After lot of thinking, finally I decided to move from Canon Rebel XT (350D) to Canon Rebel XSi (450D), the canon new (low end, but latest) Digital SLR.
Why I changed/upgraded the system,
=> I am using Canon 350D from last 2+ years. I am very happy with system. I am using mostly (almost all) manual focus lenses. I heard the rave reviews of new view finder (bright) and Live View. People swear by accuracy in manual focusing with these two new upgrades.
Last week, I got the camera. And yes, there is a big difference from moving 350D to Rebel XSi. In last 2-3 days, I used the camera with
My initial thoughts, (Not touching the normal features like mirror lock, Av compensation etc):
+ Live View: Another great feature. Manual focusing will never be same. Although it will make (your) captures little slow. You cant miss focus with this feature (esp. for standing/fixed subjects). I am no totally gone to live view for tripod shots with 10x based manual focusing.
+ Viewfinder: This only can be deal breaker for manual focus lenses users. The viewfinder with OEM focusing screen is far superior and larger than older Rebel model viewfinders. This is something every manual focus lens aficionado will love. First time I didn’t even believe that I had stopped down the lens to f5.6. I am not sure, whether I should even go for split prism (I have focus confirmation chip based adapter which are non-sense and useless for wide open, although OK for stopped down). This alone is worth upgrade. When I mounted Industar 50mm f3.5 lens, initial thoughts were, "Did I put Canon 50mm f1.8..." ;). I am using Leica 90mm f2.8 at f4 most of the time now.
+ Film/ISO speed in the viewfinder.
+ The camera supports the OTG peer-to-peer USB data protocol, you don't have to take the card out of the camera when want to transfer the images to the portable storage photo hard drive. Just hook up the USB cable between the camera and drive, the configuration/protocol support will transfer images quickly and directly.
+ Camera allows you to set up a custom menu with your 7 or so most favorite functions for quick easy access so using mirror lockup, auto exposure bracketing or formatting card. These functions become easy as pressing the menu button once and jumping right to function on screen. No more having to scroll through multiple screens and menus to get to your commonly used functions. (Thanks to manual focus forum member, Sandeep, for this and above information)
+ Auto ISO is much needed feature, one thing less to think about when you don't have time to set the ISO. With quality at high ISO touches to new heights, I am using this mode more than any other in indoor captures.
+ Ergonomics: Light weight and great grip, mush better than 350D. (what a lightweight camera is this).
+ SD Card: Much better for me (than CF). Cheap (got 8G for less than $20) and interchangeable with my wife’s P&S camera. One less thing to worry about .
+ Live View: Another great feature. Manual focusing will never be same. Although it will make (your) captures little slow. You cant miss focus with this feature (esp for standing/fixed subjects). I am no totally gone to live view for tripod shots with 10x based manual focusing.
+ Great high ISO quality: Even ISO 1600 is usable in most situations. With little Noise remover/control software, you cant even guess the ISO.
- Menu system is little confusing. -Software is buggy. It happened twice only (when I have to off the camera to reset), but I can tell, Canon put lot of things in a small machine. With software will eventually becoming key component and market pressure of launching new product in small interval of time, we are going to see this happening a lot.
- Live View is difficult to use in Manual (M) mode: Thats just really pain. The LCD screen is dark in manual focus mode. And that where (in Manual) mode, I was thinking of using the camera with Live view most. In low light situation, I usually keep shutter speed in reasonable limit to keep the (captured) shake to minimum, but now its really pain to focus in "A" (Aperture Priority mode) and move the knob to M mode and then capture. I am happing to capture the scene little underexposed and pulling the shadows with post-processing, then getting a shake.
-Software is buggy. It happened twice only (when I have to off the camera to reset), but I can tell, Canon put lot of things in a small machine. With software will eventually becoming key component and market pressure of launching new product in small interval of time, we are going to see this happening a lot.
-SD Card: To me, its not advisable to take the SD card out every time you want to download. The card cover and its mechanism (cover control) is little weak.
- Memory storage management: It may be mine setting, but the camera is not writing in normal file management system. The PC is not able to read any file (The error message was related to the format, that card contents were more like another hard drive). But if you create one dummy directory on the card, the camera writes with normal directory structure.
- Louder (Mirror movement sound): The camera is surely louder than 350D. I think the mirror is heavy/thick, and that may be coming form making the view finder more bright (more reflective). But I may be wrong e here. These are very initial thought. - Flash mechanism is totally screwed up with live view. This is my first impression. I was trying external Sigma flash.
- Quantum wireless flash system: Good Luck. Works some times, most of the time, you have to pull your hairs...
- B-bye old software: At least my copy of Rawshooter is not able to read 450D/XSi Raw files.
- Bigger battery charger (its a joke or not.. ;) )
Initial Thoughts on this investment: Worth it, for manual focus shutterbugs.
Sensor Cleaning is OK feature, Nothing big. Live View is of little use for Auto focus lenses and in manual focus mode.
The camera is very different in terms of your work flow needs, compatibilities (with third party accessories) and software needs. You need to be ready for some changes.
To me, Live View is critical decision maker. . I am not sure, its going to make any difference for Auto focus (the capture speed will be very slow with live view compare to normal viewfinder).
Everything else is secondary, after all 450D/XSi is a camera. And that where, its excels... no comparison with 350D, esp. at high ISO.
I will post the results in a day or two…..