30d vs. 40d when money is an issue

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by thinkband, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. thinkband macrumors regular

    Dec 22, 2007
    Hey guyz,

    As some of you remember, I am that future college student looking for his first DSLR. I am pretty set on Canon. I originally planned to get an xti or xsi but people convinced me that I should step up to the next level of SLRS, the 30d or 40d since I plan to use the camera throughout college. The 30d is attractive at a $800 base price while the 40d costs $1150 base. I am going to make the 'Nifty Fifty' my first lens which only costs $80.

    I really like having new things, but it just seems like $800 is a good price for such a capable camera. Obviously I do not know the technical differences between these two cameras, but I know of a couple differences such as live view, faster shots, and redesigned body.

    The big feature I am in question about is the automatic dust removal. I have read about the people who need to send their camera in to get dust removed from the sensor and pay hefty fees to do so, and even then some dust may remain. The process of removing it by yourself surely is too much for me. As far as dust and sensors go, how often do those of you who do not have a dust removing sensor need to get dust removed? Do you wish you had the automatic dust remover? Also, how long, assuming you are careful, before you can start seeing dust on the filter? Answers to these questions would be extremely informing.

    There will always be something new, probably a 50d this time next year, but is the 30d a good enough option to go with for its current price? Since I will have this camera for four years, should I just spend an extra month saving up the extra $350 for the 40d as it needs to last for a little bit? Suggestions and helpful thoughts are always welcomes.

    Thanks for reading :)
  2. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    Don't get too wrapped up in features. The 30d is a helluva body, and will be so for quite a while yet. Live view is a P&S gimmick transitioned to the "prosumer" line. Extra pixels, not bad, but for most, not really much of a difference. Self-cleaning, very nice, but the XTi (and XSi) have it as well. If money's that tight, take that $350 that would've gone to the 40D and spend it towards glass. Or take another look at the Rebels - they really are good little bodies, and are competitive with the 30/40 in the right hands.

    Having said all that, if I were getting a new body today, I'd really try to squeak in a 40d (but then I'm pretty well set on lenses & accessories--for now.)
  3. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    If you have to choose between the two, get the 30D, although I would recommend you invest in a nice lens rather than a body. It's a waste to but a $1k and then put a $100 lens on it. You should rather get one of the smaller Canon bodies (XTi, for instance) and put a nice lens on it, e. g. Tamron's 2.8/17-50 zoom.
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Get the 30D. You don't really gain much by going with the 40D.
  5. M@lew macrumors 68000


    Nov 18, 2006
    Melbourne, Australia
    Can you justify the extra cost? Think of it like this.

    Would you buy the camera now, be happy with it but then start to wonder about the 40D and regret not saving up?

    If you can answer this, you've answered your question.
  6. form macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2003
    in a country
    Several of the extra features that came in the 30d also came in the XTi, such as a larger LCD, picture styles, RGB histogram, and upgraded autofocus system. In addition, the XTi also got 10 megapixels and dust removal.

    The big differences between the 30d and XTi are body size/ease of use with joysticks and scroll wheels, 100,000 click shutter life, ISO3200, 5fps burst mode, bigger viewfinder (easier to see focus), 1/8000 sec max shutter, 1/250 sec flash sync, and built-in pc sync port. Though many of those features are useful, I have not yet found any of them to be a good enough reason to justify the cost.

    As for dust: I bought an XT for $650 back when the 20d was $1300. It was a good choice, and all I could afford at the time. It has no dust reduction system, but in my 2 1/4 years using it, I have had no dust on the sensor. I haven't really babied it either (after the first year).

    Latest and greatest with the fancy features: If you get a 40d, you'll probably be very happy with it, but I don't see any need for such a thing when you're just starting out, unless you have lots of money to burn.

    You'll have the camera for 4 years? That's a long time. Mine is due for an upgrade and I've only had it for 2 1/4.
  7. chriscl macrumors 6502


    Jan 4, 2008
    Stuttgart, Germany
    I'm a 30D user (and before that, a 300D user) and I've played with the 40D too. Whilst of course the 40D has a higher resolution, I doubt, being honest, you would see that much difference unless you are regularly printing A3+ or cropping severely?

    I've also yet to be convinced by the 'anti-dust' features (perhaps because my 30D doesn't have it) but I don't see that much dust in the 30D, and what little there is, a Giottos Rocket Air Blower sorts out. As long as you take care when changing lenses, you shouldn't see excessive dust.

    As for the 'live' view, if you've used a Point and Shoot camera, then this might be of use to you. If, however, you are a previous SLR shooter, I'd question whether you'd need this, or whether it is going to be of any benefit to you?

