Help me decide which SLR/Lens to get.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by rhomsy, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. rhomsy macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2007
    Hi, I’ve been shooting with P&S cameras for years with good results, but I’m looking to upgrade finally to an SLR. I am partial to Canon, only because I’ve enjoyed their P&Ss for awhile, the latest being their G9 which I love (as long as I never go above 400 ISO). I almost never use the P&S in any automatic mode, and I generally keep it in manual or aperture priority. I’ve also begun to get involved with HDR imaging. So, it’s time to upgrade for when I want better quality shots.

    The thing that has kept me from moving to an SLR is my desire for a full-frame camera because I love doing landscape shots, and because I’m scared of losing any investment in lenses. I like the 40D, but I prefer the full-frame of the 5D (but not it’s price). If I purchase a 40D now, will the lenses work with a full-frame Canon in the future?

    This is essentially what I like shooting:

    - Landscapes (especially with HDRs :)) (for work)
    - Home interiors (for work)
    - Some portraits
    - Low light shots and I don’t like using flash
    - Some fast action shots of animals (for pleasure)

    I don’t really understand SLR lenses all that well in terms of which size to get. From my p&s background, I use a 6x zoom. So, I think I would like an all around all-purpose lens at first, and then I would like to get a wide angle lens, followed by a good zoom. Can I get these with the 40D and have them be useful on a future Canon full-frame? Which lenses should I get? Are the L series lenses worth the price (I don’t mind saving up and getting an L series if it’s really worth it AND it’ll work for my future DSLRs)?

    Lastly, I’ve gone this long without a DSLR, so should I wait a little longer? Is a full-frame 40D on the horizon? I don’t care if it has 15MP. I care more about low noise at high ISOs, higher dynamic ranges and not blowing $$ on lenses that might do me no good in 6 years.

    I would really appreciate any advice.
  2. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    So long as you only by EF lenses and not EF-S

    Worth it, I found the 5D did show the limitations of my older non L series lenses. These were slowly replaced with L glass (that said non L primes are just as good optically, made not so in the constuct side. But still great. My 15 mm Fisheye, 50 1.4 and 100 2.8 macro are superb).

    Doubt it.
  3. saltyzoo macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2007
    If you are very comfortable with the Canon interface then I would highly recommend sticking with Canon.

    I think the Nikon is the best camera for general use, and I personally shoot with an Olympus SLR (I think Olympus is the best for underwater, which is my primary use), but most people will hate using one of the others after they get used to the menu structure and controls.

    All I know is that when I had to use a Canon for a week I almost smashed the thing to bits in frustration.
  4. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    newest digital rebel is insanely cheap and is probably your best bet.

    I really don't care which system a person adopts ultimately, but check out Nikon before totally running toward Canon (I give the same advice to people that like Nikon) they're just cameras. they take pictures.
  5. eddx macrumors regular


    May 12, 2005
    Manchester, UK
    Full frame might be the next big thing but it isn't going to make that much difference to your pictures in my opinion.

    Get the Canon 40D with a 17-85mm IS lens, three or four 2gb compact flash cards, a spare battery, a nice camera bag and a mid-range Canon External flash gun (if you think you need it).

    There will be a Canon 40D with a full frame sensor, probably be called the Canon 50D and is unlikely to ship before 2010...worth the wait, I think not.

    Canon 40D - buy now, you won't be disappointed.
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Here is how it works for both Nikon and Canon lenses. It is simple. Some lenses make "big" images. Yuo need this kind of lens if you have a full frame sensor. But there is no problem using this lens with a small sized sensor. Some lenses make "small" images. These work fine with "small" sensors but not with the larger full frame sensors.

    Maybe a simpler way to say is is the "The lens must project an image that is AT LEAST as big as the sensor." A bigger image is OK.

    If you plan ahead you can do just fine. If you have a "crop body" camera today and know that in five years you will have a full frame body, then buy lenses acordingly. On the Nikon side, most all of the better lenses cover the full frame. Film is "full frame"and lots of people shoot film, most of the lenses were designed when film was all there was. The Canon line is mostly this way too.

    The exception is if you buy a wide angle lens. It is VERY expensive to make a lens that is both a wide angle on a crop body and covers the full 35mm frame. In today's real-world market if you buy an affordable body most of the expensive glass you buy will work on both the small and large sensor but none of the wide angle lenses or the consummer grade zooms wil transfer over to full frame. But most of the big ticket pro-grade lenses will.

    Don't deside on Nikon or Canon SLR based on the companies point and shoots. There is littel in common between the P&S and SLR lines. Look at the lenses you might want to buy over the years look at the flashes and the meter systems inside the cameras
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I agree completely, but wanted to add that maybe he wants full frame so that really wide angle shots are more easily achieved.
  8. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    Since full frame image sensors do not crop images (40D discards about 60% of the images from full frame lenses), they are highly desirable for wide angle photography. And while size of the image sensor is not indication of image quality, larger image sensor can accommodate higher number of pixels without affecting image quality. That said, I would wait for imminent replacement model for EOS 5D (EOS 5D II?).

    Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM does not work with full-frame camera, so it wouldn't be the lens to get if you are looking for full-frame compatibility.

    Anyway, I think 40D (or even XSi) with EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM (also not full frame compatible) is pretty good for wide photography. 10-22mm translates to 16-35mm in full-frame, which also happens to be the focal length of EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM (ultimate full-frame wide angle zoom lens).

