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mr.light
Dec 6, 2007, 10:42 AM
Hello All

I am looking to but a Camera for my wife for Christmas. I was looking at the Canon 8.0 Megapixel EOS Digital Rebel XT. How good is this camera? Pros, cons, other suggestions?

Thanks in advance.



Lovesong
Dec 6, 2007, 10:48 AM
Well... let's see.
The Rebel XT is an entry level dSLR. How "good" something is, is a rather subjective thing, but it will be the best camera she would have ever had, unless she is photographer. Pretty much any SLR you can get, be it the Rebel, or as someone will shortly suggest the Nikon D40, will outperform any p&s camera. Now if you were to compare the Rebel to a Hassy or a 1Ds, I'd say it's not so "good."

PS- Just get it, she'll love it.

OreoCookie
Dec 6, 2007, 10:56 AM
Are you sure she wants a dslr? In particular, are you sure she would prefer a large camera to a small and stylish P&S?

mr.light
Dec 6, 2007, 11:06 AM
Well... let's see.
The Rebel XT is an entry level dSLR. How "good" something is, is a rather subjective thing, but it will be the best camera she would have ever had, unless she is photographer. Pretty much any SLR you can get, be it the Rebel, or as someone will shortly suggest the Nikon D40, will outperform any p&s camera. Now if you were to compare the Rebel to a Hassy or a 1Ds, I'd say it's not so "good."

PS- Just get it, she'll love it.

She has a nice little p&s now. She wants a more sophisticated camera with interchangeable lenses. It's her new Hobby. I was also looking at the D40 but it had fewer megapixels than the Canon.

mr.light
Dec 6, 2007, 11:08 AM
Are you sure she wants a dslr? In particular, are you sure she would prefer a large camera to a small and stylish P&S?

She definitely does not want a p&s.

Cave Man
Dec 6, 2007, 11:09 AM
She wants a more sophisticated camera with interchangeable lenses. It's her new Hobby.

The XT is a good camera (it's my second body). But I would forego the kit lens since its quality isn't that great. What's your budget?

OreoCookie
Dec 6, 2007, 11:26 AM
Nikon has a 10 MP version of the D40, the D40X. However, I don't think megapixels matter as much as people would like to make you believe they do.

Try both cameras. I second the suggestion to pass on the kit lenses. I think a D40(X)/XTi + Tamron 2.8/17-50 would make a nice combination. If you can get a Nikon with an 18-135 lens, then this would also be a good combo for your better half.

mr.light
Dec 6, 2007, 12:43 PM
The XT is a good camera (it's my second body). But I would forego the kit lens since its quality isn't that great. What's your budget?

I will go as high as $1000.00

compuwar
Dec 6, 2007, 01:23 PM
She has a nice little p&s now. She wants a more sophisticated camera with interchangeable lenses. It's her new Hobby. I was also looking at the D40 but it had fewer megapixels than the Canon.

I'd suggest doing a bit more research before deciding if your main criteria is megapixels. In fact, a 6MP body (be it from Canon or anyone else) will be significantly easier to shoot than a 10 or 12 MP body from the same manufacturer, especially if the photographer's technique isn't very practiced.

You'll get a lot more out of worrying which lens to get with the thing than which thing to get body-wise. Spend as much as you can on the lens or lenses and as little as you can on the body. Lenses will last several bodies, they're long-term investments. In the end though, it's best to have her hold and try the bodies to see if there's one that fits her hands better than the other.

Cave Man
Dec 6, 2007, 01:25 PM
I will go as high as $1000.00

I'd suggest the XT with either the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 macro or Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5 macro. Throw in a 2 gig CF card and you're looking at US$800-$900 total. Optically, each of these lenses will out-perform the Canon kit lens, and the 18-50 is the best built of the lot. I really liked the 17-70 when I had it, though. Nice walk-around lens, but the constant f/2.8 of the 18-50 led me to sell the 17-70. The Tamron might have a slight edge over the Sigmas in optical performance, but probably not by much.

mr.light
Dec 6, 2007, 08:38 PM
Ok then, So I should worry less about the body and megapixels and look into better lenses. I will check into it a bit more (I still have a little time left) Thanks for the advice. ( as you can probably tell I know very little about cameras):o

SpookTheHamster
Dec 6, 2007, 08:41 PM
Don't be fooled by MP. I still use my D70 often, and it's been good enough to get me full page magazine images.

What happened to kit lenses being good? The one that came with my D70 is a fantastic lens.

desenso
Dec 6, 2007, 08:52 PM
Cool gift!

mr.light
Dec 6, 2007, 08:54 PM
Cool gift!

