Ode to My Canon Digital Rebel XTi

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Regular readers will recall my recent entry about unboxing my new Canon 7D, and how very excited I was to finally obtain this camera body that I’ve been coveting for so long. Since that article, I have been happily snapping away, familiarizing myself with the new camera’s functions and learning about all of its quirks and capabilities.

Last weekend I was organizing my Lowepro in preparation for a photo shoot at a client’s house. I removed all of the gear unnecessary for the assignment, and as I was popping the batteries out of the XTi and placing it on the shelf in my bedroom closet, I was struck with what I can only describe as sadness. My XTi had been my near-constant companion for going on four years, and here I was “shelving” it as a back-up camera body that was no longer a necessary fixture in my day-to-day existence.

It was like I was saying goodbye to my best friend from high school, promising that we would stay in touch after graduation but knowing that we would eventually, gradually, fade out of one another’s lives.

The Canon Digital Rebel XTi was my very first digital SLR camera. On it, I learned every skill that I can now call my own. On it, I moved from automated settings to the dreaded, scary “M”. I learned about light, and composition, and exposure. I learned about depth of field. I took thousands upon thousands of photographs, and gradually began to see improvement in their quality.

Oh, how we traveled, me and my XTi. To Maine, several times. To Oregon. To Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. To Indianapolis. Dozens of trips to Northern Arizona. To the zoo, the arboretum, the botanical garden, numerous state parks. I took photos of falcons and buffalo, waterfalls and roses. Through its lens I admired vast mountain vistas, and the minute pistols of a flower. It brought the craters of the moon close enough to admire in detail. I protected it from the salt spray of the Atlantic ocean; together we went walking through the crisp towering aspens of Colorado.

It enabled me to acquire my first paying client. It helped encourage donations for worthy causes. It captured priceless family memories. In very short order it equipped me with the confidence to go forth and pursue my passion, and grabbing it on my way out the door became a habit as automatic to me as breathing. After years of faithful service, and after teaching me everything it had in itself to teach, it now rests in dignified retirement. Ever ready to play second string to my Canon 7D and back me up whenever the situation requires it.

As a beginner’s DSLR, it was outstanding. I will always recommend this camera to anyone just starting out in digital SLR photography. It has the exact combination of ease-of-use and intermediate functionality that is perfect for learning. It was perfect for me. It may be outgrown, but it will be ever appreciated and it will never be forgotten.

Every photo in this entry, and over 10,000 more not shown, were taken by me, with my ever-faithful Canon Digital Rebel XTi.

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  • http://mikewoodphotography.blogspot.com Mike Wood Photo

    My XTi died before the summer and Canon replaced it under warranty. I could have said what you wrote about mine. It was my second DSLR, but it was one that I certainly honed my skills on. You at least can pick yours up and look at it nostalgically now and then. Mine is gone. Probably on a nameless shelf somewhere in a warehouse beside indiana jones’ Ark.

  • http://bryantakespictures.wordpress.com/ Bryan Davidson

    Nice ode. I’m almost in the same boat since I’m planning on upgrading in the near near future. I wrote a 2 years late review of my A200 that reads more like an ode:nnhttp://bryantakespictures.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/sony-a200/nnThat first jump from P&S to DSLR can be a doozy. I wonder what the impact would be like now for people jumping up to an EVIL like the NEX or G2?

  • Dfyffe

    I have an XSI and got it just over 1.5 years ago. I am about to upgrade to the 7D myself. Would you write about your experience with it and tell how it has helped/hurt you?

  • Tiffany

    Hello Dfyffe, that is planned for an upcoming article. Thanks!

  • Carl

    I have a shelf in my office with my old cameras on it. The sentimental value is much greater to me than the resale value for all the reasons you mentioned above. This includes among more recent items, a 16mm Bolex movie camera, my first film SLR (a Canon AE-1) and a lens in three parts from a fall down the stairs. Ahh, happy days.

  • http://twitter.com/matthewdutile Matthew Dutile

    Great little Ode, but good to remember that while your “learning camera” is now replaced with a better body, the learning still never stops. :)

  • AR Cherian

    Great ode to the camera. I enjoyed reading it. Like a first car or a longtime tool, as humans we can become emotionally attached to inanimate objects for some reason. I know I will miss my D90 when it is time to hang it up. The XTi was a great camera but life is about growing and changing, so I wish you lots of good shooting and good memories with your 7D from now on!

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )

  • Tara

    I loved this post…. Thank you for it. I got a bit teary eyed for my Canon Xs. And I loved that you highlighted how much your XTi gave you. It gets my feathers ruffled when I hear or read someplace that you are not “real” with XTi or Xs bodies. Some of my personal favorites are from my now shelved Xs. : )