Best bang for $1000

Started Jan 11, 2013 | Questions thread
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Whitty
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Best bang for $1000
Jan 11, 2013

I am an amateur with about 6 years using SLRs, and know my way around manual settings, exposure etc. I mostly photograph my young kids, as they are always there and I don't get much time to practice anything much in my favored type of shots; Urban, still life, portraits (kids are more candids, they don't stop) city-scape etc.

I have been given $1000 as a present and want to buy some kit that I will really notice the difference in the colour depth, sharpness and dynamic range, boke etc of my pictures.

I have a 450D and a nifty 50 which I use most as it is my best lens, though the 18-50 isn't too bad and has image stabalization. My main problem with the nifty50 is I always wish it was a bit wider angle for indoor pictures. I use my 55-250 rarely but it's great when I use it outdoors etc.

Given that I don't often have the time or often room to use my tripod (even though it creates some great results when I do) and I need something a bit more wide/versatile while being still fairly fast, I was leaning towards the 17-50 f2.8.

I need to be quick indoors to catch the kids in low light and this would fit the bill. I also considered the 15-85 f4-5.6 but thought it might be a bit slow for indoors. But perhaps if I upgraded to a 650d the higher ISO would compensate and I would get a little more versatility. If the lens is sharpest at f4.5 then better high ISO would give me more options.

I generally don't like the ISO above 400, 800 in some situations on the 450D.

The other idea was a fast prime at 30 or 35 mm to replace the 50mm.

I realize a flash and tripod would give some great results but the reality is I prefer to be more mobile. I also feel too posey or try-hard getting all this gear out, I want to remain more stealthy and subtle, not in your face 'this is a shoot'!

1. Would I see better image quality by the 17-50 f2.8 than the nifty50? Would it be a better buy than say the 30mm f2 or something.

2. Compared to my nifty50, using the same 450d would I think 'wow, that really is sharper and the colours and bokeh blow my old lens away' with either of the two above.

3. Would I see more benefit with the better high ISO of a later model camera than my 450D?

I suppose my priority is

1. Sharpness / IQ

2. Goes wider than 50mm

3. Wide apature / Better High ISO / IS

What camera/lens combo will give me optimum low light shadow detail and sharpness and colour depth and bokeh at about 35mm APS for $1000?

 Whitty's gear list:Whitty's gear list
Canon EOS 450D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3
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Canon EOS 450D (EOS Rebel XSi / EOS Kiss X2) Canon EOS 650D (EOS Rebel T4i / EOS Kiss X6i)
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