Maybe I'm looking at it wrong... re: buying new gear

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by lordfly, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. lordfly

    lordfly TPF Noob!

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    So every once in a while I keep wandering over to amazon.com and paw at the Canon t2i, wishing I had the 900 clams to drop on it and wiping the drool off my keyboard. Then I snap out of it, and realize that my XTI is a perfectly fine camera.

    Or is it?

    Before I got it as a gift, I spent a lot of time wandering around sites like DPreview, looking at the spec lists and comparing the differences between, say, a Canon XSI, or a t1i, or even a 50d or a 7d or whatever else Canon has on the high-end.

    The thing is, I don't understand what constitutes the differences in price. Sure, you get a higher megapixel count (which means nothing in the hands of a skilled pro), or maybe a fancier AF system (which, again, means nothing especially if you're manually focusing anyway). I suppose the better algorithms for noise reduction might come in handy, and the high-end cameras have (I'm assuming) sturdier parts on the body.

    Is it just a combination of those traits? A sturdier body and a bigger CMOS sensor? Fancier algorithms? Is it really worth the extra 1k, 2k, 3k, 10k for those features?

    I'm just wondering. I've barely had my SLR for a year, and I'd like to think it has plenty of life left in it (it's only taken 6k pics so far). Granted it's nearing 5 years old now as a model line, but it seems to do an okay job once I figure out what I'm doing.

    Is all the gear fappery just that, fappery?
     
  2. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    Lordfly

    Erase the thoughts in your mind....

    Tomorrow (or this weekend), go out for a shoot with a purpose in mind. I do not know what type of photography you are interested in, but plan a shoot based on the type.
    Take your XTi and have fun with the planned shoot, taking your time and effort to make the best photos you can with the planned shoot.
    Head home and process the photos. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh...now that feels good, as I bet your photos will be great and you can save anxiety and $$$ by staying with the camera you have.
    If you feel the need to spend, buy a good quality lens.

    Here is a link to photos taken with an XTI - it will show you great images and maybe help you with some ideas
    http://www.flickr.com/cameras/canon/eos_digital_rebel_xti/


    P.S.
    It is way easy to have equipment anxiety by visiting camera sites. Stay away...........;):)
     
  3. lordfly

    lordfly TPF Noob!

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    Don't worry, I don't currently have the means to spend on gear even if I wanted to. I'm a geek, so I'm easily distracted by new shinies.

    I do love processing the shots almost as much as shooting in the first place. There's something very zen about it.

    When I first joined this board (well, only 40 posts or so ago), I was expressing frustration back in April about the lack of sharpness in my stock lens and motion blur. While a lot of people trotted out the "your gear sucks, get a nice 400 dollar lens", a lot of other people said my lens was fine, I just needed to work on using the gear I had. And I have. I've learned breathing techniques, holding stances, and also the limitations of the aperture (and why having it wide open isn't a good idea... still working on that one)

    It's certainly a challenge getting a nice shot out of a stock non-IS lens. but it's a fun challenge.
     
  4. lordfly

    lordfly TPF Noob!

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    It is somewhat interesting that the XTI is still the #2 Canon camera on flickr.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Well, the newer cameras do have higher MP count sensors, and better noise reduction, and overall, better images at higher ISO settings. The improvement in higher ISO settings is the one,single area where the newer cameras have really outstripped the older cameras. The newer cameras really,truly do have better imaging performance at the higher ISO settings, like 400,500,640,800,1000,and 1250, as well as 1600,3200, and even 6400 as 12,800.

    As far as AF systems...there are newer cameras with more capable AF systems than the XTi. Two weeks ago, I gave away my personal XTi to my neice and her new hubby,as a wedding gift. I got a great deal on it, and passed it along to them,and they're pretty happy with a free d-slr and 18-55 kit lens. It's a big step up from their cell phone cameras and the Canon something-something P&S I gave her a couple summers ago, but to me, the difference between the XTi and a higher-level Canon is the viewfinder system and the overall speed of handling...the XTi's viewfinder system is not all that clear or bright, and to me, the bigger,brighter, clearer viewfinder camera models are easier to see through, and to successfully shoot with. To some people, the pentamirror type viewfinders are fine, but I have better luck with a big,bright,clear viewfinder image, and that costs a lot more money to build and put into a camera body. Add up the all-glass pentaprism, a second control wheel for exposure adjustment, more buttons and fewer menu-based controls, and a more-durable shutter and a faster "guts" system all around, and there's the price diff between the Rebels and the mid-priced and higher-end cameras. It's sort of like Kia-Toyota-BMW-Porsche...all four are fine cars and will get you where you're going, but with different "experiences" along the way.

    You know, it's hard to describe the actual,practical experience of using a particular camera, but let's put it this way: there are fine economy-model cameras, there are mid-level bodies, upper-mid-level bodies, and there are "flagship" level bodies. The lower end bodies impose constraints and conditions on you; the flagship bodies impose no constraints on you,and if you miss a shot, it's because YOU SUCK. At the lower end, you can always fault the camera for its slowness, small buffer, or weak AF module...
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Some of the differences are pretty easy to find from the spec sheets (dpreview etc.).
    And you can even compare images from either camera...but there are a lot of variables involved in making an image, so it's hard to judge.

