Help! Confused by Canon's DSLR Offerings

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Black&Tan, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. Black&Tan macrumors 6502a

    Black&Tan

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    #1
    I don't know why I'm thinking about this now when I should be working or thinking about Christmas shopping....

    :D

    Here's my dilemma. I'm a longtime Canon user, I've still got my AE-1 Programmable (changed the computer twice), and I'm ready to consider a DSLR purchase. However, I love the ruggedness of the AE-1, I've travelled with it extensively, many times at the bottom of a rucksack, and it has endured a fair number of falls.

    At work, I'm using the D30, and have had good results. My only grievance with the camera right now is megapixels. Sometimes it feels as if I'm pushing it trying to get a decent 4x6 print, especially when there's cropping involved.

    Looking at Canon's current lineup, there's a great deal of variety, and a mixture of consumer and professional lines. What would be comparable to the features/lenses of the D30 now?

    I should add, I'm not adverse to looking at used camera bodies.
     
  2. xrays macrumors member

    xrays

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    Jan 6, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #2
    If I recall, the D30 (not the 30D) is a 3.xMP camera, for which it would be understandable that creating anything larger than 8x10 might be a mistake, so I can understand your frustration. However, if you compare it to the current 30D (an 8.xMP camera), they are miles apart in quality, features, and capable print size.

    I currently use a Canon 20D, which is very similar to the 30D in all respects, and I have no trouble creating 16x20" prints from all but my worst exposures. Obviously, if you don't take a good picture (i.e. poor exposure, high grain, etc.), the final result will look worse the larger you view it. However, a well-exposed picture can look perfect at 16x20, and I'll go so far to say that a framed print even at 20x30" will look nice at typical viewing distances. For 90% of my photographic needs, my 20D is perfect. There are times I'd like 16MP for cropping or other effects, but the price more than doubles for that luxury.

    If you're already used to pro cameras, you won't be happy with the Rebel series (or so I've been led to believe), but you should be quite comfortable with either a used/oldstock 20D, or a new 30D. Remember that both of these are the APS-C (?) sensor sizes, meaning 1.6x crop factor, and if you want to jump up to the next level, the 5D is a perfect gap filler at twice the price ofthe 30D, and it will give you 12MP as well.

    Best of luck!

    x.
     
  3. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    Twin Cities Minnesota
    #3
    I agree.

    If you are using a D30, a prosumer or consumer 8.0 megapixel will outshine that camera when it comes to large scale printing. The 30d is in a totally different ballpark, and is quite capable of producing images of 4x6 .

    EDIT::

    I would strongly recommend checking out dpreview.com with regards to investigating what camera, features, and price points you want to look into. I had pondered the purchase of a DSLR since 2001, and finally took the plunge the other day.

    Have fun shopping! There are allot of quality choices out there!
     
  4. Black&Tan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Black&Tan

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    #4
    That's my challenge as I see it. Trying to find something with the durability of my AE-1, a resolution step up from the D30, and capable of working with the D30 lenses. I've looked at the Rebels and they don't "feel" durable. And I don't need the 12/16 megapixels (the question of noise/megapixel is still an ongoing debate), but I need more than the 3 megapixels I've currently got.
     
  5. Qianlong macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Location:
    .BE
    #5
    It really depends on how much money you want to spend. But if you're going to stick with Canon, I think the Rebels are a good choice. Just spend money on lenses, not bodies.

    A 2nd hand 20D would also be very nice if you can find one.

    Alot of people are asking this month on what SLR to buy, imho if you don't know, just buy an entry level model, use it and then upgrade to a more pro model if you need one.

    for more info check out the sticky http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=257862

    ooh and your avatar reminded me to buy the Warner J Stewart Signature DVD boxset :)
     
  6. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

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    Mar 18, 2006
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    UK.
    #6
    As you are used to an AE-1, the "entry level" in Canon's quality range will be the 30D. With it's metal body it is pretty durable. You could go up to the full frame 5D, but that's up to you and quite a bit more more money too! Compared to these models, the Rebels are "toys" with their smaller plastic bodies. Great for starters but not really built for durability and heavy use.

    Hope this helps - in the final analysis, the best thing is to pay a visit to your local camera store and get your hands on 'em!
     
  7. Black&Tan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Black&Tan

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    #7
    I definitely want to stay away from the plastic bodies, if at all possible. I'll take a look at the 20D and 30D, to see how they compare. I plan on visiting a camera shop this weekend for miniDV tapes, I'll ask to take a look at the 30D and take a look at their used stock to see if they have a 20D.

