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View Full Version : First DSLR Canon XSi or 40D?(the age old question, i know)




mep42
Aug 4, 2008, 11:00 PM
I have been looking at both and I am puzzled. I thought I was sold on the 40d but, I read reviews saying that I should buy the cheaper xsi and get a better lens rather than getting the 40d with the 28-135 kit lens.Help!!



Mr_Brightside_@
Aug 4, 2008, 11:17 PM
I have been looking at both and I am puzzled. I thought I was sold on the 40d but, I read reviews saying that I should buy the cheaper xsi and get a better lens rather than getting the 40d with the 28-135 kit lens.Help!!
Get the cheaper camera with a better lens. If this is your first, anyone here will tell you that it's the glass, not the body that's important.

ProwlingTiger
Aug 4, 2008, 11:35 PM
Not always true. You need a good image sensor, and lens. However, both of the models you mention have good ones.

I'd go 40D. I love the camera, its one I like to have in my fleet. Plus, it has FASTER shutter speeds, COMPACT FLASH, and some more high-end features.

If you're new, the XSi would work well, but I'd go 40D.

JDR
Aug 5, 2008, 12:33 AM
Two months ago, I was asking myself the same question. I was ready for something more than my Powershot G9, and since I'm a Canon fanboy (and of course an :apple: fanboy too) I immediately started to look at the XSi and the 40D. The things that sold me on the 40D were (not in any particular order):

I was worried that the XSi would be "too close" to my G9.
Better kit lens: The 28-135 is great for my needs now--no complaints about it. In the future, though, I plan on getting better glass: a 70-200 f4L (IS or not?) and a nice prime.
I'm going to be getting my feet wet in sports photograhy (non-commercial) so the extra fps helps.
I plan on keeping it for at least 4 years, so the metal body and weather sealed battery and CF card doors are a plus.
faster AF--it focuses very quickly, and with the USM motor in the kit lens, it's also very quiet.
Bigger viewfinder--I wear glasses, so the extra brightness and magnification is great.
I liked the more substantial/heavier feel of the 40D.
I don't know how I would live without the secondary LCD screen on the top and the scroll wheel on the back.
I was able to get a really good price on it ($1,129) online at B&H, a great photography store based out of NYC.


Don't get me wrong--the XSi is a great camera. I tried both of them out at a local camera store, and I can say that the XSi has a quieter shutter sound, smaller (for those who like a smaller camera) and it's sensor is 12MP instead of the 40D's 10MP. For the circumstances I was in, it just made more sense to go with the 40D for a little bit more money. And I'm glad I did. I LOVE it.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask.
-JDR

ProwlingTiger
Aug 5, 2008, 12:45 AM
Two months ago, I was asking myself the same question. I was ready for something more than my Powershot G9, and since I'm a Canon fanboy (and of course an :apple: fanboy too) I immediately started to look at the XSi and the 40D. The things that sold me on the 40D were (not in any particular order):

I was worried that the XSi would be "too close" to my G9.
Better kit lens: The 28-135 is great for my needs now--no complaints about it. In the future, though, I plan on getting better glass: a 70-200 f4L (IS or not?) and a nice prime.
I'm going to be getting my feet wet in sports photograhy (non-commercial) so the extra fps helps.
I plan on keeping it for at least 4 years, so the metal body and weather sealed battery and CF card doors are a plus.
faster AF--it focuses very quickly, and with the USM motor in the kit lens, it's also very quiet.
Bigger viewfinder--I wear glasses, so the extra brightness and magnification is great.
I liked the more substantial/heavier feel of the 40D.
I don't know how I would live without the secondary LCD screen on the top and the scroll wheel on the back.
I was able to get a really good price on it ($1,129) online at B&H, a great photography store based out of NYC.


Don't get me wrong--the XSi is a great camera. I tried both of them out at a local camera store, and I can say that the XSi has a quieter shutter sound, smaller (for those who like a smaller camera) and it's sensor is 12MP instead of the 40D's 10MP. For the circumstances I was in, it just made more sense to go with the 40D for a little bit more money. And I'm glad I did. I LOVE it.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask.
-JDR

Same here, I got the 40D for now, and passed on the XSi. For a serious photographer, the 40D is more in line.

ChrisA
Aug 5, 2008, 01:54 AM
I was worried that the XSi would be "too close" to my G9.

Don't worry. The G9 and any SLR are not "close". With the SLR you get zero shutter lag and a much larger sensor. And of course the SLR allows you the change the lens.

