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DIGITAL CAMERAS

Canon Digital Rebel XS
By: Bruce Coker
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    2009-04-17

    Table of Contents:
  • Canon Digital Rebel XS
  • Build and handling
  • Key Features
  • Performance and Price

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    Canon Digital Rebel XS - Build and handling


    (Page 2 of 4 )

    The build quality of the XS is exactly what you would expect from Canon. Constructed from the same engineering plastics as the company’s other entry level models, it feels strong and sturdy in the hand, although surprisingly – and somewhat disturbingly – light for a DSLR. According to the specs, this is Canon’s lightest offering yet, weighing in at a full 60g lighter than the XTi.

    Whether or not this is a good thing is of course a matter of opinion. Many people like to feel some reassuring weight in an expensive purchase, as this can often be an indication of quality. The XS is not just light but small: smaller, even, than the XTi, despite the difficulty some of those with bigger hands claim to have had handling the older model. Nonetheless, in an era of increasing miniaturization, Canon has probably called this one right, and the reduced weight and size will attract more people than it alienates.

    In other respects, the camera holds few surprises. The controls are almost identical to those of the XSi, bringing a welcome uniformity to Canon’s complete DSLR range. The top panel holds the familiar shutter release, the jog wheel that is used to adjust the shutter speed and aperture when shooting in the creative modes, a very welcome dedicated ISO button, and the mode selector dial, which also incorporates the power switch.

    The back panel contains the screen, now moved as far over to the left as possible, with the menu and display buttons above it, and everything else to the right, including the four-way selector, dedicated play and delete controls, and the buttons for white balance, exposure compensation, zoom and AF point selection. The card slot – SD/SDHC, as opposed to the XTi’s CF - is on the right side as the camera is held, with the connections concealed behind a rubber cover on the opposite side.

    The connections are fairly standard for a camera of this class: mini-USB, A/V out, and wired remote. This last item somewhat makes up for the missing IR wireless remote sensor, though some users will no doubt miss the flexibility and self-portraiture capabilities offered by a wireless remote effective up to 5 meters or more.

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