Wednesday, January 23, 2008

New Canon Digital Rebel XSi (450D) jumps to 12mp CMOS!

We have a brand new DSLR and a few more Canon compacts announced. We start with the brand new Digital Rebel XSi, aka 450D!

Jump right into the new D-Rebel at dpreview, where dpreview has posted a brief hands on preview on the new Canon Digital Rebel XSi.

Update! dpreview has just posted a comparison between the new 450D and the "old" 400D. It's the XSi vs XTi, round one!

NEW!!! Bob Atkins has posted a comparison between the new XSi, XTi and 40D (aka 450D vs 400D vs 40D). This is obviously a specs comparison, not a camera review! The comparison includes a nice color coded table, and lots of comments along with a conclusion by Bob Atkins!

NEW!! Amin Foto discusses the new XSi, and digs into the "megapixel hike" as the XSi is now at 12mp.

Press release and the usual marketing promotional material at Imaging Insider. More at dpreview and imaging resource, Adorama News Desk, and dcresource.

Some of the spotlights of this brand new model are *gasp* a spotmeter (oh my!), 14-bit processing and 14-bit RAW, DIGIC III, Live View and lots more. The price will be $800 for body only, and $900 with the 18-55 EF-S IS lens!

Pre-ordering the Digital Rebel XSi (450D)
The D-Rebel XSi is available in four different configurations, body only, or with the 18-55 EF-S VR IS lens, in either silver or black for each set. Here they are in summary:

  • Body-only, pre-order price: $800, silver, black (Amazon)
  • With the new 18-55 EF-S IS lens: $900, silver, black (Amazon)

    More details on the D-Rebel XSi
    So we have original, crispy, XT, XTi and now XSi. I much prefer the names of 300D, 350D, 400D, 450D (the "crispy" was a food-related joke).

    I couldn't help but spotlight this from the Canon product description: [Canon redefines the "pro-ness" of the DSLR category]. Pro-ness? Only bloggers and forum users are allowed to create words on the fly! Not press releases and product descriptions!

    One of the most talked about features of the XSi will no doubt be the 14-bit A/D processor, with proponents of this DSLR pointing out that others are "still" at 12-bit. Canon claims that this will provide better tones and colors. We blog, you decide!

    New D-Rebel features
    Meanwhile features from the more advanced DSLRs, are getting "Rebelized", such as the Highlight Tone priority, and high ISO NR, along with ALO (not hello, but automatic lighting adjustments in-camera). Also in is the DIGIC III engine, but of course only one core. Also new is an "enhanced live view" mode which I will let you read and enjoy on your own :)

    The inclusion of the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens in the kit for just an extra $100 more make the kit the better bang for the buck, assuming of course you have a need or use for the kit lens. It is quite interesting that an IS lens can be offered essentially for $100, while others are sold for hundreds more than their equivalent non-IS lens. Intriguing? We blog, you decide!

    The competitive landscape now gets quite interesting with the the XSi 450D joining the new Sony A200 and Pentax K200D. The in-body sensor shift stabilization remains a differentiator, but for the average user who may not buy any other lenses in the first few months, this may not be as big of a deal. Also, Canon has jumped ahead in the megapixel wars, now with 12mp, vs 10mp of the other two. More on all these comparisons later on, after the new release dust settles.

    This also makes picking a Canon dSLR more interesting, with the "older" Canon 30D not far ahead in terms of price. The Canon 40D is still in the $1100+ segment, so it does not pose a dilemma. But the 30D vs 450D/XSi will be an interesting one for those who might be looking for a camera in that price range.

    Obviously we have to applaud the inclusion of a spotmeter, usually only found in just about every camera from the other manufacturers :) The 14-bit A/D may (or may not) give the D-Rebel a (f)actual competitive advantage over the competition. We'll have to wait and see for this one, but it will no doubt be a hotly debated item.

    And now to the tiny pixels. Will the 12mp sensor give this camera a noticeable boost in resolution over the competition and its predecessors? Were there any qualitative improvements in the sensor that could help in doing that? How will it do noise-wise? We blog, and we all wait to find the answers, but you can always "decide" ahead of time :)

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