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Old Sep 7, 2009, 5:59 PM   #1
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Default DSLR Newbie: First time 500D purchase!

Hi guys,

I come from a very long line of Canon P&S cameras (both film and digital). I have always loved photography and am now interested in purchasing a DSLR.

After searching up on the internet for many nights and days, I have settled on the EOS 500D as my camera of choice (both for the price range and the performance).

However, as this is a very new world to me and even reading very lengthy articles on the net (and subsequently, getting eye strain of the worst sort), I have still not been able to find out certain things.

I hope you guys will be able to help me. Steves-Digicams is a site I have often visited for reviews.

My experience with DSLRs is very very limited. Please forgive the stupid sounding questions.

Ok, coming to the point:

1. I am not sure of the whole cleaning aspect of a DSLR. I have never really cleaned a camera but I understand this is necessary on a DSLR? Is this so? Is a cleaning kit mandatory? Which one is a good one, if so? Is it easy to do?

2. The 500D takes both types of lenses, I presume (EF & EF-S)? Hence, I shall be able to use all the lenses currently available, correct?

3. I have heard of Filters. Specifically, a Haze/UV filter. Is this necessary? Will it protect the lens from unnecessary exposure to the elements? Is this usually a recommended or more of a "Pro" thing to do?

4. Does the EOS 500D have a good anti-dust system? Is this a major problem? I have heard that the Nikon D5000 has a air flow system which is better?

5. The Kit lens that comes with the 500D. Is this a decent/good quality lens? I shall be sticking with this lens for some time, before I have enough money to get another lens (probably telephoto). My photography needs include a bit of everything, so mostly indoor/outdoor shooting with a bit of landscape photography. Is the kit lens suitable as a "do all" lens? Please remember that I am coming from a P&S so advise accordingly. I understand that one lens cannot possibly do everything, so all I ask is for the best lens for a variety of situations?

6. Do you recommend that I not go in for the kit lens and buy another lens (hopefully not too expensive) as my go to lens for everything? Again, I shall be building my collection of lenses in the future, but for now, I want a flexible lens.

7. What other precautions/advice can you give me (complete newbie) which will allow me to enjoy the camera, as well as protect it, to the fullest?

I know its a Canon forum, but does anyone recommend the Nikon D5000 over the EOS 500D? While we are at it, do you think that I should go in for the older 450D (save some money, spend it on a better lens)?
Also, I heard the D5000 doesn't have built in AF in the camera. Does the 500D have built in AF?

Thank you for reading and hopefully, replying
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Old Sep 7, 2009, 7:11 PM   #2
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VSEERA: Just my take on what I have experienced:

Invariably you will get dust on the sensor but after having used Canon DSLRs since the Digital Rebel (and the 20D, 40D, 50D and the XTi) I have found that if you are careful when switching lenses you won't have much of a problem. I occasionally use the Giottos Rocket Blower for the occasional speck and it seems to work very well at getting rid of dust on the sensor. The dust deletion systems on the current crop of DSLRs seem to work well (in my experience). Yes you can use the EF &EF-S lenses. I am even using, on occasion, lenses (EF Lenses) from before the digital SLR era. The current lenses though are very good. The Kit Lenses are a bargain both from experience and what I have read from others. They are very good lenses to start with until you decide what kind of pictures you want to take and what lenses would meet your needs. As for filters, two schools of thought: Protection from dust and scratches if that is a concern (but buy a good filter), and those that say that "why would you put a piece of glass in front of a quality lens?" Some filters are prone to "flare" so use a lens hood. Filters become a personal preference in my experience. I use filters (most of the time, but I try buy the best filters I can afford). As for the 500D vs the 450D. The 500D has video capability, more pixels, and a newer Digic processor. Are those things important to you?

That's my take on things. I am sure you'll get more and probably better advice from other forum members. The most important thing though, buy a DSLR and go enjoy taking pictures! What you buy, you'll soon what an upgrade, its the nature of photography nowadays.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 1:56 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forums.

1. Not so much any more. The anti-dust systems are pretty good now. You may need to get a kit at some point, but quite possibly you'll never see any if you are a little bit careful changing lenses and a little bit lucky. Worry about dust when you see it.

2. Correct.

3. Lots of room for disagreement. I don't use filters. They can (rarely) cause problems with image quality - this is usually lens dependant. Most of the time they offer some extra protection if you think you need it. I certainly wouldn't bother with a cheap lens.

4. Don't have a 500D, but the all the modern anti-dust systems are fairly good. Don't worry about it too much.

5&6. The 18-55 IS is a very nice lens for the money. The next step up is the newly announced 15-85 IS. I would stick with one of those to start off with.

7. DSLRs are actually quite robust and can stand up to normal, even fairly rough handling with no problems. I saw my friend's 450D fall off a table onto concrete a while back. It's got a nice dent but works fine. OTOH cameras are electronic equipment, they can handle a bit of light rain, but water is the enemy, and salt water is very dangerous to them. Normal sensible precautions are fine you don't need kid gloves.

