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Old Nov 29, 2011, 1:10 PM   #1
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Default New SLR or Lens-Tough Decision

I consider myself an amateur photographer with a reasonable knowledge base of digital imagery. Now I am at a crossroads and I need some help from the experts.
I currently have a Canon Rebel XT 8MP, with the standard 18-55 bundled lens.
I have always wanted a zoom lens to partner this camera with. A superzoom would be ideal (I do realize there are issues with any superzoom).
I have for months been reading mostly positive reviews on the Tamron 18-270 PZD for months now. My plan was to purchase this when I had the available funds to do so. When I tried out the lens at B&H, I was not as happy with the lens as I thought I would be.
The intended use of this camera/lens is family photography/travel. I'd love a lens that can do it all reasonably well. I have 3 young boys who all play sports and I'd love to get beautiful photos of them doing so. The reality is, switching lenses would only result in missed shots or leers from the Mrs.
I'm sorry if this seems disjointed. The Tamron lens seemed soft from a range of about 18mm-50mm (approx) focusing in auto mode, which, with small children, is at least half the shots. I'd love to shoot less auto, but it's unrealistic.
Now, the reason I am posting this in the Canon SLR thread-
I am considering a the Canon t3i with the 18-55 lens I already have. My question is, do I try to find an alternate superzoom and is it worth it when I can purchase a camera with more than twice the resolution for the same price. Am I incorrect in assuming I can crop the photo at least twice as much as as I could with my current camera and still have nice 5x7 prints?
The other concern I have is that my rebel is 6 years old and I am 100% sure it has taken over 20,000 pics at this point. As I understand it, for an entry level dslr, I am well beyond the camera's predicted half life.
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Old Nov 29, 2011, 2:14 PM   #2
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The Tamron 18-270 is about as good as superzoom lenses get. If you're not happy with it, you won't find anything that's much better.

The T3i and T2i are better than your XT, but what's more, the current 18-55 is also better than the 18-55 you've got now. I think that if you want to keep it, your XT still has a lot of life left in it, but the increased image quality that's available in the T2i/T3i may be worth your serious consideration.

What sports do your boys play?
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Old Nov 29, 2011, 3:38 PM   #3
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TCav,

Thank you so much for the response. I did some research and found out that I about to pass the 30,000 mark.

I had not realize the 18-55 was updated. Thank you for the info. Perhaps I shall purchase the t3i and wait a few months for a second lens like the 18-135 and see how that combo works. I'll just have to be quick on my lens switching. :-)

My boys are young. 6, 8 & 10. My oldest played soccer, t-ball, baseball, basketball & lacrosse and he's a swimmer. The younger two are in soccer, baseball & basketball. My wife is very busy with practices.
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Old Nov 29, 2011, 4:53 PM   #4
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For the outdoor sports, at their ages, a 70-300 is plenty. Canon's IS USM is good as is Tamron's SP USD.

Indoor sports is a differnet story. For that, you'll need a large aperture medium telephoto lens.
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Old Nov 29, 2011, 6:58 PM   #5
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I'd like to add that 30,000 shutter actuations isn't really that much, especially considering it took you six years to get there. That's like the car that was owned by a little old lady from Pasadena who only drove it to church on Sundays.
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Old Nov 29, 2011, 8:02 PM   #6
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Now that was funny. Actually made me laugh out loud. Thanks again
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Old Nov 29, 2011, 10:43 PM   #7
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If your budget is limited to either new camera or new lens, then keeping the XT and spending the money on a better lens for indoor sports may be a better option.

I have a 6 years-old XT too. I believe the shutter is rated for 50,000 actuations.
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Old Nov 30, 2011, 2:55 AM   #8
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I'd like to point out that those ratings aren't for the average life expectancy, but are more likely for the 90th percentile. That is, only 10% of shutter/mirror box assemblies can be expected to fail at 50,000 actuations.

So 30,000 really isn't a lot.
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Old Nov 30, 2011, 4:05 AM   #9
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I personally found the Tamron 18-270 a very fine lens for outdoor sports(was attached to a 20D)- I always shot in aperture priority,wide open,with centre area focus- and always seemed to yield pretty good results. If you want some serious reach maybe consider adding the SX40hs to your arsenal- which has pretty good high iso noise control and is certainly less intimidating to others in a family environment....
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Old Nov 30, 2011, 12:55 PM   #10
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I fully appreciate all of your input. Thank you so much for your time. Perhaps the Tamron is worth a second look.
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