Help me pick a camera system

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by supra89t, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. supra89t

    supra89t TPF Noob!

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    My Mother-In-Law has just blessed me with a gift of $1500 that she has specified must be spent on camera equipment. I need your help (opinions) in picking out the best setup for me and my preferences.

    I am not a newb to shooting but I am far from an expert. I was a photog for my college yearbook and have been shooting since high school. My first real camera was a Canon EOS Rebel XS, 1996. That is the camera that I used in college. When I graduated from college, my parents bought me a 1D-HS and it was WAY too much camera for me. I loved the frame-rate, but film is expensive, so that feature was not used as much as I would have liked. I ended up selling it and getting a 20D after I got married. I really liked my 20D, but it had to be sold when we got into a financial crunch. I like the rapid frame-rate and the rock-solid feel of the camera. I did not like the tiny screen and the fact that it was mounted in the camera crooked.

    I currently own, and am willing to sell to offset cost:
    Canon EOS Rebel XS (1996)
    Canon EOS Elan II E (yr ?)
    Canon 35-80mm F4.0-5.6 (kit lens)
    Vivitar Series 1 19-35mm F3.5-4.5
    Quantaray 70-300mm Macro F4-5.6
    Quantaray 2x TC

    My favorite things to shoot are:
    Macro (insect, interesting angles, etc...)
    Fast-action (my dogs playing, sports, new baby making faces)
    Wildlife
    Composed landscapes (sunsets, etc...)

    Features I think are important or would really like to have:
    Self-cleaning sensor
    Wireless remote control
    Video-out to plug into TV
    Live-view
    Top-view LCD (I am used to this and it has been hard for me to get used to cameras without one)
    Built-in AF lamp (not a big deal, just a minor preference)
    good low-light focusing

    I know that good glass makes more of a difference in how the pictures are going to come out than the actual camera nowadays (for the most part).

    Looking at my lens lineup, there are a few glaring omissions:
    50mm prime 1.4/1.8
    High-quality dedicated macro
    10-22mm (or similar) wide-angle for artistic and life-like shots

    I have a new baby girl that is 2 mos old and I want to be ale to capture moments with her without the flash. Most of these shots will be indoors.

    Here are a few examples of my pics so you can get an idea of the kinds of shots I like to take:

    My China (I was holding the frisbee in one hand, 20D in the other)
    [​IMG]

    The smackdown (not possible without a good frame-rate)
    [​IMG]

    Wedding pic (I didn't take it, but it's my style)
    [​IMG]

    Cieling at Wedding Pavilion:
    [​IMG]

    At the aquarium (handheld handheld Vivitar Vivicam 2.1mp):
    [​IMG]

    These aren't my best pics, but they are the ones I already had uploaded to photobucket. I have taken some decent macro and sunset pics (back when I ws shooting film) but they are not digitized.

    Any and all advice is appreciated.

    Thanks for helping the newb. ;)

    Remember that the $1500 must include everything: battery, charger, memory, etc...
     
  2. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm not a Canon guy anymore and others will lead you on a sturdier path, but I'm guessing with your current arsenal, stick with Canon. My brother has the XT and wants to upgrade to the 40d. Specs look nice. You won't get any change from you mother-in-laws gift and may even get into your own pocket with tax and shipping (if not purcahsed local).
     
  3. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    40D and a 2 or 3 GB memory card can fill that budget but you get all the stuff you specified.
     
  4. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    With your budget, the new 40D does cover most of your needs minus the top view LCD. It is a sweet camera. Since you already have a Canon kit lens, buy the body only kit and use the extra cash for a fast prime like the 50 f/1.4 or f/1.8. Save a little more for a macro lens if you want. the EF-S 60 f/2.8 or EF 100 f/2.8 are great choices. Canon does not make a wireless remote that I am aware of, but there is probably a aftermarket seller that makes one. Your low-light AF is gonna be int he lenses, not the camera. So invest in fast glass in the neighborhood of the f/2.8 and faster. You pretty much have the range covered with your current lenses, your only upgrade will be for performance and image quality. Also, 2-4GB CF card is recommended if you shoot in RAW. The faster write speed the better. At 6.5fps you can fill up a 2GB card pretty fast.
     
  5. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    I think he meant status LCD (yes it is also called an LCD) and that is top mounted so Yes it does have that.
     
  6. supra89t

    supra89t TPF Noob!

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    I got the 40D with 2GB Lexar 133x Professional card and I handed over my Quantaray 70-300 to Wolf Camera so they could do the chip upgrade so it will work with my 40D. Not a bad way to spend $1500, I guess. They tolerated my playing with their cameras since January. ;) They went to another store and brought over a battery grip for the Xti, but it still didn't feel comfortable to hold. The 40D just fits my hand so well. Its like it was made for it. :)

    Plus, when you factor in that it uses all the latest technology and has a 3" LCD, top-view display, 6.5fps, magnesium body, basic weather-sealing, Live View, 3 custom user settings on the dial, etc... it just won me over.

    I was very close to giving up and getting the Nikon D80 and 3 new lenses for $1500, but the kit lens on the D80 did not look any better (flare-wise) than my old Canon 35-80.

    Next step is to save my pennies and buy the 50mm 1.4 USM.

    Heh, and I found an old roll of film in my old rebel, so I gave it to them to develop. Who knows what I might find?
     
  7. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I am an ardent supporter of everything Nikon But I have to tell you guy you REALLY should go Canon. With what you already have even though it is not ALOT you should just stay within the system and to boot Canons are excellent cameras.
     

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