Thursday, 12 March 2009

Canon 400D arriving soon.

Another year gone, another month along - another camera on the horizon. Am I a camera junkie? Maybe...

Out goes the EOS 1D, and in comes the 400D. Yep, that's right - from the sublime to the ridiculous. I've sold my top-of-the-line 1D and decided to change it with a (you could argue) bottom-of-the-line consumer-grade Canon Rebel. Am I insane!?

Now before I answer that, I will hasten to add that their IS method to my madness. In fact there's several methods (reasons) to my madness - although that probably still makes it madness!?

I fell into something of a routine towards the end of the last wedding season - I used my 5D full-frame pretty much exclusively. Sure, I had the 1D with me, but I never really got it out of the bag. Fair enough, you say, it's your back-up camera after all - isn't it? Well yes, it is, but after lugging my camera bag around for a whole season, I've got to say it's an incredibly heavy back-up. And what's more, I don't find myself all that keen to lug it over my shoulder and go for an afternoon stroll with it either! I could see a pattern emerging, and in as much as it was my 'dream' camera, I could see that I just wasn't ever going to use it unless I 'made' myself use it.

At the end of my last wedding, having just lugged my backpack full of gear around for several hours and almost getting a hernia, I made a vow that during the off season I would 'down-size' and lighten my load. So the decision to sell the 1D was, in the end, relatively easy - if not still somewhat sad.

My decision to sell the 70-200mm f4'L' (gasp, shock, horror) was less easy, but still the right one based on this years shooting experience. For a 70-200mm it isn't particularly heavy, but it does take up quite a bit of space - and heavy is relative when you look at other options. So out it goes as well. But what to replace them with?

To cut a long story short - I've settled on the 400D (Rebel XTi for our American friends). In fact, the camera that I have purchased (on trademe) is from America, and so will have 'Rebel XTi' on the front and not the 400D label as seen above. I am getting it with the vertical grip (I'm not 'that' crazy), as well as the slightly upgraded 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 Image Stabilized kit lens. That should lighten the load plenty!

And from reviews I've read, the image you get from the 10MP Canon CMOS sensor in these is very clear and noise free(ish) up to its maximum ISO1600. Not to mention the same 9 point focus system found on the 40D.

And the 70-200mm f4'L'? Well I've 'replaced' that with an EF-S 55-250mm f4-5.6 Image Stabilized Canon lens which has also been getting very good reviews. I appreciate it won't be the same as the 70-200 - but I don't intend using it for weddings. I've got an 85mm f1.8 Canon prime lens that I've been using for my close-up wedding portraits with the 5D, and I absolutely LOVE it. So the 55-250mm EF-S will become my 'travel' option, paired with the 400D (XTi) and 18-55mm.

So now I will basically have two kits; my 'pro' wedding kit with the 5D and some 'L' and prime lenses, and my travel kit (backup) with the lighter EF-S lenses that will cover me from 28 to 400mm! All together my travel kit probably weighs less than the 1D body by itself! Now I'm actually looking forward to going out and taking my camera with me. My back, and my hernia, both thank me...

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