Choosing Between the Canon Rebel XT and the 30D

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Ami, Jul 3, 2006.

  1. Ami

    Ami Guest

    Hey there,

    I am deciding between these two cameras. I have to say that price
    isn't the most important thing here, but value is- and utility.

    I have already checked out the pro's and cons that have been discussed
    about these two models. I am still debating between the two. I
    thought I might describe my needs, and maybe you can help me figure
    this thing out.

    Though I am mostly a beginner (having used p&s a long time), I am
    familiar with basic photography concepts. I know I will have to play
    around with the camera to learn its ins and outs, but I am not getting
    this to be an amateur photographer- I just want to get the shots I
    want- and I want good shots.

    Here is what I want-

    I need to get good *clear* shots of the bears, eagles, baby racoons,
    and fawns in my yard in the early morning, dusk, and in the rain
    without a tripod (This has been impossible with my p&s). Mostly I'd
    like to get good clear shots of anything in early morning, dusk and in
    the rain. Seems everytime there's a good photo op- it's in that kind
    of light.

    I need to be able to take clear arena shots- relatively low light-
    action shots.

    Would also like to take pictures of people surrounded by pyrotechnics.
    As well as people in settings like a bowling alley with lasers.

    Like many people- I take pictures of gardens, landscapes, and sunsets,
    cats and kids.

    I am happy with my point and shoot's 4x zoom.

    I would prefer the lightness of the Rebel, and having small hands, I
    doubt the smallness will be an issue. I would like to be able to put
    the camera in a backpack- not have a separate bag to carry. This is a
    camera that will go on walks, trips (motorcycle saddlebag), and will
    need to be grabbed at a moments notice.

    Since I'm really not that concerned about frames per second, it seems
    the light metering is the biggest difference between the two right?
    From what you can gather from my needs- and taking into consideration I
    won't know what I'm missing, Do I need this?

    * If I get the camera body alone, can you recommend a lens that might
    fit the bill- and be the most versatile in this case -mostly for the
    low light and zoom together - which will be on the camera most of the
    time. I am willing to spend serious money on a good lens, but can I
    have fast and 4x zoom together?

    And now for something completely different- should I be looking at a
    camera with image stabilization instead? I'm usually chasing my
    subjects (no tripod), so will the high mps/ iso/ noise qualities/ f/1.4
    avail. of the Canons be enough to do the trick in my lighting
    situations?

    Thanks so much for any advice you can give me!

    Ami
     
    Ami, Jul 3, 2006
    #1
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  2. Ami

    Matt Ion Guest

    Murphy's Law of Nature Photography.
    This is where things start getting tricky... because in order to get
    those crisp, clear, low-light photos, you're looking at some pretty big,
    heavy glass. It's all about bigger glass being able to collect more
    light - ye canna change the laws of physics, Cap'n!
    The 30D should also have a lot better low-light performance - older
    digitals, the higher the ISO you use, the more noise you get in the
    picture, but this is improving greatly with more recent cameras, and the
    30D is at least one generation past the 350D.
    Canon doesn't have anything with that level of zoom range that's faster
    than f/4 - there are two 75-300mm f/4-5.6 models, n f/3.5-5.6 28-300mm
    L-series with IS, and a 100-400mm f/4.5-5/6 L-series with IS, or you can
    get an f/2.8 70-200mm (about a 2.8X range) L-series with or without IS.
    All the L-series units I noted there are in the CDN$2300-$3000 range.
    IS would definitely help you, but with Canon SLRs, it's a feature of the
    lens.
     
    Matt Ion, Jul 3, 2006
    #2
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  3. Ami

    m Ransley Guest

    You are not outside in the rain shooting I hope. Have you looked at
    Canon S3 IS or sony H5 , they have image stabilisation, 12x zoom, fairly
    good low light performance. For animals a 12x zoom will give you more
    possibilities, the sony will do 14x zoom at 5mp and with the 1.7x
    teleconverter it equals 856mm, enough to get you close. I thought about
    the Rebel and long lens, but for 500$ you get a package with image
    stabilisation that works well for maybe 1/5 the cost. The Rebels
    succesor isnt that far away, Im sure image stabilisation will soon be a
    standard feature that you will need with a long zoom. I got the sony H5
    and have been happy, except for battery performance.
     
    m Ransley, Jul 3, 2006
    #3
  4. Do you have the Sony H5? If so, please consider the moon image test:
    http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/moon-test1
    How does the Sony compare to the FZ series cameras in this
    test. The above page shows that without enlargement, the P&S
    cameras do very well. But the DSLR images can be pushed
    much further. The first quarter moon is today, so you can get
    similar views of the moon now.

    Personally I'd be skeptical about a P&S for wildlife. A critical
    factor is shutter lag, and no P&S matches DSLRs.

    For the OP: check the shutter delay between the XT and 30D.
    That could sway the difference. The 30D is much better build
    and longer shutter life.

