Friday, February 18, 2005


So you probably all pretty much know about this by now, but the other day Canon dropped a bomb on the photographic world in the form of this monster:

Click the picture for a link to the press release and some good info on the new sensor (you may also find the images there somehow familiar). DPReview has also posted an in-depth preview that should tell you all you need to know about the camera's specs and capabilities.

Now, I know there are fans of other camera makers out there, and I've personally used and enjoyed cameras and lenses from Pentax, Nikon and others. Canon's certainly not the only name in cameras, but they are sort of the Apple of the photographic world, or perhaps a more appropriate analogy would be a Sony in their heyday. They're just innovative enough to stay ahead of their competitors, their products are always among the most refined available, and they just seem to have a knack for knowing which few extra features will put them over the top, and at what price point are people not only willing to pay, but likely to be bowled over.

They were the first to release a sub-$1,000 digital SLR, and that was the original Digital Rebel (the 300D in Europe, the Kiss Digital in Japan). And that camera sent shockwaves through the industry, just as their original film Rebel had years before. I would argue that the Rebel XT (or 350D, or Kiss n Digital) is even more important, as it's bringing truly top-class features and performance to the sub-$1,000 market. Honestly, this is the camera I've been dreaming of - 8 megapixels, DIGIC II, 3fps continuous shooting with a 14 frame burst mode, flash exposure compensation (Canon listened to their critics on that one), a true RAW+JPG mode, USB 2.0 transfers, 0.2 second startup time, mirror lockup, and a slew of other features. And it's smaller and lighter than the original Digital Rebel.

All this for under a grand, or right at a grand with the kit lens. I'm so all over this it's not even funny. Set for release in late March, I'll probably have one soon after, and without question eventually. This is no "entry level" DSLR, but it's being sold at an entry level price.

I'm posting this not just because I'm interested in this model, but because I encourage any of you now looking at a "prosumer" non-SLR to take a look at the Rebel XT. Prosumer point-and-shoots are pointless cameras to begin with - I don't even understand how they can sell well enough to be profitable - and now with a camera like the Rebel XT soon to be on the market, there is just no excuse to settle for the poor-quality fixed lenses and image sensors these cameras invariably come with.

(By the way, if you're an amateur photographer who's now wondering why the pros spend the big bucks on even more expensive cameras, well, you do get extra features and performance from the truly top end... including things like full-size 35mm image sensors that do away with the field-of-view crop inherent to most DSLR's, higher ISO settings, faster shutter speeds and flash sync speeds, and more. But the Rebel XT looks to be a mid-range camera sold at an entry-level price, and easily the best deal out there in DSLR's. It will raise the bar for what's expected at the sub-$1,000 price point.)

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About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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