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Friday, December 1, 2006

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi

An effective anti-dust system and 10.1 megapixels come to this D-SLR

canon eos digital rebel xtiI do almost all of my photography outdoors. That means lots of lens changes in the field, and that means dust on my D-SLRs’ image sensors (and my photos). Blower brushes don’t completely remove it, and though I’ve bought a clean-it-yourself kit, I haven’t quite worked up the nerve to try it yet. So one of my favorite D-SLR features is an anti-dust system.

My brand hasn’t offered that feature—until now. The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi incorporates the new EOS Integrated Cleaning System, comprising a Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit and a dust-eliminating camera/software feature.

Each time you switch the camera on or off, the low-pass filter on the front of the sensor automatically cleans itself via ultrasonic vibrations, literally shaking off the dust. This alone is highly effective; in a dozen outings, with more than 2,000 shots and numerous lens changes with our test camera, I encountered no dust spots in any image.

But there’s more. The Dust Delete Data feature is activated via an LCD monitor menu; set focus at infinity and photograph a close-by frame-filling sheet of white paper (or other white surface), and the camera automatically maps out and saves a record of any dust on the sensor. This data is appended to any JPEG or RAW images you shoot after that. The dust then can be erased automatically using the DPP 2.2 software provided with the camera. Plus, you can update the dust map at any time by repeating the process.

Making sensor dust problems a thing of the past is in itself enough to make the XTi a worthwhile acquisition. But that’s just one of its many assets. The new camera features 10.1 megapixels, up from the XT’s 8.0; a 2.5-inch LCD monitor, up from the XT’s 1.8-incher; essentially, the same AF system used in the EOS 30D, with nine AF points compared to the original XT’s seven; and the AF working range improved a stop (down to EV -0.5); and lots more.


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