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Older DSLR's in 2010?

Brent Morando , Mar 07, 2010; 06:25 p.m.

A few months ago, I was reading an article comparing the Canon EOS 10D (2003) and the Canon EOS 50D (2008). Having owned the d30, 10d, 20d, and now 50d, I was surprised to see that the 10d isn't by any means outdated in quality. Many can argue this when looking very close up, but when shooting at low ISO's, and not zooming in past 4mp's or so, image quality doesn't differ dramatically .
Both are scaled at 6mp.
Obviously the 50D is an all around superior camera, but I'm a firm believer that older DSLR's still hold their own, even 7 years down the line.
Ken Rockwell tends to think that 1 year in DP is equivalent to 10 years in film photography. This would mean that the 10d would be equivalent (in comparison to a 50d) to a film camera 70 years old, verses a modern film camera.
Here are some of prices I'm seeing on old DSLR's and I'm inclined to think that some of these amateur's looking for an upgrade from their beginner DSLR, should buy one of these, and spend the extra money on some nicer glass. These camera's all have pro build quality, and offer damn good images. The only real downside is buffer speed, but if you can get around that, then you might work well with one of these:
Canon 10D Body-$150-$200 (2003)-6mp
Canon 20D Body-$225-$275 (2004)-8mp
Canon 30D Body-$325-$400 (2006)-8mp
Nikon D100 Body-$200-$250-6mp
Nikon D1X Body-$175-$250-5mp/10mp interpolated

Yeah, this can be debated for the next 20 years, but I still think (IF YOU'RE NOT MAKING PRINTS, OR ENLARGING IMAGES PAST COMPUTER SCREEN SIZE) that these camera's are still a great buy.
I bought a backup 20D for $194, the other night, so keep in mind these prices fluctuate.

What does everyone think?


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Eric Arnold , Mar 07, 2010; 06:53 p.m.

i know plenty of pros who still use "outdated" cameras, the 20d in particular. a lot of it has to do with the person behind the lens.

that said, i wouldn't buy a nikon d100 at this point.

Zane Johnson , Mar 07, 2010; 09:36 p.m.

I'm still happy with my 5 year old Pentax dslr. The only feature I miss having is anti-shake, but not enough to buy a new body. What I'm waiting for is high-quality ISO 6400 performance. And I'm willing to wait a long time to get it.

Stephen Lewis , Mar 08, 2010; 05:11 p.m.

I wouldn't buy a Nikon D100 today either, but I have one which is used daily, and for web-based output, or prints 9x12 or smaller, it does just fine. I was amused last year when a pro came to my house to photograph it and he was using, in addition to a D100 for stills, a motorized panoramic setup for an "older" digital camcorder. After seeing the finished results, I was pretty impressed. The photog told me that he would love to upgrade from the D100 (mostly for personal use), but didn't see a need to do so right now for web-based output. Fooey, his comments were overheard by my family who reinforced to me that my NAS (Nikon Acquisition Syndome) was going nowhere for a while, at least until I sold off enough of my collection of camera bodies/lenses to pay for whatever I wanted which was new. Got to admit I like that little Olympus EP-2, but the D100 just keeps trucking away.

Scott Ferris , Mar 08, 2010; 07:40 p.m.

I still use my Canon 1D at 9 years old with a mere 4.1mp when it is appropriate. IQ is way better than it should be and I don't mind being stupid with it.

Robert Edelman , Mar 09, 2010; 11:50 p.m.

I still find uses for my Canon 10D. It's a great camera. I mount it to microscopes (with a Nikon-EOS adapter). I still use it work for documentation. I use it for backup, for example, every time I drop a Canon 5D and have to send it in for repair, or when a mirror falls off ;) . The viewfinder is generous, better than some of its successors. And it is much more quiet than the 5D. It is a well balanced camera to hold. It is well made, and its initial purchase price reflected that. Yes, the LCD appears "quaint" compared to the newer cameras, and there is a small lag on startup. It does not do high ISO as well as the newer cameras. But it is great for students. Some people have even converted 10Ds, as well as other older cameras, for infrared.
Yes, I prefer to use a Canon 5D Mark I (also known as the 5D Classic) for most of my photography. The 5D is also entering the "older" camera category, but it is still such a good camera for my uses that I prefer to spend my money on other things, such as lighting setups, rather than spend a bunch of money on the latest camera that will soon enough become an "older" camera and will correspondingly depreciate.
As is so often stated in the forums, just because the newer technology cameras may do things better, that doesn't make a good older camera take any worse photos than it did when it was new.

Manuel Barrera , Mar 10, 2010; 10:01 p.m.

I still use my 1D and 1Ds quite often, the 1Ds for landscapes and the 1D for most every thing else. I also have a 7D, 50D, and a 5D.

Stuart Moxham - Finland , Mar 11, 2010; 10:31 a.m.

Well I still use my Nikon D1h which has only 2.75mp. In all honestly the images are great. I have an album of portraits some shot with a D70, some with a D80 and some with the D1h. I have shown the album to quite a few friends that are interested in photography and most of them are very suprised they can't find the D1h shots. I have even mixed a couple up my self because I could not remember what camera was used.

Andrew Robertson , Mar 11, 2010; 08:59 p.m.

I like my 10D because it's much, much much quieter than anything newer.

Dean G , Mar 12, 2010; 11:04 a.m.

I remember that my 10D had a relatively quiet shutter also. Don't have that anymore but still use an Olympus E1 from time to time, particularly in bad weather or dusty environments. It may be one of the quietest DSLRs ever. I gave my son my Pentax ist DS with the kit zoom, a few years ago, and he recently sent back some photos from China that look great. Prompted me to go back in my files and see some I'd taken with it. That convinced me just how susceptible to marketing I am. For what I do, prints no larger than 13X19, and nowadays more often well within letter size dimensions, or just stored on the computer, I can see no significant IQ rationale for "upgrading" to various DSLRs over the years. But of course, I'm not a pro or sports photographer etc.

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