Canon DSLR Question

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by e²Studios, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. e²Studios macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2005
    I have been waiting and waiting to dive in to the DSLR world and now i think its time to do it. I have a few questions though for you experts out there.

    I currently have a Canon 1nRS, will a Digital Rebel or a 3D be able to give me comparable quality image wise or will i have to go to the rather expensive 1D?

    Will all my current lenses work with any of the Canon DSLR's? I have a wide range of lenses from a Fisheye, long range USM Zoom lenses, 28-105, and two L series lenses. I was hoping especially the L series lenses would still be compatible.

    Will any of the Canon DSLR's be able to use my 550EX flash unit to its full ability, or will it use it but not the built in functions that the 1nRS can use from it?

  2. sjl macrumors 6502


    Sep 15, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    I can't talk about the image quality, nor about the flash, but the lenses, that I can talk about. I've just bought an EOS 20D, after shooting with an EOS 30 (aka Elan/7e) for the past three years.

    All EF lenses will work with all Canon's DSLR range. So you can take the L series lenses and stick them on any DSLR from Canon, and they'll work just fine. However, there's a catch. With the exception of the 1Ds series, and the 5D, all of Canon's DSLRs have a crop factor. That factor is 1.3 for the 1D series (note the lack of an "s" there), and 1.6 for the 20D and the 350D (aka the Rebel, I believe).

    What does this mean? Well, if you take a standard 100mm lens, and put it on a 20D, it will give you the same field of view as a 160mm lens would. The depth of field will be unchanged, though. Basically, think of it as taking the middle section of the shot, cropped to 5/8 size.

    The effect isn't of great significance in most cases -- in fact, it can be considered a plus, as you're using the best part of the lens -- but the fisheye is a special case. If you use the fisheye a lot, you'll definitely want to get a full frame sensor (the 1Ds, 1Ds mark 2, or the 5D), as any other lens will crop out the edges where the fisheye effect is most noticeable.

    The other point: an EF-S lens will only work in the 20D, 300D, and 350D. They won't work in any other camera Canon has released to date. (If you're going from film to digital, this won't be a concern for you. Just something to note.)

    Good luck.
  3. Zeke macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2002
    Greenville, SC
    As for image quality, what film do you normally use? If you use really nice film (provia, velvia) then you'll be happy with the dSLR. If you use cheap film then you'll be ecstatic. the dSLR is sharper than film (film grain is larger than high res 1.6 crop camera pixels). The 550ex will definitely work to its full potential with at least some of Canon's dSLR's (depends on how much you want to spend, you could get a 1Ds MK II that would certainly make use of it). What functions are built in that you're worried about...I was under the assumption that all of the dSLR's can use the EX series lenses fully as they're E-TTL II. All lenses are compatible just be aware that you may lose some of the wide angle depending on which camera you get. As far as I know the image quality between the Canon lines is virtually identical, 8mp res on the XT, 20d will look the same as a 13mp image at 8x10. The benefit of the higher res is being able to crop the image and blow it up.

    If I could afford it I would go with the 5d as it's quite similar to what you're used to...full frame. It also has better noise characteristics than the xt and 20d. However, I have had both the XT and 20d and they take great pictures. I recently blew up 3 shots I took with my XT to 16x20 and they look great. The ability to manipulate raw files in photoshop is a great advantage to digital and a large reason so many pros are going digital now so you can probably get better results than you could with film.
  4. efoto macrumors 68030

    Nov 16, 2004
    Cloud 9 (-6)
    Image quality should be quite comparable, if not better, when you switch over to any of the dSLRs Canon offers. The XT and 20D use the same 8.2MP sensor which is more than enough pixels to match film, and high-ISO gives much more pleasing results with digital in most cases.

    As sjl pointed out, all of Canon's EF lenses will work on all dSLR cameras they offer. Once you start using digital, if you purchase an EF-S lens, then it will only work with select bodies, but if you stick with EF lenses they will function on all Canon offerings, film and digital.

    To note, as pointed out, the crop factor does play a role so if you do a lot of wide-angle shooting you may need to spend more $$$ to get a full-frame sensor so you don't have the crop. The 28-105 you have equates to 44.8-168 on a 1.6x (XT/20D) sensor, so as long as you are fine with changes like that then go for it.

    Your 550EX will work with all of the dSLR offerings. I just purchased a 580EX for my 20D and I don't know of a single function that is 'blocked out' based on my body choice. I'm pretty sure the function of said flash on my 20D is the exact same as it is on a 1d-series body, and that applies to your 550EX too ;)
  5. sjl macrumors 6502


    Sep 15, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    Indeed. The widest non-EF-S zoom lens Canon makes is the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM; in order to be able to go that wide on a 1.6 crop factor, you need the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM. I don't know how good that lens is from personal experience, but I've been told it's pretty reasonable. Try before you buy, perhaps, if you need to go that way.

    Prime-wise, you're limited to 14mm, and there's nothing in EF-S to compare.

    Single biggest problem is definitely the fisheye. As I said: if you need or want to make extensive use of the fisheye, the 1Ds or 5D are your only options. Anything else, and you might as well just turf the fisheye; the cropping will render it effectively useless for its intended purpose. Although the 1D, with its 1.3 crop factor, wouldn't be as bad as the 20D with the 1.6 crop factor. Nikon has a fisheye designed for the smaller digital sensors; Canon doesn't. I don't know if Sigma or others do, but then, if you have it, why replace it if you don't have to?

    My recommendation, based solely upon what you've written in this topic: go with the 5D, unless you can afford the price hit for the 1Ds mk 2. Even then, I've heard mutterings about the 1Ds having flaws with vignetting in the sensor (ie: even though the lens is fine, you still end up with vignetting under certain conditions). Strictly anecdotal, mind you, as I don't have a 1Ds, and I've never even played with somebody else's, so take this with a shaker of salt. (I would have gone with the 5D if it were cheaper, but I don't have a great need for wide angle, and I'm certainly not likely to use a fisheye any time soon -- so the 20D was at the appropriate point for me.)

    Indicator of price: here in Australia, the 5D goes for around $AU5000 (street price; RRP is around $AU5500.) The 1Ds mark 2 has a RRP of $AU14,000. The 20D is RRP $AU2400 (kit with the 17-85 is RRP $3400; I got mine for about $AU3000, before Canon's $400 rebate.) With the glass you've mentioned, I would strongly recommend you steer clear of the 350D; the build quality is nowhere near that of the 20D, and it doesn't feel good with the heavy L series glass.

    Oh, one final word: you might want to check -- it has reviews on all of Canon's DSLR range.

    Hope this helps.

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