Canon Xti Upgrade?

Jim Stafford

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Nov 30, 2008
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Lake Odessa, Mi
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I'm thinking I may want to upgrade from my Xti. What should I be looking at? One of the main things I am hoping to get is better auto focus. Don't want to spend more than, say $1,000. Staying with Canon so all my lenses still work. Mostly I am shooting wildlife and sports.
Check out the 40D or 50D (if that's in your budget). Either one has very good AF.

The 20D & 30D are known to be pretty good as well, but being older, I'm not sure if they are any better than the XTi.

Keep in mind that part of the AF performance is in the lens. Lenses with large max apertures and USM focus motors are faster.
Well, for your budget, you could get an XSi or the newer T1i, but they would not be too much of an upgrade as you would still be in an entry level camera. The 40D or 50D as Mike mentioned above would be a worthwhile upgrade, although a little above your budget.
I'm seeing that I can get into a 40D easy for under a grand and I think I could find a 50D used.

Have you heard anything about an xti having issues with low light? I'm thinking that is my problem. If I don't have great light I'm not getting the detail I want. It has been showing as a focus problem.
The XTI may have issues in low light due to its low ISO.
But the lens you are using will also be a huge factor in how the camera operates in low light
I allready upgraded to the Sigma 100 - 400 APO to give me better glass over my basic canon glass, I have 5 from 18mm to 300mm, F1.8 to F5. I found in a test yesterday that in low light I am not getting detail no matter what lens or settings. I have been having troubles that have shown up as focus issues. Go look at my Help Blurry pics thread in wildlife for some examples. I have been working on this problem for months. Unless my subject is lit right up I do not get detail. If I am near my max aperature I am going to have an issue. If I speed up ISO or decrease shutter the problem is not going away. It changes slightly but the lack of deatil problem is still there. LOL, at least that is where I am at today, my Xti has a problem with low light, any kind, even a shadow. This weekend I can compare with a coworkers 30D and see what happens. Not that the 30D is a better camera but maybe my Xti is faulty. Right now, we are not getting along.
My previous camera was an XTi and I didn't have any light issues other than its low noise capabilities at higher ISO's. If you're not getting detail (I interpret that as lack of sharpness) in low light conditions, I would suspect that you are getting camera shake issues due to hand holding the camera at a low shutter speed.

The solutions to that are lenses with wider aperatures, using higher ISO settings, using a tripod, using artificial lighting or some combination of these. It's not really your camera causing this problem and it won't be solved by upgrading.
Make sure when you're doing lens/sharpness testing that your camera is mounted on a solid tripod and use either a remote shutter or set the 10 second timer to trigger the shutter. Use mirror lock-up as well for best results. Also, your lenses are not going to be their sharpest at the widest aperture. Stop them down at least a couple of stops, but most lenses are sharpest at around f/8 if you can shoot there.

If you test all your lenses with this setup and still don't get good sharpness from any of them, then you could have an autofocus problem with the camera.
I would suspect that you are getting camera shake issues due to hand holding the camera at a low shutter speed.

If you look at the shots in my Help Blurry .. in Wildlife they were taken at 1/1250 with my new Sigma 100 - 400 APO.
If you're getting this result with all your lenses under controlled conditions, you should send your camera in for adjustment. The low light thing sounds like an autofocus problem. A properly working XTi will not have that problem. In low light, mine would either focus correctly or not focus at all.
I agree with the above comments. I still use my XTi every now and then, and it will either lock focus or hunt in low light. No reason you should get qutofocus confirmation and not be right on the money. Unless the camera is actually faulty, however, you would then also have focus issues in brighter settings too. I suggest doing some very controlled tests before upgrading. the XTi takes fine photos!

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