As expected Canon today unveiled the EOS 450D (known as Digital Rebel XSi in North America). This new camera features a 12.2 megapixel sensor, a 3" LCD display with Live View, DIGIC III image processor, SD/SDHC memory card support, 9-point AF, a higher-capacity battery, 3.5FPS burst mode and a larger viewfinder.
At the heart of the new EOS Rebel XSi is its newly designed 12.2 megapixel APS-C size Canon CMOS sensor. This new sensor employs large microlenses over each pixel to reduce noise and enhance sensitivity up to ISO 1600, which is ideal for high-quality images in low light. The APS-C size sensor retains a 1.6x focal length conversion factor compared to full-frame digital image sensors or 35mm film format cameras.
Another image quality enhancement is the upgrade of the Analog-to-Digital (A/D) conversion process to a 14-bit A/D processor. The inclusion of the 14-bit A/D process means the Rebel XSi camera records up to 16,384 colors per channel and allows the camera to produce images with finer and more accurate gradations of tones and colors. This is ideal for shooting outdoors where subtle hue changes in sky, water or foliage can really add to an image.
The Canon EOS Rebel XSi DSLR also incorporates the optional Highlight Tone Priority and High-ISO Noise Reduction functions first introduced in 2007 with the EOS-1D Mark III Professional Digital SLR and now available for the first time in an entry level Canon digital SLR camera. Additionally, the new camera is equipped with Canon’s Auto Lighting Optimizer technology, which corrects image brightness and contrast automatically. Introduced last year in the EOS 40D camera, this valuable optional feature now works in all exposure modes and utilizes Face Detection technology to prevent underexposure with backlit faces.
Introduced in 2007 on the EOS-1D Mark III DSLR, this function makes its debut in an entry level Canon DSLR with the EOS Rebel XSi camera. Live View allows users to frame shots through the LCD screen rather than the viewfinder. Going beyond the manual focus and phase-detection AF capabilities of earlier EOS models with Live View, the EOS Rebel XSi camera adds a new “Live Mode” contrast-detection AF function that allows the camera to focus automatically during Live View without lowering the reflex mirror.
The EOS Rebel XSi Digital SLR utilizes a precise nine-point Autofocus (AF) system featuring a newly developed AF sensor that improves the camera’s subject detection capabilities compared to earlier models. The new Rebel XSi DSLR provides a cross-type AF measurement at the center that’s effective with all EF and EF-S lenses, while providing enhanced precision with lenses having maximum apertures of f/2.8 or faster. The cross-type AF measurement reads a wider variety of subject matter than conventional single-axis AF sensors and thus increases the new camera’s ability to autofocus quickly and accurately. The EOS Rebel XSi is also the fastest firing Rebel model to date, capable of continuously capturing 3.5 frames per second for bursts of up to 45 images in large/fine JPEG mode and 6 frames in RAW mode. The faster frame rates and finer focusing capabilities of the Rebel XSi together with its impressive image burst rate will help photo enthusiasts preserve family milestones or capture split second sports action at just the right moment.
In keeping with its EOS system heritage, the new Canon EOS Rebel XSi camera is equipped with a host of useful creative controls, including shutter speeds ranging from 1/4000 sec. to 30 sec. plus Bulb, a choice of four metering patterns including 4% spot metering (another first for the Rebel series), a wide range of exposure modes from fully automatic to fully manual, depth of field preview, mirror lock and much more. The new camera is fully compatible with all Canon EF and EF-S lenses, as well as EX-series Speedlites, an optional Battery Grip, and remote control and viewfinder accessories.
A departure from previous EOS Digital Rebel models, which accommodated CF type memory cards, the new EOS Rebel XSi camera utilizes SD and SDHC memory cards including those with capacities higher than 2GB, making it the perfect upgrade for users already equipped with SD cards from point-and-shoot model cameras. Additionally, the EOS Rebel XSi camera utilizes Canon’s new high-capacity LP-E5 lithium ion battery pack, which provides 50% more exposures per charge than earlier models with virtually no increase in size or weight.
The EOS 450D body will be available in April for $799. For $100 more you can get a bundle with a EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens.