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Old Nov 20, 2004, 3:32 AM   #1
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Just joined the forum, first post; straight to the point.

I want to buy my wife a nice camera. She was, about 15 years ago, into photography. She wants back in. I know becasue we have a small Sony digital camera and she constantly grabs it and talks about her good old days when she owned a nice 35 mm camera. (she has some great pics....I think so anyway). Recently we came into possesion of a CANON EOS IX camera (the weird ADVANCED Photo System type film) which is nice looking camera but we both prefer the conviencince of a digital camera. She constantly talks about how nice it would be to have a nice camera that she could delete the pictures she doesn't want, etc, etc,. I finally got the hint!!!

Well the Canon EOS IX came with two lenses;
1. Canon Zoom Lens EF 24-85mm 1:3.5-4.5 Ultrasonic; and
2. Canon Zoom Lens EF 75-300mm 1:4-5.6 Ultrasonic

I have a vague idea what that means; have no idea if these are quality lenses and more importnatly what type of DSLR I could, or should buy that fits these lenses.

My question, if you guys/gals would be so kind is that, based on the lenses that I have, would they fit a DSLR and what DSLR would you recommed for a DSLR type camera? ($2000 max)

My wife likes photogrpahing scenery, wildlife and flowers.

Your advice and patience is appreciated. If I buy it, I'll make sure sfe gets on this forum to thank you to!!!.

Thanks

Jon

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Old Nov 20, 2004, 11:32 AM   #2
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I think you should ask that question on the DSLR forum... and maybe the Canon forum...
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Old Nov 20, 2004, 6:01 PM   #3
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Jon:

TheCanon EOS-IX was designed to use standard Canon EF mountlenses. These lenses will also work on Canon DSLR models.

However, you will have a "crop factor" (a.k.a., focal length multiplier), since the size of the sensor in the camera is smaller than 35mm film.

The EOS-1X worked in a similar fashion. It's APS film was smaller, so you needed to use a crop factor of around 1.25x with it. Well, most of the Canon DSLR models will have a bit more of a crop factor (around 1.6x).

So, your 24-85mm lens would have a 35mm equivalent focal length of approximately 38-136mm on most of the DSLR models, and your 75-300mm lens would havea 35mm equivalent focal length of around 112-480mm. This means that your lenses will be appeara little "longer" on this model (moreapparent magnification, since you are only using the center portion of theimage projected by the lens).

Canon makes a range of DSLR models that would work with these lenses. Their entry level DSLR is the Digital Rebel (a.k.a., EOS-300D). This is a 6 Megapixel Model, but itmissing some features of the more expensive models (but you may not need them anyway for what your wife wants to take photos of).

The next step up is the EOS-10D (another 6 Megapixel Model). A newer model is the EOS-20D (8 Megapixels).

All of these would fall within your budget (but make sure to factor in the cost of CompactFlash Memory Cards, spare batteries, and any desired image editing software, etc.) ;-)

Youmay get somebetter informed answers from users of these models here in the Canon EOS Digital SLR forum if you have more questions about the differences in them (we moved your original posts).


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Old Nov 20, 2004, 8:25 PM   #4
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JimC,

So an EOS IX has a fctor of 1.25, a CANON DSLR has a factor of 1.6; what does a normal Canon 35mm SLR camera have? (just curious)

So what your saying is that the lenses I have were designed originally for the EOS IX camera? The 24-85mm definitly came with the camera but the bigger zoom one looks like a seperate purchase. Could it be possible that for the bigger zoom lenses the reverse was true (i.e. the 74-300mm was instead a 60-240mm effectively on teh EOS IX)? Not that it matters to me anyway.

None-the-less I'm happy they are usable on a current digital Canon DSLR. So are they decent lenses in that the quality of the pictures won't suffer? Will the auromnatic zoom still work, etc.? Is this lense combination a good combo for a DLSR?

