Canon Rebel XS from Canon
Canon Rebel XS Review
Annie Oh rates this 3.5/5
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Does the Canon Rebel XS Stand Out From the Competition?

Marketed as an affordable professional-grade camera, the Canon Rebel XS is a good starter's camera for amateur and wannabe professional photogs alike--but the price may be too excessive to justify the purchase ($649.99).  Easy navigation and adjustable controls make it ideal for those who aren't interested in the technical know-how of professional photography.  Here is my review.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Take high quality photos without much effort
  • Good starter's camera

Cons
  • Expensive; too much for a starter's camera
  • Camera freezes at times
  • Doesn't perform well in certain lighting situations

Design

Being a starter's professional camera, the Canon Rebel XS looks the part--being both light and yet a monster to handle.  Weighing in at just under a pound, it's fairly easy to transport, with a lens cover keeping all unnecessary debris away from the lens.  Unfortunately, the camera does not come with its own carrying case--you'll need to buy one yourself, which I highly recommend, as it can be prone to damage if you're not careful with it.

Design-wise, it's good, but could use some work.  Most of the buttons are contained on the front and back panels, which respond quickly and don't have any apparent "stickiness" issues.  Picture styles and resolutions are electronically, not manually, configured through the menu, which display on the camera's small 2.5 inch LCD display--something Canon advertises as being "big," which I don't agree with.  This leads me to another issue--it doesn't display the picture you're taking on the LCD screen before picture-taking by default, which is something that comes standard with most digital cameras.  You'll only see the picture flash on the screen for a couple of seconds after taking it.

Features

If you're a stickler for features, there is no shortage of them here.  Aside from its 10.1 megapixel CMOS sensor--which, I may add, takes the clearest, crispest photos I've ever experienced--the Canon Rebel XS also contains additional features for optimal picture-taking, such as an auto lighting optimizer, a collection of picture style settings, and options for continuous and timed picture settings.  As mentioned previously, it also contains a self cleaning sensor unit, which automatically cleans away dirt and debris using ultrasonic vibrations.  It's a useful feature too--I've owned this camera for nearly two years now and dust has never been a problem for my camera.


As a good starter's kit, the Canon Rebel XS also comes with a basic lens, designed to capture basic high quality images.  Should you want better image quality when it comes to taking portraits or macro photos, however, you'll need to upgrade to different lenses, which do not come with this camera.  Prepare to spend a lot of money too--good lenses can cost as much as this camera, if not more.

Usability

Although the Canon Rebel XS isn't the best camera for professional photographers, it should be more than enough for amateur photogs who don't require as much manual control.  Most of the camera's photo settings cannot be manually changed, for starters--so if you want to adjust how a certain monochrome setting is filtered on this camera, this isn't something you can actually change.  Amateurs aren't likely to mess with this, but if you're a professional, this can be a huge problem, since you won't have as much control over the camera's specific controls.  

The Canon Rebel XS also uses an auto-focus system that automatically zooms in and focuses in on subjects, which can be hit or miss at times; sometimes it has the tendency to zoom in on the wrong object in the picture.  Because you have no way of manually controlling what the camera focuses on, you may spend minutes trying to get it to focus on the right object--and it can get very frustrating. 


Verdict

Although it's a good starter's camera for beginner photogs, I'm not a big fan of the Canon Rebel XS's automated focus system; oftentimes it makes it harder, not easier, to take professional-quality images.  I actually favor the FujiFilm F505 over this one because I have better control over the focus and zoom.  My recommendation: It's decent, but not great.
Date Reviewed: May 9, 2012, 12:10 pm
Reviewed by Annie Oh
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