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Wednesday, 11 June 2008


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Boy, that's one ugly truck.

"And don't kid yourself—in-lens IS is only better for telephotos. Long telephotos."

I'm glad someone finally had the guts to put this out there in black and white.

Wow, I wonder if this means Canon is coming out with an upgraded version sometime soon?

Either way, great news.

"Boy, that's one ugly truck."

Practical, though. It will carry six bags of groceries with ease, or a full-sized set of golf clubs. And it's just the thing for carving up those winding country roads on a devil-may-care weekend outing.

Something like 2 out of 3 pickup truck owners in America *never* carry anything in the bed of the truck or tow anything behind it. The truck is just an expression of personal style. I don't understand how people drive such things without feeling constant acute embarrassment, but then, I've often established that I'm completely out of touch.

Mike J.

P.S. And I'd probably better shut up before I offend everybody who drives a pickup truck.


People buy pickups because they are cheaper than cars.

"And don't kid yourself—in-lens IS is only better for telephotos. Long telephotos"

That doesn't seem to be the conclusion of this set of tests, which I believe you posted about...


Maybe you have a different definition of long telephoto than I do.

I'm still getting by on my first and only Dslr, the 20D, which I've had for almost four years now. I guess that's an age in the digital world.

I grew up thinking that trucks are for working. When I see a huge pickup (or SUV variant) that's clean and immaculate, obviously being used as personal transportation, I find it strange. They should be muddy and dirty. Why drive an ill-handling, bouncy, often noisy vehicle that's difficult to park when you can buy a nice comfortable car for less.

People buy the things that they think will make them feel good. Non-commercial ownership of large truck-like vehicles is a fad, like all other fads.

To be fair, one factor is that large North American passenger cars used to have serious towing capacity but they don't anymore, so for people who need to tow a boat often, owning a truck or large SUV is more or less required.

But the bottom line is that we live in very affluent societies and so we buy way more than we reasonably need. That's just how we are. We buy more camera than we need, we buy larger meals that we need, etc., so why not our cars. There's a lot of moaning recently about the price of gas, but that's nonsense. If it doubled in price, it would still be cheap.

There are millions upon millions of unused film SLRs and P&Ss sitting in dresser drawers that no one ever uses. That's why I don't accept, for one second, the idea that photography is becoming more popular and that there is a resurgence in it. At most, there seems to be a temporary blip in camera use because digital is (more or less) new and everyone just bought themselves new toys, but wait a few years and all those D-SLRs and digicams will be sitting in dresser drawers with uncharged batteries.

We just like to buy stuff.

I consider a short telephoto to be portrait lenses, more or less. Short teles on a 35mm camera include 75mm, 80mm, 85mm, 90mm, 100mm, and 105mm. So long telephotos would be 135mm an up. Maybe you'd consider 135mm and 150mm to be "no man's land" in between short and long, in which case long teles are 200mm and up. Or the digital equivalent.

It's not only careful resolution tests that give an edge to one type of IS or the other. In-lens IS usually makes for more expensive, slower lenses. If your purpose for IS is to help with hand-held low-light work, which is what I used it for, then having a slower lens because the IS is in the lens offsets the advantage of IS somewhat.

For instance, I can put an f/1.4 lens on my camera and have IS. I don't think you can do that on a Canon.

Mike J.

And if you upgrade from another canon dslr, canon will rebate you another $50, thus bringing the actual cost to under $900. Amazing

No doubt the 40D is more than $167 better than the XSi (or a D30). But is it $400 better than a used 20D or a new XTi? That's a substantial difference--in gear terms, a good lens' worth, perhaps, or the difference between an exceptional and a merely acceptable lens.

For that matter, is the XSi as good as a 30D?

And to think that $167 is only about 110€ these days! If I weren't a nikonite craving for the D300, I'd jump on the 40D at the first occasion. Pretty sweet price/quality ratio.

In my opinion, IS is only really usefull for long lenses to begin with. What would you shoot with a 30mm at 1/8s or 1/4s?
-Landscapes...Yea right. Try to pull a tripod from a landshooter's hands.
-People...No, moving too fast for 1/8s.
-Sports...No way.
-Macro...No, tripod.
-Kids & general snaps... No, moving too fast for 1/8s.
-Interiors...No, tripod.
-Low sync flash... Doesn't matter.