I did a search for the cameras you mentioned and it seems I can buy any of tham as a body only so thats good. You said that the all 3 cameras fall within the $2K range. There seems to be signifcant amount of debate in these forums about upgarding to a 20D from a Digital Rebel (ie its not worth it). As a first time purchase, is it worth going to a 20D to start? Is their any obsclescence (SP?) issues with the Digital rebel and could somebody outgrow it quickly? Alternatively, is the 20D too complicated in that it might discourage somebody starting out in digital photgraphy??

Thanks

Jon
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Old Nov 20, 2004, 9:42 PM   #5
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Imcan8dn wrote:
Quote:
So an EOS IX has a fctor of 1.25, a CANON DSLR has a factor of 1.6; what does a normal Canon 35mm SLR camera have? (just curious)

Well, the lenses have the actual focal length as they are marked (24-85mm; 75-300mm). The reason that you often see the lenses quoted as "35mm Equivalent", is so that users that are familiar with 35mm cameras know how they'd behave on a different type of camera (from an angle of view/magnification perspective).

That's where the "crop factor" comes in (how they compare to the same focal length lenses ona 35mm camera). So, you wouldn't use a crop factor for the 35mm equivalent focal lengths. ;-)

Quote:
So what your saying is that the lenses I have were designed originally for the EOS IX camera? The 24-85mm definitly came with the camera but the bigger zoom one looks like a seperate purchase.
When Canon decided to introduce an APS film SLR model (your EOS-IX), they used the same EF lens mount for it that their 35mm EOS Film models used. So, it should work on any of the Canon 35mm or DSLR models with an EF lens mount. It appears that the camera was offered in kit form with this 24-85mm.

Quote:
Could it be possible that for the bigger zoom lenses the reverse was true (i.e. the 75-300mm was instead a 60-240mm effectively on teh EOS IX)?
No. The actual focal length of the lens is 75-300mm, just as it's marked. When you get into 35mm equivalent focal lengths, you can use a crop factor to see how it compares when mounted on other models (1.25x crop factor for the EOS-IX, or 1.6x crop factor forthe Canon DSLR models in your price range)

Quote:
So are they decent lenses in that the quality of the pictures won't suffer?
LOL -- Well, everyone will have different opinions on lenses.Some Canonusers insist on nothing but "L" Glass. Others are perfectly happy with other lenses. You can spend a LOT of money on lenses.

If you buy a DSLR model, I'd avoid rushing out and buying new lenses to start with. Then, you can see if the existing lenses have any limitations for the conditions you'll be using them in first.

Quote:
Will the auromnatic zoom still work, etc.? Is this lense combination a good combo for a DLSR?
You won't have any Automatic Zoom with these lenses (but you didn't with the EOS-IX either). You'll usea zoom ring. If you mean Autofocus, then yes. Automatic Focus will work just fine. Your lenses have USM (Ultrasonic Motor). This is a quiet motor built into the lens so that the Autofocus works faster and quietly.

Quote:
I did a search for the cameras you mentioned and it seems I can buy any of tham as a body only so thats good. You said that the all 3 cameras fall within the $2K range. There seems to be signifcant amount of debate in these forums about upgarding to a 20D from a Digital Rebel (ie its not worth it). As a first time purchase, is it worth going to a 20D to start? Is their any obsclescence (SP?) issues with the Digital rebel and could somebody outgrow it quickly? Alternatively, is the 20D too complicated in that it might discourage somebody starting out in digital photgraphy??
LOL -- Well, if your wife was already used to an SLR type camera, using these lenses, I personally don't think she'd have any major problems with any of the DSLR models, either. All of these models will have a full auto mode that can be used to start out with. She'll also be able to use the more creative modes if desired (Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, etc.). Just because a camera has lots of features and settings doesn't mean that everyone will use them.

Now, you will need to spend some time learning to post process your images for best results. But, you'll want to do this regardless of which model you choose. This will allow you to tweak things like contrast, saturation, contrast, color, etc. Some users leave the photos just as they came from the camera. But, you can improve them tremendously by using a good Image Editing Package.

Basically, you haveyour own "digital darkroom". ;-)

As far as obsolescence, some Digital Rebel users have upgraded to the newer models (because they felt that they were limited by it). But, this will depend on the individual user and the conditions they are shooting in.