    But to me, the big difference between say a Rebel XTi and a 50D, is the layout & feel of the body. The 50 is bigger and has more external controls/buttons, while the Rebel is smaller, lighter and is more menu based in the way you control it.

    As far as image quality goes, you probably do get the most value from the Rebels...because they get the same sensors & processors as the more expensive X0D cameras.
     
  7. clanthar

    clanthar TPF Noob!

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    I've been at this photo business a long time and about 30 years ago I used to hang out with a guy, Jim, he was the staff photographer for the St. Louis baseball Cardinals back then. Jim was my first teacher and my best teacher. Jim taught me rule number one about buying cameras: "Lenses take pictures and cameras hold film."

    In today's digital world that rule has changed -- a little but not much.

    Back in those days, given rule number 1, the next decision that really influenced photo quality was the size of the film. 30 years and not a lot has changed.

    If you're concerned to find what equipment takes better photos than the other equipment search out the biggest sensor you can afford and then start comparing lenses. Everything else is of secondary importance or not very important at all. Comparable sensor size cameras take comparable photos with comparable lenses.

    BUT FIRST listen to pbelarge. Take photos with the camera you have. There's a disease going round out there. I've seen it strike down many. It's mostly contracted by men and it get's worse in groups of men that all have it and pass it back and forth. Boys like to play with their toys. So much so that they actually stop having fun and devote all their time to getting new and bigger ($$$) toys. So I'll call this disease the BTs; be careful and don't get infected.

    Take Care,
    Joe
     
  8. invisible

    invisible Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Is your camera good enough for the type of photography you're currently doing? If yes, then there's no point in upgrading. Of course there are always 15 models out there better than the model you have, all of them are mouth-watering to the point that you'd trade in your girlfriend for them.

    Cameras tend to get obsolete quickly these days, therefore they lose their value fast, so every time you upgrade you're a bit poorer.

    Stick with what you have, and only upgrade when you really need to. In the meantime, invest in lenses instead --lenses tend to hold their value much better than cameras.
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Pierre,
    What happened between last night and this morning dude????:lol:

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/photography-equipment-products-news-reviews/216898-5d-mkii.html
     
  10. mosu84

    mosu84 TPF Noob!

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    Try manually focusing when you're trying to capture a wolf running across an open meadow with a 400mm lens. Then you'll know why a good AF system is important and why people pay for it. And I'm sure even the most skilled pros have cropped images at some point.
     
  11. mrmacedonian

    mrmacedonian TPF Noob!

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    Lordfly,

    I have owned the Rebel XTi and used it for about 5 years. While I was in college it was about as good as I knew to want (with the 18-55mm kit lens strapped to it). I upgraded to the 50D for a variety of reasons.

    First of all, the 50D is significantly larger and heavier and when you hold it in your hands, it feels much more like a "real" camera to me. I don't know I guess thats silly but holding the XTi feels so much like a P&S compared to the 50D.

    Secondly, shooting in Manual (M) is so much better on the 50D. Having the click wheel to adjust settings is incredible while you've got the camera up to your face. With the XTi I had to take the camera away, press the appropriate button to then be allowed to affect the setting I want. With the 50D, in manual, the click wheel is aperture, the smaller scroll wheel near the shutter is shutter speed and with a quick press of the top three buttons I can use those two wheels to change almost any pertinent setting. Its a matter of convenience with the latter, being able to hold the camera up to your face, look at the composition and light meter and then within second be able to adjust settings while still starring at the light reading.

    If you mounted both cameras on a tripod with a fully staged shot and you were standing back affecting settings according to the output well then I could say there isn't a big difference but having used both in a variety of situations the 50D body is so much more useful. Quite honestly at times I got frustrated in Manual mode on the XTi because of how new I was and how tedious it was to try all the new settings in order to get closer to a good product.

    I've seen your photos you've posted and they're better than photographs I produce so in no shape or form am I saying anything about the quality or product between the two cameras, only commenting on how much better operating the 50D is compared to the XTi.

    Honestly I can't really do justice to the comparison. I would suggest finding a friend that trusts you and use a 50D on a few occasions. See if you experience as significant a difference as I did. My father has that XTi now and on occasion when I use it I have no problem with it as I know the ballpark of settings I'm going for now much more than then, so I don't have to spend so much time changing settings and its not as frustrating as it once was, but still I prefer the simple click of the click-wheels on the 50D.

    Was it worth the extra 400$ for me? Absolutely. Is it for you, only you can judge that.
     
  12. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

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    In my opinion, if you did upgrade there would be a difference in image quality, but it would not be enough to justify the cost. If you were a pro stuck with an entry camera for some reason, it would be worth it--think of a professional pianist playing on a Casio synthesizer versus a grand piano. But you mentioned you only took 6k shots--that is nothing. I get the impression you are a beginner or intermediate level photographer and the camera system you have at those levels doesn't make much difference.

    I would stop worrying about gadgets and put that energy into the art and craft of photography. If you spend money, I would put it towards lights, modifiers, other grip equipment, classes, workshops. online tutorials, etc. The camera is just a paint brush at the end of the day. If you don't know how to paint, you are fu#*ed.
     

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