Canon 350D: does it still stand up to the competition?

Started Jul 26, 2013 | Questions
archagon
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Canon 350D: does it still stand up to the competition?
Jul 26, 2013

I'm going on a trip around the world soon, and I'd like to upgrade my photo equipment. I have an old Canon Digital Rebel XT (350D), and my initial thought was to just buy a < $350 new lens. (I'd love to spend more, but I'm on a tight budget.) However, a few folks on the Photography StackExchange have suggested that the 350D isn't even as good as the current iPhone, and that I'd be better off selling the body and buying an all-in-one. Now, I'm very much an amateur photographer, and I haven't had an opportunity to compare different bodies, but it seems to me that the 350D is still a whole lot better than my iPhone 4 as well as the Canon SX50 suggested in one of the answers. But I'm not too sure.

Ignoring the lower resolution and limited ISO settings, do you think the 350D still compares favorably to modern cameras (all-in-ones, the 650D, the most recent iPhone) in terms of image quality, or does it no longer make sense to keep using it?

Thank you!

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Canon EOS 350D (EOS Digital Rebel XT / EOS Kiss Digital N) Canon EOS 650D (EOS Rebel T4i / EOS Kiss X6i)
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wave01
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Re: Canon 350D: does it still stand up to the competition?
In reply to archagon, Jul 26, 2013

can i ask how much do you use the 350d normally

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archagon
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Re: Canon 350D: does it still stand up to the competition?
In reply to wave01, Jul 26, 2013

Whenever I go on a trip, so maybe once a month. But I intend to use it much more often when I hit the road.

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R2D2
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Re: Canon 350D: does it still stand up to the competition?
In reply to archagon, Jul 26, 2013

archagon wrote:

my initial thought was to just buy a < $350 new lens.

What lenses do you currently have?

it seems to me that the 350D is still a whole lot better than my iPhone 4 as well as the Canon SX50 suggested in one of the answers.

Your Rebel will still take as high quality pictures as the day you bought it.  If you still like the results, then you're good to go.

Ignoring the lower resolution and limited ISO settings, do you think the 350D still compares favorably to modern cameras (all-in-ones, the 650D, the most recent iPhone) in terms of image quality, or does it no longer make sense to keep using it?

The 650D would be a step up in image quality and also allow more cropping (thus increasing your "zoom" factor).

It's also a more capable camera (better AF, processor, speed, etc), and would also be more fun to use.

R2

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DanCee
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Re: Canon 350D: does it still stand up to the competition?
In reply to archagon, Jul 26, 2013

archagon wrote:

I'm going on a trip around the world soon, and I'd like to upgrade my photo equipment. I have an old Canon Digital Rebel XT (350D), and my initial thought was to just buy a < $350 new lens. (I'd love to spend more, but I'm on a tight budget.) However, a few folks on the Photography StackExchange have suggested that the 350D isn't even as good as the current iPhone, and that I'd be better off selling the body and buying an all-in-one. Now, I'm very much an amateur photographer, and I haven't had an opportunity to compare different bodies, but it seems to me that the 350D is still a whole lot better than my iPhone 4 as well as the Canon SX50 suggested in one of the answers. But I'm not too sure.

Ignoring the lower resolution and limited ISO settings, do you think the 350D still compares favorably to modern cameras (all-in-ones, the 650D, the most recent iPhone) in terms of image quality, or does it no longer make sense to keep using it?

Thank you!

I believe 350D is still a capable camera.  I'm not sure how much do you normally use your camera, but if you're happy with current result then you're good to go.  New lens is the better option for you if you only have kit lens.  Say that you get extra zoom lens to compliment your current lens.

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zigi_S
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Re: Canon 350D: does it still stand up to the competition?
In reply to archagon, Jul 26, 2013

A small sensor especialy as small as that in the iphone will never reach the quality of your apsc camera. As long as the sensors are made out of silicon that is. But certainly it would be best for you to upgrade. Especialy because of focusing issues on older cameras.

