Canon EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi/ Kiss X Digital Review
Conclusion - Pros
- Excellent resolution, lots of detail, not a leap from eight megapixels, but certainly from six
- Good color with selectable PictureStyles for different subject types
- Good dynamic range (more than peers) with soft roll-off of highlights
- 'Integrated Cleaning System' designed to keep dust at bay
- Widest range of image parameter adjustments among its peers
- Low noise throughout the sensitivity range, noise reduction maintains detail well
- Good in-camera image processing, resolution advantage shooting RAW is slight
- Larger, brighter and more detailed LCD monitor
- Re-designed user interface a great improvement over the EOS 350D
- On-screen setting adjustment (ISO, WB, etc.) surprisingly quick and easy to use
- Updated nine point AF system, proved fast, accurate and still good in low light
- Very fast off to shot time (virtually instant), slightly slower if you want to read screen
- Numerous small bug fixes improve usability
- Magnification available in record review (although requires two button press)
- Small and light but hand grip is still too small, can be uncomfortable for large hands
- Excellent supplied software bundle, two RAW conversion options
- Remote capture software included for computer controlled shooting
- Unique JUMP mode in playback (by date, 10 or 100 images)
- Value for money
Conclusion - Cons
- Kit lens disappointing, better to buy body only and spend more on a good lens
- Sporadic continuous shooting once buffer is full
- Occasional under-exposure issue with Evaluative metering
- Average automatic white balance performance, still very poor under incandescent light
- ISO, WB, Metering mode etc. not displayed on viewfinder status bar during change
- Flash must be raised for AF assist
- No Kelvin white balance selection in-camera
- No spot metering
- No mass storage device USB driver, poor WIA transfer rates (and awkward to use)
- Opening the CF compartment door shuts camera down, loses any buffered images
- Small viewfinder view
Canon changed the entire digital camera market when they revealed the EOS 300D. Launched in a huge way, they clearly expected it to be a big success. The ripples of that day forced prices lower and removed an entire category of camera (the 'prosumer' all-in-one compact). Canon put digital SLRs into the hands of people who would otherwise never had considered one. For better or worse the sub-$1000 digital SLR had arrived. Of course the EOS 300D was a huge commercial success, as too was its successor, the EOS 350D, which followed eighteen months later.
The EOS 400D (Rebel XTi) turned out to be everything we expected it to be; a progressive upgrade to the already hugely successful EOS 350D (Rebel XT). Image quality was just as good, with plenty of detail, low noise and sophisticated noise reduction at higher sensitivities an well balanced, and thanks to PictureStyles predictable, color and tone. It also has a significantly improved user interface, dust reduction system, 9 point auto-focus, larger LCD monitor and combined status display / setting change system. All this in a camera which is just as small and light as the camera it replaces.
With all that in mind it's a pity we could so easily have predicted the 400D; with the commercial success of the 350D in their minds Canon clearly didn't want to take any risks with the 'winning formula'. This, however, is perhaps the EOS 400D's achilles heel; that it was so predictable. So predictable in fact that Nikon clearly saw it coming and went one better with the D80; they also managed to close the image quality gap to a degree where the differences are as good as irrelevant.
There were several areas of the EOS 400D which I thought I would not like but in use were actually perfectly usable. The use of the main LCD monitor for status display worked well; Canon's choice of a white background making a quick glance all you need to know how the camera is configured. Changing settings on the screen also worked well; thank goodness Canon addressed the 'must press SET button' issue we raised with the EOS 350D. Indeed changing some settings turned out to be easier on-screen than on other cameras which require a hold+turn combination.
Where does the EOS 400D come up short? For me, the camera isn't as comfortable to use as the Nikon or Sony. This may sound petty but I do feel that Canon's tiny grip is a mistake of form over function. Nor does it have the D80's large and bright pentaprism viewfinder, nor can it match the 'eye on the scene' feel you get from the short viewfinder black-out time. The D80 also gives you the surprisingly useful configurable automatic ISO, spot metering, a wider range of customization, wireless flash control, advanced battery information and in-camera retouching. The A100's trump card is it's in-camera CCD-shift Anti-Shake, and we haven't even started to consider Pentax's recently announced K10D which at least on paper is looking like a very strong competitor.
Thanks to its blood line and low price the EOS 400D will no doubt be a huge success for Canon. However unlike the EOS 350D, for me it's no longer the first or obvious choice, so before jumping on the bandwagon make sure you've weighed up the competition.
|Detail (D-SLR)||Rating (out of 10)|
|Ergonomics & handling||8.0|
Oct 14, 2006
Aug 24, 2006
Oct 13, 2009
Oct 14, 2009
I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums
|It's good to be at home by Nightcrawler12|
from Best photo of the week...
|Tiny tree by Kaappo|
The Olympus 17mm F1.2 promises to open up new possibilities for Micro Four Thirds shooters seeking razor-thin depth-of-field and smooth, 'feathered' bokeh. Take a peek at our extensive sample gallery.
