Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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My background

I purchased a Canon Digital Rebel XTi shortly after it came out in 2006. I didn't know much about photography, but since then I have taken 2 photography classes and purchased a few upgrades for the camera. I have learned a lot about photography and would like to think I am getting better at it. I was at Best Buy a while ago and played with the new Canon 60D - it was amazing. I've never used any other camera outside of my XTi - the 60D felt great, and from exploring the menus/controls it is obviously way better than my current camera.

Starting to look around...

I've been doing research for a while on the 60D and the T2i (probably the current version of the XTi when I got it) and then started wondering if there really is any sense in upgrading?

My gear:

Body:

Flash:

Lenses:

Typical Use:

I usually photograph people - mainly my kids, but I have done engagement and graduation photos for friends and family.

My Question:

Not being made of money, I don't want to upgrade just to have the newer model, but I would appreciate advice on this one.

Would I benefit by upgrading my camera body, or would it be better to get nicer lenses? Is the 60D too big of a step for me, or should I be looking lower or higher?

Thanks in advance!

Brian

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3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Here is how I look at body upgrades (when budget is a factor): Upgrading makes sense if there are specific features that your current body lacks that would benefit you.

Said another way, is your body holding you back?

As an example: perhaps you do a lot of indoor, low-light event photography and the ISO range of your body is a hinderance. In that case, the high-iso abilities of the 60D might be worthwhile.

Or you find that you end up having to fumble around with menu settings a lot, and the streamlined menus of the 60D would save you a minute or two. Another good reason.

If you are looking to buy a body solely because it is newer, then you would probably be better off spending your money else where.

Now, because you do shoot some event photography, having a backup camera is definitely a musthave (of course you can just rent a spare body)

However, given the gear you have listed, I would prioritize upgrading that instead.

You are actually in a really good position because you have a selection of lenses that cover a nice focal range. Which lens do you goto more often than the others? That should be the lens you upgrade first.

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Good points! I think the biggest thing I notice about my current body is that it is not the best in low-light. Once I go to ISO 800 or higher, the pictures are way too noisy - which is why I got the Speedlite. For my lenses, I definitely use the 28-135mm the most. Would upgrading that be a bigger payoff than getting a new body? –  BrianH Oct 11 '10 at 17:24
    
Oh most definitely. The 28-135 is an okay lens, and on a crop body it's kind of long, I would consider either the 24-105 F4 IS, which is a great all around lens (it doesn't have as much reach as the 28-135, but it's optics are far superior). –  Alan Oct 11 '10 at 18:25
    
Do engagement and graduation portraits count as "event photography" for this purpose? I would have thought that in both cases you can ask the subject to come back tomorrow if you get an equipment failure - embarrassing but not terminal, like it would be at a wedding. –  DJClayworth Nov 10 '10 at 14:37

In my opinion, everyone should upgrade to at least constant aperture zooms before upgrading their body. It will increase the quality of their photos over having a newer body with consumer zooms, especially in event or portrait photography.

That said, if you really want that 60D or T2i, perhaps you should get it. You can't buy motivation to go out and shoot photos and gain experience.

That said, with my limit experience with Canon/Nikon entry levels, I have found their interface and grip to be a bit disappointing. Those kinds of upgrades are sometimes quite useful.

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If you have a 450D or under buy a new higher spec one and better lenses is always a plus and i am talking from experience here.

If you are going to take a jump to the semi professional cameras you will need to buy new lenses do a compare on the internet

Type in canon 550d and canon 7d or 5d, some will let you compare three at a time some will say fps iso range and weight and what they are maybe best for eg:dont buy a 550 if you want to do birds in flight or sports as its a little slow but is ace at night shots and has a camcorder inbuilt for just say family get togethers and maybe street entertainers and are great for recording messages at weddings and so forth.

It is first and foremost the lens that you need to be decent 1:8 2:8 are faster than the basic lenses you get as a package.

You have a decent prime lens :)

There is a new camera coming out i think the 60d oh yes you just mentioned it drool .. why dont you just wait and see. never go lower than what you started with !!!

Aim for the stars no need for looking in the gutter. you say you are improving so treat yourself as a reward as that is what i did recently..

If i could get a semi professional i would jump at it but alas like you i had to budget but i am so happy with my camera and my lenses old and new.

http://www.canon.co.uk/for_home/compare_products/LoadComparator.asp

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edited so I could upvote this answer. –  Alan Oct 11 '10 at 21:45

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