Canon announces 15.1 MP, 1080p digital SLR camera

Lake Success (NY) – Canon announced a new flagship for its Rebel DSLR series, increasing the image resolution to 15.1 megapixels, up from 12.2 megapixels in the predecessor. It is also the first Rebel camera that can record high definition videos at up to 1080p.

The new EOS Rebel T1i builds on the shell of the current XSi with a virtually identical body, but several significant technology enhancements that have been carried over from the more expensive EOS 50D and EOS 5D Mark II models.

At the core of the camera is a Digic 4 imaging processor that enables photographers to shoot images with 15.1 megapixels resolution (4752×3168 pixels), each of which will have a size of about 5 MB. Canon said that continuous shooting at 3.4 fps for up to 170 large/fine JPEG images or up to nine RAW images in a single burst is supported, as long as a class 6 or higher SD or SDHC memory card is used.

The T1i is the first Rebel camera to offer HD video recording in 16:9 720p (30 fps) and 1080p (20 fps) as well as standard definition 4:3 VGA (30 fps). The video shoot can be followed on the 3.0” display with 920,000 pixels. The camera can record up to 4GB per clip equaling approximately 12 minutes of Full HD video, 18 minutes of 720p HD video, or 24 minutes of SD video. There is an HDMI interface to output HD video on external devices.

Canon said it will ship the T1i body in early May for a suggested retail price of $800. The company will also offer a kit with the usual EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens for $900.