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Thread: Should I upgrade from 400D to 60D/7D or buy great glass?

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    Should I upgrade from 400D to 60D/7D or buy great glass?

    Hi

    I have 400D and
    lenses are

    Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
    Canon EFS 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 IS Lens
    Canon 75-300 f/4-5.6 III USM.

    I know these are not great lenses but I bought them as I was starting with photography.
    Now I feel that I should upgrade my setup.

    At first I thought I should go for good quality lens now and keep 400D for another year or two.Later I saw some low light photos taken with 550D with same lens as mine and I was really impressed.

    Now after spending almost 2 years with 400D I wanted to go for new class and started researching for higher class camera. Everybody from whom I asked suggested to go for 7D and buy one all rounder lens like 15-85mm. It would set me back around $2300+.

    Another option is go for new/used quality lens for time being and play with it for some time to learn more about quality photography. I do not make any money from photography, it is just hobby so sometime I have to work harder with my other self to justify the cost.

    I can stretch my budget to $2500 but will it be really worth spending on 7D+lens?

    I am very confused at the moment.

    please guide me in right direction.

    thanks

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    Unless you really need the low light capabilities/resolution of the newer bodies, stick with what you have and upgrade your glass. Identify what you enjoy shooting the most and upgrade that particular lens: portraits - upgrade the 50mm; landscape/general zoom - upgrade the 18-55mm; sports/wildlife - upgrade the 75-300mm.

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    Have you considered a 50D? Most reviews so far are calling the 60D a "side-grade" rather than upgrade. It appears more biased towards video, so unless you are particularly interested in that direction I think the 50D is a much better 'traditional' DSLR and as the price has dropped significantly much better value. It will still be a major performance step up from your 400D. This will also leave you more money for better glass. Otherwise go all the way to 7D.

    In terms of a new lens, as Hyper recommended, if you are on a budget you need to decide on what style of photography is your priority. Portraits - for the money the 50/1.8 is hard to beat but if you want something a bit more refined look at the 50/1.4 or 85/1.8. Landscape "wide angle"- the Sigma 10-20/4-5.6 is probably best bang for buck, Canon 10-22 is good but more expensive. General Purpose "walk around"- Sigma 17-70 is again good value, Canon 17-55 is King in this neighbourhood but big$$. Sports (wildlife, you really need longer lens) save up your money and buy one of the Canon 70-200's, f4is if you can't wait or hang out for the f2.8is (may get a bit cheaper now that the ii is out).

    Cheers
    John


    EOS 1D MKIII x2, EOS 6D; Samyang 14 2.8 IF ED UMC, EF 17-40 4 L, EF 24-70 2.8 L, EF 50 1.4, EF 85 1.8, EF 70-200 2.8 L IS, EF 100 2.8 macro, EF 400 5.6 L, 1.4x II TC, EF25 ET; Speelite 580EX, 430EX; Nissin Di866II; Yongnuo YN560i/ii & YN460ii, YN622C's, RF602's; Gitzo GT3541XLS + Markins Q20i; Manfrotto 055XProB + Giottos MH1301; Manfrotto 680B c/w Kirk MPA-1; Tamrac Pro5, ThinkTank Airport Accelerator, Airport Antidote V2, Pro Speed Belt + Racing Harness + Modular Skin Set; Lightroom 5.3, Photoshop CS5.
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    Go lens cos if you do end up getting a 50D or 7D the lens should work on those too.

    One day I'll take some serious photos, just not today
    Canon 50D | 450D Gripped | 50mm 1.8| 18-55 | 100-300 | Tamron 17-50 f2.8 | 85mm f1.8 | Manfrotto Tripod | Studio Flashies | 430EX | Loads of useless gadgets | All this gear and still no idea.....

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    Member Mircula's Avatar
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    Hey,

    I would suggest you to get a used 40D and a used good lens! I dont think 50D has a lot of advantages over the 40D and is still much more expensive.....

    I got a mint condition 40D with under 4000 shutter actuation for $530.....

    That saves money, you have a great body and a great lens and all is good.

