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Canon EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi

By dpreview staff on Aug 24, 2006 at 18:55 GMT

Pre-Photkina 2006: Canon has today announced the latest evolution in their affordable digital SLR series, the ten megapixel EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi. Headline new features / specifications include the ten megapixel CMOS sensor (up to ISO 1600), a new dust reduction system, nine area auto focus, Picture Styles, a large 2.5" LCD monitor which now also provides shooting information (the second control panel LCD is gone) and better continuous shooting buffering.

Phil: Canon did not provide us with any press materials until after the embargo (which occurred at 4 AM GMT), this designed intended to avoid those embarassing leaks which occur before almost every significant Canon announcement. As usual in this instance the 'accidental leak' still occured. I had a meeting at 9.30 AM and have been away from my desk since then.

As a site which is proud of its track record of never breaking embargo it is frankly ridiculous to punish us for the failings of their own systems. We did not receive a briefing on this camera (officially we knew nothing about the EOS 400D until 4 AM GMT this morning) however Canon did brief, at some length it appears, other sites. So my apologies to our readers for having no in-depth editorial insight and no preview. We did have a positive meeting with Canon today and do hope this type of situation will not be repeated.

UPDATE: 4/September/2006, we have just posted our detailed hands-on preview.

Click here for our detailed hands-on preview of the
Canon EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi

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Worldwide naming

  • Canon EOS 400D (Europe / Asia / Elsewhere)
  • Canon Digital Rebel XTi (North America)
  • Canon EOS Kiss Digital X (Japan)

Major new features / changes

  • 10 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • Separate low pass filter with ultra-sonic vibration to remove dust
  • Anti-static coatings on sensor surface, software based dust mapping / removal
  • Nine area Auto Focus sensor (same as EOS 30D)
  • Picture Styles, larger range of image parameter adjustment (same as EOS 30D)
  • Faster image processing
  • Removal of control panel LCD display, now uses main LCD monitor
  • Proximity sensor below viewfinder eyepiece to disable main LCD during composition
  • Camera settings made on main LCD (such as metering, white balance, ISO, AF area etc.)
  • Setting adjustment saved with half-press of shutter release
  • Continuous shooting buffer up to 27 JPEG and 10 RAW images
  • Large 2.5" LCD monitor with 160° viewing angle
  • Image magnification available in record review
  • Histogram available as brightness (Luminance) or RGB (Red, Green, Blue)
  • Traditional Chinese language (in addition to Simplified Chinese)
  • Up to 9999 images per folder on storage card
  • Lower introductory list price ($100 lower)

What's missing?
(at first glance)

  • No programmable Auto ISO (such as seen on the Nikon D80, almost 'ISO priority')
  • No spot metering
  • Settings such as ISO not repeated on viewfinder status bar while being adjusted
  • Mirror lock-up buried in a custom menu
  • Hand grip virtually identical to that of the EOS 350D / Digital Rebel XT

Press Release:

EOS 400D set to meet massive consumer demand

Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 24 August 2006: Canon today announces its next generation D-SLR: the EOS 400D. Featuring a 10.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor, new EOS Integrated Cleaning System, larger and brighter 2.5” LCD and 9-point AF, the model is predicted to take the lead as the world’s most popular camera. It is positioned above the EOS 350D, currently the fastest selling SLR camera of all time.

Canon’s EOS 300D, the world’s first consumer D-SLR, kick started a digital revolution in 2003. “We are now witnessing a mass consumer trend towards D‑SLR,” said Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging Europe.

Consumer research shows it is not only existing film SLR owners now switching to digital SLR photography. “On top of the existing 21 million analogue EOS shooters, a completely new profile of consumer is adopting digital EOS and driving growth,” said Jensen. “With European household penetration having only just hit 3%, the question now is not ‘will this market be big’, but ‘how big will this market become’.”

The EOS 400D features

  • 10.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor
  • Canon’s EOS Integrated Cleaning System
  • 2.5” LCD screen with 230K pixels and 160º viewing angle
  • High-precision 9 point AF system
  • Picture Style image processing parameters
  • DIGIC II image processor with 0.2 sec start up
  • Digital Photo Professional RAW processing software
  • Compact and Lightweight body
  • Fully compatible with all Canon EF and EF-S lenses and EX-series Speedlites

Canon is the only D-SLR brand to own and manufacture the sensor, processor and lenses in house. “EOS photographers benefit from 20 years of ongoing research investment into EOS,” said Jensen. “EOS photographers have the great advantage of owning a system camera in which every element is designed at a very fundamental level to work as a balanced, integrated whole. It is one reason why more than 70% of registered photographers at the Athens Olympics shot on EOS.” With EOS, Canon aims to provide consumers with the widest and most expandable camera system available, including over 60 EF lenses and Speedlite flash units.