    Roger
    FYI bear images at: http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.bear
    (Note: taken with a fast camera: 1D Mark II and big lens. I doubt
    I could have gotten these with a rebel. I could have gotten some
    but not all with a 30D.)
     
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Jul 3, 2006
    #4
  5. Ami

    Eatmorepies Guest

    It looks like you need a DSLR - which you are looking at. To get the
    pictures you want you will have to buy big, heavy expensive - but optically
    superb, lenses.

    I would buy the 30D if only because it has a shutter rated for 100000 shots
    compared with the 50000 shot rate of the 350D. In the UK the 30D is not
    twice the price of the 350D, which makes it better value in the long term.
    You also get the higher ISO range, more focus pints, spot metering and some
    other stuff. Get the 30D.

    Then get some L lenses. If you must have a small (light) 4x zoom look at the
    28-105mm f3.5-4.5 II USM. It's a fifth the cost of the 24-104mm f4L and a
    quarter of the weight. BUT it doesn't have IS (which the L lens does) and
    it's no where near as sharp.

    Summary; 30D body and 24-105 f4L IS to start with. Then the 16-35mm f2.8L
    and the 70-200mm f2.8L (IS or non IS) will surely follow.

    John

    p.s. I have a 350D which will soom be going to be replaced with the 30D
    (or5D - can't quite make up my mind).
     
    Eatmorepies, Jul 3, 2006
    #5
  6. Ami

    Clive Guest

    This might help

    http://www.photo.net/equipment/canon/20D_vs_30D_vs_5D_vs_D200

    CLive
     
    Clive, Jul 3, 2006
    #6
  7. Ami

    Jim Townsend Guest

    If money is no issue, the 30D.

    The XT and 30D have the same sensor technology and focusing systems.

    Because of that, everything you're asking for in picture quality
    will depend *entirely* on the lenses you choose. For lenses, budget
    an extra several thousand dollars over and above the cost of the camera
    body.. Good lenses aren't cheap.


    There is no one lens that will do everything you ask well.

    If you want to just get by, I recommend 3 lenses for doing what you
    want

    The EF-S 18-55mm - For wide angle kit lens.
    The EF 50mm f/1,8 lens - For low light applications
    The EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 - For telephoto work.

    BTW. The term zoom refers to lenses with variable focal length.
    It has absolutely nothing to do with the ability to bring far
    objects close. You calculate zoom by dividing the maximum
    focal length by the minimum focal length.

    For example:

    The Canon EF 28-135mm lens has a zoom of 4.8X
    The Canon EF 100-400mm lens has a zoom of 4.0X

    Despite having less 'zoom', the EF 100-400 will bring objects
    in MUCH MUCH closer than the EF 28-135. It's not even a
    contest :)

    The Canon EF 600 f/4 has NO zoom and will beat the EF 100-400mm
    lens hands down.
     
    Jim Townsend, Jul 4, 2006
    #7
  8. Ami

    Frank Pittel Guest

    I faced the same decision a few weeks ago and decided on the 30D. It doesn't
    cost that much more and in my never humble opinion the 30D is a far more
    capable camera. As a result I ended up with the 30D.



    : Hey there,

    : I am deciding between these two cameras. I have to say that price
    : isn't the most important thing here, but value is- and utility.

    : I have already checked out the pro's and cons that have been discussed
    : about these two models. I am still debating between the two. I
    : thought I might describe my needs, and maybe you can help me figure
    : this thing out.

    : Though I am mostly a beginner (having used p&s a long time), I am
    : familiar with basic photography concepts. I know I will have to play
    : around with the camera to learn its ins and outs, but I am not getting
    : this to be an amateur photographer- I just want to get the shots I
    : want- and I want good shots.

    : Here is what I want-

    : I need to get good *clear* shots of the bears, eagles, baby racoons,
    : and fawns in my yard in the early morning, dusk, and in the rain
    : without a tripod (This has been impossible with my p&s). Mostly I'd
    : like to get good clear shots of anything in early morning, dusk and in
    : the rain. Seems everytime there's a good photo op- it's in that kind
    : of light.

    : I need to be able to take clear arena shots- relatively low light-
    : action shots.

    : Would also like to take pictures of people surrounded by pyrotechnics.
    : As well as people in settings like a bowling alley with lasers.

    : Like many people- I take pictures of gardens, landscapes, and sunsets,
    : cats and kids.

    : I am happy with my point and shoot's 4x zoom.

    : I would prefer the lightness of the Rebel, and having small hands, I
    : doubt the smallness will be an issue. I would like to be able to put
    : the camera in a backpack- not have a separate bag to carry. This is a
    : camera that will go on walks, trips (motorcycle saddlebag), and will
    : need to be grabbed at a moments notice.

    : Since I'm really not that concerned about frames per second, it seems
    : the light metering is the biggest difference between the two right?
    : From what you can gather from my needs- and taking into consideration I
    : won't know what I'm missing, Do I need this?

