Digital SLR Camera bargains -- help?

Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 11:23 AM
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Digital SLR Camera bargains -- help?

Hey robespierre, rkkwan, and other camera/bargain experts (I can't remember all your screen names but I know I've received input from you all and admired your pics...)

I just got a little bonus and can invest in the Digital SLR I've been wanting since last winter. I'm considering the Canon Rebel XT 8 MP with 18-55 mm lens for $518 from Amazon. I used my ex-boyfriend's last Christmas and felt it gave me very good results for someone who had no idea what she was doing (I was stuck in action mode for like 2 days...)

I know people also really like the Nikon D40 6.1 MP for $496, also on Amazon.

I'd like to order in the next day or so, any suggestions or advice? These seem like pretty good deals since I recall this same Canon Rebel was $800 at Costco 2 years ago. Do I have to pay tax on Amazon?
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 11:28 AM
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Here's the link to the Canon Rebel on Amazon. There's a link towards the bottom of the page for the Nikon D40:

http://tinyurl.com/28kg6d
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 11:32 AM
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fishee, here's a recent thread that I saved with opinions mainly on the those two DSLRs:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35065960
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 11:58 AM
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thanks so much moolyn for the link, I did a search with "camera" but didn't pull that thread up.

I do hope to be able to buy at least one additional lens in the future once I actually learn how to use the camera.

I'm definitely between these two models, but I wasn't sure if these were good prices. rkwan bought a Nikon D40 kit for $1200 (after selling one of the lenses) -- I can't afford that kind of initial investment but I wasn't sure if this was a decent price for just the body and the 18-55 mm lens.

Sounds like either would be more than sufficient for me but isn't the Rebel XT smaller than the Nikon D40?
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 12:11 PM
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You really can't go wrong with either camera. I like the D40 better. It just feels better in my hands.

If you are near a camera store, or a Costco, it's best if you can actually hold and look through the cameras.

The Nikon D40 is smaller. The D40, in my opinion has a much better menu system than even the high-end Canons.

You pay tax if the camera is sold from the same state you live in. If it's an out of state purchase, there should be no tax. Sometimes you can get free shipping as well.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 12:19 PM
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The XT price is good. B&H (www.bhphotovideo.com) is usually the lowest price among reputable online sellers and they want $530. (They do have a used one for $470 but you have to email for condition and they're closed through Sat.) Be sure you're buying it from Amazon itself and not a partner. (If it's a partner, check them out on resellerratings.com.) As to the camera, I think you're right that either one will serve you well. I would strongly suggest going to a camera store (or Best Buy, etc.) to actually handle the D40 if you haven't. Given that you have already handled the XT and liked it, that is a plus. There are detailed reviews for both at www.dpreview.com. I'd vote for the XT, but I'm biased having had the XT for almost 2 years.

Paul
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 12:35 PM
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hey, thanks for the replies. I'm very interested in the IS feature which I hear makes a big difference.

The Sigma OS 18-200 lens is $491 and the Rebel XT (body only) would be $457. Not buying with the standard lens is only knocking off $60 at this point... But if I buy the XT with 18-55mm for $518 (and it's directly from amazon) I wouldn't need that lens anymore if I got the OS lens later, is that correct?

The OS lens plus XT body would be taking me out of my budget -- my bonus wasn't that big! But seems like a very good set-up at a solid price for less than $1000.

Maybe I should just buy the XT with lens for $518 and invest in the OS lens in 6 months when I can afford it?

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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 12:56 PM
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Maybe I should just buy the XT with lens for $518 and invest in the OS lens in 6 months when I can afford it?

That's a wise decision. The 18-55 from either Canon or Nikon is more than adequate. While the IS (VR on Nikon) feature is nice, it's not a guarantee to great pictures. The 18-200 is also a much larger & heavier lens than the 18-55.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 01:24 PM
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That's a very good price for the XT Kit in black. [Silver ones can sometimes be cheaper.] The XT is not the newest, but still a very solid camera, especially for that price. I don't think you'll regret it.

