I have my Canon 400D (Rebel XTi) for around six years by now and have always been very happy with it. However, several small things are annoying me by now:

  1. It uses some ancient memory card format instead of nowadays standard CF SD;
  2. It cannot shoot videos;
  3. The processor is extremely slow (viewing photos is a pain).

Together they add up and I am thinking of getting a new camera. Unfortunately, I am still not ready to pay ~2000 euros for a full-frame like 7D 6D, so I am thinking of a newer model in the same series. I could simply get the last one which is 700D, but I actually suspect that some of the older ones may be [almost] as good for my needs and one can obviously get them a lot cheaper.

So here is my question: how far back in this model range can one go without loosing some essential improvements of the later models? I must add that I know that only 650D and 700D have an opening touch-screen display, but I consider the opening display more of a nuisance.

And by the way, what about 100D and 1100D? Thank you.

closed as primarily opinion-based by mattdm, Paul Cezanne, dpollitt, MikeW, Michael C Sep 23 '13 at 12:12

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    Well, this is very much a shopping question which typically makes this off topic for this site. What I will tell you is that you have a few incorrect points. First of all the Canon Rebels have always used either compact flash or secure digital(sd), and neither is ancient, they are both very much current. Secondly, the 7D is not full frame, it is APS-C just like your Canon Rebel XTi. – dpollitt Sep 22 '13 at 22:47
  • The standard isn't really CF these days except for in 5D/1Ds that i've seen, most cameras are using SD cards... I think your referring to the 6D which is the full frame and not the 7D as well... – NULLZ Sep 23 '13 at 8:05

I'll address each of your three complaints:

  1. Irrelevant since the Rebel XTi uses Compact Flash that is still very much used(see nearly all Canon full-frame cameras), and it is just as competent, if not more-so then Secure Digital(SD) memory.
  2. If you want to shoot video, I would recommend the EOS Rebel T3i/600D as a minimum. That unit or higher in the line will do an excellent job with video. The articulating screen is very useful in video as well. The Canon 7D and Canon 5D MkII really set the stage for high quality DSLR video, but the T3i will do for a beginner.
  3. Your XTi is certainly aging, so you could look for anything with a DIGIC 5 processor to get the newest capabilities. Note that the T3i has a 4, so you might jump to a 5 just to keep as current as possible(note that DIGIC 5+ is out now).

How far back in this model range can one go without loosing some essential improvements of the later models?

This question is highly subjective especially since you don't note what features you are referring to. I've already addressed video, memory, and processor above. None of the three "issues" you point out are essential for photography, so I would say that you could certainly keep what you have and still have what is essential for a photo.