New camera or no?


TPF Noob!
Jan 26, 2012
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Hey guys!

I am rolling around with my kinda old Canon EOS 400D, and sometimes it captures unsharp pictures. Fx, i can take the same picture 5 times, but only 3 out of 5 is sharp or in focus the place i did the focus.
So my question is, are my camera getting old and might need a update? Or do i just have to repair it?

Let's say i have to buy a new one, what camera would you suggest? I love to run around in the city taking street photos, small panoramas and landscapes. I'm not that much into portrait, but it sometimes happens.
I have the Nifty-Fifty and a 28-135mm Zoom, and getting my self L series Wide angle this summer (from work). I'm quite poor because i am still studying my a** in pieces. So i don't earn that much. I earn 288£ each month after i payed taxes and rent. So my cash supply ain't that high.
So my question is, what camera could i buy for around 300-400£ that's worth the money and is a good house for the work i do?

Let's say i have to repair, what repair does it need? And who does these sorts of repairs?

Thank you!

Best Regards // Stenkilde!
I'm willing to be that the camera itself most likely does not have a fault, but that there is some error within the process that you are using to shoot which might well be resulting in you getting these "soft" photos. A few examples combined with shooting data and conditions of shooting would help to give some idea of how you operate the camera and might well show that there is a minor flaw in how you work which could easily be corrected and thus give you more consistent results with the camera.

As for what camera you can replace it with - for your budget a 550D body only would be £430 whilst you could also consider a second hand 40D from ebay (the 40D being the older midrange body from canon so still very valid even today).

The 400D does have it limits, but its still a very capable camera when used correctly.
So take this photo as an example. I took it 4 times to get it right. The other 3 ones ended out like this. Not "sharp" at all.
This is taken with the 50mm.

hmm f5, ISO 400 and 1/800sec.

I can see two potential factors for casing softness:
1) depth of field and focusing - the shot looks like its focused better on the side of the building leaning away from it (into the middle of the shot) as opposed to the front of the building (which I assume is where you are saying its soft). What focusing mode were you using for this shot and where did you lock the focus?

2) it looks a touch dark, possibly its underexposed and you could have exposed by a whole stop or more to increase the overall brightness of the shot. This would have the bonus of helping to reduce the noise present in the photo and thus you could have darkened the shot in editing as needed.
Note this method is called "exposing to the right" and searching on that term should give you more reading on the topic. Note that its about exposing to the right of the histogram, but only so long you don't end up overexposing and losing details in key areas.
So you suggest i read up on Shutter speed and stuff like that?
1/800sec is a more than suitable shutter speed for a 50mm handheld at a static subject. Unless you've a very extreme amount of handshake or strong wind blowing on yourself that should deliver a sharp shot.

It was more about your focusing method that I think might be the cause
If you could post one of the bad shots, we could probably help you even more than with a good one.
That is one of the badder pictures Destin.

Hmm, i will try that next time i'm out shooting Overead!
When i focus it really depends of what i'm taking a picture of.
Oh well. Today "January 27-01-2012" in the morning i went out to take some street photos on my way to school.
I checked the battery, it was full. I took the first picture and nothing happend. I was confused, i checked battery, it was empty. I took a new battery and tried. I took a new picture and everything went fine the first 10-20 pictures. But then suddenly they all just went white or black. I think the image processor thing is broke. New camera here i come i guess :(
If I go with photography as my hobby or carreer, I get a GOOD DSLR with some GOOD L glass. If not, I’d just buy a P&S S100 and live with it. I’d say you need to move up. Your camera is outdated.. PERHAPS A 5DII? :D
Take some time and do a good cleaning of the contacts on the batteries, this may help correct that issue. As far as the focusing issue, what focusing points are you using? Set the camera to the center point only, then take multiple shots to compare. Often times if you are using multi point focusing, even if you are shooting the same subject the camera will choose a different spot to focus on. Also check to make sure you are not using AI focusing on still objects, multiple shots in this mode may have different focus as the camera program is expecting to track a moving subject. Go to the single point focusing only and take control. Might save you some money you can then put into higher quality lenses.
Are you using a battery grip? Sometimes a battery grip can make a poor connection, simply taking the grip off and then putting it back on again will normally clear this problem.
The camera is "straight" out of the box. The only change is the lenses. Where i mainly use a 50mm f1/8 or some random Sigma Wide Angle (Don't really know which one since it's old, and numbers are scratched off).
I photograph mostly for career, but kinda for career, i'm a Web Designer so i sometimes need stock photos, and i take those my self.

Well isn't a 5DII abit "expensive" compared to the sallary i get as a student? :)
I have been thinking about taking a small loan and picking up a 60D with a L Lens Wide Angle. But i'm still not sure.

I will try the battery cleaning, also one of my friends will clean my mirrors and the pixel filter thingy. Hes a professionel Camera mechanic, so i trust him. :)
Okay so, i just got it back yesterday actually. And i went straight out to get some snaps.
This is what i got up with, i can already see improvement.
I took this photo 10 times, and it was the almost the same 8 out of 10 times.

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