THe way to think about it is that to get the best result for the money, after you get the first lenses you need you should have spent more on the lenses then the body. So look at your total first year budget and spend no more than half of it on the body.

The thing is that bodies don't last all that long. Technology moves quickly. But lenses use a mature technology that moves slow. A good lens will have a long lifetime. 20 years is not unreasonable. But buying a body is like buying a computer. Even if it does not break, no one wants a 10 year old computer or DSLR body.

One more argument. No one but you will know which body you shot an image with. You just can't see it when you look at a picture but they can see the effect of the lens.

SchneiderMan
Aug 5, 2008, 03:15 AM
Same here, I got the 40D for now, and passed on the XSi. For a serious photographer, the 40D is more in line.

i too have the d40 and its a great slr! really good looking too and light

Scarlet Fever
Aug 5, 2008, 03:28 AM
I've heard that this choice sorts out those who are interested in photography and those who aren't. The people who buy the 40D more often than not come back and buy expensive glass to go with it. The people who buy the 400D/450D either sell it and buy a 40D or sell it and give up interest in photography.

I have a 40D, and I've used several 400Ds and I find the 40D is a much more useable camera. The extra wheel on the back makes manual mode and viewing pictures so much easier.

dork420
Aug 5, 2008, 08:05 AM
mep42

I bought an xsi and love it. I came from a canon Elan 7 35mm and while the xsi is smaller, it fits my needs perfectly. I am an amateur photographer that takes awesome family shots, nature pics and travel. I make large prints for the home and gifts. To be honest I had a little camera size envy but realized that it was peer pressure. The xsi will be more than enough if you are looking at image quality and smooth operation. The burst speed is fine unless you are a pro.
It feels great comapred to my Elan 7 and the operation is just as comprehensive. Even better now that I can shoot like I always wanted to but didn;t because of film costs.

Amazon is selling the xsi kit for 709 right now which is a deal. That's like getting the kit lens for free, which you could always sell later for more cash if you don't like it. Also don;t forget the case, sd card, hard drive, maybe Aperture, etc. When you factor those costs in , I think the xsi becomes even more appealing.

miles01110
Aug 5, 2008, 09:11 AM
Spending close to $1000 US for a first DSLR is stupid in my opinion. For the same amount of money you can get the XSi body, a decent replacement for the crappy kit lens, and still have money left over. The XSi is new, won't be replaced as soon as the 40D will, and there will be virtually no difference in image quality for anything you'd be likely to use it for.

ProwlingTiger
Aug 5, 2008, 11:06 AM
The 40D body is superior.

JDR
Aug 5, 2008, 11:21 AM
Don't worry. The G9 and any SLR are not "close". With the SLR you get zero shutter lag and a much larger sensor. And of course the SLR allows you the change the lens.

THe way to think about it is that to get the best result for the money, after you get the first lenses you need you should have spent more on the lenses then the body. So look at your total first year budget and spend no more than half of it on the body.

The thing is that bodies don't last all that long. Technology moves quickly. But lenses use a mature technology that moves slow. A good lens will have a long lifetime. 20 years is not unreasonable. But buying a body is like buying a computer. Even if it does not break, no one wants a 10 year old computer or DSLR body.

One more argument. No one but you will know which body you shot an image with. You just can't see it when you look at a picture but they can see the effect of the lens.

I agree--I've read on lots of photography sites that bodies will come and go, but lenses will stay with you forever. That's a good rule to follow if you have enough money to support those extra bodies in the future, but since I'm a student now, the ~$1,000+ for a new body in a few years is not really an option. The increased ruggedness of the 40D was one of the main reasons for buying it.

Also, on the topic of technology, I do realize that it's progressing quite rapidly, but since the 40D can take awesome pictures in 2008, it'll still probably take awesome pictures in 2011 (assuming it's still in good condition). It's not like something will change on Earth that makes it necessary to have more AF points or a faster processor.

In the end, at least for myself, buying a nice setup in the beginning to last me a while, with room to grow in, will be more financially smart than a few small bodies and the nicer lenses in the beginning.

KJmoon117
Aug 5, 2008, 12:48 PM
Just wondering but what is your current camera? (Directed at the OP)

I'm just going with the Canon XTi Body with a 50mm f/1.8 to teach me composition and I think the OP should do the same if this is his first DSLR.
Maybe it's just me, but with the entry level dSLRs we have to this day, it seems kinda weird to drop over a grand on your first camera and not even know if this is an interest you wish to pursue further.

