Externally, the new Rebel XTi appears identical to the Rebel XT. Size and weight-wise it's a dead ringer. A closer examination reveals the differences. Most noticeable is the 2.5" LCD located on the back of the camera. Larger size and 160-degree viewing angle aside, the new LCD display incorporates all of the information formally squeezed onto the smaller monochrome LCD, which used to be located on the top deck of the camera body. With the new screen all menu and camera settings are now bigger, brighter, and far easier to maneuver around on than previous Rebel DSLRs. As with Sony's Alpha A100, the LCD automatically switches off when you raise the camera to your eye and goes back on when you lower the camera.
Dust, the bugaboo of digital imaging, is actively attacked on several fronts with the new Rebel. For starters, the low-pass filter has an anti-static coating that discourages dust from settling on the front of the sensor assembly. If dust does find its way onto the sensor, a Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit sets off high-frequency vibrations for about one second each time you turn on the power switch. This feature can be manually triggered as well if the start-up sequence fails to shake the interlopers off your chip.
For truly stubborn dust-bunnies Canon developed an electronic Dust Delete Data System that maps the camera sensor, detects the precise location of the little buggers, and electronically eliminates them when you process your files using the latest version of Canon's Digital Photo Professional software (included).
While it's not entirely possible to keep dust from entering the mirror box on an SLR with interchangeable lenses, the body cap that ships with the new Rebel is made of a tougher composite material that, according to Canon, will be less likely to shed particles each time it is taken on or off the camera body.
'Picture Style', a user-defined color palate feature found on the Canon EOS-1D Mark II N, EOS 5D, and EOS 30D, has also found its way into the new Rebel. Aside from the bundled 'looks' included within the camera (Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, and Monochrome) you can also download additional Picture Styles online from Canon at no additional charge.
As with earlier incarnations of the Canon EOS Rebel, the new camera is available in black and silver. A nice touch is the addition of an anti-skid surface on the grip as well as on the rear portion of the camera where your thumb hangs out when it's not pushing menu buttons.
The Canon EOS Rebel XTi is completely compatible with most all Canon EF and EF-S lenses, EX-series flashes, and other EOS Rebel XT accessories including the Battery Grip BG-E3 and NB-2LH batteries.
B&H Photo is currently accepting orders on the Canon EOS Rebel XTi body and the Rebel XTi bundled with an 18-55mm lens; we expect to receive delivery of the newest Digital Rebels mid-to-late September.