Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Canon Digital Rebel XSi

After almost five years of using my Canon Digital Rebel (the original model,) I just replaced it with a new Digital Rebel XSi (also called 450D.) Ben now has my hand-me-down Rebel, which still works fine.

I didn't get my hands on my new camera until arriving home from work today, so I charged the battery while I mowed the lawn, had dinner, and then took a few test shots.

Here's one of my first test shots. I wanted to see how well the Image Stabilization (IS) works - and it seems to work fine. This is the whole .jpg, untouched, shot at 1/20 sec and f/7.1 zoomed out to 55mm. This is equivalent to 90mm on 35mm, so normally, you'd want to hand-hold at 1/90 sec or higher, so shooting at 1/20 sec represents about two f-stops. The Auto-ISO function picked ISO 800 for this one.

Here's a 100% crop centered on the point of focus. Bear in mind that this looks much larger than the writing is in real life. Note that you can see the half-tone pattern in the background. I'd say the IS eliminated shake completely.

Here's the classic self-portrait-in-mirror that every photographer, from rank novice to professional, seems compelled to take.

I set the camera for ISO 1600, the camera's highest setting, to see if the images would be usable at this level of sensitivity. In this case, I adjusted levels in Photoshop to improve the color, but I did no sharpening. In general, I'd say this image is very usable. Exposure was 1/40 sec at f/5.7, with the lens at 36mm.

Here's a 100% crop of a portion of the ISO 1600 photo. Notice that even with the levels adjustment, the noise isn't all that bad. Don't forget, if this were an 8x10 print, you'd have to look with a very strong magnifier to see this level of detail.

For comparison, here is a 100% crop where Auto ISO set the ISO at 800. Exposure was 1/16 sec at f/5.7, also at 36mm. Here, I adjusted levels and used unsharp mask to first do contrast sharpening and then general sharpening.

So far, so good! I'll take some real photos over the next few days and report back.

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