March 26, 2009 Digital SLR cameras featuring HD video capture have burst onto the market in recent months and Canon has now put this functionality within reach of a much wider audience by including 1080p recording in the latest addition to its entry level Rebel range. The new EOS Rebel T1i Digital SLR sports a 15.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor, nine-point Autofocus, a 3.0-inch LCD and shoots 1080p video at 20 fps and 720p HD video capture at 30 fps. The best bit - at USD$800 (body only) it's around a third of the price of the HD video capable EOS 5D Mark II released in September last year.

Video capture capabilities

The EOS Rebel T1i camera can record 4GB of video per clip which means around 12 minutes of Full HD video, 18 minutes of 720p HD video, or 24 minutes using the third SD video capture option of 640 x 480 pixels and 30 fps. Clips are recorded in .MOV format using an MPEG-4 video compression and sound is recorded via a built-in monaural microphone using linear PCMii without compression.

Video capture is through the camera's Live View function with a semi-transparent border to match the aspect ratio of the movie recording size appearing on the LCD screen. Live View Shooting, which applies to still as well as video capture, has three AF modes – Quick, Live and Face Detection Live mode – and enables image sharpness, contrast, color saturation and white balance settings to be applied to the movie image.

Like the 5D Mark II, HDMI output via is also included.

Key features

Apart from the HD video killer app, the EOS Rebel T1i packs a number of noteworthy features derived from its high-end stablemates:

  • DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor with 14-bit analog-to-digital conversion and the ability to process full HD video
  • 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
  • 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
  • "Auto Lighting Optimization" designed to lighten shadows during high contrast shooting
  • Creative Auto Mode (as found on EOS 50D and EOS 5D Mark II ) is designed to give a degree of creative control in a simplified interface whilst still taking advantage of the fully automatic prowess of the camera
  • Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit has been upgraded with a fluorine coating on the low-pass filter for better dust resistance
  • Compatible with Canon's line of over 60 Canon EF and EF-S lenses

The Canon EOS Rebel T1i Digital SLR Camera is due to hit shelves in early May. Pricing is slated at USD$799.99 (body only) with a kit version with Canon's EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens to cost USD$899.99.

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