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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

The Canon 40D

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

If you’ve been following my exploration as a geek-with-camera, you know I’ve been shooting for the past 18 months with a Canon Digital Rebel XTi. This camera was my first dSLR, prior to which I had no experience with an SLR, although I did understand the concepts and theories behind them. Geek. Remember that.

I learned a lot in 18 months. More importantly, I quickly learned what I did and did not like about the Rebel XTi. I learned it’s downsides and how to get around them. I learned how to control it. To list a few things:

  • The XTi seemed rather noisy at ISO 800 and ISO 1600. ISO 400 was slightly noisy in the shadows, but was acceptable. If you look at my photos, you will rarely find anything above ISO 400.
  • The XTi is poor at metering in incandescent light. I think many cameras are. I’m not at the point where I’m going to invest in studio lighting, so this was a letdown.
  • It is hard for me to tell whether things are in focus or not in the view finder. Since I wear glasses, I can’t get my eye right up to the viewfinder, which makes things difficult. It’s also a bit dim.
  • Battery life is good, but not great.

About 6 months ago, I decided it was time to start thinking about my next camera. At about the end of January 2008, Canon announced the replacement for the XTi, the Rebel XSi. After reading the Press Release, I was already in love.

To recap, here’s what I was mostly looking forward to with the XSi:

  • Larger Viewfinder. I’m blind and with the XTi, it’s hard for me to tell whether something is in focus. I think it’s also reportedly brighter.
  • 3.0″ LCD. Again, blind. The bigger, the better. It’s the same resolution screen, so technically it’s a worse screen, but minor technicality.
  • SD Cards. I don’t mind CompactFlash. In fact, I trust it more. I’m pretty sure they’re capable of faster speeds too. However, my laptop has a built-in SD card reader, and that kind of convenience would be amazing.
  • Live View. The ability to see what the lens sees on an SLR would be handy indeed, especially when you can’t get your face to the viewfinder. Live View works with PC software too.
  • 12.2 MP. I don’t need more resolution than the XTi, but geeks love specs.

And so, I was set on the Rebel XSi, even though it would’ve only been a slight upgrade from the XTi. The trouble – The XSi wouldn’t be available until April. Then April rolled around, and it quickly sold out.

Then, while browsing B&H Photo Video’s website, I noticed that Canon had an instant $200 rebate on the 40D. Now, this poses a problem. With the rebate, it put the 40D only $150 more than the XSi. And, there was a kit with a 28-135mm lens for just a little more.

The 40D is most definitely a better, more pro camera. However, while it has a lot of features that beat out the XSi, there were some things that were holding me back:

  • Size & Weight. It’s bigger and heavier. The XTi seemed to be a good weight. Small is good, but it was also hard to hold it because it was so small. This also resulted in a few blurry images because it’s easier to shake.
  • CompactFlash. I was beginning to like the idea of SD cards. However, I already have a collection of CompactFlash cards.
  • 40D is 10.1 MP. Same as the XTi.
  • Price. It’s costs more.

I eventually read several reviews and comparisons that compared the Rebel XTI to the Rebel XSi to the 40D. After reading all of them open mindedly, the general concensus was that the 40D is the best upgrade and the better of the cameras. So, it was decided.

So, I’m working on selling the Rebel XTi. The lovely thing about this is that I’m keeping all of my lenses of course. I would keep the XTi body, except I really have no need for two dSLRs. I’m pretty sure I can competitively sell the XTi to help cover costs of the upgrade.

I’ll try to do some mini-reviews of the 40D as I get to know it a little better.