    I just upgraded form 20D to 40D. Aussome !

    Cheers,


    Mirc
    Constructive criticism is most welcome!!!

    Canon 40D, 100-300 5.6 L
    Sigma 17-70
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    LOL! timely post(and not unexpected mind you!).

    FWIW, I say go for a 7D.

    I have no idea on how well your current lenses work, but you also haven't specified a particular genre of photography that you concentrate on either.

    if you do a lot of landscapes, then I would suggest a 7D and Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6.
    If you do a lot of portraits.. I have no idea on what works and what doesn't work in Canon world, but I'm sure there are there are some good quality cheap lenses that can produce high quality portraits.. if not a Tammy 28-75/2.8 or 17-50/2.8(or Sigma equivalent) will work well on any camera

    Second hand 50D plus second hand 17-55 maybe??

    as far as I can tell from all the publicity, the 60D is a downgraded body type(level) compared to the 50D.. so the 7D would make more sense in the long run, catering to any as yet unseen future needs for a longer period.
    I think if you want to upgrade the camera body, then you really should be looking top get one with a lot more features/advantages than one you already have.

    I think, to get a more accurate recommendation from someone that may have different priorities to yours, you should specify what your preferred photographic genres are.
    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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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    I went through a similar quandary with my 400D 18-55, 75-300 kit + 50 1.8. I went the lens upgrade first with 10-20 and 18-250 sigma's also a 90mm tamron macro was added to the kit. These lenses provided a whole new learning curve. About 9 months later I was able to up grade to the 7D and also got the 150-500 sigma, another learning curve but not as steep as a body and lens together would have been. I kept the 400D as a back up and last weekend was walking around the local sports ground with both bodies the 7D with the 150-500 and the 400 with the 18-250 taking photos of the football and netball finals for the local newspaper this saved constant lens changing which would have been difficult with the on and off drizzle all day.
    PS. I was originally going to upgrade to the 50D but the 7D was released just before I did and this seemed a much better option and I'm still of the same opinion.
    Last edited by Speedway; 09-09-2010 at 11:20am.
    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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    Sometimes I wished I would have just bought a couple of nice lenses instead of upgrading to the 7D, but I know that I would have eventually bought it anyway, so I'm glad I am "learning" now on the 7D. It is a nice camera.


    7D / 15-85 IS / 50mm f/1.8 II / 400d, Twin lens kit / 580EX II / Velbon Tripod

    27" iMac i7 / Aperture 3

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    Buy great glass - bodies are updated so often you'll always be able to get something good. Go for some L glass and watch your images improve as you get the hang of them.
    Odille

    “Can't keep my eyes from the circling sky”

    My Blog | Canon 1DsMkII | 60D | Tokina 20-35mm f/2.8 AF AT-X PRO | EF50mm f/1.8| Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM | Fujifilm X-T1 & X-M1 | Fujinon XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS | Fujinon XC 50-230mm F3.5-5.6 OIS | Fujinon XF 18-55mm F2.8-4R LM OIS | tripods, flashes, filters etc ||

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    In Training MarkChap's Avatar
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    I don't know why people keep comparing the 60D to the 50D, the Op is not considering changing from a 50D to 60D, when compared to a 400D, which is what the OP has, the 60D is streets ahead, well ok maybe not streets, but definitely a worthy upgrade.

    You don't tell us which direction your photography is taking ?

    My opinion - 7D/60D and keep your lenses, there is no use/benefit in getting the 15-85 with the 7D/60D.
    If you really want 1 and only 1 all round lens you would be better suited with the 7D and a tammy 18-270 VC, this covers, pretty much, the focal lengths you currently have.

    The 60D is going to be a lighter body than the 7D, articulated screen, same ISO range, same video functions. The AF in the 7D is going to be ahead of the 60D.
    The 7D is a bigger, physically, and heavier body, which is something I like.

    Do yourself a favour and head into a retailer that has both, after the end of the month for 60D, and hold/play with both. The biggest factor for body choice is which one feels better in hand. If you don't like the feel of the body you won't get the best out of it.

