A better XT vs. XTi thread

almightyshoe

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 4, 2006
118
0
B-Town, India
Hey Scoobies. I've been using the d50 setup for some time now, and after much debate and comparison, I've uh, *cough* decided to go Canon. What I am looking for here (besides any glaring technical differences) is mostly personal opinions and anecdotes about your experiences with either/both of them, and which you prefer or recommend. I only really do outdoor and street/candid photography. Also any lens recommendations will be appreciated (the thrifty-fifty and maybe a zoom or wide lens).

Also, I'm hearing a lot of anger towards the kit lens for the Canon Xt/Xti; any truth to that?

And I take no responsibility if this thread degrades into a Nikon vs. Canon War.
 

Lovesong

macrumors 65816
Well, sounds like your mind is made up, so I doubt anyone will tell you "no, the XTi sux! get a D40x!" ... which is a good thing.

Basically the XTi is the new model (as you may be aware), and it has several advantages over the XT. First off, you're talking about a 10MP sensor vs an 8.2, which will not translate into anything unless you're in the habit of printing wall-sized posters. The XTi also has a dust removal mechanism, but for the most part it has been called things such as "useless," and "crap" in more formal photographic settings. The one true advantage of the XTi is the better autofocusing system, going from a 7-point to a 9 point. The LCD has also gone from 1.8 to 2.5 inches, which is definite plus.

One thing to consider is that what Canon have done is essentially squezed another 2MP into a chip, which will lead to more noise at higher ISOs. The XT also had a dedicated LCD for the settings, which are nicer than having them be on the main LCD as in the XTi. The last factor is the price. A used XT can be now had for about $600, vs the ~$900 that it would cost to get an XTi. In your place, I'd take that $300 and put it towards a lens. The 18-55 kit is OK, at best. The 50mm 1.8 will be head and shoulders above it, or if you're looking to spend some serious money on glass the 17-55 f/2.8, 10-22, or the 24-70 are all excellent.
 

sjl

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2004
441
0
Melbourne, Australia
Also, I'm hearing a lot of anger towards the kit lens for the Canon Xt/Xti; any truth to that?
Sort of. The kit lens is adequate. Not fantastic, not good, just adequate. If you're coming from a point-and-shoot (which you obviously aren't), it'll do the job well enough. But if you're a pixel peeper, or need something that's good in low light, or are worried about the various types of optical distortions, it's going to cause you some grief.

The 17-55mm f/2.8 is a much better lens, but you pay through the nose for it ($AU2000 is the RRP - as much as the 24-105mm f/4L IS, although less than the $AU2400 or so for the 24-70mm f/2.8 L.) A reasonably happy medium is the EF-S 17-85mm, which is my current standard lens - yes, there's a lot of barrel distortion at the wide end; yes, it has its issues; but for the price, it's decent.

It comes down to how much you expect from the camera, and how much money you're prepared to pay to have those expectations met.
 

colinmack

macrumors regular
Feb 25, 2006
246
1
I've had the D50, XT, XTi, 30D, and 5D (not necessarily in that order), I think the XTi is probably your best bet. D50 is nice, more consistent metering and better ergonomics than Canon, but Canon has other strengths and you'll see a quality improvement (how noticeable probably depends on how picky you are, shoot raw to squeeze the most out of it).

Between the XTi and the XT, the bigger XTi LCD is better for previewing, the anti-dust actually works fairly well, and the extra resolution doesn't seem to come with much of a tradeoff. Bottom line is it's Canon's latest non-pro technology, even if the body/build isn't the must rugged or egonomic (but then it's all about the pictures, right?)...

For lenses, what price range, and by outdoor do you mean landscape? Without knowing specifics I would probably go with a 50 1.8, 70-300 IS, and keep the kit (at f8 it's pretty decent, and it gives you a nice point-shoot range - hard to beat at $100)...throw in a 10-22 if you like ultra-wide. If you want higher quality and have more money to burn, I'm not sure I'd go with the 17-55 (good optically but that's a whole lotta $ for a non-L build EF-S lens), a 17-40L & 70-200L combo might be more future-proof (as Canon's upgrade path is towards full-frame)...but would need to understand your requirements a bit more to steer you.

