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Canon EOS Rebel XTi (400D)

rebel_xti
Review Date: Oct 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $799.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast AF, quick start up time, fast and large buffer, large screen, light weight (also a negative).
Cons:
Size may be too small for larger hands. A bit plastic in feel (also a postive because of light weight).

My wife has one and simply loves it. The speed of start up, larger screen, fast and large buffer and the AF speed are things she noticed immediately. It doesn't hurt that it's a small sized camera and perfect for her hands. The weight is also light (While a plus for some, to me it adds to my impression that it has a plastic feel).

Anyway, handling it myself, I agree with all of her points. this is a heck of a camera for $799. Personally, it's too small for my hands (maybe I'm too used to film camers with motor drives). And, I mentioned the build quality is a bit too plastic-like for my tastes. However, I don't think it's going to fall apart. I recommend it if the size fits you.


 
Canon EOS 30D

Canon_30D
Review Date: Jun 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,399.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: AF speed & accuracy, buffer size & write speed, 99 images per folder (wish it were more), screen size.
Cons:
Mirror lock up should be direct button, not CF and it's possible to fire shutter without compact flash card (a more serious warning would be acceptable). Pop up flash - I wish it were gone and the space used for a 100% viewfinder.

I upgraded from a D60 so I benefitted from improvements that were gradually made on the 10D and 20D. This blows the D60 away in terms of overall speed and AF accuracy. Image quality is close to the same - both are excellent. Having tired of bird portraits, I decided to begin concentrating on action. This camera with the 100-400 IS zoom on a monopod is great for that task. Handling is similar to any Canon I've ever used. There are only two serious flaws - mirror lock up should be direct and the viewfinder should be 100%. I wouldn't not buy it because of those but I think they are fixable.

 
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

ef100_400l_1_
Review Date: Mar 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: THis is a beautiful lens for handholding and casual bird/wildlife photography - probably more than casual on in-flight shots.
Cons:
My first one just went back. There was an "S" shaped piece of felt inside the lens. Lens hood is too big for digital cameras. To ensure full coverage with film, it's probably necessary but the 1.6x cameras do not need the same coverage and a smaller hood could be used easily.

The poor build quality rating is deserved as the first one went back with a piece of "S" shaped felt floating around inside the lens. If the replacement is the quality I expect, like all the Canon L lenses, it would rate excellent. As much as I'd like to just go ahead and rate it like the second probably will be, what a hassle to exchange a lens they built poorly. I had to pay for the second lens to get it shipped in time for a trip and won't receive credit until the original one is sent back. Understandable but no less aggravating. I look forward to a good copy and suspect it will serve well for a long time to come.