Canon digital SLR decision

Old Jun 10th, 2007, 01:34 PM
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Canon digital SLR decision

I am finally going to go digital. The digital cameras I have tried until now have been disappointing, mostly because of the shutter lag time. I have decided to buy a digital SLR after trying them and finding they feel much more like a "real" camera to me. After reading several threads here on Fodors and the reviews to which they pointed me, I think I will buy a Canon.

My question is whether the Canon Rebel XTi is enough of an improvement over the XT to justify the added expense.

I would like to decide and get my hands on it soon enough to learn how to use it before my trip to Europe in August.
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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 01:59 PM
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A trip to dpreview.com or depreview (forget which)will give you a lot of comparisons to work with. But by all means get acquainted with your camera BEFORE the trip. Halfpint.
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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 02:33 PM
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I decided on the S5 IS. Not cheap, but not an SLR either. I have used an SLR for years with its retinue of lenses. I decided I wanted one camera and one lens.
I can do a lot of photo editing with a digital picture that I could not do with a film or slide picture.

The S5 IS is not yet commonly available.
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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 04:02 PM
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I recently purchased an Canon S3 and I've very happy with it. 6MB is more than enough resoulution for my needs. The key reason I bought it was the 12X optical zoom - equivalent to something like a 300mm.

retail price at Amazon was about $300.

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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 04:18 PM
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I've had an XT for a couple of years and am happier with a DSLR, overall. I don't know all the differences between the XT and the XTi but for one, I believe the latter has an improved dust cleaning mechanism. I've had problems with dust on the image sensor of my XT (and I don't change lenses frequently) that has involved sending out for cleaning a few times--lengthy process and not inexpensive. If I was buying again today (which I can't afford to do right now), that's something I'd certainly look at.
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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 05:37 PM
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How is the shutter speed on the
Canon S3...is it vast improvement over standard digital camera?
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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 05:53 PM
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One vote for the Nikon D40.
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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 05:57 PM
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without flash I get about 2 frames per sec on the S3. I've done that for 4-5 pictures in a row. I'm not sure the exact number but it's pretty fast compared to my previous Canon (from 3yrs ago).

With flash it depends on how fresh my batteries are (flash recharge time, not shutter speed). I haven't done any real tests, but it is definitely slower than without flash.
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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 06:18 PM
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These two sites I find really good for reviews on digital cameras:

http://www.dpreview.com/
http://www.steves-digicams.com/

Both of the sites also have chat forums which have extremely knowledgeable people regularly posting. Even if you go to a specialty camera store, sometimes the sales staff just don't have the information to answer all questions (or know which questions you should be asking), let alone the staff at a big-box store. Therefore I find these forums my best source of expert advice.

On a side note, I've ordered an Olympus E-510 and am expecting it to be delivered early this week. I will be taking it on my trip in July. Two reasons I went with this camera is the dust-reduction system and the built in image stabilization.
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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 06:24 PM
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Thanks everyone.

I had read the reviews at dpreview and didn't get a good sense of whether to go with the newer XTi or the still-available XT, which is about $150 less. They compared the camera with other competitive models but not with its own previous incarnation, at least not in a way that gave me a good sense of which way to go.

Ms Go, it is useful to hear about your problems with dust on the XT. Sounds like it is a real issue, not just a theoretical one. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?
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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 06:56 PM
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I have the Canon 20D. Bought my son the XT recently. I am amazed at the quality. As far as I can see, nearly identical. The improvements of the XTi include a larger LCD screen (an issue if you are my age and nearsighted, not for someone in their twenties). The dust collection may be an issue -- don't know. In nearly two years, no need to clean dust in my experience. Cleaning seems it should be simple, if necessary.

The extra megapixels are not important unless you're blowing up to poster size or doing enormous croppings. I'd save the $200 and buy the XT.
 
Old Jun 10th, 2007, 08:28 PM
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I went through this choice between the 300 and the 350 (XT) - I decided by going into the store and trying them. The XT felt much better in my hands (short and stubby fingers) than the 300.

