Need some suggestions...

Old 02-06-2009, 06:59 AM
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Default Need some suggestions...

I need some advice on digital SLR's. After long consideration, I have decided to get into the digital SLR realm. I am a newbie to that world, but before you start flaming, please understand that photography is a hobby for me and I have always wanted to get more serious about it. My goals are partly to take better photos, but also to really learn how to control an SLR and understand the mechanics of manual mode shooting. I believe I have started to hit some of the limitations with the photographs I take on my P&S camera, where I am left wanting and demanding more from my camera. I have no doubt in my mind that I want to get into the SLR space, and since I already own a P&S camera, I really don't want to take an intermediate step and spend the money on another in between P&S and then to SLR.

That said, I am hoping you guys can give me some suggestions. When first getting into the digital SLR realm, do you guys recommend taking a class or should I just read up on the tons of info on the web and start practicing on the camera to learn things? What would you guys recommend as a good beginner DSLR? I have been looking at the Canon Rebel XSi as a good camera within my price range of $600-$1000. I have read that it is better to spend a bit less on the camera and more on a good lens then the other way around. What would you recommend for a couple good starter lenses? The camera comes with an 18-55mm IS lens. Any other information, tips or suggestions are greatly appreciated. I thank you in advance for the help and information.
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:07 AM
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Default You're on the right track...

learning methods are up to you. Everyone learns differently. There are online classes, classes as your local community college, local photo groups and gatherings, reading on the internet, good old fashioned books. Basically you just need to understand the variables you can control and how it impacts the final photograph. The rest is trial and error once you understand the principles.

XSi is a great starter camera. Alternatively an entry level Nikon. Both systems are excellent and the entry level cams offer a boatload of functionality. The kit lenses are fine to start with. Use them, wait until you've explored their limitations, then decide what's next that will allow you to expand your horizons. Everybody likes to shoot different things and all lenses are specialized in some sense, so it's a choice you'll make when you get to that crossroads. Right now you probably don't know enough to make an intelligent decision.

You're on the right track though...
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Old 02-06-2009, 08:13 AM
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Default I started with an Canon Rebel XT...

rather than use the kit lens I decided a good walk around lens with more reach made sense for me, so I opted for a 28-135 IS which I still own, but seldomly use. The downfall with this lens is that it is not wide enough, and I remedied that by picking up a 12-24 to cover the wide aspect. Effectively, I was covered from 12 - 135 on a 1.6 crop. It really depends on what/how you want to shoot in order to determine what lens is right for you. You can pickup a 28-135 for less than $300 new on Craigslist. If you shoot wide a 12-24 Tokina can be had for about $400 used. If you like to shoot portraits, and want something fast, the Canon 50MM 1.8II is a bargain for $80 new.

If I were to do it all over again today, I would skip the entry leven XSi and look at finiding a deal for a new Canon 40D...if you are going to shoot manual the controls are much better then the entry level SLR's.

I currently shoot with a 5D and a 30D as backup.
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Old 02-06-2009, 08:39 AM
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Default Agreed with both of what they said below. Also...

...might tack an extra 100 bucks on the price and pick up a canon 50mm 1.8 prime lens. This thing is tack sharp, and in my opinion, helped me a lot with composition since on a crop body it shows around 85mm. Really made me think about how to frame a shot.
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:03 AM
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cheap camera, buy prime lenses.
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