DSLR questions

  • I currently have a point & shoot Nikon coolpix digital camera that is on its last legs as far as function and performance go.  It lasted for 5 years but now the batteries are going and the picture quality isn't the same as newer models so it's time to upgrage!  I've been looking at DSLR cameras but am looking for any advice from the member base.  I used to have an old film type SLR camera but buying a Digital one seems a little confusing.

    I'd like a camera that is small and light so that my wife and I can both use it (we both have small hands), but I want to be able to take decent amature photographs with it as well.  From what I gather, the Cannon XTi fits the bill except that it can take underexposed pictures in the Auto mode.  The Sony Alpha seems nice too but there doesn't seem to be a big aftermarket for it yet....  I'd like to spend under $1200.00 and I plan to do a body only camera and purchase the lens seperate..

     

     

    Currently working on my MBA program.  I hope to return sometime in December 2010. 

  • I noticed this has not gotten a member response yet, so I wanted to go ahead and give you a link to a site that has excellent unbiased information that I have found to be very informative and helpful for myself. Check it out if you haven't already seen it before.

    http://www.dpreview.com/

    Here is a link to Phil Askey's review of the DSLR-A100

     Here is his review on the Rebel XTi

    www.crutchfield.com/Malcolm
  • Thank you for the links!  I read them all and am not 100% sure that I want the XTi & a spare battery....  Time to start saving up again  :(

    Currently working on my MBA program.  I hope to return sometime in December 2010. 

  • I moved up from an advanced point-and-shoot (Canon G5) to a Canon 30D.  Based on what you describe, I'd suggest going for a higher end P&S with good controls, such as the Canon G7.  The Rebel XTi is a fine camera, but the complexity level is much greater than a P&S.  On the other hand, the lens selection (and quality) of a DSLR is superior, but you can easily spend many times the price of the camera on lenses and accessories (I already have - sigh...)

    If you get the XTi, you may want to consider getting it either "body only" or with a different lens than the 18-55mm lens it usually is bundled with.  The 18-55 is not bad for a plastic-mount model, but you can spend just a bit more and get something like the Canon EF 28-135 which is a very flexible lens.  Note that with the XTi (and the 30D), the effective focal length is multiplied by 1.6.  This means that even an 18-55 does not give you much on the wide angle side.  This is why Canon introduced the EF-S 10-22, a superb lens (but expensive.)

    You do not need an expensive DSLR to take excellent pictures. Sometimes having a smaller camera at hand means getting the shot that you'd miss with a larger and more complex camera. 

    Steve
  • I am already planning on going body only and then buying the 28 - 135 lens (IS) as my general lens / 1st lens.  I know that I'll be giving up some portrait capability but the lens itself will probably make up for the loss in "standard" picture shots.  I will save up for the 17-85mm and maybe get it for christmas next year to try to regain the portrait capability...

    There is also a 50mm (the f/1.8 version) lens that I picked up for around $80.00 that I am planning to begin training my wife with [on the camera functions / features] once I order the camera (maybe later this week?)

    I prefer a small camera over a large, heavy camera just because it's easier to travel with, shoot with and store.  Having the old Minolta SLR (film type / MF) should really help me regain an aclimation for the increased functionality of the XTi - I'm not worried

     

     

    Currently working on my MBA program.  I hope to return sometime in December 2010. 

  • The 28-135 makes a fine portrait lens.  The 50mm 1.8 is well thought of, though I opted for the 1.4.
    Steve
  • Great!  And thanks for the help

    Currently working on my MBA program.  I hope to return sometime in December 2010. 

  • srothfuss:
    Thank you for the links!  I read them all and am not 100% sure that I want the XTi & a spare battery....  Time to start saving up again  :(

     Guy's (& Gals) I type-o'd in this reply...  The not that I originally posted should be a now - This is probably what made the thread confusing to follow after reading my original post.  My wife, bless her soul, went ahead and bought the Cannon XTi (body only) and the 28-135mm lens yesterday afternoon.

     

     

     

    Currently working on my MBA program.  I hope to return sometime in December 2010. 

  • Arive it did [the XTi] this afternoon...  It's going to take a lot of remembering and familiarizing with the camera but here is my best picture thus far (out of about 30 shots total)

     

    Currently working on my MBA program.  I hope to return sometime in December 2010. 

  • Awesome! I am glad you were able to find a good match. Have fun with the new toy and post up new pics to show us how the progress is coming along. Yes
    www.crutchfield.com/Malcolm
  • OK, another picture from my new DSLR of the same cat.  My other 2 don't seem to enjoy posing for pictures as much as the big guy. 

     

    Currently working on my MBA program.  I hope to return sometime in December 2010. 

  • Nice, that is a great shot. I really dig the dark background and darker shaded couch material framing out the shot giving a lot of pop to the subject. It's a nice portrait shot. What did you do for the background? Accidental? Photoshop? Back drop? Other perhaps?

     

    So, what are you thoughts overall on the on the new toy? Did you find it user friendly being new to the DSLR world?

     

    Man, I am going to have a hard time selling off my "?" key with all of this high mileage I am racking up on it! Wink



    [edited by: Malcolm at 3:58 PM (GMT -5) on Mon, May 07 2007]
    www.crutchfield.com/Malcolm
  • Wow the quality of that pic is amazing. And I am a cat lover.Smile
  • Malcolm:

    Nice, that is a great shot. I really dig the dark background and darker shaded couch material framing out the shot giving a lot of pop to the subject. It's a nice portrait shot. What did you do for the background? Accidental? Photoshop? Back drop? Other perhaps?

     Thanks for the praise...  It is [was] a natural picture.  The tan background is my living room wall and that is my lazyboy chair that my cat seems to think is his.  The cat actually posed like that for about 6 frames which was pretty strange considering his general attitude towards the world (the "get outta my way type")

    Malcolm:
    So, what are you thoughts overall on the on the new toy? Did you find it user friendly being new to the DSLR world?

    The camera itself is very easy to use, I just have to learn how to get the most out of it.  One of my friends happens to be into photography so I plan to ask her for some more instruction and pointers.  The IS lens is amazing.  In this particular picture, I could have left the aperture open longer and tried turning off the flash to experiment with the results.  Overall - I am thrilled with the camera.  

    Also, I've had some more practice taking portriats so I'll try and post them up later tonight...   

     

     

    Currently working on my MBA program.  I hope to return sometime in December 2010. 

  • OK - here is another picture of my favorite cat...  This time he was trying on my sandles.

     

    Currently working on my MBA program.  I hope to return sometime in December 2010.