Canon XS Review

 
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Canon XS Performance


Timing and Performance

Very good speed overall for a consumer digital SLR.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

0.3 second

Time it takes for camera to turn on and take a shot.

Shutdown

~0 second

How long it takes to turn off (instant - difficult to measure).

Buffer clearing time
Large Fine JPEG

2 seconds
(after 7 LF JPEGs)

Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't shut down until the buffer is cleared.

Buffer clearing time
Small Basic JPEG
1 second
(after 20 SB JPEGs)
Buffer clearing time
RAW
3 seconds
(after 4 RAW frames)
Buffer clearing time
RAW + JPEG
4 seconds
(after 3 RAW + JPEG frames)

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III (133x min.) SD memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and other settings such as NR can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

The Canon XS's start-up and shutdown times were very fast. Buffer clearing time depends on the image size and quality, burst length and how fast the card can be written to.

 

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~0 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to Play

0.5 second

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

0.3 second

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

Mode switching is very fast; above average for an SLR.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time)
Using Optical Viewfinder

Full Autofocus

0.164 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture with Sigma 70mm f/2.8 lens.

Full Autofocus
with flash enabled

0.174 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture with built-in flash enabled in TTL Auto mode.

Pre-focused

0.087 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Continuous AF
0.130 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual focus
0.104 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "pre-focused."
Using Live View Mode

Full Autofocus

n/a

The XS does autofocus when pressing the shutter release in Live View mode. You must press the "*" button to autofocus first.

Pre-focused

0.164 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Full autofocus shutter response is quite fast for a consumer SLR, at 0.164 second. The pre-flashes emitted to perform flash metering did not add as much delay as some, only raising full shutter lag with the flash slightly, to 0.174 second. "Prefocus" time was also quite fast, at 0.087 second (pre-focusing means half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure). Continuous mode was a bit slower than full AF, at 0.130 second. Manual focus was almost as fast as pre-focused at 0.104 second.

The Canon XS's Live View mode doesn't autofocus with a press of the shutter release, so we can't come up with a reliable number for full-AF. Prefocused, the shutter delay is 0.164s, the same very low delay as when using the optical viewfinder.

Cycle Time (shot-to-shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.42 second

Time per shot, averaged over 15 shots, then 0.51 seconds for 5 shots, 2.5 seconds to clear.

Single Shot mode
Small Basic JPEG

0.42 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 1 second to clear.

Single Shot mode
RAW

0.69 second

0.69 second for 5 shots, then 0.97 seconds for the next 15 shots, 3 seconds to clear.

Single Shot mode
RAW + LF JPEG

0.67 second

0.67 second for 4 shots, then 1.17 seconds for the next 16 shots, 3.5 seconds to clear.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.34 second (2.93 frames per second);
7 frames total;
2 seconds to clear
0.34 second/frame for the first 7 frames, then 0.53 seconds (1.89 fps) for the remaining shots.
Continuous mode
Small Basic JPEG
0.34 second (2.96 frames per second);
20+ frames total;
1 second to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Continuous mode
RAW

0.67 second (1.50 frames per second);
4 frames total;
3 seconds to clear

0.67 second/frame for the first 4 frames, then 1.01 seconds (0.99 fps) for the remaining shots.

Continuous mode
RAW +
JPEG

0.67 second (1.50 frames per second);
3 frames total;
4 seconds to clear

0.67 seconds for the first 3 frames, then 1.30 seconds (0.77 fps) for the remaining shots.

Flash recycling

3.26 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III (133x min.) SD memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and other settings such as NR can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times are also very good, at about 0.42 second per frame for large/fine JPEGs in single-shot mode, and the camera was able to capture 15 frames at this rate before slowing down. RAW mode was a little slower at 0.69 seconds per shot, and the Canon XS had to slow down after 5 frames to flush to the card. Continuous speed is about average for an entry-level SLR, at 2.96 frames per second for 7 large/fine JPEGs. RAW mode is quite a bit slower at 1.5 frames-per-second for 4 frames. The flash takes 3.26 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, which is quite good considering its power.

 

Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

3,536 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds are quite speedy as well.


Bottom line, the Rebel XS is quite responsive and quick on the draw, fast enough to capture fast-paced action from sports to wildlife when shooting JPEGs. The only complaint is RAW mode, where continuous shooting slows to only 1.5 frames-per-second. Still, overall, the results are very good for an entry-level model.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Average battery life for a lithium-ion SLR design.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
Optical Viewfinder
500
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
Live View LCD
190

The Canon XS uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Battery life is only about average for an SLR using the optical viewfinder (and drops significantly when using the Live View mode), so we recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Canon XS accepts SD/SDHC cards, though no card is included.

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
1GB Memory Card
Fine Normal
RAW
RAW+
JPG
3,888 x 2,592
Images
(Avg size)
242
4.2 MB
471
2.2MB
97
10.6 MB
68
15.1 MB
Approx.
Compression
7:1 14:1 1.4:1 -
2,816x 1,880
Images
(Avg size)
408
2.5 MB
792
1.3 MB
- -
Approx.
Compression
6:1 12:1 - -
1,936x 1,288
Images
(Avg size)
718
1.4 MB
1,386
739 KB
- -
Approx.
Compression
5:1 10:1 - -

The table above shows the approximate capacity of a 1GB card, file sizes and compression ratios at each image size/quality setting. We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SD/SDHC memory card at least a 1GB card, preferably a 4GB or larger one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings or when shooting in RAW mode. (Check the shopping link above. Cards are really cheap these days, so there's no reason to skimp.)

 

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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