Canon Rebel T1i / 500D Reviews and Resources

The Canon Rebel T1i is a 15.1 megapixel entry-level DSLR. As the successor to the Canon Rebel XSi, the T1i’s biggest new feature is the ability to capture video. The Rebel T1i carries a list price of $799.99 and was first available in May 2009. Check availability on

Canon Rebel T1i Key Features

  • 15.1 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • HD video capture (1080p at 20fps; 720p at 30fps
  • DIGIC 4 processor
  • 3″ LCD w/ 920k dot resolution
  • 3.4 frames per second
  • ISO 100 to 12800 sensitivity range

Photography Bay Resources

Canon Rebel T1i Review

Canon Rebel T1i vs. Nikon D5000 – ISO Comparison

Canon Rebel T1i vs. Nikon D5000 – ISO Comparison Part II

Canon Rebel T1i vs. Nikon D5000 – Video Comparison

Canon Rebel T1i Reviews

Imaging Resource

Overall, the Canon T1i’s image quality is among the best on the market

Digital Photography School

Overall, I felt that the T1i is an easy camera to get friendly with while the pro boys and girls may turn up their noses at it.


The Rebel T1i may not be as much fun to use as some cameras in this size or price range, but it delivers plenty of bang for the buck.

DC Resource

Whether you’re just starting out or upgrading from an older Canon D-SLR, it’s well worth a look.

Digital Camera Review

The Canon Rebel T1i is both a great camera for the photographer looking to move up from compacts and advanced amateurs who want total control and excellent image quality.

Photography Press

In general use, the Canon EOS 500D is an excellent point and shoot DSLR, for those who want an uncomplicated camera that offers greater potential than compact models.

DP Review

All the major manufacturers cram more and more new features into their ‘budget’ offerings but the EOS 500D is arguably the currently best specced camera in the segment, which lifts it some distance above pure ‘entry level’ territory.


The still image performance is compelling but we can’t help but feel the video is something of a novelty

Steve’s Digicams

Our image quality results were outstanding, however we expected this since we’ve already seen what Canon’s 15-megapixel CMOS image sensor and DIGIC 4 processor can do on the EOS 50D.

Camera Labs

Ultimately the 500D / T1i is a worthy successor to the 450D / XSi, packing-in a number of valuable enhancements for little extra money.

The Digital Picture

While not a pro model, the Canon EOS Rebel T1i / 500D’s image quality is very pro-grade. And for the price, this image quality is a bargain.

PC Mag

Offering image quality and a robust feature set typically found in pricier prosumer-level D-SLRs, the Canon EOS Rebel T1i is a definite game-changer.

Cnet Asia

The EOS 500D is a very decent dSLR for first-time users and the inclusion of full HD video-recording function sweetens the deal.


We loved he plethora of shooting features and bountiful external controls. The menus were top notch and the 3-inch Live View LCD rocked the block, but at $900, we have to wonder if the Eos 500D is a justifiable investment.


The new 15 megapixel CMOS sensor and expanded ISO range thankfully haven’t compromised image quality in any way, quite the opposite in fact.

Photo Review

Low-light performance was outstanding, with no visible noise in long exposures right up to ISO 1600 and very little noise at ISO 3200.

DP Interface

Image quality produced by the Rebel T1i aka EOS 500D was very good with low noise, good color accuracy and detailed photos. Everything’s pretty good with just one main issue: the 15 megapixel sensor mercilessly shows flaws and softness of lower-grade lenses…


We don’t want to get too gushy without giving this camera a serious real-world run-through, but as of now, the only major negative we can see is the ridiculous name.

Imaging Resource

More than ever, the Rebel T1i will serve as a consumer’s first camera, or a pro’s secondary body in a pinch. It’s well built, smartly designed, and easy to use, and even though T1i sounds odd at first, we’re sure people will get used to it and it will be extremely popular.

Rob Galbraith

A shallow focus effect can definitely be achieved with the Rebel T1i, but the 5D Mark II’s larger sensor – and resulting longer focal length for a given field of view – allows for shallow focus that is, well, shallower. How apparent or significant this is depends on what you’re trying to record, but in the one comparison we’ve done, the difference was dramatic.

