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ShannonO
04-07-2008, 04:58 PM
I wouldn't call myself a photographer. I think about framing, I thinking about light (but don't actively do anything about it). I needed photographs for my yearbook so I learned how to use a camera, develop film, then print, and that's about all my photog experience.

All that being said, I want a DSLR. My P&S Elph is fine, but I want to be able to capture a bit more, want some flexibility, and want a camera I can learn up to a bit. So I'm looking for an entry-level camera. I will mostly want to take documentary photographs (I'll shoot my dogs more than anything else, take event candids, and baby pictures in the five-year future).

My friend has an XT body he bought to have an extra on hand for a job. He's offering me this package:


Canon Digital Rebel XT 8 MP body (less than 500 pictures taken) (paid 400)
Lowepro Slingshot 100 AW camera backpack (paid 70) 1 GB Compuflash memory card (paid 25)
Tripod (paid 20)


for $400.

Normally I'd start my own research, read a lot, make sure it's the right decision. But he needs cash fast, I know that I'm not going to go very far with a camera so am confident entry level is fine for me, etc. So I'm appealing to you guys to say "yeah that's awesome deal take it while you can," "that's a mediocre deal and there are probably better camera choices for you, wait until you have time to do your research and see what fits for you..."

C/N: Should I take this deal?

jacobsen1
04-07-2008, 05:09 PM
it's a tough call shannon... The XT goes for $409 brand new at B&H right now:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/371189-REG/Canon_0209B001_EOS_Digital_Rebel_XT.html

the bag is worth what he's listed, but only if you like it. A 1gb CF card is pretty small these days and can be picked up for anywhere from $10~$30 tops. The tripod will be a wallyworld special for $20.

So basically if you have your heart set on a XT, like his bag and want to help him out, then yes, go for it. But you won't be missing an awesome deal unless you love that bag as you can find used XTs for ~$300 all over the place and you can still buy them new for the same $400 then buy the exact accessories you want.

The XT is a good little camera, nothing against it. I'm just saying if you haven't looked into any of this at all, you might want to check out the other options and set a budget as you'll also need a lens that you don't have listed there.

and Welcome to the forums!

LucKie355
04-07-2008, 05:17 PM
Welcome to the forums! :)

(I moved the thread to the right spot for ya too.)

-K

Stime187
04-07-2008, 05:20 PM
Shannon, since it's your friend and it sounds like a decent package, I'd say go for it. $400 is reasonable for that amount of stuff considering the XT is almost brand new.

You'll love the camera too, sounds like you're doing it with the right idea in mind.

iunno
04-07-2008, 05:23 PM
it sounds like a good deal, especially coming from someone you trust...you trust him/her, right? :lol:

ride5000
04-07-2008, 06:16 PM
$350 or no deal, imo.

-ken

ps. unless he's a good enough friend where you'd just give him $50 anyway, in which case go for it.

Geekybiker
04-07-2008, 06:19 PM
Tell him to throw in the kit lens at that price.

Stime187
04-07-2008, 06:19 PM
Oh good call, is the kit lens included? That certainly makes a difference.

ShannonO
04-08-2008, 05:11 PM
No lens included, he only owns two and can't give one up. I told him that I'll pass because I don't want those particular accessories, but that I'd be interested again if he would sell the body by itself.

Thanks for the comments/suggestions guys, it helped.

iunno
04-08-2008, 05:13 PM
does this mean you're going to leave us here, forever?

:unamused:

ShannonO
04-08-2008, 05:39 PM
I don't think so, no.


I'm starting to read a bit more and am realizing that I REALLY shouldn't make a decision until I learn a bit more about what I'll want out of a camera. I know my Mom has a Nikon and has lenses she never uses. Maybe that should play in to my decision. I know I will want to take pictures of moving things, dogs to be specific, and that should play in to camera choice.

Ack! I don't WANT to have to do all the work to make an educated decision! I just want a camera so I can start shooting and learning-by-doing!

iunno
04-08-2008, 05:41 PM
keep an eye on the SDF here: http://forums.slickdeals.net/forumdisplay.php?sduid=267796&f=9

they always post up the best deals on bodies, lenses and accessories.

Stime187
04-08-2008, 05:43 PM
Shannon, wanting to take pictures of moving things and stuff means nothing when it comes to the camera. That's more about the lenses. All the modern dSLR will do a wide-variety of functions from landscapes to fast motion very well when used correctly.

