I have taken over 25,000 photos with my Canon Rebel XSi and have had it for about 5 years. It has traveIed over 60,000 miles and has absolutely seen better days. I have purchased some lenses and started to begin making large prints.
When do I upgrade?
How much do I upgrade?
I am willing to spend $1,000 on a body.
Do I buy a nice used?
or a fresh new?
I am leaving for europe in 2 weeks and am seeking advice.
Examples of photos I take:
That's up to you, there is no objective answer. Asking online you're going to talk to an abnormal distribution of people that are gear-dependent/enthusiasts; they tend to encourage upgrading. Which is fine, if you have money to spend and want to upgrade, then go for it.
However, it sounds to me more like you want to upgrade, than need. You mention how old your camera is, and how far it's traveled, but you don't mention any shortcomings. Is your camera limiting your photography somehow? Is it unreliable? Are there features on modern cameras that you need? I'd say that the "when", is when you answer yes to those.
The XSi is perfectly capable of making large prints; to an extent. I too took mine around the world, and put over 100,000 actuations and many many miles packed into an over-full backpack. It's still clicking. I upgraded out of want over need as well. My XSi made me enough money to pay for all my equipment and I had money to spare, so I eventually upgraded to full frame and made up a list of reasons why I needed it. I didn't, but I don't regret the upgrade.
I digress, but my point was stated. Personally I think that lenses are more important than cameras, but no doubt a modern camera would be a nice upgrade from an XSi. But you can answer which camera without answering what you'd like to improve in your XSi.
I appreciate the feedback! I can definitely see your point of view and greatly appreciate it. It is wise advice and your travels resonate with me.
Here are some things I fear with my XSi
I only ask to not combat your point, but to seek more insight on how I can fix these.
with only 12.2 MP I feel that when I enlargemy photos I am missing a great deal of detail.
I feel as if the contrast the XSi provides is no great (this could just be lighting)
Shutter speed is low
Most of my night photos are grainy due to my low ISO settings paired with my MP's
Thanks again Skirball for the insight!
-I'm using 30D 8mpx and I can make large print 16x20 for client just fine with some post processing. How large are you looking forward to print?
-There are many different factor for lack of contrast in your image such as low contrast lighting, using cheap filter, cheap lens, etc.
-Shutter speed has nothing to do with your camera. You'll need a faster lens or bump up the ISO which lead to the next point.
-Photos are grainy because you're using high ISO not because of your megapixel like you thought. Upgrading to newer camera may give you a tiny bit better high ISO performance but it will not get rid of the problem completely.
In short, I think you should keep your current camera and upgrade to a better lens which can solve almost all of your shortcoming.
I had a 50mm f/1.8 which was so cheap it broke
standard kit lens
70-300mm lens f/4-5.6
however I have played with
Sigma 70-200 lens
canon 28mm fixed
Lenses are going to do more for your photography than a new camera - except if you need video. I'd look at either a Canon 50mm f/1.4 or the Sigma. 50mm is a great focal length on crop sensor camera, IMHO.
I'm not sure how much the Sigma 10-20 goes for, but I can vouch for the Canon 10-22 being a fantastic lens. It's not fast though, so it won't help in a dark situation.