    Of course, the cheaper price of the 30D means you can put more cash towards lenses (and you will, yes you *will* want more lenses!) the EF50 f1.8 is a fine choice for a 'starter' prime lens (indeed, I toured Turkey with just this lens and a 300D body a few years back) but that 'saved' cash will go a good way to an additional lens, if you wanted?
  8. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Personally, I'd urge you to rethink the XT/XTi. Camera prices are still coming down, and it may be that in the next 2 years you find that you're missing something that's in the latest bodies. In that case, your investment in the body (which is going to be changed in a 2-5 year timeframe anyway) is minimal, and you can keep it as a backup body to whatever you're lusting after.

    Spend as little as you can on a body that meets your requirements and as much as you can on lenses, as they'll make more difference and have much better longevity.

    As a new dSLR user, I highly doubt that you're going to be getting different results from any of the four bodies, so why spend more on a body whos features you won't really appreciate. Heck, take the price difference and put it in a savings account and in two years buy whatever replaces the $450 body with what's in the account- you'll still come out ahead of even the $800 body.

    Here's the price per year for 1, 2 and 4 years-

    Rebel XT $350 2y=175 4y= 87.50
    Rebel XTi $450 2y=225 4y= 112.50
    30D $800 2y=400 4y= 200
    40D $1150 2y=575 4y= 275

    If you get the XT instead of the 40D, you save the price of a 30D year one.
    If you get the XTi instead of the 40D, you save more than the price of another XTi year one.

    So, if you get an XT, then in two years you get whatever lives at the 30D price point, you'll have spent the same amount of money, but you'll have a better idea of what you want and if it's the 40D's replacement then your new 40D will effectively cost you $350 more- the same as an XT today. In either case, you end up with a 2 year old newer camera versus a 4 year old one after 4 years.

    You're on a tight budget, the XT will take wonderful pictures- ignore the gadgeteers and let the economics go in your favor.
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    As people are saying here "balance" is key. Plan a system of a body and a couple lenses. You can buy the second lens later but the total system should have about half the money invested in the set of lenses. This is or course not a ridged rule.

    I would not suggest buying an expensive body with the idea that you will have it "forever". You won't. They become "dated" quickly after a few years as the technology moves quickly. Lenses on the other hand do tend to last "forever" because optical technolgy is mature and advances slowly now. One invests in lenses but bodies are a "consumable" like film.

    I'd buy a lowered priced body with one of the "kit" lenses. These lenses typicaly sell for about $100 then I'd start looking to collect dome quality glass wetter that is a good macro lens an f/2.8 zoom or a prime Spend about only half on the body and hold the rest of the budget in reserve
  10. Xfujinon macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2007
    Iowa City, Iowa
    1. Lenses are the investment; the body is largely irrelevant.

    2. The 30D is older technology, but quite capable. Compared to the Xsi, I would seriously reconsider going for the Xsi; in the right hands, it will take excellent photographs. Go the 30D route if you really feel you need the ergo and the speed difference.

    3. Use the Xti, Xt, or Xsi for a year or more, and then see if you can get ahold of a 30D even cheaper a year from now. Then, you have a backup body, which is handy.

    4. The above advice to get a good lens is sage advice. These cameras are no match for decent P&S cameras unless they have decent lenses and competent operators. I got my 40D about four months ago, and was quite peeved that the images I got out of it weren't quite what I expected. Turns out I needed a LOT more practice...even though I've shot close to 250,000 images with my two P&S cameras.

    5. The smaller body is more portable, and this is good, because you will want to carry it around as much as possible to practice, practice, practice!

    6. Another option is to get a high-end P&S like the G9 series and learn to mess with RAW, which is the TRUE reason why a DSLR is awesome; nothing matches RAW captures from those giant sensors combined with stellar lenses.

    7. Technology will change fast, and some of the super-elite photographers believe it will change even FASTER now that more and more "prosumers" are going the DSLR route, meaning the market-driven demand for more technology and features in the DSLRs available will probably go up. Canon is an awesome company, but their competitors are neither stupid or lazy; Nikon upped the ante like a champion this year. A two year old camera today is going to be less "current" than a two year old camera in the next five years, although the purist in me says that the 1973 film bodies I still use are plenty fine for me too!

    8. Did I mention practice? Yeah, do that a lot. Take your camera everywhere, try new things, experiment, learn a post-processing package like Photoshop.

