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Old Feb 15, 2004, 1:56 AM   #1
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Default A few questions and concerns about the Digtal Rebel

First of all, notice that I'm not a newbie. I've been on this forum for a year and a half; I've been using digital cameras for about that long, and have years of experience with film before that. Ergo, this is not one of those "which camera should I buy?" posts...

I am considering getting a Digital Rebel (whether or not I get a new camera will ultimately be determined by how much I can get for selling my current equipment, but that's beside the point). I currently use a Sony F717. While it's a pretty good camera, it's very limiting as to what can be done in post processing, because of the noise. It's not a problem in an unedited ISO 100 photo, but once I start adjusting the levels to get the color and contrast I want, the noise becomes apparent. The noise is horrible above ISO 100, though, to the point that I rarely use these speeds. I love the noise-free images I've seen from the Canon digital SLRs, and I would also like to get back to SLR photography.

I have a Rebel 2000 film SLR with a Canon 28-80mm lens (which I want to sell), and a Tamron 28-200mm XR lens. I'd want to keep this lens to use on the D Rebel. Does anyone have any experience with this lens on the D Rebel, or know of someone who does? I think I will get the 18-55mm kit lens as well, because the 28-200 will act like 45-320, and 45 is too narrow a "wide" end for me. It seems most people are generally satisfied with the quality of the kit lens. Does anyone have any specific complaints about it?

I'm concerned about the limited controls of the Rebel. It's pretty much a digital version of the 35mm Rebel I already have, but I haven't used that camera for quite some time, and I am more advanced now. My Sony F717 gives me more control than the Digital Rebel would. The main difference is that I can select between evaluative, center-weighted, and spot metering at any time. Like my film Rebel, the Digital Rebel forces evaluative metering in Av mode (which is what I use 90% of the time). Evaluative metering is often the best choice, but there are times I like to use centerweighted metering. I'm afraid that I may end up having to shoot, review, guess at the exposure compensation, and reshoot to get the right exposure. Manual mode uses centerweighted metering, but that's only slightly less cumbersome than the shoot-reshoot method. I heard, however, that when using a single focus point (I always use the center), the camera links the metering to that focus point. Is that true? If so, is using that center focus point similar to having centerweighted metering?

I'm not too concerned about the lack of control over the AI focus. I've heard of people having problems when recomposing a picture with the shutter button half-pressed after focusing. They say the camera perceives the panning motion of the camera as movement in the subject and tries to refocus. I played around with a D Rebel in an electronics store today, and I was unable to get it to exhibit this problem. I never had this problem with my 35mm, either.

I've thought about getting a 10D instead, but it's more expensive, and since it can't use the EF-S lens, it's much more expensive if I want wide angle. I have also thought about getting a used D60, which I could get for the same price as a Rebel body, but the same wide-angle problem exists as with the 10D. I like these cameras for their heavier (and black) bodies and additional controls, but I don't know if that's worth spending $500 more (or buying a used camera with no warranty and an unknown amount of dust on the sensor) and sacrificing wide angle (unless I spend even more and get a 17-40 L).

Nikon has complicated things with the introduction of the D70. It looks like it's going to be a great camera. It has the controls I wish the Rebel had, and it has a black body. If it turns out to be as good as it looks, it would be the perfect solution. The critical problem is that I already have the 28-200mm Canon-mount lens. I'd have to get some kind of medium telephoto zoom for the Nikon, and that would make the total package quite a bit more expensive than the Digital Rebel.

I think I did more telling than asking there, so hopefully someone will be able to find my questions and maybe even answer some of them.
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Old Feb 15, 2004, 10:35 AM   #2
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Urbanphotos, I'm also not a newbie when it comes to photography. I've been shooting 35mm for 15 years (strictly as an amateur) and decided to turn in my film for digital. I traded all of my Nikon equipment in and walked out the door with the DRebel. Sure, there are some features that I"d like to have availablve in the DRebel (mirror lockup, selective metering being the main ones) but I have still taken some wonderful pictures with this little gem. I think the DRebel is a wonderful camera and the few features it is missing are really not a major issue given the value of the money spent. If money is the concern, you will NOT go wrong with the DRebel. I have heard all the complaints about it not being able to take pictures of rulers, it underexposes flash pictures, it underexposes in general, yada yada yada....I don't have any of these problems. Sure sometimes the picture doesn't expose exactly as I had in mind...what in-camera exposure meter does? The auto focus works great IMO, provided that you are mindful of how the focus system works and you are meticulous in ensuring that your camera focuses on the same subject you want.

I would like mirror lockup, but I have taken some crisp macro shots using a remote shutter release and not witnessed significant camera shake.

I would like to be able to control my metering mode, but in all fairness the evaluative mode is pretty darn good and you do have the ability to add/subtract exposure compensation or bracket shots. One could always add an exposure meter later if you wanted true spot metering.

I haven't really had a need for flash exposure compensation and have been successful with the 420EX external flash.

Bottom line, the DRebel is a great little camera, a good value, and definately not a toy.

