pictures of your kids playing sports or indoor pictures with lots of moving people, consider getting a faster lens. For sports, I recommend the 55-250 IS, 70-300IS, or if you can afford it, the 70-200 2.8L. For indoor/low-light photography, consider augmenting your kit with a prime lens such as the 50mm 1.8, 50mm 1.4, or if you know about the benefits of the L series of Canon lens, I probably don’t need to refer you to any more lenses.

Other Issues: The on-camera flash is almost completely useless for taking pictures of people in dim lighting. Why? Because Canon’s engineers somehow decided that they should have the flash fire 5-10 quick bursts to assist the camera’s various sensors. Trust me, your subjects will not appreciate your flash firing off like a machine gun in front of their face. I highly recommend an external flash like the 420ex or 430ex if you’re getting this camera to solve that problem. Nikon users will not have to deal with the problem.

Overall Impressions:
If you’re just getting into the world of DSLRs or you’re a photo enthusiast strapped for cash (like me), the Canon XSi Rebel is a great choice to start out on and with skilled use, its hardware is capable of achieving very good results. Also, by choosing Canon, you have access to the largest selection of lenses. I’ve taken some great pictures with this camera and I plan to keep it around. However, you might also want to evaluate the Canon 40D and the Nikon D90.

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