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My first "serious" camera: Looking for thoughts on Canon EOS Rebel T2i or better


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#1 of 165 Ronald Epstein

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Posted July 05 2010 - 04:44 AM

Wow.  Think this is my first post ever in the

Photography area of my forum.  Hello everyone.


Currently I own a Canon Powershot G6 digital

camera.  It takes pretty damn good pictures but

alas, its technology is slightly outdated.


So, I really was not considering upgrading my

camera.  I'm not what you would call a professional

photographer.  It wasn't until a friend of mine

recently showed me pictures taken on his new

Canon EOS Rebel T21 that I had to do a double-take.

I was amazed at the quality of photos that this
18MP camera takes.


Plus, my friend got great deal on Amazon for

the camera and kit for $800.  That deal is now

gone, the camera and kit sells on Amazon for

$1047 but as you can see by the OneCall link

above, I can get the camera and lens kit for

$900.


Now, for $900 I am getting what I perceive to

be a top-of-the-line consumer pro camera.


I went with One Call because of their 12-month

financing deal.


So, before I go for this camera package I
thought I would come here and ask the experts

what they think of this camera and if I could

do better with another camera at the same price.


Look forward to reading your responses.


Ronald J Epstein
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#2 of 165 Scott Merryfield

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Posted July 05 2010 - 06:23 AM

Ron, before we can recommend a camera, you need to give us an idea of what you will be using it for and how much you know about photography (or are willing to learn). A dSLR can be a great tool for taking photos, but you need to be willing to learn at least the basics of creating a proper exposure in order to get your money's worth out of one.


Also, be forewarned that once you go down the road of a dSLR, you will probably end up spending more money on additional lenses and other accessories (external flash, filters, tripod, etc.) in order to get the most out of your camera. So, do not just look at the camera with it's kit lens, but the entire camera system, as each manufacturer's lenses and accessories are not interchangeable with others -- i.e. you cannot use Canon lenses with a Nikon camera.


Do you use your current Powershot G6 in "auto" mode, or do you set the exposure through either "manual", "aperture priority" or "shutter priority" modes?  If you only plan on using the camera in "auto" mode, you are probably better off just upgrading to the latest Powershot model.



#3 of 165 Ronald Epstein

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Posted July 05 2010 - 07:06 AM

Scott,


I am an amateur photographer.


I always use "auto" mode on my Powershot G6.


The camera actually takes pretty decent pictures.


It's just that I saw the pictures taken from my friend's

Canon EOS Rebel T2i and I thought to myself, "Gee,

those pictures look incredible."


Now I understand that buying one of these cameras

may lead to spending a lot more money.  While the

Canon Rebel is getting very high reviews the one

thing that many owners on Amazon are complaining

about is the lens kit.  They claim its decent for most,

but those who crave for perfection are going to want

to upgrade.  There are lenses being recommended at

price points of $500-$1200.  Here are two of the lower

cost lenses....


http://www.amazon.co...PN4V1C30JN6X5ZG


http://www.amazon.co...PN4V1C30JN6X5ZG


There is even another lens going for $1200.


Yeah, I hate to say this, but basically I would rather

have a camera I can put on "auto focus" and shoot.

However, I am wondering even in auto mode if this

camera will take photos that will exceed most others

in quality, and, if one day I decide I want to advance

beyond amateur mode that I have a camera that I

can buy lenses for and take even more remarkable
photos.


When my friend showed me this camera last week

he basically put in manual mode and handed it to

me.  I just turned the ring on the lens and focused

the picture.  It seemed easy enough though I probably

missed a dozen other settings that would have helped

take the perfect picture.


Bottom line is that I am willing to pay $900 for a camera

that will take outstanding, brilliant, jaw-dropping digital

photos (if such a thing exists).  I am just not sure that

this is the one and if I can do better with something else

in the same price range.


Ronald J Epstein
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#4 of 165 Zack Gibbs

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Posted July 05 2010 - 07:15 AM

I've a cousin, she and her husband have spent enough on cameras since they were married a few years ago to pay for a BMW. Couldn't take a photo to save their lives. Don't know a thing about it, aren't interested in learning. I guess they just like to play photographer.


Cameras don't shoot people, people shoot people. Or landscapes or whatever.


If you want to take snapshots get a good snapshot camera and don't waste your money IMO.