Perhaps I am lacking imagination?

The 40D is nicer than both the 20D and Xti. (I've all three cause these things are worth so little on Ebay I'm keeping them.) It is mostly a lot of little things but the viewfinder and autofocus alone is worth the money.

That 14 bit thing has me wondering. I've some 40D snow images that are better than I'm used to out of digital.

Anywho, what I'm saying is that at $940 the 40D is the best bang for the buck right now.

I paid full list for a 40-D last December - only six months ago. Nice camera, and certainly a better working tool than the Rebel in many respects. Do I wish I had paid only $940? Yup. But it's still a nice little camera. Much easier to carry around than the behemoths that I use at work.

"And don't kid yourself—in-lens IS is only better for telephotos. Long telephotos."

With the exception of panning, even with short teles. Granted, it's of limited use to many people, but for sports photographers it's pretty important.

I'm there with Steve Scherbinski, My 20D still takes great photos. Can't see why to upgrade to anything less than a full frame sensor. Patiently waiting for a 5D-II. BTW you can buy a 5D with the 24-105mm kit lens and a 9500 printer for about $3000 after $600 of rebates.

Mike J. wrote:
> ... in-lens IS is only better for
> telephotos. Long telephotos.

Actually, that's not true. In my own experience, at least up to 560 mm (which happens to be my longest stabilized lens), in-body stabilization basically is just as effective as in-lens stabilization. At that focal length, as well as at any other focal length, my aging Konica-Minolta Dynax 7D gives me +2.5 to +3 stops worth an advantage over a non-stabilized camera. The new Sony Alpha 700 does approx. one stop better, i. e. about +3.5 to +4 stops. In-lens systems hardly will do significantly better than that ... or if they do then with very few lenses of the latest make only. I'm getting up to four stops with any lens including those I bought in 1987.

I guess sooner or later any DSLR maker will be required to include in-body stabilizers in their cameras. The advantages over in-lens systems are overwhelming.

-- Olaf

Please clarify, for European eyes, if that truck is 8ft high or is the man beside it 4ft tall ?

I just don't get Canon. The rumors about the 1000D were out for a good few weeks before the announcement (and correct ones at that!), and everyone thought that this *must* be the camera to compete with the Nikon D40 and the cheapo-Olympii and Sonii (?).
And today I heard the prices in Finland. The 450D goes for 799€. The 1000D will go for... (drumroll) 729€. These are for the kits.

And how much for the D40? 399€. Go figure.

I've had a 40D since November. I don't think that I will have to buy another DSLR for a long time. IS aside - the 14 bit images, 6.5 fps, and fast AF are going to satisfy my needs for quite some time.

I came from an XT and an XTi, and I have to say that I would never go back to that family. The extra $167 is worth it.

The pictured truck is missing the extra crew cab space and doors to make it truly the most gross (as in biggest, bestest, mostest) example of wretched excess on wheels. Factor in a diesel motor, and..." by golly, ya got 'er dun!" Dear God, what junk...!

Under $1000 is what sold sold me on my first Rebel and now a 40D..? Man, that is a bargain.
I wonder if they are making room in the price continuum for something that will target/undercut the Nikon D300? Maybe along with the 5D upgrade at a lower price..? Ahhh...the imagination kicks into gear and takes off....

The drop could mean two things:

1) they intend to position 5D II somewhere around the price point 40D had

2) 40D doesn't sell as well as they thought it would

The latter is not so surprising. My impressions may wrong, but everywhere I look, it seems that D300 and E-3 beat 40D. From what I've seen, far from being a bad camera but somehow 40D seems very much ho-hum.

Or it may be that campaigns like this "helped". :-)


All this talk of lens IS and pickup trucks when we've got square watermelons on the loose! Is there no God?

"Please clarify, for European eyes, if that truck is 8ft high or is the man beside it 4ft tall?"

