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Old Nov 25, 2011, 10:47 AM   #1
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Default Canon DSLR Choices are making my head spin! Help, please!

Hi,

I'm finally making the switch from my film SLR (a Canon Rebel 2000 with the 18-55mm kit lens) to a DSLR. I've had such great experiences with my Rebel 2000 that I've decided to stick with Canon, but I have a pretty firm budget of around $600-650 and the options in that range are completely confusing me.

I generally take family candid shots, some street scenes, and occasional landscape/scenery photos. At this point I'm a complete amateur, but I'm taking a class or two in the next month and am hoping to "up my game" a little, so I'm considering adding the 55-250 ES II lens into my "kit" if I can afford it.

Here are the five options I have narrowed it down to (which doesn't feel like narrowing down at all, to be honest):

1. T3 kit with 18-55mm Lens II and EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II (Stabilized) Lens for $629. (http://www.beachcamera.com/shop/prod...=E4CNDRT3K1855)

2. T2i kit with EF-S 18-55mm IS Lens for $649. (http://www.abesofmaine.com/item.do?i...1855&&kbid=T3i)

3. T2i body only for $619. With this option I'd have to continue to use my old Rebel 2000 kit lens until I can save up to afford a better lens and/or the 55-250 ES II lens. (http://www.beachcamera.com/shop/prod...x?sku=CNDRT2IK)

4. T3i body only for $644. I'd also have to start by using my old kit lens with this option.

5. T1i kit with EF-S 18-55mm IS Zoom Lens for $645 (http://www.tristatecamera.com/produc...s=&sti=1799804)

I know that one of the main differences between the T2i and T3i is the quality of the video, but I will rarely (if ever) be using the video feature, so that's not really a big deal for me.

Any help or guidance you can give me would be REALLY appreciated. I feel completely lost! Thanks!!!
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Old Nov 25, 2011, 10:54 AM   #2
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Between those options, I'd probably go with number one since it has two lenses with it, and has the best price. But, you'll have to decide if the more advanced models are better for what you want to shoot.

I'd also trust Beach Camera (a.k.a., buydig.com) more than the other vendors, as they have a good reputation.
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Old Nov 25, 2011, 11:05 AM   #3
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If you wanted to step up to the T2i or T3i, I'd probably look at what these vendors have for kits, too.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com

http://www.adorama.com

http://www.beachcamera.com (one of the vendors you had in your kit choices) is also a reputable vendor.

Sometimes you will also see good deals on refurbished models from adorama.com and bhphotovideo.com
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Old Nov 25, 2011, 11:10 AM   #4
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Thanks, Jim! I've had pretty good experiences with Abe's and TriState in the past, so I feel like I'm safe with any of those (but clearly, Beach has the best deal at the moment). The ones I've posted are the best deals I've found after a lot of searching.

Any thoughts on whether as an amateur/hopefully-soon-to-be novice if I'll really notice the differences between the T3 and the T2i or T3i? Is the increased quality of the "i" series worth not getting the extra lens for now?
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Old Nov 25, 2011, 11:24 AM   #5
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You may want to let members know more about what kind of photos you're taking, and what (if any) limitations you're having with your current camera model for better feedback.

But, better video ability would be the primary reason you may want to go with a T2i or T3i, even though they have some other differences, too (larger and higher resolution LCDs, higher resolution sensor, slightly faster frame rate, etc.).

The biggest reason I'd see for spending more money on the T2i or T3i over the T3 is the video features (1080p, ability to use an external mic) if video is important to you.
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Old Nov 25, 2011, 11:53 AM   #6
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I mostly agree with what folks are saying here but the T2i and T3i have a few features that in my opinion makes it worthwhile to spend the extra $100-200

1- The LCD on the back of the T2i/T3i is a million dots, actually just over- the clarity and usefulness of that high resolution is something to consider. T3i of course has same screen but is swively-flippity which some find useful

2- T2i/T3i offers 1080P video recording- if you don't care about videos don't worry about it but make sure you won't care about them any time in the next few years. Although I feel a little harsh here -720p is and can be just fine too

3- the T3i has wireless flash control and video zoom. Wireless flash control built into the camera is sweet and again if you feel that you may grow as a photographer this dslr offers the most room. Video zoom is a non-digital zoom that lets you get 3x-10x closer. Once again if you don't care about video on't worry about it but the ability to put a cheap prime like the 50mm on and then zoom through that and can get the equivalent of a zoom lens for video only built into the camera!

4- Watch the Amazon bundle pages - their prices seems to be changing by the moment today (for the better) and it looks like they are throwing in a backpack and 8GB SD card with some purchases.

http://www.amazon.com/mn/search/?_en...reative=390957


Hope that helps. Again - not disagreeing with any other advice here, just offering my opinion
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Old Nov 25, 2011, 1:10 PM   #7
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My 35mm experience was with Minolta and Olympus. My Canon EOS 50D (refurb) is my 2nd DSLR but my first Canon. Luv the beast. Anyhoo, my take on the choices listed would be this -

T3 or T1i only if the body is a stepping stone. Where you fully expect to upgrade the body in a couple of years or so.

The T2i and T3i bodies are more my idea of "keepers". In addition to video, there are other differences that may or may not count for you. The control buttons on the T2i are slightly different. Some prefer these to the new T3i, some don't. The T3i has a generally better LCD setup. I find I'm using liveview more often with my 50D than I expected, so I would not discount LV differences.

Deals without the tele zoom should be given full consideration in my view. As you get experience you may find that you want a different tele than the bundle. I think a rush to fill out a lens collection is a mistake, at least for a noob.

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Last edited by KCook; Nov 25, 2011 at 1:55 PM. Reason: oops
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Old Nov 25, 2011, 1:27 PM   #8
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I'd choose option #2.
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