Pros Wide variety of features yet easy to learn and operate.
Small enough to pack yet large enough to be comfortable in the hand.
Inexpensive yet gives you pro-quality results
Accepts wide array of Canon lenses and accessories
Cons Ok, yes, feels a little cheap to the touch. But I've yet to see a review complaining about it breaking.
Summary I was a pro photographer for 20 years and did promo work for Pentax. I shot Hasselblad, Pentax 6x7, and Pentax LX-pro cameras. I moved to Canon disgital with the release of the D60, but started doing more writing than shooting, so never upgraded until now. I wanted pro-style features but wanted to keep the cost down. User reviews led me to choose the XS and I couldn't be happier. Forget the "cons" you read hear, they're nitpicking. Who says a pro camera can't be small. No date stamp? Every pic has shot data attached, including the shooting date and your name if you want. Focus point display? Didn't even notice it after five minutes shooting. A 3" LCD is so much better than a 2.5"? Put on your glasses. Live view is about as pro as you can get--seeing the image pop up on the laptop is perfection. Need more than 1600 ISO? Really? Ok, if you're doing that many night shots, or shooting jets, then you probably need a $5000 digital. The kit zoom that came with my XS does a beautiful job and I'd challenge anyone to pick my photos out of a lineup with L lens images. Bottom line, if you have an unlimited budget, go for the 1D Mark III and a bagfull of L lenses. If you want the best DSLR for the price, pick up an XS.
Pros Well priced and a steady entry level camera. Has a nice 3 frames per second feature, decent battery life and 10 megapixels. Quick start-up.
Cons Only has a 7 point auto-focus system and the picture quality seems a little on the poor side. The grip is formed in a way which after a long period of holding, will cramp your hand.
Summary Overall, if this is your first experience with a DSLR style camera, you will think its a god among digital cameras. If its not your first time playing with DSLR cameras, you will thinks its horrible. I found that auto focusing was slow, the Live View feature was more annoying and ridiculously designed than it was practical. Let my tell you how much I hate the Live View Feature. To begin, you have to go into a menu, then select it. I strongly dislike that, there should be a button to switch between Live View and EVF. Then you have to press the shutter button to take a preview of the picture that you are taking. Plus, when that's all done, you only get an unfocused preview of the subject in which you are taking the picture of. For high speed subjects, this just doesn't cut it. If I was part of the Canon development team for this camera I would be embarrassed to market this as one of its key features for the Rebel XS
The image quality is poor when in low light as the camera only comes equipped with a 1600 ISO. The Noise Reduction is decent, but doesn't match Sony's Alpha series.
I know that this is only a entry level camera, but I expected more from a company like Canon. This camera would be great for the amateur users who wants to upgrade from PS digital cameras and advance a little further into photography.
Pros Great value and light weight. Low cost for a very good camera. I have taken some great shots with this camera, and made photos on canvas up to 3 feet by 18 inches in size.
Cons it's not a pro or semi-pro camera so don't expect it to perform like one but it costs a lot less than one.
SummaryIf you are buying your first DLSR, this camera is an EXCELLENT choice. If you think that you might go semi-pro, then start with a more expensive model. This model is the entry-level model and the price reflects that. The pro models cost 5 to 10 times as much but aren't 5-10 times better in my opinion. I will be investing in a higher-end model this year but I'm glad that I started with this model 3 years ago.
Updated on Sep 16, 2011
Pros Everything. This camera takes excellent, high resolution photographs (3888X2592). It's incredibly easy to use, and comes with a variety of add-ons. This maybe the baby brother of the XSi, but it's a perfect camera for most peoples needs.
Cons The fact that there is no video-capture mode was a little disappointing, and only being a 10MP DSLR was a little 'bleh'. But unless you are a major photographer you won't have a need of more MP, but if you do, I'd recommend getting the XSi or higher.
Summary All in all, this camera is probably the best bang for the buck. It comes with a nice starter lens, but you will need to upgrade if you want to take long distance photos. This was my first DSLR and I'd recommend it to anyone. It's easy to use, takes wonderful photos, has many add-ons, and is cheap. It takes a normal SD card, so memory is easy to come across and afford. If you're looking for a cheap, first time DSLR, I'd say go for it, as you will not be disappointed; I know I wasn't.
This is a link to my "RedBubble" profile, all the photos were taken with this camera and the starter lens(until I get my Sigma 70-300MM). Enjoy c: http://www.redbubble.com/people/matthutzell
Pros The menu is intuitive enough. The buttons are in the right place. The navigation is smooth. Camera body is made in Japan.
Cons The kit lens is junk. It makes people look uglier than a decent point and shoot. This lens doesn't do well in low light, some point and shoot camera can actually do better in low light.
Summary When you buy a digital SLR, you have to ask yourself a question - what do you want to do with it.
If you want to turn pro in the future, then you probably know you have to spend a lot more money (thousand) to add on good equipment in the future for professional photos. I would suggest you to just buy this camera body without the kit lens. The lens is junk. You can't use that for professional shooting anyway. It's just waste of space. You probably get frustrated with its' limitation and mediocre results while learning anyway. It's pointless and not even good enough for beginners.
If you want an SLR for semi professional looking photos for business purpose. For example, you are an entrepreneur and you want to DIY and shoot some nice photos for marketing material. I love your spirit. But with that kit lens, it won't look semi professional. Again, body is OK, lens is useless.
If you want a DSLR as a hobby because you saw some nice photos in the magazine and you want to create that. Keep in mind that an entry level camera kit won't cover your needs at all. DSLR photography as a hobby is a money pit, you have to spend a lot more than you imagine, then you can finally create something semi pro or like pros. Otherwise, an entry level camera kit with a lame kit lens will barely make your photos better than your point and shoot snapshot. Sure, you get shallow depth of field with an SLR, that a point and shoot or bridge camera can't offer. But the rest of the picture quality is just not there.
If you want a DSLR as a hobby to produce better shots for your personal photo albums. You are not really trying to create something looking like magazine photos. You just want your photos to look better than your regular snapshots. Then you have you consider if you really want to much more than this camera kit to just achieve that. Because this camera kit won't necessarily make your photos look better. To achieve your goal with a DSLR, you need to spend more money to buy decent lens. Then you need to consider if it's worth it or you prefer to spend something on something else. Many friends of mine think they will be able to create better personal photos with an entry level camera kit and lots practice. They are disappointed the default lens won't create better shots after all the study and practice, and they only find out the lens is so limited and in poor quality. Their original budget was just the price of this camera kit. They have never been willing to spend a lot more. So they are stuck with a camera with a useless lens and no extra money for this hobby.
Do some research about good lens first, then you will know the real price tag of getting the right and necessary equipment for DSLR.
This lens is so lame, it makes people look uglier in the photo. I am not kidding. We know that those point and shoot cameras actually create excellent macro shots because the way the camera is built. If this lens doesn't make you look prettier than point and shoot, then what's the point having it?