getting back into DSLR phoograph!y
September 16, 2017 10:43 AM   Subscribe

I got myself into digital photography in 2009, and I did it for a few years. I bought a DSL and two lenses, and used them happily for a few years (about till 2013). I'd like to get back into photography, but I'd like to upgrade to a better quality base camera. More info inside!

I had a Canon EOS Rebel XS (a.k.a. 1000D) SLR Digital Camera Kit (Black) with 18-55mm IS Lens & 75-300mm III Lens. If i'm looking to replace the body (and i'm okay with spending around $500 or so - new or used) which Canon body should I get? Can I reuse the lenses (all in good condition) with a new body?
posted by waylaid to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The newest Canon DSLR in your price range is the EOS Rebel SL2. Check out a few sample shots here. I think you'll be pretty amazed how much better low light performance has gotten in almost 10 years!

I don't know if buying used in the $500 range is ideal, either you'd be buying something that used to be pretty fancy but is now pretty old, or you'd be buying last year's version of a similar camera to the SL2. If you wanted to hunt for a deal a Canon 70d or 80d would be nice, but probably beyond what you want to spend.

You can reuse the lenses, but longer term put more money into buying lenses. Almost universally an expensive lens on a cheap camera will make better images than a cheap lens on an expensive camera.
posted by gregr at 11:08 AM on September 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

You might consider a refurb body direct from canon, t5 & t6 rebels are in the ~$500 range
posted by TheAdamist at 11:18 AM on September 16, 2017

Just get the newest Canon body that's in your price range, as gregr suggests. You already have some Canon lenses and that's a perfectly fine system to stick with; Canon has tons of great lens options, a huge community of users, and consistently makes cameras that are among the best in their classes.

If you end up sticking with this as a long-term hobby, do buy higher-end lenses as you gradually grow and upgrade your stock of equipment. Used high-end lenses are often worth buying if they're in good condition; precision optics are inherently expensive but overall the technology is pretty mature, so last decade's high-end lenses aren't nearly as different from today's as last decade's camera bodies are. Professionals (and also people with more money than sense) regularly upgrade their glass and they tend to take good care of their lenses, so buying used is a smart choice for the hobbyist.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:14 PM on September 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

Agreed that used is a good idea. Your lenses from a 2009-era Canon DSLR will absolutely be compatible, with minimal difference between those and new ones (they should say EOS on them; as long as they do, they're compatible).

Also agreed that Canon's refurb program is good (although the website is a bit wobbly) - you'll get like-new gear in most cases (and they will clearly ID anything that's less than like-new).

If your budget stretches to it, consider the 60D or 70D camera body along with the rebels.

As has been said, ability to take photos in lower light is like night and day different (pun intended) between 10 years ago and now.
posted by randomkeystrike at 4:56 PM on September 16, 2017

If you have to ask this question, you don't need a new body. Random internet people have NO IDEA what would suit you, and as you seem to have no idea of why you want in a new body I think you should sit on your $500 for now.

Just start taking photographs again. Shoot the shots you like taking. Examine them critically. After a while you will see 'things' which you want to improve, and they will point you towards the features you want to look for - more DR perhaps, better low-light capabilities, faster burst-rate. Or maybe you will be entirely content with the body, and want to improve the quality of your glass.

On the other hand, if you just want to throw money around don't let me stop you.
posted by GeeEmm at 11:08 PM on September 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Given what you have, I would consider replacing a lens before that body. In my experience, I started studying photography in the 70s and have been making pictures off and on ever since, people tend to focus their attention on camera bodies too much and not enough on lenses. This seems especially so with digital bodies because new ones have exciting features.

I'm not familiar with that model, though I do use Canon digital gear and the review of it at The Digital Picture indicates it's quite decent.

I haven't used either of those lenses but I think your image quality - every aspect of it, from sharpness to contrast to flare control to distortion correction, to low light performance - will be significantly improved by replacing the one you use the most with a better version. Lenses keep their value better than bodies too and you will most likely be able to use whatever you get now with your next camera.

Canon's 10-22 and 28-135 are both very good in my experience and the 70-200 f4 IS is outstanding. It is really compact and one of my sharpest lenses.

Once you've got yourself one good lens, then I would save up for a more modern camera body.
posted by mewsic at 11:49 PM on September 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'd get a used 5D Mark II. Full frame sensors are better.
posted by trbrts at 6:29 AM on September 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

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