Canon EOS digital Rebel T1i / 500D and Canon EOS 450D/ digital Rebel XSi comparison
The new 15.1 megapixel EOS 500D / digital Rebel T1i looks the same with its predecessor, the best-selling 12.2 megapixel EOS 450D / XSi. Both cameras have the same dimensions, the same viewfinder coverage (95%) and the same 9-point AF. However, the new Canon 500D/ T1i has significant improvements over Canon 450D / XSi including HD video capture, a 3.0-inch Clear View LCD monitor and user-friendly functions such as Auto Lighting Optimizer and Creative Auto Mode. More specifically:
HD and SD Video Capture
Canon T1i has three video modes: a 16:9 720p HD video capture at 30 fps, a Full HD 1080p video capture at 20 fps, and a third option to record 4:3 standard TV quality (SD) video capture at 640 x 480 pixels at 30 fps. You can adjust image sharpness, contrast, color saturation and white balance and apply these settings to video capture. EOS Rebel T1i camera will record video up to 4GB per clip equaling approximately 12 minutes of Full HD video, 18 minutes of 720p HD video, or 24 minutes of SD video. Video clips are recorded in .MOV format using an MPEG-4 video compression and sound is recorded using linear PCMii without compression. EOS Rebel T1i camera includes an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) output to display clear images on a High-Definition TV.
3.0-inch Clear View LCD
The 3-inch LCD is a 640×480 design with 920,000 pixels, great for focusing and confirming sharpness after capture. The Canon T1i is the first Rebel to have such a high resolution screen. Both Canon EOS 40D, Canon XSi have a lower resolution LCD display with only 230,000 pixels.
Canon’s new DIGIC 4 processor
Canon’s new DIGIC 4 processor handles the larger 4,752 x 3,168 at a slightly reduced speed of 3.4 frames per second (at 1/500 second or greater — down from the XSi’s 3.5 fps), with a maximum JPEG burst of 170 frames or 9 RAW frames. Canon XSi, with the DIGIC III processor, has a shooting speed of 3.5 fps, with a max burst of 53 JPEG or 6 RAW frames. The higher burst rate is great for sports photography and wildlife photography.
Auto Lighting Optimizer
Canon’s Auto Lighting Optimizer technology helps ensure that the subject of each picture is clearly visible by analyzing image brightness and automatically adjusting dark areas in images so they appear brighter. This is ideal when shooting high-contrast situations that include harsh shadow areas, such as landscape images where the foreground is brightly lit and the background detail blanketed in dark shadow. In a scene such as this, the EOS Rebel T1i camera’s Auto Lighting Optimizer technology maintains exposure of the highlight areas while lightening shadow areas for a more enjoyable and evenly illuminated image.
The EOS Rebel T1i also supports Peripheral Illumination Correction for up to 40 Canon EF and EF-S lenses. Peripheral Illumination Correction improves image quality by maintaining evenness of illumination from corner to corner in JPEG images, even when shooting wide open with a zoom lens.
(If the camera is set to CR2, Peripheral Illumination Correction is not applied to the RAW data, but the vignette info is noted in the metadata, enabling Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software to optionally apply the correction during conversion)
Canon’s Creative Auto Mode
Canon’s “CA” Creative Full Auto setting available on the EOS Rebel T1i, EOS 50D and EOS 5D Mark II cameras allows users to make image adjustments such as exposure compensation, aperture or shutter speed through a simple navigation screen on the camera’s LCD screen, allowing them to “blur the background” or “lighten or darken the image” with ease. These easy-to-understand image options allow learning-photographers to experiment with image options while still shooting in an automatic mode. Canon XSi and Canon 40D do not have Creative Auto Mode.
EOS Integrated Cleaning System
The Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit for the Canon EOS Rebel T1i has been upgraded with a fluorine coating on the low-pass filter for better dust resistance.
Canon EOS Rebel T1i provides ISO speeds from ISO 100 up to ISO 3200 in whole stop increments, along with two additional high-speed ISO settings – H1: 6400 and H2: 12800, which is much higher than the max ISO of 1600 on Canon EOS 450D / rebel XSi. The high sensitivity is very useful in low light photography such as in door or at night.
Canon EOS XSi is selling for $575 at amazon and Canon T1i will be sold for $799 body only. For $225 more you will have HD video recording, a much better LCD display, a much higher ISO and the creative auto mode. The new Canon EOS 500D or digital Rebel T1i has better value than Canon XSi, in my opinion. Canon T1i is a great choice to people who look for an entry level digital SLR or for people who look for a second DSLR body.