"Wonderfully Full-Featured Camera At Unbeatable Price!"5.0 starson by DavidCameraCrazy
Pros: + High Resolution LCD Screen
+ Great/Easy to use - User Interface
+ HD Video
+ Live View
+ Amazing Image Quality
+ Comprehensive Software Package
+ Large Variety of Lens options
+ Obviously, Cost
Cons: - No manual control over the aperture or ISO when recording video
- No external audio input
- Little more noise than the XSi
Summary: I've had the T1i for about almost week now and after some extensive use, here are my thoughts:
1. 15.1 megapixel sensor. Yes, the high megapixel count is impressive, but keep in mind that, as you approach higher resolutions, you need to ensure the lens on the SLR can resolve that much detail. Sadly, the included 18-55mm IS lens is functional, but the high resolution really shows the so-so quality of the lens. Even if taken at the proper focus, pictures can appear soft with this kit lens. Shots I have taken with Canon EF-S 17-85mm and EF 70-200mm L lenses are crisp. I don't have any gripes on image quality. There are some issues with noise on the higher ISOs that don't seem to show up on the Nikon digitals, but overall, the quality is amazing for the price. Skin tones, textures, colors are reproduced very accurately.
2. Digic 4. The Digic 4 processor appears to process/save the 15 megapixel images in the same time (if not faster) than the Digic III processor on the XSi (even in RAW+Jpg mode). I have also noticed that at higher ISOs, the sensor and the Digic 4 produce images with less overall noise compared with its predecessors.
3. LCD. The 920,000 pixel LCD screen is large (3"), crisp, vibrant and fully visible even in bright sunlight. In comparison, the Canon XSi SLR (which the T1i replaces), also has a 3" LCD, but with 230,000 pixels. The viewing angle is great as well and the LCD can easily be seen nearly 180 degrees around.
4. ISO 12800. Canon and Amazon are correctly identifying that the T1i maxes out at ISO 3200. Some less reputable dealers are listing an ISO 12800, which you should disregard. The ISO 6400 and 12800 settings are expanded ISO settings. The pictures taken on these two settings are ISO 3200 images pushed to ISO 6400 or 12800 by the Digic 4 chip before saving to the memory card. These pictures are extremely grainy and contain a lot of noise to the point of only being usable as for snapshots or adding an artistic effect to certain compositions.
7. HD Video. Yes, the Canon marketing department made a horrible marketing decision and pushed the T1i onto shelves limiting the 1080p recording to 20fps (frames per second). Recognize this as a marketing gimmick that allows them put a 1080p sticker on the camera box. The 1080p @ 20fps is fine most times, but seems a choppy if you have a lot of action in the frame or are panning quickly. The T1i's 720p video is recorded at 30fps and is clean, smooth, and sufficient for all but the most discerning consumers. One major criticism though is that the sound is recorded in mono, AND there is NO input for an external microphone.
9. Battery life. My first fully charged battery only lasted about 250 shots (no flash), but all charges since have given me in the range of 500-700 shots per charge. I'm guessing the first charge had such a short life because I spent quite a bit of time learning the camera, its menus, and settings.
10. Live View. I honestly can't review this as I haven't used it too much yet -- I prefer using the viewfinder. One feature I can say is nice is that, on the LCD, you can digitally zoom in (up to 10x) on a section of your shot to ensure it is properly focused. This, and the fine focusing, can really help if you're into macro-photography.
Conclusion. The T1i is a bit on the light end, yet the construction still feels solid. For the camera's price point, you'd be hard pressed to find any digital SLR out there which gives you all the capabilities and growth range of the Canon T1i. The camera is intuitive enough for those new to photography to pick and learn easily, yet configurable enough for advanced amateurs. If video is not a big deal for you, then get the Canon XSi. There is very little the T1i has (other than ISO 3200 and a sharper screen) that the XSi doesn't.
Plus, with the release of the T1i, you can probably pick up a used XSi for a great price on eBay. My wife recently gave birth, and I'm not looking to record endless (never to be watched) tapes of video footage of our son, but I do want several minute clips of him as he grows through the years. I've always been more inclined towards photography, so this camera gives me a very versatile digital SLR that I need with the wonderful capability of recording HD video that I want.
*** P.S. If you will buy this camera I suggest you have a compare price before you decide at: www.amazon.com/gp/*************?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%****%2Foffer-listing%2FB001XURPQS%3Fie%3DUTF8%26ref_%3Ddp_olp_new_map%26condition%3Dnew&tag=***************&********=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957