Buying Advice: Canon EOS 400D

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Chris14, Oct 15, 2006.

  1. Chris14 macrumors regular

    Chris14

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, NZ
    #1
    Hello, is was wondering is anyone who has this camera and could let me know a few things. I am new to the world of digital photography.

    1. Does this camera body include and lens, or do I need to get the 18-55mm lens kit?

    2. Are you happy with this camera. Will it last me over the next few years?

    3. Will a 1GB compact flash card be enough?

    Thanks
     
  2. Kartel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    #2
    I'm not an owner yet, but plan to be in coming months. I've done a ton of research so far though.

    1. When it says body only, it means body only. No lens. You can get a non-kit lens separately or go with the kit. The kit doesn't suck as much as a lot of people say. You certainly CAN get great pics from it. You just need to keep its limitations in mind. I'm still unsure of whether I want to go with the kit, or save up a bit more and get a body + 50mm 1.4 USM. It'll be a while before I can afford anything anyway.

    2. My 2002 2.4MP Kodak has served me pretty well for the past 4 years. I would fully expect a DSLR to also have a pretty meaningful lifespan in it, especially since it's not locked into a certain lens (and many people say photography is more about the lens than the cam anyway).

    3. 1GB would be "ok" in the sense that it will still get you a bunch more pics than you would on traditional film. But I personally wouldn't go any less than 2GB, and in all likelyhood will go for 4GB. I have a 256MB card on my old Kodak that I get 384 pics on, and I'm used to that, so I imagine I'll want to still be able to get 300 pics or so on the new cam when I get it. That mean I'll want a 4GB (about 315 pics). A 2GB should hold about 157 pics, and a 1GB should be good for 78. This is assuming 13MB RAW files though. With jpg, you can of course hold more.
     
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #3
    I am an owner :D

    1. As above, Body Only really means that. I'd say go Body Only and buy a 17-85 EF-S IS if funds allow. It's a much better overall deal that the kit lens.

    2. I love the camera. It's my first DSLR so I don't have much to compare it against but as far as I'm concerned it's great. Some people complain that the grip is too small, but I'm quite happy with it. Will it last the next few years: sure as long as you don't chuck it around too much. There are plenty of people out there still using their 300Ds which are at least 2 or 3 years old now.

    3. Depends. If you shoot JPEG only, sure. If you shoot RAW only maybe. If you shoot JPEG+RAW (which I do), probably not. I have a 2Gb card that seems to be about the right size. Just for your info JPEGs at the highest quality are between 3 and 5Mb (depending on the scene complexity). RAW files are between 11 and 12Mb. So shooting both will cost 15-17Mb per image!
     
  4. wisredz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    #4
    I'm sure you meant MBs! :D gee, a 12 gb image???
     
  5. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #5
    Doh! Yes Mb not Gb. I'll edit the post now :eek:
     
  6. Chris14 thread starter macrumors regular

    Chris14

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, NZ
    #6
    Cards?

    Hi, the Canon EOS 400D uses Compact Flash cards right?, not SD cards?
     
  7. kevinliu4 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    #7
    Yes, it uses compact flash cards.
     
  8. Chris14 thread starter macrumors regular

    Chris14

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, NZ
    #8
    Macro mode

    One last question:
    Can the EOS 400d shot in Macro mode? Is it lens specific, if so will macro be supported by the standard 18-55mm lens?
     
  9. Cybix macrumors 6502a

    Cybix

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    Western Australia
    #9
    macro is all in the lens. there's no such 'mode' on the camera.

    you buy a macro lens to take macro shots, or you do what you can with the lens you have.
     
  10. sjl macrumors 6502

    sjl

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #10
    Macro has a different meaning in the SLR world to the meaning it's been assigned in the compact world. "Macro" in compacts means "close up". That's true in the SLR world too, but there's a subtle difference that that definition misses.

    Basically, think of a 35mm camera. Now, consider that when you take a photograph, the lens casts an image of whatever you're shooting onto the 35mm negative (or slide - whatever.) This image, in most cases, will be a lot smaller than the original object. So far, so good.

    A macro shot, in the SLR world, means that the image cast upon the negative is the same size as the object in the real world. eg: if you took a photograph of a ten cent coin, and developed the negative, you could put the ten cent coin on the negative, and it would cover it exactly.

    This is what's meant when you look at a lens' specifications and it says "maximum magnification": the size of the object's image cast on the film, compared with the object's real life size, at minimum focusing distance and maximum zoom.

    A macro lens for an SLR is designed to cast an image that is life size (or bigger; eg: the Canon MP-E 65 can go to five times life size, but that's a highly specialised lens.)

    The 18-55mm is not designed as a macro lens - it will not focus closely enough to cast a full size image on the sensor. The best approach if you have no money is to zoom to 55mm, and get as close as you can while still keeping the subject in focus. If you have a little more money, you can buy extension tubes which will allow closer focusing. For more money still, you can buy the 100mm macro, and that's the way that I'd suggest you go if you want to do macro work.

    These are limitations inherent in the design of the lens, and there is no way around them without buying more gear. Don't get me wrong, you can still get good shots out of the 18-55mm, but it's not designed for macro work, and trying to use it as such will give you some disappointment.
     
  11. Chris14 thread starter macrumors regular

    Chris14

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, NZ
    #11
    Thanks

    Thanks for all your input guys.
    I think I will take the plunge and buy an EOS 400d with the 18-55mm lens and a 1GB CF card. If I need a new lens or bigger card I will buy one in the future, if finances allow!
    I guess thats the beauty of DSLRs and SLRs... much more in the way of lastability. Thanks again!
     
