Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT, originally uploaded by (Andrew).

Canon released this camera on February 17th, 2005…Light years old in the digital world…or is it?

I owned this camera for 1.5 years and put it through its paces. This isn’t a review in the traditional sense and has very few technical details in it. You can easily find those at a site like dpreview.com or many other websites. Its a summary of 1.5 years of use…things that make this a great camera, things to be desired, and some philosophical sidepoints on buying cameras.

If you are thinking of getting into SLR cameras, The EOS Rebel series is the hook,line, and sinker for the aspiring photographer. Canon manages to pack a lot of features found on more advanced cameras into their rebel series. Its really probably just a way to keep you invested in their EOS line of lenses, but it works for both the company and the consumer, so why not.

In summary, this camera is as good as the lens that is sitting on it.

Here are some Positives

Huuuuuge step up from 95% of point and shoot cameras. Because the sensor is so much larger than a typical point and shoot, there is much more detail per pixel
3 frames per second — helps with action shots
Rapid start time – never miss a shot
Brings true enjoyment for the starting photographer

Some negatives of the camera are

Body size may be too small for some people – It was just fine for me
Poor ISO  performance over ISO 200 –Limits low light shooting
No Spot Metering – I never noticed a problem
3 frames per second — not good enough for serious sports shooting
Ok autofocus…

Now back to answering the original question. The body costs ~$350 nowadays. The most expensive camera in canon’s line is ~$9000. On a standard size print in general bright lighting conditions, you may not notice a difference at all. Its when you get to low light conditions and large prints, you can start telling the difference. Most experts can probably notice the subtle differences in smaller size prints as well…and that brings me to the bottom line –ALL of canon’s DSLRs are capable of producing excellent images…but there is an large incremental cost to gain the ability to add subtleties that just can’t be achieved with lower end photos. More money will also get you better low lighting photos, better autofocus, more reliable shutters, weatherproofing, and other features that pros can’t live without.

So think about it…Just because the camera is old, does not make it obsolete.

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