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Canon 400D

XxPaulxX 15 265 England
2 May 2007 12:24AM
Just to let you guys know, I know virtually nothing about digital photography camera settings etc, so anyone kind enough to respond, please keep it very simple, thanks!

I have an Olympus C765 which has served me well for a few years now. The problem is, it struggles with low or poor light conditions, at music gigs I am attending, and I end up with grainy pictures. I don't know enough about it to use the manual functions on this camera, to resolve this issue and I wondered if I bought a Canon 400D, would that camera be able to produce better low light results, whilst in it's full auto mode?

I have also got used to the wonderful X10 optical zoom on my C765, and wondered how the Canon lenses 55-200 and 90-300 would compare.

A few years ago, when I parted with almost 200, I couldn't believe I had allowed myself to spend so much on a camera, but I have had every penny's worth and more from it. What I really want to know is, will a complete numpty like me benefit from having a Canon 400D, and will it enable me to get more and better shots with low and multi-coloured lighting effects at music gigs?

Any friendly advice would be much appreciated, thanks!

dougv 17 8.4k 3 England
2 May 2007 2:30AM
One thing I can tell you Paul is that you will miss the 10x zoom.
Both the 55-200 and the 90-300 have a zoom range of about 3.5x, so don't expect to be able to zoom in like you can now.
If you are taking pictures in low light you need to get a fairly fast lens.
Both the 55-200 and the 90-300 are f4.5-5.6 which is not particularly fast.
A fast lens will be expensive!
A Canon 70-200 f2.8 L IS USM lens is likely to set you back around 1200.
The sensor on the 400D should be much better that the one on your Olympus, but leaving it on Auto will take a lot of control away from you.
You can use the 400D in Aperture Priority mode which lets you choose the aperture and it takes care of the shutter speed.
The performance of the sensor at a high ISO setting will probably be much better that you are getting with the Olympus, so you should have less noise (Graininess) on your shots.
I know there are one or two users on here who take photos at concerts and they will probably be able to give you far better advice than I can.
NickParry 15 1.0k 79 Wales
2 May 2007 8:56AM
Get the 400D but to understand the camera setting on any camera just experiment and read some of the articles on here to improve your knowledge of the camera settings (as well as the manual). I am sure that like many on here I am untrained in photography but have taught myself how to use the various functions, and with trial and error you will be using the various settings quite quickly. Like anything, you will continue to build on your skills over time. Furthermore, you will get better pictures if you start using some of the settings that the camera offers, and free yourself up from auto mode.
Superficial 14 147
2 May 2007 10:57AM
If you use the 400d with something like the 50mm f/1.8 lens, and use a nice high ISO I would imagine that it would take much better low-light pics than what you've got now. The problem is that you'd lose the zoom and you'd have a bigger camera to carry around, and of course the expense!
MrsSmith 14 84
2 May 2007 11:08AM
I have a Canon Digital Rebel XT with the 50mm f/1.8 II. Great lense certainly helps in low light. As far as all of the technical shutter speed stuff, I am of no help yet, just learning all off that. I do really like my Canon though. They also sell a manual different from the one in the box that uses even simpler language. I am finding that very helpful.
2 May 2007 11:22AM
Since buying a 400D I have not looked back. I started off by using the built-in settings. Now about 95% of my shots are taken with manual settings. I would like to echo the ideas before me. Experimentation combined with a little reading helped alot. The other source of accelerated insight for me was meeting other EPZers at photomeets.

One source of good lenses (certainly for the sort of kit to experiment with is eBay). I have bought and sold a few lenses and now have just the right level of kit for my needs. The next steps for me will be to save enough for at least one professional standard lens and, in a few years time, buy a full frame Canon DSLR.

Happy clicking!

XxPaulxX 15 265 England
2 May 2007 3:12PM
Thanks for your comments and suggestions so far!

I noticed another thread talking about rock gig photos. They say about using fast lenses, high ISO and no flash! When I try and take a picture with no flash on my C765 the shutter speed drops to such an extent, that either I, the object or even both of us move and get a poor picture. Presumably, on the 400d, I won't get this trouble?