Canon Rebel T1i Press Release

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., March 25, 2009 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, today introduced a new addition to its Rebel lineup, the EOS Rebel T1i Digital SLR camera, the first in the Rebel line to feature Full HD video capture. The new Canon Rebel T1i SLR incorporates some of the best technologies from the EOS 50D and EOS 5D Mark II models into an entry-level juggernaut. With a 15.1 megapixel CMOS sensor and HD video capture, along with the DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor, the Rebel T1i gives aspiring photographers plenty of reason to step-up to the latest and greatest model in the Rebel lineup.

The new Canon EOS Rebel T1i raises the entry-level bar with a host of enhanced Canon technologies now available in an entry-level DSLR. Along with the boost in megapixels and Canon’s most advanced imaging processor to-date, this latest Rebel camera has also been enhanced with HD video capture, a 3.0-inch Clear View LCD (920,000 dots/VGA) monitor and user-friendly functions such as Auto Lighting Optimizer, Creative Auto Mode and Canon’s Live View modes, all the right tools to open new doors for imaging enthusiasts. From high-resolution to high-definition, the new EOS Rebel T1i Digital SLR camera helps to give creative consumers a jumpstart on the next evolution in digital imaging.

“We are witnessing the emergence of a new phase in digital imaging history, as high-resolution still images and HD video can now both be produced in a hand-held device, for under $1,000. This is truly a great time to be involved in digital imaging as the advent of online communities are helping usher in this next great era in imaging,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A.

The muscle behind Canon’s new EOS Rebel T1i camera is the DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor with 14-bit analog-to-digital conversion and the ability to process full HD video. The Canon EOS Rebel T1i Digital SLR offers continuous shooting at 3.4 fps for up to 170 large/fine JPEG images or up to nine RAW images in a single burst when using a class 6 or higher SD or SDHC memory card. Whether capturing wildlife on the run or a child mid-stride on the soccer field, users will appreciate the fast shooting capabilities of the Rebel T1i Digital SLR camera.

With the combination of its 15.1-megapixel APS-C size CMOS image sensor and the powerful new DIGIC 4 image processor, the Canon EOS Rebel T1i camera provides ISO speeds from ISO 100 up to ISO 3200 in whole stop increments, along with two additional high-speed ISO settings – H1: 6400 and H2: 12800.

The EOS Rebel T1i Digital SLR utilizes a precise nine-point Autofocus (AF) system and AF sensor for enhanced subject detection. The new EOS Rebel T1i DSLR provides a cross-type AF measurement at the center that is effective with all EF and EF-S lenses, while providing enhanced precision with lenses having maximum apertures of f/2.8 or faster. The cross-type AF measurement reads a wider variety of subject matter than conventional single-axis AF sensors and thus increases the new camera’s ability to autofocus quickly and accurately when shooting still images.

The EOS Rebel T1i camera is compatible with Canon’s complete line of over 60 Canon EF and EF-S lenses, to help provide an incredible variety of visual effects to both still and video imaging capture, including ultra-wide-angle and fish-eye to macro and super-telephoto. This includes all of Canon’s large-aperture EF L-series professional lenses.

HD and SD Video Capture

After the introduction of the EOS 5D Mark II in September 2008, the Company’s first HD video DSLR, Canon has integrated this must-have feature into the new entry-level flagship EOS Rebel T1i camera. The camera features 16:9 720p HD video capture at 30 fps as well as a Full HD 1080p video capture at 20 fps, and a third option to record 4:3 standard TV quality (SD) video capture at 640 x 480 pixels and 30 fps. The video capture mode is part of the camera’s Live View function, using the Picture Style that has been set for Live View still image shooting. The camera allows skilled photographers and enthusiasts to adjust image sharpness, contrast, color saturation and white balance, and have those settings apply to the movie image as well. When recording video, the camera’s rear LCD screen is letter-boxed by a semi-transparent border to match the aspect ratio of the movie recording size.

