Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Canon EOS dSLR

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Dec 13, 2003, 12:09 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2
Default Camera Purchase Strategy

Camera Purchase Strategy (for those a bit unsure for what your getting into)

So, you've read enough and decided to buy the Digital Rebel. Great. People tend to research the camera to death, but the peripherals are ignored or ever unknown.
Here are a few things to keep in mind.

You need to buy:

A) Camera (& get the 18-55mm lens kit) The price of the camera is pretty much firm. If you find a substantially lower price on-line its probably too good to be true. Read the merchant reviews! I bought mine at the local camera shop with the best (30 day) return policy. Yes, I paid more in tax than I would have in shipping, but if needed to return it I do it personally and know where I stand immediately.

B) Compact flash Memory card(s): 512 MB Minimum, 1GB is better. Buy before or with the camera. Shopping on-line will save you a lot. The fastest SanDisk Ultra II (9MB per sec. transfer speeds) cost only a little more than other cards. "Fast" is meaningless unless it has a real specification number with it. Concerning downloading your pictures to your computer you don't see the extra speed of the fast cards using the cable supplied with the camera. Using a $10 "PC Card Adapter" allows you to remove the CompactFlash card from the camera and plug it into your laptop's card slot and be immediately recognized as a new drive delivers very fast transfers. This is cheaper and faster than a card reader.

C) Software, of course, is the essence of making digital cameras work. Canon includes Adobe Photoshop Element 2.0 free with the camera which is very good. Play with it first. Adobe Photoshop CS is reasonable if you are upgrading, expensive if your buying for the first time ($600). But if you want to process RAW files the new Photoshop CS has the conversions built in and its great, along with top of the line professional tools - which take time to learn.

D) An extra lens or two. The Canon the 18-55mm lens is a good start for the money, but you will want some telephoto capacity too. This is a high performance camera which can handle lens costing more than it does. But you don't have to have professional lens to take very nice pictures. Try them out at you local camera shop, shoot 50 shots in 5 minutes then take them back to your PC and zoom in for detail. Again, buying on-line is cheaper.

E) Free for downloading: DeadPixelTest.exe Find and download this file to test your camera. It comes with straightforward instructions.

F) Photo printer? Your existing color printer may work well for you. Something that will turn out 4 x 6 prints to share with everyone else is nice. "Free" digital film is offset buy expensive per print do-it-yourself printing costs. For those pictures deserving to be hung on your wall forever find the local professional shop and get perfection from a printer you can't afford. After all this is why you bought the camera, it will cost you more to frame it than print. Then sign it its art!

G) An extra battery, be prepared. Again, cheaper on-line.


I purchased all my accessories online from B&H Photo Video in New York city (www.bhphotovideo.com or 800 947-9978) and they performed almost flawlessly.
austin0500 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Dec 13, 2003, 11:56 AM   #2
Administrator
 
steve's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 2,535
Default

A first time buyer getting into a camera like the Digital Rebel doesn't need to spend $600 (or more) on Photoshop. Yes, Photoshop is the best photo editor out there but it's overkill for anybody other than those who are willing to spend the time necessary to learn how to use it.

The best results from the Digital Rebel will be realized when shooting in RAW mode and doing a little post-capture processing. The best and least expensive program to handle the raw files is Capture1 Rebel - and it's only $49. You can download it and try it for 15 days before you buy it.

-Steve
steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 2003, 10:01 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
k1par's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 608
Default

This is wide open for comments and all welcolme

After the first of the year I plan to buy a digital rebel. I don't plan to get the offered zoom lens but opt for a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 normal lens. The reason behind this is this time of year I do a lot of indoor basketball shots without a flash. The extra f-stops will make a difference. I also plan to start out with two 256mb cards, most of the shots I will take will be on medium fine and if I read the specs right that will give me plenty of photosgraphs per card. I am wide open for a dedicated flash, the one I like from Canon goes for around $180. I know that is a lot but in some cases I need the power to get enough light (before you ask, fire scene preservation, taking pics inside after a fire need a lot of light). I am looking at a Sigma zoom lens, 70-300 I think. I have had real good luck with Sigma lenses in the past and the one thing I didn't see mentioned is a spare battery. I consider that a must.