Improved Performance

As well as the EOS Integrated Cleaning System, the EOS 400D incorporates a number of developments over the EOS 350D. Resolution increases from 8.0 to 10.1 Megapixels, using the superior hi-sensitivity, hi-speed, low-noise CMOS technology now found in all six EOS Digital models. At nearly twice the size of the EOS 350D display, the 2.5” hi-resolution LCD is the brightest in the EOS range and now displays all of key shooting and user interface information along with image playback. The AF system expands from 7 to 9-point, with a highly sensitive f/2.8 center point for exceptional performance in low light. Even with the image resolution increase, maximum frame burst almost doubles from 14 to 27 large JPEGs and from 5 to 10 RAW.

Dust reduction

The EOS 400D is the first camera to incorporate the EOS Integrated Cleaning System. Based on significant research into the causes of dust in D-SLR cameras, the system combats dust in three important ways: Reduce, Repel and Remove.

  1. Reduce - Internal camera mechanisms are designed to minimise dust generation. The body cap is redesigned to prevent dust generation through wear on the cap itself.
     
  2. Repel - Anti-static technologies are applied to the low-pass filter covering the front of the sensor so as not to attract dust.
     
  3. Remove - A Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit uses hi-frequency vibrations to shake dust from the low pass filter for a period of approximately one second after each start up. For instant shooting after power up, this feature is disabled immediately the shutter release is depressed.

Canon has also developed an internal Dust Delete Data system, which can map the position of any visible dust on the sensor. This can then be deleted automatically after the shoot with the latest Digital Photo Professional software.

The EOS advantage

The EOS 400D inherits a number of advanced features proven in higher-end EOS models, such as the EOS 30D and 5D. These include its 9-point AF system, Picture Style (see Appendix: Technologies Explained), 9,999 image capacity folders and expanded Pictbridge functionality.

The EOS 400D also incorporates the same DIGIC II processor found across the EOS range right through to EOS‑1 professional models (see Appendix ‘Technologies Explained’). As well as providing superior image quality through advanced rendering algorithms and almost instant 0.2 second start up time, DIGIC II’s accelerated processing prioritises the photographer’s ability to keep shooting by clearing the buffer quickly between frame bursts.

Upgrading

The upgrade path to the EOS 400D from earlier EOS models is made easy by maintaining the same intuitive user interface and basic layout of key features and functions. Photographers are also able to use the same battery and Battery Grip BG-E3 as used on the EOS 350D, as well as continued support for all EF and EF-S lenses, EX Speedlites and EOS accessories.

Software

Consistent with the entire EOS Digital range, the EOS 400D is supplied with a comprehensive software suite to help the photographer’s workflow. This includes Digital Photo Professional (DPP), a powerful RAW converter that provides complete RAW image processing control. DPP also integrates with camera features such as the Dust Delete Data and Picture Style. The camera also comes with EOS Capture, Image/Zoom Browser and Photostitch, plus 100MB of personal online space on CANON iMAGE GATEWAY, Canon’s online photo sharing service.

Canon EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi specifications

List price (US) *

• Body only: $799
• Kit: $899 (with 18-55 mm lens)