    Now to the second part of your question - "or get great glass"
    What are you going to shoot predominantly ?
    Great Glass for serious/concerted birding is not exactly great glass as a walk around street photography lens or portrait lens.

    At the end of the day -
    What do you want to do in your heart ??
    If you want an upgraded body, and you let your decision be guided from the responses here, which will lean well and truly to the "buy glass" option, then at the end of the day, you will still be unhappy with both your photography and your results.
    Last edited by MarkChap; 09-09-2010 at 11:42am.
    Smoke Alarms Save Lives, Install One Today
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    Cheers, Mark


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    This is a timely thread as I was thinking (almost) the same...that is whether to upgrade my now two year old 400D body, or invest in better glass. After umming & ahhing and in general dithering about, I decided to upgrade the glass as there is really nothing wrong with the 400D (less than 6000 shutter actuations) and it does everything I want.
    As I have already upgraded the 75-300 kit lens that came with the camera with a Sigma 28-300DG 3.5-6.3 (bought s/h from this forum) I am now thinking of upgrading the 18-55 to either a Sigma 10-20 4-5.6 or a Tamron 10-24 3.5-4.5 and perhaps adding a Tamron 90 Macro...but only if I think I can justify the usage.
    Might upgrade the body in another 15 months just before we go overseas again...so I can claim back the GST at the airport
    Canon 550D/7D - Canon 24mm IS USM - Sigma 10-20mm - Canon 15-85 IS USM - Sigma 28-300mm | RS60E3 cable remote | B&W ND110, Hoya CPL, ND2, ND8, Cokin P series H250A GND 'kit' | An embarrassingly cheap SLIK tripod.
    Software: PS CS5

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    Ausphotography Veteran rwg717's Avatar
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    Whatever you do, I would advise you to avoid the 60D for the time being....not that there will be anything wrong with this camera but Xmas is not that far away really and the retailers will have an absolute "field day" with this new offering from Canon.

    I found this out when the 50D was released and paid almost 3X the price I should have. As wobbles said, there are still a few 50D's about and I would investigate one of those first, still 15.1 mpx and a great camera, you should be able to grab one for less than $1000 landed and this gives you more money for glass!!!!!

    Your lenses are really the centre point of the kit, with a reasonable reputation already earned, they last for years if cared for properly and I'd be tipping all my spare cash into them before I would bother handing all my hard earned over to Ted's Cameras et al.
    Richard
    I've been wrong before!! Happy to have constructive criticism though.Gear used Canon 50D, 7D & 5DMkII plus expensive things hanging off their fronts and of course a "nifty fifty".

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    Member gje38752's Avatar
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    Lots of advice here, some I feel quite appropriate for you, I would suggest grabbing one of the 50D and put a 15=85 on it, a great combination for under $2,000, which would probably do everything you want.

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    As suggested, I would stick with your 400D or get a used 40D. Having owned a 350D in years past, it was a great camera, albeit not good in low light or at higher ISO's. The 400D wasn't that much better in this regards. The 40D is a fair bit better than both, but it really depends on what you're doing. Once you get good glass you'll never go back. My 24-70 on my 5D is just incredible, and when my cheapo-ebay-damaged 70-200 gets fixed i'm sure it will blow me away too

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    In Training MarkChap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gje38752 View Post
    Lots of advice here, some I feel quite appropriate for you, I would suggest grabbing one of the 50D and put a 15=85 on it, a great combination for under $2,000, which would probably do everything you want.
    Why ?
    What is the OP shooting ????

    Making camera and lens, especially, recommendations, with out knowing what the intended use is, is just silly.

    When we know the intended use I am sure we can point in the right direction

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    Quote Originally Posted by Analog6 View Post
    Buy great glass - bodies are updated so often you'll always be able to get something good...
    Indeed. I think any recent body is more than adequate in terms of image quality, but lenses are highly imperfect. It follows then, that better lenses will produce a greater improvement in the quality of your images than a new body. Something like a 7D would inevitably just tend to show up the shortcomings of your existing glass more.

