First off, I know that I don’t post regularly on Photography, but there are a few (long) questions that are going to be after the jump. This photo I took is probably the best of my two week holiday.

I love the light balance of this (it’s evening in France in this picture), the path down the Normandy coastline cliffs to the sea, and two married friends who are able to share that, even with both having reduced mobility (As I likely will when I get older).

So here’s the after the jump stuff. I’m starting to be a little more frustrated at my 8 year old Canon DSLR (Rebel XSi). Yes, it has served quite well for the last 8 years, and I’ve taken over 8000 shots with it (not all are as good as this). I firmly believe in the idea that a bad camera can take good pictures (and they can, since I have some good potatocam snaps). However, I furthermore believe that the job of the equipment is not to get in the way of taking pictures that you are proud of.

Like this:


And on holiday, the equipment started to get in the way. So here’s what’s in the bag.

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi (APS-C DSLR)
Canon EF-S 18-55 kit lens f/3.5-5.6
Canon EF Plastic Fantastic 50mm f/1.8
Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L telezoom (Bought this new, love this lens even without IS)

I didn’t bring a tripod with me. I had enough stuff to carry with, and so it didn’t go. This is where things went wacky.


I am loathe to increase the ISO setting on the camera as this particular sensor isn’t exactly good in low light (I think it’s bad), so I compensated with the IS kit lens and the plastic fantastic for indoor use. This meant the inside of cathedrals (specifically Reims and Cologne). However, even with the lens open, I had shutter speeds slowing down to 1/4 sec, and that gets hard to hold still. I had to choose shots and set the meter mode appropriately, and it did teach me some things (which is a good thing)

I’d like to upgrade to another Canon body (I’m very happy with the lenses, but this is my first camera, so I knew I wasn’t getting top of the line 8 years ago), and while I know it’s very expensive, I’d like to go 5D or 6D full frame cameras, as opposed to a crop body.

The main goal of this is to get better handheld low light performance, without requiring the camera to have a ton of noise from the settings (I’m sure the technology is light years ahead of where it was 8 years ago). Aside from use on holiday, I normally am outdoors shooting moving cars (and hence why I love the 70-200 lens).


I had to give up some shots that were in the moment due to the equipment and environment limitations (Could I have used a different lens? Probably. Did I have the lens that you would use in the conditions I had? Probably not.), and that hurt knowing that I can’t get those back, and that they only exist in my mind.

Am I completely out of my mind for getting ready to drop up to $2500 on a camera? I am willing to buy used, if that makes any difference.