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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Buying my first DSLR, opinions/expertise requested.

Hi guys,

Going to take the dive in to the DSLR world and was thinking about buying a Canon T3i bundle. Being that I am used to the usual point and shoot cameras I was wondering what exactly to look for when checking out bundle deals. The difference in lenses confuse me somewhat, like what is the difference between a 20mm - 55mm lens and a 55mm - 200mm lens. Either way I like the looks of the Canon T3i and comparable Nikon D7100 with the vari-angle lcds and higher MP. My price range is around 1K give or take a couple hundred but it's a big investment for me so I'd like to make an informed decision. Any suggestions you guys have would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 04:30 PM
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Re: Buying my first DSLR, opinions/expertise requested.

my gf has the t2i and it takes amazing photos. a bit complicated but if you know what most of the stuff does it shouldnt be a problem. as far as i know the t3i is the same stuff inside just a swivel screen and different button layout or something. she also got a different flash for it and some lens filters

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 08:37 PM
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Re: Buying my first DSLR, opinions/expertise requested.

[quote author=FusionFeveR78 link=topic=202775.msg4182283#msg4182283 date=1328472029]
Hi guys,

Going to take the dive in to the DSLR world and was thinking about buying a Canon T3i bundle. Being that I am used to the usual point and shoot cameras I was wondering what exactly to look for when checking out bundle deals. The difference in lenses confuse me somewhat, like what is the difference between a 20mm - 55mm lens and a 55mm - 200mm lens. Either way I like the looks of the Canon T3i and comparable Nikon D7100 with the vari-angle lcds and higher MP. My price range is around 1K give or take a couple hundred but it's a big investment for me so I'd like to make an informed decision. Any suggestions you guys have would be appreciated.
[/quote]

The rebel is a great beginner option to learn on, and if you get deep into and realize you want to take it to the next level, you can always sell your camera and upgrade(most of us do). The kit lens is usually 18-55 which is a semi wide angle to a shorter zoom. 55-200 will be a zoom lens, its also a good lens to have as a starter kit. I would look at the canon 60d if you know you really want to get into it. The lens that comes with that is a great multipurpose lens. Another great addition would be the prime lens 55mm. Its only a 100 and bare bones, but its one of their greatest lens in my opinion for what it is, no zoom, faster larger aperture(1.8=great for low lights and very shallow depth of field pictures, portraits). Its really a fun lens because it makes you comfortable with moving around for photos and getting close to things.

Another other questions feel free to ask.

Don't worry about megapixels, all the recent cameras are more than enough. I have a canon 20d thats like 7ish years old thats only 8megapixels and i just printed a pretty clear 22x30 and 16x20's come out crystal clear. Think about looking at used t2i's, t1i's, rebels, etc. too to save money, there usually only update small features for newer models(screen, options, mpx, etc.)

oh yea get an extra battery or a battery grip!


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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 04:28 AM
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Re: Buying my first DSLR, opinions/expertise requested.

I have the t3i. This thing is a beast, although like stated above, a little complicated to use. But once you get used to it and set primary shortcuts youll get the hang of it. Ive had it for three months now and ive only used it four times so im still learning how to use the settings and modes. I got the 18-55 mm kit and for a beginner thats really all you need. Once you get comfortable with it you can either get a telephoto lens(>200mm) or a fixed zoom lens.

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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 04:40 AM
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Re: Buying my first DSLR, opinions/expertise requested.

As a beginner myself, I bought a used (highly recommend, these cameras are built like tanks) T2i. Honestly, I think you're more likely to outgrow lenses then even the entry level dSLR.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 08:18 AM
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Re: Buying my first DSLR, opinions/expertise requested.

Get away with a bottom end body for starting out. My first dslr was a D40 and I still have it.

