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new lense or new camera to upgrade picture quality

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October 26, 2008 2:52:16 AM

Hi, I know that this subject has probably been beaten to death, but would really appreciate your experience and advice. I am a Canon Digital Rebel shooter and I own a Canon 70-200 f.4 lens. My question is this..I am a serious adv amateur photographer that wants more..would I be better off to buy a Canon 70-200 2.8 IM lens or use my f.4 lens and upgrade camera body to a 50 D or 5d...I would like to get better quality, an upgraded professional look with sharpness and quality but dont know what my next step shoould be...anyone with experience with the lenses or camera bodies that were in the same boat, I would love to hear from you....J
October 26, 2008 2:56:19 PM

Either upgrades are nice, Not much you can do upgrading the picture quality taken between the 2.8L or 4L as the lens you have is pretty good already, However the Canon 70-200 2.8 IS USM lens have more flexibility with the f/stop. You can take pictures inside the house without using a flash.

If you upgrade the camera then you may or will be taking the pictures more comfortable with added features missing from the rebel.

New camera comes out every year so you can get one selling $1500 now at reasonable price in two years.

If it’s my choice I would take the lens upgrade than the camera. And if you trade the old lens you’ll get more for the trade value than your rebel d-slr and if you sell yourself you might get even more $$$ for it.

Like I said either one will satisfy you.
December 20, 2008 11:06:11 PM

Well you shouldn't be getting poor quality results with the 70-200 f/4, it's a pro quality lens. Granted I shoot Nikon, but I shoot with the 70-200 f/2.8 VR which is basically identical to the 70-200 f/2.8 IS from Canon. The Digital Rebel shouldn't be giving you that poor of results either, especially coupled with the pro lens you have.

Where do you do the majority of your shooting with the 70-200? The only gain you'll see in the 70-200 f/2.8 IS lens is in indoor or low-light handheld shooting. Otherwise past f/5.6 they will both give you the same basic image quality. Even wide open at f/2.8 your image quality won't be that bad unless you're over scrutinizing your work. I've got beautiful shots at f/2.8 with mine.

Any way you can send some pics my way? I'm curious to see what you mean by bad quality. Shoot me a message or use my email if it's in my profile (I just joined this site so I have no idea how profiles work).

If you're not doing much low-light handheld shooting, than there is no point in upgrading to the f/2.8 IS lens, as you won't often use the f/2.8 aperture or IS. I know people rave about the Canon 70-200 f/4 lenses because of their small size and light weight, whereas you'll be carrying a much bulkier and heavier lens with the f/2.8 IS. And if you're comparing between the 50d and the 5d...well it depends on what you're shooting, but I'd jump for the 5d mark I. Since the new 5d Mark II is basically out, you can pick up a used 5d for a real steal. FF 5d will blow away the Digital Rebel you've got and perform better than the 50d. But before you upgrade anything, it would be great if we could see some of the photos that you're not happy with so we know what the problem is.
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December 28, 2008 9:30:29 PM

go for a new camera body.

a better lens wont fix noise generated by the image sensor

and low noise is important especially if you photoshop your images as any noise in the image will become amplified after changing levels and making many changes

if posible, lower the lights in your room and take a picture of any random thing.

then head to this site and compare your image quality

http://www.dpreview.com/

also look at the color gradients in the sample images as there very important especially when photoshopping the images
December 31, 2008 5:01:50 PM

Well it depends what ISO is being used. If a low ISO (100-200) is being shot with the Digital Rebel...there should be no real lack of IQ. It's proven fact that noise and IQ are negligible at low ISO's throughout most camera manufacturers camera body lines. Raw files shot with the same lens under the exact same lighting conditions with ISO 100 on a 5d and a Digital Rebel will look close to identical. You may be able to differentiate slight variations in colors, but noise will be identical, and IQ differences will be invisible to the majority of pixel peepers (and pixel peepers alone). Reviews all point to this. Now as soon as you start shooting above ISO 200 on a Digital Rebel your quality will deteriorate compared to a 5d due to the pixel size and density (Duh we're comparing FF and 1.6x crop). Either way there shouldn't be "poor" results at low ISO's with a Digital Rebel. I've seen spectacular photos with Digital Rebel's and fantastic photos with 5d's...really it comes down to the photographer ;)  It all depends what the Op's shooting. If shooting low ISO, a new camera won't necessarily make a large difference, if shooting medium to high ISO's, a 5d will blow away the Digital Rebel. I would recommend a new camera as well at this point, but I wouldn't just jump on the bandwagon saying "it's more expensive, it's a better camera". There's so much more science that goes into a sensor that makes the difference. Compare pixel sizes, densities, FF vs. crop, sensor capabilities, and processing power within the camera.
February 28, 2009 9:13:44 PM

glass plays 95% of quality, i have shot pics using a rebal xt and ef 100-400l is usm with great returns, but there are some issues with the rebal line and jpeg pics. i would suggest shooting pics in raw because that is where canon shines. i use the ef 70-300 usm and i love it, but remember, beautty is in the eyes of the beholder.
April 28, 2009 5:50:40 AM

Glass and ISO doesn't make the photo, but it surely doesn't hurt to have the better gear if you're able to use it. In some cases I do need ISO 6400 to be clean, and I do need that $2,000 low-light glass --- a Rebel with a kit lens would not let me take the shot I want.
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