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Canon EOS 40D

40d
Review Date: Jun 9, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Good feel in the hands, solid build, weatherproof, self-cleaning sensor, manual controls.
Cons:
None so far.

I dug around a lot reading reviews (including those below) before I pulled the trigger after my XT bit the dust. This camera has quite a different set-up and so I'm just getting used to the location of some controls, but I have to say that my picture quality has taken a huge jump using the same lenses that I had on my XT. Very pleased with this purchase.

 
Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

EF17-85
Review Date: Apr 12, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IS, good build compared to other "consumer" lenses, fast focus
Cons:
Price off the shelves (definately buy used if possible), might require PP at the wide angle

I bought this lens recently after reading lots of reviews about this and other "walkaround" lenses. I used the kit lens in the past and do not notice a huge difference in sharpness outside in good light, but I do notice better colors and contrast. The IS does make a big difference when trying to go tripod-less in low light situations. The build quality is great as well. I don't count on this as an indoor lens in moderate to low light. I'll hop to my 50mm 1.8 for those situations. I plan on traveling and intend for this to be my primary lens. I love its mm range on my 350D. It's perfect really. I can see the desire for the 28-135mm IS, but if I'm going for telephoto, there are lots of lenses that start around the 70mm range and go up to 200mm or 300mm range and provide a better image value. Plus I found the 28-135 to being a little heavy for a walkaround and just not wide enough. As an amatuer photographer still developing my eye for composition, I think this lens is a big step up from the kit lens and recommend it to those (not professionals) interested in a reliable, versatile walkaround lens.