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      05-28-2008, 05:32 PM   #1
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Digital SLR Advice

Following on from Viv's recent thread .. I'm thinking of getting an SLR.

I know sweet FA about cameras - but I know Viv went for the Canon EOS 450d in the end.

I can get a Canon 400d + kit lens with a cashback offer for around 325. Sounds cheap for what it is, but the reviews say the kit lens is shite.

If I went for the body only what would be a good budget starter lens?

Keep it simple guys, I don't have the first idea about this stuff
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      05-28-2008, 05:38 PM   #2
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400d is a great camera. Kit lens is not so good but on the other hand it gets you going and you can upgrade in the future without a big cost to start with.
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      05-29-2008, 01:59 AM   #3
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I'd second that, if you don't know anything about it then the kit lense will be fine, what you need to do is spend a month with it and figure out if you often find that

a. zoom range is fine
b. you want wider angle pics all the time
c. you want more zoom all the time

Also what kind of photos you take is important, if your taking low light indoor photos then you either need to look at a lense with a very low f number or you need to look at adding an external flah like a 430EX
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      05-29-2008, 04:47 AM   #4
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As has been said - 400d with the std lens is excellent for an average user.

Check the Canon Ebay shop for some great deals - they do ex-display, open box stuff. Mine was 100% as new in original box - 280....and that was before Christmas......

If you dont fancy that then check here:

http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/prod192.html
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      05-29-2008, 06:07 AM   #5
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NFS,

The kit lens is in all honesty more than acceptable for a begginer. You've got a steep learning curve ahead of you so worrying about the improvement in IQ that a better lens will offer is probably the least of your worries.

What you'll most probably find though is that you'll need another lens to compliment the 18-55mm range that it offers. Canon obviously do the 55-200mm IS now for exactly this reason, but there are similar lenses from 3rd party manufacturers that probably offer better "bang per buck".

Then again there are lenses that do it all (with the obvious limitations) such as the Sigma 18-200mm OS.

I'd probably recommend getting the kit lens (it's a negligable cost to be honest) and then spend some time working out what you want from owning the camera. That will probably lead you to the correct conclusion.
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      05-29-2008, 11:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisbin View Post
As has been said - 400d with the std lens is excellent for an average user.

Check the Canon Ebay shop for some great deals - they do ex-display, open box stuff. Mine was 100% as new in original box - 280....and that was before Christmas......

If you dont fancy that then check here:

http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/prod192.html
Thanks for the advice guys !!

Chris - the cheapest I have found is 374 (Amazon) with 45 cashback from Canon.

I've had a look on ebay, but I can't find anyone who is offering the camera for much less. Any chance of the details of the ebay shop you used?

Cheers.

Simon
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      05-29-2008, 04:40 PM   #7
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Speaking as a DSLR 'beginner' myself, NFS, I think the kit lens will help you to become accustomed to using the camera, starting with the basics.

I'm still 'playing with the 450d & the 18-55mm kit lens. It might be a 'beginner's' lens, but it works well & lets me 'experiment':

Name:  cat.jpg
Views: 251
Size:  141.7 KB

I've been visiting Pbase & Motley Pixel to get an idea of lenses.

Viv
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      05-29-2008, 04:54 PM   #8
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Viv, are they cat nip or regular bubbles in the picture?
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      05-29-2008, 05:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibbo View Post
Viv, are they cat nip or regular bubbles in the picture?
They're regular bubbles from a Tesco bubble gun, Pete.
The 2 cats get treated with the catnip every so often, as a treat.

Viv
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      05-29-2008, 05:06 PM   #10
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Great picture Viv.

Do your cats get 'high as a kite' on the cat nip? That is sooo funny to watch
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      05-29-2008, 05:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekk View Post
Speaking as a DSLR 'beginner' myself, NFS, I think the kit lens will help you to become accustomed to using the camera, starting with the basics.

I'm still 'playing with the 450d & the 18-55mm kit lens. It might be a 'beginner's' lens, but it works well & lets me 'experiment':

Attachment 158295

I've been visiting Pbase & Motley Pixel to get an idea of lenses.

Viv
Great photo viv. What stands out is the pinsharp focus on the cat and the grass with everything behind blurring nicely.

