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Thread: HELP! 400D Upgrade body or lens

  1. #1
    Member darz16's Avatar
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    HELP! 400D Upgrade body or lens

    Morning All,

    I know there was a discussion in 2010 regarding an upgrade of the 400D but that was 4 years ago and I really want some updated info.

    I currently have the 400D with the twin lens kit
    Canon 18-55mm
    Canon 75-300mm

    I have had the camera for approx 7 years and I have never used it to its full potential and I am still learning.

    What I want to know is this camera still considered a good entry level camera or am I better off upgrading to something like the 60/70D or 7D or would I be better off getting a different lens etc

    some Friends have asked me to take some photos of their families etc and I am after some good advice regarding the capabilities of my current camera/lens or the need to upgrade. I will be looking at portraits indoors and outdoors and some landscape shots.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darz16 View Post
    I have had the camera for approx 7 years and I have never used it to its full potential and I am still learning.
    If you haven't used the 400D to its full potential and you are still learning, buying a newer body won't magically make you a better photographer and the images better.

    I would suggest that you spend a lot of time learning, practising and experimenting before you decide which way to jump.
    The 400D is still a good entry level camera, it didn't suddenly stop producing good images purely because Canon introduced a few new models.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



  3. #3
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I think it depends on whether you're a camera type person, or a lens type person!

    if you think you could somehow improve any aspect what you are currently getting, commit those points to long terms memory, or just write them down(here or on a note pad).

    A few examples of some of the things you may want to work on:

    * Focusing. is it accurate and decisive. Does it hunt a bit, does it hit focus with a decisive action, but is always just a bit off being perfect!

    * Do you need a shallower DOF, do you need a deeper DOF

    * ISO(which can have a huge impact in your images in some situations!) Do you currently shoot regularly at ISO6400, are the images clean at ISO6400, do you need to use a lot of noise reduction to get them presentable.
    Are you shooting at ISO6400, but using aperture values of f/32?

    There's no rules of thumb as to which update/upgrade is going to be the best one, except maybe in a few specific instances.

    eg. if you're finding that the camera is struggling to find focus, or that it doesn't seem to have enough focusing points to choose from, then getting a new lens is pretty much a futile exercise!
    but on the other hand, if you want some of your current image styles to render a shallower depth of field look, then getting a new camera of the same format type is also a wasted effort.

    Also, you need to have a definite budget for how much you can afford for any new equipment.

    FWIW tho, with some experience you should be able to produce some good images with the gear you have.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    If you have not used this camera much, then there is still some life in it yet.
    Shutters in those cameras are rated for about 50,000 shots. The pixel count is much smaller than the newer cameras, but if you crop your images properly in camera, then you can easily print your pictures up to A4.
    If you are planning to take pictures for clients, especially paying clients then what you have will struggle to do the job.
    However, before you start thinkign about updating.. how much budget do you have?

    To get decent camera and a couple of good lenses you are looking at $3-6K
    That is a big commitment.

    My advice... stay with what you have. It will produce ok images in good light.
    Learn the art... practice... and after you've taken 10,000 well thought out photographs you will know exactly what you need.
    “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst" – Henri Cartier-Bresson
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  5. #5
    Photo Bizarro nimrodisease's Avatar
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    As others have said.. I would recommend you stay with what you have. It is perfectly fine gear for someone learning the craft! You need to find out for yourself from your own experience what it's capable of, and only then will you really know if/how you should upgrade.
    My name is John.
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    April 1st..?

    Edit:

    FWIW and on the level, use it until you feel your ability and goals outstrip its capability. I kept my 300D for a long time and only parted ways with it when I started to realise and get frustrated by its limitations.
    Last edited by rackham; 01-04-2014 at 6:00pm.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I agree with the above. You have set your experience level as beginner, but have had the 400D for seven years, and you are not, by your own admission, using it to its full potential.

    The issue here is not the gear, but the photographer. Better gear will not equal better photos. I could take your 400D and get you some stunning landscapes within 24 hours. Your friends who want you to take their photos, want YOU to take their photos. If you cannot use your gear to even half its potential, then that is where your photos will not be what you or they wanted.

    Photos do not turn out badly cause the camera is bad, they turn out badly cause the photographer doesn't have the skills to make the camera take good photos.

    Hope we get to see some of your photography soon, you will find putting photos up for critique and soaking up the advice will help you learn to use your camera and its potential.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
    My Photography

  8. #8
    Member Ahyao17's Avatar
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    I had a 400D but eventually I upgraded to a 550D a few years ago.

    2 main reasons,
    1. 400D is pretty bad at high ISO (I cant stand when it gets to 400ISO)
    2. Video recording

    Dont worry about how much of its capability you use, if you want to also do some video, then upgrade. I think 450D is the last one not to have recording.
    If you have a dedicated video cam, then dont worry about upgrading

    Keep your lens, they are good enough.

    So if you want video or cant stand noise at high ISO, then upgrade, get a 2nd 550D or something similar, they are cheap enough these days.
    Otherwise, just experiment more with your set up.

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    Given you say you're still learning, I'd suggest getting out more and really pushing your camera to understand its limitations. Once you understand that, then you can make a decision on purchasing gear to overcome those limitations. Do you post process your photos? If not, perhaps consider some software like Lightroom to help bring out the best in the photos you take with your current camera.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Remove duplicate post!
    Last edited by stulandr; 23-04-2014 at 5:38pm.
    Living on earth is expensive, but it does include an annual free trip around the sun

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    Member Morgo's Avatar
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    If you don't already have one I'd look at investing in a speedlight. Light can make a bigger difference than camera or lens at times and a off camera speedlight with light modifier, say a shoot through umbrella, can really help with those portrait.

  11. #11
    Fishy bricat's Avatar
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    Sometimes a new bit of gear helps re-kindle your enthusiasm? cheers Brian
    Cheers Brian.

    Canon 7D Kit lenses EFS 18-55 IS EFS 55-250 IS EF28-90 Canon EF 2xll Extender Sigma DG150-500 OS Speedlight 420EX. 580EX

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