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Canon EOS 50D

Review Date: Aug 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent Build, Digic4, fast focus, excellent image, fast FPS. LCD is beautiful. Micro-adjustment, peripheral illumintation, new Live view. New menu display
Above average ISO

Finally put my 30D to the pasture and sold it to another pro photographer who was buying it for her brother. Man, I loved the 30D. been flawless and a great work horse. I mainly wanted to upgrade to a FF but I managed to save for two L lenses and what ever I had left over I would get the 50D. I felt getting pro quality lens was more important than a body, since bodies seem to go through 18mos cycle. The 50D upgrade was significant. Getting familiar with the 50D layout took me all of 10min and setting to my preference took less than that. The menu was simple, effective, and brilliant. LCD is breathtaking. Lot of bells and whistles. Immediately I noticed the focus and image was very impressive. better than my 30D. On my 30D with L lens the focus was fast compared to non L glass, but on a 50D, its blistering fast and image is excellent. Live view is new to me and I doubt I would ever use this feature. If I do, it would be extremely rare. I fiddled with the live view and it was easy and intuitive. Did I mention about the LCD? the view on the LCD is HD quality and right now surpass my laptop monitor. It's that beautiful, but dont rely on it becuase if you dont have a nice LCD monitor, you'll be dissapointed when PP.

Ergonomiclly, it's feels bigger,better and more rugged than my 30D. My bud has a 40D and they feel almost exactly the same.

Now lets talk about IMAGE and NOISE. I've read alot of reviews and just about all of them stated to get the best image of the 50D, top quality glass is needed. This is a toss up in my point of view. I chose L glass because of it's quality, value and ability to go FF without having to buy more lenses just for FF. Combination of the 50D with top glass is a match made in heaven and the image is EXCELLENT, but for casual photographer, certain USM lenses will be more than suffice. NOISE...this is interesting. I'm a closet pixel peeper. I wont admit to my other photographer friends or clients, but I do pixel peep, not because of the image, but noise. From 800 and above, there is a very slight noise increase (Very slight) compared to my 30D. I normally use CS3 and correct the noise on 30D and 50D, but find CS3 didnt clean it as well on the 50D as it did when I had my 30D....But, if I used DPP, the noise cleaned exceptionally well and image is phenomenal at 800 and 1600. At 3200, Image starts to soften just a little. I rarely shoot above 1600, so this doesnt bother me. If you're constantly shooting 800 and above, expect to be using DPP for noise cleaning, CS3/4 just doesnt cut it.

Overall, the pros out weighed the cons. 50D surpassed everything on my 30D from body, menu, LCD, speed, and extra features. the 30D handled the noise better, but with DPP, the 50D noise becomes obsolete and image will become breath'll just extra few steps to get there.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Aug 16, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent Build. Fast autofocus. Internal focus. Perfect weight.

Even though this lens is for landscape, I bought this for close quarter photoshoots. On occasion, I work in tight spots and require something wide. I rarely shoot in low light and if I did, I prefer to mount the camera on a tripod, so the F4 works well for me. I bought a 70-200L F4 few weeks back and was spoiled with the build, speed, quality, and image of the L. The 17-40 is my 2nd L glass and this one is just as amazing. Very fast focus, image is phenomenal and quality is expected from an L. Love the internal focus and hoping they eventually move the 24-70L 2.8 to that direction since that will be my next purchase. My bud was doin a close photoshoot, so I let him borrow my 17-40 and he was blown away with the image quality. Think I got another person hooked on L glass. Smile When you hold the glass, it feels extremely solid, but yet light. zoom is buttery. and USM is very silent. Highly recommended.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Jul 23, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent Build. fast and whisper focus. Solid feel in hand.
really wished they included a ring mount with it.

after a year of researching, I concluded I wanted to go with this lens mainly due to budget and what I will be doing. This is my 1st L lens and I have to admit, I'm officially spoiled. The quality of this lens is excellent as well as funcionality. I was a little surprise by the color of the lens (very very light tan color) but the construction, feel, buttery zooming,and performance is astounding. It does hog attention though. I wouldnt say this lens is 'silent.' More of a very low whisper 'shhhhhhh' sound which is way better than my sigma 24-70 F2.8 lens...sounds like I'm using an electric can opener. I've done several shots with this and was blown away with the image sharpness of the pic, even at F4. nice contrast and very fast on focus. Bokeh is great. I'll eventually go to the F2.8 IS version once my son will be doing indoor sports (he's 4, so it'll be a long ways before I get the 2.8 IS). The only down side I would say is I wished they added a ring mount with it. Yes, the lens is light and anyone can carry it all day, and the price for this is lens is a perfect, but a ring mount would have been a 'nice' bonus. the canon ring mount is ridiculously over priced...thank God there are other 3rd party mounts which can be bought at a 1/4 price which I did buy and has been excellent so far. Overall I'm satisfied with the lens and it's a great introductory to the L series line up. It'll def get you spoiled and eventually empty your bank account when you start buying other L lenses.

Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX Aspherical DG DF

Review Date: Feb 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $389.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Built like a tank Solid feel Enourmous Glass quicker response than I epxected. Sharp lens
Ring does feel stiff goin to 24mm (eventually loosens up) When goin from can feel air escaping from the sides. Weight (I dont think it's an issue, but I can see people complaining bout it) 82mm filter is not cheap. It's not HSM and you can tell. definately can hear the ring motor.

I did several months reviewing the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8. I heard it was a beautiful glass. I went to my local camera store and asked for it. The store salesman was nice enough for me to test out the lens. As I was testing it out, he said if I would be interested in the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 lens as well. I was curious about the sigma and since I was testing the tamron, why not the Sigma as well. When he took the sigma out of the case, my eyes popped out. This is one HUGE piece of glass. I thought for sure I couldnt afford this one. I asked and he said it was only $20 more. Now I cant pass the opportunity to check the sigma out. I put the lens on the store canon 40d and started to do some testing. 1st impression

- SIGMA: It's a tank and I love it. Built very solid. TAMRON: was light and almost fragile.
- SIGMA: Extremely sturdy. TAMRON: could see the barrel wobble a little
- SIGMA: material on it was very nice compared the plastic feel of the TAMRON
- SIGMA Lens was enormous 82mm but wow it looked good.
- SIGMA focus ring was not a smooth as TAMRON and it DID have a slight resistance goin towards the 24mm side. I also felt air pushing out from the sides of the focus ring goin to 70mm range. Thought it was kinda odd.
Sales person comment about the focus ring getting resistance towards 24mm was because it held the lens little more firmly when extended versus Tamron has to use a lock position when extended from wobbling too much. Sales person showed me this and I confirmed this was to be true.
- SIGMA performace was pretty fast. Faster then I expected, but I came from a kit lens, so anything other than a kit lens will be fast. Tamron displayed about the same speed.
- Pedal Hood on the SIGMA is ok. I think it's more for cosmetic with average function against the sun.
- Manual is above the focus ring. Either push up for manual or down for auto. (Also need to set to manual on the side button).

Quality. Thank God the salesman let me test out both cuz I see all the time with both lens to either get a good copy or not. Fortunately the SIGMA was a good copy and I questioned the TAMRON. I tested all the f stops, aperture, 70-24mm range (I was in the store quite a bit. lol) I can confirm at 70mm f2.8 it can be slightly softer. From f4-6 is deathy sharp at all range.

The focus ring is far from quiet, if you're out of focus and lens focus in, you'll know someone is goin to take a picture. I would say, it's a suttle sound, but non the less you can hear it.

Since Im an amateur photographer, I thought this would be a good walk around lens and to take family pics and well as outdoors. So I decided to buy the SIGMA and im very happy I did. It looks very professional on my canon. The thing I like about this lens is that's it's always comared against the Canon 24-70mm L. That's a compliment in my eyes. Yes, the Canon 24-70mm L is a wonderful lens at a hefty price and does edge out the SIGMA (key word: EDGE by a miniscul). but for a 1/3 of the price of the canon with similar perfomance and quality for amateurs like me, it's definately a great piece of glass to have.

Canon EOS 30D

Review Date: Oct 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,299.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Solid Build. Fast auto focus. Custom functions.

i just bought this camera on friday and finally was able to test it out today. I got the BG-E2 grip with it and it makes the camera more professional looking not to mention convient. This is the first Digital SLR camera I've owned. It camed down to Nikon D200 which had better features, but I was more concerned with overall quality. After 6 months of contimplating and numerous review searching, I finally decided on the 30d. The 30d did not dissapoint at all. It was a joy to shoot with not to mention the menu was very easy to use. Only thing I would recommend is to get the body and a better glass than the kit. I bought the kit and it's nice, but would love to get the tamron zoom lens. In the end, I purchase all at one time the camera kit, bg-e2, extra battery, and 2 gig 133x wa lexar cf card. Left me with little else to get. I'm relatively new to the DSLR world, but have and good understanding of shutter, iso, f-stops, dof, and misc tech items with photography. This camera is truly a great camera. luv it. I'm sold with Canon products and even though it's only 8.2meg camera ( I don't print larger than 13x19 print) it's the quality in the end. Just because a new product comes out as higer pixels and slightly better features, i.e. dust removal doesn't justify me getting it. the 30d has all the features I need for "myself" as an enthuisist photogrpher.