She deserves it. More actually. :D

GoCubsGo
Dec 6, 2007, 09:06 PM
I'd suggest doing a bit more research before deciding if your main criteria is megapixels. In fact, a 6MP body (be it from Canon or anyone else) will be significantly easier to shoot than a 10 or 12 MP body from the same manufacturer, especially if the photographer's technique isn't very practiced.

You'll get a lot more out of worrying which lens to get with the thing than which thing to get body-wise. Spend as much as you can on the lens or lenses and as little as you can on the body. Lenses will last several bodies, they're long-term investments. In the end though, it's best to have her hold and try the bodies to see if there's one that fits her hands better than the other.
I have to second this. I came from Nikon film cameras but when moving towards digital I wasn't opposed to Canon. I felt the Nikon and Canon, rented both and came out liking how Nikon felt in my hand and how the entire menu system and button locations worked. Overall, Nikon won not for me having lenses to support it as I ended up selling all but two of them when I got the D70, but for feel. Having landed an F4 for a steal due to a woman buying it and finding it to be far too bulky and heavy I know never to buy a dslr for anyone without first having them hold it at least once. Just a thought because nothing sucks more then to get something on Christmas that you want but have to return to buy another brand/model and not being able to use it on Christmas. :)
Don't be fooled by MP. I still use my D70 often, and it's been good enough to get me full page magazine images.

What happened to kit lenses being good? The one that came with my D70 is a fantastic lens.
Kit lenses have historically been acceptable lenses but not the best. As Compuwar said, the lens is the long-term investment. A $300 kit lens will be ok but your best bet is to put the $300 towards a better piece of glass. That's really all I think people are saying. As for the D70, someone wise once told me the D70 is like the sweet spot of digital cameras. While it doesn't offer as many MP as many cameras today, the higher the MP the more difficult it is to shoot. I'm just now moving from a D70 to a D300 and out of camera first images are soft. It could be me for sure and probably is. My out of camera first images from the D70 were tack sharp. I did not do anything more this time than I did last time except on the d70 I shot at iso 200 and on the d300 I used iso 3200 because I wanted to brag about it at work the next day (to people who had no clue what I meant). :)

I would not hesitate to get a d70s as a second body and take the d70 in to have it converted to IR.

She deserves it. More actually. :D

That is cute as hell.

compuwar
Dec 6, 2007, 09:44 PM
Ok then, So I should worry less about the body and megapixels and look into better lenses. I will check into it a bit more (I still have a little time left) Thanks for the advice. ( as you can probably tell I know very little about cameras):o

The amount you can spend on glass easily exceeds the amount you can spend on a body. Depending on the amount of "hobby" your wife wants, you could end up with lots of opportunity to show her how much you love her!

What you should look at first is the type of photography that interests her most, if it's just general "around town" stuff, or macros or events or buildings or nature or wildlife or whatever she feels will be her creative outlet. That way you get an idea of what lens focal lengths will work best and then you can look at your budget and decide if you can find an acceptable lens inside that budget.

With the Canon, I'd get the 50mm lens because it's only $100 and it's a very, very sharp lens and then I'd look at the type of photography and get a lens that "fits." Be aware though that even in the non-pro lens category some types of photography can run you into just past your budget on a single lens without the cost of the body (for instance, the Canon 100mm-400mm IS lens is a good wildlife/birding lens but it's more than your budget.) In that case, third party lenses like Sigma's may be a better choice for your budget- but it really depends on what she's going to shoot as to what lens and what price range are right.

If she's unsure, then by all means look at the kit lens as a "learn enough to know what I do or don't like" sort of thing. Even the worst Canon kit lens is very likely going to be a step up from a point and shoot.

People here tend to obsess over equipment, and they tend to recommend what they have personally- here are a few tips that if she's going to get into it, you might consider:

A *sturdy* tripod helps for all types of photography where it doesn't get in the way of getting the shot.

Fill flash makes more shots better than it hurts by a big margin, getting flash off the center of the lens axis onto a bracket stops red eye and an external flash used often (especially outdoors!) for people or macro shots will really help once she learns how to use it well. If you go with a kit lens, consider a flash and flash bracket though they'll add some bulk.

Photoshop or Photoshop Elements are very useful in digital photography. Scott Kelby's books are my personal favorites.

Lots of local camera stores offer seminars or small classes for their customers- that might offset the price difference from ordering online, and may help her gain confidence- otherwise many community colleges have courses- consider that a great way of maximizing the investment.

Pictures on the screen are cool, pictures printed out are even better. A good photo-quality printer and a few frames can help a budding photographer's confidence level a lot when they get some good shots.

