new to digital SLR

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  • 05-27-2006, 09:23 PM
    new to digital SLR

    Having "grown out" of my point-and-shoot, I want to get a digital SLR. Am considering a Rebel XT or (maybe) a 30D. Questions:

    1. Should I get a "body only" - are the lenses that Canon sell with these cameras any good? Have heard bad things about the lens that comes with the XT - what about the one that comes with the 30D?

    2. If yes to "body only" - what lens would you recommend? Am interested in macro photography as well as "normal" shots.

    3. Most of the reviews I've read suggest the XT and 30D produce photos of comparable quality. So should I get the XT and spend the money I save on lenses? Or would it be better to get the 30D with the "default" lens?


  • 05-28-2006, 05:36 AM
    Re: new to digital SLR
    Welcome to the Forum Richard. The kit lens that came with my original Digital Rebel was a pretty good lens for the extra $100. It use to be my main lens and it produces pretty sharp images. I haven't used it much since I got an L series lens, but it's still the widest normal lenst I have, so I will continue to use it until I get something else to replace it with, and that wont be anytime soon.

    I have heard mixed reviews from people about the kit lenses, but for me, it has been a good workhorse lens, and I have been very happy with it.

    As far as the XT and 30D go, they are both very good cameras from what I've read and heard. Personally I have never used either one of them. The best thing to do is to go to a camera store and get your hands on both of them, and see which one feels better.

    To keep things as inexpensive as possible, you might consider the kit lens, and then get a set of extention tubes for macro work. The macro lens I use is the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro and I love it. It's very sharp and fast and I would recomend it for people interested in getting into macro shooting. I wouldn't get it to replace the kit lens tho because it's pretty long for some of the regular shooting I do, but it makes a nice companion lens to go with the kit lens.

    There are TONS of choices out there, but you are the only one who can figure out what the right setup for you is going to be. For someone just getting started with a DSLR, I think the kit lens is a good place to start. Sure there are better lenses out there, but you have to start somewhere. You can always upgrade later, once you figure out what you want.
  • 05-28-2006, 11:26 AM
    Re: new to digital SLR
    A friend of mine has the Rebel XT amd I have the 20D. I must say that the images taken by these cameras are very similar. The biggest differences are the other functions of the cameras. Like the 20D has a higher FPS (frames per second) capability is higher, there are more custom functions, the metering and focusing systems are arguably better, and body seenms more durable. Plus, it feel bettter in te hand. That said, and assuming you don't need the extra bells/whistles on the 30D, I would buy the Rebel XT and couple it with better lenses such as the 17-85 IS or (what I use) the 17-40 f/4.0L lens (the best I've used). Then pick up a Sigma 10-20mm wide angle, and a Canon 70-200 f/4.0L tele lens. This would be a rather expensive outfit, but would provide you with all the lenses you need.

    Being unable to predict the future, I have been staying away from the EF-S dedicated digital lenses. If you buy a full frame camera in the future, or own a Canon film camera, these lenses won't work. The 17-85 IS lens mentioned above is an EF-S lens, but it is very nice and so I recommend it anyway.

    Hope this helps. Just remember that as many photographers there are, the same number of opinions will be offered. The above system is just one I've had excellent results with.
  • 05-29-2006, 10:30 PM
    Re: new to digital SLR
    thanks for the replies! The best photos I took on my P&S are here (plan to take similar sorts of photos with my SLR):

    Am considering buying the following:

    EOS Digital Rebel XT Body
    EF 100mm F/2.8 Macro Lens
    58mm Circular Polarizer Filter 1
    1 GB Extreme III Compact Flash Memory Card

    I'm interested in macro shots - and I like my pictures to be as sharp as possible.

    Any last comments? Anyone have a favourite filter manufacturer...? Do I need a UV filter as well...?