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Old Jul 12, 2006, 3:51 PM   #1
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Great forum, but I'm tired of reading. Some people say it's the photographer not the camera using the "Ansel" analogy. I'll search for reviews and it all starts to look the same. I'm a big car nut and know cars I don't know digital cameras!

My wife is a wanna be amateur camera enthusiasts. She comes from a 35MM Nikon background, but really knows nothing about photography IMO and has not embraced digital photography at all nor knows what means what, so here are the questions.

1. What book online or at a store can I buy to teach her about DSLR's and the ever confusing jargon that goes with it?

2. She wants a DSLR because it "looks" and "feels" like what she is used to. Here I am searching forever and have decided to go with a Canon XT with the crappy 18-55 kit lens or at least that's what the reviews say. What lens is best for her? I hate buying things twice and would hate to buy the kit lens if it doessuck when I could have thrown that $100 dollars on something else.

3. Lastly and possibly most importantly is there any benefit in buying from a electronics giant like CircuitCity or BestBuy? I look on Ebay, Beachcamera, etc etc and you can literally save $300-$400 dollars on these kits they sell versus buying seperately. Is all the stuff in those kits necessary? Here is a example?


Then you have these deals on EBAY that seem even more unreal like this one.


I need help as to what to buy and what is crap. Or do I just skip these deals that seem to good to be true and just go to the local electronics superstore and buy them there for a extra $300-$400? It all looks good to me, so any advice would be appreciated.


John B.

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Old Jul 12, 2006, 4:06 PM   #2
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Most of the item crammed into a so called kit are not very useful at all. Keep your initial investment low. For example, there is a $100 rebate on the Pentax DL DSLR right now. Get the camera and the kit lens. Then slowly build from there purchasing only what you really need and can use.

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Old Jul 12, 2006, 6:47 PM   #3
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I'm kind of cautious about ebay... but I bought a Pentax *ist DL with the kit lens for $370 from beachcamera.com and they shipped it out the day after I ordered it. Check sites like www.resellerratings.com and www.pricegrabber.com to find out whether stores are safe to buy from. Some stores sell cameras really cheap but overcharge on accesories, so you probably want to check the accesories prices on other sites to see if the store your buying from is not overcharging you.
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Old Jul 12, 2006, 7:38 PM   #4
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You've gotten invaluable advice so far. Couple of thoughts:

1. Do you know if any of her Nikon lenses will fit the Nikon DSLRs? Lenses are the investment, not the body. Yes, there might be limitations, and though I'm a Nikon D50 owner, I can't help you with the question, but it was a thought....

2. I understand your hesitance but I think it's probably fair that if she comes from a 35mm - assuming SLR - background, that she would want to continue. I think it does make a difference if you have that background. In my opinion, the film to digital translation is not so hard as the basics of photography.

3. Most kits are full of fluff but if you get down to a model and a vendor, you can count on needing to add the appropriate memory card and a bag. Plus lenses to add to the package, depending on the circumstances, additional memory cards and an alternate battery. Lastly, something other than the built in flash might be necessary or wanted.

Good luck,

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Old Jul 13, 2006, 3:18 AM   #5
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"It's not the camera it's the photographer that counts"; is about as valid as saying "it's not the car it's the driver that counts".

Both are important.

On the Rebel XT that kit lens is the best $100 you can spend on a lens, people who call it rubbish usually fall into one of three categories:

a) Those who blame the equipment when they don't know how to use it - easier than admitting they don't know what they are doing.

b) Those who go off and spend $400-$1500 on a better lens. (Well duh - of course if you spend a lot more money you will get a better lens.)

c) both of the above.

Buy a boxed kit (from any manufacturer) from a big retail store. Any internet deals that look too good to be true will be scams.
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