New Canon Body Advice - Novice/Intermediate

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Termin8r27, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. Termin8r27

    Termin8r27 TPF Noob!

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    *This might need to go in the Beginner's Section...?* *Sorry if wrong Section... =)*
    Hey all, I found this site and happy to be a new member! I wanted to solicit some advice from some of you all and get your feedback.

    My mother has been a professional photographer for years, mostly shot film in the 70's - 80's and since then has moved on to other things and shoots for fun now. She switched to digital as a primary a few years ago, has a full setup based on a Canon 20D. My sister is a pretty proficient intermediate as well, solely on digital, has a Canon Powershot and Rebel XSI.

    I'm 6'5", so have bigger hands than normal. I've been using my mother's 20D quite a bit over the past year (off and on) and she has loaned it to me for the past month full time. I've used my sister's equipment and gone out and played with the 50D, T1i among a few others. I've settled on Canon since I like the interface, button placement/ergonomics and can swap lenses and equipment with my family.

    All that being said, I'm kind of torn between getting a Canon T1i, or a used 30D. I have an overall budget of about $1,200, but can spend a bit more or less depending on what I find.
    - I lean towards the larger size/build of the 30D, but am concerned the technology is a bit old related to true color, processing power, etc. Is that really that out of date and will someone like me notice a difference from the new tech of the T1i?
    - I like the T1i tech, but the form factor is so small for me and adding larger lenses and a flash will make it all even more exaggerated. I like the idea of using a battery grip to make the whole body more manageable and bigger for me though.

    I plan to keep getting better and practicing, I want to buy a telephoto and 50mm macro to start out with. I'd like to eventually move up to a 60D or 5D in the future as my pocketbook and skills allow.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well on a first note I don't know much about the actual technical differences you will get between the T1i and the 30D save that the 30D will have a more rugged build quality. A battery grip (on either) would give you a helping hand in holding them if you find them too small and its something that I really do recomend (even if you don't have massive hands there is still no space on the camera for the pinky finger to go unless you get a grip), added battery life and portrait controls as well are fantastic bonuses to have.
    It will also help balance out things as you add flashes and lenses.

    Also remember that a lot of image quality is linked to the lens you stick on the end more tha the camera you stick behind it (and of course the photographer does something too ;) ) so don't forget to consider getting some highend and really good glass for using with the camera.
     
  3. Termin8r27

    Termin8r27 TPF Noob!

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    Definitely good feedback, much appreciated!

    The lenses I'm getting first off will be the 2.8 200mm in your sig most likely and definitely the 1.8 50mm Macro.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    While the 30D is still a good camera, the technology is pretty old (considering the speed of things in the digital era). The 30D was basically a cosmetic upgrade from the 20D, so in other words, the technology is at least 5 years old (the 20D came out in 2004). I would expect that you could get a used 20D or 30D for a couple hundred dollars.

    The next model, the 40D, was a significant upgrade to the 30D. If you are going to go with a used or older model, I'd suggest the 40D. The 50D is the newest model in Canon's mid-range line, and it's a decent (although not remarkable) upgrade from the 40D. Buying a new camera today, the 50D would be my suggestion...although there are rumors that a newer model may be announced this fall.

    I also have larger hands and went with a 20D over the smaller (yet still very good) Rebel XT. I have been very happy with that decision.
     
  5. Termin8r27

    Termin8r27 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks!

    Basically what I had uncovered as well and can pick up a 30D body or kit off of Craigslist or other places for $300-$500.

    Still having enough $ for lenses, economically the 30D was my first choice. I like the 40D, but it's still a bit out of my range and the 50D seems to be like the 30D to the 20D and more expensive than the D90 or some other models that are rated higher. I've also heard the rumors that a 60D or other name model will be coming later this year (I'd be unhappy buying the 50D at a high price point and the new model come out a few months later).

    It sounds like what you did is what I'm looking at doing...get the older model body and buy a newer body later... Are those shots in your blog with your 20D? Looking to see if you have that on there...

    Still curious if the T1i might be a better starting point and if it's tech is more noticable over the 30D. Seems like the battery grip would help out a lot in size.
     
  6. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Well, if you're ready to step up you might want to just switch to Nikon now.


