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Old Mar 23, 2008, 4:52 AM   #1
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Hi all, first post here so be gentle

First and foremost I would like to thank you for a great site with thourogh reviews !

I have just started to get more interested in photography after using my Canon powershot S50 camera for about 3-4 years. I like this camera a lot, but I feel the pictures I take with are somewhat noisy and I have therefore decided to buy a new SLR camera.

Since I am happy with my existing Canon camera, I have narrowed my options down to these three:
1. Buy the Canon EOS400D with standard kit lens (18-55mm, not image stabilized)
2. Buy the Canon EOS400D with a image stabilized 18-55 mm lens
3. Wait for the new version, the Canon EOS450D with an image stabilized lens, arriving in a week.

Uses for the camera will be all around photography, but a small emphasis on nature photographs/scenery, as well as family and vacation shots.


My questions:
a. Do I really need the features in the new version arriving in a week. I am not sure what LiveView does and how bad I want it for instance ?
b. How badly do I need image stabilized lenses, I don't have a tripod to set my camera up on (yet, but it's on the TODO list)
c. How does the Canon EOS400D look in 2008 compared to the competition

Thanks a lot in advance for any replies and/or advice on what to do.

EDIT: Shortened the message down a bit.

Kind regards Henrik
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Old Mar 23, 2008, 11:06 AM   #2
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I don't shoot Canon (I use Pentax) so I can't really help about particular models. But a couple of general points -

Image stabilization is a very personal thing. It partly depends on what you are taking and how steady you are. Stabilization does nothing for freezing action - if you are using too slow a shutter speed fora movingsubject, you'll get motion blur even though you have stabilization. An example is trying to take pictures of wildflowers dancing in a strong wind - with IS you would end up with clear, sharp rocks but blurred flowers. On the other hand, if you are taking pictures of city lights at night, IS would be helpful to deal with camera shake. Camera shake is increased with longer lenses - a general rule is you should use shutter speeds of 1/focal length of the lens. That means that if your longer lens is 55mm, the slowest shutter speed might be 1/50 sec. you could manage (this does vary from person to person - some people are much steadier than I am). If you plan on using long lenses, your shudder speeds have to be even faster, or plan on getting some type of stabilization. If your main use of the camera is outside in good light, or while using a flash, you might not need stabilization.

I don't have live view on any of my current cameras and don't miss it at all. Until I happened to see it demonstrated in the camera store, I couldn't imagine when I would find it useful. However, I did think of one situation where I might find it easier - using the camera on a tripod for certain scenes. For the most part I think it's not useful at all - my first digical camera was a p&s and I quickly found out that I couldn't line up vertical or horizontal lines very well using the LCD, and that it was MUCH harder for me to hold the camera steady when it was at arm's length. I'd use a viewfinder 99.9% of the time if I had one with live view. Also be aware that there are limitations to what the camera can do when you have live view on.
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Old Mar 24, 2008, 6:29 AM   #3
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Thanks for answering some of my questions, very much appreciated. Hopefully somebody familiar with Canon camera models can fill in the rest of the blanks for me.

From what you type, I am getting more and more tempted to buy the older version (400D/Rebel XTi I think its called in the US), and get an image stabilized lens for some money. I am unsure whether I need the extra features, so I guess I probably don't

Since I don't have a tripod yet, I guess this will be a good all around setup to get started, my lens collection will probably grow over time.
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Old Mar 24, 2008, 1:29 PM   #4
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To suppliment mtngal's comments, I'd like to add that the Canon 450D uses a 12 megapixel image sensor while the 400D uses a 10 megapixel image sensor. Higher pixel densities often result in higher noise levels at higher ISO settings. Canon may well have the noise under control in the 450D, but there haven't been any on the street yet, so the jury is still out.

If you think you might want to take advantage of higher ISO settings, you might want to wait and see what the verdict is on the noise.
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Old Mar 24, 2008, 3:33 PM   #5
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Thank you as well for the answer, good tip regarding the noise levels regarding a higher pixel density at higher ISO settings.

I guess the image quality in general/noise compared to my old compact camera Powershot S50 will be so much better no matter what option I pick for the SLR camera today, so I am not too worried about that aspect. From all the test pictures I have seen from the 400D the pictures look absolutely stunning, and I suspect they will do so more or less no matter what entry-level SLR I pick today.

I guess what I am most interested in knowing from you experts is how the Canon EOS 400D looks today compared to the competition since most reviews I saw were from late 2006, as well as if an image stabilized lens will be worth it for me compared to the standard kit lens. I am more and more thinking that such an IS lens is the way to go.
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Old Mar 24, 2008, 8:20 PM   #6
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All current dSLRs will run rings around your S50. Even though the Canon 400D has been around for a while, it is still a fine camera, and the 450D is likely to be an incrimental improvement, just as the 350D was an incremental improvement over the 300D. The 400D was a substantial improvement over the 350D, but that kind of thing doesn't happen very often.

As to IS lenses, IS is mainly only useful on longer lenses, so I'd say that, for the most part, an IS standard zoom would be of little benefit. Personally , I'd spend the money on something faster that wasn't IS, something like the Tamron 17-50/2.8.
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Old Mar 25, 2008, 12:30 AM   #7
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Great stuff, thanks for the info

kind regards Henrik
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Old Mar 25, 2008, 3:51 PM   #8
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I bought the Canon EOS 400D today, with a Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 lens instead of the plastic kit lens. I also bought a good UV filter and a camera bag. Is the lens I have chosen a good one ?

kind regards Henrik
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Old Mar 25, 2008, 3:58 PM   #9
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That sounds like a really good starting kit, with a lens that's brighter than the standard kit lens, with better focal range from wide to long.

As for the UV filter, I don't use them. Modern digital cameras are not affected by UV anyway (since the built in filters over the sensors get rid of anything that doesn't get filtered by ordinary glass or modern coatings).

So, you're more likely to have image degradation using them in some lighting conditions (for example, flare and ghosting issues in harsher lighting, like brighter lights at night).

Some people like to keep them on for lens protection. Not me. I don't want to degrade optical quality by using one.



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Old Mar 25, 2008, 4:03 PM   #10
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Oh, ok..I was told by several people that some kind of filter should be on at all times for lens protection so I guess I got a bit eager and went for it hehe..

Thank you as well Jim for your answer.

Is there a forum or place here where newbies like me can get some constructive critiscism on photos taken or is that simply too much to ask (I guess it might be) - I don't wanna be rude in any way, just to get better at photography. Some quick test shots (without reading the manual yet) seemed kinda blurry for me to my horror

Kind regards Henrik
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