    : * If I get the camera body alone, can you recommend a lens that might
    : fit the bill- and be the most versatile in this case -mostly for the
    : low light and zoom together - which will be on the camera most of the
    : time. I am willing to spend serious money on a good lens, but can I
    : have fast and 4x zoom together?

    : And now for something completely different- should I be looking at a
    : camera with image stabilization instead? I'm usually chasing my
    : subjects (no tripod), so will the high mps/ iso/ noise qualities/ f/1.4
    : avail. of the Canons be enough to do the trick in my lighting
    : situations?

    : Thanks so much for any advice you can give me!

    : Ami



    --
     
    Frank Pittel, Jul 4, 2006
    #8
  9. Ami

    SMS Guest

    If money is no object, the 30D is more capable, and better built.
     
    SMS, Jul 4, 2006
    #9
  10. Ami

    Anthony Guest

    Since you are a beginner then have I got a lesson for you!

    ALL THE REQUIREMENTS YOU MENTIONED HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH
    THE CAMERA BODY BUT HAVE EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE LENS!

    So, if money is no object, get the lenses first. Get it with image
    stabilization, get it with USM, get the L-series lenses. Then, after
    you have spent for the lenses you need, buy the camera body with what
    is left of your budget.

    That is how you should do it. Buy the best set of lenses you can afford
    before buying the body. Believe me, it won't matter what body you
    finally end up with as long as you have the lens.
     
    Anthony, Jul 4, 2006
    #10
  11. Ami

    m Ransley Guest

    The FZ 20 on dpreviews line test comes in at 1350 vertical 1300
    horizontal, the sony H2 is 1450 V 1550H, the Sony H5 untested yet by by
    dpreview should come in at 1550V 1650H. A 30D is 1850V 1650H, for the
    price the H5 is quite a camera bargin for long zooms. It does not do as
    much or as quickly as a 350d or 30d will do, of course, but a few things
    it has I wanted. A 3" lcd, live preview, image stabilisation, never any
    sensor dust issues and good price. If I could have aforded a 30d with a
    good image stabilisation glass im sure its price would have been near
    3000$, but for 600$ the Sony W5 and 1.7 Teleconverter allow me 734mm at
    7 mp and 856mm at 5 mp. For the price, what they do, and quality of
    photos cameras like Canon S3 IS and the Sony H5 have alot to offer with
    image stabilisation included.
     
    m Ransley, Jul 4, 2006
    #11
  12. Ami

    Verne Arase Guest

    You know that the 'x' factor is nothing more than meaningless marketing
    jargon, right?

    I think the 4x means that the maximum focal length is 4x the minimum -
    possibly important for a P&S where you're stuck with the lens, but not so
    important on an interchangable lens camera.

    That said, the EF 70-200 2.8 does get a fair amount of light, and that
    combined with the higher ISOs you can use ought to get you closer to where
    you want to be. Add the fact that I believe both cameras have a 1.6 crop
    factor should get you somwhere between a 110-320mm full frame equivalent.

    Unfortunately, I don't have one of these puppies but I hope someday to have
    one.

    Also unfortunately, you're not going to be putting that kind of glass in your
    shirt pocket.

    If small and light is what you're looking for, you best stick with a P&S -
    there's a lot of compromises involved with a DSLR, and you may want to rent
    one for a while to see if the improved images are worth the rest of what you
    have to pay.
     
    Verne Arase, Jul 7, 2006
    #12
  13. Ami

    Verne Arase Guest

    Shutter life maybe - but the XT is ready to shoot from off in about .2
    seconds.
     
    Verne Arase, Jul 7, 2006
    #13
  14. Ami

    Bill Guest

    Shutter lag on both is very low, to the point that it's not a factor at
    all when prefocused. The 30D is a bit faster when focusing and releasing
    the shutter, but only by a small margin.

    Frames per second, control layout, features, handling, are all probably
    much more important factors.
    ???

    That's the same as the 30D, 20D, Nikon D50, D70s, etc. Effectively
    instant since it takes longer than that to turn the camera on and lift
    it to your eye to frame the subject.
     
    Bill, Jul 7, 2006
    #14
  15. Numbers like these mean little. Important factors in image quality,
    especially regarding zoom lenses, is purple flair and other aberrations,
    and noise due to small pixels (or high ISO on a DSLR). This is apparent
    in the differences between images on the moon test page
    http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/moon-test1

    Like I previously said, the small sensor (P&S) cameras do impressively
    well. But DSLRs with their larger pixels collect more photons
    producing images with less noise, allowing you do make larger
    prints.

    A 30D is 1850V 1650H, for the
    A rebel XT would be similar in physical size with the ability to get
    longer focal length lenses, and you have much bigger pixels.

    Roger
     
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Jul 7, 2006
    #15
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