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Old 06-10-08, 05:08 PM   #1
jinws
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NorCal, help me pick a SLR camera

Why am I asking here, well, you guys are friendly. I've seen what happends to newbies asking questions on other forums and it ain't pretty. much like the "I've never ridden before, what road bike should I buy" in the road forum.

Anyway, I know some of you guys are photo buffs. I need a new hobby and is considering getting a Digital SLR.

So I am a Canon who12e. The 2 cameras I'm eyeing are the new Canon XSI, and the 40D.

My dad has a 30D but he won't let me play with it. All I really want is an entry level camera I can take around and learn. Yet, when I do better, I don't find myself "needing" another body, just spend all my money on new glass.

Any thoughts? the 40D is more expensive, but I hear it's better at action shots. and in general has better features. better kit lense.

XSI is newer, lighter, and the reviews so far are saying it's not that far from the 40D. kit lens is improved over the XTI.

I might even consider XTI if someone can talk me into it.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-10-08, 05:15 PM   #2
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Here is a great site for reviewing your selections:http://www.dpreview.com/
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Old 06-10-08, 05:29 PM   #3
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Yep, Digital Photography Review is a good one, as is the Digital Camera Resource Page.

Both are excellent cameras. I have an old Rebel XT, and I like it quite a lot. Do a side-by-side comparison on dpreview, and see if the 40D has any features that you absolutely must have that the XSi lacks.

Personally, in your position, I'd probably go for the XSi/XTi, and spend the savings on fun accessories, like fast memory cards, a flash unit, a battery grip, and last but not least, lenses.
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Old 06-10-08, 05:37 PM   #4
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Just like with bike performance, how good a picture is...is dependent on you. And just as with bikes, start with a decent frame; go with the 40D. If you really get into it, you'll likely be lusting after some L lenses.
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Old 06-10-08, 05:47 PM   #5
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My friend just got the XSi and he loves it. Given that, if it were me, I'd get the XTi as you can do a lot of the same shooting with it a much reduced cost. The kit lens on the XSi is ok but does have it's drawbacks. The live view is nice but will eat battery like none other. There have been reports of focusing issues with the XSi. I would try picking up a used but in good condition XTi as they would be cheap now with people dumping them for the XSi and spend money on a couple of nice lenses. In fact, I'm considering buying one of my coworker's XTi if she ever decides to sell it. Also, if you're real attached to a memory type, the XSi uses SD where the XTi uses compact flash. The continuous frame rate is not that different between the two. There's a rumor that Canon will be releasing an XS (1000D) which is like an XTi with some XSi features but I suspect it may be only an international release and won't have a US version. Who knows. Costco has a real nice XTi kit right now for about $1050. If you weren't such a Canon who12e, Costco also has a real nice Nikon D60 kit for around $875. If it were me, I'd get a used XTi body or a XTi kit with the 18-55 kit lens and tack on a Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 telephoto zoom lens. Check out www.adorama.com They sell some very good condition used equipment and you may be able to get a deal.
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Old 06-10-08, 05:59 PM   #6
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If you really get into it, you'll likely be lusting after some L lenses.
Or, if you're a geek with somewhat poor self control, it'll be the first lens you buy to replace the kit lens.

Not that I have any personal experience with such things, of course...


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There's a rumor that Canon will be releasing an XS (1000D)
As of today, it's no longer a rumor.
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Old 06-10-08, 08:06 PM   #7
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My husband just got the 40D instead of the XTi. For him it came down to the feel of the camera. It had too much plastic and was too small. His previous SLR was a 1D MarkII. Yeah, very, very nice - stolen when our home was burglarized 18 months ago. He got some amazing shots with that camera, but it was heavy and on hikes, guess who was his Sherpa. He spent the last 18 months trying to love the non -SLRs we replaced it with. But he just couldn't always get the shots he wanted

Best Buy had both cameras he was looking at. Playing with both of them made his decision easier.

Veronica


PS If you buy expensive camera gear or watches on Craigslist, make sure the seller has the boxes and receipts. We watched, helplessly, as all three of his stolen watches got sold on Craiglist. The camera gear was harder to spot, but I suspect it also was sold on Craiglist.
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Old 06-10-08, 08:35 PM   #8
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We watched, helplessly, as all three of his stolen watches got sold on Craiglist.
The police couldn't do anything?
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Old 06-10-08, 08:35 PM   #9
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My husband just got the 40D instead of the XTi. For him it came down to the feel of the camera. It had too much plastic and was too small. His previous SLR was a 1D MarkII. Yeah, very, very nice - stolen when our home was burglarized 18 months ago. He got some amazing shots with that camera, but it was heavy and on hikes, guess who was his Sherpa. He spent the last 18 months trying to love the non -SLRs we replaced it with. But he just couldn't always get the shots he wanted

Best Buy had both cameras he was looking at. Playing with both of them made his decision easier.

