Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Pre-order alert: Canon Digital Rebel XS 1000D

Just hours after the XS 1000D was formally announced for the USA market, we have the first pre-order by a major online retailer, Ritz Cameras, which also operates Wolf Cameras. The pre-order price is as announced $700 and this includes the 18-55 IS EF-S kit lens. Ritz and Wolf estimate delivery to be late August 2008. They also have a one week special where you can get the Canon EF 75-300mm f4-5.6 III for $100 if purchased together with a DSLR in the same transaction.

Do note that Ritz and Wolf online operate separately from the stores, so you typically can't buy online and pick up at the store, or buy online and return at the store. But this arrangement allows them to offer free shipping and no sales tax.

Second in line after Ritz, Amazon has joined the pre-ordering enablers, offering the XS 1000D kit in either black finish or silver finish. Either way, they cost $700. Amazon estimates delivery around August 2008, but also notes that market forces may adjust this timeframe.

Where does the Digital Rebel XS 1000D fit in the DSLR World?
The XS will become CAnon's new price entry-point in their DSLRs, when eventually stock of their existing XTi 400D and remnant XT 350D disappear from the market. Until then, it will be competing with them on price, but the "newness" of the XS 1000D will counter the prices of the "older" cameras.

The closest "mortal enemy" competitor is of course the Nikon D60, which also includes a kit lens with image stabilization, and currently sells for under $650.

When covering up the brand names, most of the DSLRs from Sony, Pentax and Olympus can boast lower prices and the sensor-shift image stabilization advantage, which means that almost all lenses attached can gain a couple of stops in certain situations. While most research and consensus points to lens-based stabilization providing more stops and "stabilizing" the image in the optical viewfinder, the clear "bang for the buck" choice is sensor-shift stabilization since that boosts almost every lens attached to the DSLR.

But Canon and Nikon have the advantage of brand recognition, and that gives them a one price-stop advantage. What is a "price-stop"? Well, we like to create new terms, and to keep them simple, one price stop is $100. But if you feel that this is too easy, please feel free to override this to mean $102.4 or $128 :-)

Sony has a quartet of cameras to throw at it, starting with the designated entry-level Alpha A200, the original Sony A100, the A300 and the controversial A350. Pentax on the other hand keeps it simple with the AA-based K200D, which according to the two most recent reviews may be the best bang for the buck DSLR of the 2008 holiday shopping season.

Of course Olympus may have a say in that with the duo of the E510 and E520, while the adorable E410 and E420 can boast smaller form, but sadly no image stabilization. Whether the absence of image stabilization was a marketing scheme or actual physical constraints we don't know. It's not like the E510/E520 are giant DSLRs.

So as you can see the XS 1000D has its work cut out for it on paper, but as we have seen in the past, the Canon brand name, the reputation and perception of great image quality and the Digital Rebel name recognition among the target audience should have it sell in typical Canon fashion.

And great timing, ephotozine's Matt Grayson has just posted his Canon D-Rebel XS 1000D review. Be sure to bookmark this post for the latest updates.

Disambiguation (faux-Wiki mode)
Please note that there is an older 35mm film SLR from Canon by the name of "Canon Rebel XS SLR" and that sells for under $100 and uses 35mm film. This is not to be confused with the just announced "Canon Digital Rebel XS DSLR", which costs around $700.

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