50D or XSi?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by laura_brugger, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. I am a beginner in the photography world (I have worked with a 35mm, but it's been awhile). I have been trying to decide between going with the beginning level XSi or jumping into the more advanced 50D. I will be traveling with this camera on occassion...especially within the next few years...so the main reason I am even looking at the XSi is because of the weight. I am really keen on the control setup on the 50D, but it is a bit heavy...which I feel I would grow accustomed to anyway. I am a small female, but I am pretty strong so I was thinking the 50D won't be too much of a problem. What do you guys think? I am going to the store this coming week to really play around with the two cameras and see what I think of each of them so maybe I can get a better idea that way. I just thought you guys could give me some of the pros and cons (from a users perspective) of each of these cameras. Thanks for your help.
  2. You may also want to consider the 40D - it is very similar to the 50D but with and older sensor. It is bargain priced at the moment. The 40D or 50d will be more durable than the XSi
  3. Personally I would go for the 50D as I would really think that this camera is more camera for your money. I personally wouldnt go for the XSi (nothing against the camera) as I would consider that a more entry level meaning I might out grow it a lot faster than if I got the 50D.
    If the cost was a factor - then the XSi. But yes, go in and handle them both to see how they feel. Who knows - the XSi might just feel better in your hands.
    Do a side by side comparison of the two models. Maybe the extras that the 50D has isnt worth it to you but at the same time, think about the future - will you outgrow the XSi or no?
  4. They are both fine cameras.
    Here is the Canon EOS Rebel XSi:
    I see the body weighs in at 16.8 ounces, while the 50D weighs 25.7 ounces.
    Perhaps start with the XSi. Price is reasonable. But it depends how many pictures you plan to take in a given time, say each year, what type of photography you will be doing and environment.
  5. I would pick the 50D, but the XSi would be cheaper.
  6. I would handle both and decide on ergonomics.
    I did exactly that six months ago across the camera store counter with the XSi vs the 40D and it was immediately clear - I went with the XSi. This was coming from a 4 year old 20D. Note that a camera that's twice as expensive (XSi vs 50D) rarely makes one a better photographer. I like the small size and the ability to shoot and make adjustments with one hand - I can do that all day without tiring.
    The image quality is great; I've snapped tons of urban street pix with my XSi. If I was shooting night pix all the time or a lot of sports, I'd go with the 50D. What was far more important to me though, was size, weight and handling since I shoot a lot.
  7. Both are good cameras, and the answer to your questions is really going to have to be from you weighing the benefits of the one over the other in comparing the type of photography you want to do.
    My opinion would be to go for the XSi and spend the extra money on lenses(unless you take the option to save and see how you use/want to use the camera moving forward). I own the XSi and purcahsed the BG-E5 Battery Grip along with it and it has proven to be a good balance of weight and size for even my large hands, but my wife who has much smaller hands finds it perfect for her as well. My wife and I both own the same camera and accessories, with the only difference being the color of the bodies.
    The XSi has performed excellently for us but it is a slightly lower Res, and slightly slower on the frames/sec when in RAW, but it hasn't adversely affected us to this point nor do I think it will. I bounced around wtih me getting the 50D and my wife the XSi, but it came out for me to choose the XSi and lump the extra money into more/better lens for my both of us (the 50 f/1.8 and a soon to be decided on dedicated Macro lens). We did get the kit IS lens and the telephoto kit expansion IS lens, and both have proven to fulfill their purpose well and although not as good as L lens, or more expensive counterparts, they are excellent for our style of "hobby" photography.
  8. Be aware of 50D's advantage of higher ISO and faster FPS. Only you can decide that advantage worth 500 bucks or not.
    In terms of handle and feel, I am sure you will get used to either body.
  9. I agree with the other posters that you need to go handle both of them and see which feels right to you. I did the same thing Brad did and had the opposite opinion. I went with the 40d. It fit me better and the controls were more friendly to me.
    Both are XSI and 50d are great cameras. Both will give you exceptional images when you learn how to use them correctly. I would suggest going to the 40d myself, especially with the deals that are out there right now.