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#5 of 165 Scott Merryfield

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Posted July 05 2010 - 08:01 AM

Ron,


I have to agree with Zack. If all you plan on doing is putting the camera in "auto" mode and taking snapshots, I think you will end up disappointed. A good point & shoot camera like the Canon Powershot G11 would probably be a better path to take, as it is less expensive and should work just as good in "auto" mode as any dSLR.


A dSLR is a tool that requires some understanding of photography in order to get the best results. Buying one for taking snapshots would be akin to buying an expensive race car with an automatic transmission to drive to the corner store -- sure, it will get the job done, but it's overkill for the task at hand.


If you spend some time learning the basics of photography, though, a dSLR can allow you to take photos under conditions that are not possible with the point & shoot camera. Indoor lowlight shots without flash, shots of high speed action, and closeup quality wildlife shots are just a few examples of photos that really require a dSLR and some basic photography skills.


Regarding the lenses you listed above, they are two completely different types of lenses for different tasks. The 70-300mm IS is a telephoto lens that you would use for wildlife and possibly outdoor sports (if the light was good). It is not a general purpose lens. I used to own that lens until upgrading a few years ago, and it's decent for the money as long as it is used within its limitations (really high quality telephoto lenses can be very expensive). The 15-85mm IS would be a more general "walkaround" lens that would be an upgrade over the Canon kit lens -- but the newer Canon kit lens is actually not a poor first lens for a beginner. The photographer -- not the equipment -- would be the weakest link to begin with.


Canon's Rebel line is an excellent dSLR starting point for a beginner who is interested in learning photography. Just do not expect the camera to take great photos all by itself. A great photographer can take exceptional photos with almost any equipment, and a bad photographer will take bad photos even with the most expensive gear.



#6 of 165 Dave Moritz

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Posted July 05 2010 - 09:27 AM

Hey Ronald E.


The SLR digital IMHO will still outperform a point and shoot digital camera!  I feel the sensors in the more exspenisive cameras are going to be better and one of the primary differences will be the quality of the lense on the SLR camera vs the point & shoot.  Even in auto mode on the SLR you should get very good quality shots.  Keep in mind that there are other issues that will effect how your pictures come out.  And if you learn about picture composition and a little about lighting and read up on the things to avoid, you should still get better pictures.  You could end up with even better pictures if you learn how to use the manual settings on the camera.  But if you get the camera you can always start with it on auto and learn how to use it in manual later on.  The point is that the SLR will still be superior to your point & shoot digital.


I own a Canon Powershot A590 and it takes decent pictures and it actually has the capability of changing to two other lenses as long as you get the adaptor.  My sister owns a SLR Nikon, the model escapes me right now but the pictures she gets is a really nice step up from what I can get with my A590.  Optics mean alot in cameras and it is one of the reasons why most point and shoots can blow away cell phone cameras.  So if you are looking to get nicer photographs I would go for the digital SLR camera.  I honestly think that you can not go wrong with a Canon or Nikon!  I am sure you can get really nice pictures from a Olympus or Pentax but look at the Nikon camera's.  But by all means if you like what you see with the Canon SLR's I would pull the trigger.


Good Luck



 A great photographer can take exceptional photos with almost any equipment, and a bad photographer will take bad photos even with the most expensive gear.

 I totally agree /img/vbsmilies/htf/biggrin.gif


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#7 of 165 Patrick Sun

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Posted July 05 2010 - 10:51 AM

The main question is:


How much crap are you willing to carry with you to get good photos?  I went dSLR last year, but I still use a Canon A650 for the quick snapshot type of shots if I don't want to be weighted down by a lot of photo gear, and that A650 can be carried on my hip in a belt bag with little fuss.  But if I'm in a target-rich environment, I don't mind carrying a dSLR, I just feel sort of silly carrying a dSLR for a handful of shots over the course of a day.


Also, check out the other photo thread that I commandeered (hee hee):


http://www.hometheat...40d-or-xsi-450d


Also, it's not about the 18 megapixels resolution as some lenses don't even allow you to make use of that extra resolution (also, 10-12 megapixel is fine unless you plan on printing out large prints), but how you use the capability of a camera body (higher useful ISO settings allow for shooting in lower light conditions at a fast enough shutter speed to avoid motion blur), coupled with the right lens to get the shot you want to get in tough shooting conditions.  Lens swapping is the bane of a dSLR photographer's existence, and I try not to do a lot of swapping, but rather try to plan out my itenarary if I need wide-angle or telephoto lens for specific locations if I'm shooting photos.


