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Thread: Canon EOS 600D

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    Member Sooz's Avatar
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    Canon EOS 600D

    Hi, I'm currently using a bridging camera (Nikon P100) and I'm considering upgrading the Canon 600D but I'm not sure what lenses to get. Initially I was going to go with the twin lens kit but as I like to travel I'm not keen on lugging around stuff that I might not use. So I was thinking of getting the 600D body with the Canon 18-200mm lens or the Sigma 18-250mm lens. Does anyone have any advice please?

    Thanks!

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    Hey there Scooz,

    For a crop body, I would go with the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 USM IS lens. It's a great lens for travel, have personally found the 85mm tele zoom end sufficient for most uses. Weight is at the 575g mark which I didn't find to be much of a problem paired with a Canon 7D. The "rated" image quality / sharpness of the 15-85mm is probably second only to the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM which is dearer. The 55mm tele end might not be long enough for you though with the 17-55?

    Almost 90% of my keepers from a recent trip to Japan were made with the 15-85. Great travel companion for a crop body!
    Bodies: Panasonic Lumix GF-1, G-1 & Canon 7D
    Lenses: Lumix G 14-45mm, Lumix G 20mm, Olympus M.Zuiko ED 9-18mm, Canon EF-S 15-85mm, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 USM L, Sigma AF 50mm f/1.4

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    Drifter, Racer and Picture Taker
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    As far as the choice between the Canon 18-20 or the Sigma 18-250, the Canon wins every time.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom, is knowing not to serve it in a fruit salad.

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    The Tamron 18-270 PZ is better.

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    Thanks for another option to consider Strictfunctor...the joys of being a beginner, so many choices!

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    Personally, I don't see the point of using a DSLR without a proper lens, as a DSLR + average or bad lens gives the same results as a P&S except you have to drag around that big chunky piece of metal/plastic/glass. Just about any camera body made in the last five can give decent results... I wouldn't say the same about the lenses, particularly "super zoom" lenses.'
    You'll get a much better overall combination with the cheapest crop body Canon you can buy (some run way under $400 used) than with a 600D and a "super zoom" which makes it just a large P&S, that because of the inconvenience of its size is effectively ... Becomes a DOWNGRADE from your P&S.

    As far as walk-around zoom lenses go, the Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 is good (it's sort of the crop version of 24-70L without L build quality or weight), and 15-85mm is not too bad, very inferior to it though.
    Have you considered a prime lens? Sigma 30mm f1.4 EX DC HSM is a beautiful lens, not heavy, gives a "normal" view angle (FF 50mm equiv) and your feet make for a very good zoom.

    Cheers

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    Ho Sooz,

    Patricky is correct to advise you lenses are important - more important than bodies so long as we are considering the same general body type (e.g., Canon 600D vs Canon 1100D vs Pentax K-5 vs Canon 7D vs Nikon D7000 vs Canon 400D - they are all APS-C crop bodies and will all return broadly similar results). The lens you put on your DSLR is indeed more important than which DSLR you put it on.

    Patricky is also correct to regard the superzooms (18-200 and similar) as pretty poor performers as lenses go.

    However, Patricky goes way, way too far when he says that a superzoom on a DSLR is not as good as a P&S camera. That's not even close to true. Usually, I am the first to say "don't buy a superzoom, they are carp" and amongst the first to recommend spending a fair penny on good glass, but even I (noted superzoom knocker) have to admit that even an extra-cruddy superzoom on the cheapest second-hand DSLR is way, way better than any P&S. We are talking a massive difference in sensor capacity here - point and shoot cameras have sensors smaller than your little fingernail while standard DSLRs have a sensor about double the size of your thumbnail. That's a huge difference and the image quality reflects it.

    So, if you feel you have to buy a superzoom for your DSLR, do that and use it with confidence. The better (not so cheap) superzooms deliver optical results similar to those delivered by the cheapest kit lenses. (The Canon 18-200 is probably your best bet.) A superzoom costs a lot more than a kit lens and you don't get any return on that money so far as image quality goes, all you get is some convenience. But not as much as you think! 18-200ish sounds like a fantastic range, but this sort of lens really isn't much good past 100mm or so and you'd get an equal or possibly even better result using a higher quality shorter lens and cropping a bit. And at the short end, the superzooms just don't cut the mustard. They have huge barrel distortion (which is not the end of the world but still not nice) and fairly poor sharpness. Worst of all, 18mm really isn't very wide. You will get a lot more real, practical photographic value from a lens that is a bit wider - 15mm is the ideal, it's massively wider than 18mm, 'till you try it you won't realise the difference.

