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Old Sep 15, 2008, 11:07 AM   #1
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My budget is $500--ish. I want a dslr--and with a good lens option obviously. My picture taking purposes are basically my 2 kiddos & we travel quite a bit to the carribean & europe. I'm not opposed to getting a used one to get a little more bang for my buck--and also if something happens to it, i don't want to be out some exorbantant amount of money.
i looked at the canon xs--but they seem so out of the box ordinary? and i can't figure out what the deal is with its prices, they are all over the place?

thanks for any insight.



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Old Sep 15, 2008, 11:26 AM   #2
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First, dSLRs have a finite life expectancy that approaches much more quickly than for film SLRs. So buying a used dLSR is a gamble. I wouldn't try it unless I got a warranty from the seller, not just a money back guarantee, and not an aftermarket warranty the seller was hawking.

Second, the Canon XS is in an odd position in Canon's entry level dSLR lineup. It's mostly the same as the XTi but with 'Live View', and the XSi is mostly the same as the XS but with a 12MP image sensor. The XS and XSi have the same MSRP so more people want the XSi, and since the demand is higher for the XSi, the discounts are higher as well.

Aside from the ocassional snapshots, what else might you be shooting? Do your kids participate in any organized sports?

What experience do you have with digital photography?What digicams have you used in the past?

How did you settle on the Canon XS? What process did you go through to narrow down your seletion to it?
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Old Sep 15, 2008, 11:51 AM   #3
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many many thanks for taking time to respond to me!

organized sports--never thought about that, but yes. my husband is a kayaker & my daughter will be in soccer, eventually.

digi experience: casio, canon powershots & the olympus.

i settled on the canon xs for price only and it's mainstream-ness.

i'm starting to doubt myself purchasing the used or refurbished.


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Old Sep 15, 2008, 1:43 PM   #4
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'Refurbished' is ok depending on who does the refurbishing. 'Used' is shaky.

There's a lot to be said for Canon's "mainstream-ness". Canon has more OEM and third party lenses and accessories than anyone else. Canon also has the best autofocus system for sports/action/wildlife.

But there are good reasons to go with other brands as well.

Nikon also has a very good selection of lenses and accessories, and a very good autofocus system. Except, that is, for the entry level dSLRs within your budget. The Nikon D40/D40X/D60 don't have an internal autofocus motor, so they can only autofocus about half on Nikon's on lenses and only a few third party lenses. In addition, these dSLRsshare apoor autofocus system.

Olympus has the smallest, lightest dSLRs available, and for equivalent angles of view, their lenses are the smallest and lightest as well. But the selection of lenses is slim and can be very expensive.

Pentax has a good selection of OEM, third party and usedlenses and accessories, but while their selection of fast, fixed focal length lenses is good, their selection of telephoto zooms is weak.

Sony also has a good selection of OEM, third party and used lenses, some of which are the best in their classes, but they can be very expensive. Sony's selection of telephoto zooms is good, but their selection of fast, fixed focal length lenses is weak.

They are all good cameras, and all have similar specs. To draw distinctions between them, you really have to dig deep. Canon and Nikon use optical image stabilization to reduce (if not eliminate) motion blur due to camera shake. This involves a special system in the lens that shifts optical elements to counteract the effects of camera shake. This makes those lenses bigger, heavier and more expensive. Pentax, Sony, and most Olympus dSLRs use sensor shift image stabilization in the camera body. This system moves the image sensor within the body to counteract the effects of camera shake. This means that any lens attached to the camera body will be stabilized, including older lenses that were designed even before anybody thought about 'Digital' photography.

A number of brands also have dSLRs with the 'Live View' feature, where you can compose your shot using the LCD display instead of the optical viewfinder, but these can be expensive. Olympus is the only brand that has 'Live View' on a dSLR that is within your price range, but that particular model doesn't have image stabilization.

Time to decide what's important to you, and narrow down the choices.
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