    Get a body that is comfortable to you and invest in good glass.
  10. Kinda like asking: should I buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee or a Nissan Toyota Camry.
    Both will get you from A to B in comfort. Ask the question on a forum, and the Cherokee fans will tell you stories about how they got to work the one day in the year when the blizzard was howling. They'll tell you about perceived safety and sporty image. They'll tell you about cargo capacity. The Camry folks will tell you about fuel efficiency, cheap insurance, superb handling, and how there's plenty of space to take the kids to soccer practice or to the cabin for the weekend.
    Ask yourself which car would you buy. If it's the SUV then get the 50D. If it's the Camry then get the 450D.
  11. Arie, funny you should put it that way, I own a 50D and two Jeeps!
    Definitely handle them, play with them a bit, see which makes you feel most comfortable shooting.
  12. Image quality should be about the same. Obviously the 50D has more features. The rebel is lighter and cheaper, you know that of course. Holding both in your hands will tell you more.
    Whether or not the feature differences mean anything to you depends on what types of images you want.
    The 50D has a real pentaprism while the rebels use pentamirrors and are not as bright, not as easy to focus manually. Of the two, the 50D wins.
    The rear wheel is another major thing for me. I like separate controls for aperture and shutter in manual mode, I dislike pressing a button to adjust one of them. For me, the 50D is a no-brainer in that regard.
    I don't know if the AF is any different but if you want to shoot sports, the 6 fps of the 50D may be useful to you. I used cameras with no motor or only a 2 fps motor for a long time and wasn't worried about it.
    Then there are a bunch of little things like having a PC terminal, which may not mean much to most people but is useful at times. I use some old flashes and find it useful. The 50D has this feature, the Rebel does not.
  13. I only have 1 Jeep and a 40D :(
  14. I think you are not asking quite the right question. You are going to have to buy a lot besides a camera body--additional lenses, filters, maybe a flash, a tripod, editing software, maybe a photo printer. When I got back into photography last year after years away, I put aside my old Canon FTb and bought an XTi. That ended up being about 1/3 of what I spent over the first 9 months.
    So a better way to put the question--unless you have limitless money--is whether you will do better spending that extra on a better body or on something else.
    Before you make a decision, I would look at these superb macro photos: http://lordv.smugmug.com/gallery/734022_SvyNW#32279562_xnx68. In the same gallery, you will see the outfit the photographer used: a Canon 300D (a much less capable predecessor to the XSi), and a second-brand lens.
    The bottom line in my view is that what holds people back at first is not the quality of the body. Any of these are plenty good enough. It is practice, experience, learning, and (within reason) lens quality.
    The 50D is a considerably better camera, and I am thinking about upgrading to it because of some of the things I do (I do a lot of low-light work, so I want the better viewfinder and higher ISO, and I do short-lens macro work for which the extra pixels will help, allowing me more drastic crops). I have big hands, so the larger size is preferable, and I don't mind the extra weight. But nonetheless, the limiting factor in my shots is usually me, not the camera body.
    In any event, either one should serve you well. Have fun with whatever you get.
  15. I think you have the right idea already. Getting both cameras in your hand will go along way in helping you decide which camera best fits your needs. I only own the digital Rebel, so I can't give a personal comparison between the XSi and the 50D. Review sites like dpreview give pretty throughout rundown of all the features each camera has, which I find quite helpful when choosing a camera.
  16. LOL, I do have a Jeep along with my 20D and 50D...
  17. Laura, you see what happens when you ask too many questions?
    First you knew what camera body you wanted, and just needed help on lenses.
    Now you don't know anything at all--
    I'm obliged to say that this is a common outcome of the advice from the P.net gallery ;)
    If you can afford it, IMHO you'll be better off with a 50D in the long run. However, as I said in the other thread, the XSi is a fine camera and will take excellent pictures. If you buy a XSi, then it will make a good backup camera if you later decide to upgrade to the 60D or whatever.
    If you are getting the XSi, buy it as a kit with the 18-55mm IS lens. If you get the 50D, get the 17-85mm IS lens kit. In either case, you'll get a significant discount on the lens as a kit.
    If you continue to ask questions instead of plunging in, next you'll be asking if you should get a Canon or a Pentax. ;)
  18. FWIW, 400D and Ford Focus
  19. I would go with the xsi unless you either require the faster continous fire mode or find the xsi smaller viewfinder an issue.
    On the other hand you should avoid the 400d (or is it the 350) due to poor ability to focus.
  20. 10D, 20D and a 40D...but only one Jeep.
  21. i recently was faced with this decision: i was rotating between the 50d and maybe springing for a 5d or 5dii. I was saving money and wanted to upgrade from my XS. I kept playing with them at best buy and i really liked the viewfinder compared to teh rebels. It is large, glorious and bright. But i wanted 12mega pixels as i consider 15 on the APS-C sensor just too much: the pixel sites are too small. I have never been in a situation where 12 or 10 mp was insufficient; probably i haven't even justified this size. I really liked the 5d because of its giant pixels on the full sized sensor. But i ended up settling on: a D90 from nikon. I got the 12MP on the DX format (1.5 crop format) what i consider great midtones, and great ISO performance up to 6400. The XS was limited to 1600 and that at only full stop increments. The 50d actually goes to 12800 but every review i have seen is that it is essentially a gimmick: it is unusable. Also, the d90 is positioned (pricewise) right between these two canons with a great kit lens 18-105 or body only around 800-900 with a nifty fifty 1.8 and you've got a great camera for about a grand.
    I only bring it up because i was very shallow into a lens system and so was thus unshackled with equipment loyalties as it seems you may be without as well.
    I got my d90 for 20% off at circuit city's liquidation and perhaps going by there might show some deals of their remaining stock if there is a location still existing near you.
  22. See, Laura.
    "Friends don't let friends buy Nikon" ;) Think about that jerk they use in their ads, do you want to have that image? ;)
    If you don't stop wavering you'll soon not even be sure if you want to buy a camera or not.
  23. Get the less expensive camera (they both produce good IQ) and spend your money on a good lens.
  24. I was in the same boat and chose the 50d.
    Initially based on specs alone, I was going to choose the XSI. I said to myself, "is the 50d really worth two XSI's?"
    I went to Best Buy and a traditional camera store so I could handle it untethered (the 50d actually felt significantly lighter without bestbuys security junk on it).
    I was able to easily and quickly adjust ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture on the 50d. Not so much on the XSI. Contrary to common belief, a heavier camera is typically easier to keep steady.
    Personally, I like to shoot in full manual all the time so being able to easily adjust is important to me. I didn't want to buy a camera that I would regret buying because of its inability to do something
    By the way, just listening to the 50d rapid shooting was highly impressive.
    Good luck. Though, like others if your budget only allows for a XSI and a good lens vs the 50d and just the kit lens I would suggest getting the XSI.
  25. >>> I was able to easily and quickly adjust ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture on the 50d. Not so much on the XSI.
    Odd, I found that not to be the case. With the XSi I can easily adjust ISO, compensation, aperture, shutter speed while shooting one-handed.
    For me it had nothing to do with the XSi costing less, but about superior ergonomics.
  26. I own both cameras. I was struggling with the same question you are when I got my XSi. I went with the XSi and outgrew it in about 6 months and ended up getting the 50D. It is worth every penny of the extra money you pay in my opinion. One of the biggest reasons is it comes with a better kit lens. The 28-105mm that came with mine is a very usefull focal length and very sharp.
    The 18-55mm that comes with the XSi, I found to be pretty disapointing although a lot of people seem to like it. The menu is more intuitive, the LCD is amazing, it exposes highlights in tricky situations much better with out blowing them out all the time. I could go on and on but it's a far better camera and you might regret not getting it in the first place like I did. If you know you are going to spend a lot of time with it and shoot every spare moment you can find you wont regret the extra money, it's worth it. However if you are more casual and just shoot once in a while on a trip, or family gatherings and such and don't like lugging around a few lenses and a tripod then maybe the XSi is the better choice.
