First, allow me to set your mind at ease. There is no “best” camera at this basic DSLR entry level. Just make sure you stick with a major manufacturer like Canon.
But don't despair. There are some GREAT cameras to choose from.
What you must do is settle within yourself what your priorities are in buying a new Digital Rebel.
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. But you probably already know. There is no Rebel X1i… yet.
I have no idea how these camera makers come up with their camera names, but it is certainly confusing, isn't it?
There is a long line of Digital Rebels, beginning with the original Digital Rebel 300D. At that time, there were no 3 character combinations to remember like XSi, XT1, or JQ2. These letters are hard to keep in mind if you don't already own one of the cameras they represent. One thing that has remained constant is the number system that Canon uses. It started with the Rebel 300D and each new entry has added 50. So there was the Digital Rebel 350D, 400D, and now we are up to the 500D which is the T1i.
So this article is really about whether you should buy a Digital Rebel 450D or 500D.
Historically, Canon has added to the Rebel line of cameras about every 2 years.
Each new entry has had some very significant upgrades from the previous model.
That is, until you get to the most recent offering, which hit the market only about a year after the previous version.
The result is, in many experts' opinions, that the upgrades in the Rebel T1i are not enough to warrant an individual to buy the newest model.
Now, there are a couple of very valid reasons to buy the newer version of the Rebel:
- You are buying your first DSLR, and you simply want the newest model you can get.
- You want a DSLR that has video capture.
- Money is no object for you, and you just want a decent backup camera.
I have checked with some very reliable sources to come to the conclusion that the previous version of Digital Rebel (the XSi) is a very reliable, well featured digital camera that takes photos that are considered among the best at this level and price range.
There are a few differences that I will note:
- 12.2 megapixels vs 15.1 megapixels (not significant at all considering the ability to print super large pictures from either)
- DIGIC 4 processor vs DIGIC III processor (while the DIGIC 4 is better, unless you are a pixel prude, you will not be able to tell the difference)
- 3″ LCD with a resolution of about 930,000 pixels vs 3: LCD with a resolution of about 230,000 pixels (while this seems significant, what you see on the LCD panel should not drive your decision to purchase)
- Creative Auto is available only on the newer model (this is a way to alter the output of your camera by added “photo filters” – some reviews have stated that the output is not consistent… I prefer to make these changes in photoshop or some other processing software)
- Video Capture is available only on the newer model (while this may be a deciding factor for you, reviews have had mixed feelings about the video capabilities, especially the lack of a good sound recorder)
OK, that sounds like I am totally against the Digital Rebel T1i.
But it ain't so.
I think that both cameras would be a fantastic fit for anyone except the extreme amateur or the professional photographer.
Digital Rebels have always given their owners fantastic images. Mine certainly did. And these two cameras are no different. Both are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.