    So where I'm leading you is in the direction of a good quality general-purpose lens, and the ideal all-rounder is the Canon EF-S 15-85 IS. Fantastic lens! Very versatile. The excellent 17-55/2.8 IS would be massive overkill and probably not suitable for your needs anyway - it's very short for a walkaround and not all that wide.

    If the 15-85 is too dear for you, consider the well-regarded Sigma 17-70, or even (if pushed to it) the Canon 18-135. Or, finally, think about the 18-55mm IS kit lens. It has about the same image quality as a good superzoom (better than the cheap ones) and it costs around $150.

    And no matter what lens you put on your DSLR, it will still be vastly superior to your P&S rig.
    Tony

    Edit and critique at will. Tokina 10-17 fish, Canon 10-22, 24-105, 100-400, TS-E 24, 35/1.4, 60 macro, 100L macro, 500/4, Wimberley, MT-24EX, 580EX-II, 1D IV, 7D, 5D II, 50D.

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    Thanks for your comment.
    I may have not been clear enough, I should have used the words "compact camera" and not "point and shoot". I also was meaning the better compact cameras with a crop factor of x4 or less and decent lenses, not the low end $50 stuff.

    Maybe I have consistently tested bad copies of kit and superzoom lenses, but each time I have tried to make pictures with them, they didn't look any better than something coming from a compact camera, sometimes even worse.

    So maybe I just haven't had luck, but I don't see the point of carrying around a chunky DSLR if it doesn't bring any significant advantage vs a compact. This is why I used the word downgrade: you don't get much better image, and you get inconvenience of size.

    On the other hand, what I do love about DSLRs is their capacity to produce beautiful images with the right lens.
    The cheapest Canon DSLR (1100D) with the Canon 15-85mm will indeed give you better image quality that most good compact cameras, and also a lot better than a 600D with a superzoom.

    And no matter what lens you put on your DSLR, it will still be vastly superior to your P&S rig.
    I definitely don't agree on this one if we're talking about a $400-500 compact. It's more or less similar except you don't get to put it in your pocket. With a good lens the DSLR will be vastly superior.
    The viewfinder, AF and general speed are much better though.

    Cheers

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    No worries Patricky, I see where you are coming from and I think you understand me too. But for the OP (and anyone else reading this thread) maybe we should spell it out clearly. Let's see if you agree with this statement of the state of things:

    In the bad old days, P&S cameras all had tiny sensors the size of your little fingernail or less. They worked fine in good light, but that was the end of it. The better ones even had what were remarkably good lenses, all things considered, sometimes with enormous zoom ranges, but they could never compete with DSLRs for picture quality, especially not in less than ideal conditions.

    Still in the old days, DSLRs were large, expensive, and clumsy, but had vastly superior sensors, lenses, pretty much superior everything.

    Today, DSLRs are still the same. They have improved (of course) but today's 600D is not really all that different from an elderly 20D. Both can take fantastic pictures.

    And traditional P&S cameras are still the same: they still have tiny sensors and, for all their cost and convenience virtues, they still are not really up to scratch once you decide you want to graduate past the holiday snap level.

    Yes, you can use one for serious stuff, but it's a bit like using a cricket bat as a golf club - and I should know: I spent years digiscoping birds with a Nikon P&S glued to a whopping great telescope. Hell, let's post an example, just for fun.



    (New Holland Honeyeater, September 2004. Nikon Coolpix 4500 (4MP) and Swarovski ATS-80HD.)

    ^ That's a wild bird, by the way, not a tame one in someone's back garden. It's not a bad shot, but getting it was NOT easy! In fact that shot and my others like it were ... well, let's say they were like chipping onto the green and tapping the put in with that cricket bat I mentioned. Exceptions to prove the rule.


    Now where was I?

    Yes. Modern P&S cameras are still much the same. Not really up to scratch and very limited. Any DSLR (and I do mean any one) will do better, regardless of the lens.

