Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Why a Canon Rebel 400D/XTi? (vs. Canon 20D/30D)
  3. Canon Lenses I’ve Used
  4. Canon Lenses I Would Get
    1. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
    2. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM
    3. Canon EF 100-400mm f/2.8 L IS USM


Canon_logoIt’s official, I have made the jump from Nikon to Canon. While I have never been incredibly biased between the two giants, I have always had an affinity for the Canon digital EOS SLRs. I don’t necessarily see one as being better than the other, but rather personal preference much like the operating system debate on which is better, the Mac or Windows.

So what made me ultimately decide to jump ship? Two main reasons: the sleek designs and the world renowned L lenses. If you compare the aesthetics of the Canon and the Nikon, you’ll notice that Canons tends to design their SLRs to have more smooth flowing curves and Nikons tends to have sharp curves. Nothing wrong with either one, all a matter of preference.

Why A Canon Rebel 400D/XTi?

Originally I had no intention of ever owning a Rebel 400D/XTi because of: the size 2007-01-08 - Canon EOS Rebel XTi - 005( described the grip as feeling “cramped and a little uncomfortable”); and I didn’t want an entry level digital SLR because of the lack of features that the mid/pro level SLRs has that I would use.

So originally, my first choice was the Canon EOS 20D for its great features, affordable prices, and despite being outdated; it is still a great SLR. Although, if money was no object, I would get either the Canon 1D Mark II (8.5 frames per second) or the Canon 1Ds Mark II (16.7 mega pixel). B&H Photo Video had a few used Canon EOS 20D’s for sell at ~$800 (about the same price as a brand new Canon Rebel 400D/XTi) for a great condition one. Some people would scoff at the idea of spending the same amount for the EOS 20D as opposed to purchasing a new Rebel 400D/XTi. But if you consider the features of the EOS 20D versus the EOS 400D/XTi, you can see why. Here’s a brief overview of the major differences:

  • The EOS 20D‘s buffer can shoot at 5 frames per second (fps) for 23 frames in JPG and 6 frames in RAW versus the EOS 400D/XTi‘s buffer of 3 fps for 27 frames in JPG and 11 frames for RAW. The extra two frames makes a noticeable difference from capturing “the moment” to missing that moment.
  • The EOS 20D has a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000th of a second versus the EOS 400D/XTi‘s 1/4000th of a second. This makes a difference when you’re shooting in sunny areas with a f/2.8 or higher lens.
  • While the EOS 20D and the EOS 400D/XTi both share the same frame coverage of 95%, the EOS 20D has a higher magnification of 0.9% (versus the EOS 400D/XTi‘s 0.8%), meaning you see more of what the CMOS is recording through the pentamirror.
  • One of the main wins that the EOS 400D/XTi has over the EOS 20D is the LCD screen size. The EOS 20D‘s 1.8 inch LCD (118,000 pixels resolution) is measily compared to the EOS 400D/XTi‘s 2.5 inch LCD (250,000 pixels resolution).
  • The EOS 400D/XTi utilizes a pentamirror for the viewfinder which is cheaper to produce, but results in a darker viewfinder versus the the EOS 20D/30D/5D/1D/1Ds which all utilize a pentaprism which refracts light versus just reflecting. While this may not be so bothersome in most cases, it becomes a slight issue, visibility wise, when you are shooting in low light.

So while the EOS 20D is almost 3 years old, it still has features that enable to stand up against the2007-01-08 - Canon EOS Rebel XTi - 007 newer EOS Rebel 400D/XTi. I then briefly considered the EOS 30D (the EOS 20D’s replacement) when a great condition used one appeared on B&H’s website for a mere $150 more. Unfortunately the Canon EOS 30D sold quite quickly; within a day or two of being posted.

I was a bit dismayed, but figured I could wait for another one to appear, still with no intention of getting the Canon EOS Rebel 400d/XTi. I started crunching the numbers of what my existing, older Nikon D100 and four Nikkor lenses could fetch me and if the EOS 30D would be feasible. That was when I happened to visit and found an excellent price for a brand new Rebel 400D/XTi and I started having a serious debate over a brand new EOS 400D/XTi or a used EOS 30D. Some thoughts that lingered on my mind on getting a used EOS 30D was: what if the used one I purchased was about to die or does die and what if a new EOS 30D replacement (i.e. EOS 40D) arrives?

After much deliberation and debate with my friend (who is a huge fan of the Rebel 400D/XTi and planning to get one also), I made the leap and purchased the Rebel 400D/XTi from I am so glad I decided to get the EOS Rebel. Despite my original thoughts against it, I have come to quite like the Rebel 400D/XTi very, very much! I still would get either a 30D (40D, when Canon introduces it) or one of the 1D lines; although I would still keep the Rebel 400D/XTi because it’s a great travel SLR and could serve as backup SLR and/or a second body like they do in sports photography: each body with a different lens to capture a specfic moment.

With the money I save from purchasing the EOS Rebel 400D/XTi, it is money that can be invested in the purchase of L lenses that are all fully compatible with the Canon EOS 20D/30D/5D/1D/1Ds.

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