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25 Days of Gadgets - Day 20

December 22, 2008 - Dave Hecei
It really amazes me how far digital photography has come. I don’t want to declare the death of film, mainly because being the avid photographer that I am I really like film, but digital cameras are so good now why would you want to shoot film. Shooting digital means you don’t have to buy film and have it processed. Canon started the ball rolling when it released the EOS Digital Rebel, the first digital SLR camera under $1000. Canon is now on its fourth generation Digital Rebel with the new XSi.

There is plenty to like in the new XSi. First it has a huge 3-inch LCD display on the back. This is used for the menus that control all the camera’s functions, but also to preview images. The XSi also has a ‘live view’ function, meaning you can view and frame your subject using the LCD screen instead of having to look through the viewfinder. If you are stepping up from a point-and-shoot type digital camera, then you will be used to shooting this way.

The photos taken by the XSi are stunning. With a 12.2-megapixel CMOS sensor and Canon’s Digic III image processor, the XSi has some of the same technologies found in the professional EOS-1D Mark III. Along with improved image quality is faster shooting. The XSi can shoot at 3.5 frames-per-second (fps) for burst of up to 53 images.

The XSi is the first EOS to use the SD and SDHC memory cards. SD cards are smaller and more popular, which translates to easier to find and cheaper to buy. SDHC, high capacity SD, memory cards are available in sizes up to 32 gigabytes (GB) with larger cards possible in the future.

Like the XTi, when you turn on the XSi the camera sends a vibration through the protective filter on the camera’s sensor. This is to remove any dust that might have gotten into the camera. To go along with this feature, Canon has also added a feature in the software that will help erase any lingering dust spots out of your photos. You just take a test shot of a blank white surface and the camera will identify any dust spots and will send this information along with the image file. Now the computer can automatically fix the photo for you.

The new Canon XSi is a remarkable camera. The XSi is an easy to use 12MP DSLR that feels great in your hand. The XSi is compatible with the vast array of Canon EF lenses, EX flashes, and other accessories giving you ultimate flexibility. While it’s designed for the amateur/consumer market, the XSi will appeal to seasoned pros or advanced amateur photographers.


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