Thursday, May 30, 2013

Canon EOS Rebel XS / EOS 1000D Digital Camera with 18-55mm IS Lens

Canon EOS Rebel XS / EOS 1000D Digital Camera with 18-55mm IS Lens Reviewed by Dmiko on .

Although I already had a Canon digital SLR camera (Canon Digital Rebel XT), I wanted to be able to take sharper pictures, especially in low light conditions. The idea was to take photos of my son, mostly indoors, handheld. Since I knew that Canon Digital Rebel XS came with a sharper and image-stabilized zoom lens, I got rid of my Canon Digital Rebel XT and got the Canon XS with its kit 18-55 mm image-stabilized lens.

At this point (05/2013) I got to use it for several years and below are my impressions. I mostly use either this camera or my Olympus XZ-1. Both work well for "challenging light" conditions.

What is Canon Rebel XS / EOS 1000D 18-55mm Kit? 

The Canon Rebel XS EOS 1000D is a digital SLR (Single-Lens Reflex) camera with 10.1-Megapixel resolution. This model supports interchangeable lenses of Canon EOS series. The kit also includes the 18-55 mm EF-S f/3.5-5.6 IS image-stabilized lens, which is 29-88 mm equivalent (the APS-C Size CMOS sensor warrants 1.6x conversion factor). 

The camera has a 3:2 aspect ratio APS-C size CMOS sensor, which is perfect for 6x4 prints and very close to other formats people usually choose for printing. The sensor in this model is self-cleaning and uses ultrasonic vibrations to remove dust from its low-pass filter (EOS Integrated Cleaning System). 

The camera stores the images on inexpensive SD or SDHC memory cards and is powered by a rechargeable proprietary battery pack with contacts redesigned compared to previous versions to prevent accidental shorting. The XS features fast Digic 3 processor and in addition to JPEG can record images in RAW format. 

The camera has a built-in flash as well as the hot shoe for external flashes. It features automatic modes as well as manual ones. The camera has a 2.5-inch high-resolution LCD screen and an optical through-the-lens viewfinder. The camera uses a CMOS sensor instead of a CCD that most compact consumer-level cameras use. 

The camera accepts EF and EF-S lenses. The included kit lens features manual and automatic focusing and a solid construction as well as optical image stabilization. The camera supports ISO 100-1,600 and features fast USB 2.0 interface.

Improvements Over The XT

Since I am switching to this model from the XT, below are the most dramatic improvements over the XT: higher resolution, larger LCD screen, faster processing, use of SD and SDHC cards instead of bulky CF cards, much better kit lens (sharper and image-stabilized), better battery.

Getting Started 

I did not bother even opening the manual, but was able to attach the lens to the camera, charge and insert the battery and the SD memory card that I have and was ready to shoot.

If you plan to use the camera's advanced features or haven't used a digital SLR before, the included manual is quite comprehensive. 

Make sure there is no excessive dust present where you are attaching the lens, because the dust is a big problem and a headache if it gets on the sensor (CMOS), even though the camera has dust-reduction technology.

In the Box 

The camera comes with its lens (if purchased as a kit, like mine), battery pack, battery charger, strap, video and USB cables, manuals and software.


The camera and the lens are very well constructed. The camera is pretty light for a digital SLR and relatively compact. The lens has the zooming and focusing rings that require just enough effort to rotate to have a solid feel. 

The memory compartment lid is solid as is the door of the battery compartment. The camera came pre-set to its automatic mode and I was able to take pretty good pictures in that mode by switching the lens into automatic focus mode (the switch is on the lens itself) and just pointing and shooting. The camera even pops its flash up when there is not enough light. This mode is obviously designed to let even people who are not familiar with photography take good pictures. Point and shoot is something this camera does well without any knowledge. And the image stabilization of the included lens helps with better/sharper photos, especially in dim light or at high zoom levels.

When using a digital SLFR camera, if you have used a compact digital camera before, you might be surprised that you cannot use the LCD when composing the shot, at least in its regular mode. The screen stays blank until you take the picture. The XS also has a mode that lets you use the camera like the regular digital camera: you can see what you are about to shoot on the screen (see below). I tend not to use this mode, however.

Aside from this kind of preview and review, the screen is also used for menus and control functions. You use the viewfinder to compose the shot, confirm the focus in manual focus mode or the focus points in the automatic focus mode.

