Peer Review: Critics deem Canon's new Rebel a winner

Canon announced its newest entry-level DSLR, the Canon Rebel XSi in January, but reviewers have just gotten to put it to the test over the past couple of weeks. Their overall impressions have been similar to those in most Canon reviews, which is to say overwhelmingly positive.

Several new entry-level DSLRs have been rolling out recently, including Olympus's tiny E-420, Nikon's D60, Sony's A 350 and Pentax's K200D. Though all of them have garnered positive reviews and some cost significantly lass than the XSi's $900 (with kit lens), critics just seem to get more excited by Canons. Click Continue to read excerpts from recent XSi reviews.

Canon seems reluctant about the XSi's Live View function
"A whole chapter of the XSi’s instruction manual is dedicated to Live View. A good portion of that, however, seems to be aimed at discouraging people from actually using the brand-new functionality. It’s almost as if Canon is philosophically opposed to the feature, and was forced to include it to appease point-and-shoot converts. If you follow the instruction manual’s advice, you’ll only activate Live View when the camera is mounted on a tripod." , Popular Mechanics

Some issues, but still best in its class
"Live View is limited, or you might even say crippled. You can't preview autofocus— I'm not even sure the autofocus works very well in this mode… Also, for being $150 to $170 more than the Nikon [D60, the company's newest entry level DSLR], it's more or less the same class of camera, especially for manual shooting." , Gizmodo

On the switch from CF to SD: Get over it
"Canon is obviously targeting photographers who wish to move into DSLR photography by its choice of SD and SDHC media for its new EOS 450D model. Although it may upset CF [Compact Flash] card devotees, it's a smart move." , PhotoReview Note: In Australia, where this review was published, the XSi is called the 450D.

The increased megapixel count doesn't add much value
"As our results pages show, there may not be much difference in the real-life detail recorded by 10 and 12 Megapixel DSLRs, but at least the noise levels remain pretty much matched to the earlier XTi." , Camera Labs

It sure beats its predecessor
"After the slightly limp reception given to the 400D [XTi], which was seen by many as a rather uninspired upgrade, it's perhaps inevitable that its successor is a much more significant — though still very conservative — step forward." , DP Review

One dissenter advises you to buy Sony over Canon or Nikon
"Canon's new Rebel XSi also has Live View, but using it is more complicated. You have to go into the camera's menu, and through a bunch of steps, and focusing isn't as seamless as with the Sony." , USA Today

It just takes great pictures
"It lacks common perks Sony, Pentax, and Olympus include in their cameras, like in-body mechanical stabilization and a wireless flash controller in the body… But its color accuracy, dynamic range, and consistently good noise profile up to the maximum ISO 1600 clearly put this model in front of the pack." , CNet

"As with previous Rebels, where the XSi will likely leave no doubt is in the image quality department. " , Digital Camera Review

Last Week: Blockbuster hints at set-top box, critics less than enthusiastic