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photonius
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Re: Canon 350D: does it still stand up to the competition?
In reply to archagon, Jul 26, 2013

archagon wrote:

I'm going on a trip around the world soon, and I'd like to upgrade my photo equipment. I have an old Canon Digital Rebel XT (350D), and my initial thought was to just buy a < $350 new lens. (I'd love to spend more, but I'm on a tight budget.) However, a few folks on the Photography StackExchange have suggested that the 350D isn't even as good as the current iPhone, and that I'd be better off selling the body and buying an all-in-one. Now, I'm very much an amateur photographer, and I haven't had an opportunity to compare different bodies, but it seems to me that the 350D is still a whole lot better than my iPhone 4 as well as the Canon SX50 suggested in one of the answers. But I'm not too sure.

Ignoring the lower resolution and limited ISO settings, do you think the 350D still compares favorably to modern cameras (all-in-ones, the 650D, the most recent iPhone) in terms of image quality, or does it no longer make sense to keep using it?

Thank you!

a dslr is still better than an iphone.

what lenses do you have?

all current bodies (except the new 70D) use a similar  18Mp sensor. If you can find a second hand 550D (T2i), which is the first rebel with that sensor, you might get it reasonably price. or a 600D.

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Rob Bernhard
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Re: Canon 350D: does it still stand up to the competition?
In reply to archagon, Jul 26, 2013

I still use a 350D almost every single day (during lunch-hour photo walks).  I have 11x17" prints from the files.  I shoot only RAW and process in Lightroom or DPP.  Aside from some occasional auto-focus hunting with variable aperture zoom lenses, I don't plan on discarding the camera until it gives up the ghost.

If your budget is limited, and depending on what lenses you currently own a new lens may be the right choice.  However, don't forget an extra battery, and plenty of CF cards and/or a way to backup the images while you're traveling.

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Aaron Sur
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Re: Canon 350D: does it still stand up to the competition?
In reply to Rob Bernhard, Jul 27, 2013

before anything else I am assuming that you have the efs 18-55 zoom without image stabilization.Also taking into account your budget and practicality of gear for extended travel.

A small sensor "prosumer" compact camera with IS will beat this lens on your camera anyday.Forget about the DXO ratings for sensors etc the fact is with the lens stabilized you will be keeping the ISO lower and therfore have cleaner images. I replaced a Nikon D70 with the kit 18-70 with an Olympus XZ-1 a couple of years ago. My wife has a EOS 400D with the 18-55kit and the Olympus beats it at lower ISO's every time, its only with low light and the 50 1.8 that the Canon takes the lead again. Take a look at any of the nice compacts that shoot RAW , today I would probably go for a G15, metal body fast lens and VIDEO.We still have the Canon for Telephoto work . Three images below to show the versatility of these compacts. First image below is in a museum with available light.All shot hand held.

Aaron

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JimMc
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Re: Canon 350D: does it still stand up to the competition?
In reply to archagon, Jul 27, 2013

archagon wrote:

I'm going on a trip around the world soon, and I'd like to upgrade my photo equipment. I have an old Canon Digital Rebel XT (350D), and my initial thought was to just buy a < $350 new lens. (I'd love to spend more, but I'm on a tight budget.) However, a few folks on the Photography StackExchange have suggested that the 350D isn't even as good as the current iPhone, and that I'd be better off selling the body and buying an all-in-one. Now, I'm very much an amateur photographer, and I haven't had an opportunity to compare different bodies, but it seems to me that the 350D is still a whole lot better than my iPhone 4 as well as the Canon SX50 suggested in one of the answers. But I'm not too sure.

Ignoring the lower resolution and limited ISO settings, do you think the 350D still compares favorably to modern cameras (all-in-ones, the 650D, the most recent iPhone) in terms of image quality, or does it no longer make sense to keep using it?

Thank you!

I still use my XT with good results. Attach a high quality lens and your good to go.

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shutterbug nut
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Re: Canon 350D: does it still stand up to the competition?
In reply to archagon, Jul 28, 2013

Yes,

Mega-pixels-smega-pixels, this camera is very capable.  If you are willing to do without some of the latest features/bells & whistles of the latest and greatest, the image quality will be mostly limited by the photographer.

Sure, you'll have some limitations like the low light capability, smaller review screen, less fps, etc.  In adept hands and working within or around the known limitations, this camera is more than capable of outstanding images.

The one concern I would have with this camera is the age and the amount of previous usage.  Like any electronic device, they can and do fail.

