Old 11-04-2008, 06:47 PM   #1
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I apologize first and foremost for dumping this here, but this seems like a forum not only for processing, but for advice on equipment and such also.


So, after actually deciding to record my railfanning, and for RP, a year ago, I bought a canon Powershot A640. Nice little P&S. But I was jealous. I had a fixin for a SLR. A DSLR to be exact. So after working my ass off working double shifts in our double and triple volume peak time at UPS, I saved enough for a XTi. I was happy with it, since I was a starter photographer and it gave me more freedom as a full manual mode DSLR, not like a P&S where I had literally no control. After a full year of using it, it feels like a P&S with some heavy duty interchangeable lenses. I'm moving on, to a 40D. Will I regret it....or no? Opinions please.

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btw: anyone wanna buy an XTi?
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Old 11-04-2008, 07:00 PM   #2
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It took 3+ years before I went from the XT to the 40D. The XTi seems to be working well...I'd buy quality glass over a new body.
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Old 11-04-2008, 07:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
It took 3+ years before I went from the XT to the 40D. The XTi seems to be working well...I'd buy quality glass over a new body.
Go with Chris here, Ben. Now is the time to upgrade your lenses, you should be fine with the xti for awhile.
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Old 11-04-2008, 07:08 PM   #4
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Definitely upgrade your lenses first. I shoot with a Rebel XT and an array of Canon's "L" lenses, and I find the quality of my shots is consistently better than friends of mine who shoot with a 40D and cheaper lenses.
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Old 11-04-2008, 07:18 PM   #5
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I don't know what my budget is just yet, I have to find out what and how many shifts I'll be working. But adorama is selling body only, I have a 55-200 telephoto and the nifty fifty (VERY nice and sharp), selling it for around 850. A friend of mine is looking at my XTi with the kit lens for 500. So, really, I need to save up 350 (easy to do) and then another 300 for a lens. So, I could get the body and better glass. What kind of glass would you suggest for around 350-400 bucks paired with the 40D? So really I'm looking to spend around the 750-800 anyways but it will be easier to save if he buys my XTi. I forgot to mention that little bit about buying better glass with it anyways.

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Old 11-04-2008, 07:20 PM   #6
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Also, the size of the XTi is getting awkward for me. I've held a 40D once and it was magic, lol. Im gonna stop at best buy this weekend and play with one, I'm not completely decided yet, but have my mind pretty much set on what I would like. The controls seem easier, I like the live view (others hate it) for setting up shots without a train there yet, and without looking through the viewfinder, which still sucks on the 40D with the magnification. A hurdle that I HATE with my XTi.
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Old 11-04-2008, 08:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
I like the live view (others hate it) for setting up shots without a train there yet, and without looking through the viewfinder, which still sucks on the 40D with the magnification.
Well, the 40D has one of the better viewfinders in any dSLR, so not sure what "sucks" about it.

Also, I'm not sure but I think there are focus restrictions using Live View. I don't know; I've never seen if that function works on my 40D.

$500 is pretty good if you can get it for the XTi, but I'd take the 70-200 f/4L (IS or non-IS) over the 55-200 any day on any body. Like Nick said, L glass on a 'lesser' body produces better images than cheaper glass on a better body.

I'm contemplating selling my non-IS 4L and upgrading to the IS version, but we'll see...
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Old 11-04-2008, 08:28 PM   #8
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If you do decide on if and when let me know. like I said along with the upgraded body will come with some upgraded glass. I'll still have and use the 55-200 but with the extra 400 or so I'm going to get some better glass.

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Old 11-04-2008, 08:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
with the extra 400 or so I'm going to get some better glass.
Show me L-quality glass at $400!