  12. kevinliu4 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    #12
    Good luck! I am envious. Even though I already have a 350D, I am a sucker for always wanting the latest and greatest.

    You will not regret it. It's a great camera. Have fun!
     
  13. jlcharles macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wenonah, NJ
    #13
    I'd like to add something to this. Macro lenses are not always lifesize. If you look at a lot of Sigma's that have the macro designation, they are almost always not lifesize, but a lot of times half life size or less. 1:1 is lifesize, 2:1 is twice lifesize, and 1:2 is half lifesize. But a lot of times, sigma "macro" lenses are more like 1:4 (1/4) lifesize.
     
  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #14
    ^^That's usually for macro zoom lenses. For their true macro lenses, they are 1:1. If they try to sell you a 70-200 f/2.8 macro, it'll be like 1:2 or 1:4.

    By some standards, anything that's 1:3.9 or better is a quasi-macro, and anything that's 1:2 or 1:1 is a macro, so a macro doesn't need to be 1:1 (or better) I generally follow this type of categorization as well ---- 1:1 or 1:2 is a macro lens, 1:3 or 1:4 is like a quasi-macro shot where you'll still get quite close to your subject, and anything else can't be considered good enough for close-up photography. Some people who own 1:1 macro lenses still take some fantastic shots where the subject is at 1:3 or 1:4 times magnification, so a lens that goes 1:3.8 or something (I think the Canon 18-55 mm kit lens) can get to this magnification, which is decent. :) However, this would be pushing a non-macro lens to it's limit, while a 1:1 macro lens can take a 1:3 photo rather easily.

    Of course a 1:1 macro lens is what you should aim for. Everything else is not good enough.
     
  15. jlcharles macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wenonah, NJ
    #15
    Very true, but the distinction needed to be made since the OP did not seem to sure about the whole macro thing with a dSLR.
     
  16. cgratti macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania, USA
    #16
    If you want to save some money and not buy a macro lens right away you can buy some extension tubes. They focus extremely close, but you MUST get extremely close to your subject to focus. Unlike a true macro where you can get 1:1 from 9" or greater distance. With the tubes you will be within 1-2" to get your camera focused (depending on how many tubes you have on). Kenko makes great tubes in the U.S., don't know about whats available overseas if your not in the US. The 18-55 Kit lens and tubes will work fine for starters.

    My honest opinion is to get the tubes first and try macro with them, if you like then buy a true macro lens which you can still use the tubes with it for even closer shots. Sigma and Canon both make great macro lenses, Tamron makes a decent macro but I have never used them. You will also need a flash, flash bracket, and Canon #2 off shoe cord for most macro work. You can't shoot macro with the pop-up flash. I shoot alot of insect macro and have the flash right over the top of the end of the lens. Settings should dbe about this:

    Manual mode.
    ISO 100
    f/ 11 or 13
    1/200 or 1/250 sec. shutter

    Everyone has a different style and settings, but these seem to give me the best results no matter what the ambient light is around me. If you PM me your email I can show you some shots and maybe give you more help as to what you need and may want to try. I can also show you examples shots taken with these settings with a true macro lens and extension tubes.
     
  17. Chris14 thread starter macrumors regular

    Chris14

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, NZ
    #17
    Lucky Me

    Hello all!

    My dad and I have discovered that the Canon 75-300mm telephoto lens that he uses will also work with my camera! Lucky me!

    Thanks again for all your help.
     
  18. sjl macrumors 6502

    sjl

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #18
    Yup - any EF mount lens will work on any Canon EOS camera. Note that I said "EF", not "EF-S" - an EF-S mount lens will work only on bodies specifically designed for them (to date, the 300D, 350D, 400D, 20D, and 30D).

    One word of warning: don't go pixel peeping at shots you take with the 75-300. You'll be sorely disappointed, and start getting lust for more expensive glass very quickly. (Where's that 100-400mm I bought to replace my copy of the 75-300 ... :D )
     
  19. Chris14 thread starter macrumors regular

    Chris14

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, NZ
    #19
    Canon EF 75-300mm lens doesn't auto-focus

    Why would it be that the Canon EF 75-300mm lens doesn't auto-focus with the 400D? It does with my dad's EOS 3000 SLR (non digital). I have to manually focus the images.
     
  20. sjl macrumors 6502

    sjl

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #20
    It should. How much light do you have when this happens? No Canon lens will auto-focus if the light isn't sufficient. Also check the AF/MF switch to make sure it's in the AF position.
     
  21. Sinsinnati macrumors regular

    Sinsinnati

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #21
    I am also looking at buying a 400D EOS/XTi to replace my Panasonic Lumix FZ-20.

    My question:

    What type of software comes with the camera? Is there Mac versions of the software on the CD and if so, is it universal?
     
  22. Chris14 thread starter macrumors regular

    Chris14

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, NZ
    #22
    no focus

    there was plenty of light and it still wouldn't focus.
    lens was clearly set to AF not MF.


    ps. regarding software, the Digital Photo Professional is Universal, but the other software is not. It still runs fine anyway. CD is Mac/PC.
     
  23. Sinsinnati macrumors regular

    Sinsinnati

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #23
    What software comes with the camera? What software is not universal? Will 400D buyers be able to download a universal version of the software when it comes out for free?
     
  24. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #24
    See the post above this. The camera comes with the standard Canon suite, which contains DPP (RAW file conversion and tweeking utility), Zoom Browser (browse your images) and iirc a panoramic stitching app. DPP is Universal. I think you can normally download updates for free from Canon, but as DPP is probably to only thing you'll use regularly it's not that much of a worry.
     

Share This Page