But I'm just a newbie, so don't take my word too seriously...
And if you're wondering, my current camera is a Nikon Coolpix P80 / Nikon D80 both which are my dads ><'

People above me are right, it's just like buying a computer. The new technology that comes out does not make the old one obsolete, people still take good pictures with Holgas and traditional film haha~

mep42
Aug 5, 2008, 02:26 PM
what do you guys think about sigma and tamaron lenses. Now I am thinking more about getting an XSI with a battery grip to handle my big hands and getting two get tamaron or sigma lenses are they good?

ProwlingTiger
Aug 5, 2008, 03:02 PM
Go Tamron. I shoot with them, along with a few other brands, including Canon. But the Tamron ones perform excellent, and I've never been dissatisfied with them.

As far as the battery grip, I'd save money and wait to see how the camera feels without it. You can always add that later.

mep42
Aug 5, 2008, 07:17 PM
This is what I have come up with

Canon Deluxe Photo Backpack 200EG for Canon EOS SLR Cameras (Black
Price: $38.56

Sigma Zoom Telephoto 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Autofocus Lens + EX
Price: $94.95

Product Image
Canon BG-E5 Battery Grip for EOS Rebel XS XSi + Advanced DB ROTH Accessory Kit
Price: $155.99


Canon Digital Rebel XSi 12MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (Black)
by Canon\ - $709.97

apearlman
Aug 5, 2008, 08:34 PM
The size difference between these two cameras is significant. While I agree that the 40D has better "feel" than the smaller XSi, I much prefer to carry a smaller camera. My waistpack can take a (similar-sized) XT plus 3 lenses and a flash. A bigger body means I'd probably have to leave a lens at home.

apearlman
Aug 5, 2008, 08:35 PM
This is what I have come up with

Sigma Zoom Telephoto 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Autofocus Lens + EX
Price: $94.95


Where'd you get that price for the Sigma? Seems surprisingly low.

EDIT: Okay, now I see -- you should think about getting the APO version of that lens, it's sharper. I have an older version (of the APO) and like it very much -- a great bargain at $140.

mep42
Aug 5, 2008, 08:44 PM
Where'd you get that price for the Sigma? Seems surprisingly low.

EDIT: Okay, now I see -- you should think about getting the APO version of that lens, it's sharper. I have an older version (of the APO) and like it very much -- a great bargain at $140.

APO version? do you mind explaining that

Cave Man
Aug 5, 2008, 11:35 PM
APO version? do you mind explaining that

APO - apochromatic. It is a lens with elements that correct for chromatic aberrations that can cause image softness. The Sigma 70-300 APO macro is probably the best lens in the sub $300 market that covers this range, regardless of manufacturer. I know for a fact that it smokes Canon's 75-300 (non-USM or USM). It's also a much better lens than Sigma's non-APO version.

tonie
Aug 5, 2008, 11:40 PM
I would get whatever I can afford. The 40D is a great camera but if you have money, I would recommend getting the 5D kit.

miles01110
Aug 6, 2008, 03:39 AM
I would get whatever I can afford. The 40D is a great camera but if you have money, I would recommend getting the 5D kit.

Again, this would be overkill. A 5D for a starter DSLR? I don't think so.

OreoCookie
Aug 6, 2008, 04:12 AM
Get a cheaper body and a better lens. Even if the 40D `has more features', you'll be constrained more if you use the 40D with a cheap lens compared to the XSi and a decent lens. It might `feel better', but truth to be told, you'll in all likelihood take worse pictures.

Fortunately, the XSi has caught up a little in terms of viewfinder (compared to, say, the D80). I'd get the XSi, skip the kit lens and get something like Tamron's 18-50 f/2.8.

The lens you have proposed for the 40D, 28-135, is a very unsuitable choice: on Canon's 1.6x crop bodies, this corresponds to 45-216 mm on film.

OreoCookie
Aug 6, 2008, 04:18 AM
Not a very good setup (except for the body and perhaps the battery grip). The rest is comprised of relatively cheap stuff. The tele zoom lens is not of very good quality. For a good tele zoom, you have to invest more, but not infinitely times more. Get one very good lens and the nifty fifty (50 mm f/1.8 or f/1.4) and you'll fare much better.

