I just purchased a DSLR (Canon Digital Rebel XT)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by 007bond, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. 007bond, Jul 11, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012

    007bond macrumors 6502a

    007bond

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    #1
    EDIT: I purchased a Canon Digital Rebel XT on the MacRumors marketplace for $110. It doesn't have fancy features, but it'll get to job done and be a good camera to learn with. Thanks for all the help, everyone. I'll be posting my impressions and sample photos soon. Below is the original question:

    Code:
    Old Post Title: Is this a good "bridge" camera for me? (GE X500) 
    Hello, everyone. I have been wanting to get into photography, but I still do not have the means to purchase a $500+ DSLR. I recently discovered this GE camera that many are calling a "bridge" camera. I was wondering if anyone has used this camera or has any thoughts on it. Thanks :). 
    
    [url]http://www.amazon.com/GE-X500-BK-Optical-Digital-Camera/dp/B004LB4SAM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342015414&sr=8-1&keywords=GE+camera[/url]
     
  2. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

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    #2
    Wow, that camera is super cheap!

    It actually doesn't look too bad, though GE certainly isn't a big name in photography. The Cnet review for the camera is decent too.

    It's got the important features that mark a bridge camera: choice of aperture priority, shutter priority, or manual mode, so it'd probably be good to use in order to get a feel for setting those controls yourself. On the other hand, it's not reported to have great image quality, and you may find yourself looking to upgrade to a DSLR sooner rather than later.

    So, it doesn't sound like a terrible camera (especially given the price!), but if you could get an entry-level DSLR (how about used?), you may end up with something that'll "grow with you" a bit longer, especially if you find you really enjoy the hobby.
     
  3. 007bond thread starter macrumors 6502a

    007bond

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    #3
    Thank you very much for the input. I am strongly considering this camera, mostly because of the price. Do you have any recommendations for an entry level DSLR camera (preferably an older model that I can buy used for a good price)?

    Also, do you know of any good websites/guides for new photographers? Thanks :)
     
  4. MyRomeo macrumors 6502

    MyRomeo

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    #4
    Hey,

    my wife has the GE X5 which is basically the exact same camera but the previous years model.

    I shoot with a Nikon D3100 so have high expectations of any camera.

    I must say tho the GE is decent, the image quality is more than acceptable, the zoom is smooth and the manual control is really decent, 30s manual exposure, decent aperture control and some interesting presets including portrait, fireworks and snow.

    For the price its a good camera but I personally prefer the picture output from the FujiFilm bridge range (S3300, S4300 etc) which are a little more expensive and actually lack some features the GE has.
     
  5. 007bond thread starter macrumors 6502a

    007bond

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    #5
    Hi. Thanks for the response. I will look into the FujiFilm cameras, but at $100, I don't think I can go wrong with the GE. I eventually want to move up to a DSLR, but as a college student, I can't at the moment.

    Thank you for the recommendations :)
     
  6. MyRomeo macrumors 6502

    MyRomeo

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    #6
    for the price its an excellent starter camera and the manual settings, labels, descriptions etc are essentially the same as on an SLR so its a good learning camera too. I learnt manual control using the GE and Fuji S3300 before moving up the D3100 when I started to reach limitations with the bridge cameras.
     
  7. WRP macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    photography-on-the.net is a good forum that caters mostly to Canons.

    You could get an old Canon 20D/30D (Nikon D50/D70) with a kit lens to get you started for a couple hundred bucks. It won't be high MP and won't have video but you can learn on something like that.

    If you really like it you can upgrade your lenses in the future and then get a better body.
     
  8. 007bond thread starter macrumors 6502a

    007bond

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    #8
    I haven't been able to find either of the cannons for under $250 with a lens. I will look at the D50/70 though. Thanks for the suggestions.
     
  9. joepunk macrumors 68030

    joepunk

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    #9
    Looks like an ok camera for a hundred bucks.

    Might I also suggest a Canon Powershot SX120, 130 or 150

    SX120 IS: 36-360mm lens, Full MASP (Manual, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, Program), 10mp, No HD Video though. Aperture starts at f/2.8 :) Can only be found used afaik

    SX130 IS: 28-336mm lens, Full MASP, 12mp, HD Video. Aperture starts at f/3.4 :( Can be found for around $150 on the used/discontinued market.

    SX150 IS: 28-336mm lens, Full MASP, 14mp, HD Video. Aperture starts at f/3.4 :( Instant saving going on now until AUG 4 '12. Full price is $249 but right now it is dropped to $179 @ B&H Photo

    Here is a side by side comparison
     
  10. Jonathansm macrumors member

    Jonathansm

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    #10
    Looks like a good camera for only 106 bucks. I think it looks kind of funny zoomed all the way

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #11
    If you really want to learn how to use a DSLR camera, get one. Those bridge cameras are very limiting because they have lenses that don't allow much control. You'll never really understand how aperture can affect an image if you don't have a lens that can achieve a very shallow depth-of-field (e.g. blurred background behind in-focus subject). Sure, you'll have buttons or knobs or whatever that will allow you to change your aperture, but your lens will limit you to a range of small apertures that don't have much affect on the image--so the end result will look much the same regardless of which setting you choose.

    If you really want to save money, I would recommend looking at Pentax cameras. It is very easy to use them with vintage manual focus lenses that can be picked up for next to nothing on the used market. You can use old lenses on other brands of cameras too, but doing so is as straightforward and easy as possible with Pentax: every Pentax lens ever made will mount and meter on any Pentax DSLR ever made. No need for adapters or for consulting any compatibility charts.

