Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
At a thousand dollars, Canon's original Digital Rebel was arguably the first affordable D-SLR. Its third generation offers greater versatility and more advanced features at a much lower price. The tiny, featherweight Canon Digital Rebel XTi is a dead ringer for its predecessor, the Digital Rebel XT, but ups resolution from eight to 10.1 megapixels and increases the size of its color LCD (which has a wider viewing angle) to 2.5 inches.
The LCD doubles as an oversize alphanumeric status panel, showing key shooting data such as shutter speed, f-stop, ISO, and the number of shots remaining. This highly readable white-on-black display stays on except for when you're looking through the viewfinder, turning off if an eypiece sensor detects your face -- then back on again when you lower the camera. Another new XTi feature (one it shares with our professional D-SLR of the year, the EOS-1D Mark III) is its Self Cleaning Sensor Unit, which uses an ultrasonic micromotor to shake image-marring dust off the low-pass filter that protects the sensor.
The XTi's most outstanding feature, in our view, is its autofocus system. Inherited from its bigger brother, the Canon EOS 30D, this nine-point, wide-area AF array tracks focus tenaciously, making the XTi the best choice in its class for shooting sports, or anything else that's moving fast.