Which Camera? Canon xti, xsi, or 40D?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dott99, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. dott99 macrumors newbie

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    Dec 16, 2008
    #1
    I am in the process on trying to decide what camera body and lens I should buy for taking pictures of our pianos. We are a 4th generation piano restoration company and have over 90 pianos for sale - http://www.lindebladpiano.com/gallery.asp. I have been using a regular sony point and shoot but I want to make our photographs stand out that much more than our competitors. I will be mainly be using the camera I by indoors to shoot our pianos that we have for sale in our showroom. It is very important that the photos show the detail that our pianos have to offer. Many of them have carvings, exquisite veneers, etc. To really make our photos really look great, I am trying to decide what camera I should buy - 40D or XSI or XTI. Since I'll be using a tripod most the time, I'm also trying to decide whether to buy the Tamron 17-55mm lens or spend more money for the Canon 17-55mm lens. Thanks to anyone that puts their two sense in, I'd really appreciate it!

    Budget would be up to $2,000 - $3,000. Whatever is needed to have some excellent looking photos.
     
  2. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #2
    Well it comes to this though (for me anyway)

    the XTi, XSi, and 40D is like different group.

    Group 1: XTi and XSi
    Group 2: 40D

    The reason why I split it 2 different group cause of the different price point and performance. Group 1 is aim towards beginner while Group 2 is aimed towards prosumer. Heck, Group 2 cameras is much bigger and have extra features, some of those features you might not need cause its either you don't know how to take advantage of it or will not fit your needs.

    Now for the XTi and XSi, check out DPReview or some other sites for side by side image comparison, to me both of them produce the same quality images at lower ISOs and advantage to XSi on higher ISOs but since you will be shooting in a controlled environment, I would recommend getting the XTi body only (not with kit lens) and get the Canon 17-55mm lens, Im not sure what kind of photos you would like to take and from what kind of angle so I only take from the two lens suggestion you give. Get the XSi if you see that the extra features will benefit you. Oh yea, and almost forget, get a flash gun it will do wonders in indoor photography.

    And I forget the most important question, what is your budget?
     
  3. Foxtrot Oscar macrumors member

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    #3
    Any reason you discounted the XS?

    Being as it sits between the XTi and The XSi.

    Fox
     
  4. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    #4
    Uh, I would put the XS below the XTi.
     
  5. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Oh, you got a point, the XS should be in the list, cause from his explanation, the XS fits the bill too and its cheaper then the XTi or the XSi, get without the lens and get the 17-55 and a flash gun!!!
     
  6. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

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    #6
    Argh I have to keep translating those extremely confusing USA Canon names.

    XS=1000D, XTi=400D, XSi=450D. Ahh that's better. I'm not sure why they kept the international name of 40D though.

    For simply taking photographs of pianos, and nothing else, get the 'XS' and get a nice lens. If the room where the pianos are is poorly lit, then the XTi will have better low light capabilities.
     
  7. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    #7
    Yeah, only the lower ends has special names for USA, Japan or etc. The 40D and above has standard international names.

    Hmm, why would you say the XTi will have better low light? If its cause the number AF points then that could be the case but image wise, I dont think there is much different and in fact from what I observe, the XS and XSi shows better images at higher ISOs.
     
  8. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

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    #8
    It was because of the low light ISO performance - but I got it totally wrong. According to DxOMark (who rate camera sensors), the 1000D has better low light ISO performance than the 400D/450D and even the 40D!! Interesting...

    But for overall image quality, the ranking from best to worst is 40D/400D/1000D/450D.
     
  9. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #9
    The body will be sitting on a tripod, nothing will be moving, and I presume you can control the lighting. Get the cheapest body you can find and get the nicest lens you can afford, zoom, prime, whatever. If the natural light isn't good enough, invest more in lighting equipment. What makes a picture look "nice" is the lens and the lighting, not the body.

    Rule out the 40D.
     
  10. dott99 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 16, 2008
    #10
    thanks for the feedback so far, some of you have mentioned lighting, what kind of lighting set up would you recommend?
     
  11. flinch13 macrumors regular

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #11
    You do not need a 40d. Period. You will save enough money buying an XS, XSI or XTI to take care of your lighting.

    I'm not sure how much effort you want to put into learning how to use flashes, but I'd suggest you buy a couple of small speedlights and make some interesting lighting by bouncing off the ceiling and coming from underneath the piano.
     
  12. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    #12
    Well if Im not mistaken, according to some reviews, the 1000D gets better low light picture (higher ISO) is because of the megapixel, they consider 1000D 10mp as second generation whereas 450D higher megapixel as first generation. So yeah more megapixel is not all good.

    Erm...well what kind of lighting can you provide and what kind of idea shots you got in mind? Is the place you will be shooting at brightly lit?

    Oh yeah and do tell us what kind of pictures do you have in mind, so far Im thinking wide angle lens and maybe macro lenses. and since you will be shooting indoors, I suggest wide angle aperture lenses meaning f/2.8 > f/2 something.

