Considering the purchase of a Digital SLR, and would like some opinions

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by gtNY, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. gtNY macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2008
    Queens, NY
    Hello, I'm relatively new to these forums but I am a lifelong apple user and have really started getting into photography.

    I took a course on 35mm photography and have a nice 35mm Canon EOS Rebel T2. I enjoy the whole process of developing film and making prints, but it just isn't practical for my purposes, especially since I will no longer have regular access to a darkroom once I graduate college. The whole experience of using an SLR has really widened my appreciation for manual settings and as much as i fudge around with my point and shoot, it just isn't right (I have an Olympus Stylus 1010, it's good for when I go to family functions since my camera passes from person to person since they all use my camera, even though they have their own some of which are even better than mine). Since I'm only getting money for Christmas this year I'm hoping to buy myself a DSLR (I'll probably buy it before Christmas with my own money and hope I collect enough to bridge the difference).

    First question: Will the experience of taking a picture (except for the fact that I will be able to view it right away) be similar to my experience with a 35mm? This includes setting the aperture, manually focusing, shutter speed, etc.

    Second question my 35mm SLR as I said before is a Canon EOS Rebel. It came with a kit lens which is decent. If I buy a Canon EOS Digital Rebel, will I be able to use the lens I already have, until I save enough money to buy better lenses?

    I am looking through prices and I found a Canon EOS Rebel XSi. It comes with a kit lens, and the company selling it is offering an 8GB memory card and case for $650 altogether. I am tempted, but think I need to do more research first. hopefully you all can help guide me.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Jul 22, 2002
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    Hello gtNY,

    First off, welcome to these forums. As YMark stated bluntly, DPReview is a good resource, but there's a lot to go through. To answer your questions:

    There will be some differences going from the Rebel T2 to a digital Rebel, mainly a lot of adjustments will have to be done in menus or button press + wheel turning. But all the major adjustments will be available, it will only take a couple hours or so to adjust and get used to accessing all the functions.

    As for your second question, yes, you can use your old lens, but there will be something known as the "crop factor" with digital cameras. For the digital rebels I believe it is 1.6x, so your 35mm lens effectively becomes 35x1.6 or a 56mm lens. This means your current kit lens will not be as wide as you're used to. But it should work just fine.

    I hope that helps! Let us know if you have any other questions.

    Over Achiever
  3. gtNY thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2008
    Queens, NY
    I'm already searching DPReview. :)

    I figured that the settings might be a bit different. I've gone to bestbuy to test a few dslr models but most of them weren't working and it's just not the same when they are on the security wires.

    Thank You for the info on the lens, I am guessing it's probably better to buy a camera with a kit lens so I don't have to worry about crop factor. It would suit my purposes for now, but over time I would probably buy some better lenses.

    Thank You for your help Over Achiever, I will be sure to ask if I have more Questions.
  4. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    First off, welcome.
    Good. You will already have the basics down (e.g. how to use various camera modes, how to control DoF with aperture size, etc). That will make moving to a dSLR very straightforward.

    The digital darkroom is just as enjoyable, once you learn the process. Plus, no stinky chemicals.

    Yep. The only difference is that you'll be loading a memory card vs. film. In fact, a modern dSLR will be even easier to use.

    Good lenses are always a good idea, and I would rather spend money on good glass than the newest, fanciest body.

    That said, all EOS lenses are compatible with any EOS body. The only incompatibility is between EF-S lenses, which are designed specifically for crop sensor bodies (with the exception of the 10D, which doesn't work with EF-S), and full frame digital or film SLR cameras. Stick to EF lenses and you'll have complete back and forth compatibility.

    I typically advise people to steer clear of the kit lens, or at the very least figure on buying a separate second lens of higher quality. Kit lenses are generally not very good, though that's not to say that a good photographer cannot take good pictures with them, just that there are better ways to spend your money.

    If you have a older kit lens now, I would try to save money and just buy the XSi body (or even find a used 20D body for about the same price) and save for a decent midrange zoom lens. The newer kit lenses are not optically better (though most do have IS, which is nice), so you'd be better off (IMHO...others may disagree) saving for something like the 17-40 f/4L (which can be had used from the very reputible for around $500 if you're patient). That way, you'll be investing in quality glass that will last a lifetime (or at least until you crave f/2.8...;)).

    Oh, and you'll want to pick up the very cheap 50 f/1.8; it's long on a crop sensor body (85mm equivalent), and its old-school AF sucks in very low light (think 1/45s, f/1.8, ISO3200), but it's a steal for the price and produces nice images in the right light.

    Good luck, and welcome to the money pit that is digital SLR photography.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Yes, the camera makers made sure of this, the digital camera work close enough to the way film camera work. One exception is that with digital you can adjust the ISO for each shot. With film the ISO remains the same for the whole roll

    The digital sensor is smaller then the 35mm frame. They call it a "crop sensor" for that reason. The practical effect is that the lens acts as if it were about 1.5 times longer focal length. So you lenses will not be as wide but will be longer
  6. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    I'd highly recommend checking out this deal at Amazon currently...Linkety

    It's a K2000D Pentax body, flash, lens, UV filter, bag, and 4GB SD card for $600. Sort of wish this deal had been around when I was buying my camera! :rolleyes:

    I have the K10D, which is an older generation that gives the K2000D its guts. Great camera; I love it and the pictures it takes. The Pentax kit lens is one of the best out there, plus you can use any K-mount lens... I've got a 30 year old lens that I still use on my dSLR.

    I wouldn't keep your film Rebel's kit lens. I've seen them and used them... very flimsy, and too narrow for a digital camera with the crop. For fun I mounted one on a Digital Rebel... workable, but not great by any means.

    I will say that focusing was the hardest thing to get used to. Everything else was very intuitive on the K10D, but focusing was a change coming from a split-level viewfinder to new-style viewfinder. It's taken some practice, but I've gotten pretty good at it again. Conveniently, the AF system is still active and tells you when the image is in focus even though you're "driving". As with anything, there are changes... and in the scheme of things, it isn't too bad of a change.

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