To replace the kit lens that came with my Canon XSi, I paid more than what I paid for the camera body/kit lens and a telephoto lens combined because I wanted a walk-around lens that would be "fast" enough (wider constant aperture than my kit lens) in low light conditions to get the shot.  That's the progression of getting into the dSLR world.  And frankly, that new lens I recently bought is really heavy around the neck to be lugging around all day, so it's trade-off of photo quality over convenience.

I try not to shoot in Auto mode, don't even like Tv or Av mode either, so I end up in manual mode and just going by trial-n-error and my gut.  There are a lot of variables to deal with if you're scrambling to get the shot, but if you have time to think it through, and set up the shot, a dSLR is the way to go.  But for the spontaneous stuff, the point-n-shoot digital cameras are good enough if you just need the shot, even if the quality is 'lacking" a bit, but at least you got the shot, rather than a blurry under or over exposed shot with a dSLR that wasn't set up properly for an impromptu photo-op.


The Canon G11 with the flip-out LCD screen is a good alternative for a solid point-n-shoot, and the flip-out LCD is very useful at times.


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#8 of 165 Sam Posten

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Posted July 06 2010 - 03:23 AM

Originally Posted by Patrick Sun 

The main question is:


How much crap are you willing to carry with you to get good photos?


I'd add to that:  Are you REALLY willing to carry all that crap around and not willing to learn even the basics of photography?  If the answer is no then get a P&S.


The WHOLE POINT to a DSLR is that YOU are in control not the camera.  You can choose to let the camera do some or all of the thinking for you, but the more you let it choose the less you get to bitch about it when it makes dumb choices.


Photography is a journey not a 1 stop destination that ends when you buy a box, put a battery in it and click a button.


If you arent willing to at least read something like this, stop right here, do not pass go, do not waste $900+ and stick to the P&S:

http://photography-o...ad.php?t=414088


And not just read it, but go through it all and FULLY understand it so that it becomes a part of how you think and see.


If the answer is yes, then read this next:

http://www.navesink....k-me-about.html


Yes kit lenses suck for the most part (tho the Nikon 18-200VR is AWESOME.  If you can spring for a $650 kit lens that is more than most people ever need)

But you know what is GREAT about kit lenses?  If you get home and use the camera a couple times and you toss it in a closet and never use it you arent out that much.  If you get home and get so excited about what you are doing and how much even betterer you could be doing things then it was a spark!


Also, it's not about the 18 megapixels resolution as some lenses don't even allow you to make use of that extra resolution (also, 10-12 megapixel is fine unless you plan on printing out large prints)


I'll take that one step further.  More Megapixels is DUMB.  12 is plenty.  I've got poster sized prints with my D300 and you can't see individual pixels.  More pixels = harder processing, more storage and more frustrated new users.


The Canon G11 with the flip-out LCD screen is a good alternative for a solid point-n-shoot, and the flip-out LCD is very useful at times.


Word.  If you want to go out and let the camera make all the decisions for you and live life on the Auto modes, the G11 is what you want.  Or the Sony NEX5 or a Panasonic GH1, those combine the best of DSLRS with the lighter weight of a digicam and brilliant auto modes.


I say all the above to not turn you off on a DSLR but to make you understand what you are getting yourself into.  And don't forget capture is only the first step.  You still need to consider storage, backup, editing and print.  =)


If you want to take a lunch and try out my D5000 and D300 and go over the basics it would be my pleasure Ron.


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#9 of 165 Scott Merryfield

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Posted July 06 2010 - 04:26 AM



Originally Posted by Patrick Sun 

The main question is:


How much crap are you willing to carry with you to get good photos?


This is the biggest drawback of a dSLR, IMO. When we travel, I have a backpack dedicated just to my equipment. It holds a single camera body (I really should have a backup, but do not currently), 3 to 4 lenses, an external flash, extra batteries w/ charger, memory cards, filters, cleaning accessories and a tripod. That's a lot of weight I'm carrying around in the airport and when we are hiking.