Btw, my first DSLR was this camera and I wouldn't hesitate to use it today if I still owned it.

As far as an iPhone making better quality images, I don't think so....  My iPhone 4s is capable, but it's limited and trust me those pixels from the Rebel look a lot better than anything the iPhone can produce.

Just my 2 cents,

Roger

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Digirame
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Re: Canon 350D: does it still stand up to the competition?
In reply to archagon, Jul 28, 2013

I never used a Canon 350D, but it probably was similar to my 8mp and 10mp Olympus DSLR cameras (that I still occasionally use).  However, I upgraded to two 18mp Canon DSLR cameras.  You might want to do the same.  The old cameras can take excellent pictures, but if you want the latest, I think that you would be very happy with a Canon T4i (650D) or Canon T5i (700D) camera.  For fun, I took pictures with an old 4mp Olympus camera that I bought for five dollars (USD) at a recycle center last December, and showed them on the Olympus Compact Camera Talk Forum (the thread is still there on page one).  So, yes...even a 4mp camera can take great pictures...but there's so much more we can do with an up-to-date 18mp DSLR camera.  With my Canon T2i (550D) I use ISO3200 and more a lot, especially when taking pictures of birds under the trees and in cloudy conditions.  The higher ISO levels also work great when you want to take pictures at night along city streets, but still want sufficient shutter speed so that the people walking nearby on not blurred.

Here's one of my hummingbird pictures that I took last March at ISO4000.

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Flying Fish
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Pay careful attention to what Shutterbug Nut said
In reply to archagon, Jul 28, 2013

About the age of your camera.  Actually, if I were going around the world--even partway--I would have at least 2, if not 3 camera bodies with me.  My Canon 7D failed when I was on a trip to Colorado once and I was out of luck, because I had no backup.  And the 7D was a lot newer then than your 350D is now.  It's still a lot newer.  The advantages of the newer cameras go beyond image quality as well; bigger, brighter, higher-resolution LCD screens; better autofocus (the T2i has much faster more accurate AF, especially in AI Servo, than the XT or 350D); easier better user interface; faster burst rate; and so on.  You could probably get a 550D (T2i) for $300 or so. And also the newer EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 with IS is much better than the pre-IS kit lens.  I would strongly recommend upgrading.

FF

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R2D2
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Re: Pay careful attention to what Shutterbug Nut said
In reply to Flying Fish, Jul 28, 2013

Flying Fish wrote:

About the age of your camera. Actually, if I were going around the world--even partway--I would have at least 2, if not 3 camera bodies with me. My Canon 7D failed when I was on a trip to Colorado once and I was out of luck, because I had no backup. And the 7D was a lot newer then than your 350D is now. It's still a lot newer. The advantages of the newer cameras go beyond image quality as well; bigger, brighter, higher-resolution LCD screens; better autofocus (the T2i has much faster more accurate AF, especially in AI Servo, than the XT or 350D); easier better user interface; faster burst rate; and so on. You could probably get a 550D (T2i) for $300 or so. And also the newer EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 with IS is much better than the pre-IS kit lens. I would strongly recommend upgrading.

+1 FF

Good points.

R2

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photosen
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Your 7 year old camera still beats any current phone
In reply to archagon, Jul 28, 2013

It's about the size of the sensor and how high the ISO can go, or with which ISO you feel comfortable; lenses are another factor.

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Case_
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Re: Canon 350D: does it still stand up to the competition?
In reply to archagon, Aug 3, 2013

I've been shooting with 350D extensively for the last six years or so, it's been my only "real" camera. Just week ago I've finally decided to retire it (well, to dedicate it to IR and astrophotography) and bought myself a nice new 600D.

Can I see much difference in my photos? Truth be told, not really. Even though it's old, 350D is still a very nice and very capable camera which, in a way, feels like a part of my body after such a long time using it quite frequently.

