Hot New D-SLRs
How seven recently introduced models stack up
With the biennial fall Photokina show in Germany always come many interesting product introductions. This year's batch included seven new feature-packed digital SLRs. All are scheduled to be on sale in the United States by the time you read this, except the Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro (which will be available in early 2007) and the Sigma SD14 (no release date as of this writing).
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
One of the smallest D-SLRs, the Rebel XTi nonetheless "shoots big," with 10.1-megapixel resolution, a 2.5-inch, 230,000-pixel LCD monitor that can be viewed at angles up to 160 degrees, excellent performance and—a first for a Canon D-SLR-a two-tiered EOS Integrated Cleaning System that keeps the image sensor (and your photographs) dust-free.
The dust-reduction features are quite effective, with an antistatic charge on the sensor's low-pass filter that resists dust and the Self Cleaning Sensor Unit that uses ultrasonic vibrations to remove any dust that does adhere, each time you switch the camera on or off. You can also activate the Dust Delete Data feature to map dust particles on the sensor and then automatically remove them in-computer by using software supplied with the camera.
Autofocusing performance is very good, thanks to essentially the same system used in the EOS 30D, with nine AF points compared to the original XT's seven and the AF working range improved a stop (down to EV -0.5). The three metering systems (35-zone evaluative, nine-percent partial and center-weighted average) are the same as the XT's and highly accurate.
With Canon's latest DIGIC II image processor, the XTi is fast (0.2-second startup, 3-fps shooting of up to 10 RAW or 27 large JPEGs in a burst) and delivers good image quality, with noise levels and dynamic range similar to the XT's, despite the 25-percent increase in pixel count on the same-sized sensor. Picture Styles (introduced in the EOS 5D) provide broad control over color, contrast and sharpening.
Both the built-in pop-up flash unit and the shoe-mount Canon EX-series Speedlites provide Canon's latest E-TTL II exposure control, with flash sync up to 1⁄200 sec.
The Digital Rebel XTi is compatible with the full range of more than 60 Canon EF lenses, including the EF-S models designed specifically for smaller-sensor digital SLRs. Available focal lengths range from 12-22mm to 600mm; with the sensor's 1.6x focal-length factor, these are equivalent to 19mm through 960mm on a 35mm camera. Estimated Street Price: $799.
Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.