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    I have 600X CF cards and 600X SDHC for my 5D.  In my Rebel T2i I use Panasonic Class 10 cards.  The Rebel can write about 20 minutes of movie, continuously, and it can take 6 or 7 raw files in a burst and then be ready for another burst a second later.

    I agree with Stef.  I have Bowens strobes.  Single shot is the way to go regardless of body or card, because if you take a two shot burst the second shot will be black, the strobes have not recovered.  If I use hot lights or speedlights, I can shoot faster but still, what’s the point, the model is just sitting/standing there.  Portraits and weddings are much slower paced than sports and wildlife.

    I shoot all sorts of things and have never felt I needed the Rebel with class 10 cards to be faster.  That said, the new 5D has much better auto-focus so for shooting sports and some animals it is a better choice.  It also takes bigger, cleaner images, but it is about seven times the dollars.  For about twice as much again there is the 1Dx, which is also pretty impressive.

    Decisions, decisions.



    While write speed normally has not been an issue, there have been a few times when shooting a few action things and some instances during a wedding when  fast writing is important.  More no than yes of course, but for instance, when the bride is walking down the aisle I would set it on al servo focusing and shoot several in succession. Some of these moments happen very quickly. For me, it requires zooming out as they are walking closer and moving myself backwards. Even when not on continuous shooting, after taking a few successive shots, the saving gets bogged up and required me to pause for several seconds (at least on the SD cards I’ve used) Note- I did not shoot with a Rebel for the recent weddings I did, that was a 5D II. The first wedding I did with my Rebel. I did some photos for a trick basketballer and he just did his thing while I shot- both with the Rebel and the 40D (a different lens on each to get variety). It was aggravating waiting for the Rebel to write data. I’m sure there are faster SD cards available though I have not tried them. Also, be sure when you do buy SD cards, buy the kind that are meant use in a DSLR. The plain jane kind are meant for a point-and-shoot and would be slower by nature.


    I feel like your problem is not at all because its an SD. You’re just not using fast cards. Anything higher than a class 8 will solve that problem. Technology is evolving so quickly that there is little difference between a CF and an SD.

    Mrs Woo

    Okay – gonna skip what everyone said and point out something really quickly here.  If I remember correctly, the Canon T1i had pretty much the same sensor as the 50D.  The Canon T2i and T3i both have very similar (if not identical) sensors to the 7D and 60D.  Yes, you are going to miss out on things (though I suspect trickle down will still actually improve much of the technology vs. your 40D) vs going with a pro-type body, including weight and size (I like the feel of the larger cameras in my hands), but if you buy new with that, especially a T3i, you will also have a year warranty coverage as well.

    Also, depending on what lenses you have already bought, going full-frame like with a used 5D you might have a lot of lenses that won’t work anymore.  If you go to a Rebel series for now you will still be able to use your lenses.  With the 5D those same lenses could actually damage your camera (anything with an EF-S designation will not work with a 5D or other full-frame – some will just put a circle in the frame with everything dark outside of it, some will actually have parts that can interfere with your mirror).

    Purists love full-frame cameras because they are so similar to film, but if you’re used to working in APS-C land dealing with the 1.6x crop factor isn’t going to throw you.

    People look down on Rebels, but internally there is a lot more about them that is similar to the higher end APS-C camera than different.  Yes, they cost less.  Yes, they have the cute little scene modes on them and the other modes that are kind of like training wheels before you move to Av,Tv and Manual (I started with manual and worked backwards when it came to SLR-type cameras), etc.

    SO – my two cents – depending on what you are looking for and what lenses you have available right now, a Rebel is NOT a bad camera.  My Rebel was drowned in an unfortunate incident last summer (my son pulled a raft out from under me when we were already beached and somehow my foot caught my camera where it was sitting as I fell backwards and it was kicked into a river) and for some things, like ‘traveling light’ moments I really miss it, even if it was only a 15.1MP T1i.  I love the feel and handling of my 7D – it is definitely “more substantial,” but I’ve gotten beautiful shots with ‘just a Rebel.’

    I am one of those ‘it’s the glass’ kind of people mostly as far as what really affects your image quality (after knowledge).  As long as the Rebel does what you need it to and provides the functions you want, don’t rule it out as a possibility.

    Mrs Woo

    Of course – if you can find a good used 60D/50D/40D to replace your older one (consider the canon forums on POTN), you get to save money ahead for either more/better glass or a new body later.  So money does factor in.  Once again, it isn’t a simple answer, because it is actually a very complex question.


    @Mrs Woo, I agree quite a bit. It is a lot more about the glass, and of course, knowing how to use both the camera and lens to it’s full advantage. The kit lenses that came with my T2i (I actually bought the whole lot gently used) are pretty crummy. Major clarity issues in the EF-S 55-250 4.0-5.6 lens. I hated it! I liked the shallow DOF it allowed, but that was it. I never could get a nice, crisp image with it. The EF-S 18-55 3.5-4.0 allowed for some crisper shots than the telephoto but still not very good. Most noticeable in portraits where sharp details are most important. Putting a nice prime lens or a $1000 lens on that same Rebel was a world of difference. But alas, those nice lenses work even more seamlessly with my 5D Mark II. I am keeping my crummy kit lenses only for the fact that I can take that camera and one of those lenses on a hike out in nature and not fret over ruining thousands of dollars of equipment. And the sharpness issues aren’t very noticeable with nature shots. Plus, when I bought them they came with some good-quality UV filters which add nice contrast for sky and water shots.