Like the EOS 5D Mark II model, the EOS Rebel T1i camera will record video up to 4GB per clip equaling approximately 12 minutes of Full HD video, 18 minutes of 720p HD video, or 24 minutes of SD video depending on the level of detail in the scene.i Video clips are recorded in .MOV format using an MPEG-4 video compression and sound is recorded using linear PCMii without compression. The camera features a built-in monaural microphone to record sound. To help show off those fantastic movies as well as still photos, the EOS Rebel T1i camera includes an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) output to display crisp, clear images on a High-Definition TV.

Live View Shooting

Much like the EOS 5D Mark II, the Canon EOS Rebel T1i camera features Live View for both still images as well as video. The Rebel T1i features the Company’s three Live View AF modes – Quick, Live and Face Detection Live mode – which can be used to capture still photos or video images. Quick mode automatically sets One-Shot AF using the camera’s phase detection AF system. It also allows users to select the AF point, even while the Live View image is displayed. Although the camera’s reflex mirror must be lowered briefly to take an AF measurement in Quick mode, it is the fastest way to set focus automatically when the Rebel T1i camera is set for Live View.

Live mode uses contrast-detection AF with the image sensor and here, as with Quick mode, users can change the location of the active AF point using the Multi-controller. Face Detection Live mode uses contrast AF to recognize human faces. When multiple faces are detected, the largest face closest to the center of the frame is targeted as the AF point. While Live View is engaged, users can still change settings including the AF mode (Quick, Live, Face Detection Live mode), drive mode, ISO speed, Picture style, White Balance and more.

Auto Lighting Optimizer

Canon’s Auto Lighting Optimizer technology helps ensure that the subject of each picture is clearly visible by analyzing image brightness and automatically adjusting dark areas in images so they appear brighter. This is ideal when shooting high-contrast situations that include harsh shadow areas, such as landscape images where the foreground is brightly lit and the background detail blanketed in dark shadow. In a scene such as this, the EOS Rebel T1i camera’s Auto Lighting Optimizer technology maintains exposure of the highlight areas while lightening shadow areas for a more enjoyable and evenly illuminated image. The EOS Rebel T1i also supports Peripheral Illumination Correction for up to 40 Canon EF and EF-S lenses.

Canon’s Creative Auto Mode

Canon’s “CA” Creative Full Auto setting available on the EOS Rebel T1i, EOS 50D and EOS 5D Mark II cameras allows users to make image adjustments such as exposure compensation, aperture or shutter speed through a simple navigation screen on the camera’s LCD screen, allowing them to “blur the background” or “lighten or darken the image” with ease. These easy-to-understand image options allow learning-photographers to experiment with image options while still shooting in an automatic mode.

EOS Integrated Cleaning System

With the introduction of the EOS Rebel T1i camera, the entire Canon EOS system is now equipped with the highly acclaimed EOS Integrated Cleaning System. The Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit for the Canon EOS Rebel T1i has been upgraded with a fluorine coating on the low-pass filter for better dust resistance.

Pricing and Availability

The Canon EOS Rebel T1i Digital SLR Camera is scheduled for delivery by early May and will be sold in a body-only configuration which includes a rechargeable battery pack and charger, USB and video cables, a neckstrap, an EOS Solutions Disk CD and a 1-year Canon U.S.A., Inc. limited warranty at an estimated retail price of $799.99iii. It will additionally be offered in a kit version with Canon’s EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens at an estimated retail price of $899.99iv.

Canon Speedlite 270EX

The new Canon Speedlite 270EX, the successor to the 220EX Speedlite model, is a compact, lightweight external flash option for Canon cameras including select Canon PowerShot models. Ideal for use with the new EOS Rebel T1i, the new Speedlite 270EX uses only two AA batteries and enables bounce flash shooting with four position steps from 0 degrees to 90 degrees. Like Canon’s high-end Speedlite flash models, the 270EX allows users to control flash functions and input settings using the camera’s LCD monitorv. The flash also features a quick-lock mechanism and a metal mounting foot for secure and easy attachment and reliable contact.