And, I usually wouldn't tell someone this, but honestly, just jump in and go for it. You've got a decent amount of knowledge of the camera basics and frankly, you'll learn the most with the camera in hand.

The only thing I see that you should explore is the Nikon v. Canon route, and frankly, look into what your mom has and post about it here. You'll be able to get some advice and see if any of that should influence your decision.

But bottom line, quit thinking so much and jump in, you'll be happier you did.

slieb
04-08-2008, 05:48 PM
Shannon, wanting to take pictures of moving things and stuff means nothing when it comes to the camera. That's more about the lenses. All the modern dSLR will do a wide-variety of functions from landscapes to fast motion very well when used correctly.

And, I usually wouldn't tell someone this, but honestly, just jump in and go for it. You've got a decent amount of knowledge of the camera basics and frankly, you'll learn the most with the camera in hand.

The only thing I see that you should explore is the Nikon v. Canon route, and frankly, look into what your mom has and post about it here. You'll be able to get some advice and see if any of that should influence your decision.

But bottom line, quit thinking so much and jump in, you'll be happier you did.

+1

For several weeks I agonized over what to buy. I finally just made a decision and made my purchase. I realize now that it was the best thing that I could have done. I stopped worrying and started shooting. I"m so much happier now (except for the fact that I will have to pay a deductible for rear ending that car today.)

ShannonO
04-08-2008, 06:05 PM
This forum sure is a spend-money enabler...You guys seem too often recommend "just go spend now, don't wait, you'll be happy!" :D

I'm in no rush because I don't NEED to let go of $400-$800 at the moment (Alinea dinner has tightened our belts, but worth it!). The conversation just started now because of the friend and his camera. That being said, this forum and pictures of my beautiful puppy (and their lack of quality) have spurred me on.

Let me show my ignorance: will an entry-level DSLR automatically take some of my problems away? E.g. blue demon eyes in my pups?

http://lh6.google.com/shannon.lantzy/R-xUrcRwd-I/AAAAAAAAB4M/vS3cAD6aJDA/IMG_0001.JPG?imgmax=512

http://lh4.google.com/shannon.lantzy/R_A4M8RweCI/AAAAAAAACDo/dcNktpg4vV4/IMG_0003.JPG?imgmax=512


I definitely realize that the more skill I have the better the photos will be, but I'm ASSUMING that there will be an automatic quality improvement by moving from an Elph to a rebel. (And by adding borders. :) )

ShannonO
04-08-2008, 06:06 PM
Again with the demon eyes:

http://lh4.google.com/shannon.lantzy/R-xUh8Rwd9I/AAAAAAAAB4A/UGKP-ydKMoA/IMG_0001.JPG?imgmax=512

jacobsen1
04-08-2008, 06:17 PM
This forum sure is a spend-money enabler...You guys seem too often recommend "just go spend now, don't wait, you'll be happy!" :D

:lol:

Just make sure you use the affiliate links. ;) :lol:

Seriously though, the demon eyes are from the flash being so close to the lens. It's the same thing as red eye in people, just harder to avoid. You either have to get the flash way above the lens (use a dedicated flash) or don't use flash at all.... Depending on where you are and how much light and action there is the second option will work the best.

High ISOs and no flash FTW.

ShannonO
04-08-2008, 06:23 PM
He got back to me. $300 for the body alone and "I'll still give you a tripod because you'll need one to do some of the longer exposures."

Geekybiker
04-08-2008, 06:27 PM
He got back to me. $300 for the body alone and "I'll still give you a tripod because you'll need one to do some of the longer exposures."

Not bad. You should be able to get a kit lens for $50 or so I think.

ShannonO
04-08-2008, 06:36 PM
Yeah, I'm going to buy it. Now I need a lens and a CF card. :)

freq
04-08-2008, 07:34 PM
did someone say nifty fifty?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/12142-USA/Canon_2514A002_Normal_EF_50mm_f_1_8.html

The 50mm f1.8 might be something to consider... and a kit lens of course, but this little guy will be fantastic for getting creative and for indoor and low-light situations. you just have to use your feets as a zoom :)

Stime187
04-08-2008, 07:35 PM
That's the nifty fifty. And yes, it would be a great lens for Shannon...

thechickencow
04-08-2008, 08:21 PM
I've got a cheap 'kit' style lens - look here:
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=468826

I'll do $50 for you. It'd get the job done, but personally I'd go a bit wider angle and look for somebody's 18-55mm lens.

That'll work well for dogs. My dog gets them too. If you're curious, here is a flickr set of mine with about a million dog pics. Most were probably shot with my digital rebel, but the later ones (since Jan 1 this year) are with my 40d:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jay1441/sets/72157604425756108/

Also, the debbil eyes are from the flash. You can learn to not use the flash and shoot without it, or you can use photoshop and make the eyes normal.

jacobsen1
04-08-2008, 08:28 PM
That's the nifty fifty.

yeah, that's what he said. ;)

And shannon, the 50mm f1.8 is a fantastic lens to learn about photography with because it's inexpensive and with it's wide maximum aperture you can learn a lot about photography with it. It is all plastic, but it's worth the money. That and a kit lens would be awesome.

Stime187
04-08-2008, 08:29 PM
Plus, the 50 f/1.8 will offer good low light speed for those dog shots WITHOUT "demon eyes".

freq
04-08-2008, 09:27 PM
yeah, that's what he said. ;)

hmmm....

ShannonO
04-08-2008, 11:48 PM
Do I understand at all in hearing that the nifty fifty = 50 f/1.8, it's great for learning, doesn't zoom, and will enable low-light non-flash shots. And that I need a 'kit' lens IN ADDITION because ??? Because it'll zoom? Baseline?

In over my head already. :) I just want a camera and to start shooting and playing.

Geekybiker
04-09-2008, 02:20 AM
Do I understand at all in hearing that the nifty fifty = 50 f/1.8, it's great for learning, doesn't zoom, and will enable low-light non-flash shots. And that I need a 'kit' lens IN ADDITION because ??? Because it'll zoom? Baseline?

In over my head already. :) I just want a camera and to start shooting and playing.

Just go buy a cheap 18-55 kit lens. Shoot some and worry about other lenses later. Either ebay or any photo forum should have a ton for sale.

ride5000
04-09-2008, 07:07 AM
when i was shopping, had it not been for an "advance" on my birthday present from my parents, i was going to end up with a 20d body and a 50/1.8.

the advance ended up getting me into the tamron 17-50/2.8, which is a great lens to be sure, but i will still likely get a 50/1.8 for even lower light portraits.

i guess what i'm trying to say is i'd spend the money on the 50/1.8 rather than the kit zoom. i think it's what SHOULD be the kit lens in the first place, as i think it will teach you more and yet not become obsolete as quickly.

jm2c
ken

jacobsen1
04-09-2008, 11:35 AM
Shannon, the kit lens is slower but makes the camera more like a P&S... You can easily adjust what the images look like and fit more into a shot easily. With the 50mm prime it will be more work to compose good shots (foot zoom, and at times you will run out of room)... But it's a better teaching tool to learn the basics of photography because it's so fast...

Geekybiker
04-09-2008, 11:38 AM
i guess what i'm trying to say is i'd spend the money on the 50/1.8 rather than the kit zoom. i think it's what SHOULD be the kit lens in the first place, as i think it will teach you more and yet not become obsolete as quickly.

jm2c
ken

well....
1) you already have a zoom. I suspect you'd feel otherwise if the 50mm was your only lens
2) The kit lens can be picked up much cheaper. $50-60 bucks. Its worth having in your kit until you move up to a high quality f/2.8 zoom at that price.

Stime187
04-09-2008, 11:45 AM
well....
1) you already have a zoom. I suspect you'd feel otherwise if the 50mm was your only lens
2) The kit lens can be picked up much cheaper. $50-60 bucks. Its worth having in your kit until you move up to a high quality f/2.8 zoom at that price.

I agree with you for the most part, but the 50 f/1.8 is only around $60 brand new.

Geekybiker
04-09-2008, 11:48 AM
Err nevermind then. I guess I'm used to my 50mm costing $200. Still even given similar prices, I'd pick the zoom as your only lens. (I'd buy both at those prices honestly)

ride5000
04-09-2008, 01:05 PM
well....
1) you already have a zoom. I suspect you'd feel otherwise if the 50mm was your only lens

did you read my post?

if i DIDN'T have gracious parents who agreed to front me some b-day money for a better zoom, i was going for the 50mm prime only. it was in the B+H cart ready to go. it's still on the wish list.

Geekybiker
04-09-2008, 01:15 PM
did you read my post?

if i DIDN'T have gracious parents who agreed to front me some b-day money for a better zoom, i was going for the 50mm prime only. it was in the B+H cart ready to go. it's still on the wish list.

Sure. But I still think if you'd ended up with only a 50mm you might be here griping "man I wish I had a zoom" ;) But that's just me.

Stime187
04-09-2008, 01:18 PM
I would also vote for the kit zoom (18-55) over the prime to start out if you can only get one. But frankly, for $120 you can have two fantastic lenses.

ShannonO
04-09-2008, 03:48 PM
I'll probably do that...

I'm amazed at the differences in CF card price from one 4GB to another. Are speed and other differences between same-sized cards going to matter to me with this camera? Can I go just find whatever's cheapest?

Geekybiker
04-09-2008, 04:00 PM
You probably dont need the super duper extreme III cards, but a nice 150x + card will probably be worth it. The XT doesn't have the frame rate or MP to really saturate the fastest cards.

jacobsen1
04-09-2008, 04:09 PM
yeah, shannon, as geeky said you're using a camera with larger files now so the cheapest won't be the best option, but you also don't need to get the fastest card out there either. Stick to the better brands though and make sure you buy them online (any local store, unless they're having some sort of crazy BF sale is ripping you off on memory cards)...

I also only use sandisk cards, but only because they've worked so why switch... Lexar is also good and there are a few other "better" brands.

ShannonO
04-16-2008, 01:51 PM
I would also vote for the kit zoom (18-55) over the prime to start out if you can only get one. But frankly, for $120 you can have two fantastic lenses.

I'm seeing $80-90 for 50mm f/1.8 and nothing less than $100 on BH. Where is it that I can get both for $120???

Friend comes to town next week...will have camera then. :)

ShannonO
04-16-2008, 02:01 PM
Hey Ben I saw that!

Stime187
04-16-2008, 02:03 PM
Woah... the 50 f/1.8 used to be like $60. When did it become $90? Ben?

And, I was figuring you could pick up the 18-55 kit lens used for $50-60.

Sorry about that, I'm amazed the nifty fifty jumped so drastically in price.

slieb
04-16-2008, 02:10 PM
The secret is out, there is more demand?

ShannonO
04-16-2008, 02:10 PM
Am I looking at the right thing? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00007E7JU/ref=pd_cp_e_2?pf_rd_p=250314001&pf_rd_s=center-41&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B000HTPT14&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0R29Q5DEY6K8DF8CYNJP

ShannonO
04-16-2008, 02:11 PM
$76 now. Amazon sometimes pisses me off, changing the price from click to click. :(

Stime187
04-16-2008, 02:13 PM
That's it, but still, that's high for that lens. I bought mine over two years ago for around $60... weird.

ShannonO
04-16-2008, 02:15 PM
Where should I post/look for really really really noob questions...like what's a "hood" for? Here, "other gear," "n00bs," or elsewhere???

Stime187
04-16-2008, 02:17 PM
Just search for it and if you don't see a thread, ask. We don't mind those kinds of questions and if you post it in the wrong place, I'll just move it.

Angelo
04-16-2008, 03:38 PM
Where should I post/look for really really really noob questions...like what's a "hood" for? Here, "other gear," "n00bs," or elsewhere???

To answer that question straight away, a hood is a plastic tube-like thing you attach to the front of the lens, to prevent glare from stray light in your photos.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/32/Canon_EF_28-105_3.5-4.5_USM_II_with_and_without_Lens_Hood.jpg/800px-Canon_EF_28-105_3.5-4.5_USM_II_with_and_without_Lens_Hood.jpg

I use one on my main zoom, but not on any of my other lenses -- though I probably should. :)


-A

ShannonO
04-16-2008, 03:47 PM
The idea of "stray light" is funny to me, but I think I understand you. :)

Angelo
04-16-2008, 03:51 PM
The idea of "stray light" is funny to me, but I think I understand you. :)

I know what you mean. The idea is that if the light source is at enough of an angle to the front of the lens, it'll create glare as it reflects off the front element. Or something.


-A