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Canon EOS 50D

50D_1_
Review Date: Oct 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,335.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent feature mix, great IQ, reasonable price, works with all those Canon lenses.
Cons:
None stand out so far.

I had not planned on getting this camera; I was happily using my 5D while traveling in Xi'an, China, when it got stolen from me one night at dinner (oops). Not wanting to go camera-less for the rest of my stay, and unwilling to buy another 5D when the new one is due out soon, I bought the 50D to tide me over and also serve as my alternate camera (and my partner's camera) for future outings. But as I used the camera I found that is holds its own against the 5D in many respects. The photos turned out very well and several annoying little quirks of the 5D have been eliminated in the 50D (hope the same will be true of the 5DM2). As a former 20D user I can also report that the 50D is leaps and bounds beyond that camera, so if you were contemplating an upgrade from that generation, I think now is a good time to consider it.

 
Canon Speedlite 580EX II

580exii
Review Date: Aug 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent controls, solid, very flexible, silent
Cons:
Price

I bought this flash with my 5D in Beijing a few weeks ago, and just took it with me to Cambodia for its first real outing. I had never traveled with a flash before, since I figured the built-in flash would suffice on my old 20D, but now that I use the 5D I felt it would be useful. Sure enough, the results are miles better than with the built-in, and even better by far than with my old 380EX that I used to rely on. The ability to do flash compensation was very welcome, as was the multiple swivel ability. Too bad it costs so much, but when you pay for it and the camera together, it's easy not to notice...

 
Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

ef_28-135_35_1_
Review Date: Aug 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good walking-around lens Good range
Cons:
A bit big Zoom doesn't lock Slow

I bought this lens in 1999 when I went from my old A-1 to an Elan-IIe, and it was my standard walking-around lens on that camera for years. When I got a 10D I was disappointed, and chagrinned, that the 1.6x mag ratio meant that this was no longer quite so wide as it had been, and so I ended up using it a bit less, but still would turn to it occasionally.

I was going to sell this lens recently, but just could not bring myself to do so, at least not just yet, since it does serve a very useful purpose. One day I'm sure I'll let it go, when I get something in an L glass to replace it, but until then, I'll stick with it.