    I did review some of the aforementioned sticky links, but found them overwhelming since I had no focus. I've been out of the market for so long, I needed some help trying to narrow down the field. I appreciate all the responses.
     
  8. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    #9
    Those are good, however if you are comparing the 20 and 30d cameras, nobody has done this job as well as DPReview (IMHO)

    Their first page has a side by side comparison chart of the systems, and they go into greater detail explaining some of the changes.

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos30d/

    I only have about 70 shots in with my 30d, however I am highly impressed with the image quality, and features so far. I have an easy transition coming from a Powershot Pro1, the menu's are quite similar.
     
  9. sohosid macrumors member

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    Nov 29, 2006
    Location:
    Portland
    #10
    As others have said, the 20D is a fine camera, and you'll get a good price now.

    If price is a major issue, then look for a 10D. The resolution isn't that bad (6MP), and you'll get perfectly saleable 18x12's from it, if handled carefully. It suffers from fringing more than a 20D or 30D would, but it's solid and cheap.
     
  10. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #11
    Well, since your old lenses for your AE-1 won't really work on the EOS series (as far as I know...) you might want to take a broader look at the SLR market, and check out the Nikon D200 and some of the newer Pentax offerings too. Regardless of which system you choose, the ergonomics are going to be all new for someone coming from the AE-1. I have owned Pentax (Spotmatic II), Fujica (ST-801), both screw-mount lens systems, Olympus OM-1, Olympus 35 SP rangefinder, Canon EOS 630 and A2, and now a Nikon D50. I loved each and every one of these cameras. Of course, there's nothing like the ruggedness of the old manual 35mm cameras, but the higher-end digital SLRs can give you the sense of build quality you're looking for. For my tastes, the entry-level Nikons just seem far superior to the entry-level Canons when it comes to build-quality and the simple experience of holding and handling the camera bodies. Once you get up to the Canon 20/30D level or higher, it evens out. But the entry-level Rebel line (even back in the 35mm days) always seemed a bit flimsy, and the bodies seemed to crunch and flex a bit when you squeezed them - not a confidence builder if you're looking for a workhorse.

    You also have to take into consideration the estimated life-cycle of the shutter for long term heavy pro use.

    And of course, the usual arguement which get's repeated - consider the lens system you want to be growing with, although I think it's close to a moot point on the Nikon/Canon front. There's definately good glass either way. At least with the Nikon you can use old classic lenses on the mount, which opens up the possibilities for studio work for some fairly inexpensive, great manual lenses to add to your arsenal.

    Anyway, good luck. -phil
     
  11. extraextra macrumors 68000

    extraextra

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    California
    #12
    I agree with the others recommending a 20D or a 30D, it will be the perfect upgrade.
     
  12. uberfoto macrumors member

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    Apr 24, 2006
    #13
    +1

    I sell Nikon's and Canon's all day and the build difference between Canon and Nikon is apparent immediately. Go and test drive the Pentax K100D/K110D (K100D having image stabilization built into the body), the Nikon D50/D70, and the Canon 20D/30D.

    If you need something more durable, the D70 is built really sturdy and you can get a really good deal on them right now (being an older camera).

    Anyways, just go "feel 'em up" and see what you end up liking best. Talk to a few different stores and see what they say too. That will at least point you in the right direction and narrow the field down.
     
  13. sjl macrumors 6502

    sjl

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    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #14
    Having read the other posts on this subject, I can confirm: the AE-1 is an FD-mount camera body. It does not take Canon's current (EF) lenses; Canon's current bodies will not take the lenses it uses. This means that, unless you're interested in borrowing lenses from other people who have Canon gear (this includes work ... :D ), there is no need for you to stick with Canon exclusively.

    Nikon is definitely worth a look. Pentax, Sony, Olympus, etc. don't (yet) have the lineup of lenses that Nikon and Canon do; this isn't a concern in and of itself, as long as their glass will do what you want it to do. Research and careful thought is necessary if you want to go down that path - they're fine for casual photography, but if you think you might want to get more serious about it down the road, they may (note: not will) not be capable.

    Go to a shop, and hold several cameras in your hands. What sold me on the 20D rather than the 350D (as they were at the time) was the feel of those two bodies with the 100-400mm attached - I didn't have that beast at the time, but I knew I was going to get it sooner or later (it's in my lens collection now.) Try to anticipate your interests (it's not easy, I know), and see how they feel with appropriate lenses and/or flashes attached. It's the only way to do it.

