new Canon user, advice please!

faffer

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Hello,

I've just picked up a Canon 20d secondhand, plus an EF-S 17-85mm F4 - 5.6 AF IS lense for 200 quid all in. I'm hoping that's a decent investment! Seems like a camera that's still well-spec'd enough to have more life in it, and to get something equivalent new i'd have to shell out 3-400quid plus (although obviously there'd be some advantages to going new).

I'm really wondering what I should watch out for with this camera, and Canon. Are the cheaper lenses worth looking at? What is Canon quality like generally? I'm assuming a big brand like this can't be bad.

The camera comes with a charger and battery. What other components would people advise? (I have an old camera bag already).

It also has a 1gb CF mem card. I'd like to make sure I have a bigger card, and a fast one too, any advice?

Thanks, sorry for all the questions!
Guy
 

EIngerson

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That's a pretty old model. It is still capable of taking some very nice photos. Take the time to learn it inside and out and I don't see where you'll have any problems with it.
 

KenC

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Yes, good economical way to start. What are you doing about processing software? I don't know the file size you will get from the 20D, but a 1 gig card actually may not be too bad. Of course you could get a 4 or 8 for very little and either would probably hold hundreds of images from that camera.
 
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faffer

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Thanks Eric,

Yeah, I was aware it was quite old, it's a bit of a gamble, but it just seems like quite a lot of it's specs are still only just matched by the entry-level dslr's for which i'd have to shell out more. Having said that technology moves on and i'm sure there are advantages to the new models, but for my purposes as a hobby-camera i'm hoping it'll fit the bill. We'll see. I'm not too worried about the low pixel count, I won't be blowing up big prints.
 
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faffer

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Yes, good economical way to start. What are you doing about processing software? I don't know the file size you will get from the 20D, but a 1 gig card actually may not be too bad. Of course you could get a 4 or 8 for very little and either would probably hold hundreds of images from that camera.

Ah hadn't thought about processing software! First venture into digital. What kind of software do people use? Is this for editing images or just uploading to your PC?
 

cgipson1

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Digital images usually benefit from some digital manipulation... sharpening, contrast / brightness adjusstments... etc..

Free ones that are popular are

GIMP GIMP - The GNU Image Manipulation Program

And some of of the various online sites (some that have software available also) like Picasa, Picnik, and others!

Paid software that is popular:

Photoshop Elements ( minimal utility, but inexpensive)
Lightroom (great for cataloging and sorting photos.. and has some good editing capability also)
Adobe Photoshop (expensive.. very powerful)

There are many others also..
 
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faffer

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Digital images usually benefit from some digital manipulation... sharpening, contrast / brightness adjusstments... etc..

Free ones that are popular are

GIMP GIMP - The GNU Image Manipulation Program

And some of of the various online sites (some that have software available also) like Picasa, Picnik, and others!

Paid software that is popular:

Photoshop Elements ( minimal utility, but inexpensive)
Lightroom (great for cataloging and sorting photos.. and has some good editing capability also)
Adobe Photoshop (expensive.. very powerful)

yup I have Gimp, great, looking forward to having a crack at it all. Will try living with the 1gb card. Quick question - do you normally shoot in RAW format? What are the advantages?
 

boofoo502

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RAW - biggest file less pictures on card. But biggest freedom to edit in post.
Jpeg - smaller more pics on card less freedom to edit in post.

Just starting out I'd suggest shooting in JPEG cause you're learning the camera and software. Once software limits switch to RAW. Plus you'll have more pics to edit and play with.
 
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faffer

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RAW - biggest file less pictures on card. But biggest freedom to edit in post.
Jpeg - smaller more pics on card less freedom to edit in post.

Just starting out I'd suggest shooting in JPEG cause you're learning the camera and software. Once software limits switch to RAW. Plus you'll have more pics to edit and play with.

Thanks, looking forward to having a go.
 

jaomul

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I would say 200 pounds very well spent, enjoy
 

clashmin

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Good choice! I also just purchased a 20D used for $200 and added a 50mm 1.8. I really love it for a total of $300. It can shoot 5+ frames per second raw which is really one of the best things about a used 20D vs a new entry level camera. I am excited about getting started with this setup, a tripod, cheap shutter release and entry level photomatix to start my HDR hobby.
 
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faffer

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HDR is something I want to look into too, seems like a good way to improve digital results.

The only downside i'm experiencing at the moment is that low f-number lenses seem pretty expensive, but I guess that's true for most manufacturers. I'm not sure which other manufacturers who make Canon compatible lenses are well respected... and cheaper.

Body should arrive today/tomorrow (we've had snow in the UK so everything's ground to a halt!).

Have fun with it.
 

clashmin

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Look at the canon 50mm 1.8 prime lens. Very inexpensive lens. Retails for $100 and it is wonderful.
 
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faffer

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Look at the canon 50mm 1.8 prime lens. Very inexpensive lens. Retails for $100 and it is wonderful.

That looks like a pretty good value lens. Was quite keen on a 1.4 but not until I get a pay rise! (ie not this side of 2020)
 

gsgary

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The 20D will take photos as good as any new DSLR, this shot was taken with a 10D

161366770_sgseZ-L.jpg
 

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