    BUT as Patrickv rightly points out, although P&S units and DSLRs today are much the same as they were five years ago, there is a new breed of compact camera, or several quite different new breeds in fact, which are very, very different beasts. They are not much bigger than the typical P&S job, but they have decent-size sensors and some of them even take interchangeable lenses. I've never used one - nor do I plan to, I have enough gear already! - but I have no doubt that, in the correct circumstances, they can produce quality to rival DSLRs, and inded surpass the lower level of DSLR optics.

    Are we all happy with that?

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    I used the 7D 18-250 combination for a number of years and was very happy with the results although I now have the 70-200 2.8L is ii I can see there is a lot of difference, but there is also a lot of difference in price and I dont regret the original choice of the sigma as it was far better than the kit 75-300 I had on my 400D. I still use it as a general walk about on both the 400D and 7D.
    Keith.
    A couple of samples
    No.1 @ 250mm. No.2 @18mm un cropped. Minimalprocessing on both.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Speedway; 08-05-2012 at 11:56pm.
    Keith

    Canon 400D Gripped, Canon 7D LCD Timer Gripped, Canon 70-200 f2.8L is ii. Canon 2X iii Extender, Canon 50mm 1.8, Sigma 150-500, Sigma 18-250, Sigma 17-50 F2.8, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 90mm Macro, Yonguno YN460 & 460ii Speedlights and a Hanimax TZ 1 Flash, Wireless Triggers ,LED Macro Ringlight, Extension Tubes, 3 tripods, 2 monopods, PS Elements 5 & 10, PSP9 and canon s/ware, various filters and other photographic paraphernalia all packed in a computrecker backpack + 3 smaller bags and an aluminium case.

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    Agree with others regarding the Canon 15-85. It is a very verstile lens on a crop sensor camera. When I had my 50D and I travelled the Canon 10-22 and 15-85 were the 2 lenses I used most, I rarely used anything else. I could never really do without the 10-22, particularly in city situations like NYC, but if it came down to the crunch and I could only take one lens the 15-85 would have been the one I would have gone with. No, it does not have the wide constant F2.8 aperture that the 17-55 offers, but as far as verstility goes when you are travelling it wins hands down.
    Lloyd
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    Yes the Canon EF-S 15-85mm is a great 1-lens choice because its optics are a level higher than the 18-200's from any maker. In fact the lens itself is a higher level product. But it doesn't go anywhere near 200mm, if you need that.

    So, if you want 200mm, my recommendation is the twin lens Canon kit.

    Why?

    1. Both of the twin lens kit Canon lenses are optically better than the 18-200's.
    2. The 18-55 kit zoom is the one that sits on your camera all day, and it is very small and light. But with an 18-200mm super zoom as your only lens, you always have a bigger, heavier camera.


    P.S. In my humble experience, for general travel photography, 15-85 covers practically all needs. I used to take prime lenses when I travelled with a film SLR, and the 28, 50, and 135mm lenses did all the work. That's equivalent to 17-85mm on a 600D. The 300mm lens (equivalent to a 200mm on a 600D) always got lugged around and never got used.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arg View Post

    1. Both of the twin lens kit Canon lenses are optically better than the 18-200's.
    ? have you ever used any of the 18-250/270 lenses, going by this statment I doubt it. While the 18-55 kit lens is a capable lens as far as kit lenses go, the longer 55-250 and 75-300 dont come near the 18-250 Sigma that I have or my friends 18-270 Tamron. The shorter/wider lenses are great round town but the longer end comes in handy when out in the bush.

    Bennymiata wrote: As far as the choice between the Canon 18-20 or the Sigma 18-250, the Canon wins every time.

    This was true for the 18-200's from Canon Tamron and Sigma but the Sigma 18-250 was a big improvment on the 18-200 as was the 18-270 Tamron.

    Tony, the same goes for the barrel distortion at 18mm I don't see this problem with my 18-250 see above photo.

    Keith.
    Last edited by Speedway; 09-05-2012 at 2:42pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedway View Post
    ? have you ever used any of the 18-250/270 lenses, going by this statment I doubt it. While the 18-55 kit lens is a capable lens as far as kit lenses go, the longer 55-250 and 75-300 dont come near the 18-250 Sigma that I have or my friends 18-270 Tamron. ...
    Hi Keith, you might have experience with the older non-IS Canon kit lenses? Your mention of the obsolete 75-300 Canon makes me think you are thinking of old lenses. The last few years models of 18-55 and 55-250 (the ones with IS) are a big step up from the old non-IS Canon kitties.

