Need my first SLR - Canon EOS 350D / Digital Rebel XT worth it?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by appledu, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. appledu macrumors member

    appledu

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    #1
    Hello all,

    I've only ever done point and shoot on automatic mode and want to get serious so am thinking of getting this Canon.
    Is the kit package a good place to start or is it better to just get the body and another lens?
    My main photos will be:
    - Family indoors and out
    - Landscape
    - Night
    - Wildlife/Nature
    - Macro

    I'd like to start off with one lens, and then expand.

    I've also read that Canon will be releasing a new range real soon, is that true?
    Is it a good idea to buy now?

    Thanks for any advice,

    appledu
     
  2. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #2
    Maybe this thread may help you guide you through the purchasing process.
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=215356
    I ended up going with D30 over Rebel XT. For the daily walk around lens, Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 has received good reviews from many users.
     
  3. appledu thread starter macrumors member

    appledu

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    #3
    Thanks,

    Is that lens better than the kit one?

    Also, will Canon be announcing a new range soon?

    appledu
     
  4. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

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    #4
    Yes its better than the kit lens, though not as wide angle.

    I don't think Canon will be releasing any new low end bodies anytime soon.
     
  5. appledu thread starter macrumors member

    appledu

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    #5
    I've read on a forum (maybe this one..:eek: ) that Canon are making a big announcement on 24 August...though I've not seen anything official...

    Also, the body is a few years old, how often do they change them?

    appledu
     
  6. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #6
    You can wait for 8/24 to see what's coming out from Canon, if any. But, like any other thread on this forum on hardware purchase timing, sometime you need to get the gear you need now in stead of waiting for something new coming out. There is always new coming out at some points in the future.

    Also, especially for the digital camera, if you buy over 8 MP digital camera (like Rebel), you should be able to take good pictures. I think with the gear like this level, the operator's skill level/technique and lens quality would be more important.
     
  7. extraextra macrumors 68000

    extraextra

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    #7
    The product cycles seem to be every 18 months or so. The 350D was released in Feb of last year, so it's about 18 months old right now, not "a few years".

    I would recommend playing with the manual settings on a p+s before making the jump to a DSLR, but whatever. You've listed a wide range of subjects you'd like to photograph, which will require a wide range of lenses. The kit lens is actually very good for landscapes, when it's at f/9+. You'll want something like a 50mm f/1.8 for night, because the wider aperture (smaller f/ stop) lets in more light and combined with a higher ISO, allows you to take pictures at higher shutter speeds in little light (reducing blur/camera shake). It also works well for portraits.
     
  8. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #8
    The Rebel XT is a good camera, just thought I'd throw that in there.
    I'm using one right now.
     
  9. appledu thread starter macrumors member

    appledu

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    #9

    Thanks Seenew,

    I love your photos, really inspiring, and you really show what the camera can do. :)

    Questions:

    What set of lenses do you have?
    For a beginner, who wants to shoot a variety of things, would you recommend getting the kit now, waiting, or getting the body and another lens (which one) now?

    appledu
     
  10. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #10
    I'm just getting into SLR photography, but I can tell you the kit lens is not that great at all. My two favorite lenses I have are my 50mm f/1.8 and my 75-300 f/4-5.6. The thing I really need right now is a wide lens, which I'm looking at the 10-20mm, but it's like $500-600, so it's gonna be a while, since college starts next month!

    I HIGHLY recommend the 50mm 1.8.
     
  11. maxi macrumors regular

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    #11
    As far as announcements go, Photokina 2006 starts at the beggining of october. Photokina is a bi-annual conference where all the photography brands expose (think of it as a MWSF for photography), so chances are that everyone will release a thing or two for that time.
     
  12. seany916 macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Don't worry too much about the body of the camera

    Make your decision based on the lenses available. That is where most of your money will go in the long run. And don't cheap out on low end lenses, they're a waste of money. Go with at least a mid grade lens, there is a point of diminishing returns just like anything else. Much like anything else, if you buy cheap, you'll end up with buyer's remorse in the long run (you just won't know enough to realize it in the beginning). Camera bodies come & go. The lenses you'll keep for years and should be able to use them on your NEXT camera as well. The XT is a great camera, as is the D50. If you don't anticipate buying a large number of lenses and want to keep the price modest while maintaining decent quality, the E-volt and other SLRs are supposed to be pretty comparable to the Canon/Nikon duo.

