Pulling Trigger for Canon Rebel XTi but need some last minute advice...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by kkat69, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. kkat69 macrumors 68020

    kkat69

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    #1
    I'm sure questions similar have been asked but hey, this is my thread right? :p

    I'm about to pull the trigger and get a Canon Rebel XTi. I've decided after reading some reviews, talking to co-workers who dabble in digital photography, glancing through these forums, and physically handling different models this is the one I want.

    I'll be honest, I'm very n00bish in regards to DSLR. I have plenty of references though to get up to a reasonable learning speed. I have used old school cameras and in fact have an older 35m Canon and have like 4 different lens plus filters so I guess I'm not total n00bish.

    What do I want to do? Take nice clear shots, both of family and occasional backdrops/backgrounds. I do see things at least 2 times a week and go "that would be a nice picture" so I do plan on using it but nothing that would justify buying an above entry level DSLR.

    My questions are (which are pretty generic regardless of manufacturer):
    1. What would be a reasonable size CF card? I can get an 8g for 30 bucks but would I fill it up quickly? If so, then I'll look at doubling that but was wanting an idea on how quickly an 8g CF would fill up with near high quality shots. One thing I don't want to have happen is halfway through Disneyworld I run out of space and have to run back to the hotel to unload my CF Card.
    2. I notice I can get the camera at a reasonable price with an 18-55mm lens. My understanding is that's a pretty "Generic Use" lens. But I do plan on doing some zoom (not much, nothing to justify an really expensive telephoto zoom) so I was thinking of getting the body and buying a different lens. Recomendations? What other lens size would be good for generic/normal everyday use yet still allow for greater zoom when needed?

    Thanks in advance for any advice, it's really appreciated.
     
  2. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #2
    Go to some shop to handle the Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus and Sony entry-level cameras to make a decision, not just by reading comments and reviews.
     
  3. kkat69 thread starter macrumors 68020

    kkat69

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    Aug 30, 2007
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    #3
    I have, I'll edit my post so we can bypass this in the future. My questions are actually generic to most current DSLR cameras regardless of manufacturer.
     
  4. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #4
    An 8GB card can hold about 800+ RAW files, and if you plan on shooting in JPEGs, probably over 2000 full-resolution JPEG fine pictures. You could get a smaller card and probably be fine. Don't buy high-speed cards. They're pretty pointless.

    There are a ton of alternatives to the 18-55 kit lens. Here's a run down of what I think are the most interesting for consumers:

    1) the new 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS version of the kit lens. It's image stabilized and much much sharper. It's still small, light, cheap, plastic, and hard to manually focus, but it'll produce much better results. I don't know how available this lens is. ~$200

    2) Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro. This is a great do-it-all kit lens replacement. It's slightly wider at the wide end, a little longer at the long end, is 2/3 of a stop faster (no IS though), and does decent Macro (focuses really close on small objects). This is a much better built lens than the Canon kit lenses. ~$350

    3) There are a number of 18-50 or so constant f/2.8 lenses. These are nice, but they are $450+ and pretty big and heavy. But they may be more than you want to deal with at this point.

    4) and whatever else you get, the 50mm f/1.8 is always a good idea. It's about $75 and produces excellent results. Depending on what you shoot, this lens might be on your camera a lot. When my daughter was a newborn, this lens was an excellent portrait lens. Now that she's a little more mobile, a zoom's gotten more useful. I expect it comes full circle again to when kids and family will pose for pictures, and then this lens is great again.
     
  5. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    Where am I???
    #5
    1. Get a larger number of smaller CF cards. That way, you limit your losses if any one card goes "bad". I have several 2GB cards, which hold about 300 RAWs each from my 10D.

    2. Skip the kit lens; get the body only. As for what lens you should buy after that, this depends on your use of the camera. I'd get the EF 50/1.8 no matter what; for $99, you'll never find a better lens. After that, if you like wide-angle stuff and you need a zoom, get the 17-40 F4L; it's about $500, and a phenomenal lens (for outdoors...F4 is a bit slow for indoors unless you have great lighting). If you want moderate telephoto and can live with primes, you can't beat an 85/1.8 on a 1.6x crop camera like the XTi.

    Hope this helps...
     
  6. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #6
    8GB is more than enough. I doubt you'll ever run out of space, unless you're shooting a wedding or something (I shot almost exactly 8 gigs when I did one last fall).

    As for the kit lens, skip it. It's terrible. Get the body and choose a better lens.
     
  7. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #7
    The ideal card size is 512MB because that's the biggest that fits entirely on a CD, which I think most photo kiosks out there are still limited to burning this.
    But this size is would allow you only about 50 shots in RAW and 130 in the best JPEG quality with this camera.

    The next best size is 4GB as this is the biggest one fitting a single layer DVD. There are some kiosks that can burn this, or you could leave the card at some photo stores to pick up a DVD made on a computer later.