If the feel is similar for you, the 2 items that will most affect your choice are:

continuous drive - the XTi can take twice as many shots than the XT (27 vs. 14 jpg). If you plan on taking lots of action/sports shots, that could be a deal breaker.

dust cleaning ability - with the XT, you will at some point need to clean your sensor. I've done it many times now, but all I've had to do is use an ear bulb blower to blow off the dust - simple and easy and not a big deal but some folks feel very uncomfortable doing it.

The other items, more mp, larger LCD are nice, but not worth a few hundred bucks (IMO).

If neither of those can convince you one way or another, then think of the lenses. Will you be happy with the kit (18-55mm) lens or are you planning on going with a different setup?

Both cameras come body only, with the kit (18-55mm f3.5-5.6) lens, or the 17-85mm f4-.6 lens. When I bought mine, I went with the 18-55mm (it was only about $50 more than the body alone), and then I bought the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 lens separate for another $370. I ended up paying the same as if I had bought the camera with the 17-85 lens, but I got a faster lens (works better in low light, etc.).
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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 09:49 PM
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Walk on the wild side. Buy a Pentax K10D
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 09:03 AM
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Would buy a Nikon D40, one of the best starter DSLR's and also the least expensive, and smallest !
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 09:10 AM
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I almost bought the Canon Rebel in 2006, but opted to get the "next" unit, the Canon 20d (which has recently been upgraded to 30d I believe). Its amazing! The negative with an SLR is that you need a few lenses. The standard one is great for closer shots, but you do need a good "zoom" lens as well. It gets costly but HONESTLY I would not buy anything else. Its amazing!
Natalie
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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I find the the lens you have can make a huge difference....

are you going to stick with the 'kit' lens ? do you have any from a previous SLR? what is your 'style' of photography ? (zoom vs. wide angle)

I take a lot of zoom photos, so I wanted the most versatile lens w/o swapping lenses constantly. I recently got the new Tamron 18-250mm. I love it! Some people will look down their noses at Tamron's, but I've always been happy with them (but I'm not a pro).

If overall budget is a concern (and it is for most of us!), then get the less expensive camera and upgrade the lens -

ymmv.
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 09:17 AM
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D40 and the Rebel are almost exactly the same size.

Agree with you completely on the an SLR feeling like a "real" camera. I am on my 5th digital camera - the first was the Canon G1 point and shoot which was fine for 6 months or so - but I missed the creative feel of an SLR.

If asked, I recommend that people who have a film SLR get a digital SLR - point and shoots have their place but, for me, nothing beats the feel of an SLR.

As to lenses - I keep one lens on the camera a 28-200. I bought a wider angle but seldom use it.
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 09:53 AM
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Surfmom - I love my Tamron also. I use the Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L lens at work and I don't see any difference in quality versus the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 I have for personal use. The only noticable difference (beyond weight - the Canon is much heavier) is that the Canon tends to cooler colors.

With the lenses, it's best to get a good understanding of what you are going to shoot before spending money. The first lens you buy is rarely one you're happy with. My first was the Canon 75-300mm USM II. While it does what I need it to, I'm not completely happy with it and will replace it at some point (waiting to afford a better and longer zoom).

I will add that if you spend the money on an SLR, learn the settings. There are many people who get an SLR and are disappointed in the results they get on the automatic modes. Learn aperture, shutter speed and ISO and you will get so much more out of the camera.
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 10:39 AM
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Thank you for all your thoughts.

Pausanias, I am not twenty years old, my daughter is, so the bigger screen is a plus for me, just not sure yet how important it is to me.

Toedtoes, I spent yesterday in a store picking them up and they don't feel significantly different to me.

The difference in price between the XTi and the XT appears to be $166. I would take the kit lens for now, as the difference without it is around $65. I am also thinking of getting the 50 mm f1.8 lens for $75 so I have something faster than the kit lens.

Once I'm over the shock of taking the plunge into the digital SLR, I am sure I will start thinking about what I want in terms of better lenses.

My previous lenses (Nikon) are not a factor. The last SLR I bought was before autofocus.

And I'll be keeping my point and shoot 35 mm camera in my purse just in case this digital thing doesn't work for me.
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 10:49 AM
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The 50mm lens is a great little lens - I haven't heard any complaints about it at all.

It sounds like you've got a strong thought process behind this purchase, so you'll be happy either way you go.

If it were me, I'd go with the XT and save a few bucks.
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