  1. says

    I believe the market and Canon will see that G1 is a great idea and give the entry market to that type of camera, I also think Canon will drop the Rebel name and move that series of camera up a level,it will have 14 mp,s and 4 fps.

  2. Melomind says

    The main point about the name is the new entry-level DSLR doesn’t become a “Canon R.I.P.” =)
    On one hand – it’s good for consumers to have new models released each year or 6 months, however there’s another side of the medal imho. Just a year after 40D was launched there came 50D. Now XRi (or RIP ;) ) will replace the XSi etc. so the race never ends. Now think … are you happy when you see your new camera you’ve paid hundreds(thousands) of dollars for being replaced in 6 months with a new model so you’re not “up-to-date” anymore and your camera price falls down drastically?
    Maybe not many people care, however it’s just psychologically not very pleasing (at least for me). Another problem is it’s more of a marketing/competition/cosmetic advancement/replacement so there’s nothing really NEW to put in… in my opinion this behaviour could affect the brand value or consumer’s value perception in a negative sense.
    I personally want to go for 5DMKII, however … if Canon releases 5DMKIII next year – I’ll be very dissapointed and will feel like I’ve got to buy a half-finished product.
    As of the megapixels… entry-level DSLR consumers (most of them) will probably get “catched” to this marketing trick and will follow the megapixels race blindly feeling very excited by the numbers in their camera manual.
    Yet what to do with serious amateurs and professionals realizing the drawbacks of this high megapixel race?
    Maybe Canon should get a little slower in releasing of the new models and just work more thoroughly on each model being invented – both in terms of features, ergonomics and quality?
    Otherwise it looks of a tendency of a mobile phone market where you just get lost with new models being released almost monthly and the phones lose their face… I wouldn’t like this to be the case with DSLR market.

  3. Amedi says

    The camera market is not any different than all the other consumer product markets, meaning that it is run by marketeers. And we, consumers, buy it.
    We are at a point in which the race for new models is impossible to back up with real improvements so the marketing guys have a getting more and more important. With the 5D mark II and the Nikon D700 on the market today, I don’t think buyers need to be afraid for new features in new camera’s on the short term. And the models below are following the foolishness of the compacts, with a 50D replacing a 40D but with more pixels and less quality per pixel. So instead of being afraid that the next model might be better, you might as well buy now because the next model could actually be better featured but worse in picture quality.
    Buying new lenses for the cropped sensors is something you likely will regret though, so you better stay away from these. Full Frame sensors are much better and no marketing machine will stop people from wanting one.

  4. Melomind says

    Jeremy, in theory and practice – yes, higher megapixel count for the same sensor size and other conditions being equal will produce more noise to the image since the density of pixels is higher and the light amount reaching each and every pixel is smaller. Hence producers invent more sophisticated noise suppressing techniques etc. The question is whether these techniques won’t do the image even more artificial and “computerized”.

  5. says

    15 Megapixels.. We’ll need expensive lenses to take the full potential of the sensor and a great Macbook pro full of memory..

  6. says

    Plain and simple, the next rebel needs a tougher case, faster snap shot and a more mechanical button, rather than that crappy button. And make the interface more user friendly. By the way, your review sucks, the average user could easily use the extra res, its becoming more common that people like having these printed poster size.

  7. says

    The Rebel T1i DSLR is a great camera. We are currently using it to shoot some HD/720p television commercials. We also have ordered the NEW REBEL T21 as well. For a quick easy way of shooting a television commercial for our local market clients it can’t be beat. For our network televisison commercials for fortune 500 companies and National Television Programing we use them for shooting just B-roll video clips when needed. The camera makes a great news gathering camera where you can shoot stills of a news story or 720p /1080p video footage of the same story with out having to go get another camera for a video shot for a news cast. The technology is changing for the best and getting to the point of making our jobs in photography and video production a great deal easier. Canon keep up the great work, AFP Network Television will always be a on going customer and in your corner.