    Quote Originally Posted by hyper View Post
    ...stick with what you have and upgrade your glass. Identify what you enjoy shooting the most and upgrade that particular lens...
    This sums it up pretty well I reckon.

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    keep the camera, and buy a couple (35mm and 75MM) of fast primes. you will think that you've just bought yourself a new super high ISO fantastic camera.

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    More info needed. Which part of your current photography is yielding results you are not happy with? Are you frustrated by limitations in your kit, in some particular aspect, preventing you from getting the shots you want? For all I know, you might only need a tripod...! Details please.

    "Step back from counter. Pick up mirror." cheers
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOM View Post
    keep the camera, and buy a couple (35mm and 75MM) of fast primes. you will think that you've just bought yourself a new super high ISO fantastic camera.
    This is actually sound advice, but in some ways, only to a limited degree.(but still good)

    I don't know the Canon lens range all that well, but the OP already has a 50/1.8 lens to play with.

    .... so the assumption, kind of stands to reason, is that in low light with an f/1.8 lens may be lacking in terms of quality for them!

    35mm will give a slightly wider FOV, but if low light and f/1.8 doesn't give the OP results that they desire, then the 35(or 75)mm lens may have to be at least f/1.4(or faster) and we're starting to refer to expensive options here($1.5K plus???)

    So the other opinions mentioned were 'better lenses' .. and in that group we can put a 17-55/2.8, and a 24-70/2.8(I think this is generally considered to be two of the most common lowest denominators when most people refer to better lenses).

    Are either the 17-55/ 2.8 or 24-70/2.8 going to give the OP any perceived improvement in IQ in low light over the 50/1.8?

    a 35/1.4 and or a 24/1.4 or as TOM suggested a 75/1.4(if one exists) may give some IQ advantage.

    but the OP is stil stuck with a camera sensor that is a coupel of generations behind in terms of sensor design and hence SNR, apparent noise in low light, and not able to use the added higher ISO range that a newer camera is capable of.

    The 400D allows ISO.. what?.. 3200?
    The 7D allows an ISO setting of .. 12800?(sorry I don't know the technical specs of the two cameras either?)

    to the OP, to be sure that you get what you want(if I'm correctly understanding your reasons to upgrade in the first place!? ) head over to DPR(that I know of) but I think there's another site called the digital image resource or something similar!?

    Search for 400D images at high ISO, and also for 7D high ISO images too, and keep the ISO value of the test results the same for for starters to compare how far technology has moved ahead, and also check the newer camera at the second highest ISO setting it offers.. because in ever review I've seen the highest ISO is basically a marketing gimick only!
    Using tabbed browsing, and as long as the review site has conducted consistent testing over the years(DPR has been good), you should be able to see for yourself if the high ISO advantage is worth the upgrade path to the 7D alone!(I think it will be).

    Also note!! That in upgrading to a higher res modern sensor that has even the same ISO result as the earlier model, for printing!!! at the same output size, the more modern higher res sensor will give a cleaner looking print in terms of noise/grain.. at high ISO.

    Speaking of printing! I recently printed an 8x12 image for my mother(of her) and a few other smaller 4x6 versions too(with a Nikon D300). My first real batch of prints I've ever done(up til then, I've not been interested) the image was taken at ISO6400, and looks quite OK even at full size on the screen. There is noise, but for ISO6400(relative to what we have been used too until only 3/4 years ago.. it still looks quite ok.
    The first comment she made on seeing the 8x12(basically A4 size) was that it reminded her of her fathers photos, but in colour. Her father passed away about 12 years ago, aged 97.
    She remembered those old grainy early 1900's photos of him in the army(in his 20's/30's), and if her grandfather. In a way I felt sort of relieved that she associated the noise as old film like grain, whereas we technogeek types don't.. we only see noise.
    to me it didn't look like any of those old 1920's-30's images at all(and I have them here with me to compare!).. anyhow, she got a thrill from the images at least

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    Member electricmic's Avatar
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    Im going to throw in my vote for better glass first.

    More glass should show your camera in a whole new light.

    I read a survey once that suggested most pro's would take a cheap body and expensive glass over and expensive body and cheap glass.

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