The Hardware

Although the body is made of mostly plastic, the camera has a sturdy look and feel. For an SLR, the camera is lightweight, the body weights in at approximately 16.9 oz or 480 g. The camera measures 5.1 x 3.8 x 2.4 in (128.8 x 97.5 x 61.9 mm).

As seen in Figure 5, the Rebel T1i is shaped like most digital SLR cameras. On the lens you will see the Stabilizer on/off switch. In the center is the retractable, pop-up flash and the hot shoe for an external flash. Next to (and slightly in back of) the hot shoe is the Dioptric adjustment knob.

Canon Rebel T1i Digital Camera ReviewFigure 5: Top view.

On the right side is the silver mode dial. The icons are easy to read. They are divided into two sections: The Creative Zone and the Basic Zone. The Creative Zone gives you more control over the settings. It includes: P (Program, Tv (Shutter-priority), Av (Aperture-priority), M (Manual), CA (Creative Auto) and A-DEP (Automatic depth-of-field). The Basic Zone gives you more automatic shooting. This area includes a Square icon for Full Auto, and icons indicating Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, Flash Off, and Movie Mode.

Next to the Mode Dial is the On/Off switch. In front of that is a dedicated ISO speed setting button, the main dial, and the shutter button. In this figure you can also see the AE lock button marked with an asterisk (used to lock the Auto Focus in Live mode). Next to that is the Magnify button which is used to zoom in on an area when in Live mode. The icons marking these two buttons are on the top of the camera while the buttons themselves are on the back of the camera.

The back of the camera, shown in Figure 6, shows the other camera buttons and knobs. On the left side of the view finder are the Menu and Display buttons. To the right of the screen are the Av, Aperture/Exposure compensation button, and the Live View shooting/Movie shooting/Print/Share button. Below that is a circular pad with cross keys. Up is the White balance selection, down is the Picture Style selection, to the left is the Drive mode selection button, and to the right is the AF mode selection button. Under that you will see the Playback button and the Erase button.

Canon Rebel T1i Digital Camera ReviewFigure 6: The back of the camera.

On the bottom of the Rebel, shown in Figure 7, you can see the Tripod mount and the battery door. The rechargeable battery is rated at about 500 photos with no flash. Even with the LiveView and some flash photos, we got several hundred photos. There is also an AC adapter available and the camera can use AA batteries with the optional battery grip.

Canon Rebel T1i Digital Camera ReviewFigure 7: The bottom of the camera.

All of the dials and buttons on the Rebel T1i are clearly marked and the placement allows easy access.


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.