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  #1  
Old 04-08-2008, 07:50 PM
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ThomasL ThomasL is offline
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Default EOS 400D ?

Hi,

Since I registered on TrekEarth, I already made a lot of improvement - but still have a lot to learn also :-) From composition to POV and post-processing...

But I feel everytime more limited with my compact camera (a PowerShot A540, which I bought almost two years ago, and which is perfect for its price). I'd like to have more control, be able to focus manually, etc.

Therefore I feel ready to make the big step to a dSLR :-)
As the wamera which I already own is a Canon, and as I'm very satisfied about the results (for a compact camera), I'm looking for a Canon dSLR... However this doesn't mean I think it's better than Nikon, for the 'Nikoners' among you ;-)

I've been reading reviews, reviews and more reviews to find what I was looking for, and I think I'm going for the Canon EOS 400D (or XTi). I think it's a good camera for its price - I'm still a student ;-) - and, most important, it has the features I'm looking for.

Now, as I know that a lot of people on TE know much more than me when it comes to dSLR's or own a single lens reflex camera, my question is: Do you think it's a good choice, and is the quality worth the price? (I think so ;-) but I just want some people to confirm it)

I read in a lot of reviews that the lens which comes with the camera (kit lens: 18-55mm) isn't that good. Some recommend to buy the body only and get a nice lens instead. As I'm looking for some features the kit lens doesn't have, I think this is a good idea. So, another important question: What lens should I buy? It will surely help you if you know the kind of pictures I take. I love to photograph landscapes and sometimes also take portraits. So these are the features I'm looking for:
- wide angle (28mm or lower)
- zoom lens (85mm or higher)
- maximum aperture between f/2.8 and f/5.6
- image stabilization would be nice :)

I made some research looking for these features. As I already said, I'm a student, so I don't have the same funds as someone working full time ;-) These are the (Canon) lenses between which I'm hesitating. Tell me your opinion and what you recommend (and tell me if you have other propositions)...

Canon EF 28-90mm f/4-5.6 III 135/212$
Canon EF USM 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II 269/423$
Canon EF USM 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 355/558$

Thanks in advance for your answers to all this questions and sorry for my bad english ;-)

Greetings and have a nice week!
ThomasL
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  #2  
Old 04-09-2008, 01:04 AM
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AdrianW AdrianW is offline
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Default Re: EOS 400D ?

Hi Thomas,

IMO the 400D (Digital Rebel XTi) is a great starter camera. I shoot with one myself these days, and on the whole I like it a lot.

Be aware that it has been superceded, at least on paper, by the 450D (XSi). I haven't seen a 450D yet, so I'll refrain from commenting on that for now though.

Despite what you've read, the kit lens isn't really that bad. Sure, it's not amazing, but then it costs you very little. Bizarrely from time to time buying the kit lens with the camera actually saves you money, at one point the best price I could find for the body only was 480GBP, or the body+lens for 440GBP; in other words the lens was -40 pounds ;) I suggest you get the IS version of the 18-55 to start with, and then see what you need next. It may well be that you'll find an ultrawide (like the 10-22) or something longer (70-300 IS) or a macro makes a better choice for the next lens, rather than replacing the one you have.

Remember that the smaller than 35mm sensor makes the effective focal length of all lenses 1.6x greater, so that 28-90 (not a particularly good lens anyway) becomes an effective 45-144, which is barely wide-angle, stretching to not particularly telephoto ;) The lack of IS in your other options is also a factor to consider.

The next step up from the really cheap lenses is the 28-135 IS, which is better on the whole; but then it costs quite a bit more. Ideally you want the 24-105 IS f4/L, but that costs a whole lot more again, quite a bit more than the camera in fact.

So to recap; I'd wait to see what people make of the 450D before taking the plunge, and with either of them I'd choose the 18-55 IS version of the kit lens to begin with. I suspect the IS version should be relatively saleable if you wish to upgrade at some point too.

If you have a computer that runs reasonably fast, I'd invest in a couple of fast cards (2Gb Sandisk Extreme IV for example), a spare battery or two, and shoot RAW. Set the camera to use Landscape picture style, as it adds bite to the blues and greens, and gives a higher default sharpening; which I think would be useful for your style of photography. The reason I suggest RAW is that you may find that picture style isn't to your taste, and with the supplied RAW editor (Canon DPP) you can change the picture style after shooting (along with the usual standard RAW options).

