The Canon Rebel T1i (also known as the 500D and Kiss X3 outside of the US) is the follow-up to the Rebel XSi, which was (and still is) a very appealing entry-level DSLR. With the Rebel T1i, however, Canon steps into a new feature set for entry-level DSLRs. This camera is leaps and bounds above what we saw in the original Rebel. The T1i also pushes the entry-level boundary beyond what we previously expected Canon to offer in a camera at this price point.
While you may not consider the Rebel T1i cheap (a retail price of $800 for the camera body and make it $900 if you want an 18-55mm lens in your kit), it offers considerable value as compared to other cameras at or above its price range. Over the past couple of years, Nikon and Sony have pushed Canon out of its comfort zone at the top of the digital camera world. Competition has forced Canon to really push its camera development (particularly in DSLRs) to new levels. The Rebel T1i is demonstrable evidence of this renewed competitive environment among what can fairly be characterized as the “big three” camera manufacturers.
Over the past couple months, I have shot with the Rebel T1i on a regular basis in my ordinary photographic endeavors. Everything from backyard snap shots, fast moving cars and motorcycles, and the occasional indoor play or event. I have tried to make use of this camera in the way that I expect most purchasers of entry-level cameras would use it. Additionally, I have taken a bit of time out of my normal shooting to pit it against its most direct competitor, the Nikon D5000. Anyone shopping for the Rebel T1i is likely considering the similarly equipped Nikon D5000. It was useful shooting with these cameras side-by-side, and below I will direct you to some more specific image and video comparisons for these two cameras. [Read more…]