Oh yeah...one more complaint I've seen --- "it's not black" --- so? :roll:
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Old Feb 15, 2004, 12:05 PM   #3
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Ahhh, the angst that goes with buying a new camera is part of the bittersweet excitement of making any camera buying decision. I bought a DRebel, I agree with ohenry's assessment. BUT - sounds to me like you ought to at least look at the Nikon, this is a decision you will have to live with for a while and you don't need to be second guessing yourself. You can always sell your canon equipment on ebay if you want a Nikon. A professional photographer who shoots grip & grin and service line shots for me told me that he thinks the DRebel is an awesome camera for the money (he uses a D60). He also told me that he and his photog colleagues think this issue over camera body color is hilarious, that it makes absolutely no difference at all as long as you get the shot. I hope this helps.
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Old Feb 15, 2004, 1:42 PM   #4
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I think it boils down to two things. Just what do you want to do with the camera and more importantly how much are you willing to spend? If you have the deep wallet go for the upper end equipment but if you don't the Drebel is a good choice. So far I like mine.
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Old Feb 15, 2004, 9:31 PM   #5
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As far as colour goes - black makes you look like a pro, and people assume you're a pro and act different. For candid shots IMHO looking like a tourist is the better way to go. If you want to look like a pro - use a 70-200f2.8 lens. You can barely see the camera behind the thing.

I like my DRebel, I have an Elan 7 film camera so I do miss some the second control wheel and the ability to choose metering modes. But I haven't had any real problems. You can force the camera into partial mode by using the AE lock button then recomposing and I find that to be the most useful way to get tricky shots. On my G2 and the Elan I almost always use partial metering - I want to pick the spot that's going to be exposed right.

Unfortunately using the centre focusing point does not mean centre-weighted metering. The camera does take the focusing point into consideration but that's some algorithm.

I had to make the choice you did - get a Rebel & lose some of the features or pay more for the 10D. I paid less for the body and used the difference to buy some more lenses. Get a good external flash and you've got a great setup. You might consider keeping the Rebel 2000 as a backup body if you go travelling.
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Old Feb 16, 2004, 1:54 AM   #6
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I think the 10D goes to 3200 ISO, which is probably a plus if you consider going to that ISO. After working with my Rebel for a few months I think it's the "lens" that is the priority, or should be, not the camera body. The Rebel body is good and offers the photographer manual choices that are certainly not shallow. It's the lens and the one who is snapping the shots (that's my guess on the question). As well as an ability to use light. I'm still working on that, but I will never ever reduce it's importance. I don't think that the 10D and Rebel are that much different with respect to ability.
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Old Feb 16, 2004, 4:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fporch
sHe also told me that he and his photog colleagues think this issue over camera body color is hilarious, that it makes absolutely no difference at all as long as you get the shot. I hope this helps.
Yeah, I realize it's silly. I was thinking about it today, and it occured to me that many of Canon's L lenses aren't black, anyway.

Thanks for the comments, everyone.
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Old Feb 16, 2004, 9:34 AM   #8
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I'll admit up front that I only skimmed a few of the posts. So if I repeat, I'm sorry.

I use the flash exposure comp, but on the flash. I find it very handy to get that nice fill flash while minimizing shadows and use it 80% of the time when I use flash. If it wasn't on my flash, I'd have to have it on the camera.

The big downside to me is that it's buffer is smaller. I regularly shoot 3 shot bursts, which I could not do with the DRebel because of the 4-pic buffer. I'd also dislike the 2.5 fps speed, but I find the 3 fps of the 10D limiting some times... it's the nature of how/what I shoot.

Some people can live with the missing wheel/limited controls. Other dislike it. I think I'd dislike it, but I don't know 'cause the DRebel wasn't out when I got the 10D. I would seriously suggest that you either rent a DRebel from a local photo store, or try one out in the store. This could drive you nuts or not matter.

Do seriously look at Nikon. If you have no equipment, then they are both very good systems. One thing to consider is this:

Nikon has very good macro lenses (and I think more of them.) If you are going to shoot macro this matter.

Canon's long lenses (500mm, 600mm) are noticably cheaper. This matters to me! Also, their 100-400L is a bit cheaper and much better than Nikon 80-400. Of course the sigma 80-400 optically stabilized is now out, so that changes things a bit.

Nikon's use of distance in their flash system used to be exclusive and give them better flash results. Canon just anounced E-TTL2 that uses distance. But only 1 DLSR camera body uses it (1D-II @ $4,500!) and not all lenses work can do it. If you live & die by flash, then Nikon might be a better choice.

Eric
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Old Feb 16, 2004, 2:48 PM   #9
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I like my DRebel - Prefer to use the Name 300D.
Sorry I cannot help in the AV question, as I shoot everything in the TV Mode outdoors & auto (for now) indoors. IF you do go with the Canon over the Nikon, by ALL means, KEEP your film camera!
You can get a 20-35mm for a good price, new (I have one) but yet may still buy a 17-40 sometime this year.
I first thought about it not being black & then I read a post that someone said - "after you have taken the shot, who's going to remember what color the camera is"?
If you want to see some of my pix (I also had a Minolta S404 - now my 2 sons are using it) go to:
www.pbase.com/hurtman & check out the pix on there.
There will be more posted when Spring finally arrives.
Whatever you do, if it is something you might want to have printed larger than an 8 X 10, be sure & use a tripod! I'm about to send off 3 files right now for 16 X 20's.
Whichever route you take - Enjoy & shoot away!
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Old Feb 16, 2004, 4:40 PM   #10
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Railfire is right. Its a slight digression but a tripod is very important for large prints. The larger to make the picture, the more the lack of sharpness will be visible. I notice the difference between handheld and tripod even at 8 1/2 by 11.

Eric
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