By Barry Levine / Top Tech News. Updated June 10, 2008.
Canon is adding another model to its entry-level D-SLR series -- the EOS 1000D/Rebel XS, whose release has been rumored on various technology blogs.
The new camera, announced Monday, includes a few improvements over the EOS Rebel XT, which it replaces, such as a 2.5-inch CMOS LCD, an increase to 10.1 megapixels, and the Live View feature. Live View enables a user to shoot through the LCD screen rather than through an optical viewfinder.
Seven-Point Autofocus System
In addition, the XS features a new Digic III processor with 12-bit processing, better battery life, a seven-point autofocus system, and an unlimited burst rate of three fps. An image-stabilization lens, the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens, is included and can reduce image blur.
The four-stop image stabilization is designed to offer excellent performance, according to the company, even under low-light conditions. The new model is compatible with SD and SDHC memory cards, and is fully compatible with all Canon EF and EF-S lenses and EX-series Speedlites. The XTi actually had a nine-point autofocus system, but Canon said the seven-point system provides significant cost savings.
Included in the new model is the E-TTL II, the company's distance-linked flash exposure system. The LCD screen has a tab-based menu system to avoid scrolling, and there is direct control from the menu over external devices like flash units. An Auto Lighting Optimizer can correct brightness and contrast, such as improving skin tones by providing correct exposure for faces.
Main Competitor is Nikon D60
The XS was announced in Japan, and the U.S. launch is expected in July. No pricing has yet been established, although there have been reports it would be in the same ballpark as for the Rebel XTi, another model that the XS replaces. The XTi goes for $630 to $740.
The XS, similar to other Canon entry-level D-SLRs, will be available in either black or sliver, and in either a body-only or a kit version. Canon said the new camera has the lightest body of any digital EOS camera.
Chief among the XS's competition is the Nikon D60, a 10.2-megapixel CCD model that goes for about $700 with its 18-55mm lens.
Ron Glaz, an analyst at industry research firm IDC, characterized the XS as "faster, better, and a bit less expensive" than its predecessor. But, he added, there is nothing in the XS "that would cause me to get rid of my XTi."
He noted that the Live View feature brings viewfinder-based shooting to this SLR. While this kind of shooting is common on consumer cameras, Glaz noted that the old assumption was that professionals and semiprofessionals wanted to be able to see their shots through the viewfinder. Among other things, he noted, through-the-viewfinder shooting makes it possible to more accurately aim shots above one's head in a crowd.