I 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.
Start-up time is a quick 0.2 seconds, and you can shoot up to 10 RAW or 27 large JPEGs at 3 fps. Noise levels and dynamic range are similar to the XT’s despite the 25% increase in pixel count. Picture Styles (introduced in the EOS 5D) provide broad control over color, contrast and sharpening.
Retained are the XT’s very compact size, use of CompactFlash memory cards (Type I and II) and an APS-C-sized image sensor with 1.6x magnification factor.
Did I mention this is all in an entry-level D-SLR that sells for $799?
Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.
Specs Of Note
Image Sensor: 10.1 megapixels
AF System: 9-point AF
Lens Magnification Factor: 1.6x
Shutter Speed: 30 to 1⁄4000 sec., Bulb
Metering: 35-Zone Evaluative, Center-Weighted, 9% Partial
Continuous Firing Mode: 10 RAW or 27 large JPEGs at 3 fps
Flash Sync: Up to 1⁄200 sec.
Built-In Flash: Yes
Storage Media: CompactFlash (Type I and II)
Dimensions: 5.0 x 3.7 x 2.6 inches
Weight: 18 ounces
1 EOS Integrated Cleaning System with a Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit
2 10.1 megapixels in a compact package, priced at less than $800
3 Large 2.5-inch, 230,000-pixel LCD monitor
4 Picture Styles for control over color, contrast and sharpening