I may reduce the amount of stuff I take depending on the trip and what I expect to use, but it will still always take up a lot more space than just a point & shoot camera along with a spare battery and extra memory cards.


As for the lure of the 18MP sensor, I agree with Sam and Patrick -- more is not always better. My current Canon 40D is only 10MP, and I have enlarged photos to as big as 30x20 for framing. Proper exposure, good post processing skills and quality optics are all much more important than a few extra megapixels.


Ron, please do not think we are anti-dSLR. /img/vbsmilies/htf/laugh.gif It's just that we want you to understand what you are getting into before you spend a lot of money on a camera that may not be suited for you. However, if you are interested in developing your photography skills, then a dSLR is a wonderful tool.


I grew up shooting film, and have only owned a single point & shoot digital camera. I quickly became frustrated on its limitations, so moved to a dSLR once the equipment became affordable. The final nail in the point & shoot's coffin for me came during a trip to Hawaii when I found it impossible to get any photos while whale watching. By the time the camera was triggered after pressing the shutter button, the whale had finished surfacing every time. During our previous trip when I was shooting film, this was never a problem.


Now I have a camera that allows me to capture up to a dozen frames every time a whale surfaces. However, the camera cannot be used in "auto" mode to accomplish this feat -- I need to understand the camera's settings to go about capturing the action properly.



#10 of 165 Sam Posten

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Posted July 06 2010 - 05:04 AM

Well said.  I really want to test the EVILs and see how the shutter lag and burst modes measure up, if they are even close then they may really be a good gateway drug to DSLRs.


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#11 of 165 Jim_C

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Posted July 06 2010 - 06:49 AM

Ron,


I think most of what you need to know has already been covered.  If you're going to treat a dSLR like a point and shoot then it's better to get a point and shoot.  Something that can fit in your pocket and is with you all the time is much better than having a dSLR that you decide to leave home because it's too big to carry that day.


FWIW, I have a Canon 50D with a 17-50 f/2.8 lens,  It's considered a very good combo by many on POTN.  When it's in auto mode it's a glorified point and shoot and photos are unimpressive to my eye.  In Tv, Av or manual, where I can control what the camera does, is when it shines.


One last thing, give me a 1D with a 24-70 f2.8L and a Pro an entry Rebel with the kit lens and he's gonna kick my ass.    The person makes the image, not the tool.


You want to upgrade again?!!

#12 of 165 Marty M

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Posted July 06 2010 - 08:19 AM

I have owned several p & s cameras and took the plunge into DSLR a year and a half ago.  Scott mentioned the Canon Rebel, and I would like to second that recommendation.  It will give you more flexibility than a p & s camera, and will give you great shots.  I like the ability to change lenses on my DSLR and to use the viewfinder to take photos.  The down size is that you lose the convenience of sticking a camera in your pocket like you can with many p & s cameras.


If you want to become more serious about photography without a huge investment, I highly recommend the Canon Rebel SX.  You can usually find it for around $500.  I would also recommend purchasing it from B & H Photo in New York City.  They are very reliable and reputable.  They also ship a lot of their stuff Free.


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#13 of 165 Ronald Epstein

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Posted July 06 2010 - 09:14 AM

Going to take your advice.


I can't be bothered with huge cameras and

expensive lenses.  I would have been happy

with the Rebel EOS ts2 but it seems like to
really take advantage of it I would have to
spend more money on lenses.


So, for just point and shoot, what is probably

the best camera for the buck out there?  I
do not mind spending $500 or a bit more for

the best camera I can buy in that category.


Thanks for all the help guys.


Ronald J Epstein
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#14 of 165 Marty M

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Posted July 06 2010 - 09:25 AM

Here is a link to B & H photo for the Canon G11.  It is one of the best in the p & s category.  This camera will also shoot in RAW format, which is very nice for doing post-production work on your photos in Adobe Elements.   Please let us know what you purchase and how you like it.


http://www.bhphotovi...n_3632B001.html


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#15 of 165 Scott Merryfield

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Posted July 06 2010 - 11:03 AM

The Canon Powershot G11 sounds like a good choice for your situation, Ron. You are already familiar with how it operates, since you have the older G6 model. I've considered purchasing one myself for those situations where a point & shoot would suffice and I do not want to lug around my dSLR (but so far I've just used my wife's Canon Elph in those few spots). I previously owned the even older G3, which my dad still uses.