  27. It seems odd to think that you could grow out of a body like the Xsi in 6 months but be fine with the kit lens.
    I got a 450D and I outgrew the kit lenses, so I got better glass (10-22, 17-55, 70-200). Any money you spend on camera bodies will depreciate so that it 2 years time the body will be worth a fraction of what it is now. Of course it will still work as well.
    On the other hand, money you spend on good lenses will not vanish.
    Better to spend your money on good lenses and buy a 60D or 70D in few years when the XSi is getting old hat. Just my 0.02
  28. i would argue you not to buy a camera with a kit lens at all: the 28-135 is reviewed as a far better lens than the 28-105, and as it is also a kit camera, and further, on more higher end cameras where people generally also tend to purchase more L lenses, these can be picked up in the 200-300 dollar range compared to its 650 or so retail price. I myself purchased a 28-135 on photo.net and was extremely pleased with the lens quality as well as the seller himself. i picked it up for 220 or 230 and also got a 50/1.8 mk I that was fantastic. my point about the nikon was that you are not irreversibly invested in lenses from a maker and it certainly was a viable option, being, in my opinion, cheaper, and better than the 50d. but i would consider both bodies without the kit lens, as i must concur that the 18-55 IS that was the kit on my XS was quickly and refreshingly replaced. I'm not sure if it was the actual image quality (although i would assume it was) but i know that the other two lenses felt better in my hands: and for my rookie status, that gave me confidence and enthusiasm.
  29. I have both cameras you are considering (I also have an XTi but recently purchased the XSi; great camera!). I really like the ergonomics of the 50D. It's my choice for personal use. For my job, I sometimes have the camera slung around my neck for 12-14 hour days at times. And that makes the XSi my choice. The weight and size make it easy for me to maneuver and get the shot I need.
  30. Use this site for comparison, its really helpful.
    I use the xsi and have handled the 50d a bit but honestly, I would highly prefer the xsi over the 50d in your situation. I would buy the xsi and get a really good lens for the difference in cost and I promise you that you will get a better quality image than you will with an 50d with a kit lens. Here are some other reasons.
    1) Xsi is much smaller and lighter for travel. If you do a lot of travel shooting, small differences in weight will be recognizable.
    2) If you are a beginner, Xsi has plenty of performance to satisfy you until you become good (good enough to not like the performance of xsi), and by the time you get good enough to know the quality difference between xsi and 50d (which is not that great of a difference), Canon will probably come out with a better upgrade and 50d.
    3) The only think I can argue for 50d in your situation is that, 50d does give a more professional feel to taking photos, and a bit more flexibility in what you want to do as in from low light shooting to sport shooting. But you really will not recognize these differences until you are at an early armature level.
    I know this is a tougth choice and the harder thing is, ultimately you really cannot go wrong with either one of those cameras. So hope you do your homework and good luck!
  31. I am with Jun. There is plenty to explore on the xsi in terms of quality and in developing your skills.
    As a mountain hiker I also think that weight counts.
  32. For hiking with a pack the weight difference is fairly minimal.
    I did the grand canyon with my elan7n with battery grip. The camera wasn't a problem carrying. The thing that got heavy was my crap heavy tripod.
  33. I have an XTi and recently upgraded to a 40D. The smaller frame of the XTi was difficult to hold (and not comfortable) even in my small hands. This was remedied with a battery grip and strap.
    Both are fine cameras. If you can afford it go with the 50D.
  34. Generally speaking: An XSi with good glass yields better pictures than a 50D with mediocre glass.
    That said: your idea of going to the store and trying them both is a good idea.
    I don't think there's a bad choice at this moment. You'll have to decide based on what you think and feel right now.
    Stop reading all the advice because it will just make you nervous. It will stop you from buying a camera and getting out to shoot beautifull pictures.
    If you really can't choose, buy a point and shoot and start making pictures untill you do know what you want...
    Any camera takes better pictures than no camera!
