Is 350d / XT a worthwhile starter DSLR

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by steve_vh, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. I had originally decided on a 450d / Xsi as my first DSLR. However today I came across a new 350d for less than half the price of the
    450d. Although it's quite outdated, would the 350d still be a worthwhile first camera?
     
  2. Sure. It's a fine camera. I still use mine bought four years ago.
     
  3. Good camera. I still use mine for all my macro work. I find the color is very good too.
    I forgot to add that most of my Photo.net portfolio was shot with my Rebel XT.
     
  4. Absolutely. I have only upgraded from my 350D this year. It was the best Canon EOS camera I have ever owned and I have owned quite a few. I now have the 5D MkII which is, understandably, in a different league so it doesn't really compare.
    The 450D does not have many real world advantages over the 350D. The larger screen is really the only worthwhile benefit. The rest isn't worth bothering about. The 12MP of the 450D makes little difference to the final image. The 350D produces stunning images and is generally a very well sorted camera with no bugs or hiccups. It was also the last of the XXXD series to feature a separate LCD for the shutter speed, battery info, exposure comp and metering modes. Having a separate LCD is far better and saves having to fire up the main LCD screen every time you need to check or change a setting.
    If it's nearly half the price of the 450D I would jump at it. It really is an excellent camera.
     
  5. Just check with owner how many shutter actuations the camera may have (appx) - the replacement cost, added to the price you paid for the camera would make a NEW XSi a better investment.
    In other words: looking at used cameras is excellent for started, if you can trust the seller. In that case you may even look at used 20Ds which will allow you to learn a bit more since they have some extra features not found on the XT.
     
  6. The XT does not have any of Canon's "high precision" AF sensors. These are the ones that are active for lenses f/2.8 and faster. Consequently this body does not AF well with fast lenses. But for slow zooms like the kit lens, a great camera.
     
  7. I am currently using the xt, xti and xsi. You need to remember that the xt does not have the sensor cleaner. I have found the xsi to have a more pleasing shutter sound and it handles low light very well. You will be gaining 4 mp in sensor, that is 50% more pixels. I am in favor of buying to best you can afford today.
     
  8. Well, I guess nobody has ever told my Rebel XT that it should have problems to AF with lenses like my 100/2.8 macro, 50/1.8 and 35/2. I hope it will never find out, because I have no plans to upgrade any time soon ;-)
    00U9uN-162891584.jpg
     
  9. If you can swing the $ for the 450D, I'd go for it based on the many reasons listed above. I've been using one for a little
    more than a year and am totally happy with it.
     
  10. These are the ones that are active for lenses f/2.8 and faster. Consequently this body does not AF well with fast lenses.​
    This is patently incorrect. With the 35mm f2, 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8, and a 24-70 f2.8, the XT focuses these lenses as well as an EOS-3 and an EOS-1V.
    Look, here's what this really boils down to. You're getting a new 350D at half the price of a a 450D: it is a lot more than half the camera. In fact, take the money saved and spend it on glass. I'd bet that you'll be happier with the XT and upgraded lenses than a 450D with the kit zoom.
     
  11. You will be gaining 4 mp in sensor, that is 50% more pixels. I am in favor of buying to best you can afford today.​
    4Mp difference isn't as big as it sounds. 8Mp is fine for pretty much anything and actually more than many people even need (or achieve capturing no matter what sensor). Good lenses, post work and light make much more difference than measly 4Mp.
     
  12. >>> 4Mp difference isn't as big as it sounds. 8Mp is fine for pretty much anything and actually more than many people
    even need (or achieve capturing no matter what sensor).

    I disagree. It's not the 4 Mpixels which is just a number. It's that it's a +50% increase in pixels. I'll take that any day,
    especially if there's no hit (or an improvement) in high ISO noise, as it provides more flexibility in cropping and printing
    larger.

    I upgraded from a 8mp canon 20D to the 450D which I currently use. There's no way I'd go back. In the end it boils down
    to if you can swing the extra $ for the 450D. If you can't, the 350D is still a great starter DSLR.

    Another plus not mentioned above is the 450D has a better viewfinder.
     
  13. This is patently incorrect. With the 35mm f2, 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8, and a 24-70 f2.8, the XT focuses these lenses as well as an EOS-3 and an EOS-1V.​
    XT (7 points, none high precision) just as good as a 3 or a 1V (45 points, 7 high precision)? Canon must put in those expensive AF arrays for a marketing gimmick or something.
     
  14. Now that you have broken into the older camera set, of which the XT is just fine, do look around for an XTi (400D) just to compare prices. Sometimes the XTis go for relatively little more than the 350Ds. It has 10MP and a sensor-cleaning feature that really works.
     
  15. XT is a great camera. There are many out there who find the newer Canon DSLR's interesting, but not worth the difference in $$$$ to their XT.
     