Also, you should get a good bag with room to spare. I very much like Loewe Pro, but there are other companies that make good stuff (e. g. Crumpler).

dork420
Aug 6, 2008, 07:23 AM
This is what I have come up with

Canon Deluxe Photo Backpack 200EG for Canon EOS SLR Cameras (Black
Price: $38.56

Sigma Zoom Telephoto 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Autofocus Lens + EX
Price: $94.95

Product Image
Canon BG-E5 Battery Grip for EOS Rebel XS XSi + Advanced DB ROTH Accessory Kit
Price: $155.99


Canon Digital Rebel XSi 12MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (Black)
by Canon\ - $709.97

I would skip the Sigma like others said but also drop the battery grip as well. See how you like the camera first. The grip may add some size and weight but isn't necessary unless you are shooting A LOT. If you want bigger get the 40D don't compromise and buy an xsi and battery grip. Not saying you are but if that's the reason for the grip, don't do it. If you get the grip don't forget to factor in another battery cell or rechargeable batteries to the bill.

Also like other's said get a 50mm. I have the 1.8, while not built incredibly well, it takes great picks and is on my xsi way more than my other lens.
See if you like the kit lens. If not , sell it, use that money and the money saved from the battery grip and take a higher step up on a lens.

mep42
Aug 6, 2008, 09:17 AM
Thanks everyone for the great advice. To answer on persons question about the 5d that is way out of my price range right now. What I was thinking is just getting the 40d with a 18-55 lens and then I can add lenses later on.

Cave Man
Aug 6, 2008, 09:27 AM
Thanks everyone for the great advice. To answer on persons question about the 5d that is way out of my price range right now. What I was thinking is just getting the 40d with a 18-55 lens and then I can add lenses later on.

So, what is your budget, and what are you principally interested in shooting?

JDR
Aug 6, 2008, 10:52 AM
What I was thinking is just getting the 40d with a 18-55 lens and then I can add lenses later on.
Do you mean the XSi? The 40D's kit lens is currently the 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM.


. I have the 1.8, while not built incredibly well, it takes great picks and is on my xsi way more than my other lens.


Sorry to butt in, but I'm quite interested in buying an EF 50/1.8 for my 40D.

What's your review on it? Did you buy it in-store on online?

mep42
Aug 6, 2008, 10:57 AM
my price range is about 1,000 dollars. I was just planing on getting the body and then getting a 18-55 lens separate

Cave Man
Aug 6, 2008, 11:33 AM
my price range is about 1,000 dollars. I was just planing on getting the body and then getting a 18-55 lens separate

I think you're on your way to a very nice kit. The XSI with 18-55 IS kit lens ($700 from Beach Camera (http://www.beachcamera.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=CNDRXSIK1855)), 50mm f/1.8 ($90 from Sigma4Less (http://sigma4less.com/canon-normal-ef-50mm-f18-ii-autofocus-lens--usa-.html)), and Sigma 70-300 APO for Canon ($173 from Sigma4Less (http://sigma4less.com/sigma-zoom-telephoto-70-300mm-f4-56-apo-dg-macro-autofocus-lens-for-canon-eos.html)). Total package of $963 sans shipping. You'll need a flash card as well, so that ought to bring you to about $1,000. (You should consider picking up lens hoods for the two Canon lenses; the Sigma includes it at no extra cost.) A very nice starter kit.

mep42
Aug 6, 2008, 01:02 PM
Guys I am pretty sure I have found what I am going to get. I am getting the 40d with a 18-55 IS lens for $890. I also want to get a telephoto-zoom lens, is the sigma mentioned earlier still my best bet. I am trying to stay around $1,000.

Cave Man
Aug 6, 2008, 01:07 PM
I wouldn't bother with the non-APO Sigma 70-300. If you can put another $60 for the APO, then you'll have a nice setup. You can see lots of images from this lens here (http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/apo_70_300_4_56_dg_macro) and here (http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/70-300_45-56_apo_dg_macro). The 40d is a great camera and should last you quite a while. My 30D is still going strong.

JDR
Aug 6, 2008, 01:13 PM
Guys I am pretty sure I have found what I am going to get. I am getting the 40d with a 18-55 IS lens for $890. I also want to get a telephoto-zoom lens, is the sigma mentioned earlier still my best bet. I am trying to stay around $1,000.

I think you're confusing yourself. Lowest price for a 40D body only from a reputable place is around $970. A separately purchased EF-S 18-55 IS is about $170.

XSi with kit 18-55 IS is $740.

Are you in the US, Canada, or elsewhere?

mep42
Aug 6, 2008, 01:25 PM
I have found it on ebay. The sellers feedback is good and they have sold this particular item many times before.