If I do decide to sell the 4L, I'll let you know (but it'll be more than $400 )!
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Old 11-04-2008, 09:39 PM   #10
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The 40D is a great camera. I would hold of purchasing one simply because you just bought a camera about a year ago. There isnít a whole lot more the 40D offers that you do not already have with the XTi. If size is a problem for you, I would suggest possibly investing in a Battery Grip. That will increase the size of the camera and allow it to fit in your hands better as well as give you an extra battery compartment for $150. You must remember, DSLRís are still very new compared to their film counterparts. There is always going to be some new body with some new feature coming out for quiet some time to come. Glass a lot less likely to be replaced over time. You will see a much better jump in image quality investing in glass than you will with a new body, especially one that is not full frame.
I would also like to add that I have only ever used live view once for taking a photo. I found myself standing on a concrete wall with a fence along a hillside. I needed to squeeze the lens through a gap in the fence which was a difficult task. I focused the shot first and then turned live view on to get the correct frame I wanted. Otherwise, I would not recommend using it.
Here are some of the common L lenses used and their prices at BH.

70-200 F/4 L - $600
70-200 F/4 L IS - $1100
70-200 F/2.8 L - $1190
70-200 F/2.8 L IS - $1700

24-105mm f/4L IS - $1059
24-70mm f/2.8 L - $1190

17-40mm f/4L - $700
16-35mm F/2.8 - $1350
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Old 11-04-2008, 09:59 PM   #11
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Copy/Pasted from an earlier thread - applicable here:

The camera body is still important, however, most folks getting into the hobby approach the situation backwards - that is, they buy the most expensive body they can afford and whatever's left gets thrown at the lens. There's no point in having access to noise-free ISO 3200 if your images turn out softer than the guy shooting with a Rebel and a nice piece of L glass. I'll take 8 megapixels of solid image quality over 15 filled with chromatic aberration any day.

Quality lenses will still be expensive, and will not improve a whole lot over the next couple of years. Camera bodies on the other hand will be less expensive and significantly more capable. In a year or two when you have some money saved up, would you rather get the lens(es) you should have had to begin with for your Rebel XT, or would you like to have good quality glass and a "new" (used) 50D body?

Scenario 1: Spend too much on a body, get shoddy glass. End up with poor quality pictures for two years until you can afford to upgrade your glass. Even then, you're stuck with a camera body that's two years old.

Scenario 2: Spend more to get quality glass, and get an "okay" camera body. Capture decent quality images for a couple of years, save up and buy a fancy camera body. You end up with better looking images, and two years later you have a brand new camera and quality glass.

Scenario 1: 2 years from now you have a portfolio with relatively poor image quality, an old camera and quality glass.

Scenario 2: 2 years from now you have a portfolio with quality images, quality glass, and a new camera.
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Show me L-quality glass at $400!

If I do decide to sell the 4L, I'll let you know (but it'll be more than $400 )!
KEH has a used 70-200 f/4 L pop up at $450 once in a while.
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asis80
I apologize first and foremost for dumping this here, but this seems like a forum not only for processing, but for advice on equipment and such also.


So, after actually deciding to record my railfanning, and for RP, a year ago, I bought a canon Powershot A640. Nice little P&S. But I was jealous. I had a fixin for a SLR. A DSLR to be exact. So after working my ass off working double shifts in our double and triple volume peak time at UPS, I saved enough for a XTi. I was happy with it, since I was a starter photographer and it gave me more freedom as a full manual mode DSLR, not like a P&S where I had literally no control. After a full year of using it, it feels like a P&S with some heavy duty interchangeable lenses. I'm moving on, to a 40D. Will I regret it....or no? Opinions please.

Ben


btw: anyone wanna buy an XTi?
I definitely noticed a difference in image quality and versatility (higher ISOs/less noise) with my 5D over my 350D, so if the upgrade to the 40D is anywhere near this jump, I'd definitely recommend it if it's something you really think would make a difference in your photography goals. It has made a difference for me, but everyone is different.
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Old 11-05-2008, 01:06 AM   #14
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Unlike some I personally love the live view functions for certain situations. Works great for overhead shots (like in a crowd or something)and it works wonders for night shots (like finding your focus point). It will however drain your battery FAST so use it sparingly. Also but atleast two extra batteries.
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Old 11-05-2008, 02:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLEzero
The 40D is a great camera. I would hold of purchasing one simply because you just bought a camera about a year ago. There isnít a whole lot more the 40D offers that you do not already have with the XTi.
Correct me if I'm incorrect, but don't the 40D, XTi, and XS all use the same sensor? I can't really imagine that the 40D will improve the image quality from the XTi.