International naming • US: Canon Rebel Digital XTi
• Japan: Canon EOS Kiss Digital X
• Elsewhere: Canon EOS 400D
Body material Plastic (Stainless Steel chassis)
Sensor * • 10.1 million effective pixels
• 10.5 million total pixels
• 22.2 x 14.8 mm CMOS sensor
• RGB Color Filter Array
• Built-in low-pass filter
• 3:2 aspect ratio
Dust reduction * • Low-pass filter vibration at power-on (can be interrupted)
• Anti-static coating on sensor surfaces
• Software based dust-removal (camera maps dust, removed later)
Image sizes * • 3888 x 2592 (L)
• 2816 x 1880 (M)
• 1936 x 1288 (S)
Output formats • RAW (.CR2)
• RAW (.CR2) + JPEG Large/Fine
• JPEG (EXIF 2.21) - Fine, Normal
Image processor DIGIC II
Lenses • Canon EF / EF-S lens mount
• 1.6x field of view crop
Focus modes • Auto Focus
• Manual Focus (switch on lens)
Auto Focus • 9-point CMOS sensor *
• AF working range: -0.5 to 18 EV (at 23°C, ISO 100) *
AF modes • AI Focus
• One shot
• AI Servo
AF point selection • Auto
• Manual
AF assist Flash strobe
Shooting modes • Auto
• Program AE (P)
• Shutter priority AE (Tv)
• Aperture priority AE (Av)
• Manual (M)
• Auto depth-of-field
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Close-up
• Sports
• Night portrait
• Flash off
Metering • TTL 35-zone SPC
• Metering range: EV 1.0 - 20 EV (at 23°C, ISO 100, 50 mm F1.4)
Metering modes • Evaluative 35-zone
• Partial 9% at center
• Center-weighted average
AE Lock AE lock button
AE Bracketing • +/- 2.0 EV
• 0.5 or 0.3 EV increments
Exposure compen.

• +/- 2.0 EV
• 0.5 or 0.3 EV increments

Sensitivity

• Auto (100 - 400)
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600

Shutter • Focal-plane shutter
• 30 - 1/4000 sec (0.5 or 0.3 EV steps)
• Flash X-Sync: 1/200 sec
• Bulb
Aperture values • F1.0 - F91 (0.3 EV steps)
• Actual aperture range depends on lens used
White balance  • Auto
 • Daylight
 • Shade
 • Cloudy
 • Tungsten
 • Fluorescent
 • Flash
 • Custom
WB Bracketing • +/-3 levels
• 3 images
• Selectable Blue/Amber or Magenta/Green bias *
WB fine-tuning • Blue (-9) To Amber (+9)
• Magenta (-9) to Green (+9)
Color space • sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Picture style * • Standard
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Neutral
• Faithful
• Monochrome
• User 1
• User 2
• User 3
Custom image parameters * • Sharpness: 0 to 7
• Contrast: -4 to +4
• Saturation: -4 to +4
• Color tone: -4 to +4
• B&W filter: N, Ye, Or, R, G
• B&W tone: N, S, B, P, G
Drive modes • Single
• Continuous: 3.0 fps up to 27 JPEG / 10 RAW frames *
• Self-timer 10 secs (3 sec with mirror lock-up)
Mirror lockup Yes (custom function)
Viewfinder • Pentamirror
• 95% frame coverage
• Magnification: 0.8x (-1 diopter with 50 mm lens at infinity)
• Eyepoint: 21 mm
• Dioptric adjustment: -3.0 to +1.0 diopter
• Fixed laser matte screen
• Proximity sensor disables LCD shooting mode information *
Viewfinder info • AF points
• AF/FE lock
• AEB
• Shutter Speed
• Aperture
• Exposure Level / Compensation
• Max. burst
• AF/MF focus confirmation
• CF warning
DOF preview Yes, button
LCD monitor * • 2.5" TFT LCD
• 230,000 pixels
• Wide viewing angle
• 7 brightness levels
• Up to 10x zoom playback
LCD shooting mode information • Shutter speed
• Aperture
• Sensitivity (ISO)
• Exposure mode
• Meter / Exposure compenation
• Bracketing
• Flash compensation
• White balance & fine tuning
• Metering mode
• Custom function set
• Auto focus mode
• Drive mode
• Auto focus areas
• Black & white mode
• Beep
• Red-eye reduction
• Image size / quality
• Battery status
• Frames remaining
Record review • Uses last play mode *
• Magnification possible *
• 2 / 4 / 8 sec / Hold
Flash • Auto pop-up E-TTL II auto flash
• Guide number approx 13
• Modes: Auto, Manual Flash On/ Off, Red-Eye Reduction
• X-Sync: 1/200 sec
• Flash exposure compensation: +/-2.0 EV (0.3 or 0.5 EV steps)
• Coverage up to 17 mm focal length (27 mm FOV equiv.)
External flash • E-TTL II auto flash with EX-series Speedlites
• Hot-shoe
Other features • Orientation sensor
• Automatically writes FAT16/FAT32 depending on capacity
Auto rotation • On (playback uses orientation data in file header)
• Off
Playback mode • Single image
• Single image with info (histogram brightness / RGB *)
• Magnified view (1.5 - 10x in 15 steps, browsable)
• 9 image index
• Auto play
• Image rotation
• Jump (by 10, 100 or date)
Custom functions 11 custom functions with 29 settings *
Menu languages

