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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

July 23, 2011

So it was time to put the Canon 30D to pasture.  It had been my workhorse, but it was time to step up.

When stepping up to a new camera, I had to make some decisions about what was important to me and what bugged me about my last rig.  I only do this every 3-4 years, so whatever I bought I was going to have live with for a while.

Two things were the biggest annoyances for me:  Size of the image and dust.

My experience with not being able to make an image large enough to satisfy a publisher was why size of image was an annoyance.  They wanted an 8.5″ x 11″ image at 300 dpi (or approximately 2550×3300 on the file size).  My 30D couldn’t do that.  But getting to that size of the image was not going to be a problem for the replacement because the dSLR world has gone well past 8 Megapixels (Mps) in the five years since the 30D was introduced.  Most of the manufacturers were sporting closer to 18Mp, meaning those file specs would not be a problem to meet.

Dust was my other problem.  Since I hurt my hand a few years back, I do not have a steady touch when it comes to holding things like sensor brushes.  As such, that meant I went much longer between sessions with the mirror flipped up to get the gunk off.  Whatever I replaced the 30D with needed to have something that did things reasonably automatically so I didn’t have to spend so much time trying to hunt for dust particles.  Thankfully most cameras on the market today do employ some degree of active dust removal through shaking the sensor.

So with those basic elements existing in pretty much every camera that was out there, then I had to go about picking what it was I was going to buy.

First, manufacturer.  Really a no brainer for me.  Canon has not disappointed me with their offerings over the years.  And I have a ton of Canon lenses.  So sorry Nikon, Sony, and the rest.  I’m staying Canon.

Next, new or used?  There are lots of decent factory refurbished bodies on the market.  But when it comes to cameras, I want to know where that camera has been from day one.  So off the chart goes used.

Then it is a matter of which body.  There are three cameras that I contemplated from Canon’s stable of dSLR’s.  The Canon 7D, the Canon 60D, and the Canon Rebel T3i.

I had the good fortune to have had all three cameras in my hand over the last few months.  A good friend in the Concho Valley Photography Club had all three bodies in his possession at one time or another over the last nine months and he allowed me the opportunity to hold each one and make a few images.  Of the three, the T3i was the one that did not feel very good in my hands.  Just a little too small for my large hands.  Off the list it went.

The 7D and 60D both felt good in my hands, though the 7D was a little heavier and that was a consideration though not a show stopper.

After some deep digging on the specs and looking at sample images, I was convinced that both the 7D and 60D would have met my needs and desires. Going back to my penchant of being cheap, I of course looked at the price tags.  $999 for the 60D.  $1699 for 7D and $999 for the 60D.  I couldn’t justify an additional $700 for the 7D so I went with the 60D.

There were certainly things I liked better on the 7D.  The performance and speed on the 7D was a little better, and the 100% magnification and full view finder was a neat extra.  The quasi-waterproofing was nice, but the extra weight of the body was the trade-off so there was no advantage there.  The ISO performance was better on the 7D, but the 60D is so far superior in that aspect compared to the 30D that I’m happy with the reduced workload I anticipate with the 60D.

So I brought my new baby home earlier this week.  I’ve made a few test shots, but will take it out for a good run sometime this weekend.  I’ll bring the 30D as well, but it will be relegated to being my backup body.  I’ll have my initial review out in a couple of weeks or so.  Wish me luck.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 23, 2011 12:28 pm

    Congrats on the new camera! Thanks for your thought process. Lately, I’ve been spending my time looking at upgrading from my 40D. I don’t need the pro features as much, so I’m actually considering the T2i. I think I want a hi-res LCD screen more than anything else.

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