By >Daimaou - G.G-B
Canon’s Kiss X3 (500D or Rebel T1i), the Review
Last week we had the Nikon 5000D for a spin here Nikon D5000, the Review, today we’ll try our best to review its direct competitor, the Canon Kiss X3, better known in Europe as 500D or Rebel T1i in North America.
Canon Kiss X3/500D/Rebel T1i) Specs
- Tamron AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 & Canon EF 24-105mm F/4.0
- 15.1 Megapixel resolution
- Large single-plate CMOS sensor
- Full HD 1080/20p and HD 720/30p with HDMI output
- 3.0” LCD
- ISO Range : from 100 to 3200 (Up to H2 12800).
As a longtime Canon user and owner of a four year old Canon Kiss X (350D), playing with the Kiss X3 was not much different. Canon makes sure to keep as much as possible the “Kiss” experience all along our DSLR history, and any old Kiss users will quickly master the new Kiss X3.
This said, having a new 15.1” sensor, thesame one found on the Canon 50D, as well as a MUCH larger LCD, forced Canon to slightly redesign the X3s body. The first noticeable change comes from the lower end of the camera where the flash is located, giving it a larger bump. The Kiss X3 looks somewhat like a Canon 5D without all the amazing performance of the first generation 5D.
Despite some basic design changes, the Kiss X3 is still a compact DLSR, Canon design the Kiss Series to be mainly used by women, which tend to have smaller hands than men, giving some a funny sensation when handling it. It’s is true compared to 20/30/40/50D, your pinkie finger may not have much room on the Kiss X3′s body… This can be quickly fixed if you invest in the battery pack.
Let’s Shoot Some Pictures Baby!
One of the main advantage of a DSLR is the ability to change lenses, and since we have several for Canon DSLRs we tested the Kiss 3 with four different ones. Today our test will use a cheap but polyvalent Tamron AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 as well as the more professional Canon EF 24-105mm F/4.0 (offered in the Canon 5D MKii Pack).
As youcan see below, there is a HUGE difference between these lenses, not only in terms of price but also in quality. I was quite surprised during our low light test of not being able to get a sharp photo in ISO 100 either with the Canon or Tamron lens… Extremely puzzling when you know the camera was on a VERY stable tripod and that my AF point was in the center of the subject. I really can’t explain why each time I shoot in ISO 100 the Kiss X3 didn’t provide good results in low light.
If I tested the camera with several lenses, I mainly played with the 24-105 lens, and the comparison below is for reference only if you will decide to invest in a future lens for your camera
I covered several press events and used the Kiss X3, and my first surprise was it performed better in low light and high ISO than the Canon 30D. Sharper colors, image, the Kiss X3 impressed me with its picture quality. I really felt a huge step forward using the Kiss X3 compared to the 30D.
Definitely the Kiss X3 does not disappoint when it comes to photos, and don’t be scared to boost your ISO in low light. At ISO 400 to 800 you’ll get some pretty decent pictures without a flash. Try it, you’ll be surprised.
The Canon 5D MK II is a stunning camera for both photos and videos, and with the good photo results that I had with the Kiss X3, I expected to have some fun with the video mode… Honestly, once I played with this baby’s video mode in both 1080/20p and 720/30p, I was pretty disappointed with the results. Ok, the Kiss X3 lets you get the AF in the video mode, but this AF mode is slow like a dead snail and you’d better get use to focusing manually. The result is just acceptable like the Nikon 5000D, the Kiss X3 is far from impressive and FAR behind a camera like the Panasonic GH1.
Like the 5000D and the Canon 5D MK II, the Kiss X3 only records audio in mono, but unlike the 5D MK II, the Kiss X3 doesn’t have an microphone input.
Marketing bullshit… Sorry to Canon engineers here, but despite what Canon says 1080/20p is just plain useless… 30p is the basic for camera video, 24p is just perfect for cinema like video, but 20p… what the hell is this for?
If you really want to shoot video, better put the 720/30p mode on your camera you’ll get better results with ok video.
I’m very happy with overall photo quality of the Kiss X3 (500D, Rebel T1i). While I can’t explain the weird ISO 100 result in low light, the camera will give you great photos most of the time, there’s no doubt about it. The video mode on the Kiss is like on the Nikon 5000D, a real deception and I would have prefered both Nikon and Canon to give me a GPS module rather than a weak video mode.
Another deception is the aging UI, similar to the 5D MK II or 50D, the X3′s UI would be better with a Nikon 5000D like UI to give the new DLSR user a better understanding of each function without having to refer to the manual.
PS: To any Kiss X3 500/ Rebel T1i owners, if you could please shoot in low light at ISO100 on a tripod to check if you have the same problem we had. This would be great, coz we’re not sure if this is a problem on all X3s or only our review unit. In Japan they often send you review units with Beta firmware so we never know.