If the OP would be thinking about a megapixel upgrade, the best bet right now would be the XSi. According to DPR, the XSi's sensor puts the 40D to shame as far as resolution, yet does not lose any of the high ISO performance. They said the new 50D's high ISO performance is worse than the 40D, and it therefore just made the highly recommended category.

A body only XSi is just under 600 from Amazon as of now:

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Digital-...5852193&sr=8-2

while a 40D is more than 900:

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-40D-10-1...5852418&sr=8-1

I'm not sure how the XSi compares to the XTi as far as size and weight. Good luck.

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Old 11-05-2008, 06:25 AM   #16
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I thought about the XSi. I just like the 40D's build quality a whole lot better than the rebels plastic body. Here are some points that I would like to explain why I'm favoring the 40D over the XSi.....and ultimately the XTi also. I took these highlights from a website and asked myself do I need this, do i want this, or would this help out?

Autofocus


I admit, I autofocus. All 9 AF points are cross type (More precise). I can set up a scene in the viewfinder with the far left point as my focal point and it will be more precise than my XTi, it won't hunt. This helps in low light without relying on the center point to autofocus then resetting the scene up. A minor help, but it is a help.

Build

There are some reports that some 40D's are plastic and that new fing fangled magnesium alloy ya'll talk about. It would be really nice to feel something more rugged than plastic.

Viewfinder

Bigger and brighter and offset more. This is a plus for me, as I wear glasses, so the offset viewfinder is away from the back of the camera, keeping my nose off of the LCD screen, which is a constant problem on my XTi. My dilemma is still going to grow though with 95% magnification, so yet again, it's going to capture more than what I see in the viewfinder. *sigh*

Frames Per Second

I never used to use continuous shot, but lately I have. It eliminates that chance, both for rail and any other transportation photography, for something being in the way of the subject. Such as my recent bridge shots where the girders are in the way. I use the continuous mode to get that "perfect" shot on the bridge. 3fps is too slow for me, way too slow. I like the idea of up to 6fps since I'm using that mode more often now.

Shutter Speed

Up (or down) to 1/8000 of a second! Daaaaahaaaam! This is going to be useful for fast lenses in lots of light. I like this A LOT! I often find in my other photography (nature and such) when I need or want the shallowest DoF, 1/4000 sometimes and more often is just not enough and makes everything still way too over exposed.

Buffer

This goes with the continuous shot mode. I can use the continuous shot longer now, and since I can shoot RAW, I can write up to 17 RAW images before the camera's buffer gets used up. Another plus. With my XTi, I could only use only about 2 seconds with 6 images. I can use 3 seconds with around 18 images. Not looking for a machine gun but again, this is something I've been needing lately.

White Balance

I don't mess with this, I let the camera do most of the work here. WB features on any DSLR do a great job.

Battery Life!

Nearly DOUBLE the shots than the Xti/XSi. I LOVE to do night time lapse shots, and that eats battery like a mother. The 40D's battery would def. give me some more time out in the field at night when doing my time lapse shots.

LCD status on top of camera

I just always wanted this

Now these are just from the facts I'm reading and comparing it to my camera, the XTi. I like the upgrade. I really do. I'm upgrading the glass with it, what do you suggest with that? I'd like something a bit wide. Around 20mm and zoom to about 125-135. I havent researched glass in a while, is there any wide-zooms out there like that?

