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Nov 15, 2017
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Last year I ran across a Canon 30D with two batteries and a charger for $50 at Goodwill that looked like it had never been used. I believe this series was introduced in 2006? It is 8 megapixels.

This weekend I decided that as I have accumulated five bodies and several lenses that overlap, I would take the 30D along with a 18-55 EF/S and 70-300 EF Mark II the (newest version) and leave them at a rustic little cabin we have here on a lake in Central VA so I would not have to lug gear back and forth for every visit.

Yesterday I got a shot of a Downy Woodpecker plucking dinner out of log (we leave the woods wild to cultivate wildlife).

My wife really liked the shot and it got me to thinking about what I have been telling a friend who wants to upgrade his gear: invest more in glass first. The 70-300 EF Mark II at $500 is in my experience a middle tier Canon lens, a good value and head and shoulders above the 70-300 EF/S that Canon includes as a consumer kit lens (I've had one). For comparison I also have two L series zooms. To me it shows that a fifteen year old body with decent, not even the best, glass can produce good results.

I am frequently asked for advice, like many of you, regarding camera body selection and I always turn that conversation into a what I think is more important: glass.

Good glass reallllly pays dividends.
I just realized it is a Hairy and not a Downy Woodpecker. There are many on this forum who know the difference.
I agree ... the IQ of the lens makes a big difference. I have gone through many lenses, and going from a "kit" level telephoto zoom to a higher end G (Sony) made a huge difference in the image.
I would still be using my older model camera if it wasn't for BIF.

... and yes, it is a Hairy cause the beak is long. Downy have very short stubby beaks.
From what I have seen here and real world once photographers get good glass they don’t change
Camera bodies come and go, good glass seems to not change.
I use crop canon but from day 1 I have bought EF glass, l series if I could, knowing that it will fit my crop sensor camera and future proofing if I ever upgrade/move on to a FF body.
As for old bodies I have a 50d tucked away, that I use for those “risky” shots, that could end up damaging the camera.
As for old bodies I have a 50d tucked away, that I use for those “risky” shots, that could end up damaging the camera.

Funny, I have a 50D I use for the same purpose. It is built like a tank, has some level of water sealing, and still has competitive image quality. Unless I drop it overboard from the kayak, I think I will have it for a while.
Depth, contrast, clairity, color rendition! This lens is outstanding.
Good glass + good technique = great pictures. All a camera body does is hold a memory card or film and provides an attachment for a lens.

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I had a 30D,, I don,t think it ever took a bad photo no matter what lens I put on it. That photo of the Hairy is fantastic.
It’s glass, glass, then the body. I first began in the ‘80’s with my Canon AE-1 program. I was indoctrinated that the body was all important. Conversely the lenses I bought were all third party, Tamron, Sigma. Ok lenses if you weren’t particular about the final product. Over the years, with lots of practice, I learned to disregard the body hype. For me it has been prime lenses and manufacturers tele lenses.

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I love gear, love to buy it, love to use it... but... save your money, it's not the gear. As mentioned, good glass really pays off in the proper hands.
sometimes it is the gear.
back when I had my nikon D7000 I used to use a 70-300 AF push-pull lens all the time with good results.
Then I bought my D600. That lens was mush on that D600 FF sensor but still worked well with the D7000.

Then I remember when the D800 came out and it really required the newer lenses to support it's high density FF sensor.

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