The Rebel series of digital SLR cameras has been a big winner for Canon. The new Rebel T1i has added the ability to take video along with several advancements in the Rebel’s photo-taking abilities. This camera is touted by some as being an entry-level digital SLR, yet it has so much functionality that we weren’t convinced that it was easy enough for a beginner. We decided to take a closer look to determine the quality of the camera and the photos as well as just what level of digital photographer the Rebel best fit.

As shown in Figure 1, the Rebel comes in a blue and black box with the large word “REBEL” written in red in a care-free-looking font.

Canon Rebel T1i Digital Camera ReviewFigure 1: The Rebel in its box.

The contents of the box are shown in Figures 2 and 3. They include the Rebel T1i body, an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens and cover, a wide black strap marked” Canon EOS Digital,” a USB interface cable, an AV cable, and the battery charger and battery. Three software disks are also included: the EOS Digital Solution Disk, a disk with the Instruction Manuals, and a disk called “Step Up Photography.” Also included is a small instruction booklet, a very small Pocket Guide and 2 booklets entitled: "Great Photography is Easy" Booklet and "Do More with Macro." All software comes in both PC and Mac versions and works well with Windows 7 as well as older versions of Windows.

Documentation on using the camera is good. The Pocket Guide will get you started and the User’s Manual is well laid out with good drawings and explanations. However, we would have liked to see at an explanation of the included software in the written documentation. The software is comprehensive, including photo editing, stitching, and much more. But, unfortunately, you must search through each piece of software to see what it does and how you will want to use it. Some functionality, like the remote control that we will talk about later in this review, can easily be overlooked.

Canon Rebel T1i Digital Camera ReviewFigure 2: The camera and lens.

Canon Rebel T1i Digital Camera ReviewFigure 3: The other box contents.

Although the box reads “Rebel,” it also says that this is an EOS camera. In fact, in some countries the Rebel T1i is sold as an EOS 500D. The neck strap, shown in Figure 4, also confirms the EOS connection. Some users find this a bit confusing.

Canon Rebel T1i Digital Camera ReviewFigure 4: The neck strap.

EOS, however, is simply Canon’s name for a certain type of SLR camera. The name is said to come either from Eos, the goddess of the dawn from Greet mythology, or to stand for Electro-Optical System which represents the electronic data communication between the camera and lens.

There are times when you must remember that the Rebel T1i is an EOS camera. For instance when you use the included software to connect the camera to the computer, if you choose “Connect to Camera,” the software will not find the Rebel. You must choose “Connect to EOS camera” for the software to recognize the attached Rebel camera.

This is also important when choosing additional lenses. Any Canon EF (Electro-Focus) lens will work with any Canon EOS body.


Sandy Berger, respected computer authority, journalist, media guest, speaker, and author, has more than three decades of experience as a computer and technology expert. Her eight books include: How to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Your Computer, Your Official Grown-up’s Guide to AOL and the Internet, Cyber Savers –Tips & Tricks for Today’s Drowning Computer Users, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Better Living through Technology, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to the Internet, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Gadgets & Gizmos, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Health & Wellness, and Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Travel. Sandy’s newspaper column, magazine articles, feature stories, product reviews, and computer tips can be found at her website, Compu-KISS.