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Canon Prices New Rebel d-SLR, Adds Factory

Canon provided pricing and shipment details for its previously announced Rebel XS digital SLR.

The XS will hit store shelves in August with an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens for $699. The lens will also be sold separately for $199.

The introduction of the 10-megapixel, entry-level Rebel XS marks a shift in Canon’s digital-SLR strategy. In the past, the firm would use older models to serve as the opening-price-point product, a spokesperson said. With the XS, the company is offering newer technology for the entry-level model.

The XS replaces the 2006-introduced Rebel XTi.

According to Canon, the XS is the first EOS digital SLR to offer an unlimited burst mode to the capacity of a memory card.

The new Rebel will be joined by a speedlight — the 430EX II, which replaces the 430EX. According to Canon, the new flash offers a 20 percent faster recycle time than its predecessor. It will retail for $329.

Canon also announced plans to increase digital-SLR and compact-camera manufacturing capacity with a new plant in Nagasaki, Japan.

Construction is slated to begin in January 2009 and the 125,000 square foot factory is expected to begin producing digital cameras by December, 2009.

Canon said the facility would likely employ more than 1,000 people and have an annual production capacity of 4 million units.