    Just something to keep in mind. A good case is priceless (okay, about $100-$350). Would you simply throw your MB or MBP in a backpack without padding? (If so, more power to you... I can't do it)
    Recommend the Tamrac Expedition series (7 if you're tall enough, 5 if you're shorter than 5'6" or so), great value & high quality for the price.

    50/1.8 is a solid purchase. You'll need it for low light.
     
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #13
    Whatever changes Canon makes to their 350D will not be significant. They might make it bigger, more comfortable, or give it good build quality. Not sure. However, the number of megapixels the camera has is likely to stay the same, as are many of the features offered on it.

    And the Tamron 28-75 mm f/2.8 is supposed to be a great lens. I got the Sigma 24-70 mm f/2.8 macro lens even though the reviews were not as good (although it's still supposed to be fantastic) because it goes slightly wider. It also has a magnification ratio of 1:3.9 or something, making it decent for macros (although not really a true macro with 1:2 or 1:1 ratio).
     
  14. MacSA macrumors 68000

    MacSA

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    #14
    There are some rumours that suggest the 350D may becoming to the end of its life....and an update coming quite soon.
     
  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #15
    ^^Yeah, and I'd wait as well, unlike for computer updates. I'd wait because an update doesn't happen every few months, so if you have to wait a month or so for an imminent update.

    But again, the changes to the 350D are likely to be small, I'd imagine. I can't imagine them upping any major features, unless they really wanted to get close to the Nikon D80, although they'd cannabalize sales of their own 30D.
     
  16. cgratti macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

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  17. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #17
    Wildlife photography is expensive. You need a long and fast lens and a good tripod and possibly a ball head on the tripod. You are in the four digit price range.

    Beginners always look at camera bodies first Don't do that. Look at lenses. Lenses make the image, bodies only record the image. Also very quickly you will find and the majory of the cost of the system is in the lenses. Lenses reman usfull for many years or even decades while I doubt you will still be shotting with a 350D in five or six years.
    Once the image is downloaded onto your computer no one will know if it cames from a 350D 20D or 30D but the lens will matter. A 70-200 f/2.8 does work that a smaller lans can't

    Canon makes a wide range of lenses form "cheap" to profesional quality. So you get to pick.
     
  18. appledu thread starter macrumors member

    appledu

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    #18
    Well, I've spent all day thinking about this and looking at photography sites on internet...is it just me, or is there really just "too much" out there for one person to take in? :rolleyes:

    Anyway,

    I'd prefer Canon lenses and can't see the point on getting entry-level lenses, even if it is to begin with...I want to improve my photography and buy lenses that I can keep, even if I do change bodies.

    I don't plan on shooting the next cover for National Geographic, but a solid base is important to me, which is why I can't see the point on getting the kit lens.

    Now, questions:

    The prime lens: EF 50 mm f/1.8II
    I don't know if this is correct, but I understand the prime lens as a 1:1 shot.
    That means, I guess, that it's pretty much like what the human eye would see. So, if I took a picture of my cat (pic on profile:p ) from a foot away, I'd capture what my eye would see from a foot away....if I take it 10ft away, it's what I'd see 10ft away...is that correct?
    What are the advantages of this lens over a mid-range one that includes 50mm?

    So, is this lens good for family pics (posed and spontaneous) and pictures of objects or my cat? Would it let me get closeups?

    As this lens is really cheap, despite the good reviews, I'm hesitating about a second lens...I've figured out that I'd prefer wide shots (landscapes, ground shots up/across) to zoom, that I'd get later on...which lens do you advise, knowing that I'd prefer it to have IS and I'd still like a little zoom, if possible?

    Am I right in trying to get specific lenses rather than an all-rounder?

    And finally, someone on here must know if Canon are changing their line soon...please....:eek:

    appledu
     
  19. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #19
    You MUST get the 50mm 1.8. For the money, there's nothing better, and it's a great multi-purpose lens that takes beautiful shots. It lives on my camera. I even shelled out $200+ for the MkI, and I think it was worth it.
     
  20. mr.barkan macrumors newbie

    mr.barkan

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    #20
    I've got one, have it since Oct/05... did some great shot with it...
    you can check out my Flickr.

    The best thing about this camera is the CMOS sensor and it's fast Digic II processor. The camera is really fast on boot/shot/buffer/save timings, really really great. And the CMOS sensor is waaaay more advanced than the CCD's, really. It has low noise at high ISO, and better colour precision. The RAW photos come out beautifully. Recommend better lens that the kit. The ones everyone's talking about are great.

