Canon Rebel XT Reviews

Canon Rebel XTThe Canon EOS Rebel XT is an 8.0-megapixel entry-level digital single-lens reflex camera. The Rebel XT is an upgraded version of the popular Canon EOS Digital Rebel, which was the first sub-$1000 digital SLR, introduced in 2003. The differences between the Rebel XT and the original Digital Rebel are significant and are present in almost all aspects of the camera. Many of the features ‘locked out’ by Canon in the original Digital Rebel were unlocked in this camera, so it has been subject to less unofficial ‘hacking’ to release the locked features. In addition to these unlocked features, a number of other improvements have been made. Some of the most significant upgrades include:

  • 8.0 megapixels (up from 6.3)
  • DIGIC II image processor—the same processor used by Canon’s top-range EOS-1Ds Mark II professional level digital SLR
  • Near instantaneous turn on and wake up times (0.2 seconds)
  • Compact Flash type II capability (includes microdrives)
  • 14 (JPEG) or 4 (RAW) frames continuous shooting buffer
  • Smaller and lighter body
  • Vastly increased function customizability
  • E-TTL II flash algorithm (improvement over the old E-TTL flash algorithm)
  • Mirror lock-up
  • Selectable AF and metering modes
  • USB 2.0 interface (improved from the slower USB 1.1 interface on the original Digital Rebel)

The Rebel XT was my first digtal SLR camera. I bought it shortly after it became available in 2005 for $1000 (a Rebel XT is $499 with a lens as of Nov. ’07). I still use it on almost a daily basis. I’ve shot somewhere around 25,000 – 30,000 shots now. No hiccups yet. Anyway, I can personally vouch for the reliability and image quality that this camera packs. My gripes over the past 2+ years are few.

First, I didn’t like the grip size from day one. It’s just too small for my hands (it works fine for my wife though). My solution? I bought the BG-E3 battery grip, which ads some functionality as well. The Canon BG-E3 Battery Grip is designed specially for the EOS Digital Rebel XT and Rebel XTi cameras. The BG-E3 holds up to two NB-2LH battery packs or six AA batteries to offer double-length shooting time. The vertical shutter release makes shooting with the camera in a vertical position just as comfortable as shooting horizontally. This grip provides additional controls for easier vertical shooting including shutter release, AE lock/FE lock, index/reduce button, main dial, AF-frame-select button, and the aperture/exposure compensation button.

Next, I think the 1.8″ LCD screen is just too small. Nowadays, a 3″ LCD is almost standard industry wide. I’m a little envious of those big LCD screens when I’m squinting through the images. Not much of a way to solve this problem other than upgrading to a new camera. That’s not worth it it alone, but I’ve got my eyes on a Canon 40D. Ok, enough with the fluff; here’s the reviews you’re looking for:


So it’s clear, the EOS 350D is a great successor to the EOS 300D, it puts right many user complaints, it delivers a smaller and lighter camera which feels better put together and delivers an increase in resolution. Image quality is just as good as the more expensive EOS 20D, if you can live with the differences between the two the money saved could buy you a very nice lens.

Luminous Landscape

This is a sweet little camera that could well be the best DSLR camera value on the market today (March, 2005). Newcomers will find the price to be right and the camera to be feature rich. Experienced photographers will be frustrated by some of the interface problems, but none of these are really show-stoppers.

PC Magazine

The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT is a superbly crafted camera that will please nearly anyone with any interest in photography—from those who want to set their camera on auto to those who want to experiment. And by keeping the price under $1,000, Canon ensures the continued popularity of its Digital Rebel line. This camera provides a truly excellent value, and we wholeheartedly recommend it.

Digital Camera Resource Page

Camera performance is just you’d expect from a camera equipped with Canon’s latest DIGIC II image processor: excellent. There’s no more startup wait, focusing speeds are great (even in low light), and shot-to-shot and shutter lag times are nonexistent. The Rebel XT can take about fourteen shots in a row at just under 3 frames/second, which is the best you’ll find in this class (save for the more expensive 20D). Photo quality is excellent for the most part, though images are on the soft side, as is the case with all D-SLRs. Something else that factors into this is your choice of lens: the kit lens is especially soft at small apertures, so you need to keep an eye on things when using it to ensure the best photo quality. As you’d expect from a camera like this, high ISO performance is top-notch: shooting at ISO 1600 results in totally usable pictures. The Rebel XT offers shutter speeds as slow as 30 seconds or longer if you use the bulb mode, making it great for long exposures. While there’s a noise reduction feature, you might as well keep it off — noise levels are that low.

