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Suggestions for a new replacement camera

UncleJoe
Contributor

 Hello and thank you in advance for your help with this matter. I've had a Canon Rebel XT for the last 12 years and I want to upgrade at this point. Over time I have accumulated some accessories for the XT that I obviously want to be able to roll over for usage with what ever I chose to replace the XT with. I am hopeful and assuming that the lens I have will be of some standard, I also have a remote for the shutter the additional battery pack that mounts to the bottom of the body a standard mount flash ect. I can provide specific model numbers if that would be more helpful. At a glance I was looking at the t7i model on the belief that being part of the rebel line it might be compatible, but I am open to any and all suggestions. I am old enough to know that one can reach a point where one is better off starting from scratch if that is the case than so be it. 

 My interest in photography is general but I have been thinking of doing some star field shots (astronomical), landscape some occasional portrait work and as a grandfather I would not mind having some basic video capabilities available. Thanks again for any assistance! 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

TCampbell
Elite
Elite

After your camera model, Canon came out with the 7D (with the 18MP sensor) and used the same sensor in the T2i, T3i, T4i, T5i, and 60D cameras.  It wasn't until the T6i that they put a new sensor in the camera (with some gains over the performance of the long-running 18MP that they used for years).  

 

But when they released the T7i and 77D they replaced the sensor yet again and this time the camera got some VERY significant gains.  The T7i & 77D are a huge upgrade over any previous Rebel series camera (most other models were very small gains over the prievious year's model.)

 

This is why I'd agree that you should look at either the T7i or 77D.  The two camera have the same sensor but mostly different body features.

 

If you look at the "top" of each camera, the T7i has dials and controls much like your current camera (it's changed a tiny bit and there are a few extra buttons but it's mostly going to look very similar to what you have now).  But if you look at the top of the 77D... the mode dial is moved to the other side of the viewfinder and in it's place there is now an LCD display screen (not video - just simple LCD) which has all the current exposure info, etc. all displayed.  

 

Also, another significant change is on the back of the camera.  On your camera you have a simple up/down/left/right button (which also access different functions).  This is the same (or very similar) on the T7i.  But on the 77D the buttons have a knurled rotation ring (wheel) around them and you can rotate it.  If you like to shoot with manual exposure, the front wheel (next to the shutter button) changes the shutter speed and the rear-dial (which you can easily access with your thumb) changes the aperture (f-stop).  This makes it much faster to control than your current camera.

 

The extra display and dial are features of the mid-grade and pro-grade cameras.   I think the difference for the "body only" price is about $50.  The camera performance, resolution, ISO, focus system, etc. etc. are all identical (they have the same sensor.)

 

One noteable MISSING feature... Canon does not make a battery grip for either the T7i or the 77D ... nor can you use a grip from a previous model camera.

 

If you want a battery grip, you should probably look at a Canon 80D.

 

Other than that, all cameras can use the same lenses that you've been using on your Canon XT.

 

If you are using the same entry-level lenses that might have been included with your XT (such as the 18-55mm zoom) then you would want to be aware that the new versions of those lenses are significantly improved.  The new versions have at "STM" suffix on the name (e.g. Canon EOS EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6mm IS STM)  (I bolded the "STM").  This means the lens has Canon's new "stepper motor" focusing system (very quiet and smooth) but Canon also updated the optics.  The new lenses are a bit sharper.  The EF 50mm f/1.8 lens was updated with an "STM" version which also updated the number and shape of the aperture blades so now the out-of-focus blur (background blur) is much smoother & creamier than the old generation.

 

 

 

You wont be able to use the battery pack (battery grip) that mounted on the bottom of your XT (battery grips are always camera model-specific and never carry over to any new model).  

 

You should find that your remote (wired) shutter release fits and works just fine (it probably has a jack that looks like a mini headphone jack).   However all of these cameras now support WiFi and you can actually  use a smartphone (there's a free app) to remotely control the camera.

 

All the new cameras have video capability (it wouldn't matter which model you get) although of note... these new cameras now have Canon's Dual-Pixel CMOS AF (a feature previously only found on mid-grade and high-end models).  The Dual-Pixel CMOS AF allows the camera to use a phase-detect-like focus system (light passes through a beam-splitter (pism) to split it into two phases.  If the light re-converges in-phase then the camera is focused at that particular position... if not, then the lens is not focused and the direction and distance of focus can instantly be determined by comparing the two phases.  