Finally, the more photographers think about it, the more options they start throwing out- make a decision of when you've got enough information and go for it- don't wait for us to stop suggesting things! ;)

Cave Man
Dec 6, 2007, 10:43 PM
Pictures on the screen are cool, pictures printed out are even better. A good photo-quality printer and a few frames can help a budding photographer's confidence level a lot when they get some good shots.


Equally important are screen calibrators and papers with profiles for your printer.

valdore
Dec 6, 2007, 11:00 PM
The Rebel XT is a pretty damn good camera I think, having used one for about two years before getting my beloved 5D.

Grimace
Dec 6, 2007, 11:16 PM
Yeah, I'm thinking of picking up an XT (not XTi) for a spare body -- two thumbs up in my view.

valdore
Dec 6, 2007, 11:20 PM
Yeah, I'm thinking of picking up an XT (not XTi) for a spare body -- two thumbs up in my view.

Just curious, why the XT over the XTi?

I'm thinking I might lug the old XT along as a second body in case I ever take a helicopter flight for aerials again. This would help, as I'm deathly afraid of my lenses falling out of the helicopter while trying to switch them.

DISCLAIMER: I do aerial photogging once in a blue moon. :o

Grimace
Dec 6, 2007, 11:34 PM
Price, really. As a second body, I don't worry about the anti-dust feature because I won't be switching lenses as much. I also think that the 8MP spread is better than jamming 10.1 on the sensor. Maybe I'm crazy.

mr.light
Dec 7, 2007, 08:34 PM
That is cute as hell.

Aw, Gee.:o

I took her around the camera store (said we should look into a little camera for our daughter). She seemed to really like the canon. So now another question... what is the difference between the XT and the XTi? (besides the "i":D)

Cave Man
Dec 7, 2007, 08:37 PM
She seemed to really like the canon. So now another question... what is the difference between the XT and the XTi? (besides the "i":D)

The biggest feature to me is the focusing system of the XTi. It's a nice improvement over the XT (which isn't bad, either). It also is a 10 mp camera and has the built-in sensor cleaner (which is kind of gimmicky if you ask me). There are others, but these are the principal ones.

mr.light
Dec 7, 2007, 09:07 PM
The biggest feature to me is the focusing system of the XTi. It's a nice improvement over the XT (which isn't bad, either). It also is a 10 mp camera and has the built-in sensor cleaner (which is kind of gimmicky if you ask me). There are others, but these are the principal ones.

Ok. So would you say that it is worth the extra cash? It could be something to upgrade to later on I suppose.

Lovesong
Dec 7, 2007, 09:15 PM
You probably wouldn't want to. The XT is plenty good to begin with. If you were to need to upgrade to something down the road, you'd probably go with the XXD models- like the current 30D and 40D. Like others have said- focus (heh) on glass, lighting, filters, tripods, bags, etc., etc., rather than the body. The XT is a great camera, but in the digital age it is the disposable piece of equipment. Everything else is bought for the long run.

Cave Man
Dec 7, 2007, 09:22 PM
Ok. So would you say that it is worth the extra cash? It could be something to upgrade to later on I suppose.

Unless you're planning to shoot sports (where the XTi's focusing system would really pay dividends), I'd just go with the XT. I have it as my second body and don't plan on getting rid of it anytime soon. Lovesong's right - spend the extra money on the lens(es).

mr.light
Dec 7, 2007, 09:25 PM
Unless you're planning to shoot sports (where the XTi's focusing system would really pay dividends), I'd just go with the XT. I have it as my second body and don't plan on getting rid of it anytime soon. Lovesong's right - spend the extra money on the lens(es).

Our daughter is a Figure Skater and she will likely be a favorite subject for a while. Will the XT handle the movement OK?

compuwar
Dec 7, 2007, 09:32 PM
Our daughter is a Figure Skater and she will likely be a favorite subject for a while. Will the XT handle the movement OK?

Skating rinks tend to have notoriously bad light. AF will likely be a challenge w/o focus assist, and you'll be looking at heavy, expensive, fast glass pretty quickly. The money you save on the XT will start to help ease the pain of a 70-200mm f/2.8... It's a lot cheaper to have the kid take up an outdoor afternoon sport ;)

mr.light
Dec 8, 2007, 08:45 AM
Thanks for all the advice everyone. I've decided to go with the Rebel XT. :D

poopyhead
Dec 8, 2007, 12:26 PM
you might also want to look into a magic lantern guide (book or dvd) to go with whatever camera you get. It walks you through everything if you are new to dslrs and has much better instructions than the manuals that come with the camera

mr.light
Dec 8, 2007, 07:44 PM
you might also want to look into a magic lantern guide (book or dvd) to go with whatever camera you get. It walks you through everything if you are new to dslrs and has much better instructions than the manuals that come with the camera

I will do that. Thanks!