Hope that helps...
 

miloblithe

macrumors 68020
Nov 14, 2003
2,072
28
Washington, DC
A used XT can be now had for about $600, vs the ~$900 that it would cost to get an XTi. In your place, I'd take that $300 and put it towards a lens. The 18-55 kit is OK, at best. The 50mm 1.8 will be head and shoulders above it, or if you're looking to spend some serious money on glass the 17-55 f/2.8, 10-22, or the 24-70 are all excellent.
Are these US prices? bhphotovideo has the XTi for $660/$680 (silver/black) vrs $490/500 for the XT. I guess you could get a used XT somewhere else for less (like craigslist, eBay, KEH, etc.). Personally, I like the 2.5" LCD, better menu system, and what to me are slightly improved ergonomics--it's still not a Nikon, but the XTi feels a lot better in my hands than the XT.

As for dust, I haven't had any problems, despite my reckless lens changes outdoors and in my dusty apartment.
 

Grimace

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2003
3,541
35
with Hamburglar.
...and keep the kit (at f8 it's pretty decent, and it gives you a nice point-shoot range - hard to beat at $100)...throw in a 10-22 if you like ultra-wide. If you want higher quality and have more money to burn, I'm not sure I'd go with the 17-55 (good optically but that's a whole lotta $ for a non-L build EF-S lens)
Gotta disagree on the kit lens...I'd put it up on craigslist. And, the 17-55 is L grade, it just isn't labeled that way because EF-S isn't considered professional grade.

As another thread pointed out, on a 1.6x crop camera, a kickass (and future-proof) lens setup might be:

10-22mm EF-S
24-70 f/2.8
70-200mm f/whatever

If the user ever went to full frame, 10-22mm would have to be sold, but the 24-70 would be almost exactly the same reach b/c it's now on FF.
 

miloblithe

macrumors 68020
Nov 14, 2003
2,072
28
Washington, DC
Gotta disagree on the kit lens.

And, the 17-55 is L grade, it just isn't labeled that way because EF-S isn't considered professional grade.

As another thread pointed out, on a 1.6x crop camera, a kickass (and future-proof) lens setup might be:

10-22mm EF-S
24-70 f/2.8
70-200mm f/whatever

If the user ever went to full frame, 10-22mm would have to be sold, but the 24-70 would be almost exactly the same reach b/c it's now on FF.
I've read that the 17-55 is L-grade optics, but not L-grade build.

I also think there's something to be said for having overlapping lenses in the case where lenses serve different purposes, like the "walk around" lens that lets you leave everything else behind. The 24-70 might not be wide enough on a 1.6 crop camera for that, but might serve better than the 17-55 for "events" because of it's slightly longer reach. Of course, not everyone can afford that comprehensive of a collection (I certainly can't), but since every lens is a set of strengths and compromises, it seems like many can have a useful place.
 

OreoCookie

macrumors 68030
Apr 14, 2001
2,681
69
Sendai, Japan
As another thread pointed out, on a 1.6x crop camera, a kickass (and future-proof) lens setup might be:

10-22mm EF-S
24-70 f/2.8
70-200mm f/whatever
I would even suggest a slightly different setup where you spend a lot less and cover pretty much all focal lenghts:
(i) 10-22/12-24 lens: e. g. Canon's 10-22 or Tokina's 12-24
(ii) 50-135/150 lens: Sigma 2.8/50-150 or Tokina 2.8/50-135

Personally I don't use the `missing 25 mm' a lot, 24-50 mm (which roughly correspond to 35-69 mm). I also don't like that the tele zooms start at 70/80 mm, it's a bit long for portraits and the minimum focal distance is also quite large. Plus, the two lenses above weigh little more than half of my 2.8/80-200 Nikkor, despite their built quality. I'm thinking of getting this setup eventually by selling my Nikkor in exchange for the Tokina 50-135 and getting a wide angle zoom.

The advantages are:
(i) Less lenses, less weight, smaller bag.
(ii) A lot cheaper, although you get very sturdy lenses with great image quality.
(iii) You have to change lenses less often.
 

