DO NOT order from Ajrichies! I originally placed an order with them after calling to make sure they had the item in the warehouse only to be told, yes, they had the desired items and they would ship that day. After, Michael, the customer service representative failed to up-sell me and get me to buy additional memory cards and batteries, suddenly the invoice price they emailed me was $20.00 higher per camera than the on-line advertised price. Plus, the items were not shipped that day, but rather it took 3 weeks, several phone calls and waiting on hold for 30-plus minutes to get them to ship. I have an email from them stating the cameras would soon be in the warehouse and they would send them out at the advertised price (but my credit card was still billed at the higher price.)To top it all off, when I called their customer service deptartment to discuss the invoice pricing not matching their "adverstised on-line prices", they were very rude. There was NO customer service going on at all. I will never order from this site again and my advice to anyone tempted by their alluring, low on-line prices is...beware the 'bait and switch' and the rude sales and customer service representatives. This operation reeks of scammers!
Since you are new to SLRs... in order of importance:
1. A decent class 6+ sd memory card or two or three (sandisk is a good company to go with)
2. A good camera bag that will fit everything that you want to carry along. (Lowepro makes good ones)
3. A extra battery (splurge on a canon battery, or risk it with a third party battery, your choice)
4. 50mm 1.8 prime lens (Good, cheap lens that can handle indoor and low light photography, almost universally useful)
6. Lens Blower (to blow dust off of lenses, avoid actually cleaning the lenses with a cleaner unless you really have to, a few flecks of dust isn't going to effect your picture)
Depending on who you ask, the 7th generally will be a good Multicoated UV filter for each of the lenses you use to protect the lens (Hoya makes good ones), however some people say that it isn't worth it to put a 50-60 dollar filter in front of their several hundred dollar lenses, it's up to you.
These are all that are pretty much needed from the get go. The rest depends on what types of photography are you planning to use the camera for. Tell me what you are planning to do and I can come up with some extra suggestions.
Yes the 50D is more ruggedly built than either the T1i or T2i. The 50D has a magnesium body, where the Rebels are plastic with an internal metal reinforcing frame. The shutter in the 50D is more durable than in the Rebel and is expected to last twice as long as the one in the Rebels. The 50D has a degree of weather sealing, that will help keep out moisture and dust better than the Rebels.
As far as image quality, the while both the 50D and the T1i are 15 megapixel cameras, the 50Ds sensor uses gapless micro-lenses and the T1i does not. The 50D has micro-focus adjustment the T1i does not. Micro-focus adjustment allows you to `tweak' the focusing of a lens so it is exact, instead of possibly being slightly in front of or behind where it was intended; this can result in sharper photos. Also, the 50D has almost twice the still photo frame rate of the Rebels.
An interesting thing occurred when the 7D was introduced; it received rave reviews for its high ISO capability. But, as testers comparing it to the 50D found that when both cameras were adjusted to the same settings, there was very little ISO performance difference between the two cameras.
I have NOT done a lot of comparison between the 50D and the T2i, but, this is what cameralabs.com had to say:
(T2i) Compared to Canon EOS 50D
The EOS 50D is the next model up in Canon's DSLR range, and while it's been over-shadowed by the EOS 7D, it remains a compelling option at a price that steadily falls. After all, for much the same price as the EOS 550D / T2i basic lens kit, you could get yourself an EOS 50D body and enjoy semi-pro performance.
In its favour, the EOS 50D is a much tougher and quicker camera. It boasts a magnesium alloy shell which will better handle the knocks, and considerably quicker 6.3fps continuous shooting. The AF system may also have 9-points, but all are more sensitive cross-type sensors (with lens micro-adjustment) and you'll be framing with a bigger and brighter penta-prism optical viewfinder. There's also an upper LCD information screen, a PC-sync port for connection to external lighting systems, a more powerful battery and an optional Wifi transmitter. It is in short, a much more professional DSLR.
As an older model though, the EOS 50D is lacking some bells and whistles of the latest models, most notably with no movie mode of any description. The EOS 550D / T2i also features a more sophisticated metering system and that wider screen, although the 3in VGA screen of the 50D still looks great. The 550D / T2i also boasts three extra Megapixels, but the 15.1 of the 50D will be sufficient for many.
The bottom line is the 50D offers a lot more for traditional photographers than the EOS 550D / T2i, and if you're not bothered about video, it's arguably a better bet. This especially applies to anyone wanting to shoot action or work in more challenging environments.
NOTE: It can be dangerous to try old flashes on your T2i. Some old flashes used very high trigger voltages which could damage your camera's electronics.
Information on the web about the 188A indicates is probably safe to use with modern cameras (though you should verify this yourself before trying it). The flash, being a very early design, can not communicate with your camera but it may work in auto or manual mode. Note that auto mode requires you to dial the ISO setting and distance into the flash and then dial the resulting recommended aperture into the camera for a proper exposure. Since the the flash doesn't tilt or swivel, it offers no real advantages to the built-in flash except perhaps for power. I believe this flash will be more trouble than its worth. You might be able to put it to use as a slave flash by using an optical trigger device.
Not really, no. Different camera makers use entirely different incompatible mounting systems so, in general, you can not use a lens made for a brand X camera on a brand Y camera. You may be able to find a lens mount adapter but you will definitely lose auto-focus and camera aperture control and, depending on the match, may also lose a substantial degree of image quality or infinity focus. If you have a really nice Olympus AF lens, your best bet is one of the Olympus or Panasonic micro-4/3 cameras with a micro-4/3 to 4/3 adapter which will preserve aperture control and AF to some degree (I've heard the AF results can be less than satisfying with some lenses).
1 year US warranty assuming you are buying brand new and not from a reseller/gray market product. Buying from amazon (or any other authorized canon dealer will ensure you are getting the 1yr USA warranty).
Only if the price of the t4i was the same as the t2i. The t4i has More functions including a movable viewing screen and perhaps a better streamline of function buttons. I feel the cameras are basically equal as far as quality of pictures/movies.
No DSLRs are waterproof but, yes, Canon does add varying levels of weather-sealing to their DSLRs starting with the 60D. Weather-sealing, however, only goes so far. I suspect the biggest cause of water damage to DLSRs is from condensation when taking the camera from a cold environment to warm, humid one. You can put the odds in your favor by sealing the camera in a plastic bag in a cold place before taking it into a warm, humid one and then giving the camera some time to warm up. Heavy rain can also be an issue with any amount of weather-sealing, even if you complete the camera's seal by using a weather-sealed lens (Canon L lenses are typically weather-sealed). I would always recommend some sort of additional protection in rain.