However, I do see improvements in other areas. The 600D feels much nicer in hand overall (it's kinda hard to describe, and also it might be quite subjective). That hires screen is great for reviewing shots on the go. Live view can help you shoot more comfortably in certain situations and therefore hold your camera better, especially combined with the articulated screen, reducing camera shake and therefore helping you to get more shots. The high ISO performance is also better - not night and day difference, no, but still nice to have, IMO, and I can actually get a usable shot with ISO 6400 (compared to so-so ISO 3200 with fw hack on 350D), so again, less wasted shots. And since I bought the IS II kit lens as well, it's actually my first lens/camera combo with IS, which I really love (I shoot a lot of low light stuff, but can't afford better lenses). Speaking of ISO - the auto ISO thing is also quite nice to have. Shooting videos is also a nice feature you never really miss until you get a chance to use it. And then there's of course Magic Lantern...

Downsides? Sure, there are some. I only shoot RAW, and the files seem huge to me on 600D. In low light, they're easily around 25-30MB each, compared to 7-8MB with 350D. Which brings the need to have significantly more storage available for archiving. Storage might be cheaper nowadays, but it's not THAT cheaper. I can see it'll still cost me to upgrade my storage space just to keep up with the bigger files from 600D. Also, bigger files means the postprocess is slower and your PC works harder. So it's not that there are not some cons as well.

Anyway, as I've said - there's not THAT much difference in the final images. I think that if I shot the same photo with the same lens on both 350D and 600D and then put it through my usual workflow and resized the picture from 600D to match the 350D, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference. BUT with 600D, shooting it would be a much more pleasant experience overall. It's as they say - the camera does not make the work for the photographer, but it makes it easier for him. And I feel it's exactly like that when comparing 350D and 600D (in my case).

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canont3guy
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Re: Canon 350D: does it still stand up to the competition?
In reply to archagon, Dec 17, 2013

Hi

I bought the canon t3 to upgrade from my XT but noticed in daylight that the XT produces better quality images.

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Kitacanon
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Re: Canon 350D: does it still stand up to the competition?
In reply to archagon, Dec 17, 2013

If you don't enlarge/crop much, then the XT has plenty enough pixels...filling the frame, of course, takes discipline.

The IS version of the 18-55 is indeed better optically and the IS allows you to take pix in lower light and still get 'steady-sharp' images.

If you don't shoot video, then the cheapest significant upgrade to my mind is the 450D...for about $200-250 you get a very nice 12mp sensor AND the IS 18-55...

You would get a MUCH brighter/bigger viewfinder (bigger/brighter than some of even newer Rebels)...the ability to shoot RAW files, and auto-sensor cleaning....having owned both, I think the XSI is the best cost efficient upgrade...if you don't shoot video.

...and definitely take a back-up PnS camera on any trip...

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Rock and Rollei
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Re: Canon 350D: does it still stand up to the competition?
In reply to Kitacanon, Dec 17, 2013

If you want to upgrade, replacing the camera in this case will make a lot more difference than replacing the lens. Here's something that I wrote elsewhere that particularly applies as the 8MP test camera that was used was the 350D:

"Myth No. 14 - the lens is more important than the sensor

I’ve no idea how this one started, but it really does dominate now – almost everyone will automatically say that the lens makes more difference than a change of sensor. But why? What makes them think that? Where’s the evidence to support it?

It’s true, of course, that in film days, the camera body made precious little difference to quality – it was the lens and film that counted. In the digital age, though, the film has been replaced by the sensor, and resolution is a product of both lens quality and sensor quality. So we see already that the comment that the lens is more important than the camera in the digital age is pure baloney… but let’s go a little further.

Check test results of a typical kit lens, the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS v the very much more expensive EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS on www.photozone.de, a reputable review site – they have tested both lenses on both 8MP and 15MP sensors. There’s certainly a resolution advantage with the more expensive lens (ten times the price, as it happens), but the kit lens on the better sensor produces significantly more resolution than the expensive lens on the 8MP sensor. Sure, on the same sensor the better lens is always, well, better, but a cheaper upgrade that would produce more resolution for someone with an 8MP camera and a kit lens would be to upgrade the camera, not the lens. I’ve never seen any evidence to support the “lens makes more difference” theory, yet here we have proof that at least in some cases, the sensor can make more difference…"

Upgrading to an 18MP sensor will give more advantages yet. Of course, if you could upgrade both...

Newer models are also very much nicer to use than the 350D, which suffers from being pretty much a first-generation consumer DSLR, albeit the second iteration of one. Larger screens, dust removal, live view and so on really do help.

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