M@lew

macrumors 68000
Nov 18, 2006
1,582
0
Melbourne, Australia
If you have the money to spend, go for the XTi. While the upgrade may be smaller, they're upgrade none the less. If you're really tight for money have a look at the comparisons and see if they're worth the extra cost.
 

J'aime

macrumors member
Jun 9, 2007
56
0
I'm planning on buying the XTi soon. Since i already have a couple Canon lenses i'm just going to buy the body. If you are hesitant about the kit lens, you could just buy the body (which would make the XTi a little cheaper) then buy better lenses with the money saved.
 

walangij

macrumors 6502
Mar 10, 2007
396
0
MI
I'm planning on buying the XTi soon. Since i already have a couple Canon lenses i'm just going to buy the body. If you are hesitant about the kit lens, you could just buy the body (which would make the XTi a little cheaper) then buy better lenses with the money saved.
Sounds like a great plan, for OP I'd suggest getting a used XT body off of the various prosumer/pro sites like Fredmiranda.com or sites like adorama.com. I suggest the XT above the XTi b/c the upgrades of the XTi don't seem very significant for the type of shooting you do. Outdoor/Street/Candid photography, 8mp is fine. I believe that the AF of both are the same, if not very similar to the point that the difference is negligible. The difference in LCD size is significant, but personally I only use it to review histograms so they both are essentially the same to me. That being said, I'd suggest saving your money and purchasing a nicer lens to start out. Depending on your price range, the kit and the 50mm f/1.8 would be a good starting point, or if you can afford more the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 is a fantastic little kit replacement, as is the 18-50mm f/2.8 sigma. If you can afford it, the recommendations for the 17-55mm IS is also an option. I've used the Tamron and the 17-55mm IS, both are excellent with the canon IS being better due to the USM motor and IS but the price tag is quite substantial.

The preference of some recommending not to purchase EF-s lenses b/c canon's plan is FF across the line in the future is something I don't agree with. The FF across the line is at least a few years ahead so there's time to upgrade and unload lenses before that and I'm sure in 3-4 years you'll upgrade the body anyways.

The kit lens is decent, I've seen some incredible shots in a magazine in Thailand that were shot only w/ the kit lens by a pro who took the challenge, the shots were amazing showing that the equipment is only as good as the user. Of course the shots were processed, but still were great.
 

mbcracken

macrumors member
Dec 29, 2006
46
0
I came from a p&s when I just bought my XTi. In high school, I did have a 35 nikkormat but that seems to be collecting way too much dust these days.

I am currently using the Tamron 18-250 lens as my general all around lens. I just returned from a Alaska Trip and have carried it hiking as well. I mostly shot Landscape, Macro, Candid & kids in sports/plays. I have found this lens to be adequate for all these uses. I had contemplated the Sigma 18-200 OS but it was not in stock locally and I like to touch before buying.

Some of the items I like over the XT is the ease of changing settings when in manual mode. After a month of ownership, I am almost able to change everything while looking through the viewfinder. And I have large hands.

I do have to agree with the excessive noise at the higher ISO's. This I am frustrated with since I bought it to be able to use in lower light scenario's. I will be getting the low cost ($80) 50mm F1.8 lens soon.

Good luck with your choice. I also used dpreview.com to help me decide.

Cheers,
Mike
 

almightyshoe

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 4, 2006
118
0
B-Town, India
You guys are fun. Thanks for the input, it was all really helpful. Budget is about 1300 dineros, so I can probably get a used body and decent lens. The suggestions that I'm most taking to heart are the ones about the higher noise (even though I rarely go past 400), and the fact that for street photography the XT/XTi difference is negligible. Based on what was said here, I'll definitely pick up the body only (on whatever I decide). LCD size doesn't really bother me, I just glance at it to make sure I didn't take a picture of the wall or my thumb was in the shot. I'm giving serious thought to pass on the EF-s lenses; I'm definitely upgrading to the full-frame once the whole line rolls out, and I have a tendency to keep photo-crap waaaay too long (Still use my A1 and QL-17. The Elph not so much).