    8GB would be the max for dual layer. I don't know the status with kiosks and specially the availability of the dics themselves at the shops, although it could be possible that you could provide your own disc and just pay for the service (even proposing that they charge you the same, saving them a disk, although some would possibly try to demand more money just because it's more data, although it's true that the burning takes longer).
    I find this option too shaky.

    Forget about HD DVD and Blu Ray.
     
  8. juanster macrumors 68020

    juanster

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Location:
    toronto
    #8
    thats ana mazing deal i got a 2gb for 29.99 and i thought i got a great deal, i say you go for it, you can fit a lot of raw's in one 8 gb (at leats 300 i think tahst alot) and then if you still need more then get one or two more smaller cf's or the same size if you can get it for so cheap, i know i would. And can someone explain why there is no difference between the ultra fast or whatever cards and the regular ones, the guy at henry's told me it was a big deal and i should not get a regular one....as for the lens, i just got a rebel xt and got the kit lens, i ve been pretty happy with it, but now i know i am getting the ef50 1/8 II, and i want a wide angle i still have no idea what to get tho...they seem to be in the expensive side..
     
  9. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #9
    As far as I understand there are two benefits to speed, uploading to your computer, so you can upload all your pictures in say 30 seconds instead of 50 seconds. Or if you need very fast write times for repeated fast burst shooting, say shooting repeated bursts of 10fps 10MP RAW files for 1.5 seconds with 1 second intervals. On a Canon XTi, this requirement is an impossibility, so it's all about saving a few seconds when uploading the pictures to the computer. Doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

    Actually, there's a third. Reviewing pictures on your camera from the card. Instead of .25 seconds to load a pictures or whatever it will be .15.
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #10
    #2 You say you have a Canon Film camera if it is an auto focus camera you should be able to use those lenses on the new camera. I assume that is why you are buying a Canon DSLR, to take advantage of those lenses you already have. If the old SLR is really old, then you ARE starting over In that case I'd recommend you stick with e 18-55. It is so cheap that it is a great value. Shoot 1,000 frames then look at what you missed and buy the lens that would get you the most of those missed shots. To many beginners for a cheap f/5.6 telephoto zoom only to find they are not really so useful, Maybe a flash or a wide angle lens or a 50mm lens would have been better. You can't know until after you shoot a few images. Keep the money in the bank until you've shot 1000 frames

    #1. What size card? If you shoot RAW format figure 100 images per GB. Cards are so cheap right now that you can just buy several 4GB cards If you shoot JPG format you can fit "hundreds per GB" and one 4GB card will last nearly "forever" and hold well over 1,000 images

    I like the 4GB size simply because one 4GB card can be archived to one DVD. That is the first thing I do when processing images is back up the memory card.
     
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #11
    Just a minute. Doesn't everyone here own a computer and have an Internet connection?

    Why are we messing with "photo kiosks" and going to photo stores? I'd think that after shooting most of us will download the images to a Mac. Then sort, organize and correct the images using iPhoto or Aperture or Lightroom or whatever and then if prints are required send just those, after they are adjusted and cropped to a printer. either your own printer or a service. Typically you'd transfer the image file over the Internet

    By the time you get to printing the images are converted to JPG format and are small, just a few MB each, so it is reasonable to send even 100 images over the Internet, maybe at night if you have a slow connection. But do you print in batches of 100? more likely far fewer.
     
  12. kkat69 thread starter macrumors 68020

    kkat69

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    #12
    I agree, I don't mess with "kiosk's" at all anymore. 512 is just WAY to small and anything under 1g really isn't even on my radar.

    Thanks everyone for the advice. It's giving me some gauging when I make the purchase.

    I'll definitely bank the cash and stick with the 15/88 lens until I really figure out what else I would like to shoot. Between my Dad and I we would have probably 30 lens, but I don't think any :mad: would fit the camera I'm buying which is ok. This is a fresh start towards a nice hobby and hopefully some good family shots.

    Thanks everyone, was some real good advice to work with.
     
  13. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #13
    I just got the Xti and we opted for the 18-55 IS lens. We take a lot of indoor shots and the IS helps with some of the lower light situations.

    As for the old lenses, you'd be surprised how compatible they are still. The Canon Xti is compatible with the EF and EF-S lenses. If you have ready access to those old lenses, you might want to post the model numbers and the kind folks on this forum could help sort out what you got.

    ft
     
  14. Chitoneus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #14
    I'm probably near the same level as the OP in regards to digital photography. I just bought my Rebel XTi a couple of months ago after some obsessive research and forum lurking. I'll echo what others have said about the kit lens: skip it, and get the body only. I went with the 18-55mm IS lens, which I picked up on Amazon for about $175. It makes a nice multi-purpose lens, and the optics are pretty decent. I also got the 50mm f/1.8 II that someone mentioned above for about $70, which I would say is a must have if you're going to be taking cute kid shots.

