Looking back at my previous purchases of digital cameras, Canon Powershot S20, Pentax Optio S and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20, the Canon EOS 400D was a major improvement. I should have moved to DSLR years ago. I won’t go into specs and or an in-depth review, I think dpreview did already a remarkable job, instead I will focus on daily usage and how I use my lenses.
Table of Contents
Canon EOS 400D/Rebel XTi
My first and so far only SLR body. It has about 10,000 releases since 2008 and since then most of the pictures on this website were taken with this one. I am by no means a professional photographer, but it has been a great learning experience. The camera is very light weight for a DSLR, so I take it everywhere I go. There are some limitations in low light or when I try shooting sports but these limitations didn’t justify an upgrade yet.
Canon EF 24-105mm 1:4L IS USM
Great all purpose lens replaced my Canon EF-S 17-85mm and never looked back. I got this L series lens used of eBay for half price. It took me by surprise how heavy this lens is and, with the 400D body attached the camera makes a constant nosedive. Excellent build quality, super fast auto focus, very crisp, image stabilizer and low chromatic aberrations and with the flexibility the zoom offers I hardly ever take it off. The only thing that bothers me is that 24mm on a camera like the 400D with a 1.6 crop factor doesn’t make it a real wide angle lens. Maybe I should get the Canon EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM.
Canon EF 50mm 1:1.4 USM
Fantastic lens for the price. Very sharp photos, even wide open, beautiful bokeh aka depth of field, sturdy build and very fast auto focus. Excellent portrait lens, I just have to use it more often.
Canon EF-S 17-85mm 1:4-5.6 IS USM
I knew I didn’t want the standard kit lens, too many bad reviews. Due to budget constrains I chose this advanced kit lens. Little did I know about quality lenses. Wide open the lens has very blurry edges and noticeable chromatic aberrations aka “fringes”. There is also always some unwanted vignetting at all apertures. Needless to say I was looking very quickly for an alternative and only a few shots made it on the website.
Canon Speedlite 580EX
One heavy duty flash but bouncing of light on different surfaces is very difficult with the build flash. It illuminates every room, but this comes at a price. The batteries drain rather quickly. I always cary an extra eight batteries with me but it is always worth it in the end.
Case Logic SLRC 4 Backpack For Camera And Notebook
The SLRC 4 is a very versatile, extremely sturdy and well-built backpack. I need a backpack which also protects my laptop and additionally I didn’t want to carry more than one bag around on my travels. Admittedly, it can become quite heavy at times but this one is accompanying me on all days out. There are so many pockets and extra space available that I can go for a weekend trips with all my gear.
Cullmann “Maximo” Tripod
Sturdy build but still light weight and compact, with 36cm and just 800g the ideal travel companion. Less vibration with wind and a faster setup time gave me the confirmation that this was the right purchase. Though, if my camera gear becomes heavier I might have to look for a more solid tripod.
Digital Concepts TR-60N Tripod
The first time when I was looking for a tripod I looked for a cheap and light weight, otherwise I wouldn’t carry it with me. And that is what I got at Amazon for $10. It did its job but it was cheaply made and it wasn’t sturdy at all. Even average wind conditions cause a lot of vibration, but I have to say the tripod never fell. Due to cheap plastic the head broke after three years.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20
A great mega-zoom camera with build-in lens and video capability. It took better pictures than my previous cameras and the zoom was fantastic but after a year the manual focus stopped working. I kept using it for another two years.
Pentax Optio S
Small, smaller, with the size of cigarette pack the Pentax Optio S had its place prior to cell phone cameras. In retrospect I could afford a DSLR so I was looking for a tiny one and that is what I got. The first shots on this website are taken with this one.
Canon Powershot S20
My first camera. It cost a fortune. Slow shutter release. A lot of pictures showed blue tint particular in sunlight. The one advantage that made the decision worth it was that I didn’t need to get film rolls developed. I never could sell the camera because one day in spain a maid took it and never brought it back.