Entry-level?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Jzero, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. Jzero

    Jzero TPF Noob!

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    Hello!
    Can someone please explain the term "entry-level" when applied to a camera? I have been reading a lot of photography articles lately and the term seems to come up quite often in reference to certain cameras. For instance, the EOS 350D and EOS 400D (Canon) are defined in some articles as excellent "entry-level" digital SLR cameras. Does this imply that these are cameras for beginers?

    Thanks
    J
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Cameras, like a lot of other things...come in different levels. 'entry level' or
    'consumer level' are given to models that have only basic features and are designed to be sold to the general user.

    Let's look at your example. The EOS 350D (Rebel XT) and 400D (Rebel XTi) are considered 'entry level' DSLR because that's the spot that they hold in the Canon line up. They are the cheapest (price and construction quality) and the smallest & lightest. They lack features that other DSLR cameras have.

    The next level up is the 10D/20D/30D bodies. They are bigger and are more solidly constructed. They have features that the Rebel cameras don't have.

    The next level up from there is the 1 series bodies like the 1Ds mk II. The pro bodies are make to take the rigors of professional use. The shutters are made to last longer. The body has weather sealing, so it's resistant to rain & other weather. They have several features not found on the lower level cameras.

    So when you compare a Pro DSLR to an 'entry level' DSLR...you can tell that the entry level is a cheap piece of junk, in comparison.

    Still, any DSLR is better than most small digital cameras...which would fall into the 'consumer' category.
     
  3. Jzero

    Jzero TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Mike
    This is interesting terminology. My perspective has now been altered somewhat since I have just purchased a "cheap piece of junk" in the form of an EOS 400D :)

    J
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sorry, I don't mean to burst your bubble :lol:

    All you have to do...is to hang out with a bunch of people with point & shoot digi-cams....your camera will be king of them all.
     
  5. THORHAMMER

    THORHAMMER TPF Noob!

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    Dont feel bad, I used a 300D for like a year and a half while I saevd enough to get my next camera, you gotta make due with what you got !!!!


    I think mike meant that thats cannons marketing to make you FEEL like youve got a piece of junk, not that it really IS a piece of junk....
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    By no means did I mean to say that the 'entry level' cameras ARE pieces of junk...but when you compare them, side by side or in-hand, to a pro body...it will be immediately obvious which one costs 5 times as much. That's where why they call them 'entry level DSLRs'

    You could say that a corvette is a piece of junk...if it's racing against an F1 car. It's all in the comparison.
     
  7. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    The rebel is a darn good camera.
     
  8. Mad_Gnome

    Mad_Gnome TPF Noob!

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    I have the "Entry Level" Minolta DSLR, the 5D, and I can tell you that it's far from a piece of junk. I also realize, however, that it is definitely "Entry Level." It lacks a lot of features of even the next camera up the line, the 7D. A lot of features need to be accessed through menus that are on either knobs or buttons on the 7D, it lacks a PC port, and many other features aren't available. It is EXTREMELY solidly constructed, however, (I'm tempted to call it bulletproof) and takes wonderful photos. I'm planning to use it for probably another year and wait for the next generation Sony DSLR to come out. Hopefully it will be a pro-level camera, rather than another pro-sumer offering.
     
  9. Jzero

    Jzero TPF Noob!

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    Thank you all for your words of encouragement. My “tongue-in-cheek” response to Mike’s very insightful explanation was just a wry reference to the $1,000+ that I have forked out for my new camera and basic accessories (all of which have yet to arrive). I have spent days reading up on cameras and photography before choosing this particular model so on the strength of all the information that is available online, I am reasonably confident that I have made a sound decision. I am also aware that there are superior (and costlier) cameras out there, but as I recently mentioned elsewhere, I think I will learn to crawl before I attempt to run.

    J
     
  10. Amper

    Amper TPF Noob!

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    No worries Jzero, that means my Rebel is lower on the photgraphic totem pole than yours lol, but I coudn't see sinking loads of money into something that I will only consider a hobby until I think I'm good ^_^ After all, it will take a more than a few years of saving for me to get professional quality equiptment. Let me know how you like it, since I'm looking into getting a digital and am having trouble deciding between Nikon and Canon.
     
  11. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    "Entry level" doesn't have to mean cheap or crappy build. It's the level of equipment one uses to "enter into" something. Though as Mike stated, it often won't compare to the top level equipment. You can use it in basic terms, like an entry level camera for photography, or more specific, like an entry level set-up for wedding photography. If you are going into weddings, you shouldn't be new to photography, even if you are new to weddings. A wedding kit is going to be more advanced than a basic camera, even if it's low in the wedding range.

    I also wouldn't think of entry-level equipment as being a poor investment or anything like that. A proper entry-level kit is "entry level" because it's just the thing to kick off with, and is often better for starting than higher level pieces can be.
     
  12. t_rust

    t_rust TPF Noob!

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    Congratulations to your new camera. It might be the "entry-level" model, but in terms of image quality there is hardly any difference between the Rebel (=400D) series and the 30D series. I personally bought the 20D because I prefer the ergonomics.

    If you think a larger size would fit your hands better, check out the battery grip. It makes a huge difference.

    Also saving a bit on the camera and investing the difference in better glass is wise choice. You actually do get better results that way.

    I recently wrote a few articles on camera and lens selection on my personal blog. You might want to have a look.

    http://tr-photo-blog.blogspot.com

    Regards,
    T


     

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