The growth of my camera gear is this, and possibly something to learn from

D40 body & 18-55 lens
55-200 4-5.6 lens
manual focus 50 1.8
manual focus 135 2.8
Sigma 10-20 4-5.6
70-200 2.8
50 1.4
D300s body only


First thing I will say is go to a local camera store, and hold onto that camera you want, really HOLD it, grip it in your hand tightly for a minute and take note how it feels.
once I held onto my D40 for the first time I realized how much I absolutely HATE Canon's bodies. My mom had an XTi, and it hurt like hell within one minute of holding it, my D40 I could grip for life for a solid day and my hand wouldn't cramp, even with a heavy lens on it.
Besides, Canon's menu system is confusing as crap to me, and I'm the type of person that when I pick up a piece of technology know how to use majority of its functions within a minute or two.

As for basic understanding of lenses and what the numbers mean.
18-55 is the kit lens on just about all except some midrange and high models. 18mm is considered wide angle, 55mm is considered around "normal" vision.
Technically though on a dSLR, a 35mm lens is "normal" Field of view. On an old film style SLR, 50mm was normal FOV (due to crop size of dSLR's sensors, they are usually a bit smaller, canon has a few, Nikon is usually 1.7x)

85 plus mm is considered a telephoto. The higher the number, the further you can see (think binoculars)
18 minus mm is a wideangle as mentioned. on a dSLR, a true fisheye is around 8mm

the next number you'll see is the highest aperture.
so for your kit 18-55 4-5.6
that means, it's a wide angle to mid angle, and has a maximum aperture of 4 at 18mm and 5.6 at 55mm
The LOWER the aperture number, the LESS depth of field (how blurry foreground/background is) and also how "fast" a lens is.

once playing with an slr for a bit those things will make more sense when you play with it.


As for megapixels.. they don't matter hardly. Unless you plan on printing EVERY photo you take as large as a poster, it makes no difference.

Look into lower range bodies and check out some more fun lenses.



MAIN thing in photography gear is this, and remember this always: Glass is ALWAYS more expensive than plastic.
Your camera body is near worthless once you buy it.
Whatever lens you own will hold its value for a VERY long time.

My nikon D40 I could give it away for free to someone since it's worth nothing.
My Nikon D300s I could sell for like $1000 because a replacement hasn't come yet (but should in a few weeks) THUS.. once that D400 comes out.. I could sell my 300s for like. $300.
My Nikon 70-200 2.8 was $2000 new.. and it's valued at $1800, and has been at 1800 (used) for the past TEN years! (okay nine years really but.. either way it's old)

If you want to invest, get a crappy body and good lenses.

back early in college when I couldn't afford .. anything, literally, I got that manual 50 1.4 and 135 2.8 for $50 all together.
I cleaned them up, played with them on my D40, and later sold them for over twice that.

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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 09:01 AM
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Re: Buying my first DSLR, opinions/expertise requested.

Wow thanks for that nuse great info and advice.

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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 09:43 AM
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Re: Buying my first DSLR, opinions/expertise requested.

good point, i forgot to mention that. The rebel, t3i have smaller more cramped bodies that the 60d,50d,40d, etc. If the t3i seems small try one of them, theyre much more comfortable in my opinion, and heavy they feel solid. As for nikon vs canon its all personal preference, the support and products for both communities are pretty equal, and you will get great results from either companies.


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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Buying my first DSLR, opinions/expertise requested.

Thanks for the information as it has certainly helped me understand some of the nomenclature associated with the cameras/lenses. That being said, I went in to my local shop and held a couple of them. I wanted to be sure it would feel good in my hands not just be pretty with nice options. The one that felt best when I held it was the Canon T3i. I felt the camera formed to my hand better and would be more comfortable holding it over any length of time. The reason I'm going with the T3i instead of a lower model is for the vari-angle lcd (huge factor with the wife and taking different angle pics with the kids). Only thing that worries me is that I will end up spending more on memory cards than on the camera lol. Also I am thinking of going with a bundle instead of buying one with a single lens. Think the T3i/18-55 + 55-200 lens bundle sounds good?
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 06:21 PM
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Re: Buying my first DSLR, opinions/expertise requested.

That would be sufficient to start out I think. It is a bit of a deal to bundle it so if you think you'll want another lens down the line I would do it

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