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Old Dec 2, 2005, 12:03 AM   #1
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Greetings all,

I'm in the market for some new gear and I'm having a hard time making the call between the 20d, 5d, and the N. I've done some pretty extensive reading on all of these (including the forums / reviews here) and for some reason I'm not finding a clear choice. I know no one else can tell me what is exactly right for me and what I shoot, but some well educated opinions can't hurt

Most of the shooting I do is wildlife (not generally fast moving), ATV racing (generallypoor light and moving fast) and then the occasional scenic type stuff. I very rarely shoot people and portrait type pictures, although I will on occasion do so. For the past 18 months or so I've been using a 300D, and I've done the majority of my shooting with an EF 75-300 III up to this point. I'm gotten to the point where the slow speed, etc of the 300D has become quite an annoyance and I find myself wanting more - of both the camera, and myself. I won't kid myself or anyone else, I take as many bad pictures as the camera does

I know my canidates vary greatly in almost all aspects, and definately in price but to be honest I'm looking for something I'm going to be happy with for quite some time so that I can focus on building a good compliment of lens and not feel the need to upgrade the camera. In general folks seem pleased with their 20D, and I think it fits my skill level fairly well but I don't want to be longing for more in the short term. The 5D seems very nice on paper, but it seems that its not very well liked for the types of things I'm shooting, and the 1D seems impressive as always but like the 5D the cost is fairly high and would limit what I could purchase lens wise. I'd like something that I can grow with in skill level and that is a sound investiment for a non-pro that would like to branch into doing more.

So that brings me where I am now.

I'd like better glass, so I'm definately looking at newalens (70-200 F4, or the Sigma 70-200 2.8 in particular) as well something in the wider ranges aswell.

*whew* Long winded

Any thoughts / opinions are much appreciated!

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Old Dec 2, 2005, 1:57 AM   #2
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We can quickly rule out the 5D. It isn't made for what you're doing and wouldn't do it as well as the other cameras. The 20D has more "reach" due to the crop factor (and maybe other advantages I haven't read the reviews.) And the 5D costs a lot for loosing 60% lens reach. I shoot wildlife and I wouldn't consider that trade off acceptable. Heck, I don't consider loosing 30% acceptable (going from the 20D to the 1D MkIIN) but I know some day I'll do it.

Purely by what you shoot, the 1D MkIIN (the N from now on) is the obvious choice. It is *made* for sports/action/wildlife shooting. It is considered by many to be the best camera made by anyone for that type of shooting. But you pay for it. Is it worth not buying a good lens for awhile to get that body? Difficult choice as a lens will last you a lot longer than a camera body.

You will feel absolutely no reason to upgrade the N. It is a steller camera. Truly amazing. I've borrowed one (I have the 20D) and I lust after it. But I'm holding out for its replacement (I consider it only an minor upgrade to the 1D MkII) as it will come at some point. If I didn't buy the 1D MkII, I don't think I'll buy the N. But the longer the replacement is delayed, the more likely I'll give in and get an N.

The 20D would do what you do better than the 300D. Better exposure comp, more resolution, better AF, deeper buffer (I beleive), and more. All around, a superior camera. Is it "better enough" that you won't want to upgrade for some time to come? I don't know, that is a personal thing. That would certainly be true for the N.

That is about all I can tell you. To me I view it as a trade-off between delaying the better lens purchase for better camera performance. If you know someone who has the 20D, I'd suggest trying it out for a day. If it really is "better enough" than just get that and buy some great lenses. It's a great camera. The N is an awesome camera, but at twice the price.

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Old Dec 2, 2005, 3:37 AM   #3
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Nsane your title fits you well if you think the 300D is slow thats because of your lens is a EF 75-300 on you 20D, 5D or N, will provide the same performance that you get out of your 300D currently. If you got the money for a N($4K) spend that in optics and you will fall back in love with your 300D. Get a 24-70 F2.8L($1200) a 70-200 F2.8L($1200 or $1700 w/IS) a 85 F1.2L($1500), and a great tripod then use them and tell us how well your 300D preforms.

Skill, Optics, and a Tripod are in that order are more important than the body.

Also while im on the note of bodies I need more dynamic range and hence why I havnt got a new body yet its getting better but not good enough to upgrade after Adobe's HDR tool.
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Old Dec 2, 2005, 7:27 AM   #4
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nsane wrote:
I won't kid myself or anyone else, I take as many bad pictures as the camera does
This should summarize it all...

-> the camera (or lenses) do(es) not take the picture, but it's the photographer behind the equipments who makes or breaks the images - I'm afraid you'll need more practice than getting a better camera or lenses

Many people here including Pro can get outstanding pictures from your existing outfit :idea:
i.e. unless you can master the basic moving up will just be a waste...
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Old Dec 2, 2005, 8:55 AM   #5
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VictorEM83 wrote:
Nsane your title fits you well if you think the 300D is slow thats because of your lens is a EF 75-300
I completely agree on the lens, I should have been more clear in what I meant by "slow". My big issues are buffer / buffer clear time, write time, etc.I know I need to upgrade to better glass no matter what.

Many people here including Pro can get outsatnding pictures from your existing outfit
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I think throwing money at it will make me take better photos. I learned a long time ago that there is no replacement for skill in just about everything. I'm quite happy with the vast majority of the shots I take, although I personally think my throw-away % is too high (~15%). I definately don't think my skill level warrants an N, but I don't want to jump up to a 20D to be back in same position sooner than later.

Improved skills and better optics should have definately been included in my original question as a choice.

I appreciate the feedback guys, itsvery helpful.
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Old Dec 2, 2005, 12:03 PM   #6
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Skill, Optics, and a Tripod are in that order are more important than the body.
I wouldn't agree with that - it's too simplistic. All 4 are essential, and poor performance from any one of them can ruin your shots. Also it's easier to work on your skills when your equipment isn't letting you down. It's often said that a real pro can take great pictures with any old camera, and that's true, but I also think that a large number of real pros would never have been able to develop that level of skill if they'd never had the chance to hone their skills with top grade kit.

Back to the question in hand however...

Tough choice for sure.

I agree with Eric, the 5D doesn't seem to be the camera for you.

#1 choice would definitely be the N, that camera was made for the stuff you shoot.

45 point AF.
AF at f8 -> makes long lenses work with teleconverters!!!
Rugged as all heck.
Will probably last you for 5-10 years.
Good high-ISO performance due to the large pixels.
Massive buffer.

#2 would be the 20D.

The best pro-sumer camera around over the last 12 months, though perhaps not for much longer.

But are you better off spending the price differential on better lenses? Probably yes.
Because the price difference between the two is about the cost of the 70-200 L IS f2.8, which is one of the best lenses Canon (or anybody for that matter) makes and would work like a dream on the 20D for the stuff you shoot.

So my recommendation is get the 20D and some really top grade lenses, treat the 20D as the camera you're going to use for the next 2-3 years. It's MUCH nicer than the 300D, I've used both and they're not in the same class i.t.o. overall camera quality at all. (I accept that the picture quality of the 300D is fine when it allows you to get the shot you want.)

Plan to upgrade the camera body in 2-3 years, but top quality lenses will last you for much longer than that.

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Old Dec 2, 2005, 3:09 PM   #7
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The quick answer is that its the photographer, but that doesn't always apply. I have a 300D, and it is slow. You may get several shotsfast but it bogs down very quickly with its small buffer. I switched to a 20D shortly after my 300D "croaked", and I was happy to be given a reason to change. For my type of shooting the 20D made sense and the extra pixels helped with cropping. NSane, your requirements seem to point toward the 20D. Large buffer, magnification factor, etc.
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Old Dec 2, 2005, 4:57 PM   #8
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Peripatetic, I agree top gear helps but people are still getting great shots on D60's why becuase they know how to use it yes a larger buffer's on new cameras can help but if you cant get the shot without taking 20 pictures and praying it works you not a photographer your a guy taking fast snapshots hoping one happens to work out.

Photography is mastering the use of light and compostion to get the desired image or effect in an image. Fancy metering, 45 point AF, customs WB, and all the extra features dont always help it will just add more to go wrong. So many people think the next body will make them better but the next gen camera with all the new toys means the more you have to do to make sure shot is good.

No offence to you Nsane but if you havent mastered the 300D how is a camera that has more work, more setting to remember, and more features involed with it gonna help you instead of hinder you.

I feel you better off working with the best optics than having to worry about the setting on a more complex body.
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Old Dec 2, 2005, 8:48 PM   #9
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I say if you can afford it, want it, then buy it.

We only live once.

-- Terry
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Old Dec 21, 2005, 6:33 PM   #10
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I would go with the 20d. I have the 300d and love the camera with exception of the lag that sometimes occurs when Im shooting fast moving wildlife. Right now I can not justify an upgrade as the camera does the job and Im getting pretty good shots out of ity, a new lens is a different matter:-)
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