The Live View mode lets you use the camera similar to a compact digicam: view the subject and compose the shot using the LCD screen. The camera uses its 2.5-inch LCD screen for displaying its shooting parameters (basic shooting information like shutter speed, aperture and exposure compensation). The shooting parameters are also shown in the viewfinder, under the frame. The camera lets you adjust the shooting parameters (aperture on aperture priority mode or shutter speed in the shutter priority mode) by rotating the thumb-wheel on the top of the handgrip. Overall, the controls are mostly carried over from the previous model, which is a good thing since the ergonomics are excellent and time-tested. 

Ergonomics and Ease of Use 

The camera is convenient to hold. The handgrip has good surface texture and configuration and the lens lends itself to being held by your left hand, SLR-style. The viewfinder is slightly dim with the supplied lens (the lens has a maximum aperture of f/3.5 at wide angle or f/5.6 at telephoto) but adequate for most situations. 

As expected, the major controls are within easy reach. As with any SLR camera, you have to remember that you zoom using the ring around the lens and manually focus (should you decide to forgo autofocus) by rotating the outer barrel of the lens as well.

The camera shows you where it focused in the automatic mode by briefly illuminating the selected focus points within the viewfinder, which is convenient. The tripod mount is located well and the camera is stable when mounted on a tripod.

The menu system is easy to use and some functions are called directly by a push of a designated button (e.g. White Balance). The kit lens has an outer barrel that rotates when focusing, which may make using a polarizer difficult, but not impossible. The zooming ring has clearly marked focal lengths, but the focusing ring has no distance markings. It is difficult to expect a non-rotating barrel on a cheap kit lens though and pre-focusing, then adjusting the polarizing filter works well.


The camera lets you adjust a wide range of parameters. The resolution can go up to 10 MP. There are also different modes of RAW shooting: RAW and RAW plus JPEG. 
You can also adjust the ISO (100-1,600), white balance, sharpness, contrast and other shooting parameters using the menus. The menus are quite easy to use, appear fast and look good. 


The camera powers on or off instantaneously, and even the sensor cleaning doesn't seem to take much time. The focusing is very fast at a second at most, even in the dim environments. The only issue is sometimes the camera focuses on the focusing point other than the one you actually wanted.

The shutter lag is virtually absent when pre-focused or when using the camera's manual focus.

Image Quality 

I no longer use the RAW mode because I simply have no time to convert the images. I mostly use JPEG at 10MP resolution. The JPEG pictures are very pleasing in color, have good white balance and color saturation. All images have very low noise levels, excellent detail level and dynamic range. 

The included 18-55mm IS kit lens produces sharp results with very slightly soft corners at full wide angle or full telephoto. It is much better than the original Canon EF-S 18-55mm USM lens, which was mostly soft. The new lens is sharp even wide open.

There is very little purple fringing (chromatic aberrations) at wide angle, but nothing visible at telephoto. 

The colors were pleasing and WB worked well in full auto mode. The noise levels are very low. There is no noise visible at ISO 100-800. At ISO 1,600, there is some noise, but it has fairly fine pattern. 

The lens's optical image stabilization works well and lets you shoot at about 2 (and sometimes 3) stops slower than normal. Result: sharper photos in low light and/or at telephoto.

Caveat: this only works with stationary subjects. My son is still mostly blurry when he is not completely still. I have to use ISO 800 or 1,600 with him to make photos sharp when shooting indoors.

The camera produces 10-Megapixel images that can be printed sharp as enlargements at over 13-inch sizes at pretty much any ISO up to 800 and higher ISO photos will look great at smaller sizes. Cropping with smaller-size prints is an option as well.

Battery Life 

The battery that comes with the camera should be able to produce up to 500 shots. But if you use Live View and/or flash a lot, the number of photos will be lower. I took about 250 photos with no signs of battery depletion. 

About the Kit Lens 

The supplied image-stabilized lent is solidly built and works great for an inexpensive kit lens. For general photography it will be more than sufficient. The IS (image stabilization) works well, lets you shoot at about 2-3 stops slower shutter speed and results in sharper photos in dim light or at telephoto when shooting handheld.

Pros: Price, solid construction, performance, excellent kit lens.
Cons: Sometimes focuses on point other than the one you wanted in auto focus mode.

Bottom Line 

I am very pleased with the Canon Rebel XS (a.k.a. EOS 1000D) and its 18-55mm IS kit lens. With their solid build and performance, the camera and the lens and feature-rich and combine their strengths to produce sharp photos. The great image quality, resolution and great battery life make it an excellent choice. I use it all the time and highly recommend it.
Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

My web site

No comments:

Post a Comment