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Old Jul 13, 2007, 10:56 AM   #1
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I am a long time Canon user (A1, ElanIIe, G3, SD450), and have 2 EF lenses (28-105, 100-300USM)- so now that I have decided to get a DSLR, I can't fathom switching.

Sooo- given a limited budget, I'm trying to decide what to get. In my budget range are the Rebel XTi and refurb'd 20D (and maybe I can stretch to a refurb'd 30D). The question is- how do I decide?

I like the more substantial body of the 20D/30D, although am less likely to appreciate while traveling. Focus/image acquisition performance is very critical- 2 young kids and 2 large dogs for subjects means lots of action shots. The dust sensor on the Rebel XTi seems like it might make a big difference in the long haul?

As far as how I usean SLR: I typically shoot my SLR in P mode, although for action I often go to Tv, and landscapes and"macro" get Av or manual + the Bogen comes out...

Thanks in advance!
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Old Jul 19, 2007, 3:19 AM   #2
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You sound like an really basic user (be serious, P mode), which does not use much of DSLR potential, and therefore I suggest go for XTi.

Anyway, on my modest opinion, 20D is way better camera for advanced user then XTi, and that's why I have it. Much better ergonomics and faster usage of creative zone modes.
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Old Jul 19, 2007, 6:24 AM   #3
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nidza wrote:
Quote:
You sound like an really basic user (be serious, P mode), which does not use much of DSLR potential, and therefore I suggest go for XTi.
And what's wrong with P mode?

The camera selects an appropriate aperture/shutter speed combination for the amount of light it's metering.

It's probably going to select around the same thing you would anyway using other modes in many conditions, and if you prefer something different than it selected, you can spin a dial and change it (stepping through other aperture/shutter speed combinations that would provide the same exposure).

You also have access to exposure compensation, just like you do using Av or Tv Modes.

The end result is the same thing. ;-)

If you're shooting specific subject types where you may prefer to use a given aperture without worrying about spinning a dial if the camera selects something a lot different than you want, you can use a different mode (like the OP mentioned doing for specific subject types).

Just because someone wants to take advantage of the camera's automation, doesn't mean that they are a "really basic user". That could be indicative of a really smart user, taking advantage of all of the work the Canon engineers put into the exposure algorithms. ;-)

Also, even if someone is a basic user (and I doubt the original poster is), that doesn't mean the XTi is going to be a better choice for them. They may prefer the ergonomics and control layout of a 20D. They may prefer the build quality of a 20D. They may need the available ISO 3200 that's missing on the XTi. They may like the 20D's faster frame rate, etc.


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Old Jul 19, 2007, 5:19 PM   #4
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Ouch! I've been for P mode! I would have expected that for the "green rectangle", but in P mode, I figure- let Canon meter the shot for me, and then adjust aperture for DoF if needed with the control wheel...

Which of course brings up two features I like on my Elan IIe- the control wheel on back for adjusting shutter speed or aperture, and DoF preview. DoF seems particularly handy when I'm doing landscapes, or touristy shots with people in foreground and <insert attraction> in the background.

Probably the key thing for me though is focus/image acquisition. Does anyone have any comments on adv/disadv of XTi vs. the 20D in this regard? Do they use the same AF sensors? Does the newer image processor (assumption) of the XTi make a big difference? I'm thinking trying to get pix of little kids on the soccer field at 300/5.6 or dogs playing in the house at 85/4 is going to require fast focus and shutter response to get the good shot...



JimC- you mentioned build. The Rebel XTi feels small to me- my first SLR (the A1) was quite solid, although small. The Elan IIe is bigger than a Rebel, but also pretty light. Do the bodies map in some way, such as:

Digital Film

RebelRebel

20D/30D Elan

5D A2/EOS3

1D* 1V



Thanks again
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Old Jul 19, 2007, 6:52 PM   #5
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Canon upgraded the AF sensor assembly in the XTi to match what they are using in the 30D now. So, it should work as well.

Keep in mind that the XTi is missing an ISO 3200 option if that's a consideration (you don't want to use it unless you have to, but it's there if you need it with the 20D or 30D, and missing on the 400D). So, for low light use, that's something to take into consideration.

As for what body maps to what, I have not compared them in detail. But, the digital bodies are more likely unique in a number of ways.

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Old Jul 19, 2007, 7:10 PM   #6
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Thanks Jim. Not sure I wouldn't find 3200 to be too noisy to be usable. On the other hand, with slower glass (no L lenses :sad, it might not be too bad for 4x6s and if lucky 5x7s. Probably I'd buy a 50/1.8-- that was my only lens for 10 years with my A1. My feet were a reasonably effective zoom mechanism.
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Old Aug 15, 2007, 1:49 AM   #7
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slabovitz-

i'm also considering both models you've mentioned. just wondering where you've found the 20d refurbished. also, are you at all worried about the previous usage of a refurbished product?
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Old Aug 15, 2007, 7:16 AM   #8
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slabovitz,

As Jim said, the xti has the same focus system which was the biggest difference between 20d and 350D.

Most of te differences are ergonomics. The xti is smaller and plastic. And the control layouts are a bit different. On ergonomics alone I preferred the 20D to the XT and now the XTi. But with the focus system upgrade, the XTi is a very good camera. It's only drawback as an entry level camera is it's feel/build quality. If you are OK with those then it's a very fine camera.

I will also add something regarding your proposed focus test - shooting moving subjects. Realize the lens plays a large part in this equation. A canon lens with ring USM is going to focus much faster with moving subjects than one with micro USM or without USM or a third party lens (with exception of Sigma lenses with HSM). So, if action photography is a big part of what you want to do, you need a good lens to do it with. As an example, focus performance with an old 75-300 isn't going to be as good as with the newer 70-300 and neither would be as good as with say a 70-200 4.0 or 300mm f4.

If action shooting isn't your thing - I'm not sure what good the test is going to do.
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