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
|Sophisticated construction by the nature by Orchideon|
|After the Rain by Flor Tempra|
from Macro - Something Pink
|Asilah by Limburg|
from Cozy Corners
With card readers disappearing from MacBooks, USB-C card readers are now a necessity. Macworld's helpful guide compares five models and decodes the current mess of card speeds and certifications.
A Sony a7S II mounted on the outside of the ISS' Japanese Experiment Module (KIBO) for the last seven months has sent back some impressive 4K video and stills.
A Federal judge has refused to throw out a copyright case against controversial artist Richard Prince, who used an image by photographer Donald Graham in an exhibition.
Sony has teased its customers with news of an upcoming announcement: it will soon take the wraps off a new CineAlta motion picture camera, one sporting a 36x24mm sensor.
QuikStories is integrated into the latest version of the GoPro app and automatically creates 'stories' using the video clips you've shot during a day.
Journalists photographing a protest in the US Capitol building claim they were told by Capitol Police to delete photos and videos of arrests.
The Meizu Pro 7 Plus secondary display can be used for music playback, date and weather-related information, or as viewfinder when taking selfies with the rear cameras.
Nikon is marking its 100th anniversary in many ways, including the creation of a new scholarship program for 'future visual creators' in the USA and Canada.
Take one Digital ELPH (or IXUS), rotate it vertically, add a fully articulating LCD and a lens with a camcorder-like focal length, and what do you get? Why, the Canon PowerShot TX1, of course. In this week's Throwback Thursday we revisit Canon's one-of-a-kind hybrid stills/video camera.
Just in case there was any doubt in your mind, here's the definitive video proof that yes, a $50,000 cinema camera beats the pants off a $50 camcorder in a side-by-side test.
Photographers who fly frequently in the US may want to finally invest in that TSA Pre-check status: in standard security lines, cameras and all other electronics larger than a smartphone will need to be placed in a separate bin for screening.
Images have appeared which claim to show Nikon's forthcoming D850 DSLR, the development of which was announced this week. If genuine, the pictures indicate that the D850 will offer illuminated controls and a tilting LCD screen, but no built-in flash.
To celebrate the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 lens' successful Kickstarter campaign, Lomography has announced a chrome-plated version of the lens in Nikon and Canon DSLR mounts.
Nikon just released four new firmware updates, adding features and fixing bugs in the D600, D610, D750 and the KeyMission 80.
It probably hasn't made your landscape photography bucket list just yet, but there's a good reason to visit Idaho. Here are 9 must-visit locations in this beautiful state.
Oops... Adobe accidentally leaked their unfinished Lightroom-powered cloud-based photo editor 'Project Nimbus' to some Creative Cloud users yesterday.
Storm chaser and award-winning photographer Mike Oblinski just released his latest time-lapse, and it is absolutely stunning.
Looking to level up your video capture capabilities without buying a whole new camera? Blackmagic's Video Assist 4K is well worth considering, despite a few flaws and its lack of 4K/60p support.
We're big fans of Fujifilm's fast-growing GFX system, and the GF 110mm F2 lens is no exception. Positioned as the system's classic portrait lens, its optics are just as impressive with non-human subjects as well.
Nikon turns 100 years old today, and the company is celebrating with a wacky music video, some tributes to its history, and a new vision presented by president Kazuo Ushida.
Phottix just released the Premio Parabolic Umbrellas series, replacing their Para-Pro line with a stronger, deeper and better made set of parabolic umbrellas.
The Moto Z2 is Motorola's first dual-camera smartphone and, compared to its predecessor, comes with a number of improvements and new camera features.
Researchers at Stanford have revealed a new '4D camera system' built for robots. The system is based on the same light field tech that allowed Lytro cameras to refocus images after they were taken.
If you want 'beautiful rendition' from your lenses, follow this simple rule: only buy classic low-element prime lenses with lead glass elements—everything else is junk.
In an interview with CNBC, Leica Chairman Andreas Kaufmann said he dreams of a 'true Leica phone,' and hinted at what's next for the Leica and Huawei partnership.
Wildlife and nature photographer Peter Mather tells the story behind this exceptional shot of a mama grizzly and her cub searching for salmon in Yukon, Canada.
Popular YouTube channel TastyTuts has put together this 33-video Beginner's Guide to Adobe Photoshop—a godsend for anybody who wants to learn Photoshop from scratch.
The long anticipated replacement for the popular Rode VideoMic Pro is almost ready for shipping. The price of the upgraded VideoMic Pro+ will be £290/$300 when it goes on sale in mid-August.
A new iOS app called Explorest wants to help you find new locations to shoot. It's limited to Singapore for now, but the app is packed full of useful location scouting features.
Nikon's D850 development announcement is extremely light on details, so we assembled a wish list of upgrades and features we'd love to see.