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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 09 May 2013 (Thursday) 06:45
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Looking to upgrade

Mostly Lurking
11 posts
Joined Jul 2009
May 09, 2013 06:45 |  #1

Hello Everyone! Long time lurker checking in. Took the advice of people here 4 years ago and kept shooting with the kit.

First and foremost here is what I like to shoot: Family trips, family, pets, landscape, people and architecture (indoor and outdoor). This is more of a hobby right now, but me and the wife have talked about turning it into something more.

I have a 500D/T1i kit, bought it in July of 2009. I have always loved photography and the thought of capturing a moment in time that was unique and can 'never be unique' again amazes me. I have took tons of photos with it, I fell into a lull after I joined the Air Force and got my first assignment. Since being stationed back in the states, photography has found me - especially seeing my wife's work with videography and knowing the feeling of purpose it brings. I've been bringing my camera with me everywhere I go and working on improving my photos. Going out on weekends, getting lost, taking pictures and seeing what I can create is unbelievably fun, as many of you know.

So here is my dilemma. I have 1 lens (18-55) and a t1i. I was thinking about getting an upgrade, here are 3 choices I've come down to:

1. 430 EXII flash - I love taking outdoor AND indoor pictures of people and animals (pets). Lighting inside is sometimes good and mostly bad. A flash with a diffuser or bouncing it off a wall/ceiling would be nice to have. The built-in flash leaves a LOT to be desired. Also the built-in sometimes gets 'stuck' down and I have to pull it up to unlock it HAHA

I don't really see any cons for this flash, yes the 580 EXII WOULD be nice (master/slave, newer) but realistically I don't know when, if ever, I would need another flash. Any other reasons I would consider the 580 and justify the additional $150?

2. 17-55 2.8 - I have always wanted another lens. I've used the 17-55 before and LOVED it. I believe it would complement my t1i nicely.

Con: Its EFS. Now, I have thought of getting a full frame (in the future, 3+ years maybe) and that thought alone makes me lean toward investing a little more in glass and getting a lens that I can still use if/when I jump the gap. If I go this route I'm unsure of what to get.

3. 60D - My t1i is almost 4 years old, it still runs fine though. It would be nice to have a bigger camera (big hands) and I often feel cramped on the rebel. I have also heard the 60d isn't much of an improvement over the rebel series like the 7d would be. So I'm open to suggestions there.

I budgeted myself for $1500. I CAN go to $2k, but it might require kimchi ramen with eggs for 2 weeks :D
I have also thought of doing a combo - 60d/7d, 430exii, and a lens (would have to be cheaper end). Or a lens + flash and keep the body.

PS. I'm thinking about throwing Magic Lantern 2.3 on the t1i, any reason not to?
Any inputs would be greatly appreciated!

- Alex

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Senior Member
464 posts
Joined Sep 2009
May 09, 2013 07:00 |  #2

My $0.02. Please take with a grain of salt.

1. Although canon flashes are great, for outdoor stuff the power of the 580EXII is far better than the 430. If it were my $$ I might look at the YN 565 or 568 flashes. FAR less money, just as much power, and superb value. Keep in mind you may lose functionality beyond canons current models in a few years when you get your next body.

2. The 17-55 is an AMAZING lens, but being the budget minded guy I am, I might suggest looking at the Tamron 17-50. It gets amazing reviews everywhere and mine is simply stunning. Tack sharp and gorgeous color. At half the price it's hard to top it. If you can live without the Canon name that is.

3. The 60D is bigger and more comfortable for large hands. It isn't a huge upgrade over the rebel series but there ARE advantages to the 60D over what you are using. It has a better burst rate, and larger burst buffer. For me this would be nice to have. My T3i lacks in this area. The autofocus points are also different.

If it were me, I'd do a 60D, Tamron 17-50, two YN 568EX flashes and you'd still have some $$ left to look at another fast prime or something.

