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Upgrade recommendations from EOS Rebel XSi for Yellowstone trip



I am very new to Canon Community, I just signed up a trip to Yellow Stone in Sept, 24 and I thought I would upgrade my old camera before the trip.  I have EOS xsi and the lenses I have now are EF-S 55-250MM and EF-S 18-55MM.

There is a refreshed Canon EOS R5 C come with lens RF24-105mm F2.8 for just under $4000. Is it a good buy or I should just buy a newer version of camera itself and get induvial lens I need.  Is Lens RF24-105MM all I need for wildlife photos in distance? Is EOS R5 compatible with my existing EF-S lenses? 

Do I need a lens 70-200MM F2.8?

Thanks in advance for any advises.







Hi and welcome to the forum!
I will assume that you have a decent budget if you are prepared to get the R5c, which a very video centric camera.  This would really only be practical if you intended to do a lot of serious video work.
The camera you currently have is what is called an APS-C crop-sensor camera, and the lenses you have are specifically designed for that size of sensor, so again they would not be a good fit for the R5c which is a Full Frame sensor camera.

Would I be correct in saying that you are likely to be hoping to photograph scenery, geysers and wildlife?  If so, that is a fairly wide range of subjects. 
One other thing that would help to know is what you intend to produce?   That can have significant impact on the level of detail a camera sensor and lens must provide.  If you are going to output for social media, digital display and some moderate size prints, that is a lot less demanding that very large, detailed high-resolution prints.
Do you have any limitations on what you want to carry - some camera and lens combinations are very heavy and bulky.
If you can get back to us with that information, it will help us to help you.

cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

HI Trevor,

Thank you for your reply and detailed explanation. I appreciate it. It sounds to me that EOS R5c will not be a good choice. I am not interested in taking videos at all. 

I am intend to photograph scenery, wildlife while traveling. Some of the places I may only visit once in my life time such as Yellow Stone Safari trip. I want a fast shutter speed to freeze the motion of moving animals. Social Media posting is not my thing. I may interested to produce some moderate or larger size prints. Be a photographer at my friends wedding etc.

Since the current 2 lenses I have will not fit a new model, will you give me suggestions on what Lenses I should get and the EOS model that fit me? I did some basic research on lenses. As a beginner like me, I should have 3 lenses to cover most of my needs. I do have a decent budget saved for a great camera and accessories. 

24-70mm F 2.8


70-200mm F2.8

Thanks again.



Thank you for your prompt and helpful response.

Given all that  you have indicated, I would suggest the EOS R5 as a primary and R6MkII as a potential backup.  Both are brilliant Full Frame cameras with a lot of features that will target the benefits you need.  For weddings, a backup camera is critical.
- for wildlife and people, the advanced eye and face tracking are game-changers for focusing accuracy.
- both have IBIS (In-Body-Image-Stabilization) that work in conjunction with RF lenses to provide outstanding levels of stabilization for hand-held shooting.
- The sensors of these cameras: R5 at 45MP and R6 at 24MP, offer enhanced dynamic range and lower levels of noise compared to many DSLR models  Being full frame, they will offer better performance with wide-angle lenses, and in lenses with smaller f/stops to reduce DoF - particularly useful for portraits or events.
- both take the BG-R10 battery grip for extended energy supply, but significantly with a set of controls for use in rotating the camera to portrait mode.  That is extremely helpful when using telephoto lenses that are heavier and push the CofG away from the camera body.
I have been experimenting with shooting with the R5 1.6 crop mode (to emulate a APS-C sensor) to see how it performs in terms of image quality, and it has held up extremely well.

As to optics:
If you want to best quality optics then definitely going with RF lenses is the best path, and make the most of the bodies' features.  I would suggest that you have a look at the range of optics in the RF range - not RF-S.

As to subjects relating to focal length choices...  there are two issues here really.
You stated that your intention is to do scenery, wildlife while traveling and weddings.
Conventional wisdom suggests something in the wide angle end, and for the best bang for your buck I would recommend the RF 14-35 f/4L lens.  It is compact and light, and can take a filter (rather rare for that focal range).  I have personally bought it and can highly recommend it.  That would work well for travel as well - for images in buildings and constricted areas.

