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Old Oct 6, 2003, 7:21 AM   #1
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Default EOS-300S for a begginer ??

I was wondering. For someone new in digital photography would the Canon EOS-300D be good enough or would it be worth it to jump to a Nikon D100? This would be for someone who knows very little about digital photography (and film for that matter) and is hoping to get the best possible results in full AUTO mode with the possibility to "grow" with the unit and slowly experiment with manual settings / Photoshop / etc... The person would be printing 8x10" of people (indoors and outdoors - with the occasional low-light using an external flash) and also some landscape.
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Old Oct 6, 2003, 1:36 PM   #2
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First off, it's not good to buy a camera for someone else...the camera you chose may not be good for them because a big thing is the way a camera feels.

As for what's good for a beginner depends on the person themselves...some people can't handle a camera with more than a flash on/off control. My first camera as a child most people would find too complicated...I had to carry a separate light meter and focus meter, and set all the controls manually; for me that was easy but that's what cameras were like then.

If someone's a first time camera user suggest something less expensive, rather than buying something too expensive which they might not use.
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Old Oct 7, 2003, 10:47 AM   #3
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Does the person know you are thinking of a camera as a gift? The cameras you are listing are quite expensive.

This is what I always recommend. Narrow down the choices (which you seem to have done) and then take the person to a store. Get them to try the cameras (some stores will hold models behind the counter for your arival. This guarentees they will be there.) Let them hold them out. Make sure the button placement is good. That the weight and size fits their hands. Both those cameras are small for a DSLR, but large compared to most consumer grade cameras.

While both the D100 and 300D have automatic modes and produce very good pictures they are not cameras that you give to just anyone. Because of their size and weight, you really have to be into photography to want to put up with them. You don't just put it into your pocket, you carry them in a bag.

Not knowing the person, only what you said here is my other advice. You explicitly said "get the best possible results in ful AUTO mode". That statment described both those cameras. You don't mention how and what this person expects to shoot. If they are doing to do serious photography (landscapes when they hike, birds or other distant animals, everything when they go on long European vacations, macro work of flowers?) and not just "the kids at their birthday party" or "the relatives who came to visit" then maybe a DSLR would be good for them. It will certainly give them the room to grow with manual settings. You should not ignore the Canon 10D. It's around the price of the D100 (so if you consider 1, consider the other.)

But realize that you are buying into a system when you buy a DSLR. You will spend much more on lenses than on the camera body. And your next camera body with most likely be one that is compatable with the equipment you already got. So consider the entire package. Do they want long lenses? Macro lenses? Fancy flash options? (I don't believe the D100 doesn't support wireless flash!) You shouldn't just go buy the camera, but consider how you will use it and make sure it can do what you want.

You also don't mention cost. Since you will have to buy lenses and other equipment, I assume you realize how much money you are talking about.

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Old Oct 7, 2003, 8:42 PM   #4
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Buying a camera for someone else can turn out as possitive as buying your own camera. Most times it turns out ok, if person to use camera has zilch clue about digital cameras (maybe even no computer access or experience at all) and a great need for certain photographic functionality.

I would say; the more experienced the person is with film photography, the more expensive choices you can make. (It wouldn't make sense to advice a Hasselblad owner a digital barbiecam)

Indeed I agree, buying a dslr for someone who has hardly experience with even film photo seems a bit extreme. Will the person like the weight? Apreciate all these extra costs? Even a simple filter can cost about same amount as complete diner in restaurant. Or would person X feel more comfortable with a less costly camera, easy to take along everywere, without ever worrying too much about the cost of the camera.

Of course some people learn fast, have a keen eye or whatever reason to start with a (d)slr...Point is also, if one never has rowed a small boat, how to understand current streams with a oil tanker?
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Old Oct 12, 2003, 11:06 AM   #5
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I can't hoenstly recommend these cameras for a beginner. No doubt- they're great cameras, but they're also unforgiving. Yes, you can take great photos, but also you have more opportunities to take really BAD shots. Even in full AUTO mode, you have to pay attention to basic prinicples and techiniques.

I thought I'd use my Rebel mostly in AUTO, but when I looked at the pictures, they were pretty bad! All of the features are there for a reason, depending on what type of photograhy you're doing. I haven't used AUTO in a week now, and my pictures are definitely improving. It's going to take quite a lot of practice and experimentation to 'grow' into this camera.

Add to that the fact that additional lenses and other accessories can cost as much as most entry-level digital cameras, let alone the fact that the memory card doesn't come the cameras themselves, and you have a pretty compelling argument to stay in the $200-$300 range (and still get a wonderful camera).
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Old Oct 12, 2003, 5:07 PM   #6
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Sjm, that is so true: My work provided me with a 10D with lens which I may use as my own camera. So I started to invest in a 512 Mb cf card, filter, bag, spare battery and other stuff I need...I'm now at a point were I have to ask my beloved for money if I urgent need additional gear (like a serious tripod that does not slip under the weight). Ofcourse with such camera and lens at usage, all extra costs are reasonable, but it sure helps to be to begin with a strong motivation to go for dslr / broke (and yes it was exactly what I had on my wishlist :-).
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