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Thread started 06 Dec 2008 (Saturday) 19:12
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Please help with body choice!

Senior Member
280 posts
Joined Nov 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Dec 06, 2008 19:12 |  #1

Wow, where to start? I know this post will be long (sorry!), but I really want to get across my situation. Hopefully my awesome friends here at POTN can help me out once again?! :rolleyes::oops:;)

I've had my 350D (Rebel XT) for about 3 years and have literally run it into the ground. (FYI: that thing went through saltwater, rain, snow and dust, all over the USA, Canada and Europe. I nearly clocked the shot counter twice.) It finally died recently (something to do with the motherboard) and now I'm desperately trying to decide what to get as its replacement. In the past, I have shot loads of landscapes (while travelling), wildlife and portraits. My lifestyle has changed dramatically and therefore so has my shooting subjects. We're back home in Australia again and will be travelling far less. My new baby is probably photo victim numero uno, but I hope to also get back into some landscape stuff and would LOVE to do some sports/weddings down the track (which I used to do semi-pro a few years back). Check out my gear list if you want a bit of an idea of what I shoot with.

Main points:
- Had the 350D (Rebel XT), which has died.

- Eventually would like 2 bodies: 1 x small-bodied camera and 1 x semi-pro. Use the small-bodied camera if I'm hiking or travelling. Have 2 bodies for backup and for working in scenarios (weddings, sports) where you have two different lenses set up. (My initial plan was to keep my XT as backup and get a semi pro body, but the death of my XT has also killed that idea!)

- I am female and have average sized hands. I like the compact size of the XT and am a little worried about the upgrade in size with the 40D and 50D. My main issues with size are relating to how much difficulty I will have fitting a bigger body into my camera bags and the extra weight to lug around when hiking and travelling. I am aware of the pros of the bigger, more solid body (more stable). QUESTION: For those who have upgraded from a smaller-sized camera: how did you find the change? Do you regret it, or do the pros of the better camera make up for it?

- Considering 450D (XSi) or 1000D (XS) (if I went for a small body now), OR 40D or 50D

- Worried about reviews of 50D (taken from DPReview):

  • High ISO performance worse than 40D
  • Reduced dynamic range in the shadow areas compared to EOS 40D
  • Per-pixel detail not as good as on good 10 or 12 megapixel cameras
  • High-end lenses required to get the most out of the camera
  • Poor white balance performance under artificial light
  • Flash must be up for AF assist lamp (although AF is good even in low light)
  • Live view not as accurate as on 40D (framing very slightly off-center, in contrast detect AF mode not possible to magnify right out to the extreme corners)
I can't understand why new problems are cropping up with the 50D, that the 40D didn't have. This bothers me. The 50D is considerably more expensive and seems to be in some ways, not as good as the 40D! It makes me feel that the next semi-pro model will iron out these bugs and so I wonder if I should wait before looking at this calibre of body.

- I found the ISO capabilities of the XT quite limited and was astounded at the differing abilities with my Mum's Nikon D80 (low noise at very high ISO). I believe the higher ISO would be useful to me, and this really appears to be relevant when comparing the cameras I've mentioned. 1000D only goes up to 1600; 40D- 3200 (h); 50D then has 3200 (H),6400(H1),12800(H2)​, but the reviews suggest that the quality is poorer than the 40D. QUESTION: what is this high (h) ISO? I must be typing in the wrong thing on my searches, because I can't find anything that really explains it. Is it software based??

- The screen size and in particular, the LCD resolution is super-attractive to me on the 50D. I found the XT's to be very cr*ppy- so much so I never trusted it and therefore hardly ever deleted anything on camera, just in case.

- I like the higher FPS rate of the 40D and 50D (for when I hopefully do some sports again??

- Don't understand why the XSi and 1000D both use SD cards. Slightly annoying, as I have CFs from my XT, but I guess it's not too big a deal. Maybe relevant down the track if I end up having 2 cameras that require 2 different types of media.

- From what I've read in reviews, it sounds like the super high effective pixel range (15megapixel on the 50D vs around 10 for the other models) is becoming irrelevant. Talk of the high megapixel cameras showing up imperfections in lenses. QUESTION: Is that true? Are they only referring to when you enlarge the picture to astronomical sizes?

- 1000D only has 7 focus points (which used to drive me nuts on the XT), so I think I'm leaning towards crossing that one off the list.

- Processor: I need to do more research on this new DIGIC4!

- Environmental seals: confused as DPReview lists that none of these cameras have sealing, but then mentions in the review that the 50D's sealing is good. QUESTION: Does anyone know anything about this?

Bottom line: I'm unsure of whether to pick the best from the bunch of the smaller bodied cameras (if the general consensus is that this issue is worth worrying about) and then wait for a year or so until Canon releases a better semi-pro model that has the features of the 50D, with the problems ironed out and possibly also video integrated OR (particularly if the size issue isn't really an issue) go for a semi-pro model now, that will have some of the extra features that I'm looking for- then the big question: which one? 40D, 50D or something else???

Arrggh. I know there are other questions, but time is limited, I have nothing to photograph my son with and Xmas is looming. Hopefully you can give me some guidance! Thanks!

My Gear

1,111 posts
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Joined Feb 2008
Location: California
Dec 06, 2008 19:14 |  #2


7D Gripped | 17-55 f/2.8 IS | 70-200 f/2.8L IS | 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II | 580EXII

Senior Member
600 posts
Gallery: 4 photos
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Joined Apr 2007
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Dec 06, 2008 19:22 |  #3

Well, I had an XT for about three years and have beat it up pretty bad too. I just bought a used 1D Mark II and while I love this camera, it is large and it's heavy. That does not bother me because I'm a big dude. I found the XT to small for my hands with out the battery grip on it. The XXD with a grip is about the same size as the 1D but in my opinion, it seems to weigh less. The viewfinder on the Mark II is light-years beyond the XT and I'm still amazed by the speed of the AF. I don't think I could go back to the Rebel line now. My XT seems like a toy to me now. If your hands allow it I would go for the 40, 50, or even the 5D.


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Please help with body choice!
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