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Old Mar 2, 2006, 11:24 AM   #1
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I need to get my first SLR camera ASAP, and I am really struggling in what to get and where to get it from... but I been doing alot of research, and this is what i've narrowed down to...




note: one comes with 2 sigma lens, the other comes with 3 canon lens


1. Are Sigma lens better than Canon?
2. Is it necessary for me to get those 3 lens included in the second pkg deal?
( because there are also packages that includes only 2 lens: 18-55 & 75-300)
3. Are they good price for these packages? or do you have other suggestions?

Please help me out... Thanks

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Old Mar 2, 2006, 1:14 PM   #2
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I'm also shopping around, so I can't give you a first hand experience on these lenses. But here are my thoughts:

1) In general, if you can afford Canon, get it. Sigma has good lens, but all companies have a high-quality lines, and cheapo lines. So normally you look at the warranty, and see if manufacturer back up their product. A 5-year warranty is what you're looking for.

2) With that said, I don't know if this seller is an authorized Canon reseller. I looked at the page and they don't claim to be. So chances are they got their product from the gray market. Which means if your product breaks down the road, Canon USA will not fix it, even if you're willing to pay for the repair. This is not always a bad thing. If you wanna save, these sellers give you that option. But know what you're getting into.

3) It seems like the 3-lens have a lot of overlap. If you do get it, you can always sell one that you use the least.

4) I'm not sure about the micro drive. I heard bad stories about them, such as speed issue and toughness. I don't think you need 4GB either, or at least I wouldnt get it. I'd rather have TWO 1GB CF cards, so I'm not putting all my eggs on one basket, especially one with moving parts.

Check out this thread for another ebay store that someone recently used:

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Old Mar 2, 2006, 2:15 PM   #3
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yeah... warranty is a must as you've mentioned...

but including the webste you suggested, most of them only has one year warranty, how do you get 5 years?
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 3:10 PM   #4
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I think Canon offers only 1 year warranty on their lens, while Nikon offers 5yrs for all their lens, including the two cheap kit lens (18-55mm and 55-200mm), assuming you got it new from authorized dealer, and not gray market stuff.

Sorry, I mis-spoke. I forgot I was talking about Canon. Sigma on the other hand, offers more warranty on their better lens (4+), and less on

This is just among the list of things to keep in mind. Nikon lens tend to cost more, probably because this lens insurance it built-in to their price. Canon produces great lens that are only warrantied for 1 year also. Again, it might not necessary reflect the built quality of the lens, but nice to know. Just like Honda only warranty their car at 3 years, while some Korean makers offer 10-year warranty, but I'll take Honda's car over Korean car anyday.

Actually, I'll start a Warranty Thread since I haven't seen one lately, this way, people with a lot more lens experience can give feedback...
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 3:54 PM   #5
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thank you so much for your feedbacks
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 4:47 PM   #6
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You are paying for many things that I don't believe you need. I wouldn't buy:
tripod - The odds are it isn't a very good one. If you really want a tripod, get a good one that will last. A tripod can easily last you 10+ years if you buy a good one.

Both cases - I would be shocked if you needed the
Aluminum one, and a carrying bag is a personal thing. You should go out and look at them. Try them on, fill them with stuff and carry them. Make sure that they work for you. Your body is different from everyone else, so you should make sure the bag fits both your camera and physical body needs.

Wide-Angle lens - They are probably of very low or questionable quality. The 18-55mm lens that comes bundled is quite wide. If you really need wider than that, either get a wider lens (sigma makes a few, I believe) or buy a higher quality wide angle adapter.

Filter kit - in the digital world there are only two filters that are worth buying. A polarizer and a neutral density filter. You can't simulate a polarizer on a computer, and a ND filter is good to cut down on bright scenes (good for certain landscapes.) At least they include one of those, but who knows at what quality. They claim "high resolution" but what does that mean? Who makes them? Name the specific make and model! I wouldn't touch them until I knew at least that. Personally, don't get them and buy good ones when you find you need them. Every other filter can be simulated for in post-processing. (ok, I lied... a gradiant ND filter is also handy.)

MicroDrive - some love them (they work great), some hate them (they fail too often.) CF cards have become so cheap I wouldn't consider a microdrive now. And many CF cards are very fast now.

card reader - well, I don't know which brand that is. Without knowing that I wouldn't buy it. It might be worth it, it might not. Some type of CF reader is a good thing, but not just any one.

"auto bounce" Flash - without knowing which make & model, I wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot pole. Not all flashes are created equal. And some are really bad.

Lens cleaning kit - Without knowing who makes it I wouldn't get it. It could be glorified water for all you know.