For example, the EOS-20D is a faster camera, has a newer AF system,allows AI-Servo (tracking focus) regardless of shooting mode, has Flash Exposure Compensation, E-TTL II metering (that takes distance into consideration for flash photography), etc. I'm sure that there aremore features that distinquish this model, too..

But, your wife may or may not take advantage of the features of the more expensive model. The Digital Rebel may be fine for her needs.

I don't own a Canon (other than an old Rangefinder that's in a box or closet somewhere), so perhaps some of the Canon DSLR users here can comment on the differences.


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Old Nov 21, 2004, 8:21 AM   #6
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Judging solely from your description of her background, I would suggest you get your wife a Digital Rebel. Certainly the 20D is a better camera but the advances it offers might not be as useful as other things the cash difference might buy. I'd suggest a lens that offers at least as short as 18mm focal length. This could be the $100 18-55 kit lens (best buy for the money), the 17-40 f/4L (best lens but expensive) or one of the Sigma versions starting at 18mm that fits your budget. She will need a good size Compact flash card. I'd buy a total of 1 gigabyte. My preference would be two 512Meg cards but you can get a single 1Gig or 4-256 Megs as you prefer. There are other options to consider like an auxialary flash ora $70 50mm f/1.8 which she would be able to use for low light shots where the other lenses she has are weak. However, I would just get her the camera and wide angle lens (18-55 kit or other) and let her select the other toys herself as she decides which is important and which would be useless to her type of shooting. You might suggest she join in on one of the discussion lists that cater to beginners with questions ( http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Digital-Rebels/ is my favorite)

Good luck.
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Old Nov 21, 2004, 10:46 AM   #7
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JimC,Dougsmit

Thanks for your resposnes;appreciate you taking the time.

Absorbing it all!

In terms of the memory cards, there are Compact I and II and some have really fast write speeds (40X, 80X, etc). I would guess faster is better to save battery life. Any thing I have to consider between CF-I and CF-II type cards besides number and size?

Also noiced that the 20D comes with a 18-55 lens kit at basically the same cost as the body by itself. hmmmm.... Have to do more price searching....

Anyway, got a great start on what I should be looking for. Will continue to read reviews and fourm posts on the Rebel and 20D and start looking around for both.

Again appreciate your help/guidance.

Jon
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Old Nov 21, 2004, 10:49 AM   #8
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Buying a camera for someone else is always difficult. Something you should seriously consider is cutting out some pictures of cameras, making a nice card which basically says "I'm giving you the camera of your choice."

There are several benefits to this.
Cameras are devices. They have interfaces and quirks in those interfaces. Two cameras with exactly the same specs but different button layouts will work better for some than for others. The DRebel and 10D/20D are all good cameras. But to make the DRebel cheaper, the interface was changed (a command wheel was removed.) Personally, I wouldn't buy a DRebel because of what I've read about the interface. Could I have learned it? Sure. But the 10D (which I own) works in a way which just makes more sense to me.

The most important thing you said to guide you choice of cameras is what types of pictures she takes. With what you list, either the DRebel or the 10D/20D could do the job very well. So that is good news.

The bad news is that while the DRebel is cheaper and will take just as good pictures as the 10D (and probably 20D, in many situations) there are other differences between them than just the physical controls. The metering mode is not directly user selectable, which would really annoy me. Also, it can only buffer up 4 pictures at once before locking out you while it writes the data to the CF card. For what I do (and that is the critical point, it might not matter to your wife) that would cause me to miss pictures!

I generally agree with dougsmit that for landscapes shots the 24mm will be like a 24x1.6 = around 37mm, and that could be a problem. Personally, I found something that wide not wide enough for landscapes, so I purchased the 17-40L (which is expensive but really nice.)

I would suggest getting either 2 512MB cards or 1 1G. 4 256 starts to get into the realm of "more things to loose." I don't know if its cheaper (or if its enough cheaper) to make that a reasonable option.