    There isn't a superzoom that can hold a candle to them optically: Sigma, Tamron, Canon too. Don't take my word: check out the test sites like slrgear.com. The modern superzooms are, however, perfectly capable optically of taking very rewarding photos. They are not duds by any means.

    So I hold to my suggestion for Sooz the OP: With the Canon twin lens kit, your camera in your hand will always be smaller and lighter, and your optical results will be better, compared with a superzoom. Their pricing bundled as a twin lens kit is an absolute steal that makes their optical goodness hard to believe, but it's there for savvy buyers to take advantage of!

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    ARG. While I agree with your first statement, the second in my experience is wrong, the 55-250 was released a while before the 18-250 sigma and is not in the same class. the 18-200 canon, sigma, tamron and nikon were all compromise lenses but both Sigma with the 18-250 and tamron with the 18-270 overcame a lot of the earlier problems amd are both capable lenses far better than the basic kit lenses. I am not relying on others opinions but my own and friends use of these lenses.
    Keith.

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    Steady on there Speedway. If we go here - http://the-digital-picture.com/Revie...mp=1&APIComp=3 - and look at the evidence, we soon find that the Tamron 18-270 is a very, very typical example of the better sort of superzoom - i.e., it costs a lot more than the cheap kit lenses but performs at around the same (fairly low) level. Comparing the $160 Canon 55-250 kit lens against the $560 Tamron, we find that there is no difference worth mentioning at 50mm; the Tamron is noticably better at and beyond 200mm; and the Canon is noticably superior in the 70mm-100mm region.

    Now compart the $560 Tamron to a $120 Canon 18-55 kit lens. http://the-digital-picture.com/Revie...mp=4&APIComp=3 There is not much in it at 18mm; at 28mm the Tamron is better. From 35mm through to 55mm, the Canon is decisively superior. Overall, there isn't a great deal in it but the Canon is the better of the two.

    The bottom line is that you can spend $120 + $160 = $280 for two lenses which are similar to but in general superior to the Tammy. (Actually, you might rank the Tammy in the middle, with the 18-55 best and the 55-250 worst, but we shouldn't split hairs here - any reasonable quality mid-range lens will eat all three of them unless it too is a superzoom, in which case it will be about the same or a bit better if it's a top-of-range one like the Canon or especially the Nikon 18-200 (best superzoom made), or much worse (if it's one of the penny dreadfuls, which truly are awful).

    This doesn't mean that something like a Tamron 18-270 is a bad idea. I shot with a Canon 18-55 non-IS for years - this is the old model which was clearly inferior to the current-model Tamron) and I reckon I got the odd good shot or two outr of the old clunker. If you are not too fussed about the cost and you really, really care about doing everything with a single lens - e.g., if you are touring Europe, let's say - then one of the less nasty superzooms can be the perfect answer.

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    Tony I am not going on third party reviews but actual usage in which my 18-250 sigma far exceeded my expectations. I have used a friend’s 55-250 is and was impressed with the improvement over the older 75-300 kit lens but it was still not as good as the sigma or another friends 18-270 tamron across the range. I purchased my 18-250 when I only had the 400D and my IQ and keeper rate jumped considerably, then when I got my 7D this jumped again using the same lens. I now have the new canon 70-200 2.8L is ii and the IQ and keeper rate has leaped again. I have read a number of reviews stating these super zooms are no better than the kit lenses but this is not my experience with my own actual usage.
    Keith.

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    Thanks everyone for your input, certainly gave me something to think about and I've decided that as I'm a beginner, I'll go for the standard 600d with the twin lens kit, learn how to use it and upgrade lenses when I'm more experienced and know what I'm doing!

    Cheers

    Sooz

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    Hi Sooz,
    I am also a total beginner, I choose the 550D with 18-135 Canon kit lens and, as I am interested in macro, purchased the Tamron 90mm macro lens. I am finding that there is much to learn regarding camera settings and how /where to best use the two lenses, and I haven't really started on flashes, software etc. I am also working out what I enjoy and what I want to achieve.
    Have fun, enjoy and try not to feel too overwhelmed by it all!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sooz View Post
    .... I've decided that as I'm a beginner, I'll go for the standard 600d with the twin lens kit, learn how to use it and upgrade lenses when I'm more experienced and know what I'm doing! ...
    That's a great decision. Enjoy!

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