    O.K. I'll stop writing now.
  35. 2) If you are a beginner, Xsi has plenty of performance to satisfy you until you become good (good enough to not like the performance of xsi), and by the time you get good enough to know the quality difference between xsi and 50d​
    And even if you're not a beginner the XSi can be an excellent choice. Even though I'm not a beginner, I made a very conscious decision (based on ergonomics, not price) to go with the camera that made sense, rather than get caught up with "what's best," which so many people get caught up on. One can always spend more money on the next camera up in price (50D, 5DII, 1DIII, 1DsIII, digital medium format, ...), but unless your needs are very specialized (sports, shooting a lot at night, etc), that will NOT translate into becoming a better photographer.
    The results you get have SO little to do with which camera you pick. It's about your ability to see, interpret what's before you, create/compose, and then knowing how to effectively post-process - all coming together towards creating a compelling photograph. It's a creative process; and has so little to do with gear...
    You should really handle both cameras across the counter in a store and then decide. Ergonomics is hugely important.
  36. Brad's been pushing the XSi and other xxxD "Rebels" on "ergonomics." He is certainly entitled to his opinion on that point and makes some excellent points. Nonetheless, if you Google™ ergonomics and the two camera names I think you will find that more reviews and opinions* on this matter (other than those done by Nikon users, who think all Canon cameras are non-ergonomic) are just the opposite. (It helps if you put in a "-Brad" in the search of course ;)
    *I hasten to add that I have not quantified this by counting through all 740,000 hits, and there are reviews of the Rebels that also call them "ergonomic" -- I'm not saying Brad is alone on this one, merely that more people seem to be on the other side. I use xD, xxD, and a XTi, and find the grip is very helpful on the XTi, but that I much prefer the other two cameras (which share a common interface that is different from that of the XTi. Why would Canon do that, do you suppose?)
    There's even one question that pops up on the first page asking if the xxxD/Rebel cameras were purposely crippled by Canon to encourage sales of the more expensive xxD line.
  37. >>> Brad's been pushing the XSi and other xxxD "Rebels" on "ergonomics."
    No. I've been pushing ergonomics as being hugely important - much more so than specs for most. It's up to the individual user if a larger heavier camera is better or worse than a smaller lighter camera. Thus go to a camera store and try both - it's a personal choice.
    If one was in the Nikon camp I'd suggest exactly the same thing; going to a camera store and comparing a D90 with a D300.
    I know that's at odds with the generally held notion by some that owning "the best" translates to making one a better photographer or better photography.
  38. I wouldn't even consider the 50d. It's a 40d that costs more and takes up more space on memory cards. No one can decide for you which is better for you, but I just wouldn't even make the 50d an option. The 40d-50d improvements are so minimal that the 40d is a much better deal.
  39. Sean your logic is flawed.
    The 450d is just a 400d that costs more and take up more space on memory cards.
    The 450 is just a 1000d that costs more and take up more space on memory cards.
    The 400d is just a 350d that costs more and take up more space on memory cards.
    The 350d is just a 300d that costs more and take up more space on memory cards.
    ~50% more pixels - digic IV - better screen - etc
    More space on memory cards is a good thing. If my old 128mg card was still $200 then maybe it would be a bad thing; but I can buy a udma 8192meg card for ~$50 now.
  40. Laura,
    I used an XTi for a while (camera was not mine but my employer's) and thought it felt small in my hand but didn't think too much about it. When I was going to buy a new camera for myself the XSi was out and that is what I planned to purchase. I had read a lot about the 40D (the 50D was not known yet) and wanted to see it in person. As soon as I held the 40D I was sold, the XSi no longer was a consideration. The 40D felt so much better in my hands, and I don't have large hands, that I knew that was the camera for me. There are other ergonomic reasons why I like the 40D over the XSi; the Quick Control Dial for one, among others. I have never used the 50D, but like others have posted, the 40D can be bought at a good price. Once you hold both and use them, you are going to be able to decide which one better fits your needs. Since having my 40D, when I use the XTi at work it feels awkward and small in my hand. Just my two cents.