Can I ask also about Canon after sales service! More than one person has suggested that compared to Nikon, Pentax and others, that it is pretty poor!

One more question too if I can. In a store recently, the assistant showed me a Pentax slr(not sure of model number but was 10MP) which also had an anti camera shake function built into the camera. He explained that lenses with this facility are very expensive, and I might be prudent in choosing the Pentax over the Canon. I have to say, having looked around for a while, the 400D is the one I had set my heart on. Pentax just doesn't seem like a sexy name to me, within the camera arena(hope I don't sound too daft mentioning this).

When I take pictures, I usually keep the camera pretty still, will this function be of any noticable benefit to me?

Thanks in advance, Paul.
Superficial 14 147
2 May 2007 3:52PM
The thing to bear in mind is that any anti-shake technology will reduce any blur caused by you moving the camera slightly, but it will do nothing for your subject. I.e. If the person on stage is moving (and therefore blurred), it doesn't matter about the image stabilisation. You are much better off getting a fast lens for this.

When compared to the compact which is probably something like f/4, the f/1.8 lens will let 5 times more light in. That's the difference between a shutter speed of 1/10th of a second which would be much too slow, and 1/50th of a second which may be acceptable.

Similarly, the camera's sensor will be several times more sensitive for a given amount of 'noise'. E.g. you compact might do ISO200 without producing a terrible image, whereas a 400D will manage ISO1600.

So all-in-all it could really help quite a lot.
XxPaulxX 15 265 England
2 May 2007 4:37PM
Thanks Super! The guy in the shop was trying to convince me this anti-shake technology would help with focusing on a moving image. I got the feeling he was keen to sell me this Pentax, so perhaps he wasn't being 100% honest with me about it's capabilities.

There are so many other things I should be spending my money on, but I just can't resist an slr!
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
2 May 2007 4:38PM
I can only give two examples of after sales Nikon and Canon. Friends 6 month old Canon 10D, it fell out of his back pack and hit a rock and damaged the flash hot shoe. Canon cleaned it and replaced the hot shoe, no charge except postage. 1 week turn around.

Friends Nikon 18-200Vr stopped focusing after 2 months. Nikon waited 2 weeks before sending a demand for 250 claiming user damage. He is locked in a debate with them, the lens has been gone for over 4 weeks.
martyn05 14 363 England
2 May 2007 10:42PM
Brought a Canon 400D in December 06 and have been so impressed with it, i brought another one last week! My wife was using a small compact and she now has one of the 400D's. Get one, you won't be sorry.
looboss 14 3.1k 7 United Kingdom
2 May 2007 10:58PM

Quote:Thanks Super! The guy in the shop was trying to convince me this anti-shake technology would help with focusing on a moving image. I got the feeling he was keen to sell me this Pentax, so perhaps he wasn't being 100% honest with me about it's capabilities.

I think maybe he doesn't understand the antishake function well enough and as most assistants are not keen photographer they won't know. so giving you erroneous information which is of course to the stores benefit in one way, ie. quick sale, but bad for their reputation.
XxPaulxX 15 265 England
3 May 2007 8:26AM
This was a specialist camera shop, so I feel it was more that he wanted to sell this particular slr than him not actually knowing looboss. Either way, it does reflect bad on their shop.

Thanks for your info and advice guys, I am definately getting a 400D in the next few days!

Anyone have any idea where I can look to get the best deals? I have checked Kelkoo and Ebay, but my local camera store prices seem to be very similar, and are prepared to offer discount on accessories. Once again, any advice appreciated.

mdpontin 17 6.0k Scotland
3 May 2007 9:57AM
Try the ePHOTOzine shop (Warehouse Express), as they are usually competitive, and in my experience offer good customer service. (Link also available under 'Store' in the menu at the top of this page)

Failing that, if the price is okay for you, support your local camera store!

Superficial 14 147
3 May 2007 11:16AM
Jessops I think do price-matching on any internet deals for dSLRs. You have to print the page off and as long as it's in stock in the UK, Jessops will match it. So you may as well do that and get it from a high street shop you can return it to if there's a problem.

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