Despite being an affordable digital SLR camera, the Canon EOS Rebel XS is still built with very high quality standards. The XS’ construction is so strong, that you will find no creaks or rattles on it. Its chassis is made of stainless steel, while its mirror box and body are made of high-strength “engineering plastic”, which doesn’t only make the camera very robust, but also provides it with electromagnetic shielding. The XS is a very lightweight digital SLR camera; it may share the same body with the Canon EOS Rebel XSi, but at 502 grams (1.1 lb), it still weighs a couple of ounces less than the XSi. The XS is also made very ergonomic; Canon placed almost all the control buttons under your right hand. Each button has a slightly different feel so you will be able to operate the XS without looking at those buttons.
The Canon EOS Rebel XS is equipped with the company’s Digic III image processing engine, so it won’t match higher-end Canon digital SLR cameras – which are already equipped with a newer Digic 4 processor – in terms of performance; however, the XS still feels snappy and very responsive in operation, it even outperforms its closest competitor, the Nikon D60 in many respects. The XS needs only 0.2 second from power on to the first shot and 0.5 second between consecutive shots. Shooting RAW images will make the time between shots slightly longer at 0.7 second, and activating the flash will increase it to 0.8 second; however, it is still very good for a digital SLR camera of its class. Speaking of burst speed, the XS can shoot up to 3 JPEG frames or 1.5 RAW frames in a second.
The Canon EOS Rebel XS’s remarkable advantage compared to other digital SLR cameras in its class is its still image quality. The XS delivers very good photo qualitiy, especially at high ISO settings. Colors are processed accurately, exposures are spot on, images are sharp, and the noise level is acceptable. It is hard to find another digital SLR camera with better photo quality at its price range. For improved image quality, the XS is supported by 12 custom functions, from auto lighting optimizer to additional noise reduction. These custom functions will help you by correcting brightness and contrast, improving skin tones, ensuring correct exposures and reducing noise, all of those are done automatically during the image processing.