Canon 20D, or 50D, or Lenses oh my

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by tdmac, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. tdmac macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I currently own a Canon 20D. It was handed down to me a couple of years ago and have been using it with the kit lens and a sigma 70-300 f4/5.8. Both I know are not great lenses :). I know I need better glass. Especially shooting the kids sports, general shots etc. I also want to have the ability to shoot in low light situations without the flash (Thus fast lenses). I used to just shoot everything on auto and have now been playing around with RAW and trying to learn the various settings, etc. Thus, I am trying to get more into photography as a hobby.

    While I know I need some lenses (Still figuring out which way to go on that) I wasn't sure if I would get more out of an updated body or what I would get out of a newer body. Not sure how the 20D compares to the 50D and what I would gain by going that route. Or is this even worth it. Or if a new body is the way to go, is there a better option?
     
  2. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    id say it would be worth the upgrade, BUT I would buy new glass first, and see if you get better results; which i suspect you will. Like I say, you can have a great body and shiesty lenses and still get shiesty results, or you can shoot with an older body with great glass and get great results. The glass is, i think, more important than the body. Of course there are exceptions, but i would spend the money on the glass.

    The 50D i think shoot 6+ fps, whereas the 20D is at 5. The AF is better (i don't know by how much) than the 20D, but ofcourse you would hope so, as it is 3 or so years newer....
     
  3. canonguy macrumors member

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    #3
    Glass would probably be a better investment...for now. I don't know about the 20D, I would assume it is asp-c, with EF mount. Meaning the lenses you buy for that camera will work on Rebels (xxxD's) and the advanced amateurs (xxD's). You may want to confirm that by taking your camera to your local camera store.

    When picking a lens, the options are nearly infinite...just remember, you get what you pay for. You will want the fastest telephoto that fits in your budget. Canon, Sigma or Tamron only.

    On your camera...bump the ISO to the second from the highest... This is assuming that your camera will have significant color noise at the highest ISO. Your shutter speed needs to be at least 1/250 to catch a person in motion(not running), but it should never be less than you focal length. ie:500mm=at least 1/500. Knowing these setting will be constant, you can adjust the exposure with the aperture (f–stop). The middle settings are going to give the sharpest pictures (about f-8), at the lowest settings your depth of field (focal length) will be so short that catching a person in motion, in perfect focus will be very difficult. If you haven't mastered the art of spot metering, just take some bracketed test exposures 'till you get where you need to be... I have to stop now or I'll go on all day... Good Luck.
     
  4. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

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    #4
    The stuff in front of the body, or behind it, will always be more important than the body itself.
     
  5. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #5
    I used my 20D with a high-end Nikon ED lens (with an adapter) and got some spectacular shots...

    Same goes with my Olympus and a Zeiss....

    Get new glass, definitely...
     
  6. jampat macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Buy the lenses. I have a 20D and have borrowed and played with a 50D. It is newer, it has more toys, but you are being seriously limited by your lenses, your body is still pretty good. You can shoot at ISO 800 with very little noise, 1600 starts getting ugly in the 20D. 50D lets you use 1600, not that much of an improvement in light gathering.

    For sports shots, look at the 70-200 lenses. They truly are spectacular and the f4 version is relatively cheap and a huge step up from your 70-300. The 2.8 is obviously better for light gathering, but significantly more expensive and much bigger and heavier to carry around.

    For the random shots, before you buy a lens, figure out what focal lengths you use most and buy a better lens to cover those lengths.
     
  7. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    The 20D will accept any EF mount lens that is made for EOS. The 10D D60 and D30 WILL NOT accept EF-S mount lenses. I believe the mirror comes into contact with the mount of the EF-S lenses. I know that you can mod them to fit onto these and even a 5D....

    that is good advice on the shutter/exposure settings. If you are going to be primarily be shooting high ISO shots, you WILL get better results with a 40D/50D, as the technology has gotten better, and they are on DiG!C IV now, whereas the 20/30D are DiG!C II i think..They have a better AA filter for noise...
     
  8. tdmac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    First, thanks for all of the responses. I thought I should first get some new llenses and then from there worry about the body, especially since the lenses will work on any of the newer bodies anyway. Unless of course someone said go Nikon :).




    The figure out the focal length thing is that hard part of what I need to figure out. I can't remember off hand the kit lens I have but in both cases I am pretty much zooming in for th pic. I know I have have read on many forums to get a fxed length lens to learn to zoom in by moving my body and not staying stationary. This will help become a better photographer. I know there are various ways to go on the glass so still trying to figure that out. i.e. just a 18mm, 50mm, 85mm or a 16-35mm, 17-40mm, 24-70mm, or even a 24-105mm lens? Hard to know where to start. My regular shots are more the candid or posed family shots but then there are the other scenic shots taken on vacations etc.

    On sports shots with my sigma, I do find may times, due to where I have to be compared to the action, that I am craking the zoom to its full length. So this has discouraged me on going with the 70-200 or just 200. Would be great if you could just rent some lenses to test out and see what works.

    I do have a question of the whole f stop/aperature. Not sure if I confusing myself. For example, If I use a lens lets say 50mm f/1.8 isn't the f/stop/aperture set at 1.8? Unless I am reading stuff wrong I see people shooting with a f/1.8 but setting a higher f/stop. This is where I get lost.
     
