A little disclaimer before I start talking about the EOS Rebel XSi DSLR, I have to tell you that this is not any sort of a review. Nor is it even a thorough hands on article. It’s really more of a “ooh my co-worker just bought one over the weekend and let me play with it for a while today” type of an article. Let me start by stating what I used today. It was the newest model in the Rebel line from Canon, the XSi. It is the successor to the XTi, which is the successor to the XT, the camera that I own. That means that it is two generations newer than mine and I have to say, it blatantly obvious.
To name a few of the major technical differences, it has the upgrade DIGIC III image processor that I love. It has a new button layout and a bigger, 3.0 inch LCD screen. The biggest feature it has that even the XTi doesn’t is LiveView mode. As with the Canon 40D, the LiveView let’s you preview in real-time in the LCD what you are about to capture. It’s more impressive to know that it previews focus and the histogram too. It does more, but I won’t go into the details here.
I’m not one to buy a camera just for it’s technical features. Some of my favorite photos that I have taken are from low tech cameras. The real question is how does it feel and perform. Coming from using the Rebel XT on a daily basis, I was quite comfortable using the XSi. They did move around some of the shortcut buttons, but I think it was a little more intuitive. The build of the camera is excellent. It feels much sturdier and the buttons and dials are tighter and more responsive. Another thing that caught my attention is that it is much quieter. My overall impression is that it is has been very refined from the previous iterations of the Rebel line. It’s performance felt much more surgical and slick when comparing it to the XT. I still think I would upgrade to the 40D (or the rumored 50D) when I feel like I need to step it up. However, I think moving from the XT to the XSi is definitely a significant upgrade that is worth considering. I can’t really say that if you have an XTi, though.