For overall image quality from a budget digital SLR camera, reviews give the edge to the Canon Rebel XS, known as the Canon EOS 1000D outside the U.S. The camera lacks the video capabilities of the latest digital SLRs such as the top-rated entry-level Nikon D3100 (*Est. $500 with kit lens), but it offers excellent features including live view and an image-stabilized kit lens. Unlike the entry-level Nikon digital SLRs, the Canon XS includes full editing software and can use older manual-focus lenses -- both of which can lessen the cost of ownership in the long run. If a larger 3-inch LCD is important to you, reviews also recommend the more expensive Canon EOS Rebel T1i (*Est. $545 with kit lens).
We found the most thorough, objective reviews of the Canon XS at PopPhoto.com and its U.K. equivalent, Amateur Photographer. ConsumerReports.org provides less detail, but ranks the Canon XS in comparison with 23 other digital SLRs. The thorough review at CNET is more critical, but editors still give the Canon XS top ranking for image quality at a budget price. Reviews at Image-Resource.com and DPReview.com add ample detail and sample shots, while DxOMark.com tests only the camera's sensor (one factor in image quality and camera performance).
Though the now discontinued 12.2-megapixel Canon EOS Rebel XSi wins an Editors' Choice award at this site, the older yet still current Canon Rebel XS weighs about a pound less and is judged a good budget buy. The Canon XS has live view, though it works better on some other cameras.
Review: Hands On: Canon EOS Rebel XS/1000D, Philip J. Ryan, Dec. 2008
2. Amateur Photographer
This review puts the Canon Rebel XS (known in the U.K. as the Canon EOS 1000D) through rigorous lab and field tests, concluding that it's slightly outperformed by the competing Nikon D60. The Nikon D60 has been replaced by the D3000, however; a separate review here gives it a lower rating than the Canon XS.
Review: Canon EOS 1000D Review, Richard Sibley, Aug. 2008
ConsumerReports.org compares the Canon EOS Rebel XS with 23 other digital SLR cameras that cover a wide price range. Reviews are based on ratings for image quality, dynamic range, versatility and ease of use. Editors also compare camera brands for reliability.
Review: Digital SLRs, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
CNET's review of the Canon Rebel XS finds more shortfalls than most. As on other Canon Rebel SLRs, it's hard to see which autofocus points are lit up in the small, dim viewfinder, the review says. There also isn't a spot meter. However, another article here comparing budget digital SLRs gives the Canon XS top ranking for best image quality.
Review: Canon Rebel XS, Lori Grunin, Aug. 2008
This well-illustrated review includes a detailed list of pros and cons. You'll also find a good assortment of sample photos comparing the Canon Rebel XS with other Canon digital SLRs.
Review: Canon EOS XS ( Rebel XS, Canon 1000D), Shawn Barnett and Siegfried Weidelich, Dec. 2008
This comprehensive review includes many comparisons and sample photos, concluding that the Canon Rebel XS is a "safe bet" but doesn't stand out much from other budget digital SLRs. The main drawback seems to be its relatively slow speed for action shots, which drops to 1.5 frames per second when shooting RAW files.
Review: Canon EOS 1000D ( Rebel XS/Kiss F) Review, Richard Butler, July 2008
DxOMark.com tests and rates sensors, but not other aspects of cameras. An overall rating of how the Canon EOS XS' sensor compares to sensors of other cameras is also provided.
Review: Tests and Reviews for Canon EOS 1000D, Digital Rebel XS or Kiss F, Editors of DxOMark.com