    You can get a Pentax K100D for between $100-150 used. It's only 6MP, but the image quality you get from it will easily rival the GE X500 because the K100D's sensor is much larger and the lenses will be much better quality. I'll bet you could enlarge a photo from a K100D to the same size as one from a GE X500 and have very similar quality.
     
  12. 007bond thread starter macrumors 6502a

    007bond

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    #12
    I actually ended up taking your advice about getting a real DSLR rather than a bridge. I recently purchased a Canon Digital Rebel XT here on the forums. I know it isn't the latest and greatest, but at $110 I couldn't pass up the deal. I hope to get lots of experience out of it until I can afford a newer model. Thanks for all the help :). I'll be sure to post my thoughts on it soon.
     
  13. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

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    #13
    The XT is not bad at all. Good buy :)
     
  14. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #14
    Stick with Nikon or Canon. Those are the dominant brands. With them you get max amount of accessories and support in the marketplace.

    If I wanted to move to a Canon DSLR and could not do it just yet, I would get a S100 or G12 to start. Both can shoot raw format files. And both make a great every day backup camera. Either of them downloading into a good post processing environment like Aperture or Lightroom would a great way to get started. By the time you have gotten proficient at post processing....maybe the budget will be right for a DSLR.
     
  15. someoldguy macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Good camera to learn on , not a lot of bells and whistles to distract you ,it'll make a decent 8x10 print and the price was right . Enjoy it , and don't forget to post some pix.
     
  16. 007bond thread starter macrumors 6502a

    007bond

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    #16
    I'll definitely post post some pics and my impressions of the camera. It's going to be a fun few weeks :p

    ----------

    I updated the original post to be clear. I actually purchased a Rebel XT. It's coming in tomorrow. But thanks for the advice! Do you prefer Aperture or Lightroom?
     
  17. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #17
    IMHO, LR 4 is a better value than Aperture 3 at twice the cost. For $79 you won't go far wrong with Aperture 3.

    The big question is where is Aperture 4?
     
  18. 007bond thread starter macrumors 6502a

    007bond

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    #18
    Well, since I get the edu price on LR4 ($59.99 on Amazon), it seems like that's a much better deal.
     
  19. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    #19
    At least you can try Lightroom first, sadly Apple don't allow a 30 day trial anymore.
     
  20. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Then I would recommend LR for sure. Once you get familiar with it, you might want to put the Nik Software Suite of pluggins for Aperture/LR on your holiday gift list. The suite has HDR Pro, Color Efex, Silver Efex, Dfine (noise reduction), Sharpern, and Viveza (a good general processing tool). If you ever need a pixel editor or a way to do layers manually, good old inexpensive Photoshop Elements 10 is an excellent value.

    So folks swear by Photoshop CS5 or CS 6 for photo processing. We have CS5 and basically never use it. So we are not upgrading to CS6. For our work the LR and Nik Suite does all we want for post processing nature photographs. CS5 or CS6 are much more general graphic tool sets that can be used on photographs or any other graphic file.
     
  21. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    Congrats on your new camera. :) Did it come with the kit lens?
     
  22. 007bond thread starter macrumors 6502a

    007bond

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    #22
    Thanks! Yes, it did. I'm a bit confused with the whole concept of lenses. What exactly differentiates one lens from another? For example, the kit lens is an 18-55mm lens. What makes this different from, say, a 75-300mm lens?

    Sorry for the noob questions :p. I have absolutely no experience with photography(beyond using a point and shoot with iPhoto), so this is going to be very interesting :p.

    ----------

    That was a bit disappointing to learn. I could go to my Apple Store to check it out, but I might as well just go with Lightroom based on the price.
     
  23. cocky jeremy macrumors 68040

    cocky jeremy

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    #23
    For me. I prefer Aperture, as far as organization, but i prefer Lightroom for editing. I'm waiting for Aperture 4 though. Hopefully Apple really steps it up.
     
  24. 007bond thread starter macrumors 6502a

    007bond

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    #24
    I took did some research on that suite. It looks like it can do some amazing things, but it's $150 with a student discount :eek:. If I really get in to photography, I'll definitely consider it.

    Also, does anyone know if a Lightroom license can be transferred between computers? I currently have an iMac and want to use Lightroom on my MacBook Air when I get it. Would that be allowed?
     
  25. Phrasikleia, Aug 6, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012

    Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #25
    The numbers given in millimeters are the focal lengths of the lens. In layman's terms: the higher the number, the more "zoom" factor you're getting. A 75-300mm lens is a telephoto zoom, meaning it has a range of focal lengths, all of which make distant objects appear to be closer. The kit lens you have ranges from a wide-angle focal length (18mm) to a mild telephoto (55mm) on your XT. There is also a type of lens that does not zoom at all; this type will have a single focal length, and the term for this category is "prime lens." Primes are less convenient because they can't zoom through a range of focal lengths, but they are easier to manufacture and therefore tend to have better optical quality than zoom lenses do.

    The other numbers you will find on lenses begin with an "f" and designate the maximum aperture that the lens can achieve. The aperture blades can open wider on some lenses than others, meaning that they let in more light to the sensor all at once. Rather confusingly, larger f-numbers mean smaller aperture openings; for example, f/2 is a larger opening than f/8. I always recommend that beginners play around with a so-called "nifty fifty," which is a relatively inexpensive 50mm lens with a large maximum aperture of f/1.8. The large aperture will enable you to achieve effects (such as a sharp subject against a blurred-out background) that will help you to learn about the relationship between aperture and shutter speed.
     

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