Again any comments good or bad are more than welcome.
k1par is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 2003, 10:15 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,803
Default

A spare battery was down at the bottom. And I agree completely, they are a must.

An addition to not using the camera to download. You save some battery power but you risk damaging the CF card whenever you remove it and put it into the CF reader. Is the risk high? No, quite small. But it's still there. Personally, I use a reader not the camera. Also, if your computer supports USB2, get a USB2 reader. They are much, much faster than USB1.

A good camera bag. I wouldn't touch the really cheap bags because they won't sit well on your back/shoulder and they won't be as padded (for your comfort and your equipment's protection.) I recommend LowePro's bags, but Tamrac and Domke are fairly good too.

A comment about SanDisk. Their customer support has been shown to not be very good (based on problems posted to this site.) They hid the contact info on their web page and they are not very responsive. But the quality is good. Lexar has as good quality, is almost as fast and has had very good customer reports (again, based on posts from here.) So it's a tradeoff.

PS Elements is good enough. Most people won't want the hassle of using RAW. Yes the quality can be better (with work) but the hassle and size of raw is a drawback. And even with JPG, the quality of the picture will probably be much better than they are used to any ways.

Eric
eric s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 2003, 8:19 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 7
Default

[quote="eric s"]A spare battery was down at the bottom. And I agree completely, they are a must.



I just got my camera and the battery still shows full after about 150 shots. I really don't see why you would need a spare battery. How many shots would you have to take to run it all the way down?
SBSB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 2003, 8:38 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
ohenry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,676
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SBSB
I just got my camera and the battery still shows full after about 150 shots. I really don't see why you would need a spare battery. How many shots would you have to take to run it all the way down?

Because things have a way of breaking down at the most inappropriate time. Murphy's Law #4112

The tires on my car have always given me 40,000+ miles, but I still have a spare :lol:
ohenry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 15, 2003, 9:20 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,803
Default

I can take between 300 & 400 pics in 2-3 hours. If I forget to charge the battery (the 10D uses a Lith-Ion battery) then having the second for backup is handy. I don't know if that will drain down a fullly charged battery, but if I'm sloppy (which I usually am) and forget, I'll probably need the backup.

A great example is when I was taking pictures of a nicely posed hawk during a light rain. I'm under a trash back with my water proof lens sticking out a hole. Suddenly the entire camera goes dead. Completely. Scared me to death. Then I turned it off, counted to 10 and turned it on. I looked at the display on top to see if anything happened... and I saw the battery meter was basically empty. Luckly I had a 50% charged backup battery so I was able to keep going.

I wouldn't get a real Canon battery, they are too expensive for a backup (unless I was a pro, and then knowing that it would work would be worth it.) But having one is handy.

Eric
eric s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 17, 2003, 9:10 AM   #8
sws
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 8
Default

I agree with most of these tips, with one BIG exception. Adobe CS is way too expensive, especially with my skill level. I opted to compromise (a lot) and went with Paintshop Pro 8.1. If nothing else, it's a good starting point for gaining experience. I got the Power Suite, which includes their album and animation software for $129 and a $30 rebate.
sws is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 18, 2003, 3:03 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 39
Default

[I just got my camera and the battery still shows full after about 150 shots. I really don't see why you would need a spare battery. How many shots would you have to take to run it all the way down?]

Batteries are inexpensive compared to the frustration of runing out of power at a critical moment.
Mike Haywood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 18, 2003, 2:37 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
k1par's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 608
Default

I go by the rule of always have a back up. If you take a lot of photos and happen to forget to charge your battery, you have the good chance of missing a great shot. For my Fuji I have 4 sets of batteries ready to go at any time and there have been times I am really glad I do.
k1par is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 1:47 AM.