$650 to spend...what to get?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ouphe, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. ouphe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #1
    Hey all.
    I recently posted a question on here about the Rebel XT from Canon and got some great responses, so I thought I would try again with a slightly different question.
    I posted about the Rebel XT because I'm planning on getting a nice, solid DSLR to do amateur and some light professional photography. The Rebel XT seems like a good choice to me, but I'm getting a tad bit annoyed that I keep missing the sales as they occur (I barely missed the most recent one from Dell...the camera and a lense, granted not a great one, for ~$600).
    So here's the question. I've got $650 to spend. Should I wait for another Rebel XT deal, or grab something else? If so, what? And where can I get it the cheapest (but still reliably)?

    Thanks in advance for any advice you fine folks can offer!

    -Colin
     
  2. thumb macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    #2
    for 650 you want to get the best lens you can get. the camera body really isnt that significant, and they are all pretty similar in that range.

    my recommendation would be the nikon 18-70 dx lens, it is the kit lens that comes with the d70s, and it is really really good (unlike the kit lens from canon or the 18-55 kit with the d50).

    this lens is about 300 new, 850 w/d70s, or best, <200 used.

    personally to stay within that price range, i would get a new or used d50, or a d70s used and this lens used like new (easy to find on places like fredmiranda.com or nikonians.org).

    if you want to stay with canon, try to just get the rebel body and get a new lens, the kit one is total crap.

    if you can spend a bit more, get the canon 20D and a 50/1.8 prime. best images of the bunch, but closer to $1000
     
  3. ipacmm macrumors 65816

    ipacmm

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #3
    I would save up for the Canon 20D as thumb said, it will last you longer and is more of a professional camera. Not that the XT is bad but the 20D will be the better investment in the long run. If you can't do that, the XT is a good camera, I would just buy the body and a better lens that will fit your photography needs.
     
  4. ouphe thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 12, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #4
    Great advice guys, thanks a lot.
    If I were to get the Rebel body, what lense would be good to get? Would I be able to stay within my price range?

    -Colin
     
  5. sigamy macrumors 65816

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    Mar 7, 2003
    Location:
    NJ USA
    #5
    The Olympus Evolts are nice. I have the first one, E-300 and I'm very happy. Seems like it gets good to very good reviews from writers and excellent reviews from end-users.

    The E-500 with one lens is $539 (after rebate) at B&H. That's an amazing deal for an 8MP dSLR.
     
  6. cgratti macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

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    Dec 28, 2004
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania, USA
    #6
    If your talking about getting the Rebel XT and a lens for $650, then probably not. A great lens that is not at all expensive is the 50mm 1.8, about $75. Fast and Sharp.

    Another good lens that is about $650 is the 17-40 f4L, another great lens but its expensive. Dont buy cheap glass, you can always buy a body but the glass lasts forever.
     
  7. iGary Guest

    iGary

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  8. Wes Jordan macrumors regular

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    Jan 4, 2006
    #8
    One thing I would consider is what you want for total investment to be. I got the 20d because I felt it was a more solid camera and felt better in my hands, but now I am stuck with only the kit lens, which the only problem I have with it is the focusing speed and the rotating front element, but I want a lens with a longer reach but I can't afford it and my parents won't let me buy one. I kind of wish I would have gotten the XT and a telephoto and 50 f/1.8 along with the kit lens, which would be about the same as the 20d with the kit lens.
     
  9. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

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    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #9
    You COULD save up for a 20D. But everyone here wants you to go over budget.

    If I were you, I'd buy the the XT body without a lens, or with the lens if the price is $50 or less difference. You can always sell off the kit lens for around $50-70.

    If you want to keep the kit lens, and you have to spend your extra $50, try to find a used 50mm f1.8 prime lens.

    If you don't wan the kit but want a reasonable zoom, maybe consider something like the Canon 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 USM which should run you approximately $150 off ebay. Which is right around your budget.

    If you want to go over budget, get the body only and a Sigma 18-125mm lens, which is a pretty nice lens for the money. $235
     
  10. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #10
    Better hurry on the 20D. At least at my shop, we are out of the 20D/17-85IS kit; and the the 20D/18-55 kits are going fast.

    Though as fast a DSLR's are changing, getting an XT may not be bad if you can snag one a a good price. It will give most 2 to 4 years service under "heavy" use. By that time only the heavens know what will be out there.

    The new Pentax K100D with anti-shake in the body will sell for only $699!
     
  11. form macrumors regular

    form

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    Location:
    in a country
    #11
    In November of last year, I had to make a decision - I needed a new camera for low light action photography. I couldn't come close to affording a 20d, and the extra features weren't really enough to justify the cost to me, so I bought a Rebel XT, and the fastest, cheapest lens I could get: the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II.