    Of course this is what works for my budget, but so far it's been a good start.
     
  15. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #15
    The kiosks/photo stores burning discs are for when you travel for more than a couple of days without carrying a computer.

    I don't think burning CDs makes sense anymore as it must cost more than a 512MB card.
    So the best option is the 4GB cards even if it DVD burners were still not common in kiosks.
     
  16. kkat69 thread starter macrumors 68020

    kkat69

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    #16
    Is there a brand choice? My wife is approving the purchase but wants to review my request (geez you would think it's a business in our house LOL) and wants to know exactly what we're buying. She's all for this but just doesn't want a surprise purchase. I'd like to say "Honey this is what Im buying and why."

    After all, just because I make the money doesn't mean I get to spend it LOL

    Last couple of questions (promise) on the 2 lens most seem to agree are must haves.

    Auto Focus? Does each one (the 15/88 and 50mm) AF? or will I be manually focusing?
     
  17. kkat69 thread starter macrumors 68020

    kkat69

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    Aug 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    #17
    If I'm traveling more than a couple of days I've always got a laptop with me, since 1998 (wow my old Toshiba BW laptop dang and it was running win 3.11)
     
  18. Chitoneus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #18
    Both lenses are from Canon, and both have auto focus. I don't think I've come across any that don't. The 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS has image stabilization, which is pretty handy.

    Here's a review of it:
    http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/canon_18-55_3p5-5p6_is_c16/

    Good luck with the approval process! ;)
     
  19. TWLreal macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    #19
    None of the Canon EOS bodies have built-in AF motors, that's why every single EF and EF-S lens ever made from the beginning has that motor in them. Except the TS-E and MP-E lenses that is but those are rare breeds.

    You will benefit from autofocus on just about every lens you can put in the camera body.
     
  20. kkat69 thread starter macrumors 68020

    kkat69

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    #20
    Ok, wife an I physically went and played with the camera. We liked what we saw, we even compared a bit to the Nikon and we're sticking with the Xti.

    Is it safe to saw "RAW" is better and if so, how hard is it to manipulate RAW files?

    I know it's raw data coming from the camera (for lack of a better description) and I think once we get it, I'll take a few pictures in RAW just to see how hard it is to manipulate.

    I also think (based on my wife's hard head) we might stick with the 18-55mm lens for now until we get used to the camera. Our kids are very mobile and for what we plan on using the macro will come in very handy.

    I'm pretty excited.

    Thanks everyone for the great advice. I can foresee this being a very fun hobby especially capturing our kids moments better and family get togethers as well.
     
  21. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #21
    Just some advice from a nobody:

    1. shoot JPEGs unless you plan on working on your pictures in a post processing program

    2. Don't get a card smaller than 1 or 2 GBs, just so you don't have to constantly swap out cards. Don't worry about your cards going bad unless you're a professional shooter being paid for it (or it's really, really important). Most people go years without their cards going bad. We're constantly writing and formatting ours and we replace them every 1.5 years. In our experience, it's about the 2 years mark (for our usage, which is FAR more than the average shooter) where our Sandisks & Lexars will start to go. Haven't owned a Hoodman for 2 years yet. We use 4GB & 8GB cards these days.

    If you're new to photography (dSLR), they kit lens will be fine to start with. But as you progress, you'll wish you had a better lens. Better to start with a cheapie until you figure out what YOUR needs are. I'm guessing it'll be a faster lens (2.8) at around 17-55 or so.

    Get a decent backpack or bag to protect your investment. It doesn't have to be expensive, just somewhat padded and meets your needs. Lowepros are decent for the price. Katas aren't bad either. Our favorites are Tamracs for heavier duty (without going to a case), and Lowepro for lighter duty (the bags are lighter as well). We use mostly Kata for our videography equipment.

    Stop by Barnes & Noble & Borders & pick up a book on digital photography to get you started. Best if luck!
     
  22. Rotary8 macrumors regular

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    Oct 24, 2006
    #22
    Wait for the XSi! You'll be kicking yourself if you get the XTi now.
     
  23. kkat69 thread starter macrumors 68020

    kkat69

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    Aug 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    #23
    No I don't think so. I'm not looking to spend the price on the XSi. I can get the XTi which is plenty fine for me (body only) for $300 or with the 18-55mm lens for about $420. The Xsi is more than I'm willing to spend right now.

    This will be plenty fine.
     
  24. TWLreal macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    #24
    Huh, well make sure the retailer is reputable.

    $420 for the XTi kit seems quite a bit under the going rate, which is around $600 from places like Amazon, Ritz or B&H.

    I'm thinking it's bait and switch.
     
  25. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #25
    Yes, that's the after rebate price of a K100D kit when such thing is available and becomes the best value.
     

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