The things to consider in a CF card is basically only capacity and speed. Anything over 40x isn't really worth the extra money. Yes, it will be slighly faster but the camera will be limiting it. It just can't write faster, even though the card can take it. I don't beleive there is really any difference between type 1 and type 2 other than physical size. Stick with type 1.

So while I didn't really help you pick a camera, I hope this info is helpful.

Eric
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Old Nov 21, 2004, 1:44 PM   #9
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Note that the person with a 10D wouldn't touch a Digital Rebel while the person with a Digital Rebel wouldn't have a 10D (can't use the EF-S lenses including the 10-22 which I want next). As I said, if money is not an object, the 20D is probably the best answer over last year's DR or the even older 10D. One point from eric s that is quite valid is the suggestion of giving a clipped photo and let her make the choice. If it lacks something in the mystery of Christmas,it makes up for it in letting her have it her way.
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Old Nov 23, 2004, 1:02 AM   #10
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There are only two current choices here -- the 300D (or Digital Rebel) or the 20D. I bought a 300D for my wife around when it came out, and a 20D for myself just when it came out. (I tried to buy one before it was announced, but they just wouldn't do that..)

The 300D is a very nice camera, but (a) it's slated for near-term replacement. (b) it's out-classed in every respect other than economics/rebelliousness and notably shutter quietness by the 20D.

The 300D is also a great camera, if (a) you don't compare it to a 20D/etc. (b) You prudently save the price difference and apply it in some other way. (E.g. if you think you want to make a hobby of buying current DSLR's, it's more economical to get the cheapest ones. E.g. if you want to enjoy Canon's nice US rebates.)

OTOH, it doesn't make much sense to buy a 300D and then wish for a 20D. It's more economical to save/etc and buy the 20D.

You'd be better off consulting a 300D vs 20D or 10D vs 20D comparison (the 300D is like a cheaper version of the older 10D), but briefly: The 20D is faster (shooting and data transfer), has slightly more resolution 8 vs 6 MP, and has better auto-flash and focusing performance. I also think that it'll be wanted longer than the current 300D.

Lenses: You can certainly get by with the lenses you have, but both cameras can also benefit from better lenses, and I'm going to recommend the 17-40 f/4.0 L. It's a nice lens, that's clearly better than the kit 18-55 EF-S lens. The new 17-85 IS is another possibility, but it's probably not as good as the 17-40, and it's not inexpensive.

I think that your wife will want a super-wide angle lens that goes to at least 17 or 18 mm at the widest (smallest number of the 17-40 / 18-55, etc. ranges). This is because the budget DSLR have a cropped image area -- the sensor just isn't as big as 35mm film, and so the image area is not as high and wide. To compensate for that, you have to use wider lenses. 1.6x is how much is cropped linearly -- you need 1.6x wider lenses to compensate for the same field of view. The 24mm will not be wide enough for some indoor and senic shots -- it is a wide-angle lens on a 35mm film camera, but its field of view is the same as a 38.4mm lens on a 10D/300D/20D, which is more in the "normal" range than the "wide" range.

IMO, a 17 or 18mm is just barely enough -- it corresponds to a 28mm full-frame / film field of view, which is wide, but not very wide.

The 18-55 is certainly usable and surprisingly good, but it's not in same build and optical quality class as the 17-40 L. One very reasonable option is to get the 18-55 with the body ($100), and get the 17-40 L if you feel like it later on. The Tamron 17-35 also comes highly recommended. There are other options as well. See the lens forum..

The 17-40 / etc.also provide very nice all-around capability. I think that I took mine off the body on a recent holiday only when photographing distant animals.

You need to budget for a CF card. I suggest 512 MB minimum, preferably 1 or 2 GB. (I use a 4 GB microdrive, and came close to filling it on several days on that holiday.)

In any case, suchcameras are not cheap, and I'm sure that you'll see the merit of getting it from somewhere where you can return it for a full refund / exchange if it's unopened / like new (check the details), and discussing that further with your wife.

BTW, none of these choices are really wrong, so you might as well try to enjoy it as you should.
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