    I can't comment on the build quality of the different Nikon bodies, but with Canon, I'd suggest that the 10D, 20D, or 30D would be the starting point, rather than the 300D, 350D, or 400D (although I've heard that the 400D is much better than the 350D in this regard). The 5D is also worth a look, if you have the budget for it - note that I'd strongly advocate not putting anything less than prime lenses, or L series zooms, on it, as otherwise you're pretty much wasting your money on that body. This, of course, pushes up the effective cost of the 5D.

    Good luck.
     
  14. jlcharles macrumors 6502

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    Mar 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wenonah, NJ
    #15
    Honestly, you aren't going to find a DSLR that can take the beating of an AE-1P unless you step up even further to a 1D-IIN. But then again, those are in the $3500 range.
     
  15. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    #16
    The 400d may be a slight bit better in build quality over the 350, but I have read and seen little advantage as far as image quality on the 400D from tests. These tests are both professional, and amateur with the results usually showing sharper images coming from the 350d, and no real advantage coming from the 400's 2 extra megapixels.

    Both the 350 and 400d were high on my list of possible choices, before I ended up with the 30d.

    I don't have the personal experience to argue with you, however the Rebel series (300d on up) has a decent reputation for durability.

    I don't think any DSLR is made to be thrown around like a nextel phone, you have to be careful with anything with moving parts and delicate optics.
     
  16. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    Minnesota
    #17
    Well, yeah... No one throws around anything like they do a Nextel... Uhh. okay.

    Well, I would say, when I have held Canons they've felt like they wouldn't fall apart in my hands, but, if dropped could break. But don't all cameras feel that way? In regards to durability, it's all the same, basically. No camera is going to just break, unless you give it a reason to. That being said, my dad's Canon A-1 would certainly need to be given a lot more reason than a Digital Rebel would be. Or even a film Rebel if you want to say that that's because it's film.

    I would say, with everything in mind including durability, you get what you pay for. I don't think any feature drops in quality as you work your way up the line with Canon.
     
  17. jlcharles macrumors 6502

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    Wenonah, NJ
    #18
    Unfortunately, they don't make cameras as durable as those old manual film cameras. But, the old cameras weren't as ergonomic either. Don't get me wrong, I love my 20D, but I only use it for event photography or work stuff. I prefer to use a manual film camera for everything else.

    As for the original question. The upgrades went D30->d60->10D->20D->30D. That would be your best bet. It can take some abuse, but not like you would get from the AE1.
     
  18. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    #19
    I was being sarcastic. Next time I will make sure to use an ;) :p or :rolleyes:
     
  19. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    Minnesota
    #20
    That certainly wasn't directed towards you, but towards Nextel! I don't see why they make a product that's meant to be beat up. I haven't destroyed my Moto, after all.;)
     
  20. Irish Dave macrumors regular

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    Nov 20, 2006
    Location:
    The Emerald Isle
    #21
    The Rebel range (here in the UK and Ireland are known as 300D, 350D and 400D) are great cameras but certainly wont be as rugged as your AE1-P

    The 30D or 20D if you can find one are much more robust and will still be working fine in 5 or 10 years time.

    Dave :)
     
  21. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    #22
    Gotcha,

    Neither have I for that matter either :confused: ! My old nokia on the other hand ;) .
     
  22. jlcharles macrumors 6502

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    Wenonah, NJ
    #23
    Because Nextel is meant for business, not personal use. Notice that they don't offer a real family plan. I worked for a construction company one summer and those guys definitely need tough phones since they drop them off ladders, step on them, drop them in wet concrete, and generally treat them like crap. The only time they would break is when they got dropped in toilets or porta-potties. And that was surprisingly too often. I'd hate to drop my phone in a portapotty.
     
  23. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #24
    Why? have you ever seen a broken plastic body. In the old days you'd buy an SLR body and expect to keep it for decades. No one keeps a DSLR that long. It's beter to buy two plastic body camera than one metal body camera and they don't break.

    Go to the bank and look at the bullet proof windows. It's plastic. tough stuff really.
     
  24. Irish Dave macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    Location:
    The Emerald Isle
    #25
    Yeah but camera bodies are not 3" thick !!!

    I have seen two camera bodies split after being accidentally knocked against a college desk.
    Old cameras got a dent, newer ones can die!!!

    Dave :(
     

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