Ben
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:14 AM   #17
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I went from a Fuji 'bridge' model camera to a 40D so can't comment on the XTi, but my observations on the 40D are

1) Its heavy. Paired with a 24-105mm F4 L its very heavy (compared with my old Canon AE1, even when fitted with a 500mm mirror lense)
2) Frames per second. Very fast - I never used continuous shooting on a camera before and its very useful in certain situations
3) Live View - never used it

Personally, if I'd already got an XTi, could live with the slower continuous shooting speed, couldn't afford a new body AND lense then I would keep the body and invest my money in L glass. The 40D is already obsolete, and the 50D probably won't be in production more than 18 months - 2 years before it gets replaced. L Glass will still be good (and last better than a consumer lense) for years to come - I was stunned with the image quality I got from mine.
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Old 11-05-2008, 05:14 PM   #18
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I'm looking at the 17-40mm F/4L to pair with the 40D, good choice? I have my crap telephoto 55-200mm F/4, but I've always had a gripe about not being able to go wide. yea I have my kit 18-55 but that's going with the XTi. Plus, when you can get L glass, DO IT. Right? After more saving, I'm seriously looking at the 70-200mm F4 L to fill in the telephoto end and probably will just "give" away my now crap telephoto. Only paid 150 for it, can only get about 75 for it.


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Old 11-05-2008, 07:06 PM   #19
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If you can do it, the 40D with 17-40L and 70-200L would be a pretty nice setup... when I can afford it that's the setup I'd like to have.
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:17 PM   #20
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We'll see how my budget is during and after christmas. It's my money maker but even at UPS, we are cutting down. If I can't sign up for the double shifting then I can just forget about it

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Old 11-05-2008, 07:46 PM   #21
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My views in a nutshell: (As I sit in an internet cafe in Cardiff with my 40D and 24-105L...)
#1 priority: Glass. You only need to get a body good enough to fit on it (Not to say you should sell your rebel for some crappy film EOS...)
Body is #2. Once you've got your usual range covered by L glass or at least the best non-L glass, go after a body upgrade. For instance, I got my 10-22, 24-105, 100-400, and THEN my 40D.
Oh wait, that wasn't a nutshell. I always go on far too long on this topic =(
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:48 PM   #22
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The 17-55 f/2.8 IS does not have the "L" designation but is reputed to have outstanding optics, just not the L build quality. It has IS and is a stop faster, and is longer than the 17-40 f/4. It matches up more nicely with the 70-200 as the focal length gap is narrower. For a crop-sensor camera it deserves serious consideration despite the greater expense. I love mine.

Given its secondary use for me, indoor shots of kids without flash, it was actually a no-brainer.
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:38 PM   #23
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the 17-55 is looking mighty nice until I look at the price. The L glass is about 300 bucks cheaper than that. If it weren't for the price I'd def go with the 17-55 because of the IS. I'm still deciding on glass, I'm looking at every lens possible and it's a tough decision!
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:41 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asis80
the 17-55 is looking mighty nice until I look at the price. The L glass is about 300 bucks cheaper than that. If it weren't for the price I'd def go with the 17-55 because of the IS. I'm still deciding on glass, I'm looking at every lens possible and it's a tough decision!
It is!

I just think that people get hung up on "L" sometimes. The 17-55 has, I think from reading various stuff, L-quality optics, but not L-quality construction. It has not only IS but 2.8, which is useful at times. For those who like techy stuff, note that 2.8 activates the extra-precise center autofocus sensor, which does something or another. Obviously I am not techy enough to remember what that is! Given IS pricing in general in the Canon lineup, above the cheap IS prices (and quality, I think) in the 18-55 and 55-250, and that you also get 2.8, I think $300 premium is reasonable even with the poorer build quality.

But it is a personal decision and mine was weighted by the use I knew I would give it inside the house, and for that matter because after getting it I would and did get rid of my 35/2, which made the price differential easier to bear.
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:39 PM   #25
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I'm a Nikon shooter but have used most major camera brands. Buy the good glass and keep your current body. Plastic bodies are durable (mostly) unless they get into the rain or sand/dust storms. I have a D70s Nikon (that is plastic other than the lens mount), It fell over on the tripod twice and only shows afew marks, besides, the 40D will not make you a better photographer. If you get good glass, you will be spending less time sharpening and doing chromatic abberation reduction during your post-shooting workflow. Just my thoughts.

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