Canon Rebel T1i Digital Camera Review$799.99
We were disappointed by the T1i's sharpness performance, across the entire gamut of focal lengths and apertures. Where most cameras will have a maximum line widths per picture height result of over 1500, the T1i peaked at 1360, with an average of only 868 line widths, and a minimum of around 550. This is much lower than we normally see. We suspected the poor results might be due to a hardware problem and asked Canon to supply us with a second camera that the company had tested to insure it was performing up to spec. In our retesting, though, the sharpness results didn’t improve. More on how we test sharpness.
The T1i uses lens-based image stabilization, and shooting with the 18-55mm kit lens, we experienced mixed results. When it improved the resolution of captured photos it did so quite well, but is was a bit of a crapshoot as to when it that improvement would take place. Also, the T1i's overall sharpness problem meant that a relatively minor improvement resulting from image stabilization could be interpreted as a significant percentage improvement in our testing.
To test the capabilities of the image stabilization system, we shoot a slanted-line target at a number of shutter speeds, with Image Stabilization on and off, testing separately for horizontal and vertical stabilization. Our specially designed rig has two levels of vibration, a high shake setting that approximates the shake you’d find when shooting with one hand or when moving, and the low shake setting that’s close to what you would experience when standing still and holding the camera securely.