Digital Outback Photo

Honestly we get excited about this little camera. With the right lenses the XT is a very, very serious player.

Imaging Resource

In almost every parameter, the Canon Rebel XT offers significant enhancements beyond the original model, while maintaining the same (original) list price. Despite its advanced feature set, the Canon Rebel XT manages to span the full range of user needs, from the pure point & shoot user interested only in “green zone” operation to the professional looking for an inexpensive second body. As such, it’s a nearly ideal option for families or other situations in which users of greatly varying experience levels need to share the same camera. My one biggest gripe with the camera will be some users’ favorite feature: The small (tiny) hand grip. While I found shooting with the camera an infuriating exercise in frustration and crunched fingertips, women who picked up the camera immediately loved how it felt in their hands.

Steve’s Digicams

The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT SLR takes everything found in the original Digital Rebel and improves the resolution to 8-megapixels, speeds up all of the camera operations, adds more creative control and put it all into a smaller and lighter body. This easy to use digital SLR is compatible with all Canon EF lenses including the EF-S lenses and still retains the sub-$1,000 price point for entry-level digital SLR consumers.

It looks very much like the image quality of the Canon Rebel XT is up to that of the EOS 20D. It’s also evident from using the Rebel XT, that it’s a Rebel, i.e. a camera aimed at the consumer entry level, while the Canon 20D is clearly aimed at the more experienced and serious photographer. Ultimately in many respects the cameras will be capable of yielding almost identical results, it’s just that doing it with the 20D will be a little easier.


The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT is an exceptionally small and lightweight camera designed for amateur digital SLR photographers, but it delivers the responsiveness and image quality you’d expect from a semipro model.

Canon Rebel XT Accessories

Canon BG-E3 Battery Grip

Canon RC-1 Wireless Remote

Canon NB-2LH Rechargeable Battery

Canon 430EX Speedlight

Canon 580EX Speedlight

Rebel XT Magic Lantern Guide

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT Guide to Digital SLR Photography

Introduction to the Canon Digital Rebel XT DVD

Where to Buy

First off, consider going to your local camera store (and I don’t necessarily mean Wolf Camera at the mall). By going to your local camera store, you’re supporting your community and you just might build a lasting relationship with people you can rely on when you need some help or answers. If you’re buying online, I recommend sticking with Amazon, B&H Photo or Adorama. These three vendors are reliable, trustworthy and generally have the best (legitimate) prices. Additionally, purchasing your camera through these links helps support this site.

[tags]canon, rebel, xt, 350d, kiss, digital, camera, review[/tags]



  1. Anthony Brown says

    I have shot about 20,000 shots on my 350D and error 99 came up and rendered it useless. Intermittent from at first and then the shutter totally locked. Luckily I bought an extended warranty (after bad experiences with two Nikon 801s) and got it fixed. Unreliable auto focus on kit lens focal length on kit lens. Lens flare a problem and optional lens hood a joke (& expensive). Overall extremely disappointed.

    Bought the 450D and similar auto focus problems. Front focuses badly especially when all 9 points engaged. Marginally better reliability when changed to centre point (only. Forget fast sports like Aussie Rules football. Can’t believe the same auto focus system is on the ‘you beaut’ 5D Mark II. Chintzy plastic hinges on the battery door is a backward step (cf metal on the 350D) and wonder how long they’ll last especially since they are often accidently forced (due to flawed design) when putting on the vert grip. Disappointed again. Maybe I should go back to Nikon.


  1. […] 1. Canon Rebel XT – The Rebel XT was my first digtal SLR camera. I bought it shortly after it became available in 2005 for $1000 (a Rebel XT is $499 with a lens as of Nov. ‘07). I still use it on almost a daily basis. I’ve shot somewhere around 25,000 – 30,000 shots now. No hiccups yet. Anyway, I can personally vouch for the reliability and image quality that this camera packs. (Read more about the Rebel XT here.) […]