Canon Digital Rebel XSi Digital Camera Review

$649.99 at Amazon

Physical Tour

Left Side (5.75)

The most significant feature on the left side of the XSi is the cover for the memory card slot. The XSi uses SD and SDHC memory cards, a change from the CompactFlash cards used by older Rebels. Above this is the other lanyard loop for the strap.

The cover for the memory card slot snaps tightly into place; although it is not waterproof, it should protect the memory card and the sensitive internals of the camera from dust and occasional splashes of water.


*The SDHC card slot is under a small panel on the left side of the XSi

  • **Right Side **(6.75)

The right side of the XSi is home to a number of ports under a rubber cover: the video output (which supports composite video only; there is no support for HDTVs), the remote control socket, and the USB port, which is a small Mini-B type. The XSi comes with cables for the video output and the USB socket. The remote control is an optional extra.

On the left side you can also see the strap lanyard and a couple of controls on the lens: the AF mode switch at the top and the image stabilizer control below. Eagle-eyed readers will have also spotted the flash control button at the top of the camera body and the unlabeled depth of field preview button on the bottom.


*On the right side of the XSi are the USB and video output ports

under the small rubber panel

  • **


The top of the XSi is fundamentally unchanged from its predecessor, with the controls grouped on the right. These include (from the top right side of our photo) the shutter, main dial, ISO button, mode dial (with the power switch outside that), and two zoom buttons on the back of the body that double as the AF point selection control (you hold the button in and rotate the main dial to select) and the exposure lock button.

In the middle of the camera is the flash hot shoe. This is a standard ISO 518-style socket, so it should work with most external flash devices. However, some of the more advanced features (such as the high speed synch) are only available with Canon’s own Speedlite II range of flash guns.


*On the top of the XSi are the controls and the flash hot shoe



Bottom** (5.75)

There are two significant features on the bottom of the XSi: the tripod socket and the battery cover. The tripod socket is centrally located on the film plane and in the center of the lens: a bonus for those who shoot panoramas, as an off-center tripod socket can cause parallax errors. The battery cover is plastic, but it firmly locks into place and is flat against the base of the camera, so it shouldn’t be accidentally opened or get caught on anything. The battery cover can be removed to connect the accessory vertical grip.

Pushing the catch opens the battery cover, revealing the battery below. The battery is held in place by a small plastic catch, so it won’t fall out if you are trying to change batteries with the camera on a tripod. The LP-6 battery holds 1080mAh of charge, but the shape of the battery has changed from the XTi - older batteries are not compatible, which means you can’t use the batteries from your older XTi or earlier Digital Rebel as spares.


*The bottom of the XSi only has two significant features;

the tripod socket and the battery port cover

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  1. Physical Tour
  2. Testing/Performance
  3. Components
  4. Design / Layout
  5. Modes
  6. Control Options
  7. Image Parameters
  8. Connectivity / Extras
  9. Overall Impressions
  10. Conclusion
  11. Sample Photos
  12. Specs / Ratings