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Sigma 18-125mm F3.5-5.6 DC

4882618_125dc_1_
Review Date: Oct 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $140.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Focal length range, light weight, good build quality, decent image quality.
Cons:
Slow variable aperture. 62mm filters.

I was able to pick up an 18-125 used.

IQ is on par with the 18-55 kit lens but with an enhanced focal range. Like any 7x zoom, the lens is slow so you have to use proper technique (at least 1/focal length and bump up the ISO) to keep images sharp. If you understand its limitations, the lens works well for outdoor travel/casual photos.

I have not had trouble with AF. AF is a little noisy, but I use it almost exclusively outdoors in an urban environment so I don't really notice it. In terms of AF noise, I think it's similar to the Tamron 28-75 and it's not as loud as my Canon 28 2.8. Build quality is pretty good, better than the kit lens, and I like the zoom lock feature.

If you can pick one up on the used market, this is a decent placeholder until Canon introduces an image stabilized focal length equivalent.




 
Canon EOS Rebel XTi (400D)

rebel_xti
Review Date: Oct 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $530.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light weight, good menu/control layout, excellent IQ, good AF speed, excellent LCD, relative low cost, small battery charger.
Cons:
Small viewfinder, slightly awkward grip, no spot metering, different battery than 30/40D line.

I purchased an XTi refurb and I am very pleased with it after a couple of weeks of shooting.

I am a 10D owner and I was getting tired of hauling the 10D to the park, family events and on trips. I have never been satisfied the P&S results so I was looking for something in between. My main priorities in a new camera were to upgrade the AF, upsize the LCD and reduce weight/bulk/obtrusiveness. Since the XTi has the same AF as the 30D but with lower weight/bulk, I thought I would give the XTi a try.

I was concerned about all of the comments about the small grip. The grip is a little awkward but I've adapted to it with my pinkie under the camera body.

The rear control dial is a plus on the XXD line but I don't miss it too much and shoot in aperture priority most of the time. I would have preferred spot metering, but partial metering works just as well as it does on my 10D. AF is relatively quick (better than my 10D) and accurate. The menus/controls take a little getting used to versus the 10D but are fine and become intuitive with some use.

It uses a different battery than the XXD line which is a little annoying if you want to use the XTi as a backup, but at least the included charger is light and portable and not the usual tangle of wires.

Overall, I'm very happy with the XTi.