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Shopping for my first SLR camera


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#1 rodent

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    Posted 06 July 2008 - 01:25 PM

    UPDATE I just bought a 30D from someone on another forum for $525. Then I bought a 50mm f/1.8 lens for $90. I still have some other things to buy, but I can still get started with what I have.

    my wish list: Canon Speedlite 580EX II Flash $400
    Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 wide angle $400

    #2 movephotography

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      Posted 06 July 2008 - 01:55 PM

      The XTi's decent but feels kinda small and plastic to my hands. If you agree, consider getting a used 20D or 30D on ebay - you will be able to find the former for under $400, the latter for under $600. The 50mm 1.8 is precisely the lens to start with. Don't bother with the "kit" 18-55mm lens, it's junk. I would spend your extra money on a flash, maybe a used 430ex - a good flash will make an enormous difference in your photography, even more so if you buy a kit that will allow you to take it off camera. Zooms vs. primes are largely a matter of personal preference - I almost bought a 20mm prime lens to do photojournalism work, but I ended up with the 16-35mm f/2.8 due to autofocus speed.

      #3 movephotography

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        Posted 06 July 2008 - 01:56 PM

        Just re-read and saw that you specifically mentioned that you like how small it is - in that case, I would go with the XTi over the 20D.

        #4 rodent

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          Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:04 PM

          Quote:
          Originally Posted by movephotography
          The XTi's decent but feels kinda small and plastic to my hands. If you agree, consider getting a used 20D or 30D on ebay - you will be able to find the former for under $400, the latter for under $600. The 50mm 1.8 is precisely the lens to start with. Don't bother with the "kit" 18-55mm lens, it's junk. I would spend your extra money on a flash, maybe a used 430ex - a good flash will make an enormous difference in your photography, even more so if you buy a kit that will allow you to take it off camera. Zooms vs. primes are largely a matter of personal preference - I almost bought a 20mm prime lens to do photojournalism work, but I ended up with the 16-35mm f/2.8 due to autofocus speed.
          Quote:
          Originally Posted by movephotography
          Just re-read and saw that you specifically mentioned that you like how small it is - in that case, I would go with the XTi over the 20D.
          Thanks for the feedback. I do think I want something small & light. I worry that if something is too bulky, I won't want to take it everywhere.

          So should I be good with the one 50mm lens & a flash to start? Then I can put more lenses on my wishlist. I'll go look up the flash.

          #5 rodent

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            Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:11 PM

            does $220 for the flash sound right?

            $500 camera
            $84 lens
            $220 flash
            $804

            #6 Hartyt509

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              Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:16 PM

              FI just bought that camera and loved it - he got a package of the camera, lense, flash gun, memory, case the lot all for about £450 - amazon had some great deals on the only reason he went with our local shop was because he could go and get it straight away lol

              #7 rodent

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                Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:18 PM

                I set up my ebay watch list for some used 30D & 20Ds. I'll go to a store & pick them all up to see how the difference in weight feels.

                #8 rodent

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                  Posted 06 July 2008 - 05:38 PM

                  OK I just got back from circuit city. I compared the XTi to the 40D. I did prefer the size & weight of the XTi. I could easily take it hiking.

                  I think I'm almost ready to order. I would like to get it soon enough that I can take some nice pictures at my brother's wedding. Not THE wedding pictures. They have a pro & I'm a bridesmaid. I just want to take some shots during the reception.

                  #9 MikkiStreak

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                    Posted 06 July 2008 - 08:26 PM

                    Morgan, before deciding on which lens to get, determine what type of photos you'd take most. The lens equivalent of the human eye interpreting the world around us, is about 35mm. So if you look around at things around you that you would photograph, pay attention to how close/far away you are from that subject. For example, if you're 20ft from a beautiful flower- think about how small/large that flower appears to your human eye--- then ask yourself, do I need to be closer to the flower, or farther away from the flower to take the kind of picture I want? This can help you determine if a 50mm is a good choice for your needs, to start with.

                    If you want a 50mm lens, the 1.8 aperature is going to come in handy and would be a good choice.

                    If, you could see yourself taking pictures of people and maybe buildings/architecture too, then maybe a wide angle would work better (like 18-55mm range, so you aren't limited by a single framework lens).

                    Also, be careful where you buy the SLR kit from---- there's a couple sites out there that are 'questionable' businesses--- as in, they change their names every couple months because they've pissed off too many people doing things like selling a "kit" that actually has stuff missing in it.

                    I think you said something about using an ebay vendor.... might be worth it to compare the price they've given you to a place like B&H Photo Video... B&H is usually comparable, and they have a "bill me later" option that would defer payments/interest for 6 months on a purchase this size... I buy most of my stuff using that program because I can keep my money for 6 months earning interest, and then pay it off before payments kick in. :)


                    Oh yea, there's an ebay vendor I used for buying batteries that is dirt cheap and has been reliable... a lot of camera suppliers will charge say, $40 for a battery that can actually be purchased from a battery supplier for $15. And, there were some really good deals at Office Depot a few weeks ago on a large, fast compact flash card--- like, about half the price found at electronics/PC stores....

                    #10 rodent

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                      Posted 06 July 2008 - 09:03 PM

                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by MikkiStreak
                      Morgan, before deciding on which lens to get, determine what type of photos you'd take most. The lens equivalent of the human eye interpreting the world around us, is about 35mm. So if you look around at things around you that you would photograph, pay attention to how close/far away you are from that subject. For example, if you're 20ft from a beautiful flower- think about how small/large that flower appears to your human eye--- then ask yourself, do I need to be closer to the flower, or farther away from the flower to take the kind of picture I want? This can help you determine if a 50mm is a good choice for your needs, to start with.

                      If you want a 50mm lens, the 1.8 aperature is going to come in handy and would be a good choice.

                      If, you could see yourself taking pictures of people and maybe buildings/architecture too, then maybe a wide angle would work better (like 18-55mm range, so you aren't limited by a single framework lens).

                      Also, be careful where you buy the SLR kit from---- there's a couple sites out there that are 'questionable' businesses--- as in, they change their names every couple months because they've pissed off too many people doing things like selling a "kit" that actually has stuff missing in it.

                      I think you said something about using an ebay vendor.... might be worth it to compare the price they've given you to a place like B&H Photo Video... B&H is usually comparable, and they have a "bill me later" option that would defer payments/interest for 6 months on a purchase this size... I buy most of my stuff using that program because I can keep my money for 6 months earning interest, and then pay it off before payments kick in. :)


                      Oh yea, there's an ebay vendor I used for buying batteries that is dirt cheap and has been reliable... a lot of camera suppliers will charge say, $40 for a battery that can actually be purchased from a battery supplier for $15. And, there were some really good deals at Office Depot a few weeks ago on a large, fast compact flash card--- like, about half the price found at electronics/PC stores....

                      Thanks for all the tips. I'll think about the distances as I walk around campus tomorrow.

                      I set up my ebay watch list to see what used 20D & 30Ds go for. I typically don't buy big items on ebay, because you can usually find a better deal by shopping around. I also check the reseller ratings to make sure the company is good.

                      I'll also keep a lookout for cheap compact flash cards. I scan slickdeals everyday & that is where I found my cheap SD cards.




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