 

Ok, so that sounds technical (and it is) but what it means to YOU is that the camera can do continuous auto-focus during live-video and it can follow your subject as they move closer or farther ... the camera tracks focus very accurately and you wont see the camera "hunt" for focus.

 

You'll get better audio quality if you attach an external microphone (specifically you should check out the Rode VideoMic Pro which is a "powered" external mic with enough gain to avoid that "hiss" sound you often hear on other mics).  It's designed to mount in the hot-shoe socket on top of the camera.  

 

The "STM" lenses (the new lenses) have focus motors which are no so quiet that it's extremely difficult to hear them when recording video (you probably wont hear anything but if you try really really hard ... you might just barely make out the sound of the focus motor.)

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

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57 REPLIES 57

UncleJoe
Contributor
Is the equatorial mount the wedge that you are referring to? I have seen it listed as the wedge on one web site yet on others it is only listed as the equatorial mount, does $69 dollars sound right?
I like using B&H unfortunately living in New York grants me the wonderful distinction of having to pay sales tax when purchasing from them. In some situations such as this I can use the sales tax amount to pay for overnight shipping and still walk away with some savings. If you know of another vendor that is as reputable as B&H I would greatly appreciate the foresight!


@UncleJoe wrote:
Is the equatorial mount the wedge that you are referring to? I have seen it listed as the wedge on one web site yet on others it is only listed as the equatorial mount, does $69 dollars sound right?
I like using B&H unfortunately living in New York grants me the wonderful distinction of having to pay sales tax when purchasing from them. In some situations such as this I can use the sales tax amount to pay for overnight shipping and still walk away with some savings. If you know of another vendor that is as reputable as B&H I would greatly appreciate the foresight!

Unfortunately (for you), some of the best-stocked and most reputable stores are in New York. But if I were you, I sure wouldn't pay extra for shipping from a NY store. I live almost 200 miles from NYC and never pay extra for fast shipping. But my B&H orders often arrive the next day, and almost always by the second day.

 

Whether the speedy service continues after B&H moves their shipping operation to southern New Jersey remains to be seen.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA


@UncleJoe wrote:
Is the equatorial mount the wedge that you are referring to? I have seen it listed as the wedge on one web site yet on others it is only listed as the equatorial mount, does $69 dollars sound right?
I like using B&H unfortunately living in New York grants me the wonderful distinction of having to pay sales tax when purchasing from them. In some situations such as this I can use the sales tax amount to pay for overnight shipping and still walk away with some savings. If you know of another vendor that is as reputable as B&H I would greatly appreciate the foresight!

Yes, that's the device.  The "wedge" is the generic astronomy term.  Basically it tilts the whole head over on angle to match your latitude on Earth.    Basically if your camera tripod was sitting on the north pole... then the axis of rotation would already be aligned with the Earth's axis.  As you move away from the north pole, your "level" tripod's azimuth rotation (if you think of your tripod like a gun-turret) no longer has an axis of rotation that is parallel to Earth's axis of rotation.  But if you were to tilt it on an angle... you could make it parallel.  The farther away you are from the North pole... the greater amount of til you'll need (if you were at the equator then you'd need a 90º tilt).

 

This is sometimes called an "equatorial wedge" or "equatorial mount" because the rotation "plane" is parallel to Earth's equator. But it's also sometimes called a "polar mount" or "polar wedge" because the "axis" is parallel to Earth's polar axis.  They are all different names referring to the same general type of thing.

 

There are telescope mounts that are called "equatorial mounts" because the concept of the "wedge" is built-in to the mount (it's not a separate device - it's part of the mount).

 

 

As for other vendors...

 

B&H Photo is possibly (probably) the largest camera store on the planet and they seem to have everything you could possibly imagine for photography.  For astronomy, however, they have a more limited seletion (they do carry some products ... just not as many).

 

The equivalent in the astronomy world is Oceanside Photo & Telescope (OPTcorp.com) ... but the downside is that they are located in Oceanside California ... so the shipping times are a lot longer unless you expedite and expediting is expensive.  But in the same way that B&H has "everything" that has to do with photography ... OPT seems to have "everything" to do with astronomy.