    Good luck, happy shooting!
  11. CATinHAWAII macrumors member


    Aug 21, 2007
    --== Hawaii ! ==--
    i just got the 30D from my friend, with 17-85 and 70-300 kit lenses, not IS, for $800, good price, trust my friend, etc.

    my wife said i could have the 40D for late Christmas, but i decided on the 30D, and got a 10-22 Canon lens, and i think ill be happy for quite awhile,,,

    dont forget, ya still gotta figure out other expenses, like cleaning kits, CF memory cards, bags, filters, tripods, etc....

  12. M@lew macrumors 68000


    Nov 18, 2006
    Melbourne, Australia
    Good decision on holding back on the 40D and using the extra on the 10-22. Next upgrade is definitely a telephoto though. You got a 75-300 not 70-300 which is in all honesty a pretty bad lens. Mainly focusing takes forever. Remember to just manual focus.
  13. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Having borrowed a friends 30D and lenses for a few weeks on a recent trip i was able to produce many great pics, had a few blown up to 16x12 and they are great.

    Given the $$ aspect, I would suggest an XTi or 30d, maybe even an XT. The money saved on the body you can spend on some good glass. Then in a coupel of years time you can get the 40D or 50D or whatever the latest greatest body is and you are already set on the glass and what ever you have now makes for a great backup body.

    Iam still holding out on making the plunge, right now my schedule doesn't really allow much time to go out and enjoy taking shots. That said I can hold off and wait for the prices to drop a bit more :)
  14. Hutch98R1 macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2007
    I have a XT with a 24-70 2.8L. In my opinion, I can take a better picture than a 40D with a stock lens.

    Although, my next upgrade will be to the 40D (but I already have a few lenses). 40D + Pro lens, I am looking forward to it!
  15. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    I'm not a Canon shooter. Is the new Xsi an option? You might wait a bit, but the feature set is incredible for the price! April?

    It seems to match my D300 in most areas at 60% of the price. Go Canon! (Now Nikon needs to fire back with an affordable FF camera!)
  16. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    The XSi is a replacement of the XTi. It's not in the same league as the D300, it's aimed at the D80's price point.
  17. Regis27 macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2006

    If money is an issue, your question should be "20D or 40D." (IMHO)

    The 40d includes a number of improvements and features that might or might not make it worth it for you (depending on your shooting needs).
    However the differences between the 20d and the 30d are minimal enough that I would prefer it over the 30d.

    20d vs 30d
    1. 0.5" bigger LCD
    2. spot meter
    3. color separated histogram

    Now if any of those three features are something that you've been saying: "my next camera ABSOLUTELY must have this feature" then go for the 30d, but if you're not sure whether any of those will contribute directly to your workflow, then go for the 20d. With the $300 to $400 you save get another lens or flash.
  18. thinkband thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 22, 2007
    Thanks for all the great replies!

    I picked up the cameras up again at Bestbuy. I think I want the bigger camera (30d 40d). As much the xsi might be like the 40d in a smaller size, I imagine it will have noise issues with its improportional 12mp sensor.

    Regis - Actually, those differences you mentioned are important to me. A bigger LCD really appeals to me since I have been looking at small ones for so long. Spot meter would be nice too. I think I am not considering the 20d just because its too far in the past, and I already feel that I am making a sacrifice by saving $350 on the 40d.

    If I were to get one of the Rebel series cameras, I guess I would go with the Xti just because it is so cheap right now whereas the XSi only has a few other features that I would be interested in and at $800, the 30d would be better for me.

    Some of my friends have said that for my purpose (good night shots) that I should just get a decent prime because most of the zoom lens below $500 are not good for that purpose. I also want to try some basketball (indoor, bad lighting) so again, a prime lens would do me good. Sunsets, low light, night shots, and casual day shots... hmm sounds expensive.

    Regardless of what camera I get, I will probably spend $600 on prime lenses, probably the 50mm and either the 85 or 100mm. Then a good walk around lens would come later.

    I guess right now, I am looking for a camera to grow with. I think a xxd series will have more features and easier to use, setting me up for a new camera in a year or 2. By spending money on the next best thing (40d), that just seems like I am being silly because I probably will not even need what I will spend an extra $350 on, which is enough money to pay for all my accessories (-the lenses).

    I am still in limbo land, I never knew choosing cameras was so hard. Some have just told me to pick a camera and to never look back and I am thinking about just pushing the button on the 30d and never rethink the purchase. The 40d with a nifty is definitely haunting me. And against everything that I have said about not liking the feel of the xti, the price is low enough that I would not feel that bad if I was not happy with it. Ah! What to do? hehe

    Anyways, I appreciate the comments and I am thinking I will order my camera at the end of this week from Amazon. It is great to have a forum like this to get real life ideas for making the right decision, whatever that may be.


Share This Page