    The lens was fast enough, but it wasn't the most convenient focal length, at an equivalent of 80mm on the Rebel XT. I often found myself pinned against walls, trying desperately to capture action shots of a martial arts class where the students weren't cut off either at the knees or the neck. Even turning the camera 90° typically yielded undesirable results, as I could never get more than one or two people in the same picture...and one of them was often out of focus. To put it plainly...the focal length was TOO LONG. It had too small a field of view, and too narrow a depth of field. But I made do, because that's all I could afford.

    I still use that lens for that martial arts class most of the time, but only because I cannot afford to get a wider lens of equal or greater speed.

    Don't get me wrong, it's a very good lens, exceptional for the price. The image quality is truly excellent. However, 50mm (80mm) is a fairly long and narrow focal length, so if you decide on that lens, be prepared to take a dozen steps back if you need to capture the full height of a person.

    I recommend Canon's Rebel XT from personal experience, as a starting point. However, I've been noticing some used 20Ds going for around the $800 mark lately...which seems like a very good price for the step up. As for a lens...if you don't mind working around the focal length, then the EF 50mm f/1.8 II is a good starter.

    If you're lucky, you might get them both for about $625 total, after the Rebel XT rebate. Then you get to buy a Compactflash card.
     
  12. sjl macrumors 6502

    sjl

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #12
    Can you afford the 18-55? Sure, the image quality may not be much chop, but it's also pretty cheap (a bit under double the 50mm f/1.8), and will let you zoom out. The only argument I can think of against it is that it's not particularly fast; you can counter that (to an extent) by bumping up the camera's ISO setting, though.

    The other point: if f/1.8 is giving you too small a depth of field, your only option to compensate is to try stopping it down, and (again) bumping up the ISO if the shutter speed is too slow. Experiment. This is why DSLRs have an ISO setting. :p

    If the 18-55 isn't fast enough, the next option is either the 17-55 f/2.8 (expensive, probably outside your budget) or a wide angle prime (ditto). Maybe the 28mm f/2.8, although I don't know what the image quality is like - it's the cheapest wide angle prime Canon makes (about double again the cost of the 18-55). Or look at Sigma or other third party lenses.

    'Course, this advice may no longer be relevant. :D
     
  13. NinjaMonkey macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    Maryland
    #13

    The e500 two lens kit is an amazing deal. I believe there is a $100 rebate on it now until the end of June.

    Olympus has some pretty solid kit lenses, in my opinon better than Canon and Nikon offer. You also get more coverage 14-45 and 40-150.

    The only drawback to the Olympus cameras is noise past ISO 800. Though I've found I rarely shoot above ISO 400 and the few times that I do Neat Image cleans up the images nicely.

    For an entry level DSLR, Oly is a great choice. Sony's new SLR looks pretty nice too. Don't feel you have to buy a Canon or Nikon.
     
  14. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #14
    I would doubt its kit lens is much better than the 18-55, and you're wrong about the coverage. Remembering that the Olympus is 2x digital crop not 1.5 or 1.6 like nikon or canon.

    But you're right about the noise. VERY bad from what I've seen- at least in comparison to the work from Canon bodies.
     
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #15
    You can pick up a refurbish D50 for 499. The 18-70 lens sells used for $200 all the time. (The 18-70 is the "kit" lens on the D70 so many d70 owners sell it when they upgrade so the supply is good and price is low.) This will get you a good setup for $600. For about 80 more you could get a new 18-70 lens. the 18-70 is a good general purpose lens better the Canon's 18-55 by far and slightly better then Nikon's 18-55.

    If cost is always going to be an issue look at Nikon. Their lenses are a better value and at the hight end the quality of both are good.

    Used Canon 300D is cheap now that the 350D is out and you will not notice the 2MP difference.
     
  16. ouphe thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #16
    Wow. Thanks everyone for so much great advice! I've got a lot to think about now...it's definitely good to know that the lenses are the big investment: that's kind of changed how I'm looking at this purchase.
    So I have a few new options. The one I'm seriously looking at now is at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0..._4/102-9848186-1495323?_encoding=UTF8&s=photo

    Does this seem like a good deal? I'm going to be looking around a bit more, but it seems no matter how I scour the internet for better deals, the people on this board can usually find even better ones somewhere else.
    This one is looking attractive to me at the moment because: my old film SLR is a Nikon...from 1984...and it still works like a dream. Also: I've got a couple of old lenses for that film SLR..would they work for this camera, as well, or is the generation gap too large?
    Also: will the lens it comes with be solid and versatile enough for doing studio as well as artistic photography (I'll be taking photos of models for a local boutique, as well as taking photos to incorporate into my own work)? There is another one available for a bit more ($620 compared to $595) that has an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S DX Zoom Nikkor Lens instead of the 28-80mm f3.3-5.6G AF Nikkor Zoom Lens the one linked above comes with.

    Again, thanks for all the advice up to this point, and keep it coming!

