Best Canon Body for Portraits/Weddings for under $1,000

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by tom_collins|3, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. I realize that a certain percentage of my audience is going to say "What?!?! Shoot a wedding with a body under $1,000? You're crazy!"
    Well I'm not crazy, I'm just broke, lol. And broke or not, I've had two couples view my portfolio recently (all shot with a Rebel XS (1000D)) and want to hire me for their weddings. I've also assisted at 3 weddings with a professional wedding photographer, so I'm doing everything I can to get my feet wet. I'll probably shoot 2 or 3 more as a 2nd shooter before I do one solo. That being said:
    What is the best Canon body for weddings/portraits (low light performance specifically) for under $1,000 (new or used)? I appreciate your input!
  2. Only two choices: 40D or a 50D... unless you can find a good used 5D for $975?
  3. What lenses do you have, or are you budgeting separately for that part of things? Likewise on your flash equipment, of course.
  4. Get an XSi so you are familiar with the controls and the two cameras are basically similar in functionality. Put the rest of the money to either a Metz 58 AF flash with a Stofen diffuser or the very fine Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 lens depending on what you have already. Your $1k will be money well spent and you will be armed and dangerous for weddings and events. Good luck!
  5. I've seen 5D's for right around the $1000 mark. The 40D would be a little cheaper, though probably not any better (realistically) than the Rebel XS, in terms of results. Save your money instead, and get a couple great lenses (one in the 17-50 range and one in the 70-200 range)
  6. My gear - rebel xs, 18-55 kit lens, 50mm 1.8, 430 EX II, 540 EZ, stofen omnibounce for both, 2 (8) gb sd cards.
    What's the difference in performance between 40d and 50d? Looked at it on dpreview and didn't seem too different.
  7. Don't laugh, I have said this before and people have taken my advice and are delighted.
    The best IQ you can get for under $1,000 is a 1Ds MkI. Indeed nothing under $1,000 will touch it.
  8. For weddings, definitely get a used 5D. Better than the 40D/50D/1Ds I at high ISO's, and you'll need high ISO's for weddings.
    Save for the 70-200 f/2.8 IS next, rent one until you can afford to buy.
  9. I did weddings for years and never went above 400iso (well it was asa in those days). You do not "need" high iso for weddings, it can be helpful sometimes but you don't need it.
    The 70-200 is a great lens but not the best wedding lens by far. I can shoot a really good wedding with a 24-70 on a ff, I couldn't do that with a 70-200. I could do 70-80% of it with the 50 f1.8 which Chris has. The 24-70 is a superb portrait lens too.
  10. Given your existing lenses and the limited budget I would NOT recommend a FF body - you would have to buy new lenses in addition to a new body. Get the 40D - it is the best value out there and performs really well in low light situations. The back wheel alone is worth the upgrade over a Rebel.
  11. Hang on to your XS until you can afford something significantly better. The XSi/450D is probably your best under $1,000 option (certainly better than a 40D for image quality) but it's really the lens and photographer than makes the difference !
  12. I really appreciate everyone's input (even though I'm getting some mixed opinions as to which is a better camera; 40D or XSi). Here's what I'm planning to do based on what everyone has said: Buy a used 40D and rent a 24-70 2.8 for the wedding. Then hopefully I can buy a 24-70 2.8 with the money I make from the wedding.
  13. Chris,
    Excellent lens strategy but, for me, the 24-70 would be too long on the 1.6 crop. I use a 16-35 on a 1.3 crop as backup to the 24-70 on the ff.
    Hold a 1Ds once and you will think the 40D and XSi are toys, I am not saying you can't make great images with them but if professional photography is where your heart and buisness are going then get some pro tools. Anybody that doubts the 1Ds MkI's ability to take jaw dropping images needs to show me examples that are more powerful than these.
  14. As far as IQ goes, the difference between the 40D and the XSi are a wash. The difference is in the ergonomics. The veiwfinder on the 40D is a little better but the XSi viewfinder is an improvment over the XS.
    Those that use the 40D argue that the ergonomics are better. I use a 5D and an XSi so I am familiar with the ergonomics of both. I wouldn't ay that one is better than the other, just different.
    Being able to see settings in the large rear LCD is quite useful compared to the top LCD which I find a throwback to the days of film.
  15. Hey there Chris. I'm gonna have to say that if I were in your shoes, I'd be on the look out for a used 5d. I think the full-frame and IQ will be useful towards portraits and weddings. Was a game changer and still holds up nicely after 5 years!
  16. Chris,
    Depending on your shooting technique, and whether you plan to use flash, you may prefer to rent the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS instead of the 24-70 specifically for the wedding. IQ on the 17-55 is as good as the 24-70 IMO and compared to the lenses you have, the 24-70 weighs a ton. If you are not used to the weight, you might find that IS on the 17-55 will give you a lot more keepers at lower shutter speeds. If you plan to go with 24-70, I would suggest renting it BEFORE the wedding and getting a lot of practice at slow SS. If you plan to go FF then 24-70 is the obvious buy, I'm just saying don't pick it up an hour before the wedding and expect great shots in low light at 1/30s.
  17. I guess it should rather read - best photographer for a Canon body!
  18. What is the best Wedding camera under $1,000? A second hand 5D. What is best for you may be different. Your existing XS (1000D) takes SD cards and has a 10 mp sensor. Is this sufficient? Similar cameras taking SD cards are the 450D and the 500D, these will have similar ergonomics to your 1000D but have more pixels in the same size sensor. They will all look the same through your lenses and give similar results.
    If you don't see having similar egonomics and cards as an issue the start looking at a 40D or a 50D. Yes, 5D is the best, but there are other options that will also do a good job for you. You might also want to consider commonality amongst batteries as well.
  19. You state you have two weddings lined up. Why not rent a 5D or camera of your choice for those weddings and after you cash in on the weddings get something that's not such a compromise? As I was always taught, "Spend once wisely".
  20. I'd like to know where folks are seeing 5d's for under $1000. KEH is getting around $1300-$1400 for it. Get the 50D. I picked one up with the 28-135 for $1150.
  21. I've seen 5D's hovering just above $1000 on craigslist, but I'd say average price is usually about $1100 on there.
  22. "I'd like to know where folks are seeing 5d's for under $1000."​
    Seven 5Ds have sold on eBay US for $1000 or less in the past week or two; just do a Completed Auction search for "5D body only" and you'll see them. ($850 was the lowest.)
    KEH is often higher than private-seller prices by 25% or more, but they do rate condition conservatively and offer a money-back guarantee so I buy from them regularly.
    (This is only in answer to Michael F's query; I'm not saying the OP should buy a 5D. I do like Scott Ferris's suggestion of a 1Ds [above and below]. The 1Ds is a truly professional camera with regard to focus, ruggedness, etc., and produces very nice files.)
  23. As I said Michael,
    Nothing under $1,000 will touch the 1Ds.

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