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SolRunner Aug 26, 2010 3:41 PM

Entry to Mid-Level DSLR
Hi all,

After growing increasingly frustrated with the limited quality of my 5-year-old Sony Cybershot photos, I'm now in the market for an entry to mid-level DSLR. I like to take wildlife and nature shots, macros, landscapes, and portraits. Superb quality, hi-resolution is of major importance as I hang matted and framed 5X7 and 8X10prints on my walls at home. I like taking low-light shots, and evening skyscapes, so low-light is important. I'm interested in increasing to larger sizes as my abilities grow. I'm also thinking of trying my hand at selling some prints at regional craft shows and town festivals. My budget is around $1,200 to $1,500 which would hopefully include a good zoom lens. This is flexible; however, as I know I need a good zoom to get some of the shots I'm after. I'd rather spend a bit more going in to get what I really want.

I've gotten a bid overwhelmed with all the different brands and models, but have found good reviews on the Canon Rebel T2i. I also read the next on Steve's about the upcoming release of the Canon EOS 60D. I am especially interested in advice of whether to buy the camera only and the lens separately or purchase the kit lens and add a good zoom. Also, I'd love to hear your suggestions on other brands in this market segment.

I really appreciate any and all of your advice, as this is a large investment for me and one I don't want to end up regretting later.



shoturtle Aug 26, 2010 3:54 PM

well the t2i and the 60D will both have the same low light abilties. But if you are a big action shooter the faster burst rate of the 60D would be a better choice.

Also the other thing with low light besides the high iso performance, it the lens you match it with. If you get a big aperture prime of 1.8 to 1.4 you will get much better low light then with any of the kit lens. But that will mean you will not be able to zoom.

Also with the kit lens they are pretty good, but the 15-85mm is a much better lens in image quality, and much faster to auto focus. And it will cover a good rand for landscape work. But this lens is pretty expensive also. But now the kit lens of the 60 with the 28-135 is a good lens, but it is not as wide as the 15-135, so it is not as good as a landscape lens. But give decent reach. It is the same kit lens as the 7D. If you need more reach, you will need to invest in the 55-250mm or the 70-300.

mtclimber Aug 26, 2010 4:31 PM

Any wildlife shot would be improved by the added quality that a DSLR camera can provide. However, the cost does escalate rapidly when you get into the long zoom lens required for wildlife photography.

Therefore, a rough guess would be that you will need a budget of around $1,500 to do it correctly.

Sarah Joyce

TCav Aug 26, 2010 5:23 PM

I'd suggest the Sony A550/A560 with the Sony/Zeiss 16-80 and the Sony 70-300 'G'. That combination is as good or better than Canon's choices.

Flying Fossil Aug 26, 2010 5:36 PM

You may also want to take a look at the newly announced Sony A55. Looks good on paper anyway for low light and quick response.

Look here:

TCav Aug 26, 2010 7:34 PM

Actually, the A33 & A55 lose 1/2 stop of light to the Pellicle ("Translucent") Mirror, and so are probably not as good in low light as a more conventional dSLR.

shoturtle Aug 26, 2010 9:48 PM

I say get either the t1i if you want a lighter body, or the 60d if you need the higher burst rate. And get the ef 70-300 IS USM non L lens. About 500 bucks and it will do a very nice job. Less then the 800 dollar G lens of the sony.

SolRunner Sep 1, 2010 12:15 PM

Change . . .
In reassessing my needs, I realize I shoot mostly macro, low light, portrait, and wildlife/nature shots, and am close to making the decision to go with either the T2i or T1i and the ef 70-300 IS USM non L lens.

My question is whether I should choose the T2i or T1i and if I should purchase the kit lens that comes with either or opt for a separate one to go along with the 70-300. If separate, which would you recommend?

Thanks again!!


wave01 Sep 1, 2010 12:28 PM

t1i or t21 not much to chose between them but I like the layout of t2i better. better screen dedicated live view button a few more pixels. As for the kit lens its not a bad lens i would go that then see what you need later

JohnG Sep 1, 2010 1:01 PM

I will offer a word of caution - depending on the type of wildlife you shoot, 300mm is painfully short. OK for a deer in the backyard, terribly short for small birds in a tree and many birds in flight other than the standard seagull type shots you can get with 200mm.

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