He's a normal man, except he probably has a very small you-know-what (a common joke is that trucks like this serve as Freudian compensation. I also once saw a truck like this with a large set of rubber gonads hanging from its towing hitch, which I think supports the point). People around my area of the world drive vehicles like this to the grocery store and to the movies (literally, you will see them in grocery store and movie theater parking lots). Many of them are car-show clean and sparkling, meaning they are not working trucks.

But while they're common, they're not that widespread. Probably one car in three or four is a pickup, van, or SUV, but lots of people drive ordinary cars too.

Mike J.

600 smackaroos for a 30D , maybe it is worthwhile even if it sits in a drawer most of the time.........all one needs to do is take a couple of great images .............


In my opinion, IS is only really usefull for long lenses to begin with. What would you shoot with a 30mm at 1/8s or 1/4s?
-Landscapes...Yea right. Try to pull a tripod from a landshooter's hands.
-People...No, moving too fast for 1/8s.
-Sports...No way.
-Macro...No, tripod.
-Kids & general snaps... No, moving too fast for 1/8s.
-Interiors...No, tripod.
-Low sync flash... Doesn't matter.

Perhaps I am lacking imagination?

It's kinda like having *stability control* on that big ass truck! You don't realize you need it until you've used it, then you wonder how you ever lived without it...................


I love my Ford F-150 except it is a bit small. We haul our trash to the dump in it and stuff for the garden and the chickens and the goat. How do you folks get a 4x8 sheet of plywood home? Yep I do love my truck and I hate to get it dirty but I do. Sometimes people write "wash me" in the dust film when it is parked in the movie theater parking lot. That irritates me but I understand how they feel. A mans truck should never be dirty (for very long). E

I think the Canon 40D isn't that popular simply because it's another typical Canon "upgrade", in other words a slightly warmed over repeat of the previous model. Perfectly good camera but nothing exciting.

Compare that to the buzz surrounding cameras like the Nikon D300, it looks even worse.

I recently moved from my trusty old and somewhat battered 300D to a 40D. As I noted in http://tomdibble.wordpress.com/2008/05/20/moving-to-the-mid-range-the-canon-40d/ ... I certainly find it to be well worth the expense!

One thing to note, aside from features, is that moving from the XSi consumer DSLR range to the 40D mid-range is that construction quality, sheer fit and finish, takes a serious step up. Everything is significantly more solid than either my old D-Rebel or the latest in-store generation of it. That and the gorgeous viewfinder and twice the burst speed for sports ... I can't see anyone rationally arguing that they shouldn't just spend the extra couple hundred to drastically improve their experience!

Hmm... could Canon be trying to preempt the soon-to-be-announced (maybe) Nikon "D90"?

Here in the Austin area that truck would be considered a compact. What you really need to be seen in is the Ford "Super Duty" Crewcab at 6.2 miles per gallon in town according to one review. LOL I thought my 2wd midsized Dodge Dakota with a 6 was bad at 18 MPG. The 40 D sounds like a great deal under $1000. Then again I'm having so much fun shooting vintage cameras the whole plastic digital scene is leaving me cold. LOL

For the XT, XTi, and Xsi owners (although the lower you go in body, the more sense it makes), the upgrade to the 40D is significant enough in feature sets, and construction. For me, as an XT owner, it's amazing that I can pick up the 40D for only $89 more than I spent on my XT 3 years ago (after I get the additional $50 rebate from Canon for giving up my serial #). From a 3fps to 6.5 fps body, with 25% more pixels, a doubling of the screen size, and much MUCH more, it's a no-brainer.

Oh, and I drive a Honda Civic...does that mean I don't feel the need to compensate for my...*cough*? :)

Dear Grega,

Not lacking imagination, but maybe some experience? As one who cut his eyeteeth on available-light news photography and still detests flash, let me enlighten:

landscapes-- I always travel with a camera. Camera fits in my shoulder bag. Tripod doesn't; I don't routinely carry one about, unless I expect to need it.

People-- They hold still better than you'd think. Even at 1/8th sec, about 1/3 of my photos will be good, if camera shake isn't the problem. At 1/15th, too slow for handholding without IS at 30-50mm focal lengths, most will be good if you've got IS. It's just a matter of learning to grab the momentary pauses in movement. At 1/30th sec, still too slow for 50mm without IS, they'll always be good unless the person's especially animated.