My point and shoot is competent enough, but it won't do that.
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      05-29-2008, 05:11 PM   #12
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NFS, I buy camera gear from this company and they are mail order/web only warehouse and very good. When you buy from them you know it will be new boxed and hence the camera will not have been on demo in a shop so not thrown around or dirty sensors, etc.

http://www.warehouseexpress.com/cate...d=37&Range=193
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      05-29-2008, 05:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beemerbird View Post
Great picture Viv.

Do your cats get 'high as a kite' on the cat nip? That is sooo funny to watch
They both go completely 'loopy' with catnip, Helen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NFS View Post
Great photo viv. What stands out is the pinsharp focus on the cat and the grass with everything behind blurring nicely.

My point and shoot is competent enough, but it won't do that.
The focusing is a lot easier to adjust with the DSLR, than with a point-&-shoot.

I'm thinking about getting a 50mm prime (fixed focus) lens.
There are some great shots here, taken with a Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens, albeit with a Canon 5D body, I think:



I think the 'bokeh' (background blurring effect) produced with that lens is fantastic.

Viv
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      05-30-2008, 03:23 AM   #14
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viv,

The 50mm f1.8* is probably the worst kept secret in the Canon lens arsenal. You can pick them new for ~60 from people such as Kerso on ebay and even at twice that price it would still be the best price/performance glass they make!

Commonly known as the "nifty fifty".
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      05-30-2008, 05:57 AM   #15
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One of the best things a DSLR can do that compacts can't is capture moving action, this is a photo of my daughter running at me flat out, generally even a good compact will struggle with this


That was taken with a 17-55 f2.8 IS lense and 40D in motor drive mode, I had 15 pics to choose the best from as she ran towards me.

This is taken with a prime, 85mm at f1.8, the background is nicely blurred, again compacts can't do anything like it


and indoors an external bounce flash can blow away anything you can do with a compact (quite a lot of PP on this too)


But for landscapes compacts can be quite good, this was taken with a canon G9 from upstairs first thing one morning with the DSLR in the car boot, probably would have missed it by the time I'd gone to get it


You just have to go and take lots and lots of photos and figure out what works and what doesn't, I've found the people here very helpful for feedback
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      05-30-2008, 06:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NFS View Post

Chris - the cheapest I have found is 374 (Amazon) with 45 cashback from Canon.

Try http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Canon-Outle...QQftidZ2QQtZkm

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      05-30-2008, 06:27 AM   #17
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Since this is becoming an "excuse to show pics thread...."

Here's a couple I took using a 70-210 lens I inherited from my Dad. Its actually pre-Digital, but fits and works on the Eos fine!





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      05-30-2008, 08:40 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanJT View Post
viv,

The 50mm f1.8* is probably the worst kept secret in the Canon lens arsenal. You can pick them new for ~60 from people such as Kerso on ebay and even at twice that price it would still be the best price/performance glass they make!

Commonly known as the "nifty fifty".
I was thinking about the 50mm f/1.8, Nathan. I realise the f/1.4 is about triple the price of the f/1.8. However, if it's going to be a lens I'll be making long term use of, then I'd rather spend more & go for the 50mm f/1.4.
A 50mm f/1.2 L would be 'nice', but I think it's just a little excessive for me as a beginner.

Although it's difficult to make a direct comparison between shots, the first shot is one taken with the f/1.8 II lens with a 40D & the second is taken with the f/1.4 lens with a 5D: (both shots are from the Motley Pixel)

Name:  1.jpg
Views: 207
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Name:  2.jpg
Views: 201
Size:  42.4 KB


What do you think?

Viv
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      05-30-2008, 09:48 AM   #19
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I think you might want to keep your eye on ebay for a 50mm f1.8 MkI

The MkII (as mentioned above) is a good lens. But the MkI also offers better build quality (metal as opposed to plastic) and USM.
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      05-30-2008, 05:18 PM   #20
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What do you guys thing about the Nikon D40x vs the Canon 400d?

The Nikon is a few quid less, doesn't have the auto cleaning and lacks a few other bells and whistles, but the image quality seems to be superior to the Canon with the kit lens.

What should I buy?
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      05-30-2008, 05:22 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NFS View Post
What do you guys thing about the Nikon D40x vs the Canon 400d?

The Nikon is a few quid less, doesn't have the auto cleaning and lacks a few other bells and whistles, but the image quality seems to be superior to the Canon with the kit lens.

What should I buy?
The Lotus.
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      05-31-2008, 05:13 AM   #22
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The Lotus.
Good point, but since I can't justify 14K for a 111s till January 09 - I'm resorting to buying a 300 digital SLR to play with in the meantime
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