Veronica


PS If you buy expensive camera gear or watches on Craigslist, make sure the seller has the boxes and receipts. We watched, helplessly, as all three of his stolen watches got sold on Craiglist. The camera gear was harder to spot, but I suspect it also was sold on Craiglist.

thanks, I did play around a little with my dad's 30D, it felt pretty solid. I'm assuming the 40D is close. I did pick up a XT at Bestbuy, felt a little like a toy. I don't know, my friend offered to give me her kit lens from the XTi so all I'd need is a body. but being a tech geek, I always want the newest. Damn, maybe I should pick a cheaper hobby, cycling is bad enough.
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Old 06-10-08, 08:47 PM   #10
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The XT (and probably the XTi/XSi/XS as well) does have a bit of a small/cheap feeling, but adding a battery grip fixed that right up. Gives it a more holdable size, some extra heft, and twice the battery life (and the ability to use AAs if the need arises!).

Also, unless things have changed vastly, the kit lens is okay at best.
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Old 06-10-08, 09:04 PM   #11
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The XT (and probably the XTi/XSi/XS as well) does have a bit of a small/cheap feeling, but adding a battery grip fixed that right up. Gives it a more holdable size, some extra heft, and twice the battery life (and the ability to use AAs if the need arises!).

Also, unless things have changed vastly, the kit lens is okay at best.
you know, it's gonna be a repeat of getting my road bike. I got Red when Rival/Ultegra would've been good enough. I have a feeling I'm gonna back order the 40D kit from Dell(have a coupon), they're shipping at the end of June, if something comes up in between(XTi, XSi) I'll cancel and jump on that.
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Old 06-10-08, 09:10 PM   #12
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A lot of good advice here and seems like you already know some of the ins and outs of both bodies. You really can't go wrong with either body regarding image quality so you'll want to consider some other issues. From my experiences with the Rebel bodies, there aren't separate wheels for adjusting aperture and shutter speed. In other words, it'll require going into the menu system in order to change them separately. Maybe it's not a big deal but it could mean the difference in getting the shot and missing it. For ergonomics, I found even the 10/20/30/40D bodies a bit small for my hands. My pinky always ends up under the camera body. This could become more of an issue with the even smaller Rebel bodies. Again, not a big deal but something to consider. Assuming you start going for the bigger glass (i.e. 70-200 f2.8is, 24-70 f2.8is, etc...) the smaller rebel body feels a little out of balance.

Anyway, just some things to consider...
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Old 06-10-08, 09:18 PM   #13
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The police couldn't do anything?
It took them too long to get interested. They eventually found the group and found a lot of our stuff in their apartment, including my driver's license. The DA chose to not prosecute for the burgalry. Just because you have it, doesn't mean you're the one who walked into the house and took it. We're still waiting to hear if they were prosecuted for possession. Very frustrating, makes me very happy that we installed a video surveillance system.

Back on topic...


The kit lens really isn't very good. "It will be like shooting through Vaseline." That's a quote from my honey. He's very particular about his photos. And yes having a good eye is important, but so is having the right equipment. Do you think Lance would have won 7 Tours on a bike with a banana seat and coaster brakes? I think that's kind of a funny image myself - Lance dancing on the pedals, with that banana seat... Okay, I'm tired.




Some of my favorites.

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Old 06-10-08, 10:06 PM   #14
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I am a Nikon guy so I have a more limited knowledge about the Canon line. However I know they are as good a choice.
With a DSLR I think it's important to choose a camera able to handle the type of shooting you enjoy. The main issue is response time. If you shoot landscape, still life, any camera will work great as long as the definition is good (enough megapixels). If your main interest is action and sports you need a camera that has no shutter lag (time it takes the camera to make the shot after you press the shutter), and fast AF response. The 40D is known to be a great camera and will surely handle fast action needs. It is also known to have a very decent low noise qualities at high ISO speeds, something you will appreciate for indoor sports.
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Old 06-10-08, 11:16 PM   #15
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I would get the 40D. As you get better and more creative, you want all of the manual control it offers. I have the 20D and I am happy with it. I am waiting for my buddy to get tired of his 5D so I can upgrade. I also played with my BIL's XTi. It's a good camera but it felt too small for me and too much plastic for my liking.
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Old 06-10-08, 11:45 PM   #16
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thanks All!