  9. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #9
  10. tdmac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
  11. cube macrumors G5

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    #11
    The good thing about being on Canon or Nikon is that there is a lot of used lenses available. But I think on Nikon one can even go cheaper (AF or even AI, as opposed to AF-S).
     
  12. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    #12
    Your body is just fine, even if the shutter dies eventually it does not cost a fortune to get it fixed. If you have the budget, then buy your first Canon L
     
  13. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #13
    Buy lenses. The 20D is a good camera. Unless there is a real compelling need to upgrade to the 50D, I would put the money into good 'L' quality glass. Your photos will thank you for it.
     
  14. romanaz macrumors regular

    romanaz

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    #14
    I've had good experiences with www.ziplens.com and I have heard really good things from friends about www.lensprotogo.com

    try out one of the longer primes for the sports. Granted its relatively cheap to rent (50-70 bucks for a week) but those lens's won't be cheap to buy.



    for the candids and such, the 17-55 f/2.8 gets good reviews from most people and its marginally fast enough for indoors shots and wide enough for most stuff on the APS-c sensor on the 20D.
     
  15. toxic macrumors 68000

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    #15
    first, you need to read up on exposure - the relationship between ISO, shutter speed, and f-stop. then, once you know what settings are required for a proper exposure using your current lenses, you can figure out how fast of a lens you need - no point buying an f/2.8 lens if f/4 is plenty, or if f/2.8 doesn't cut it, you'll have to look at prime lenses.

    what lens you choose also depends on what exactly you're shooting. "kids sports" is too vague. an 18-55 or similar can cover everything else.

    wait on upgrading your camera until after you get some new lenses (or the camera dies). you might find that you're perfectly happy with a couple good lenses and a 20D.
     
  16. tdmac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    What is a good resource. Mainly one that might break it down into "simple" terms.


    Basically my son's little league baseball & soccer games. Not sure about indoor basketball yet. Not really alot of room in the gym. Then my daughters softball & soccer games. For soccer games all parents are one one side of the field and coaches/players are on the other side. You are then about 3-4' back from the sideline. You are not allowed to go behind the goals. Baseball gets tricky as well depending on the field. This year it sucked becuas they have netting all around and the only place without it was along the outfield fence (way to far to take pics). I did manage to untie part of the netting to get a camera in there just behind the third base line. Other fields are more open but he didn't play on those fields this year. My daughters games were on a small field for the most part so even though you were in the stands beyond the outfield fence the distance wasn't so bad. But next year she will move up to a bigger field and the only real viewing area is from the stands behind the outfield fence. The fences on the sides are covered with fine green mesh screening.
     
  17. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

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    #17
    Your best bet is to get a couple of books ("Understanding Exposure" is a good start) and demystify the jargon. The articles on Wikipedia can help a lot, too.

    If these are all daylight games, that'll help significantly. As you get closer to sunset (or play under lights), cheap lenses basically fall apart.

    A long zoom and a wide aperture might make the net disappear when you shoot through it. Depends on how tight the weave on the net is.

    Take a look at the 70-300 IS (ignore the 75-300 and the 70-300 non-IS) or the 70-200 f/4 L. I have a feeling that you'll want the extra reach on the 70-300, but f/5.6 kind of sucks in a lot of ways.

    Depending on your budget, you might consider a 70-200 f/2.8 with a 2x extender or a 100-400 L.
     
  18. jbernie macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

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    #18
    All depends on your budget. A 50D with some L lenses would be great, but depending on what you can afford, one or two lenses that are very much suited to your requirements could produce a better return on investment. So long as the equipment is capable of catching the shot and getting a quality shot almost every time then you have what you need. At the point that the body is no longer able to do what you need (frames per second, resolution, ISO, crop quality etc) then you can consider changing it.
     
  19. toxic macrumors 68000

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    #19
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=249006
    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials.htm

    a one-lens, relatively affordable solution is the 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS ($400 or so?). ideally, for soccer and similar outdoor field sports, you'd have a 100-400 or a 400mm prime with a 70-200. courts and gyms can be covered with a 70-200, possibly paired with a standard zoom, if there's enough light...which i doubt there will be, so that means 50 or 85 and a 135, probably.

    as pointed out before, a screen can be removed from the image if you are close enough and the aperture is wide enough (and the screen isn't too fine).
     
  20. canonguy macrumors member

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    #20
    You had mentioned the 24-105 I think, the L series is an awesome lens... It is my primary I LOVE it. It may not be enough zoom to get down field, but it will do well from sideline to sideline. It is only a f4 but I use it daily shoot harness racing at night w/o flash... it should at least make your short list (it's out of stock @ B&H if that tells you anything)
     
  21. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

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    #21
    Also ... the pixel density on the 50D sensor will make cheap glass look much, much worse than it would on the 20D.

    Bodies are disposable. Put your money in front of it and behind it.
     
  22. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #22
    Okay, now that makes sense... :)

    So many online have been saying how bad the kit lens is... :eek:

    I have yet to get a bad photo from my 20D kit lens (18-55 non-IS), unless it's also what's going on behind... ;)
     
  23. jbernie macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

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    #23
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder :) If you are happy then that is all that matters.
     
  24. sangosimo Guest

    sangosimo

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    #25
    scew the 50d. Get a used 5d mark 1 (classic) and slap a 50mm 1.8 on it.
     

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