Canon Digital Rebel XT Excellent for Amateurs, Adequate for Pros

Arbiter Staff Writer
The Arbiter Online
Boise State University

Amateurs should find the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT more than adequate for shooting in just about every condition. Professionals, on the other hand, might find it to be missing some features that will serve more advanced professional needs.

Providing 8 mega-pixels, the camera can take pictures ranging in resolution from 1728×1152 to 3456×2304 pixels (approximately 2 to 8 mega-pixels), appropriate for smaller or larger prints, respectively. This allows amateurs of all levels to take high quality pictures at a reasonable price (that varies depending on the seller).

The camera retails for about $1000 as a kit and $900 for the body alone. However, searching the Internet can provide better deals. Featured merchants on often advertise it at less than $800 for the kit and about $700 for the body only. The difference is that the kit includes an EF-S 18-55mm lens.

For storage the Digital Rebel XT uses CompactFlash cards. These are not included with the camera at purchase and tacks on some additional cost.

The camera also provides versatility in two directions. Because the camera is compatible with Canon EF lenses, finding a lens to suite any need is easy. Also, the various modes of the camera allow users to do one of three things. Users can choose the basic full auto mode for all purpose shooting, one of the situational basic modes (such as portrait or landscape modes) for shooting in specific conditions, or use one of the creative modes to gain more control over the shot.

In the basic modes, the camera takes care of almost every function. The user simply selects the basic mode most suitable for the shot and takes a picture. ISO speed, aperture and shutter speed are all set by the camera to get the right exposure. These modes are perfect for novice photographers.

In the creative modes, the camera allows much more control. The user selects a mode depending on the kind of shot, the effect and amount of control desired. These modes range from one where the camera still takes care of most of the control to one where the user has total control over how the camera behaves. In between are modes for changing either the aperture setting or the shutter speed individually while the camera takes care of the rest.

The creative modes also open up control of more specific menu functions. For example, the basic modes only allow an easily used JPEG format that can be printed as is. In the creative modes the camera allows saving photos as RAW format better for processing later and also more convenient for any professional use. The creative modes are excellent for advanced amateurs and semi-professionals.

Beyond these, the camera has many other nice features such as the ability to take three successive shots rapidly while holding down the shutter button.

Overall, the Digital Rebel XT is a versatile camera that will suit amateurs looking to take really good photos but may not provide the power needed for full professionals.