Canon Digital Rebel options

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Wang Foolio, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. Wang Foolio macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2010
    Hey folks,

    I was hoping to gain a little insight into DSLR options, as I am looking at getting my first one this year. Been waiting a long time, as the last point and shoot (Nikon) I bought is relatively limited in its use. It does relatively nice macro work (that's what I use it for most), but gets pretty brutal shutter speeds in real life situations and has some nasty barrel effects in all modes. Pretty inadequate for shooting anything with dim lighting or straight lines, which is a lot...

    My preference would be to return to Canon, the maker of my previous digital cameras and the older SLR's I have used in the past. Obviously there's a long list of differences, but I did want to point out that I have taken some photography classes during my education so while I do know the basics, I don't have any delusions about being a master photographer either. I'm just a guy with hobbies that lend themselves to photography (miniature painting and buying shiny cars, I do have friends who build and race as well). The fact that I have four weddings to attend this fall also gives me a reason to buy a nice camera.

    Anyway, I am looking at the Digital Rebel series and weighing the different options. The T3i, T3 and last year's T2i all have pros and cons, with the T3i obviously having the longest list of features, but it's also got the biggest price tag of the bunch. I also believe that many retailers are packaging the T3 and T3i with a newer version of the 18-55mm lens (though I'm not sure how big of a difference there is).

    I would definitely appreciate some input on the meaningful differences between these models. Thanks in advance :)
  2. tmagman macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2010
    Calgary AB
    If i had to pick there, it would be the T2i. The T3 is really basic and much lower quality that you will outgrow it quickly and I would say that the T3i doesn't add that much over the T2i for the price difference- just the standard faster, crisper, etc. Like I've said in other threads, I'm not a huge fan of vari-angle screens anymore, as they become a weak point on the cameras after a couple of years.

    The 18-55 wouldn't be my first choice of lens for any model. They really feel quite cheap (read- plastic-y) and not very much reach. I would look for one of the kits with the 18-135 (or similar) or if you can find one - a 17-85 which is a really solid lens. Even if you have to pick up the T2i as a body and lens separately, it would be a good way to go.
  3. thatisme macrumors 6502


    Mar 23, 2010
    United States
    my suggestion would be the T3i for a beginner with the kit lens. As the previous poster said, it's not the best lens, but for a starting point, it's not too bad.

    Ideally, though, if it is something you may want to expand with, check out used or refurbished Canon Cameras. You can get a gently used 5D or a 7D for about the same price as a brand new T3i. Even go as far as looking at a 50D or 60D.

    Benefits are that when you get out of the digital Rebel line, you get out of the plastic bodied cameras and get into the magnesium alloy bodies, which hold up better over time.

    Keep in the back of your mind that the camera bodies are the disposable part of the equation now days, and you should make a larger portion of your investment in the lenses. A good lens will last a long time. Also, you can put a crappy lens on a crappy camera and you get crappy image quality. Crappy lens on great camera still will yield crappy image quality. Put a great lens on a crappy camera and you will get great image quality (assuming your camera's sensor is somewhat current). Put that great lens on a great camera, and you get great image quality.... (this does not take into account your skills)
  4. Wang Foolio thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2010
    Thanks for the solid advice, you two. Some very good points to consider there.

    I am notoriously protective of my gear, so I'm not super concerned about wearing out the plastic body. But, then again, accidents do happen and things can get bumped once in a while even if you are careful with them. Plastic bodies, including vari-angle screens that have always made me nervous (they stick out, expose a weak hinge and encourage you to use the camera in ridiculous positions where the thing is exposed far away from your body... not a great mix!), aren't necessarily contributing to the longevity of the product.

    I just might consider saving a bit on the body and getting a lens that is better suited to my needs and overall long term use. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who didn't see any "magical/revolutionary" features on the T3i to warrant the extra cost right now.
  5. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    what will you be shooting? Are you just going to start off with one lens? Are you going to be enlarging any photos?

    Personally, I cannot stand the ergonomics of the rebel line. I find them way too small (which is a plus for many a people), the lack of dedicated buttons (rear dial) is frustrating, among other things.

    I would personally get a used 60D over a t3i, which basically the 60D is a Rebel, but with slightly better build. I had a 40D that i had a 17-40L attached to it last spring and I enlarged photos to 13x19 and had no problems with "just" 10MP. You can pick up a nice 40D used for about $450. A t2i goes for about $500 for the body. You can pick up a used 5D for $900-$1000.

    But to start out, I would get a used body (check out in the buy and sell forum..I have bought and sold thou$ands worth over there in the last 6 or so years) and spend more money on the glass. The 18-55IS II shipped with the Rebel XS, T2i bodies.

    Check out the forums at fred miranda. lots of great resources and info there.
  6. Wang Foolio thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2010
    For lenses, I would be looking for a multi-purpose lens (for shooting at conventions, social events, vacations, or whatever...) and another one for macro work. I paint 28mm models and regularly share the images online. I don't bother with a light tent or anything like that, but since I have at least a basic foundation in place for my setup and how to make it work, my results are better than most. One example below, taken on a Nikon Coolpix P3 and with a tiny bit of processing in Photoshop.


    I would definitely appreciate some input on a macro lens. Most individual models are about 28mm to the eyes, the model shown above is mounted on a 40mm diameter base, for example. Regiments/squads of troops, armored vehicles, etc. are quite a bit larger and introduce a lot more depth of field issues.
  7. 100Teraflops macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    Elyria, Ohio

    I was debating the same thing for a few weeks and I did not buy the t2i or t3i, I bought a 60d. Honestly, if the 60d did not feel better in my hands, then I would have bought a t3i. The 60d is slightly bigger, which complements my bigger then usual hands. IMHO, no matter which camera you select, you cannot go wrong! Nice photos by the way! Is that a WoW character?
  8. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Nov 22, 2007
    Ask Apple
    Here is a good option for a two-for-one. Get a f/1.8 50 mm (~120$) for low light work and a reverser ring (~10 - 15$) to mount the 50 mm in reverse for macro work.
  9. gnd macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2008
    At my cat's house
    Reverse macro with a lens is not the best option, if you want a substantial amount of DoF, which would be required in the case of OP with his painted figures. Reverse macro is sharp at exactly one distance, the distance from the back lens element to the sensor when the lens is mounted normally and this distance doesn't change with focusing ... and DoF really is razor sharp.
  10. Wang Foolio thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2010
    Thanks for the compliment 100Teraflops. The mini shown there is an Ork scrap prospector, circa late 1990's. I really like the pewter Ork models from that era :cool:

    Most of the minis I work with are Games Workshop products. Their Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 games definitely inspired much of the Warcraft/Starcraft concept art. So much that there are supposedly lawyers involved. The story goes that Blizzard wanted to make the Warhammer strategy games, but GW had other developers lined up to make them. So Blizzard sort of tweaked things enough to call it their own game. There are still tongue in cheek references to the Warhammer universe in WoW and other titles :D

    @ Full of Win, I didn't know a reverser ring was an option. I'll definitely look into that!

    @ gnd, Just saw your reply. Might not be able to get away with it after all :p
  11. 100Teraflops macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    Elyria, Ohio
    Thanks for clarifying the origin of the character and the background information. Happy shopping for a camera! :)

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