    I had to get the kit as I was working and had to buy the camera quick and have options around. I have 2 slow lenses... and slow focus. I'll be selling these and trading in for a faster lens by the end of the month.

    And I recommend a extra battery pack, and a vertical grip/battery holder if you have a big hand. Get a fast Compact Flash card also!

    Hope I helped. ;)
     
  21. sjl macrumors 6502

    sjl

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    #21
    No, you're not quite correct. A prime lens is, purely and simply, a lens with a single focal length. Put a prime lens on the camera, and you are unable to zoom in or out - you're stuck with whatever framing you get (unless you use the good old fashioned "foot zoom". :D)

    What you're talking about is termed a "standard" lens. On a 35mm camera (film, 5D, 1Ds), the 50mm is considered a standard lens. On a 1.6 crop body, though, a standard lens would be one with a focal length around 30mm or so.

    As to the advantages: it's a lot easier to design and make a good quality prime lens than to make an equivalent zoom lens. Consider, for example, a telephoto lens: the 200mm f/2.8. RRP in Australia is $1399. In comparison, the 70-200 f/2.8 has a RRP of $2409 (or $3589 if you want IS.) I'd bet good money on the 200mm f/2.8 producing much better pictures than the 70-200mm at 200mm, too. There are plenty of other such examples (and note that, once you're past 200mm, you won't get f/2.8 except in prime lenses.)

    That's not to say that zoom lenses are bad; just that they're harder to design, and have more compromises inherent in their designs. Some zooms are of superb quality (the 70-200mm f/2.8 springs to mind); others aren't as good; the price will tend to reflect this.

    The 50mm f/1.8 is an excellent lens for the price, and well worth picking up. It'll do a solid job of stock "head and shoulders" shots.

    An all-rounder is a decent starting point; it'll help you figure out the focal lengths you're most likely to use, if you want to go down the prime route; the image quality might not be great, but it will help you to learn. Later, you can sell it in favour of better quality glass without losing too much money.

    If, on the other hand, you're sure of what you want to do, I'd suggest throwing as much as you can afford at good quality glass from the start; you'll get better shots that way.

    Something to be careful of is the use of the word "zoom": in photography, a zoom lens is one capable of going anywhere in between two focal length limits (eg: 24-70; 28-105; etc.) You're talking about zoom in the context of distance photography; such lenses are called telephoto lenses (or super telephotos, if they're longer than around 200mm). A lens that can go from (eg) 100 to 400mm would be a telephoto zoom.

    Hope this helps clarify matters a little.
     
  22. appledu thread starter macrumors member

    appledu

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    #22
    Thanks for that. :)

    So...
    I'm thinking the Canon EF 50/1.8 II for family, objects, shots of my cat....

    And a wide lens for landscapes, maybe the Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM.....is that range too "big" for a good lens, meaning, am I better off getting a lens with a smaller range like a Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM, that's more expensive :( ...is it worth it?

    Is IS important for wide shots?

    appledu, learning....:p
     
  23. sjl macrumors 6502

    sjl

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    #23
    Yeah, it'll do that job very nicely indeed. You can't go wrong for the cost.

    Depends on where you see yourself going in the future. The 17-40 is really designed to be a wide-angle lens for full-frame cameras; it fills the same sort of niche for full-frame as the 10-22mm does for 1.6 crop bodies. Yes, you can put it on the 350D or 20D, and have it act as a "normal" zoom lens, but it really is a waste of money to do that, unless you see yourself buying a full frame body later on, and are interested in very wide shots.

    The 17-85mm is a decent lens; much better quality than the 18-55, although not as good as the 17-55. It's what I use, and I'm happy with the shots I've been getting out of it. If you have the money, I'd definitely advocate getting it over the 18-55. Is it perfect? No. It produces shots with noticeable barrel distortion. But it does the job well enough; it's not offensive. (I'm never buying a fisheye lens; there's too much barrel distortion. :D Old photography joke, if you don't get it.)

    Not as much as it is for telephoto shots, but I still use it on the 17-85 quite a bit; it makes it possible to get shots with a handheld camera that would otherwise only be possible with a monopod or tripod.

    Hope this helps.
     
  24. appledu thread starter macrumors member

    appledu

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    #24
    Thanks,

    There are rumors of a Canon XTi coming out really soon to replace the XT, anyone know anything?

    appledu
     

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