Anyone a camera buff? Need some help picking out a SLR

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by docwyte, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

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    So I'm a Canon man. Have always had them, I still have a film Rebel from years ago.

    I want to get a Canon digi SLR to capture pics while out on rides, pics of the family and use it at my office with a ring flash and 100mm macro lens.

    What I need a little guidance with is which body to pick up, the T3, T4 or T5.

    Online reviews sound like there's very little difference between the three, with people really panning the T4 for image and reliability issues.

    I usually buy the latest tech toy as I like getting the benefit of all the advancements. However if there's no substantial difference between the T3 and the T5, I'm inclined to get the T3 and use the money saved for more lens...
    #1
  2. pfb

    pfb Riding, not skiing.

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    Some opinions...

    • I'd go for at least the T3i, not the T3
    • T4i is excellent.
    • T5i is virtually identical to the T4i... the only real difference is Canon introduced a great new kit lens with the T5i (EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM). If you are looking at body-only, no real reason to get the T5i vs. the T4i. If you want/need a decent quality wide/mid zoom, go for the new image stabilized lens that comes with the T5i. A good image stabilized lens will improve most peoples photography much more than heaping on megapixels or touch screens.

    Two more options...
    • Lightly used 40D. Much sturdier/dust/water resistant as compared to the rebel series, a definite plus if its going on rides. Magnesium body. Downside is it is heavier and doesn't shoot video. The semi-pro canons also offer easier control if you aren't shooting in program mode all the time.
    • Canon SL1. Pretty much the opposite of the 40D. Extremely small for a DSLR, almost as small as the mirrorless and 4/3'ds cameras but still uses Canon EF lenses and has a APS-C size sensor. Seems like the SL1 is the way to go if you want a small/light/high res rebel.

    I've shot Canons for ages and currently have a 40D, it's still a great camera for my needs. The only Canon bodies that I personally have any interest in upgrading to are the full frame bodies, 6D or 5DMkIII. I sidestepped that decision by picking up a NEX6 for my small/light/video_capable/big_sensor camera and keeping the 40D when I need super fast autofocus and super easy handling and size/weight aren't an issue. If I wanted a second non-full-frame canon body, SL1 hands down, but to compliment the 40D, not replace it.
    #2
  3. ironbrewer

    ironbrewer Hopefully Riding

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    Howdy pfb,

    My daughter is looking for a new camera. The 40d uses CF cards right? I have heard there is some issue with breaking pins in the camera taking out and putting in cards is this true. the 40d sounds like a great camera for her. She is kinda hard on things.
    #3
  4. TheMuffinMan

    TheMuffinMan Forest Ranger Magnet

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    Paging Geek to the white courtesy telephone... (but he's on his honeymoon)

    He basically has a small pelican case he keeps mounted to his rear rack with foam for his camera and he abuses the crap out of his bike. I think he uses a Nex5 maybe it was a Nex7 in that case.
    #4
  5. ironbrewer

    ironbrewer Hopefully Riding

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    But if the OP has a bunch of canon lenses, he probably wants to stick with full size canon cameras.
    #5
  6. Merfman

    Merfman Trustin' my cape...

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    Another vote for the 40D. My only complaint is that it's a little bulky for on-bike use. I'd like to have one of the new mirrorless cameras for the smaller size but for me, it's not worth the money, yet. I also use my 15-85mm lens almost exclusively... you can sometimes find decent deals on used gear on www.dgrin.com too...
    #6
  7. pfb

    pfb Riding, not skiing.

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    The Sony NEX cameras are great. They use a large APS-C size sensor, are extremely small, and have quite a good native lens selection (though nowhere near as complete as Canon or Nikon SLR's). They can also use adapters to mount legacy lenses like my old Canon FD lenses and Leica M lenses, but without auto focus..

    The newer NEX6 and NEX7 have excellent built-in viewfinders. Though they are electronic rather than the bright, easy to use optical viewfinders in SLR's, they are really really good and only fall short in a few circumstances.

    Definitely recommended but the OP talked about using his Canon macro with ring flash for work, and although he could mount up that lens to the NEX with an adapter, he would loose much of the auto functionality so that probably isn't a great solution for him.