Hope that helps!

Cheers,

Adrian
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  #3  
Old 04-09-2008, 05:19 PM
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ThomasL ThomasL is offline
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Default Re: EOS 400D ?

Hi Adrian,

First of all, I thank you for your quick reply.

I knew there is a new model - the 450D, but I thought it would be too expensive and also thought it still wasn't in stores.

Thanks for remembering me that the effective focal length of all lenses is 1.6x greater! Your suggestion of the 18-55mm IS is great, I didn't think about it, but now I'm seriously considering it :)

So, as I was in the center of the city, I just spent almost two hours comparing the prices of the 400D, the 450D and the 18-55mm IS lens in different stores in Antwerp! :D

I found the lowest prices (inclusive Cash Back promotion of Canon)in the 'MediaMarkt':
- Canon EOS 400D Body: 438/695$
- Canon EOS 400D + EF-S 18-55mm: 488/774$
- Canon EOS 450D Body: 644/1021$
- Canon EOS 450D + EF-S 18-55mm IS: 724/1148$
- EF-S 18-55mm IS: 169/268$

As the kit lens which comes with the 400D is not that good (confirmed by the guy of MediaMarkt who said that he bought the kit but never used the lens...), I considered buying the 400D and the EF-S 18-55mm IS (which costs 169/268$)separatly, like you said. But you also said that 450D (of course) would be even better. And you were right! :)

Look at this: compare these prices (Cash Back inclusive):
- Canon EOS 400D + EF-S 18-55mm IS: 607/963$
- Canon EOS 450D + EF-S 18-55mm IS: 724/1148$

So, for exactly 117/186$ more, I can get the 450D!
Another great detail is that the 450D uses SD Memory Cards, as the 400D uses CF Cards: I already own some 1Gb SD Cards from my compact camera (I don't own CF cards). So it's something I won't need to buy...

I think this is quite a good offer, don't you think?

Thanks again for your reply,
Thomas

PS: If anybody has an even better offer, just tell me :)
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  #4  
Old 04-10-2008, 10:45 PM
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AdrianW AdrianW is offline
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Default Re: EOS 400D ?

The prices seem quite good to me, but remember Belgium isn't a market I'm familiar with! Have a look around online if you haven't already.

As for the SD card, I don't want to rain on your parade, but my 400D seems to be able to use all the performance of the fastest CF cards. An older SD card on a camera with more pixels is likely to be a bottleneck. Obviously that only affects your continuous shooting speed and possibly playback times though, obviously the image quality will be the same regardless of the card speed.

The good news is that both fast SD cards and fast CF cards are now alarmingly cheap. One of the fastest 2Gb CF cards (Sandisk Extreme IV) now costs around 35 if you shop around.

I don't think the 18-55 IS will perform significantly better than the 18-55 mkII that ships with the 400D, but the image stabilizer is worthwhile. As I've said before, despite some people's beliefs, the 18-55 mk II is a reasonably good lens for the money. Yes, there are better, but they cost significantly more money. Here's a quick test I did with the 18-55 mk II, compared with the 17-40 f4/L; which is around 650 by itself, and doesn't have IS. The only thing I will add is that at the long end the 17-40 is slightly sharper than the 18-55, but it's not *that* much sharper.
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  #5  
Old 04-13-2008, 10:48 AM
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ThomasL ThomasL is offline
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Default Re: EOS 400D ?

Hi Adrian,

Thanks again for your help! In the meantime I finally made a choice! I'm happy to tell you I now am the proud owner of a 450D with a 18-55 IS lens. It's so great to discover the world of the dSLR :P !!

Bye,
Thomas
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  #6  
Old 04-13-2008, 05:43 PM
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AdrianW AdrianW is offline
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Default Re: EOS 400D ?

An excellent choice! Let me know how you get on, and I look forward to seeing some photos from the combination soon :D
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  #7  
Old 04-18-2008, 12:18 PM
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hairybeast hairybeast is offline
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Default Re: EOS 400D ?

Hi Thomas
just joined the site and read your thread, i get all my camera equipment fron 7dayshop.com, they are based in Guernsey and they are very good price wise, dont know if you have looked at their site.
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