 

There are number of other stores and possibly one of the closer stores to use (east coast) that I've used is Skies Unlimited.  Unlike OPT, they don't necessarily carry "everything" (they handle several brand names... but not every brand name).  But they  DO handle both Sky Watcher brand and iOptron brand.   They are located in Pennsylvania (near Philly) so you'd probably get relatively fast delivery (you are likely within the 1-day shipping radius even for "ground") and you wouldn't have to pay sales tax.  

 

I've used them several times... they've been good to deal with an I've had no issues.

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

UncleJoe
Contributor
Thank you both once more! As TCampbell had mentioned I have gotten a bit off the original topic and it would be a crime for someone to miss out on all of this wonderful information, so I will discontinue with the questions on the astrophotography in this thread to honor all of your wisdom! I believe that I have come close to resolution on the basics anyway, at this point. So much more to learn but elsewhere.
To finish this out, I purchased both items from a Jersey firm named High Point Scientific they appeared to be reputable. The pricing was comparable and there was no sales tax. I am expecting to see the items before Thursday. Robert, B&H is typically a day away for myself as well, so I typically go with the free shipping option with them when I purchase through them. With B&H moving into Jersey perhaps I will be able to work around the sales tax issue.
I think that I am especially sensitive to the tax situation having had to pay my local school taxes today which have just reached the point of insanity! I apologize for that last statement, I believe that I just needed to vent! Thank you once again!

UncleJoe
Contributor
I am once again left in awe! After reading both of your last posts I find my thoughts spinning. Looking into the Adobe Photoshop program I see one choice after the next of which segment to choose. Then out of the blue I remember the words of someone saying (please forgive the misquote) "just go out and take some pictures"! I am sure that it will all click for me soon. I will take many photographs, shooting in the "P" setting, I will keep a journal and learn one day at a time. I promise that not a single word that has been shared here will be disregarded or forgotten. I will use this post for years to come as a guide to keep me moving forward, avoiding many stumbling blocks.
I have to say that I feel most honored! I feel as though I have, to my great fortune, stumbled into a class being taught by the Einstein, Da Vinvi and Democratus of the digital photographic world! In no way do I mean to detract from or diminish your predigital abilities, I am certain that your accomplishments there were just as great! It is just that this is the new media after all and there is just such a great deal to learn!
Three darkrooms is quite the accomplishment, I can tell that you devoted a great deal of time into your joy and then to have put it all behind you and transform your art form into the digital world shows your flexibility and obvious intellect! I don't mean for my praise to sound patronizing. I truly mean it as admiration for your accomplishments. And of course the same goes to all of you who helped a stranger on his path to realize a dream! Thank you, thank you so very much!
I hope that this does not sound odd but I find myself in hopes that this thread can continue, I have learned so incredibly much!

" I will take many photographs, shooting in the "P" setting,..."

 

You know the "P" stands for Professional ?

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

UncleJoe
Contributor
Well I guess I will keep my fingers crossed on this one with what I have read the return policy seems to be fairly liberal so if needed I will be able to do what is necessary. I saw this particular lens suggested several times on different posts and web sites so I felt as though it had been reasonably vetted. One article I read was a review of this very lens. The reviewer said that this lens sells around the world under about ten different names, so that kind of days it all. It is a real roll of the dice and I know that. I understand the basic rule that you get what you pay for, my reasoning for choosing this was to make an attempt at trying my hand in astrophotography. I guess that my hopes are to have this lens give me an idea of whether or not this is an investment of time and money that I wish to make or if this branch of photography is more than I want to take on at this time. If I went right out and bought the great lens I would never return it whether I liked it or not. In this way if it sits in the closet for the next year I will not feel guilty about it. I am grateful to you that you are willing to offer the counterpoint, that will help to keep me from making too many foolish errors! Unfortunately I have a closet full of those!
I am terribly sorry to hear of your addiction! I believe that I have a touch of that myself! I am quite sure that there is some type of 12 step program that can help you with this horrible disease! 🙂 Although my understanding is that admitting it is the first step so good for you!!
Thank you again for your help! At the very worst, I am not out a great deal!

I think I am on step 13.

 

What you need to look for is the IQ completely around the sample or test photo.  Most of the ones I have been involved with were pretty good at certain places in the shot but not all the way around.  It is called de-centered.  Rokinon don't get all the elements in the exact correct place.

 

Get a good one and you get a good one.  The guys that have been successful at this are astro-photographers.  That is the main use for one of these lenses.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!
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