    Here's my NEX-6 with a 50mm Summicron with my Leica M6 for size comparison, another with a 300mm Canon FD L series, and a sample shot with a Voigtlander Super Heliar. I am super impressed with this camera so far!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. pfb

    pfb Riding, not skiing.

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    Yes, the 40D uses CF cards... I've never had or heard of a problem with pins breaking, but that could be.
    #8
  9. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

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    Sorry meant to say the T3i/T4i/T5i. I'd most likely get the camera with the intro lens, which seems to be a 18-55 zoom, but I've noticed that the T4i packages come with an 18-135 zoom.

    I do already have some Canon lens that I'd like to reuse, that's why I want to stick with Canon. I have a 28mm fish eye and a 70-210 zoom that I could reuse...
    #9
  10. pfb

    pfb Riding, not skiing.

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    Just to clarify the Canon kit lens info...

    When Canon introduced the T5i, they introduced a new 18-55mm zoom. They now offer two very similar sounding lenses:
    • The Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens. Typically bundled with the T5i. (preferred lens)
    • The Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens. Typically bundled with the T4i.
    The new STM (stepper motor) 18-55 lens is getting great reviews and I think it is a nicer lens then the older non STM lens, so be careful when comparing prices of the T4i vs. the T5i with bundled lenses. If you are going for the 18-55 kit lens, I'd choose the T5i or SL1 as you cant (to my knowledge) get the T4i bundled with this new lens.


    In addition, Canon offers both the T4i and T5i with an 18-135 lens. This is an excellent lens... If you are going for this lens, the T4i is a fine choice, though the T5i is also available with this as the kit lens.
    • EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM

    It's confusing that Canon markets two lenses with significantly different quality levels that have identical focal length, identical f-stop, and almost identical other nomenclature. The casual shopper simply would not notice the difference, especially if they were shopping on line.

    Nikon does the same exact thing... They offer both the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 ED II AF-S DX and the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR in their camera bundles. The first is a very mediocre lens and the second is an excellent lens, very confusing to the consumer.

    To make it simple, two quick recomendations;

    This
    or
    this
    #10
  11. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

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    Why do you recommend the T4i body with the 18-135 STM lens and not the T5i?

    I'm also going to get a 100mm Macro lens (probably the 'L' version since it has image stabilization) and a ring flash.

    Am I better served with the 18-55mm STM lens given that I'm also buying a 100mm macro?
    #11
  12. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    Don't forget the crop factor when the body has anything other than a full frame sensor. Usually "lengthens" the lens by a factor of 1.5*. eg 28 becomes 42.

    *varies with size of sensor
    #12
  13. t6pilot

    t6pilot Been here awhile

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    Kinda think if your adventure riding the chance of camera getting banged up is pretty good. I would go with one of canons/nikons that can take a pounding and are water resistant
    The take pretty decent pictures
    #13
  14. pfb

    pfb Riding, not skiing.

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    The T4i & T5i bodies are virtually identical in quality, specification and function.
    The SL1 is also virtually identical to the T4i and T5i, but without an articulated display, and is slightly smaller and lighter. Any of these bodies would be great, and there isn't really a strong reason to pick any one over the other if you are buying the body only

    It's the lens choice and bundling that IMHO will drive you your final section.

    If you want the 18-55 kit lens, get the T5i or SL1 because they come with the newer STM lens while the T4i comes with the older, non STM lens.

    If you want the 18-135, get it with either the T4i or T5i, as I've never seen a SL1 bundled with this lens. While the T5i really offers nothing over the T4i, it's currently priced only $10 higher with this kit lens on Amazon, so thats an easy decision to just get the newer body.

    The 100mm F2.8L macro will blow away all of the above mentioned lenses in image quality and construction quality... It should, as you'll spend more on that lens and the ring light than the rebel body with kit lens.

