Introductory advice... selecting and other questions

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Photoform, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. Photoform

    Photoform TPF Noob!

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    I want to preface this by saying I am buying my first digital camera for hobbyist reasons - I want better pictures of the places I travel to and places that I visit. (So far I have always used digital snapshots cameras such as Nikon Coolpix and a Canon prior to that.) I'm going to be buying this camera for my girlfriend, but she's pretty much inline with me as to what we want and experience in the area. If you could help me make a decision and share your expertise, I would be most grateful!

    Anyway, our friend used a Canon EOS XSi (I believe, maybe Xs) and she took very nice pictures and I was generally impressed and after some time I want to get one as well now.

    So I have a few questions. I am looking to purchase the Canon T1i because it has video, although from what I've read it really isn't worth the ~$200 price increase over the Rebel XSi when it comes to picture quality. Does this sound accurate?

    Also, I plan to keep this camera for years, probably 5+ since I am only using this as a hobby and don't need the latest, greatest technology (I just want very nice pictures). Is it reasonable that it should last this long?

    Also, I have seen the T1i in packages (online) with a lens that prices around 750-850 USD depending on the extras. I know my friend with her Rebel has a nice telephoto lens (I believe she said it cost her around $200-300). However, what can I expect just from the "base" lens that all these packages seem to come with?

    Is it HIGHLY recommended to buy an extra battery? I would think these batteries would last a while for obvious reasons, but I'd rather not be on a trip with a dead battery, thus effectively no camera.

    What should I expect to pay for a tripod and what should I look for? In one newegg package I saw the t1i came with a tripod although it's tough to judge how nice a tripod is from merely pictures.

    What's the general consensus when buying a digital camera online as far as returns, reputable companies, and warranty concerns? The last thing I would want is to get a bad camera and be screwed over for more money by dealing with returns or a flat-out bad purchase.

    Thank you so much for reading!
     
  2. ErectedGryphon

    ErectedGryphon TPF Noob!

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    Odds are she took the nice pictures, the camera is just a tool. Your shots with the same camera will look a lot like your shots with your old P&S, until you learn to develop a style.



    How much would a video camera cost you, that you would likely use less than this camera?



    Longer, if you take care of it.



    Lenses come in many different qualities and price ranges, one you play around with the kit "base" lens, you might decide you want something better, but until that time comes, learn with what you have, or will have.



    Yes.



    Worry about a tripod later, learn to use the camera first.



    I believe in supporting your local business, but if there is that big of a difference in price, and they won't price match, go with well established on-line company. B&H or Adorama, both with physical stores, strong on-line shopping carts, and both have reputable eBay business as well.
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just to expand on what was already said. Tripod will be a must eventually. It normally doesn't take very long at all from the first camera purchase to the first time you put the camera on a table or a car or something and realise you want a tripod.

    Look for something metal. A lot of the cheap tripods are plastic. Avoid cheap tripods with a quick release like the plague. I have had my camera fall off one twice. Holding the entire camera with a tiny little clip is something I would only trust to a tripod / head combination worth over $100.
    I would suggest for the tripod go to a local camera store, extend the legs, and play around with it. It's hard to see exactly how stable or how tall a tripod is just from someone on the internet telling you. Personally I would happily forgo the video feature and spend the $200 on a tripod, but that's because I like nighttime photography.
     
  4. Photoform

    Photoform TPF Noob!

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    I checked out both of those and adorama seems considerably more inexpensive with their package deals (caveat though that I don't know if the stuff bundled up is total garbage like the adorama bag).




    Thanks a lot for the help!
     
  5. Scout

    Scout TPF Noob!

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    Another thing to think about ref: buying online...
    I don't know where you live but here in California our sales taxes are extremely high. I bought my newest camera from Adorama and saved almost $400 in taxes alone. That's enough money to buy alot of extra toys, including a nice tripod!
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The knockoff batteries are every bit as good as real ones, often even made by the exact same manufacturer. It sucks that you got a dud battery but that is rare. I don't know a local photographer who actually uses the official batteries.
     
  7. photograham

    photograham TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]Let us know what you end up with! I'd love to know
     

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