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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Upgrade of canon Rebel Xt
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03/23/2011 10:05:23 AM · #1
I own a canon rebel XT. I mostly take pictures of birds outdoors, and own good lenses (300 MM and a 70-200 of the canon L series). Most of the time, I am disappointed by my pictures because they lack sharpness and are noisy. I now want to update the xt body, but if possible without spending thousands of dollars as I don't have that much time to spend taking pictures. Someone suggested the 5d. I find it a bit expensive. I would like to know what other models would be interesting and give me less noise and sharper pictures. Canon has too many models for me!
Thank you!

03/23/2011 10:14:56 AM · #2
You should be able to get excellent results with your setup. If the image data is correct this was taken with the same camera you own.
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What kind of settings are you using? Noise shouldn't be a problem unless you shoot a lot of low light photos where you need a faster shutter speed. Nice daylight you should be fine with iso 100-400. What do you use for post processing your images?

All that to say the 7D is a nice camera and have heard good things from the T2i. But to get a real nice handle on noise the 5DMII is excellent. The 50D is also a very popular camera. All in all remember that the camera is just a tool. There are limitations to some cameras but for basic hobby shooting you should be fine.
03/23/2011 10:54:01 AM · #3
The Rebel XT should be quite capable with L lenses on it. Unless there is actually a problem with your camera, there may be something else going on that is the cause. Can you post links to some samples of the images you are unhappy with and the exif info?
03/23/2011 10:58:52 AM · #4
Wonder if the sharpness issue is not just a case of long focal length lenses and shutter speed = camera shake? Do you still have issues with sharpness using a tripod?

This doesn't explain the noise, naturally.
03/23/2011 11:19:58 AM · #5
Canon 350D (also my previous camera) is one of the most popular camera here in DPC. I am not sure about the sharpness, using an L lens, but if you're looking for an excuse to upgrade your camera, I don't think it should be sharpness. My first upgrade from 350D was 30D. In amazon 30D has 100% positive review. It is affordable, and very good machine to start higher level photography because of the quality (in colors as well) and options. 30D also one of the most successful cameras used here in DPC.

Upgrading from 350D to 30D should be your first step. 30Ds are very affordable, I suggest you to keep your 350D as well if you think you can afford 5D.

Check the images for those machines here, and which lenses were used. I think you have a good camera (assuming works normal), and upgrading to 30D, even 40D will make you extremely happy.
03/23/2011 11:50:20 AM · #6
A couple of things come to mind since I own that camera and similar lenses. I had noise issues until I got it through my thick skull that un-exposure just amplifies noise. I used to think that I could under-expose to gain faster shutter speeds without bumping up ISO. Try to keep the exposure to the middle or the right of center. Secondly with an 8mp camera and 200 a d 300mm lenses you are probably cropping into your images quite a bit. This will cause loss of detail. I have upgraded from the Rebel XT to the 40D which was a very nice step up. Now I shoot with the T2i. Another upgrade (certain features). Looking to go up to a 7D sometime soon.
03/23/2011 01:15:49 PM · #7
If you feel the need to upgrade I would second Leo's point of not jumping from the 350 to the 5 unless money is not a worry. But Im not convinced it will cure your noise issue. The 350 has a quieter sensor than my 300 that didn't have noise issues at least below 1600.
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Given the quality of the body and glass you are shooting with, that leaves only 2 unknown elements. You and your software. Since you don't have a portfolio I could only look at the settings on the two bird shots you have submitted, which look right. I noticed that the gull was edited in picassa. Its a decent enough program, pretty great for free, but you will get more of a jump going form picassa to photoshop than you will going from a 350 to a 5. Photoshop is expensive and a bear to learn, but it is the only real option for a digital darkroom.
03/23/2011 01:32:25 PM · #8
Originally posted by BrennanOB:

Photoshop is expensive and a bear to learn, but it is the only real option for a digital darkroom.

Must disagree on that. It's not necessary to spend that kind of money. For a professional, full Photoshop is certainly the best way to go, but one can get very good results using less expensive software such as Photoshop Elements or Corel PaintShop Pro. PSP actually has a pretty good noise reduction feature built in.
03/23/2011 02:11:39 PM · #9
Thank you all for your replies. I actually never took time to learn photoshop, as this is a pain, so picassa is the only software I use. As said BrennanOB, "Given the quality of the body and glass you are shooting with, that leaves only 2 unknown elements. You and your software." I guess the next step will be to try photoshop elements or Corel as suggested by yo_spiff. As for pictures, My hard disk died two weeks ago, so I lost everything, I can't quite show anything. For the settings, I usually shoot at 400 iso, in a raw mode. I use the canon software to convert to jpeg and do some light touch ups with picassa. I still don't have a tripod yet, guess this would help too.
03/23/2011 02:19:59 PM · #10
When you do your RAW adjustments in Canon DPP, are you needing to move the exposure slider far to one end or the other, or is the default usually pretty close to optimal? If you are routinely needing to compensate a lot with that exposure slider, that could indicate the problem is with the exposure settings you are using.
03/23/2011 02:25:30 PM · #11
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Must disagree on that. It's not necessary to spend that kind of money.


Given that ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31_N.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31_N.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Plouc was looking at jumping from a rebel xt to a 5D but found it "a bit expensive" I wasn't sure that money was a primary barrier. And yes going from Picasa to CS5 is a bit like going from a Powershot A3100 (an amazing little camera for the price) to an EOS-1D Mark IV. My point was that he should look at the third pane of the digital tryptic. His glass is good, his camera ought to be fine, but he needs decent software.

I have bought and used Adobe, the much underrated Corell (their draw program is still the best graphic program out there for my uses), Capture one, and even Microsoft's late and largely unlamented D.I.S. All are fine products, and the more options you can try the better. Download free 30 day trials, find what works best for you, buy the lower priced product and use it until the limitations start to chafe before you plunk down serious coin.

Originally posted by Plouc:

T My hard disk died two weeks ago, so I lost everything, I can't quite show anything.


Another little essential is back up storage, at least for you images (and your tax records if there is room). I have a few Western Digital My Books, 1tb for $75, and dump my pictures off my computer every few weeks, and then mirror one drive to the other. Permanence is an illusion, doubly so for digital storage.

Message edited by author 2011-03-23 14:34:21.
03/23/2011 02:46:31 PM · #12
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

When you do your RAW adjustments in Canon DPP, are you needing to move the exposure slider far to one end or the other, or is the default usually pretty close to optimal? If you are routinely needing to compensate a lot with that exposure slider, that could indicate the problem is with the exposure settings you are using.


I don't do any adjustments. Just get the file from the camera to the computer with the canon software (as picassa dosen't get raw files) and open it with picassa. I don't even know how to adjust the pictures with the canon software... the more I read your answers, the more I think the solution is probably to get to know how those programs work.

03/23/2011 02:55:23 PM · #13
Originally posted by Plouc:

Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

When you do your RAW adjustments in Canon DPP, are you needing to move the exposure slider far to one end or the other, or is the default usually pretty close to optimal? If you are routinely needing to compensate a lot with that exposure slider, that could indicate the problem is with the exposure settings you are using.


I don't do any adjustments. Just get the file from the camera to the computer with the canon software (as picassa dosen't get raw files) and open it with picassa. I don't even know how to adjust the pictures with the canon software... the more I read your answers, the more I think the solution is probably to get to know how those programs work.


There is one problem. The point of shooting in RAW is to allow the user to make the adjustments they want and not the camera. When you take a shot and you look at it on the lcd you are actually seeing a jpeg preview. You would be better off shooting in jpeg to let the camera set the color, sharpness, contrast etc.. if you don't want to do much in post.
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