    And there's EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM, arguably the best wide angle lens in Canon's line-up.
  9. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    I agree with ChrisA that:

    Don't deside on Nikon or Canon SLR based on the companies point and shoots. There is littel in common between the P&S and SLR lines. Look at the lenses you might want to buy over the years look at the flashes and the meter systems inside the cameras

    Given your preferences, if you can afford to go Full Frame, then do so. Canon's 5D replacement will be perfect for you.

    If you can't afford it, then the latest Xsi due in April will be a great bargain dSLR with a cropped APS-C sensor (EF-S).

    That said, I shoot with a Nikon. Though we might run 2 systems if the 5D replacement is everything I'm expecting it to be.
  10. krye macrumors 68000


    Aug 21, 2007
    You guys are throwing around a lot of terms that are foreign to me. Where do I go to learn about ISOs, apetures, lenses, etc. I have no idea where to start. I too have been using a P&S and I'm taking some pretty cool shots. I want to make the next step up. Where do I go from here?
  11. jtblueberry macrumors regular

    Dec 20, 2007
    Pismo Beach, CA

    I would recommend a 5D if you can afford the lenses to go with it.
    I can highly recommend the lenses in my sig for either a full frame or not. I have used them on 10D, rebel xti, 40D, 1Ds, 5D.
    If you can't afford the good lenses and a 5D, get the 40D and the good lenses. If you can't afford a 40D and good lenses, get the rebel xti (or xsi) and good lenses.
    There is no guarantee that the 5D will see a replacement at all. If it does it may be closer to the 5D's entry price of $3200 than the current $2200. Who knows?
    I feel the 5D is the best buy on the market if you are looking for full frame and is still an amazing value due to the price drops.
    My work wouldn't be possible without full frame because most of my work is relatively close up or large groups. However, keep in mind that if like to zoom way in, an APS-C size sensor will basically multiply your zoom by 1.4x. Some people like that, others don't.

    My mom uses a 28-300L lense that she loves. It's not quite as good in low light but has better zoom than my combo, costs less, and still seems to have great image quality.
  12. -hh macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    I've been following the rumors for the 5D for awhile. Current scuttlebutt is using the name of "5D, Mk II", with likely specs that are of interest to me personally being that it is reportedly to be bumped up to 16 MP and may have live preview...oh, and still be Full Frame (FF).

    It pretty much is the only game in town that offers FF, which ties into some of the speculation as to why it is so 'overdue' for upgrade ... one opinion is that Canon is waiting for Nikon to commit to their FF counterpart (5D competitor), whereupon they can then take their '5D Mk2' and tweak it to its final configuration (ie, beat the Nikon on specs). In other words, the 5D is being used as a pawn in the chess game of competition.

    In my conversion from film to digital, I've missed not having a nice amount of WA for landscapes.

    For my UW photography, wide angle is my favorite subject area, and on my 35mm film Nikonos, I'm using a 15mm WA.

    The implications of that in digital is that on the consumer-level crop body dSLRs, it effectively means that I need to start with a 10mm lens (10mm * 1.6 = 16mm equivalent) in order to have the same effective field of view as current. But the implications of this are that the current offerings at this focal length are EF-S mount, which means that this lens won't be compatible with my existing 35mm SLR bodies, or a 5D dSLR body, so it falls into the realm of being YA piece of fairly limited application niche.

  13. jtblueberry macrumors regular

    Dec 20, 2007
    Pismo Beach, CA
    Definitely. Why would they upgrade if there is no competition. I agree that it will take a Nikon FF to force that possibility. Any word on that?
    If not, it could definitely be awhile...if that niche doesn't dissapear by then. Who knows...maybe the 40d will become full frame next update (I'm just making this possiblilty up but who knows...right?).
  14. -hh macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    I haven't specifically looked at it from the "Nikon" angle; back to the rumor mills :)

    FYI, the current speculation is that there's an appropriate trade show in Sept 08, which Canon might be inclined to 'preempt' with a 5D Mk2 announcement shortly before, August. I personally don't like that timeframe speculation, as I have an annual scuba diving trip in the late September timeframe, and I'd really like to have the new camera system for this year. As such, I might be cornered into a 'can no longer wait'.

  15. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    The 5D (which is the 40D with full-frame sensor) only makes sense if you can afford very, very good glass. The 5D with mediocre glass will get spanked by the 40D with good glass. Invest in glass, the 40D is actually better than the 5D in many respects (fps, weather sealing). Glass lives much longer than bodies. Unfortunately, Canon is not as good as Nikon with respect to compatibility. Nikon DX glass (the equivalent of EF-S lenses) can be used on FX bodies (I assume all future FX bodies will have the same functionality as the D3) whereas EF-S lenses may actually damage full frame cameras (the mirror in particular). On the other hand, I don't think it's a good idea to buy all lenses, pretending you already have a full-frame body. Crop sensors will be around for a long, long time.

    I don't want to be the devil's advocate, but have you had a look at other manufacturers? Pentax has just released the K20 -- which is hell of a camera. Or a Nikon D200? Although you have a Canon P&S now, dslrs handle differently. I would go into a store and check them out yourself.

    What's your budget? Once we know, we can give you specific advice on what equipment to buy. To be honest, if I were you, I'd start smaller and work my way up.

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