Taking the leap! Help me!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by JenniferKailey, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. JenniferKailey

    JenniferKailey TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your help in advance!

    So I’m looking to upgrade from my Point and Shoot to a nice camera. I’ve pretty much narrowed it down to the Canon Digital Rebel XTi 10.1MP SLR or the Canon Digital Rebel XSi 12MP SLR. (Possibly the 30D, but that’s a bit more pricey) My plan is buy the body only of whatever I choose, and I think the EF 50mm/1.8 lens.

    Now here’s the thing, I don’t know enough about photography to really make this decision. I’ve read that you should put your money in the lens over the body of the camera, so is it worth it to fork up the extra 100 dollars for the XSi? Are the features that much better than the XTi?

    Also, lens wise. I plan to be mostly shooting social events, weddings, parties, etc, traveling and tourist pictures and maybe some landscape ones. (Nothing professional, just for really nice memories sake ;) ) I don’t want to have to purchase a lens for each, but is there a good one that can be used pretty well for all?

    Thank you for helping! I’m so excited to make this big purchase.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Either the Xti or the XSi will be good cameras. You probably won't notice a big difference between 10MP and 12MP. The XSi is newer and has some upgrades. Most notably is that is has a larger screen and the option of Live View. If those are important to you, then go for the newer model.

    As for the lens, the 50mm F1.8 is a great lens for the money and I do recommend it. However, you may find it limiting, especially indoors where you may not have space to back up. I think a good two lens kit (with a lower budget) would include the 50mm F1.8 and probably the lens that usually comes with the XSi (which I think is the 18-55mm IS). A better option might be the 17-85mm IS lens but it will be more expensive. There are plenty of better options but it depends on your budget.

    For shooting things like social events, weddings & parties...I would recommend an accessory flash like the Canon 430EX. Having a flash that can tilt & swivel will make a HUGE difference in your photos when flash is required.
     
  3. Prophet

    Prophet TPF Noob!

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    Most of the responses you get are going get is to "buy which one that feels best". Throwing that out. Buy something you can grow into. You can get a good 30D for $400 or a 20D for $300 (30D is essentially a Mark II 20D). Its a killer body to grow into. If you plan on doing any type of lighting via PC port (cheap way to light) the 30D will and the rebel series won't (going towards the features end).

    And you are correct. Lenses > body. You are buying a system. Invest your money in good glass and you only have to buy once. And stay away from EF-S lenses. 50 f/1.8 is a great lens, best buy for the money.

    -JD-
     
  4. LarryD

    LarryD TPF Noob!

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    Welcome Jennifer,

    If you have enjoyed your experience with the point and shoot, you are sure to enjoy taking more personally creative photos with a DSLR, regardless of the one you choose..

    Plenty of good advice right here on the forum...........just ask..
     
  5. JenniferKailey

    JenniferKailey TPF Noob!

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    So the lens that comes with the kit is still a decent lens? The reviews I've read on Amazon don't seem to love it very much, hence my thinking of just purchasing the body.

    You guys are my new best friends. ;)
     
  6. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    It's nothing special but it's a pretty versatile lens for less than $100, and having a wide range to shoot at is valuable. However, for snaps at indoor events a 50 1.8 would do you pretty well.
     
  7. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    The lastest version of the kit lens is quite good and it has IS. If you're going from a P&S to a dSLR, getting a fixed prime lens will be disappointing, so I strongly suggest you opt for the kit zoom lens.

    Remember when you get into a dSLR/SLR that you are purchasing a camera system. One of the great advantages a dSLR is the ability to add lenses.

    Gary
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  8. Big Mike

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

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    The so called 'kit' lens is alright...but not great. The newer 18-55mm with IS, is said to be better than the original version, which has been bash on the internet for years now.

    I think that most of it's bad reputation comes from the fact that it's so light, it feels like a toy compared to 'better' lenses.

    If you have the budget, I would certainly recommend an upgrade, but for the extra $100 that it adds to the camera when bought in a kit...I think it's a heck of a deal. When used in good light, it is very decent...it's when used in less than good light, that it can really struggle.

    Now if you need a lens with a larger max aperture, then I'd recommend skipping the 'kit' lens. But if you don't, it's a great lens to start with...and you may find that you don't need/want to upgrade.
     
  9. YesWeCannon

    YesWeCannon TPF Noob!

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    I think i would go for the XSi from what you said. It's a great starter DSLR. [​IMG]
     
  10. Prophet

    Prophet TPF Noob!

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    Stick with your gut and learn to use a prime. I'm not a big fan of kit lenses (unless it is the L stuff that comes with the 5D). Zooms may just complicate the issue. Learn to move yourself instead of wringing out the kit lens. $100 is better used towards the 85mm f/1.8 or just get the 50mm f1.8 from amazon. $85 shipped.

    -JD-
     
  11. LarryD

    LarryD TPF Noob!

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    I think that when you make the leap to the DSLR, you should have as many tools at hand as possible to make the experience more enjoyable for you.

    That includes a decent zoom to let you widen the look if you want, and also to get closer to those shots that are just too far away with fixed lenses....

    That said, there are a number of very capable standard zooms offered by Canon..

    The 28-135 IS lens is one that comes to mind... wide enough for portraits and pics around the house, yet long enough to get good shots of the action on the soccer field...........
     
  12. JenniferKailey

    JenniferKailey TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for all your help!

    I'd pretty much decided on getting the XSi, with the kit lens, and, at least for now, additionally purchasing the 50mm/1.8 as well.

    How important are filters for the lenses? I see them for about 10 dollars on Amazon and they pop up frequently as something purchased when the camera or lens is purchased as well.

    AND any other random advice?
     

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