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Old May 13, 2009, 10:52 AM   #1
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Default Should I upgrade from XSi to 50D or T1i

I went out to shoot a friends softball game last night. It was 10 and under girls fast (not really) pitch on a small field. When I first arrived at the end of the first game I used ISO 1600 with the 70-200mm and 1.4 extender at f/4 and it worked fine. These were my test/setup shots as our friends were in the second game.

Once the second game started and it started getting at 8pm and it started getting dark I had to remove the 1.4x and at f/2.8 got marginal exposure at decent speeds. Very quickly as it got darker, even under the lights, I found myself fighting between underexposure at 1/250 to 1/400 or motion blur at the 1/60 to 1/150 ranges. VERY Frustrating!

Sorry for the long buildup, but here is my question. How much better would this be if I had the higher ISO capability of either the 50D or new T1i?

Obviously, I would love to have a 1D but that is not an option ($$) at this time. The bonus of video with the T1i would be really nice but I would not want to give that up if the 50D would perform better for sports shooting. In performance I really mean fast focusing and low noise at high ISO which may be the same on these two while I see the 50D has more 6.3 fps compared to 3.4 fps on the T1i.

Any comments would be helpful.

Thanks,
Andy
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Old May 13, 2009, 3:13 PM   #2
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Get the 50D. It is a far better camera than the XTi. The magnesium alloy body and the faster fps would give you far better performance. It is kind of criminal, IMO, to use an "L" lens (I assume your 70-200 2.8 is the "L") on a Rebel body. The price differential on the 50D isn't that great. The 50D and the XTi use the same sensor, but the internals of the 50D is more rugged and can support the higher fps rating. Also the lens mount on the 50D is much stronger. If you are sticking on an "L" lens with a doubler or a 1.4x you are putting a lot of strain on the lens mount. Go for a sturdier mount. Also, I can tell you that the XXD models have a higher resale value. I have a 40D and a 50D and use both of them. I also have a Nikon D40x, which I keep in my car as my "go to" camera for impromptu photo sessions.
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Old May 13, 2009, 4:47 PM   #3
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There is one key thing that hasn't been mentioned and that is the xxD cameras have improved AF over the xxxD range, this is key for sports shooting when you want an accurate continuous AF algorithm.

The 50D is a much nicer handling camera as well which can be beneficial for quick setting adjustment. No matter what camera you go for I would get a battery grip as you will be doing a lot of portrait orientation shooting (well at least you should be).
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Old May 13, 2009, 9:03 PM   #4
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Default Thanks for the Replies

Thanks so much for the replies.

Fearless - Yes it is the L lens 70-200 but not IS. I just happened into this path of a startup business by wanting to get decent shots of my kids playing basketball with the XSi and quickly learned that the lenses play such an important role so I have been buying good lenses hopefully for the long haul. I had not considered or even heard of the mount not being strong enough for the heavier lenses. It does make sense as this lens wears the camera instead of the other way around.

Mark - I kind of figured the AF might work better on the 50D than the XSi but assumed the 50D - T1i would be very close. Both have the Higher ISO. Do you think the upper end ISO would be more useable in the 50D than the other? Of course I realize there are not to many T1i's around.

I had basically decided to just wait until basketball season for a new body but after processing the softball photos from last night I am still considering ordering one NOW!

Thanks again,
Andy
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Old May 14, 2009, 3:04 AM   #5
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You are right that there are not yet enough T1i/500Ds around to get a real answer to the question about noise handling at high ISO. However if you are mainly buying for sport then the better AF, faster continuous shooting and better handling all are key.

For what it's worth I've never heard of any problems with mounts on the xxxD range as you generally support the lens when using heavy glass so it is only the very light weight of the camera that is being supported.
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Old May 14, 2009, 2:41 PM   #6
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Default I did it! Ordered the 50D.

Just like "spinning" I went ahead and ordered the 50D. Very excited. Took the overnight shipping option hoping to use it on the soccer fields this weekend.

Mark - You are so right about the big lens on the small camera. My XSi just rides along as I carry the lens around. Also I have been doing about 95% of my action shots in the vertical (portrait) position. With the XSi that was very easy to do. I may have to order the battery grip if the 50D is harder to handle on it's side - and of course the extra battery life would be nice.

Off topic here but... I mainly dread having to switch back to Compact Flash cards. Any advice on quality cards? I have been using two 8gb Sandisk Ultra SD cards and they have worked out fine in the XSi.

Happy Shooting,
Andy
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Old May 14, 2009, 4:57 PM   #7
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Congratulations on your new purchase, I hope you enjoy it!!

The battery grip is helpful for all cameras IMHO so sure you will love it when you add one to the 50D.

I use SanDisk Extreme III cards with my 30D, 5D and 1D mkIII and they work just fine even shooting 10fps on the 1D. I'm sure there are other good options but I've just stuck with them.
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Old May 14, 2009, 8:40 PM   #8
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Congrats! Where did you end up ordering the camera from? I went with Amazon. It won't ship till the 19th. I found some good packages at Abe's of Maine but wasn't sure....I hear they will call you and try to talk you into up grading. So I just got the camera and lens....
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Old May 14, 2009, 9:57 PM   #9
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Thanks Mark - I'll will probably stick with the Sandisk as well. I will head over to Office Depot and get something to get me started and see if they have the Extreme III they always seem to have good prices.

Spinning - I went with B&H Photo. I have bought several Canon lenses from them and everything has gone well using them so far so I stuck with them as most of the pricing seemed very similar. I went Body only not wanting to add the extra lens cost to get the $300 rebate.

I just checked UPS and they say it is on time to delivery on Friday.
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Old May 15, 2009, 2:34 PM   #10
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May I ask a follow-up - what do you think after using the 50D?
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