I will also second Marty's endorsement of B&H Photo. They are a very reliable online dealer, and if you are in New York City, their store is supposed to be incredible. I have purchased most of my camera gear from them. Other reliable online camera dealers I have used include Adorama and one of your forum sponsors -- Amazon.



#16 of 165 Jim_C

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Posted July 06 2010 - 02:15 PM

I'll third the recommendation for B+H Photo.  I buy most of my gear from them.


Make sure you check out the shutter lag numbers on any P+S you're looking at.  I suspect anything in the price range you're considering will be very good.  As others have said, don't get sucked into the MP race.  10-12MP is more than enough.


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#17 of 165 Ronald Epstein

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Posted July 06 2010 - 11:59 PM

Leaning towards purchasing the Canon G11.


Reviews are generally good but some say that

it has shutter lag.


Is this the best point and shoot out there right

now?  Is the Canon G12 around the corner?  I

would hate to buy this now and have it outdated

within a few months....but then again that happens

with most any electronic purchase.


Finally, will I get significantly better photos than

my current Canon Powershot G6?  I believe that

is a 8MP camera that I paid $400 for 4-5 years

ago and was probably near the top of its class.


Will I benefit from spending another $400?


Thanks again for all the help.


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#18 of 165 Cameron Yee

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Posted July 07 2010 - 02:11 AM

I had the G11 and I confirm the shutter lag. Since one of the primary reasons I bought it was to be able to use it at concerts (since there is usually a ban on "professional" cameras), I didn't find that acceptable. But then I haven't found another solution either and have lately been bringing my DSLR when I can.

The image quality is very good and at high ISO pretty good. I think you will find an improvement in the image quality in the ISO 800 and range and above. But...with the camera having things like RAW and image stabilization, I found my expectations were set higher than they normally would be for a point and shoot, so it just wasn't good enough when I have the option of an SLR to use. Ymmv, particularly if your purposes aren't within the fairly narrow requirements of a concert camera.


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#19 of 165 Sam Posten

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Posted July 07 2010 - 06:28 AM

Shutter lag is the specific reason why I will not ever use a digicam.  I am very interested in testing out an EVIL cam to see if they can provide 90% of the benefits of a DSLR while coming close to the size of a digican without any of the associated shutterlag.  Early reports look good on that front but each entry suffers from having the first generation of ui not-fullly-baked issues.  Hopefully Canon or Nikon will get into that space soon.


Canon G11 launched September 2009.

Canon G10 launched September 2008

G9 Septemberish 2007


I think you see where this is heading....  All roads lead to www.photoplusexpo.com 2010


New cameras are pretty consistently being announced and launched en mass between august and october these days with minor batches also hitting in the spring.  If it were me I'd stick with the G6 until then and then see what looks more interesting, a g11 replacement, an EViL cam or even a small DSLR.


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#20 of 165 Mike Frezon

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Posted July 07 2010 - 08:15 AM

I am following this thread with great interest.


I consider myself a pretty good amateur photographer (with just enough knowledge to be dangerous).  /img/vbsmilies/htf/biggrin.gif


For most of my adult life I used an Olympus OM-10 SLR.  This served me incredibly well during my youth and as my kids were growing up.  I have albums filled with great shots taken with this camera.


Posted Image


Now, however, as kids and grown and digital photography has seized the market, I have not been as avid a photographer--which has disappointed me.  It's something I want to continue.  We have had our share of P&S digi-cameras.  We currently have the nicest one we've ever owned:  a Sony Cybershot DSC-H20:


Posted Image



I haven't really played with all of its settings...but often wonder if I am missing out by not being able to control my situations with a DSLR.  The thing that excites me most about a DSLR (besides the quality) is the ability to see instantly if your ideas (exposure settings, shutter speed, etc.) worked in a particular situation--rather than have to wait until well after the event for the film to be developed.


So, as I said, I've been reading with interest.  On the one hand, I know I could handle the learning curve of a DSLR.  OTOH, the expense keeps me away and I really don't know how much use I would get out of a better camera.

Maybe I need grandkids to push me over the top!  /img/vbsmilies/htf/eek.gif


/img/vbsmilies/htf/laugh.gif


There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


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Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon