Canon USA has announced the EOS Rebel XS, launched in other markets as the EOS 1000D on June 10th. In the United States, the camera will be available in a choice of black or silver but will not be available as body-only, with all units coming bundled with the EF-S 18-55mm IS lens. Canon has also announced its plans to build its first new Japanese factory for over a quarter of a century, which will build digital cameras.

Canon USA is direct about its intentions for the Rebel XS: "As consumers have fully embraced digital photography, with many consumers purchasing their second or third digital camera models, we see the Rebel XS as the bridge to help photographers cross over from the world of point-and-shoot cameras to digital SLR technology," said Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A.

Canon's estimated retail price is $699 for the camera and lens. You can read our full preview here.

Click here to read the full press release.

Meanwhile, Canon has also announced its intention to build a new camera production plant in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. The facility will have capacity to produce approximately 4 million units per year, will employ more than 1000 people and will see $160m investment by 2010. The plant, which represents Canon's first new Japanese camera factory in more than 25 years, will produce both digital DSLRs and compact digital cameras. Initial plans are for construction to commence in January 2009 and for production to begin in December the same year.