I think I'm gonna go with the 40D, now, should I just get the body then find another lens? or get the kit with the 18-135 lens. I wanna start with walk around lens, just shooting random stuff.
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Old 06-11-08, 12:30 AM   #17
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thanks All!

I think I'm gonna go with the 40D, now, should I just get the body then find another lens? or get the kit with the 18-135 lens. I wanna start with walk around lens, just shooting random stuff.
The 24-70 or the 24-105 makes for a really good walk around lens. 18-135? I think it's 28-135 IS, right? What does your dad have? Maybe you could "borrow" his L lenses indefinitely .
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Old 06-11-08, 01:40 AM   #18
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The 24-70 or the 24-105 makes for a really good walk around lens. 18-135? I think it's 28-135 IS, right? What does your dad have? Maybe you could "borrow" his L lenses indefinitely .
sorry, it is 28-135 IS. I can probably ebay it and get another lens and still not lose money.

my dad is just like me, loves gadgets. He's not gonna let me borrow anything. Always has the same excuse, "what if you break it?" or "I might use it next week")
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Old 06-11-08, 07:53 AM   #19
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Too bad (for you) about your dad on the gadgets. The 28-135 was my first lens when I got my first dSLR (10D). Great lens at a great price. Eventually sold it and picked up the 24-70. Btw, for some local photo info, check out this local group.
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Old 06-11-08, 11:00 AM   #20
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Too bad (for you) about your dad on the gadgets. The 28-135 was my first lens when I got my first dSLR (10D). Great lens at a great price. Eventually sold it and picked up the 24-70. Btw, for some local photo info, check out this local group.
thanks for the link. I will be the proud owner of a Canon 40D w/ 28-135 IS lens by the end of June. Got a kit for under 1k before tax. I love stacking coupons.
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Old 06-11-08, 10:15 PM   #21
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thanks All!

I think I'm gonna go with the 40D, now, should I just get the body then find another lens? or get the kit with the 18-135 lens. I wanna start with walk around lens, just shooting random stuff.
Don't get the kit lens. Go with a good lens. It makes a huge difference. If it were me, I'd buy a used XT (I used to have one). It's a great camera and great for learning. Take the rest of the money and go straight out and buy a good lens.

If you get into it, you can sell the XT body for close to what you bought it for, and get a 40D. or, even better, a 5D! and your nice lenes (you'll buy more, trust me) will all work.
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Old 06-11-08, 10:36 PM   #22
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Don't get the kit lens. Go with a good lens. It makes a huge difference. If it were me, I'd buy a used XT (I used to have one). It's a great camera and great for learning. Take the rest of the money and go straight out and buy a good lens.

If you get into it, you can sell the XT body for close to what you bought it for, and get a 40D. or, even better, a 5D! and your nice lenes (you'll buy more, trust me) will all work.
too late. the kit was only a hundred something more. I can get about $300 for it on ebay so no point not getting it.
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Old 06-12-08, 08:23 AM   #23
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Some folks would have you believe that you cannot possibly take a good photo with the kit lens. This is total BS. 90% of photography has nothing to do with the lens or the camera, but rather scene composition, working with lighting, selecting an appropriate exposure, and post-exposure processing. No camera or lens is going to make your photos better if you don't have these basics down; same as how Red won't make you any faster than Rival.

Don't sweat it. Use what you have, and learn how to shoot, given the peculiarities of SLRs versus other camera types. Make other lens purchases based on your actual needs rather than L lens superstitions. People really get hung up on that stuff. Sure, if you have tons of cash to blow, go all out. But I suspect that's not the case or you would have picked up a nice 1DsIII with a fleet of L lenses already.
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Old 06-12-08, 11:11 AM   #24
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What true with cycling equipment in regards to diminishing returns also holds true for photography equipment. If you're a pro photographer, you want to best equipment to increase your odds of getting that money shot...just as a pro cyclist can take advantage of those few grams of savings. Of course, I don't think any of us are pros on this board, so a kit lens should be fine for most situations.
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