Hobby restart with XSi or should I upgrade?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by bob_dianetti, Jan 14, 2022.

  1. Hello - I have an old XSi that I bought new back around 2008 and dabbed around with for a couple of years. I have the stock lens and also the 75-300mm telephoto, along with some filters. I want to get back into the hobby for strictly self-development reasons and relaxation, but am wondering if I should use this or upgrade to a better camera. I don't need the latest and the greatest, but maybe something that is just a few years old rather than 14 years old might be a decent upgrade for me.

    I would value the thoughts of the people on this forum, as well as some recommendations on what may be a reasonable upgrade.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. That is entirely up to you. Basically it comes down to are you happy with the images you can produce with your XSi. Do you feel the camera is holding you back in any way from capturing the images you want. There will always be a newer and better camera coming out with more megapixels, better low light and higher ISO with less noise, more focal points, more pro features...

    I have chased the photography hobby to doing professional work from the 1970's to today. Camera upgrades in DSLRs from Rebel 350D to 40D to 7D to 6D to 5D MK IV and other mirroless brands and have gone through even more lens upgrades and acquisitions and flash and studio lighting, filters, light modifiers, remote triggers, tripods, umbrellas, softboxes...

    You have to ask yourself where do you want to go with your photography. Do you want/need more resolution, better low light performance, just better ergonomics and ease of features, focal points, larger photos with more detail.

    Do you maybe just want/need some newer/better/different lenses. Do you want/need full frame (wider images) and remember Full Frame Canon DSLRs can only use lenses made for full frame, so if you are shooting with crop lenses, well they won't work on a new full frame camera body.

    Now I will say, moving from an entry level DSLR to Full Frame DSLR with Pro features is a hell of an upgrade and you can pick up a new or used 5D MK IV for great prices, or maybe you want to go all in a jump to a new R6 or R5 mirrorless....

    You will see definite improvements in how the camera body performs upgrading from a 2008 XSi. It is up to you. Your old camera still works, it probably has little trade in value but it will still produce nice images if you keep it costing you nothing, or is still be useful to pass along to your kids or young aspiring photographer. Never hurts to have a backup camera too.

    I suppose you have to decide how much money you have and how badly the photography bug has bit you. A new camera can be awesome, but an old camera that works can be awesome too. It's the skill of the photgrapher and of course a good subject that that makes the image. The camera is just a tool. Some tools are nicer to work with but in the end nobody is going know what camera or lense produced an image.

    No wrong choices, just choices. Happy shooting what ever way you decide.
  3. I don't know your camera hands on. Specs wise it looks quite sufficient to me; i.e. if not annoyed by it's ergonomics, I'd treat it as a workhorse beater and line out my upgrade path on the way. Picking up a 2nd APS C body, to hold your other lens, should be cheap and could provide bigger buffer, better ergonomics, slightly better low light performance, more AF spots. OTOH image quality at base ISO is probably already limited by your lenses. If(!) that bothers you, go full frame. 6D / 5D II-IV and new lenses would be the mid range option. FF Mirrorless seems more desirable (eye AF, IBIS, better lenses) and also more expensive.
    Now the big caveat: I am not sure if EOS FF stuff makes happy. I have a 5D IV, surely by far the most capable camera I own and was pondering to add an R5, during the current cash back campaign. What held me back? - Weight! - YMMV, maybe you won't be backpacking your gear + other stuff all day long. But when I read "self development & relaxation" I guess less could be more for you. You didn't tell what you 'll be shooting subjects wise. In doubt: Get restarted with what you have. After a while runnsomemstatistics gnerator over your images to figure out what focal lengths you are using most frequently. And in a final step ask around whomoffers a perfect package formyour needs.
    Other open question: Domyou relax during editing your images and processing RAW files or is that closer to grunt work for you? If the latter is the case camera upgrades are more recommended.
    For a compact system I 'd look at Fuji (since EOS M seems dead) maybe even MFT. Grabbing a single FF body and just a more touristy zoom is also an option.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  4. Just start with what you have, it's not gonna take long to figure out what camera you need.
    Mark Keefer and mikemorrell like this.
  5. Use what you have for a few months, until you get an idea of what you want, don't just rush out and buy gear.
    Mark Keefer and mikemorrell like this.
  6. As the others say, stay with the XSi until you find your sure footings.

    There's nothing about the camera that should 'sour' you on photography, so wade in with it, as opposed to jumping in at the deep end right off.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  7. SCL


    I've opened my pocketbook a few times over the years after stop/start pauses in life. Like the others suggest, use what you have for a while and take that time to discern if you want to spend more for incremental increases in functionality (which you may need to learn) and performance. Or at least what you see as holding you back. You will make better decisions and probably be happier with your hobby.
  8. I started with the XTi, which is one generation older than your XSi. I completely agree with the people who posted that you should simply use this until you decide that you need more.

    Until you have more experience, you will have no idea what's worth buying. Wait until you find that your kit doesn't do something you want to do.

    In my case, one of the first things I decided I wanted to do that the XTi kit couldn't do is macro, so I added an inexpensive macro lens. Here's a photo I took with that combination. It shows that the body you have is more than sufficient to produce nice images.

  9. Hi Bob,

    I completely agree with the above comments. It's good to stay in touch with the 'trends'. Perhaps even to ''upgrade' every now and then. The best (and IMHO only) time to do this is when an upgrade truly increases and extends your potential as a photographer.
  10. If your "old" equipment still works , continue to use it , no need to "upgrade".
    It is actually a lot of fun using older photographic equipment , very good results can be obtained from "old or obsolete" equipment when this equipment is fully utilized.
  11. Thanks for all your comments everyone. I am pretty much in learning mode - I'd like to learn (or in some cases relearn) manual settings with an eye towards taking some interesting if somewhat artistic shots of nature, early evening, and possibly some monochrome studies of familiar subjects. I have several books from a few years ago with learning modules and picture subjects to explore, so I'll just be working through those as I gain skills. The XSi should be more than sufficient for that. I think the one lens I'll try to pick up is a "nifty-fifty" an play around with that. I got my start by the way with an old Argus C-4 back in high school. My Dad worked for Argus and designed the range finder on that particular camera, so I used his.
  12. The nifty fifty is cheap, but even with that, I would ask: what do you want to use it for that you can't use your kit lens for? There are things it can do that the kit lens can't, but unless one of them is on your list, I think you'd do better to save the $$ and wait until you have something in mind that will expand what you can do. For example, given what you list, I suspect that a tripod and head and a remote release may be helpful. A remote release can be bought for almost nothing, but a decent tripod and head (not a top shelf one, but one good enough that you won't regret having bought it in a year) costs real money. I'd just wait: practice, study, and wait until your current gear holds you back in some way.

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