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
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!