Check out these two video that compare and contrast the 60D to rebel cameras.​/watch?v=lYP1FfTNY3o (external link)​/watch?v=na7h-K0DK60 (external link)
and another that throws in the 7D​/watch?v=ET0idevzGRE (external link)

GEAR - FLICKr (external link) - SmugMug (external link):p

Cream of the Crop
13,431 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Mar 2005
Location: Portage, Wisconsin USA
May 09, 2013 07:21 |  #3

Yes, the 60D is a step up. Get the Tamron 17-50/2.8 (non-VC) version.


Cream of the Crop
5,592 posts
Gallery: 25 photos
Likes: 356
Joined Dec 2011
Location: Houston
May 09, 2013 07:59 |  #4

If you want to step up in body, the 60D is a nice proposition, but if you waited for 4 years, why don't you wait a couple more months for the 70D to be released. The 60D is a fantastic camera (I have one and love it) but it is 3 year-old design. I would hope that the 70D might have a significantly better sensor or, at least MFA... :D

I would buy a better lens tonight... ;)

Canon 5D MkIII/Canon 60D/Canon EF-S 18-200/Canon EF 24-70L USM II/Canon EF 70-200L 2.8 USM II/Canon EF 50 f1.8 II/Σ 8-16/ 430 EXII
OS: Linux Ubuntu/PostProcessing: Darktable/Image Processing: GIMP

Senior Member
273 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Aug 2011
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
May 09, 2013 08:21 |  #5

My recommendation (I sell a lot of gear)...

The 50D is a fantastic camera and very cheap nowadays. I think it's the best value crop body out there (if you need the 7D's features, then you have to spend another few hundred). $500-$850

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 non-VC - superb lens value, - $325 used, easy to sell when/if you go full frame, and buying used takes up most/all of the depreciation

Canon 70-200mm f/4L - great telephoto zoom that "everyone" needs - $500 used

Canon 430EX or 430EXII - $140-200

Canon 50mm f/1.8 - $100-125

Totals (for 50D body) are right at $1500 and it gives you a complete setup that covers your landscape, people, pets, family trip and very low light photography and is still pretty small/light (not compared to your current setup, but in this case, you'll have a LOT more versatility than you have now). If you spent the extra on a 7D, you could save otherwise by exchanging the 70-200 on the list for a 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS. Pretty good lens for about $325. Bonus... the 50mm and telephoto zooms are full frame compatible as is the flash. Third option to confuse you even more would be to consider a 5D classic. They're also about $500-600 used. Used one for a long time. The 50D's screen/speed/menus are better, but the 5D's image quality is probably better and the depth of field shallower.

Fort Wayne, IN Portrait & Wedding Photographer
http://www.craigagapie​ (external link)​m/CraigAgapiePhotograp​hy (external link)

2,320 posts
Likes: 7
Joined Mar 2008
Location: Montreal, Quebec
May 09, 2013 08:26 |  #6

Just a suggestion: if you're photographing people and pets and have never used anything longer than the 18-55, I think you'd love the creative possibilities of a longer lens. There are lots of options, depending on how much of your budget you'd be willing to spend on it: 55-250, 70-200, etc. I photograph a lot of kids and animals, and love the results I get from both these lenses.

Additionally, you might want to consider a 40D. It's an outstanding camera, and you can find them these days for as little as $300 on the used market. It's a good step up from the Rebel line, and a joy to use.

Gear: Canon 7D, Tokina 12-24 f/4, Canon 24-105L f4, Canon 70-300L, Canon 60 macro f/2.8, Speedlite 580 EXII, 2x AB800

Website (external link)

happy with myself for not saying anything stupid
18,209 posts
Gallery: 45 photos
Likes: 2659
Joined Mar 2006
Location: S.F. Bay Area
May 09, 2013 09:30 |  #7

for $1500...i'd go

60D- $612+tax refurbished from canon
430EX used ~$175
Sigma 17-50f2.8 OS- $600 new from B&H

then with the last remaining funds...i'd go for a 50mm f1.8....if you feel like you lack reach sometimes...maybe a 55-250IS, could do both for probably another $215...

I do think you should get a prime though, it opens up a whole new world

Andre or Dre
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Looking to upgrade
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