    You still haven answer how much budget do you have.
     
  13. dott99 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    Budget would be up to $2,000 - $3,000. Whatever is needed to have some excellent looking photos.
     
  14. Foxtrot Oscar macrumors member

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    Hong Kong
    #14
    The op asked about cameras not your shelf arrangements. :p

    A good photographer can take stunning photos with a disposable, spending loads of cash will not make you take better photos. Just like using my mac instead of my PC does not make my put downs (see above) any funnier.

    How about a few books, or some lessons with a pro, that could be some cashola really well spent.

    Fox
     
  15. jampat macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 17, 2008
    #15
    The ideas above are good, cheap out on the body and buy a good (or at least decent lens). To make your photos stand out, invest in lighting (and maybe a backdrop and stands). Go to a bookstore and look through books on photography. I haven't tried it, but you may be able to use techniques from portrait photography to light the piano (ie. Key light, highlight light and background light to provide some separation). The lighting you choose will be what makes your pictures special.
     
  16. flinch13 macrumors regular

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    #16
    OK:

    Go for the XS or the XSi (whichever you think is better for your needs with price and specs in consideration)

    Get two speedlights that can be used as wireless slaves and the ST-E2... really easy setup for wireless flashes and you can just use full auto.

    You will get GREAT photos with a setup like this, even just handheld, and this will all fall under $2000 for sure.

    You may want to consider a nicer lens than the kit lens though.
     
  17. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Thats why I told him to deal with the shop dealer to buy the XS without the kit lens and instead get a 17-55 which quality is equivalent to an L lens and its the best EF-S zoom lens.

    And like flinch say, get the Speedlite, it is much better then the build in flash (I will get speedlite before I invest in lens). Get the Speedlite 430 EX II or 580 EX II.

    Here are the links for the review for you to know the difference.
    Speedlite 580 EX II
    430 EX II (the review is not there yet but search out the review for 430 EX which is the previous gen, not much difference compared to the different generations of 580)
     
  18. flinch13 macrumors regular

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  19. shady825 macrumors 68000

    shady825

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    #19
    I just got the XS and love it. For me the price of the XSi wasnt really worth it.
    I went with the XS and used the money i saved to buy another lens, camera bag, tripod, and a few filters.

    Im sure youll be happy either way!
     
  20. flinch13 macrumors regular

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    #20
    The XS is a great little camera. It's perfect for your needs IMHO.
     
  21. shady825 macrumors 68000

    shady825

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    #21
    Agree. Anyone whos not trying to be professional, the XS should suit your every need. (in my opinion)
    Its not so much the camera as it is the lens!
     
  22. dott99 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #22

    What do you mean by using two speedlights? How would you use both of them? I apologize for not knowing too much about this. You all have been really great ;)
     
  23. Foxtrot Oscar macrumors member

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    #23
    Fernando Alonso, Singapore GP Winner. Taken with the XS... FTW.

    [​IMG]

    Fox
     
  24. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #24
    Nice shot foxtrot, judging from the black horizontal shadows it seems you took the picture from a room or some sort with window blinds?

    And what lens you use? I guess you cranked up the ISO to get that shot, Im guessing ISO 400-800? and how fast was the shutter? (Im thinking 1/1000)

    Well erm...Im not the right person to explain to you this cause I never did try it before, I just do a lot of reading (Im pretty sure someone here can explain better then I can), by having 2 speedlight (generally called flash gun) with 1 wireless transmitter (in this case the ST-E2), you can set up your flash guns at different location so that when you snap your camera shutter it will shoot the flash guns at different location hence giving your photo a unique look.

    Do read the link I give you, it will give you a rough idea of what a flashgun would be able to do. Take note that Speedlite 580EX can act as both master and slave whereas the 430 only as slave (master and slave term is the same as how 2 hard drive in a desktop work) .

    Here is one of the shot taken from my XS (Im not using the standard kit lens so the quality is of course different and this picture has been compressed to such a freaking small size (original is about 4mb, now its 632kb), hint : see the foot)
    [​IMG]
     
  25. jampat macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Why does he need a beautiful zoom lens? He is taking pictures of static objects in a controlled environment. It is the perfect situation for primes, he can get a hell of a lot better lens for the same or less money. Something like a 20mm 2.8 may work. I don't know how much distance you have to back up. If you can back up enough, the 50mm 1.8 is only ~100 and takes pretty decent pictures. You may want to rent/borrow a zoom lens and crop body from somebody to see what focal lenth works best for you. For this, you can even use crappy consumer glass, all you need is the focal length labeled on the lens so you can see what focal length works and makes the pianos look good.

    The multiple flash scenario allows you to control the lighting on the piano much better than an on camera flash. A picture taken with on camera flash will almost always look flatter and less interesting that multiple flashes from away from the camera.
     

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