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Old Jun 22, 2006, 5:41 PM   #1
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I'm looking to move up from my point-and-shoot camera to a dSLR. At first I narrowed to down to either the Canon 350D or the 30D and then decided on the 30D kit. However, many users of the Canon kit lenses labeled it as a fairly bad lens. So now I debating between getting a Canon 350D body with an EF-S 17-85mm lens or the 30D kit. I've heard that the quality difference between the 350D and the 30D is neglible (just some differences in body and settings), but compared to the kit lens, the 17-85mm is a million times better. Both will end up costing nearly the same (with the Rebel and lens probably a bit cheaper), so all that concerns me is the picture quality between the two purchases.
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Old Jun 22, 2006, 7:54 PM   #2
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The 30D is a fine camera body, no doubt. It is probably more rugged than the XT body, and is capable of 5fps shooting vs. 3 fps with the XT. That said, the XT is rugged enough and versatile enough for me and most non-pro shooters. It is also quite a bit lighter than the 20D/30D, which can be valuable traveling or shooting all day. The 30D and XT use identical or at least nearly so sensors, so neither one will take "better" pictures than the other in most situations. The 18-55 kit lens is actually supposed to be a decent lens. Nonetheless, the 17-85 mm gives you the equivalent of 26-135mm on a 35mm camera, which is a nice range. Image stabilization is great, see the attached picture, taken at 17mm and 1.3 sec. exposure on my XT, hand held (I forgot to change my ISO setting from 100).
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Old Jun 23, 2006, 3:28 AM   #3
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If picture quality is the driver then get the 350D + 17-85.

If you're quick you might be able to find a 20D + 17-85 at a good price as stocks run down.
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Old Jun 23, 2006, 8:23 AM   #4
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Under very good conditions with still objects, the 350d will produce the same quality photos as the 30d - their sensors are very similar (not exactly the same but close enough). What the 30d buys you is the ability to get good shots in more demanding situations:

Has 9 focus points intstead of 7 for the 350

Has ISO 3200 vs. 1600 for 350 (so better able to do low light shooting - especially if you need faster shutter speeds like kids moving)

Has a max shutter speed of 1/8000 vs 1/4000 for the 350 - comes into play if you want to shoot at wide apertures outside.

Has 5 fps burst vs. 3 for the 350

Has 1/3 stop ISO increments vs full stop increments for the 350

Ergonomic differences:

30d has much better construction and feel - handle them personally and you'll see what I mean.

Has an LCD that's twice the size of the 350

Bigger/heavier (either a plus or a minus - that's a personal thing)

So, the 30d offers more features that will allow you a better chance of getting shots in more demanding situations. But, don't underestimate the ergonomics either. When I had to replace my 300D, I went to a photo store and handled both the 350 and the 20d. I really didn't like the feel of the 350 at all so I stretched my budget and got the 20d. As I shoot a lot of sports I'm extremely glad I did as the focusing, higher ISO and fps really come into play there. Other people prefer the smaller lightweight 350. I suggest you handle both - ergonomics might not matter to you but it just might.

So, yes the 350 is capable of great pictures. Only you can decide if you need the added features of the 30d. And, after handling both cameras you can decide which body size better suits you personally.
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