Hello from Ohio


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Mar 5, 2012
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My name is Jeff and I am a college student. I have always had a kind of liking to taking pictures, I just never had a good excuse to take any. I have had some OK for the time point and shoots, but my last digital camera is from like 2005, and my phone (droid Bionic) takes much better pictures than that old point and shoot Sony Cybershot :X. I have my mind set on a DSLR camera because I feel like it will get me out of the house more with my girlfriend and it will give us something to do when we are bored lol. My mindset is that if I am financially invested in this camera, it will get me to use it a lot, right? I have always envied people who take cool pictures of the sunset and the city and I have always wanted to pick it up as a hobby. I just joined this forum because I have always found forums to be the best learning tools for anything, especially electronics. I am active and a whole lot of forums regarding android stuff, so if anyone ever has any Android questions, I consider myself more familiar with Android than the average user, so feel free to ask because I am sure I will be asking a lot of questions on this forum :)

Now for the obvious "Which camera should I choose!" question.

I have been heavily researching a budget, user-friendly, entry/upper-level entry DSLR for a few days now and I have pretty much made up my mind between the Canon T2I and maybe (but as much) the Nikon 5100. The Nikon is a little more expensive and doesn't seem to do everything like the t2i does, but some sites say the canon is better, and some say the Nikon, so it's super hard to decide.

I like the fact that the Canon has the Magiclantern firmware (I like to hack anything I buy) and that the firmware adds cool things like HDR which I find to be really fun to take, but that isn't the main thing in deciding the camera, obviously. The Canon shoots 1080p video which is good, but I think 720 would suffice. I am sure my girlfriend's mom would love me to take video of their 8 year old's football games and to take some really cool pictures of him mid air catching a football, but I would also like a camera that takes a great picture. Like crystal clear and sharp, at least up to an 8x10 photo because I'm not sure if I would ever print anything larger. Every summer we go on some kind of vacation or trip to somewhere so I think a camera that takes a nice picture of a beach, or lighthouse in the distance would be a major plus.

The Nikon looks to take nice pictures as well. I haven't done as much research, maybe 1/10 of that of the Canon, but it looks to be a nice camera as well. Any help would be appreciated.

Oh and one more thing. As I am just starting off, I don't want a cheap camera. I figure if I am going to drop 500+ dollars, I may as well get something good now because I probably won't upgrade for a really long time.

One last thing. I have seen that the T2I comes with either the 18-55 or 18-135 lenses, both are autofocusing lenses, and I don't know what the other lingo means (yet) but I am sure you guys could help me with that. I want a lens that will take a good focused picture maybe at least a few hundred feet away for like sunsets and stuff, but i don't want to have like a huge bulky lens. I have looked at videos of the 18-55 and the 18-135 and they both look great, I just wonder what one would be better for everyday shooting. I feel like theoretically, the 18-135 would be better for shorter and medium range shots, but it may suffer indoors, whereas the 18-55 lens may be great indoors and out, but will I get enough distance out of it? I am so new to all of this and just trying to gain my footing. I don't have a lot of money to dump into this for extra lenses and whatnot. I am just looking for imput and will likely strike on the next DSLR camera deal that comes around whether it be the canon or the Nikon.

Sorry for the super long thread, I hope somebody will take the time to answer these questions. Thanks a lot! I appreciate it

Welcome to the forum. There are about 100000 which camera comparisons here so you probably don't need another one, just look around. Enjoy
Basically I am looking for the t2i but just want to know if the 18-55 kit lens is going to be able to take good pictures of scenery for starting out or should I go straight for the kit with the 18-135mm? Ill probably use it mostly for shots of scenery maybe up to a few hundred feet at say Niagara falls being the farthest I would shoot that isn't a landscape. Also maybe some sports pictures. Would a 18-55few kit lenses be good for sports shots from the sideline of a kids football game or would it be better to get the 50-250mm lens as well right off the bat. I read a lot of people like having both the 18-55mm and 50-250mm. I guess my question is would the 18-135 cover enough that I wouldn't need anther lens or should I just get the 18-55 and 55-250 further down the road. I just don't want to make any mistakes

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk
If you can, I'd suggest going into a camera store where you can actually try out different lenses (and different cameras).

That should tell you right away, if 135mm will be long enough for you, or if you think you'll need something like the 50-250mm (or 70-300mm).

Either way, keep in mind that shooting sports is one of the most demanding things for photo gear. A typical sideline photographer uses tens of thousands of dollars worth of gear...simply because that's what is necessary to get the shots they do. Of course, that's not something the average parent is going to need to shoot their kids playing sports...but let that temper your expectations of what you'll be able to accomplish with less expensive gear.
Lol understood. I am not planning on being a pro, just wanting some pictures that are more fun to take than with my cell phone. I don't plan on getting any super sweet sports pictures of 8 year olds playing football but I would like to get some cool scenery shots. Im going to bestbuy in an hour or two to hold the canon and see if it's not too small for my hands and ill try out the kit lens that's on it

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk
Well, I did it! I ordered a t2i tonight with the 18-55 kit lens and 55-250 lens and also the 70-300 usm lens. I got it all in a bundle and am hoping to sell the 70-300 for 400 to make up for the other stuff I bought. I am super excited! Ordered all through amazon so everything is new and has a canon warranty which is better than the refurb I would have gotten! I am so pumped. If anyone is interested in the 70-300 pm me, I don't plan on keeping it, just plan on keeping the kit lens and 55-250. I can't wait! time to get to memorizing that manual lol
I got the Canon ef 70-300 Lens today because amazon shipped it separately overnight :p. I should get the t2i with lens kit and 55-250 lenses tomorrow. I hope I can sell this 70-300 lens fast for just a little under regular price because it is brand new and has warranty, but we shall see. Anyone know a good site to sell stuff like this locally besides craigslist. I already posted it on Craigslist and haven't heard anything as of yet.

Jeff92 said:
I got the Canon ef 70-300 Lens today because amazon shipped it separately overnight :p. I should get the t2i with lens kit and 55-250 lenses tomorrow. I hope I can sell this 70-300 lens fast for just a little under regular price because it is brand new and has warranty, but we shall see. Anyone know a good site to sell stuff like this locally besides craigslist. I already posted it on Craigslist and haven't heard anything as of yet.

If you are shooting sports, why are you selling the longer focal length?
I feel like the 55-250 should be good enough for a good while. Remember, im still a college students strapped for cash. The 70-300 came with a nice discount from amazon and when I sell it it will cover some of my losses
I got it today!! Its really rainy outside and I am overwhelmed. Maybe ill give it a shot tomorrow sometime. Wow this is gonna be a tough hobby to pick up :)
Im a freak about keeping my electronics new looking and pristine. What do you guys use to store it when going somewhere? Also should I get a padded case just for the camera when im not using it. I plan on just using a drawstring backpack because im not a fan of carrying large bags. Also should I just keep the lens on or take of off when im done. I don't want to get dust in there! Lol, tips are appreciated.
Where in Ohio are you?

Look for a photography club near you. They can be invaluable. Some have beginner and intermediate classes as well.
Such as the Cleveland Photographic Society, which is celebrating its 125th year in existence.
Very cool. I am near cleveland but im a student and don't have a lot of free time during the week or the weekends. Maybe ill take a class at the community college if I meed it by next semester. I am a pretty fast learner once I get the basics down

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