General purposes and weddings, I would go with the RF 24-105L f/4.  While there is some overlap with the previous unit, it gives you a great general purpose range for events for groups and even some portrait work.  Pairing with that there is the RF 70-200L.  You might get away with your current optic if it is at least the MkII version, and hopefully has image stabilization.  You would need the EF-RF adapter.
Wildlife covers a wide range of subjects, but generally requires super long telephotos. If you want to consider a great optic, the brand new RF 200-800 IS USM is a great choice.  It is not an L optic, but that is not an indication of optical performance, which is outstanding, but more that fact that it does not have the level of weather sealing of L lenses - if it was an L, it would be likely significantly more expensive.
So, to summarize:
Body:  R5 and/or R6II
RF 14-35L, (scenic and travel);  24-105 f/4, for general use and some portraits
Either keep the EF 70-200 II (or III) IS, or get the RF 70-200L, or even consider the RF100-500L for events or some wildlife
For serious wildlife the RF 200-800
While that is four lenses, the RF 200-800 is not likely to be in your average kit.
I have used all of these lenses and bodies and can attest to their quality.

I hope this is helpful, and if you have any questions I am happy to respond.

cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

Good morning Trevor,

Thank you for your detailed summaries. It really helped me on choose the right equipment that is right for me. I read your message 6 times to be honest to make sure I didn't miss any important sentence.

You wrote  "get the RF 70-200L or even consider the RF100-500L", If budget allows me to get RF100-500L, that should be a better choice over RF 70-200L? My thought is if RF100-500L will fulfill most of my needs (event, wildlife, weddings), it will prevent me to keep on adding more lenses in the future.

What else accessories do I need to complete the package? Do I need Lens hood? If I do, which one? 


Do you anticipate only needing certain lenses for this trip? Do you foresee going on such trips not too often? If so, you may want to consider renting lenses for the trip.

An RF 70-200 f/2.8 L (is that the one you're referring to?) would be very good for event and weddings.  Especially when paired up with the 24-70 f/2.8 L and perhaps the 15-35 f/2.8 L as well.

The RF 100-500 wouldn't be too useful at events and weddings, IMO since it would really have too much reach and wouldn't do too well in lower-light scenarios since it's widest aperture is f/4.5.  Once zoomed in a bit to around 200mm, my guess is the aperture would close down to around f/5 or narrower.  So an f/2.8 lens would be letting in around 3 times the amount of light.

In terms of lens hoods, most L-series lenses do come with them.  But if you're picking up a lens that omits an included lens hood, search for that lens on Canon's products page and then check out the Accessories section for that lens.


Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

HI Ricky,

I hope the Yellow Stone safari trip is just the beginning of the adventures. I do see more trips like this coming up.

I meant RF 70-200mm F4 L. Not only F2.8 is too expensive but it is also too heavy for me to pack and travel. 


I agree and sympathize with your reservations.
There is a lot of hype about f/2.8 aperture, but unless you really, really need that extra f/stop, as I observed, one pays in terms of cost, bulk and weight a significant amount.   I had the EF 70-200 II IS USM f/2.8 and sold it as I rarely used it and it is, as you say, a bit of a howitzer.  I retained the f/4 MkII version of that optic because it is MUCH lighter and less bulky and it does all that I need from that focal range - and it works perfection via the EF-RF adapter with my R-series bodies. 
So, I would be more than comfortable in suggesting a suite a lenses that max out at f/4 aperture for wide-moderate telephoto work.  Wildlife lenses don't fit into that category unless one wants to spend literally tens of thousands of dollars and carry significant weight - and I suspect neither of us is in that category.
The challenge for wildlife is reach and here I consider your comment about Yellowstone being the beginning  - for that, 200mm is way too short and 500mm I would consider a minimum.  One must try to get as close as possible to a subject, but there are limitations in this - small animals may feel threatened and take off (e.g. birds) but for large mammals - consider bison, moose, bears, you need to maintain a respectful safe distance for both your and their sake, and to avoid them attacking you.  Even doing whale watching, there are requirements that vessels do not attempt to get closer than about 200m from one (although it doesn't stop them getting closer by choice).  So focal length become significant.  That comes with weight, especially for larger sensor cameras - and here we come to the cliche that the best camera is the one you are prepared to carry.

