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Canon EOS 10D

10D
Review Date: Mar 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great all-around digital SLR. Very reasonably priced on the used market now that everyone is upgrading to the 20D.
Cons:
Auto white balance is useless indoors. I understand it's also a problem with the newer models from Canon. You'll want to use the manual white balance feature and/or shoot RAW.

The 10D isn't cutting edge anymore, but this 6.3MP camera can still serve up professional results. I don't have any meaningful complaints about this camera other than the lackluster automatic white balance feature.

I'll want to upgrade at some point, perhaps to the non-yet-extant 30D, or a used 1Ds once a newer high-end Canon drives the prices down. But for now I'm quite content with my 10D.


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Mar 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $275.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: A great portrait lens, excellent value for money.
Cons:
It doesn't have a red stripe?

This is a great portrait lens. The build quality is excellent for the price range, the USM is nice, and the pictures it takes are more than sharp enough for portrait photography. For better or for worse, every eyelash and pore is crisply defined. (Thank god for Photoshop.)

I'm keeping mine.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro

ef_50_25c_1_
Review Date: Mar 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Razor-sharp macro, low price, decent portrait lens.
Cons:
AF isn't the best, manual focus ring feels flimsy, requires an extender if you need 1:1.

I bought this lens over the well-regarded f1.8 and f1.4 50mm lenses because I could only justify getting a single 50mm for my 10d. In my opinion, this lens is more versatile than the other two 50mm's. It's great for product-style macro shots and works nicely for studio portraits as well. For portraits I use it in place of my 85mm f1.8 when I'm backed up against the wall and need to get more of my subject in the frame.

I primarily use this lens in a studio setting with controlled lighting and slow or non-moving subjects, so the AF issues haven't been a problem. If I did more low-light or action shooting I might be tempted to get the f1.4 model, but for what I do this lens is a keeper.