    Another thought since you are getting the wonderful 100mm f2.8L would be to get the SL1 body (very small and light) and the Canon prime 40mm (60mm equivalent) f2.8 pancake lens (extremely small, light, and very well reviewed). The SL1 and pancake lens would give you an incredibly small and light travel package with great low-light capabilities (much better than the kit lens).
    Maybe also add the extraordinary and reasonably priced EF 85mm
    f/1.8 USM and have three prime lenses and no zooms...


    Here's the SL1 with the 40mm pancake. Very compact indeed for a digital SLR with true optical viewfinder and APC-S size sensor. About as small as you are going to get without moving into a mirrorless camera or micro 4/3's camera with a much smaller sensor.
    [​IMG]

    Here's the SL1 with the 100mm F2.8L Macro:
    [​IMG]

    Here's the SL1 with the 18-55 STM kit lens and the T5i both with the 18-135 kit lens:
    [​IMG]

    One more.... It's hard to get a sense of how small the SL1 is in pictures, and proportions are all very similar to larger Canon's. Here's the SL1 (called the EOS 100D everywhere but the US) next to a Canon 5D (which is about the size of a 40d/60d/7d as well)
    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

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    So Canon didn't make a "new" 18-135mm STM lens? Just the 18-55mm STM is new and improved?

    I already have a 28mm wide angle, a 50mm fixed and a 70-210mm zoom from my old Canon Rebel film camera. From what I understand they'll fit and work fine on the newer digi bodies.

    With those 3 lens plus the 100mm macro L, I have a decent range, but I would like a "do it all" lens that I can carry on the camera for riding. Seems like the 18-135mm is more versatile for that...
    #15
  16. pfb

    pfb Riding, not skiing.

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    Correct.

    50mm f1.4 or f1.8? Plastic or metal mount?

    Almost all canon prime lenses are excellent. The older versions of the 50mm 1.8 (MkI) are coveted as they had higher build quality instead of the all plastic construction that is now used. All of the canon 50mm primes are very sharp and reasonably priced. Remember that they will be mid-tele's (75mm) on your DSLR instead of 'normal' on your film rebel. I've used a 50mm 1.4 extensively...

    50mm f1.8 MkI with metal barrel vs. MkII (all plastic)
    [​IMG]

    28mm f1.8 EF? 28mm f2.8? 28mm f2.8 IS?
    Canon made a few 28mm EF lenses... The 28mm f2.8 without IS was so-so. The 28mm f2.8 with IS gets great reviews, as does the 28mm f1.8. Again, remember that this will be 45mm equivalent on the DSLR, more like a 'normal' lens than a wide angle.

    Your lucky if you have this one!
    [​IMG]


    So-so lens at best...I'd probably retire this one

    Longer lenses especially is where you will appreciate the new IS capabilities. If go for the excellent 18-135mm IS kit lens, you get an effective 24-216mm zoom
    #16
  17. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

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    Yes, EF lens, the 50mm is a 1.8, I believe the 28mm is a 2.8, but it could be a 1.8 too. Been awhile since I've looked at them. Pretty sure none of my current film lens are IS, they're just too old.

    Sounds like I'll be in good shape with the 18-135mm lens, I'll get that kit.

    BTW, Englewood Camera has them in stock with the same prices as B&H, Amazon etc.

    Heading there after work today on the moto to pick it up. :clap
    #17
  18. pfb

    pfb Riding, not skiing.

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    Cool!

    Not to beat a dead horse, but check out the SL1 when you are there as well and see if you like it. I must admit I'm a bit infatuated with it right now and for me, would pick it over a T5i in a heartbeat.

    Also, make sure you check out Canon's current rebates and promotions

    http://www.usa.canon.com/CUSA/assets/app/pdf/Promotions/lens_speedlite_ir_041413_extended.pdf
    http://www.usa.canon.com/CUSA/assets/app/pdf/Promotions/camera/eos_ir_t5i_sl1_060213_ext.pdf
    #18
  19. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

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    So I stopped by Englewood Camera today after work, this is what I ended up with. In the big box with the camera is an 18-135mm lens. They had to order the ring flash, should be in soon.

    Can't wait to start snapping away with all this stuff!

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. Fast1

    Fast1 Twisted Throttle

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    fantastic info PFB.. thanks for sharing
    #20