    -Colin
     
  17. ouphe thread starter macrumors regular

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #17
  18. mjstew33 macrumors 601

    mjstew33

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois
    #18
    I'm eventually buying my future Nikon D50 w/ 18-55mm lens, 1GB stick, 2 or 3yr warranty (I think 3, i forget), and a case at BeachCamera.com. :)

    EDIT: It's not a package, but the lens + camera body is, though. The camera body + lens are refurbished. :)

    My price with 2-3 day shipping (picture 1)

    EDIT:

    Or, from sigma4less.com, you can get this: (picture 2)
     

    Attached Files:

  19. ouphe thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #19
    Wow...yeah..I think the refurb D50 from Sigma is going to be the way for me. I'd much rather invest in a solid lens and a solid refurbed camera than a slightly better camera with a crummy lens.

    Much thanks to everyone for all your advice! You people rock my pants off!

    -Colin
     
  20. thumb macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    #20

    enjoy your kit, keep your pants on, and post your first good pic.

    cheers
     
  21. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #21
    Yeah thats a cheap price on the D50, sigma4less.com is awesome. What I would get for your camera is the Sigma 18-125mm, from sigma4less it will cost you 235, its really the cheapest good lens you can buy.

    PEOPLE, stay away from nikon OR canon's 18-55mm, neither is a good lens so don't think "oh its nikon they have better cheap lenses" not true for these.

    EDIT: Oh and I personally find the lenses from either the 300D or 350D to be better than from the D70 or D50. But its just me I guess.
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond50/page22.asp
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond50/page23.asp
     
  22. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #22
    I'll repeat myself here. :D Lowest price is not always the best. It is after purchase support too. I can't speak for all local shops; but if there is a warranty repair - my shop as an example does not charge to send it out for you. Sure you could send it yourself, but what about the cost for shipping and follow up calls?

    What if in the couple of weeks following the purchase there is a price drop or new rebates announced?

    From what I have heard some shops (not ours) will check on serial numbers when you come in for a support question - to be sure that you didn't buy off the net.

    And my personal rant about not paying sales taxes. Many states require you to report out of state purchases as a "use tax". This is done by most states on the honor system at this point in time.

    You may not agree on how your state tax dollars are spent - then you need to vote in those that feel the way you do. At the same time never complain that what ever "benefit" that you enjoy from your local or state government is now downgraded or costs you in "user fees".

    Continuing my rant - if you don't support your local dealers - then you will not have some place local to touch and feel a wide range of gear. Nor will you have a place that you can go and just talk "shop" and learn.

    At the same point, if your local dealer does not live up to the expectations that I have stated that my shop tries to live up to; then let them know. But don't ask for all the service and goodies at some of the low ball prices.

    There is a cost to have a brick and mortar store in your neighborhood. Places on the net may have stores, but they rely on people that will never need, require, or request support.

    In the end, if one supports the shop I work at, we try to do what we can to make sure our customers are happy. I have gone to great depths at times to help MR members with their needs (privately for key members). One, to show that my shop is beyond just pushing stuff out the door. And the other that there are dealers that do care out there. We may be next door, or maybe a phone call away.

    Bring this to the Mac experience, if I were to buy another Mac (after today I am thinking that I would be better off buy a Windows machine :eek), I will seek out a store other than the Apple store.

    I have a iMac G5 20" that constantly reboots. I got up this morning and went online at 8AM to schedule a Genis this morning. The only option was for 8PM. I thought this might be a glitch. So showed up at the Tyson's VA store 15 minutes before opening. There is another user with an iMac.

    The doors, and the two of us are asked to "book" our time at the Genius Bar. We both got times of 12:40PM! :eek: No one else in the store at the time either. I was told that the others "could" show up. That associate went to the manager, who told her that I could purchase a ProPlan in order to get my Mac in to service ahead of of others.

    I explained that I already purchased the AppleCare plan, and that I knew that my computer did need service (constant rebooting). The only option due to my job and time constraints is an "appointment" at 7PM on Saturday.

    There is no way that my shop could ever hope to survive under these "rules". I am thinking that any future Apple purchase may be through MacHeaven in Chantilly VA.

    Some may question my not going to MacHeaven. It is because I purchased directly from the retail Apple store. I will now support any future Apple purchase through them or another reseller, than the regular Apple Store.

    The Genius Bar is broken, and Apple refuses to acknowledge it. I hate it that the Mac for me is the only way.
     
  23. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000

    FleurDuMal

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    Location:
    London Town
    #23
    That's the soundest piece of advice I've ever seen on these forums. :)
     
  24. ouphe thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 12, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #24
    And the most difficult to follow. I already failed...sigh.

    -Colin
     
  25. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #25
    Chip, your ram is bad, I had the problem you describe. Appeared to stump all the geniuses, but running Rember for a few hours detected it.
     

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