• English
• German
• French
• Dutch
• Danish
• Finnish
• Italian
• Norwegian
• Swedish
• Spanish
• Russian
• Simplified Chinese
• Tradional Chinese *
• Korean
• Japanese

Firmware User upgradable
Connectivity

• USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed)
• Video out
• E3 type wired remote control

Storage • Compact Flash Type I or II
• Microdrive supported
• FAT 12/16 and FAT 32 support
• No CF card supplied
• Up to 9999 images per folder *
Power • Lithium-Ion NB-2LH rechargeable battery (supplied & charger)
• CR2016 Lithium battery (date/time backup)
• Optional ACK-700 AC adapter
Direct printing • Canon Selphy Printers
• Canon Bubble Jet Printers with direct print function
• Canon PIXMA Printers supporting PictBridge
• PictBridge
Dimensions * 127 x 94 x 65 mm (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
Weight * • Body (no battery): 514 g (1.1 lb)
• Body (inc battery): 556 g (1.2 lb)
Software *

• Zoom Browser EX / ImageBrowser
• PhotoStitch
• EOS Utility (inc. Remote Capture; Windows & Mac except Mac Intel)
• Digital Photo Professional (Windows / Mac)

Additional images

Appendix:

Technologies Explained

Picture Style

Picture Style pre-sets simplify in-camera control over image qualities. Picture Style pre-sets can be likened to different film types – each one offering a different colour response. Within each selectable pre-set, photographers have control over sharpness, contrast, colour tone and saturation. The camera’s factory default configuration is set to deliver immediately-usable JPEG images without need for additional menu settings. Picture Style presets applied to a RAW image do not degrade the image in any way and can be revised with Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software.

The six pre-sets include: Standard – for crisp, vivid images that don’t require post-processing; Portrait – optimises colour tone and saturation and weakens sharpening to achieve attractive skin tones; Landscape – for punchier greens and blues with stronger sharpening to give a crisp edge to mountain, tree and building outlines; Neutral – ideal for post-processing; Faithful – adjusts colour to match the subject colour when shot under a colour temperature of 5200K; Monochrome – for black and white shooting with a range of filter effects (yellow, orange, red and green) and toning effects (sepia, blue, purple and green). The User Defined Picture Style can be used to store up to three customised pre-sets, or any of the pre-sets available for download from Canon’s web site.

DIGIC II

Now found across the EOS range, DIGIC II is a purpose built, dedicated image processor responsible for the high speed calculations necessary in order to providing exceptionally accurate colour reproduction in real time. Canon’s second generation imaging engine, DIGIC II performs the duties of a number of separate processing units to speed processing, save space, and optimise battery life.

Canon’s processor overcomes the trade-off faced by other manufacturers between camera responsiveness and image quality. With its massive capacity, DIGIC II treats every image with the full complex processing algorithms required in order to deliver superb EOS picture quality, while enabling extended continuous shooting bursts.

CMOS

Canon’s CMOS technology is one of the company’s key competitive advantages, with noise reduction circuitry at each pixel site delivering virtually noise-free images. In comparison with CCD technology, the lower power consumption characteristics of Canon’s CMOS sensors also help optimise battery usage.

CCD sensors use a bucket relay system to transfer each pixel’s accumulated electrical charge to a corresponding gutter. The operation is time consuming and draws considerable power.

By contrast, signal conversion in Canon’s CMOS sensors is handled by the individual amplifiers at each pixel site. Unnecessary charge transfer operations are avoided, vastly speeding up the process of getting signal to the image processor. Noise generation is reduced, power consumption is limited and faster frame rate potential is increased.

Digital Photo Professional Software

Digital Photo Professional software provides high-speed processing of lossless RAW images. Processing with Digital Photo Professional allows real-time display and immediate application of image adjustments, giving control over RAW image variables such as white balance, dynamic range, exposure compensation and colour tone. Images can be recorded in sRGB or Adobe RGB colour space, and the Digital Photo Professional application supports sRGB, Adobe RGB and Wide Gamut RGB colour spaces. An ICC (International Colour Consortium) profile attaches automatically to RAW images converted to TIFF or JPEG images. This allows faithful reproduction of colours in software applications that support ICC profiles, such as Adobe Photoshop. For improved efficiency, a set of image adjustments can be saved as a recipe and applied.

Click here for our detailed hands-on preview of the
Canon EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi

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