    Mrs Woo

    I am surprised you had issues with the 55-250 f/4-5.6.  Most users actually call it the “nifty two-fifty” because its image quality is so good for the price.  Mine actually got me some incredibly sharp (could see the barbules on a cardinal’s feather) images when shot with the lens’s strengths in mind.  I also got a pretty nice quality kit lens with the T1i I got and have some good shots with it.  I am a pixel peeper, so maybe one of the issues with the consumer quality lenses is that there is a lot more ‘room’ for what is considered a good copy and one can get an excellent, sharp copy and one can get a not so good copy as well.

    I have to admit, also that the sharpness and image quality weren’t as consistent as they are with the higher priced lenses.  My 70-200 f/2.8 IS II was shockingly sharp, even wide open – something that you can’t get with a lens you pay 90% less for.  Then again, the 70-200 f/2.8 IS is 10 x the price, so once again it is easy to see why people are impressed with the 55-250’s performance.

    (sudden aha! moment…) Wow.  Maybe that is why I wonder how in the world all the fauxtogs are passing off these out of focus pictures as good work.  Maybe part of it is a combination of lower-priced lenses and not knowing how to play to their strengths (i.e., shooting as much as possible in the sweet spot, etc.).  It’s not that the images look badly focused as much as they are ‘slightly off’ or ‘muddy’ and fine detail like eyelashes, etc., are lost.

    I have to admit to some confusion here (perhaps it is my bird brain?) – you say “alas, those nice lenses work even more seamlessly with my 5D Mark II.”  Why is that a bad thing?  Every lens I bought since focusing on creating work on a consistent basis that I was willing to sell to people will fit both an APS-C camera and full-frame, because I intend to add a full-frame camera to my lineup at some point.  Is it a bad thing that the lenses work on both cameras?  I have to admit a Rebel with a huge piece of glass on it feels kind of unbalanced in the hand and looks a bit awkward, but the best possible image quality comes from the best glass.  That is the big factor.  Also, lack of knowledge regarding the lens’s strengths when you are dealing with lower quality glass can often be a tripping point for less experienced photographers.

    Once again, I would argue that you might see image quality improvement on your kit lenses if you take the UV filters off.  I have noticed (pixel peeping again) visible differences on $2000 lenses between ‘nude’ and ‘covered.’  You are dealing with another layer of glass, its possible imperfections, its reflectance, etc., etc.  These all can degrade image quality.

    And please understand, I was using $100+ UV filters to cover the nice lenses.  For some reason I don’t expect quite the same investment from whomever sold you the kit lenses.  It would be a surprise to find a $100 UV filter on a $200-250 (depending on when you get it and what packages might be going on; some have even been able to get one new for $150) lens.


    My testing, and that of others, has shown digital sensors do not see UV light, so a UV filter only offers mechanical protection.  If you have “with” and “without” photos that are different, I would like to see them to try to understand the cause of the difference.


    Woops, I had typed that response on my phone and it changed “At last” to “alas.” Changed the meaning a bit I suppose! They DO work more seamlessly on my full-frame than the crop sensor for the reasons you’ve stated. They just seem like they’re made for it, and yes putting a heavy lens on a Rebel is a little awkward. I have a Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 OS (optical stabilization) and while I used to use it on my Rebel and sometimes 40D, and was a huge improvement over the kit lenses, it offers more consistent sharpness when on my 5DII. Part of that I know is that crop factor. To get the same DOF compression I had to stand further away and zoom in more, which creates a little room for camera shake (when I didn’t like to bump my IOS up very high on the Rebel especially since it would get really noisy) and lowers the image file size, than when you’re standing closer to the subject. It is actually quite a nice portrait lens when used on a full-frame body.

    Weird that you have had and heard good experiences with the 55-250. I have gotten some really good shots with it, but more often than not it disappointed me. It definitely could have been damaged or the factory could have been inconsistent with quality control on the cheap lens. Every camera and every lens seems to have it’s own quirks and sweet spots. And you could be very right about the UV filters. For awhile though I tried taking them off and didn’t really notice an improvement. I looked up the particular filters online and they were the $40 range ones. One thing I’ve noticed with the filters is that you can take photos of water when there is bright sunlight, and instead of producing a big glare on the surface, it allows you to see through the water. I have some shots from this summer of the Wisconsin River I shot using that lens and the filter. I those on my Flickr page right now, I think they were just some fun shots like of an old computer monitor someone discarded in the river so they didn’t make my cut, lol.

    Speaking of these lenses, here’s the experiment I did last summer before I purchased the Sigma lens. This was shot with my 40D. Right-click and view original size. http://www.flickr.com/photos/roxanne_elise_photography/7932496332/in/photostream


    I’m amazed that nobody has commented on the possiblity that the lens has a problem and that’s why it won’t focus.  Have you tried other lenses?  What kind of focus issues are you having?  Front? Back?  Can’t lock?  Bright light or dark?

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