  16. I've owned all three and currently have an XSi along with a 40D. There was virtually no difference in IQ between my XT and XTi and my 40D. All three Rebels are very close in IQ. If anything, the XT has lower noise at ISO 100 and 200 than the XTi and XSi. I think the 50D and new Rebel, whatever the model is...can't remember...are actually past the sweet spot in terms of noise performance on a cropped sensor.
    If you're shooting landscapes, it's easy to stitch multiple frames to increase file size. Stitch three vertical frames together from 8 bit XT raw files and you'll net about a 55-60 meg file after processing. Or almost double the file size of a single frame from an XSi 8 bit raw. A recent issue of OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHER magazine had an excellent article on stitching frames, along with the step by step how to do it, in case you've never done it. You can easily rival 20-30K digital medium format systems in IQ with a bit of care and knowing what you're doing when you process the raw files. With that in mind, any of the Rebels will do a great job for you.
     
  17. Canon must put in those expensive AF arrays for a marketing gimmick or something.​
    Peter, your original assertion was that the XT had problems focusing fast lenses. It doesn't. In fact, mechanical design issues aside, the more light a lens inherently lets in the better any SLR's AF system will work.
    On a Canon (D)SLR, the difference between a high precision and a normal precision AF spot is just that, precision. The high precision AF point guarantees focus to within 1/3 the depth of focus of the lens's maximum aperture; the normal precision AF point focuses to within one depth of focus of the same.
    The AF system on a EOS-3, for example, is of course better than the XT in many parameters. However, stick the same fast prime on both cameras, use the central focusing spot, and you'll see that both declares focus lock at about the same time.
    And yes, I do use all the equipment mentioned above.
     
  18. "I upgraded from a 8mp canon 20D to the 450D which I currently use. "

    LOL, that's the first time I've heard that called an upgrade. So you traded in your better viewfinder, better AF, better build quality, better feature set and faster frame rate for 4 megapixels, larger screen and sensor cleaning? Nice move. When you upgrade your 450D to a point and shoot can I have the 450D?
     
  19. >>> Nice move. When you upgrade your 450D to a point and shoot can I have the 450D?
    Sad you need to resort to sarcasm, but thanks anyway. The 450D is a *much* better camera for what I shoot. That comes from direct experience owning both with tons of pix from each. Your direct experience with your 20D and 450D cameras is apparently different.
     
  20. Brad... humour man, that's all. ;-) Chill out.
     
  21. The high precision AF point guarantees focus to within 1/3 the depth of focus of the lens's maximum aperture; the normal precision AF point focuses to within one depth of focus of the same.​
    The precision of the sensor is fixed. The depth of focus varies with the aperture. Faster lenses with shorter depth of focus need to be focused to a higher precision for the same sharpness at the image plane. (Yes, I mean depth of focus - not depth of field.) The 20d and 400d are contemporary bodies with a high precision center point that will serve the OP better if he has fast lenses. Again, Canon put those high precision points in for a reason - what can it be?
    My experience is with 35/2, 85/1.8, 100/2.8 and 135/2. The accuracy issue is most noticeable with the 135/2, probably because it has the best IQ wide open. How fast the body declares focus lock tells you nothing about focus accuracy. Robert, If your lenses focus well on your XT this is valuable information - no more or less valuable than mine. But your experience is not a gold standard that makes other people's posts "patently incorrect".
     
  22. "I had originally decided on a 450d / Xsi as my first DSLR. However today I came across a new 350d for less than half the price of the 450d. Although it's quite outdated, would the 350d still be a worthwhile first camera?"
    Here's how I look at it. The 350D/XT can produce images that are just as good as (indistinguishable from, actually) those produced using the 20D or 30D. Very fine work has been produced using this equipment. While it is possible that your photography may place some special demands on a camera (do you shoot action sports?) it is more likely that the 350D/XT would function quite well as what you described as your "first DSLR."
    A 350D/XT was my first DSLR. One photo is posted here - makes a fine 16" x 24" print.
    If money is a concern for you and you need to save funds for lens or other accessories, it would be a fine idea to start with a well-kept 350D/XT.
    On the other hand, if cost is not an issue, there have been significant improvements between the time of the 350D/XT and the more recent bodies such as the 450D/XTi that make the extra cost worth it.
    Dan
     
  23. I have been using a 350D for the past 4 years. I find it interesting to read on this site and other sites criticism re this models seeming inability to focus all that well with lens 2.8 and larger.
    Despite the apparent lack of focus points, I have never had any trouble getting immediate, spot-on focus with my 85mm f1.8. I recommend the 350D as an excellent all round starter camera
     
  24. Thanks everyone for your opinions, I'm going to look at the 350d in the next few days. There is also a new XTI with a 17-
    85 IS USM lens, and a battery grip at the same shop which is quite tempting.
     
  25. When I purchased my XT (a year later sold it for a 40D) I had the choice between that and an XTi for $100 more. One frustration I had with the XT is that I could not apply any lens corrections in Digital Photo Professional (Canon's bundled imaging software). The XTi is comatible with this function. Had I purchased the XTi initially and not needed the frame rate of the 40D, I'd probably still own the XTi.

    Long story short, I agree with JDM and suggest getting the XTi. I also own the 17-85 IS lens and like it a lot.
     

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