The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi (or EOS 400D outside North America) Digital SLR has been announced today. The XTi replaces the Digital Rebel XT as Canon's entry level digital SLR. The XTi features 10.1 megapixels of resolution, a 2.5 inch, 230K pixel LCD, an imaging sensor cleaning system, and other enhancements. It will be available in September for $899 with the EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens and $799 for the body only.
The 2.5 inch, 230K pixel LCD is a welcome upgrade to the 1.8 inch LCD that the XT had. In fact, the screen on the XTi is 40% brighter than the LCDs on the EOS-1D Mark II N, EOS 5D and EOS 30D cameras. Also notable is that the backlit "info" screen that used to be on top of the camera is now gone. This info screen was used to show camera settings on the XT, but now they'll be shown on the larger color LCD on the back. When you put your eye to the viewfinder, the LCD will turn off to let you keep your attention on your shot.
The larger screen has also allowed for a more streamlined menu system and a RGB histogram capability. It also helps when you want to set up custom Picture Styles on the XTi. First added to Canon's higher-end digital SLRs, the Picture Style system has presets for sharpening, contrast, saturation, and color tone. You can choose from standard, portrait, landscape, neutral, faithful, monochrome, or one of 3 slots for user-defined picture styles.
Canon takes a mutli-layered approach to handling dust in the XTi. First, they have reformulated materials used in the shutter and lens caps to prevent any extra dust. Then, the camera's low pass filter has an anti-static charge applied to it to prevent it from "attracting" any dust. Finally, the low pass filter in front of the sensor can vibrate to knock dust off during power on and power off. If that's not enough, the camera can keep a record of stubborn dust with the "Dust Delete Data" function. This function will map the position of dust and save that information with each image that is taken, RAW or JPEG. Then, in the included software, you can remove the dust affected areas of your images.
The XTi also features the same 9 point AF system that is on the Canon EOS 30D.
Another nice update is that the XTi can shoot twice as many shots in continuous mode than the Rebel XT could. On the Rebel XT you could shoot 3 frames per second up to 14 Large/Fine JPEG images or 5 RAW images (8 megapixels). On the XTi, you can get 27 Large/Fine JPEGs or 10 RAW images (10 megapixels), still at 3 frames per second.
Canon is still using the DIGIC II processor and the XTi uses CompactFlash memory media.
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