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Canon XSi Comparison Review

The Canon EOS Rebel XSi (called Canon 450D in some regions) is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was revealed to the public in January 2008 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 12.2 megapixel.

camera

Is the Canon XSi a good camera? The XSi has a Camera Elo of 1335. This rating puts the XSi below average of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the XSi also ranks below average. – Well, the Canon XSi is more than 11 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2008.

Headline Specifications
Canon XSi
Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video
ISO 100-1600
Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.5 shutter flaps per second
500 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 524 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Canon XSi vis-à-vis a credit card. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Canon XSi vs credit card front
XSi versus credit card top view
XSi and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Canon XSi alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799- i Canon XSi
 
Canon T6i« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
 
Canon T6s« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649- i Canon T6s
 
Canon T4i« » 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
 
Canon T3« » 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
 
Canon T2i« » 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699- i Canon T2i
 
Canon T1i« » 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon T1i
 
Canon XS« » 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449- i Canon XS
 
Canon 40D« » 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Canon XTi« » 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799- i Canon XTi
 
Canon XT« » 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899- i Canon XT
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon XSi was launched in the US market at a price of $799. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Canon XSi:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Canon XSi features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Canon XSi among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Canon XSi sensor measures

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon XSi
 
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon T6i
 
Canon T6s« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon T6s
 
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon T4i
 
Canon T3« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon T3
 
Canon T2i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon T2i
 
Canon T1i« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon T1i
 
Canon XS« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-----Canon XS
 
Canon 40D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.370364Canon 40D
 
Canon XTi« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.066462Canon XTi
 
Canon XT« » APS-C 8.0 3456 2304-21.810.863760Canon XT

It should be noted that unlike many modern cameras, the XSi does not provide the possibility to capture videos.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the XSi has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 95% and a magnification of 0.54x. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Canon XSi along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Canon XSi
 
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon T6i
 
Canon T6s« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon T6s
 
Canon T4i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon T4i
 
Canon T3« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon T3
 
Canon T2i« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon T2i
 
Canon T1i« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n Canon T1i
 
Canon XS« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon XS
 
Canon 40D« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
 
Canon XTi« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon XTi
 
Canon XT« »optical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon XT

One convenient feature of the XSi is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

 

Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS Rebel XSi and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---Canon XSi
 
Canon T6i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6i
 
Canon T6s« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6s
 
Canon T4i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T4i
 
Canon T3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon T3
 
Canon T2i« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon T2i
 
Canon T1i« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon T1i
 
Canon XS« »Y-----2.0---Canon XS
 
Canon 40D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 40D
 
Canon XTi« »Y-----2.0---Canon XTi
 
Canon XT« »Y-----2.0---Canon XT
 

Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the XSi. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon XSi+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon XSi
 
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
 
Canon T6s« »+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649- i Canon T6s
 
Canon T4i« »+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
 
Canon T3« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
 
Canon T2i« »+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i Canon T2i
 
Canon T1i« »+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon T1i
 
Canon XS« »82/100+ +3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449- i Canon XS
 
Canon 40D« »+ ++ +4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Canon XTi« »+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799- i Canon XTi
 
Canon XT« »80/100+ +oo- Feb 2005 899- i Canon XT
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon XSi FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the XSi.

What technology is the imaging sensor in the XSi based on?

The camera features a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Canon equipped the XSi with the DIGIC 3 image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the XSi?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Canon EOS Rebel XSi?

Canon mentions a shutter rating of 100 000 actuations for the XSi. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the XSi over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.

Does the Canon XSi feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The XSi's flash sync speed is 1/200 sec.

Which battery does the XSi use?

The camera gets its power from the LP-E5 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Is there a vertical grip available for the XSi?

Yes, Canon offers the BG-E5 as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Canon XSi
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2008
    Launch Price USD 799
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.19 μm
    Pixel Density 3.70 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 3
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 61
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 692
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 3.5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type LP-E5 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    Camera Weight 524 g (18.5 oz)

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