    :lol:
     
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The f2.8 200mm prime or the 70-200mm f2.8 IS zoom? ;)
    Both though are quality lenses so your won't be doing badly at all.

    However I would avoid the 50mm macro lens at all costs - the Canon 50mm macro is not a pure macro lens and can only get to around 1:2 macro. With a lifesize adaptor (for that lens) it can get to proper 1:1 magnification, but at the price of both you can get a single lens with better build and optical quality - examples:

    Canon EFS 60mm macro, only cropsensor cameras but a very strong macro lens
    Tamron EFS 60mm macro, one of the best announced macro lenses in its range, with inner focusing (lens does not extend as it focuses) and a long working distance. Its only weakness being that its again crop sensor only
    Sigma 70mm macro - the only shorter range macro with fullframe compatabilty and also a very sharp lens from sigma (often said to be one of their sharpest lenses). As a bonus its also compatable with sigma's own brand of teleconverters
    Tamron 90mm macro - a very popuplar budget choice macro lens and the shortest (focal length wise) lens recomended for macro insect work
    Canon 100mm macro - one of the most popular choices and a good solid macro lens. It also has one of the best AF systems out of the macro lenses on offer
    Sigma 105mm macro - again its a good budget choice with a good optical quality, like the sigma 70mm its AF is not a wonder, but functional
    Sigma 150mm macro - a big setup from the other sigma options this macro lens offers inner focusing, HSM focusing, teleconverter compatabilty as well as a long working distance whilst also remaining easily handholdable.
    Sigma 180mm macro - sharing the same features as its 150mm whilst on a longer working distance, though its often a prefered tripod based macro lens as opposed to handheld. This one is also a very popular choice as an alternative to the canon 180mm, offering the same optical quality in a lighter build and at a far cheaper cost
    Canon 180mm macro L - the only L grade macro lens, its build quality is one of the best, though its a heavier lens by far and so even more suited to tripod work. Its optical quality is comparable also to the other macro lenses.

    Overall all the macro lenses listed above will give you good solid performance, optical quality of them all is high and fairly even and in the field most differences are going to down to the user and the shooting conditions.
    Insect working (as mentioned) whilst certainly possible with shorter focal length macro lenses its trickier, and most people recomend working with 90mm or longer macro lenses since the longe the focal lenght the further off you can shoot from thus slightly less chance of spooking the insect.
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    Actually, I got the 20D when it was new. My other option, at that time, was the Rebel XT, which was a very similar camera, in terms of technology, but I preferred the bigger, more robust and better laid out body of the 20D. I have since bought a 2nd 20D...and yes, all the shots on my site/blog were taken with either of those 20D bodies.
     
  9. Termin8r27

    Termin8r27 TPF Noob!

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    Wow, thanks! I missed those specifics on the Canon, so I appreciate you helping me avoid that mistake. I'll review this and make a better macro lense choice.

    I was planning on going with the 200mm zoom.

    Excellent! Fantastic work :thumbsup:
     
  10. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I still love my 30D, but if I were going to shop now I'd go for a 40D or newer. Although I'm not big into the megapixel-wars, there has been more than one time that I've been limited by the 8MP. I do some wildlife photography and my longest lens is a 300mm with a 1.4X Teleconverter -- on some wildlife images, this demands a signficant enlargement/crop and the 8mp isn't always up to it. As for the quality of the images except in these cases, it remains excellent and the camera usually serves me fine. My local camera store has recently had a couple of good used 40D's in the mid $500 range with limited store warranty (I've been tempted by them, but am holding out to see if the 60D comes out this summer/fall - I bought my 30D a couple of months before the 40D showed up).

    I use the Canon 100mm f2.8 macro and it is an outstanding optic. It is also a great portrait lens.
     
  11. Termin8r27

    Termin8r27 TPF Noob!

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    Wow, mid $500 range for a used 40D is awesome! Do they have a site and ship? =) I'll keep hunting online if there are deals like that for 40D's, but I haven't seen anything on craigslist, adorama, ebay, etc anywhere close to that.

    Thanks!
     
  12. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I don't know if they ship (check Photomark in Phoenix). I haven't priced 40D's lately, so don't know the going price.
     

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