Are you a speed freak? Hungry to photograph anything that goes 'zoom'? Or perhaps you just want to get Sports Illustrated-level shots of your child's soccer game. Keep reading to find out which cameras we think are best for sports and action shooting.
Still yearning for an Aperture replacement? Here's a quick overview of RAW Power, a Raw image editor for iOS that pairs with the Mac application introduced in 2016. Take a look at some of its capabilities.
Video features have become an important factor to many photographers when choosing a new camera. Read on to find out which cameras we think are best for the videophile.
Tech lover Albert Lee was one of the first to pre-order the intriguing 16-camera module Light L16. Two months in, here's what he has to say about using this not-so-little computational camera.
The public art installation featured blurred portraits, ostensibly captured by the artist under that same underpass... except they weren't. They were actually portraits of comedians, pulled from the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival program.
Edelkrone has upgraded its SliderOne with a SliderOne Pro and introduced a new generation of Wing and Wing Pro models, all while simultaneously improving the app that controls its entirely lineup.
People have waiting a long time for the Canon 85mm F1.4L IS lens, but how does it compare to Canon's 85mm F1.2L and Sigma's 85mm F1.4 Art? Phillip Pettit of Lensrentals took all three lenses for a spin to find out.
Affinity Photo for iPad, one of the first full-featured Raw editors designed specifically for tablet use, has been named Apple's Best iPad App of 2017. And what's more, it's currently 50% off!
VSCO Messages allows VSCO X subscribers and free users alike to share text, images, photo editing 'recipes', VSCO journal entries and more.
Flickr has revealed their top 25 photos of 2017, and there are some truly stunning shots in the mix.
Testing of the Canon G1 X Mark III is well underway, inside of the studio and out. We've just added it to our test scene comparison tool, where you can take a look at its performance side-by-side against peers like the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V.
Whether it's a trip to the beach for some snorkeling or scrambling up a 10,000 ft volcano, the Olympus Tough TG-5 proved to be a great travel companion for Jeff. That's why it's his 2017 Gear of the Year.
Last year, the DJI Mavic Pro and the Phantom 4 Professional took top honors in our end of year buying guide. Read on to find out who it this year for beginners, consumers, prosumers, and professionals at a price tag less than $2,000.
Meyer Optik Goerlitz is resurrecting yet another classic lens. This time, the company has set its crowdfunding sights on the Primoplan 75mm F1.9, a lens originally manufactured in a run of just 2,000 back in the 1930s.
The folks at Kolari Vision—an infrared camera conversion company based in New Jersey—recently tore down a brand new Sony a7RIII, giving everybody a peek at the camera's much-improved weather sealing.
Resource Travel's Brandon Cunningham recently joined The Giving Lens for a 10-day adventure in India. A trip he won't soon forget, to a country that left him in "sensory and soul overload."
Meet the new Freefly Movi, a handheld gimbal stabilizer designed by cinema stabilization pros for use with the iPhone. Freefly is calling this little beast "the world's most portable, adaptable, and intuitive cinema robot."
Photography portfolio site PhotoShelter is adding their voice to the growing group of online companies that are speaking out in favor of net neutrality, and against the FCC's upcoming vote to kill it.
The Direct app would replace the current Inbox on the Instagram app, doing for Instagram what the Facebook Messenger app did for Facebook on mobile.
Qualcomm's latest high-end mobile chipset offers higher frame rates and a wider color gamut, among other important camera improvements you can expect to see in next year's flagship smartphones.
Photographer Josselin Cornou recently got trapped in a blizzard in the Snowy Mountains of Australia with his Fujifilm GFX 50S and new Tamron 15-30mm F2.8 lens. Find out how they held up to 110km/h winds and -15°C temperatures.
While film nostalgia reaches an all-time high, Seattle-based pro photographer Sofi Lee is turning back to 'digicams' made between 2008 and 2011.
The fixed prime lens camera market may be a bit niche, but it's here that you'll find some of the best cameras you can buy. Sensors ranging from APS-C to full-frame are designed to match their lenses, which cover ranges from 28-75mm equivalent, so image quality is top-notch.
With a capacity of 512GB, Samsung's new UFS chips take built-in storage on smartphones to desktop-PC levels. Will this eliminate the need for microSD slots?
Photographer Josh Rossi decided to go big for this year's Christmas card, so he recreated the Star Wars: The Last Jedi poster using himself, his wife, and their two kids.
In response to a NY Times article about how some traffickers were using Instagram as part of the illicit animal trade, Instagram has added a content advisory screen that pops up to warn users any time they search for hashtags "associated with harmful behavior to animals."
Kodak is expanding its instant photography lineup today with the release of the Kodak Mini Shot Instant 10MP camera. A tiny little digital camera that spits out either 2.1 x 3.4-inch or 2.1 x 2.1-inch prints.
Huawei'e next high-end smartphone could be the first to take computational imaging to the next level with a triple-camera that spits out 40MP files.
Landscape photographer Spencer Cox recalls the single most rewarding—and frightening—landscape photography experience of his life: photographing a sandstorm.