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  Reviews by: John Maitland  

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Canon EOS Rebel XTi (400D)

Review Date: Mar 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superior image quality, size, self cleaning, mirror lockup, size, ease of use.
Too many hypercritical people whose photo expertise is confined to counting pixels and try to seem better than you or me.

Perhaps I had a bad 20d. I use the camera for visual note taking and archiving my art work. The 60mm Macro and 17/55 produce superb images - especially when using the mirror lock, even with normal and wide angle. I was almost shocked at the sharpness and contrast. I use DXO that takes both the optical shortcomings and body into account when processing images. I would compare the quality of its images to film - even medium format and 4x5 even though the detail of the larger formats
may be greater prior to scanning. (Not all of us have drum scanners.)

Some of the best photos I have seen are grainy B&W's, some D. Lang, Weston, D'Arazian, Stern, Avedon, Bresson, Brady and so many others photo shot with an M4, G5 or a wobbly, old wooden view with leaky bellows.

We are limited to three additive colors and (in principal) 3 subtractive. We can only REproduce. An image of a pear is not a pear.

Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM

Review Date: Jul 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,150.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Razor sharp, excellent color, clarity and superb definition, image stabilization
Pricey lens shade (boo!) casts shadows of on-camera flash at shorter focal lengths, barrel and pincushion distortion. Bulky.

Kudos for Kanon!

What do you say when you don’t think it could be better? I think the 17-55 is superb, as close to perfect as it can get. This optical system, with its quick, accurate focusing, image stabilization and zoom range makes it an ideal, general-purpose lens. I am sure I will be happy with it for a very long time. As they say, it is a “keeper.”

Barrel, pincushion and other distortions can be eliminated using DXO Optics Pro (automatically) or PhotoShop CS2. If the software did not exist, I might be annoyed.

My old camera was a black Leica M6. While I am very happy with my Canon, its bulk makes me feel like I am wearing a view camera around my neck. For "everyday" use, a black Panasonic LX1 is discrete and fits nicely in a pocket. Unfortunately, my age and excess "avoir du poids" combined with the 20d and this lens with its hood makes (perish the thought) me look like a typical (American) tourist! It is very interesting how the camera itself can influence the feeling of the photograph. The results tend to be more formal using the 20d and more “Leica-like” (spontaneous) when I use the LX1.

Canon EOS 20D

Review Date: Jun 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,399.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: The 20d is still on Canon's Site! It is really one of the best photographic deals ever. A GREAT Camera.
Whoever said the camera was being discontinued must be in error.

Run, do not walk, to get one of these wonderful instruments. One would hope they will come out with a 12mp version someday. It has been wonderful for casual photgraphs, "fine" art (whatever that is) and with the Photoshop "photomerge" you can make very good reproductions and panoramas.

Epson Stylus PRO 4000

Review Date: Feb 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,795.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: You can’t go wrong with the 4000! I have an Epson 7600 with which I am extremely happy but may get the 4000 because it more convenient– and as wonderful as the 7600 is the 4000 has even better print quality. Epson did their homework and, in my opinion the larger machines are far better and cheaper to run than the small printers. Having paid a visit to see it operate and made comparisons with the 7600 I think the 4000 rates at the very least an 11 out of ten using standard papers and profiles. By the way, there are some other excellent inks such as Pantone, which are priced reasonably, and perhaps a wee bit better. If you are on a “budget”, you might want to look into Colorvision’s products which have worked very well for me. They seem to work 99 and 44/100% as well as the high priced products – besides it is physical impossibility to reproduce exactly what you see on the screen because they are different.
A bit of a bear if you move around a lot! 7600 cleans itself a bit too often.