The 18-55 lens actually has decent optical quality. Use it for a while first, then decide what lens you actually want. While the Sigma 18-200OS is very versatile, it may not be THE lens setup you want.

[BTW, the camera I just bought is the Canon 40D, not the Nikon D40. The 40D kit sells for $1499, and I sold the 28-135IS lens that came with it for $300.]
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 01:33 PM
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I have a Canon Rebel XTI which I bought on line or from e-bay or somehow. Anyway, the lens that comes with it is is barely adequate. I have purchased a Tamron 24-135 zoom and it is super. I finally figured out that all the camera does is provide a platform for the quality of the lens. Cheap lens: Cheap Pix.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 01:52 PM
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Cheap lens doesn't necessary mean bad optical quality. Canon's 50mm 1.8 cost $70 and can give you excellent pictures. And the 18-55 is far from being a bad lens.

The 18-55 is as cheap in construction and design as it gets - no IS, no ultrasonic motor, no focus distance window, plastic lens mount, rotating front element, almost non-existing focusing ring, etc.

But it has okay image quality, and it's small and lightweight. I've seen lots of beautiful pictures on various websites taken with this lens.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 01:55 PM
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rkwan -- thanks for clarifying that detail, I thought maybe your kit just came with some incredible lens or something.

I just purchased the Canon XT Rebel with 18-55 mm lens plus a 2 Gb Sandisk Card for $550.29 total -- will get here on Thursday. I love the internet. Thanks everyone!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 01:57 PM
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rkwan -- thanks for clarifying that detail about your Canon 40D, I thought maybe your kit just came with some incredible lens or something.

I just purchased the Canon XT Rebel with 18-55 mm lens plus a 2 Gb Sandisk Card for $550.29 total -- will get here on Thursday. I love the internet. Thanks everyone!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 07:32 PM
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fishee, I met toedtoes and her Canon Rebel XT this summer. You can see some of the amazing photos she takes and read some tips on her trip report thread below. She recommends buying the kit lens to start but has now added a couple more that you can consider later.

Anyway, congratulations! I look forward to seeing your photos.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...9&tid=35061783
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Old Oct 3rd, 2007, 01:29 AM
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Moolyn
Thanks for posting that link to the other thread - I had forgotten how depressing fishee's pics are!

Depressing becuase they are so good!
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 03:03 PM
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OMG - those are toedtoes's pics!! (um, I just got my camera yesterday...) She's great, isn't she?

I started playing with the camera last night, looks like I have a lot to learn. I was surprised by the camera body because it looks to be black plastic -- the whole thing? WTF? I don't recall the silver Rebel being like this.
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 03:29 PM
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All Rebels series, from the original film one released in the early 90's to today's XTi all have polycarbonate bodies.

At least the one you have has a metal lens mount.

That's one reason why they are relatively light. My 40D weighs about 50% more than the XTi.
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 05:07 PM
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I kept telling myself, this has to at least be high quality plastic, right? I thought this must have something to do with its relatively low weight.

I think it's the matte Black finish of the plastic that also really threw me off at first, reminded me of this toy I purchased for my nephew. But people say these Rebels are durable so I'll have faith. thanks rkawn!

The silver Rebel is now $515 on Amazon and the black has gone up to $548 for anyone interested...
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 05:42 PM
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You don't have to worry about the polycarbonate bodies. They're extremely durable. In fact, my Elan (bought in 1993), which is one step up from the Rebel, also has a polycarbonate body. Still in excellent shape, and fully functional 15 years later.
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 06:29 PM
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Here are the Rebel/1000F and Elan/100, with a couple of lenses that I currently use.

Both have polycarbonate bodies. The Elan has metal lens mount, the Rebel plastic.

rkkwan.zenfolio.com/p1027239662/
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