The D5000 is a nice camera, but it's not better than than the 500D in any significant way. Either one would be fine. Choose the one that feels best in your hands or stay with Canon because you have experience with the brand which will translate into some familiarity in use.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 3:09 AM   #4
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Thanks for the great replies, Ctrack and peripatetic! They have been most helpful!

Regarding Filters: The reason I asked was mostly for protection of the lens, although I understand some of them claim to remove haze and make the picture clearer (?). As I live in a fairly dusty country, they might be a good idea. I'll go to the store and try it out for myself and then decide, I guess. I have only heard of Hoya. Can you recommend the best brands?

What do you use to clean the lens (of smudges, fingerprints, etc.)? Would a soft lint free cloth do? Obviously, I will try my best not to have this happen in the first place!

Ctrack:

Regarding 500D vs 450D:
I have no use for video recording, as I have a separate HD cam. Although, it will be nice to have.
And I am always uncomfortable of more pixels on the same size sensor, seems to add a bit more noise.
However, the Digic 4 does sound interesting and it claims to keep noise quite low even with the huge MP count.
All in all, I would of course prefer to buy the latest camera but there is also a significant price difference between the two, hence the question.

peripatetic:

Thanks for the welcome!

5. Thanks. I will see if the 15-85 IS is available and if the price is good, might pick that one up with just the Body. Is the kit lens a relatively "fast" lens? I have heard some lenses which are excellent in quality can sometimes be slow to focus?

7. Thank you. I was getting worried about protecting it and have also been going through tons of bag reviews to see which one is the best. I think I have settled on 2 of the Crumpler ones, the 4 Million Dollar Home for general carrying and the Karachi Outpost for travel.
Hmm, thanks for the warning about water. I might just put a ziplock plastic bag in my camera bag in case of rain.

I've never really used a Nikon before and am definitely more comfortable with Canon. So I think the 500D it is, then!
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 9:06 AM   #5
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Hey Vseera,

Welcome to the forum. Just to add some more points

D5000 does not come with an AF motor built it. So one has to be picky when getting lens's. Nikon has some very good lenses.

Now coming to 500D. here is one thread which discusses something abt 500d
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ca...-t1i-wife.html

Personally i have a 40D and a mark III and when i used the 500D, i found it to be a very good camera. The details captured on the new sensor is very detailed and the LCD is such a pleasure to use.

Hope this helps
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 9:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vseera View Post
Regarding Filters: The reason I asked was mostly for protection of the lens, although I understand some of them claim to remove haze and make the picture clearer (?).
Not with a modern digital camera. A UV/Haze filter may offer some protection for the front lens element. But, so does a lens hood. ;-)

If anything, you'll probably see degradation (flare related issues) by using one if you're shooting in challenging lighting where you have brighter light sources.

Here's a thread with a link to a review that tests a number of them:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...lter-test.html

Personally, I never use one.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 12:06 PM   #7
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Hi there, Vseera-

Welcome to the forum. Everyone has pretty much handled your questions. You can feel very confident about the canon T-1i. Also with the advances in built-in cleaning systems I have found that I next have to the low by-pass filter glass in front of the imager no more than once a year, providing you are careful with making lens changes.

When cleaning is necessary, consider the Copperhill System. It is very easy to google it.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 12:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post

Here's a thread with a link to a review that tests a number of them:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...lter-test.html
Thanks for the link Jim! I'll stick with the HOYA HMC.

In my case, I kind of need filters even though I use cheap kit lenses. Yesterday, I was at my friend's son's birthday party and I got splashed by water twice. I'm glad I had a filter on my lens.
Also, several times it has protected my lens from tree sap. To me, cleaning the filter is less stressful than cleaning the lens.


- Hiro
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 1:32 PM   #9
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Many thanks, Hiro-

You make a very good case for the issue of protective filters through your examples of recent personal experience.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 1:48 PM   #10
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Water at a party, huh?

I was downtown on River Street in Savannah one weekend recently, using my Sony A700 with a Minolta 28mm f/2 AF lens on it in the rain. When I got too many rain drops on the front element (and I was trying to keep it pointed down more unless taking a photo to keep water off of the lens), I ducked under an overhang, dabbed most of it with the bottom of the t-shirt I had on under my shirt, and put the lens cap back on it. ;-)

Later when we were seated for dinner inside of a restaurant, I used the tail of the t-shirt to carefully clean it a bit more (a few dabs, followed by a few swirls with barely any pressure on the lens to make it clearer after dabbing raindrops off of it). I wanted to take some photos of the live music (someone playing a guitar and singing) while we were eating, and it needed a "touch up".

I haven't had tree sap hit the front of a lens yet, though (where a filter may have done some good). ;-)
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