A Canon-developed CMOS sensor with 15.1 megapixels, DiG!C 4 Image Processor and ISO speeds expandable to 12800 combine to deliver outstanding images with low noise and natural colour reproduction. Offering key features such as full HD movie recording, automatic image correction tools (Auto Lighting Optimizer and Peripheral illumination correction), with Live View stills and movies with Live Face Detection).
What makes the T1i (and 5D Mark II) so good are how far improved their ergonomics are over earlier Canon DSLRs. Now it’s easy to just shoot, where previous Canon DSLRs were always a pain in the neck, at least for me. The operation of the T1i is extremely well thought out.
The EOS 500D is the latest incarnation of a highly successful line of cameras and although the ‘entry level’ market segment is these days much more crowded than it used to be, we would be very surprised if the new model would not sell like hotcakes.
All the major manufacturers cram more and more new features into their ‘budget’ offerings but the EOS 500D is arguably the currently best specced camera in the segment, which lifts it some distance above pure ‘entry level’ territory. It comes with the highest resolution sensor (15.1 effective megapixels) in its class, an excellent 3.0 inch high resolution screen, extended sensitivity up to ISO 12800 and the arguably for many users most attractive new feature, a movie mode that records 1080P/20fps or 720P/30fps High Definition video footage.
Canon’s consumer SLR line has a new flagship: the 15.1-megapixel Canon EOS Rebel T1i. Once again, we see a new SLR from Canon in less than 18 months from the last in a given line. It’s actually only eight months since the XS was announced, and about 14 since the XSi; either way you look at it, competition has shortened product cycles in the digital SLR space.
Though initially this camera may seem like only a slight progression in the range, it offers far more than is expected. Everything about this model feels more refined, and the overall handling and performance is close to flawless.
Improvements to the Canon EOS 500D / Digital Rebel T1i still image quality are much more successful, offering an amazing combination of high-resolution images with low-light performance. The new 15 megapixel CMOS sensor and expanded ISO range thankfully haven’t compromised image quality in any way, quite the opposite in fact. There’s virtually no visible noise at all from ISO 100 all the way up to ISO 1600, with even the three faster settings of 3200-12800 producing perfectly usable images. Quite amazing for this class of camera. Equally worth of praise is the new 920,000 dot LCD screen, which really brings your images alive and is great for showing them off to friends and family.
In a lot of ways, the D5000 and the T1i represent Nikon and Canon at the top of their games. It’s easy to build a high-end product that you can toss everything into, with the mission to put together the best possible performance. When you are trying to keep the price under control, though, and in the case of these cameras, we’re talking less than $1000 with a lens, it challenges the designers to put together not necessarily the absolute best, but the most workable for the money. Both of these cameras are showpieces of great design. There are, however, significant differences in philosophy and priority that show up, and define the two DSLRs.