Interiors-- partial answer, same as landscape. And in many interiors it is infeasible, inconsiderate or prohibited to use a tripod.

Macro-- see landscapes. Also, even with a tripod, in the field you'd be amazed how little vibration it takes to clobber a macro photo. With as a stable a rig as I could carry, about 25% of my lava closeups in Hawai'i were unacceptably blurred (film camera-- no IS).

All the above are real-life cases where IS has made a big difference for me.

pax / Ctein

I'm with you, EmmJay. If only I could get a digital camera that was as pleasurable to use as my 50 year-old Canon P rangefinder. A lot has been gained, but something has definitely been lost, too.

Ctein, I was only trying to say that at shorter focal lengths IS is less usefull, not useless (and judging by your post, compared to you, I certainly lack experience). What you wrote about - that 70% of people photos will be blurred because of the subject shake, not a camera one - is actually a better and more acurate way of saying what I was trying to say.

I am suprised by two things you wrote. Those 25% unsharp photos with as stable rig you could carry? Was there an earthquake involved?

What's wrong with flash?

Oh, and I drive a Skoda Fabia (don't know if it is sold in the USA, it is Toyota Yaris size). You know, gass in Europe is pricier than bottled water.

I'm going to go with Ctein here and say I have countless photos taken AS at 1/15-1/30th that would not have been possible without it.

There's nothing inherently wrong with flash, but it's just not appropriate for all cases. So-called "available light" photography may not appeal to everyone, but in that *context* there is something very wrong with flash.

Plus sometimes subject motion can be fun, the classic case of having an image where a person is slightly blurred, obviously due to motion, while the background or foreground are all acceptably sharp is a lot easier to pull off with AS. And in the right context it can make for a fun picture.

Can't say I mind a pickup with dust on it. If you ever go to Mount Vernon, be sure to ask to see their pickup. I think it's about a 1942...and it had 37,000 original miles on it when I saw it, because it had never been off the plantation! They've never driven it on a road--it just carts things around from one spot to another within the estate. I once assisted on a professional job at Mt. Vernon and I spent more time looking at that old pickup than at the stuff I was supposed to be taking pictures of.

I wonder if they still use it....

Mike J.

Right re: importance of IS on short lenses too. I also shoot a lot indoors, ISO 1600, on my Pentax @ 40mm, f/2.8, and 1. I dislike flash and 2. having the shake reduction prevents me from having to use ISO 3200 or turn up the lights. I leave things just as they, and still get a good shot a lot of the time at 1/15. Do people (esp. my baby) sometimes move? Yup, but sometimes they don't, and one gets good at picking the right time and spot to take the pic.

Dear Grega,

Remember that nobody here can read tone of voice or intonation in your posts, and people don't know you personally. If you make an absolute statement, we are likely to take it at face value. Anyway...

It's not about the 70% that are bad; it's about the 30% that are good. Without image stabilization, none of the photos will be good. And getting one out of three good photographs of a subject is an entirely acceptable ratio (especially given the alternative). Most photographers reject a far higher percentage of their photos than that for one reason or another.

Flash looks totally sucky, what can I say? [ opinionated grin ]

Vibration is surprisingly troublesome in macro work. Partly it's because the optical arrangement often means that camera vibration has a one-to-one correlation to blur of the image. Part of it is that macro photography has essentially zero depth of field, which means something, somewhere in the plane of focus better be tack sharp or the whole photograph looks fuzzy. A slight amount of blurring that might not be noticeable in the conventional photograph really jumps out in a macro photograph.

Combine that with small apertures, high magnifications, the inability to carry a full-blown copy stand into the field, some loss of light because even if you're not working right up against the subject the camera body (and possibly yours) block some of the ambient light, and frequently non-optimal (in terms of perfect stability) tripod positions.

Net result? Even working with ISO 800 film under daylight conditions, I'm thrilled that more than three quarters of my photographs came out critically sharp. I did lose a few really great photographs among the blurry ones, but I had over three times as many good ones as I lost. It was just emotionally aggravating, not a real hardship.

~ pax \ Ctein
[ please excuse any word salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital restorations http://photo-repair.com

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