There is a solution that I wish I could recommend for Canon, but I honestly can't.  Sony make the RX-10 MkIV bridge super tele zoom camera, using a 20MP BSI/Stacked 1" sensor and a brilliant Zeiss stabilized optic with an equivalent focal range of 24-600mm, expandable through AI to 1200mm. It has face and eye tracking and a huge collection of other features, that even after 7 years make it top in its class.  It takes amazing images, and I have one - it is incredibly light, and compact.  So, if you are intent on travel but without the bulk, weight and cost of a large sensor system and associated optics, then it's worthwhile considering.   I really, really wish Canon had an equivalent but they don't - the closest they came was the Canon PowerShot GIIIX that was not a patch on it and I think is no longer available.

cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris


You have described your trip as a Yellowstone safari trip. Does this mean that it will be a guided trip?

The reason I ask is that, if it Is a guided trip, then the guide will probably have designated stops, not leaving you time to get out and take photographs every time you see something interesting. 

The thing that people don't realize about Yellowstone, is that it's not the distances from one point to the next that are the issue, it's the speed you are allowed to travel. For most of the time, because of the nature of the terrain, you can only drive at about 35 mph. and a lot of times, even less. Traveling from one side of the Park to the other will take you all day. Driving at 20mph, 100 miles is a 5 hour drive. The Park may look small on a map, but it is immense, and 100 miles as the crow flies, turns into three or four times that distance on narrow, twisting roads.

You are smart to take the weight of your camera gear into consideration. There will be a lot walking involved.

Steve Thomas

Hi Karen:
Thanks for your response and questions.

I am not sure what you mean by the comment that the RF 100-500L will 'prevent' you from adding lenses in the future.  The intent was to give you as comprehensive a range as possible, but there is nothing to stop you getting other optics that may have features lacking in the current Canon (or other) makers' lineups.

Basically, I have been trying to give you a fairly unbroken range of focal ranges from the very wide angle through to the very long telephoto, keeping in mind you said you "as a beginner like me, I should have 3 lenses to cover most of my needs."
Your needs indicated being events, travel, wildlife
So, with the 14-35L f/4, and the 24-105L f/4: you have excellent super wide to moderate telephoto coverage.  I have both of these and the provide a good value set of optics for this range.  The RF15-35 f/2.8 is a much more expensive, bulkier and heavier option that will not directly take a filter and I bought the Rf14-35 f/4 because I had no need for that one stop of extra aperture on a super wide angle lens that is going to generate pretty massive depth of field because of the short focal lengths.   You pay a premium in both cost, bulk and weight to go from an f/4 lens to an f/2.8 one.
For events and portraits, conventionally many people go with the 70-200 f/2.8 L for the wide aperture that allows isolation of subjects through shallow Depth of Field (DoF).

That leaves you with wildlife, and here much depends on what kinds of wildlife, how you will travel (impacting weight and bulk considerations) and how often you are likely to embark on such adventures.

So, this is where I see some options creeping into the mix.
If we continue on to simply add to the focal range for wildlife, then the RF 200-800 is a brilliant choice.  It is not lightweight, at approximately 2kg (4.4)lb.
I offered the RF 100-500 as an option because you may not need the reach and it is only 1400g (3lb) in weight.
If we separate out the wildlife from all other activities, I would go with the 200-800 as a more specialist optic for the job.

All of the lenses I have suggested come with lens hoods, and they all use a common filter thread of 77mm, except the RF200-800 that has an 95mm filter thread.

There is another alternative, and that is to start of with a much less ambitious selection and get to to know the camera before investing in a range of optics.   If I was to suggest just one lens to begin with, it would be the RF 24-240 f/4-6.3, which is a brilliant general purpose super-zoom lens.  It is not an L lens, so not weather sealed, but the optics are excellent and results are are comparable to the 24-105 f/4, except that it is not a constant f/4 lens.
It would make a great travel lens for its ability to be a one-stop solution to most needs.  That lens does not come with a hood, but there are both Canon original (EW-78F) and 3rd party hoods available.  It will be great for travel with one lens as long as you don't want to shoot serious wildlife (like small birds or large mammals) with it.

As Rick and I have both suggested, for a one-off trip to Yellowstone, you could consider renting the 200-800L, but I am not sure of the cost of that in the USA.

cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
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