Having trouble deciding what to do. I am about to go on my honeymoon to Borneo, with lots of jungle tours, and wildlife spotting. I have a Canon XS with a kit 18-55 and a 75-300 non IS. I don't use it a ton, but I want to get some great shots while over there. Sadly I use the auto features mostly, have not spent a ton of time learning.

That being said, I'm wondering if I should upgrade the lens, to maybe a 55-250IS, rent a 70-200 f/4 L series, upgrade to a t3i or something with better detail, or just throw in the towel and get a superzoom point an shoot, like the SX50 or something similar, and not have to worry about lugging the camera and multiple lenses.

Anyone have a good suggestion? Should I really be thinking about upgrading the body? The lens? Or my enthusiasm for DSLR shooting?



3 Answers 3


First question is, do you want to be able to shoot video? If you do, then upgrade to a camera body that supports video shooting. If you want the best quality overall though, going with an improved lens will make a significant improvement in image quality over any entry level body with an entry level kit lens. That said, the newer kit lenses are also much better than the older kit lenses, though I don't recall which kit lens comes on the t3i.


The real question is, "Am I willing to invest time and effort to learn how to effectively use better photographic tools?".

If the answer is, Not really.

Get the superzoom. It will do most of the the "thinking" for you and the smaller sensor will allow greater depth of field so missed focus won't be as much of a problem.

If the answer is Yes:

Upgrade your lenses or body and learn, learn, learn and practice, practice, practice before your trip!

The Rebel XS shipped with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS which was a pretty significant improvement optically over the previous EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II. The newer EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II is optically identical to your kit lens. It is a decent entry level kit zoom lens. In ascending order of cost the potential replacements are the Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 Di II, the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, and either the EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS or EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II.

The EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 is not a decent anything. The better options for an APS-C camera such as your Rebel XS are The EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS, EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS, or any of the EF 70-200mm "L" series. If you shoot static subjects in low light the IS versions will be of more benefit, if you shoot more moving subjects in low light the f/2.8 versions will be better suited.


I always push photographers into the better lens category. Ideally, an investment in both will pay off for your pictures - but if you can only choose one -- invest in a better lens. You should determine what your photo needs are. I personally shoot Nikon, so the lenses are a bit different - but I shoot primarily with 3 different lenses exclusively.

My 85mm prime is my to go always smooth portrait lens. It was quite an investment, but this one combined with my landscape lens never leave my bag. I invested in both 3 years ago and have never had a need to upgrade again. In other words, the best lens you can afford will pay off.

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