  41. Since you just started learning photography, you may consider to get an XSi and use the saved money to buy a Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS.
    Later, once you grasp the basic of photography, you can upgrade to xxD. Camera's price drops very fast.
    XSi is more than a beginning level camera.
  42. re simon cheng. i don't like this argument. There is no reason to 'learn' on an XSi and then upgrade to an XXD once your 'understand' photography. Treat this camera as an investment for several years. Thus there is no point to plunk down around 700 on a camera and then shortly thereafter, when you 'understand' the camera, to spend that original 700 plus more. Go ahead and invest in a suitable camera that offers a feature set that will sustain your for years. Because to upgrade before you purchase, by stepping up to a larger model, is right now, just a small increase. To upgrade later requires paying the entire principle. There is no reason that you must learn on an XSi and then move on. If you have the money, get a 1DsmkIII and learn on that. But i'm in favor of spending that initial investment on the best body you can that will last you for years. then during those years, build up that lens collection. When your body is antiquated in three or four years, all of your L lenses will really shine on then new round of bodies.
  43. There are a few advantages and disadvantages to each camera.... But both can manage to make pretty darned nice photos under a wide variety of conditions. Handle both and see what you like. Do a close comparison of the finer points of the two models to see if there's anything one offers over the other that's very important to you (price, size, weight, memory card type, ergonomics, ISO capabilities, frames per second, accessories, etc., etc., etc.)
    The far more important question is the glass you put on the front of whichever body you choose. The lenses you select, which might be influenced by the price of the camera or what you can get in kit with the camera for a better deal, will have far more effect on the images you are able to make. You mention you have some 35mm experience. If that's fresh enough in your mind and you had a kit of lenses and some favorites you liked to use with the film camera, sit down and make a list of the focal lengths then multiply those by 1.6X to figure out what lenses you'll need with the new digital camera. If the 35mm happened to be an EOS camera, some of the lenses you used on it might be usable on the digital, too, but will behave differently due to the crop factor.
    You really can't go far wrong choosing either camera body. Even if you do change your mind later, it's not difficult to sell the one you got and purchase the other. In fact, at the pace digital cameras are improving and seeing new features added, you should expect you'll want a new model in a couple years, anyway. Good lenses, on the other hand, you are far more likely to keep and use on camera after camera.
    So, think in terms of a system, not just the camera body. And don't fret too much about which camera. They'll both take great shots.
  44. How about a 30D -- available refurbished here and there -- and a really nice lens?
  45. All this... and the major difference has not been mentioned. With the ?0D body you get TWO displays - one on top, as well. Myself, I find that indespensible.
    I bought the 50D. It blows me away!
  46. One more thing to consider is your shooting style (or should i say carrying style?).
    I for one chose the XSi over 40D (or 50D for that matter) based on the way i carry it around, which is strapped to my hand.
    My friend has a 20D and after swapping our cameras for one day (i had XTi at the time) i realized how much more heavy the 20D with a 24-105mm is compared to my tiny XTi with the same lens (40D & 50D are even bigger and heavier).
    Go to the store and handle both. Get which ever feels more comfortable.
    Just my $.02
  47. I shot 45000 times with my XTi, I learn with it, it was a real pleasure.
    I bought my 50d at the end of january 09, a m a z i n g !
    Really, even the Xti is a good product, it seams to be a toy compared to my 50d, I know I use both!
    I f you have the choice, buy the 50D. Really.
  48. 5D Mark II, but no Jeep! ..... I would go for the XSi and when the time comes to upgrade, the 50D might be available for a whole lot less.
  49. For what it's worth,

    My partner has much smaller hands than I. She's pretty much stuck with the XSI and EF-S lenses. It used to kind of annoy me, but I understood after doing some back to back 8 hour wedding days with her.
    She shoots better when she's happy, shooting weddings has alot to do with interacting with people, the more the camera gets out of the way the better. Have sore shoulders or hands from a heavy camera doesn't help her toward that end.

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