Canon EOS Rebel XT...First impressions.

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Canon EOS Rebel XT...First impressions.

Post by twebster »

Hi y'all, :D

I purchased a Canon EOS Rebel XT (350D) digital SLR about three weeks ago and I wanted to share with y'all my experiences with this camera. I purchased this camera based partly on reviews I read on the Internet and based partly on other photographer's recommendations. Another deciding factor was that Canon is offering a $100.00 rebate, too :!: :D And what are my first impressions?

Frankly, I'm not impressed with this camera. Here are the strengths and weaknesses, in my opinion, based on the kind of photography I perform. (These are only my opinions of which others may disagree.)


Least expensive dSLR and a terrific buy with the $100.00 rebate.

A lot of megapixels (8 megapixels) for the money.

Small camera that can be easily held by anybody, however, someone with big hands (like mine) will do well to purchase the optional power/battery grip.

Very responsive autofocus in low light conditions.


Small and not very bright viewfinder image. Much smaller viewfinder image than the other Canon dSLRs.

Very dim LCD panel, even when set to the brightest setting. Sometimes I can barely make out the image I had just made and have to rely on the histogram display to check my exposures. Forget about checking sharpness and composition if you are in anything but deep, dark shade. Heck, my old Canon EOS D30 has an LCD panel that is brighter than the Rebel's LCD panel. This also has a definite negative effect on...

Too many important options are menu driven. Combine this with a dim LCD panel and it makes working with this camera in the field difficult. The dim LCD panel makes it terribly difficult to select the proper options from the various menus if you need to change any settings.

Inconsistent exposures. I hope this is limited only to my particular camera and not indicative of the model as a whole. I will find out soon as I will be sending my Rebel XT in for factory adjustments soon.

Difficult to work with off-camera flash. If you use a flash a lot, like I do, then you know the importance of being able to make flash compensation changes while looking through the viewfinder. It is very difficult and very distracting to have to pull the camera away from your eye and navigate a dim menu to dial in flash exposure compensation. I've lost a lot of opportunities while having to do just this.


On the whole, I have had a very frustrating time capturing images with this camera. My ratio of image "keepers" to image "non-keepers" has slid way downhill. If you are a casual or beginning photographer this camera will make a good introductory dSLR. If, however, you are a more advanced photographer working in the field a great deal then you will be better served by purchasing one of the more advanced camera models, such as the Canon EOS 20D. I ordered my 20D, yesterday, and it will be here early next week.

Best regards to all as always, :D
Tom Webster

Phoenix "The Valley of the Sun", Arizona, USA

Think about this...maybe Murphy is an optimist!!!

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Post by st_m »

Well, that's with all this electronics stuff. The cheaper, the worse (but not the other way round, the more expensive, the better). There is so much competition (in price) today, that they all use the cheapest ever available components for all and everything. Eventhough their engineers know it better, they are forced to save any cent they can. This is typical: From advertisement and "official" technical features, best of the best, but the "physical" realisation catastrophic.
I don't use Canon, but Nikon (Canon had a better!!! reputation for digital quite a long time).
Did you ever have the chance to compare e. g. a Nikon D50 (ultra-cheap) to a D200 (or also the D70s)? Exactly the same. Everything you write about yours.

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Post by MikeBinOKlahoma »

Sorry the LCD and menu systems are so frustrating. I've heard other people complain about the viewfinder, unfortunately. But I'll bet you love the EOS 20D! Having the Rebel XT as a backup won't be so bad.
Mike Broderick
"I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul.....My mandate includes weird bugs."--Calvin

(reposts on this site of my images for critique or instruction are welcome)

Charles Krebs
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Post by Charles Krebs »

Since we cover both "macro" and "micro" it may be worth pointing out that the difficulties you experienced in macro "field" work are almost all non-issues when this camera is set up properly on a microscope.

I very rarely even look through the viewfinder, and the LCD panel info is feed to a separate TV. I generally work on "manual exposure" with the tungsten illumination, and flash is always done manually. In a sense, all I really want is a box containing a sensor with a shutter and flash sync! (I agree that the menu system and controls are not as nice as with the "higher end" Canon cameras).

I only bring this up to point out the obvious... that different usages present very different requirements of a camera.

If it stays permanently "planted" atop a microscope I would feel that the additional cost of a 20D or 30D (over the Rebel XT) would be better spent on that Plan Apo I've been wanting! :wink: