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Old May 10, 2006, 7:58 AM   #1
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Hi everyone!

I'm looking to upgrade from my current (and still admittedly incredibly competent for its size) camera, which is a Powershot A95. I want to develop my photography skills a lot more and hopefully turn it into something more than just a hobby as its something I have somewhat of a passion for.
Anywho, I've been saving for a while now, and am stuck on the decision of which to actually get.

Initially I just considered the 350D (not a fan of Nikon, myself) as its the entry-level camera, but theres something about the 30D thats just far more attractive, even though feature-wise there isn't a huge amount of difference.
Something to do with the fact its a full metal construction, and slightly larger - something in me is telling me SLR's should be larger and have a bit of weight to them! (probably comes from using an Olympus OM-30 film SLR back in the day - that thing was a right brick to carry)

Anywho, is the 30D worth the extra money? I'm in the UK and the 350D is retailing at about £400-450 without the kit lens (which I don't want) and the 30D is retailing at about £700-850. Is it worth the extra?

Second question, which lens do I get with it? A pro-photographer friend of mine suggested the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX DG Macro as a standard use zoom lens. From what he said and from what I've read, its fantastic quality and sharpness (not to mention cheap at £279) but then he also recommended, if I could stretch to it, the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM which is obviously a bit more at £879. He did mention that the Canon lens might be a bit weighty on the 350D and unbalance it.
Which of those do you think is better? Or would you suggest something else?

Perhaps buying the sigma and a longer zoom lens (I'd love to do some decent wildlife photography - my 3x A95 lens just doesn't do it for me!) or buying the L series lens and then saving up for a higher quality longer zoom?

I'm very much new in this DSLR world, and the amount of choice is quite frankly baffling, so I'd very much appreciate some advice from you lovely people!

Many thanks,


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Old May 10, 2006, 9:58 AM   #2
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I would suggest getting the Reble and use the extra money to get a good lens.

I looked at these

24-69mm 2.8 sigma

24-70mm 2.8 (heavier and bigger)

28-75mm Tamron(not real wide on a crop camera) but I got a good deal and pretty happy with this lens.
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Old May 11, 2006, 6:51 AM   #3
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Is the "heavier and bigger" lens you say second the Canon one I mentioned or is it another Sigma? And is the first Sigma you mentioned the same one I mentioned as well?

Does anyone else have any advice? Its all so confusing!
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Old May 11, 2006, 9:48 AM   #4
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First off, could you say more about what you'll photograph? You mention wildlife with a longer lens, but what will you use the short one for. Also, knowing what type of wildlife would be helpful as well. Please give details.

You can't answer the question "what type of car should I drive?" without knowing more about what they do (race? haul horses? groups of school kids? Drive 200,000 miles a year?) and the same goes with leses. If you don't tell us how you'll use them, we can't tell you which are good for what you'll do.

Note, this info is from a review site, but its a sight that I have agreed with for all the lenses I own (5, including 3 L lenses) and its fit with the opinion of others I've checked with. Just so you know, this is not from personal experience.

The Canon 24-70 is a stunning lens. The review site that I'm looking at literally has nothing bad to say about it. The only one better is the Canon 20-35 f2.8L, but it might be a bit short for you (you don't say what you'll use it for.) But don't be blinded by specs. There is also the question of "good enough for you". If you have really high standards, then the incremental increase in quality might be worth it. But it might not. Take that into account before you spend a lot more on something with only minor improvements.

The Tamron that sonofjesse mentions is considered "Good" but you could do better. It has distortion problems on the wide end and its "performance" wide is only "ok" (2 out of 5), but it is still fairly sharp. It suffers from fair problems and has slow AF... but with a lens that wide AF isn't normally the highest priority.

The Sigma you list only shows up as "average". It also has distortion problems on the both ends of the zoom (but the long end is worse.) It also has flair issues and has slow AF.

There is variability between samples of lenses, this really is only about the "average" lens you'll get of that type. But I'd say that you should seriously consider the Canon.


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Old May 11, 2006, 5:20 PM   #5
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And once again everyone is recommending a lens designed for 35mm on a 1.6 crop body - even your "pro" friend.

Is 24*1.6=38.4 (59 degrees diagonal) equivalent really wide enough for use as your main lens?

Is 28*1.6=45 (52 degrees diagonal!!) equivalent really wide enough for use as your main lens?

Are you planning on buying a panorama head for your tripod instead of getting a wideangle lens in case you ever fancy a landscape shot?

Drives me nuts, I wish they'd all changed the lens mount.

Let's all switch to 4/3 and put ourselves out of this misery.

Buy one of these:
Canon 16-35L f2.8
Canon 17-40L
Canon 17-85
Canon 17-55 f2.8
Sigma 18-50 f2.8
Sigma 17-70

Or better yet, get the kit lens and use the camera for 3-6 months. Then decide what lens you want next and use the kit lens as a paperweight.
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Old May 11, 2006, 7:50 PM   #6
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Hey Mark, I've owned the 350D and own the 30D now. The difference is DEFINITELY worth the extra money. Besides the fatured upgrades (of which the 2.5" LCD is my favorite), the camera just feels so much more solid. And the rear wheel control dial is a much more efficient way to control the camera.

Although it would be near impossible (at lower ISOs) to tell the difference between images from the two cameras, the PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPERIENCE of shooting with the 30D is worth every penny.

Finally, as peripatetic pointed out, 24 to 28mm on either of these cameras isn't really wide. I would recommend the Canon 17-85IS and your first lens, and The Sigma 70-300 APO II for your first telephoto lens.

Hope this helps,



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