updated 01:30 am EDT, Tue June 10, 2008
Canon EOS Rebel XS
Canon on Tuesday announced a new entry-level d-SLR: the EOS Rebel XS, which along with the recently introduced EOS Rebel XSi, replaces the popular Rebel XT and Rebel XTi cameras. The company has decided to rollout some of the advanced features in its XSi features, but left out others to reduce-costs and differentiate the new entry-level d-SLR. Sporting the company's new Digic III processor and a new live view mode, Canon's EOS Rebel XS has a 10.1 megapixel image sensor that is almost identical to that used in the Rebel XTi (short of the XSi's 12.2 megapixels, but higher than the 8MP on the original XT); the new Rebel XS also features a 2.5-inch LCD, which is larger than the 1.8-inch on the XT but smaller than 3.0-inch LCD on the XSi).
For further differentiation, the lower-cost XS d-SLR only features a 7-point autofocus system (vs. 9-point in the XSi), lower viewfinder coverage (81% vs. 87% on XSi), and 12-bit image processing (vs. 14-bit on the XSi). The XS also loses the spot metering of its more expensive XSi sibling and only supports wired remote control functionality.
In JPEG mode, Canon says its new, lighter d-SLR can shoot at a steady 3fps up to the available flash card capacity, but can only manage 1.5fps when shooting in RAW mode. Battery life is also expected to increase by around 50 percent as compared to the XTi with its new LP-E5 battery (same as XSi).
Canon has not announced pricing and availability for the US, but the camera was officially announced in Japan. The US will likely see a debut next month and the camera is expected to ship later this summer at about the same price point as the current XTi (or about $200 less than the Rebel XSi). Like the XSi, it will be available in both black or silver body color - black or silver. Canon is expected to offer a prebundled kit that includes the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens with image-stabilization features to help reduce image blur.
Canon also took the opportunity to announce its new flash strobe: the Canon Speedlite 430EX II improves on the Speedlite 430EX by adding a metal hotshoe mount with clip lock, the ability to set manual flash exposure in 1/3EV steps, and the ability to control the flash remotely from the camera body on DIGIC III-based d-SLRs. Pricing is expected to be around $300.