Notice how I haven't mentioned the lenses yet? Lets look at those now.
BTW, I do my lens research here:
http://www.photozone.de/active/survey/surveyform.jsp?filter=%22brand='Canon%20EF'%20OR%2 0brand='Sigma%20AF'%20OR%20brand='Tamron%20AF'%20o r%20brand='Tokina%20AF'%20or%20brand='Vivitar%20AF '%22&title='Canon%20EF%20(EOS)'
If that doesn't work go to here:
and choose "Canon EOS Lenses" in the User Performance Surveys

Canon EF 75-300 F/4.0-5.6 III Lens
This is a
shockingly bad lens. It rated 1.48 out of 5 ("very poor")

Canon EF 28-105 f/3.5 - 4.5 II USM Lens
This lens is slightly better. It is rated sub-average (2.44), but it has flair problems and bad performance unless you reduce the aperture (increase the f-stop) some.

Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Zoom Lens
This is even worse! It rates a very poor (1.16) out of 5 with bad ratings across the board.

Seeing this trend, I won't waste my time looking up the sigma lenses. My answer is don't go for either deal.

This is what I tell people when they want to buy a DSLR. You will spend way more money in equipment beyond the camera body than you will on the body. If you've had a camera before, then do you like it? What lens does it have (in 35mm terms)? Get a lens which closely matches that lens and you'll be able to do the same thing you do now, with better image quality and other benefits a DSLR gives you. Then, as you learn what you want to photograph you'll know what you need (more wide angle, more reach, better in low light, weigh less,...) and come back here and we'll help you figure out what lens best fits you needs.

I hope that helps. It certainly took awhile to write.

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Old Mar 2, 2006, 4:49 PM   #7
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Most canon lenshave a USM motor in them. This means that canon's lenses will be faster than a sigmalens of the same quailty.
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 7:12 PM   #8
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Homer J. wrote:
Most canon lenshave a USM motor in them. This means that canon's lenses will be faster than a sigmalens of the same quailty.
I'm going to have to disagree. Canon has both USM and non-USM lenses. Sigma has their own version - HSM. Sigma also has their 'EX' line which is their pro level line. Blanket statements like this really don't hold true. You need to compare apples to apples - for every type of lens you want you should look at specific comparisons between the companies. As an example, the Canon lens that competes with the Sigma 120-300 2.8. Is the Canon better? Oh, Canon doesn't have a lens that competes. Another example is the Sigma 70-200 2.8. It's every bit as fast as it's canon counterpart at $400 less (compared to the non-IS version from Canon). Don't get me wrong - there are instances where Canon is the winner. Also, max aperture plays a part in focus speed. A 1.8 lens will focus faster than a 5.6 lens. Both Canon and Sigma make some great lenses and some bad lenses - the trick is to find out which category the lens you want falls into
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 1:00 AM   #9
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Thank you so much for taking your time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. It really cleared up alot of doubts of having to purchase these packages. You are right, alot of the items included in these packagesare very questionable, and I too was very hesitant about it at the beginning until I saw the prices... But I guess ultimately, that'd be a waste of money to buy something with such poor quality.

As you've noticed, I am an amateur in this Digital field. My concentration/expertise acutally leans more toward the fine-art side, painting to be exact. But Iwas always intrigue by what photography can capture. It's a totally different medium and technique in its approach to create. I would like to experience what it can do, as well as utilize it as my inspiration to expand my paintings.

If I am not mistaken, so you suggest for me to buy the body and the lens (along with all other necessities) separtely?I been hearing alotabout Canon 20D, but at the moment that's out of my budget, but the 350D still gets the job done for a beginner right?

This is what I like to shoot with the camera at the moment:

1. portraits
2. Moving subjects (need to be clear when is captured; static)
3. close-ups of subjects (detailed)
4. Slides of my work

With what I am interested in, do you have any suggestion as to what lensesare most suitable for my subjects? Also, do you know where I can get a good deal on these instruments? Is it worth it to buy used equipments?

Thank you,


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Old Mar 3, 2006, 8:05 AM   #10
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This just my opinion, but it'll make thing much easier for a starter like yourself...

I usually shop in the Sigma EX range - Theses are their 'pro' series as JohnG suggested, and are mostly excellent lenses which can hold their own against Canon best at a much more affordable price point. Also like Nikon, the EX series have a longer warranty than Canon and usually are made out of all metal. Although the composite/plastic lenses are still optically good they tend to get really loose with use...

Every company make cheapie lenses so they can attract the consumer (including Canon) as you can tell from the examples that already eric s gave you. There are exception of course like the affordable EF 50mm f/1.8 or the Sigma 70-300 APO which are quite famous among the lens 'connaisseurs'.
-> I don't tend to shop with a brand blinder on, and neither should anyone!
Pick the best of what available (that you can afford) - Most folks critical of Sigma only read about the brand, but rarely own one. I have several Canon L and Sigma EX so I know what their differences are... but so what? In the end it's the images that count and when you show anyone your work, seldom anyone will ask which lens it come from.

1. portraits - http://www.pbase.com/fstopjojo/zoomvprimes
2. Moving subjects - http://www.pbase.com/fstopjojo/3telezooms
3. close-ups of subjects - http://www.pbase.com/fstopjojo/135v150
4. Slides of my work - ditto from 1, 2 & 3
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