Best digital SLR for beginner

zoenippMarch 5, 2007

Hi. I'm a Kitchen Forum member with a camera question. I have a nice little digital Canon camera that takes good pictures for me. However, I would like to upgrade to an SLR so that I can take better action pictures at my daughters' sporting events and more professional-looking family pictures.

I have been eyeing the digital Canon Rebel XT for several years, waiting for the price to drop on this top-rated beginner SLR. My husband now wants to purchase one for my upcoming birthday. This morning, I was researching on CNET and they are no longer recommending Canon as their first selection; they do not like the newer model, the XTi as well as the original XT. I can still purchase an XT online; I can't afford their first choice, the Nikon D80.

My questions are as follows:

1. Am I on the right track looking at the older model XT?

2. Should I purchase it with the accompanying lens or would I be better off buying lenses separately? I know I will need a different lens to do much zoom work or action shots. I know the lenses will be more expensive but if they are that much better than the one that comes with the camera, it is a good investment. On CNET, the consumer reviews say to purchase separate lens; they just don't specify type and brand.

3. If I should purchase separate lens, what would YOU recommend size and brand-wise if I know upfront I will probably need to start out with two lenses?

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It sounds like you have done alot of research and that is a good thing, but I recommend you go to where they have forums for all the different SRL cameras and lens with very knowlegable people who can answer all your questions. Its a great place to read and ask questions.

As far as camera+kit lens or buying separately: you usually get a break by buying them together and the kit lens is generally a good general purpose lens. Atleast with the Nikon SRL camera. (Have no idea about the Canon because I have Nikon) Just remember that if you want to shoot action shots (especially at night or inside) you need a fast lens and they can get very pricey! Any thing rated with F-stops higher then F2.8 won't get the job done.

Good luck with that and happy "shooting"!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 10:39AM
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I've had two Canon Digital Rebels (the 300D and now the 400D) and I think the lens kits are great. I don't care if they're plastic, they take nice pictures. Great for landscapes, etc.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 9:21PM
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These kind of questions will start wars.

I have the Canon XT, Olympus E500, Olympus E1.
I enjoy all of the camera. I think the best bang for you buck is definately the E500. Best price for entry level camera and it comes with two kit lenses, and they are really good lenses. The colors are great, better than the XT in my opinion. Canon has better noise control in lower light, but that is okay with me.

Another thing, Canon's aspect ratio is 3:2, Olympus is 4:3.
6x4 print:
-- Canon - you use all 8MP with the ratio
-- Olympus - you use just under 7Mp with that ratio
Rusult- pretty much nothing, you can get a clear 6x4 print with 3 MP since its a small print.

5x7, 8x10 Prints:
--Canon - you will lose about 2MP with these prints due to the ratio
-- Olympus- better fits these print ratios, lose about .2MP on 5x7, lose about .8MP on 8x10.
Results - when the picture is taken with proper technique it would be hard to notice a deference, but the more MP you can cram into the print the better (when using higher quality cameras and lenses, of course)

Also, Olympus just announced two entry level models to be released this year - E410, E510- so the price of the E500 should be falling a bit. I migh tpick up a second body if the price is right.

Just my opinions.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 12:15AM
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