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Customer Discussions > Digital SLR forum

Needing buying advice on DSLR CAMERAS CANON REBEL?

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Showing 1-25 of 25 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 1, 2007 8:00:40 PM PST
C. Lancaster says:
Can anyone give me some advice? I really want to get a great dslr. I am not happy with my point and shoot camera. I know very little about settings and lenses, etc. But want to learn and love looking at the images I have seen others take with cameras like the Canon XTI. What should I get but won't be in over my head. If I want to zoom on a Canon XTI do I have to buy a special lens just to do that?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2007 12:45:38 AM PST
LT Beasimer says:
The consumer / prosumer level DSLR Canon cameras would make an excellent learning camera. The rebel is not as durable as the prosumer cameras, so consider the Canon 30D. They use the same basic technology, and the 30D is a better camera. If the extra money is too much, the Rebel will do fine. Both options have preset user settings that would act similar to a P&S camera. This would allow you to comfortably learn and use the creative modes. Reading "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson will also make the creative modes less daunting.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2007 9:22:53 PM PST
In my opinion, the Rebel XT or XTi would be perfect for a beginner. Digital SLR body has a life span of just a few short years, and the price continue to fall every month. So if you are just learning, there is no point in spending twice as much for the Canon 30D. Apply the money you save towards a good (but not too expensive) zoom lens. I would recommend the EF-S 17-85mm IS lens.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2007 9:43:04 PM PST
C. Lancaster says:
So can I ask does the Canon XTI have a zoom built in? Or do you only get this with a certain lens? Sorry if this is a stupid question. I am trying to learn what I want to achieve here. Great pictures!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2007 12:12:29 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 3, 2007 12:19:11 AM PST
LT Beasimer says:
Digital SLRs like the Canon XTI, do not have built in zoom. By the very fact the camera is an SLR camera, there is no built in lens. You will need to purchase a lens with the zoom you require.

Also be aware that an EF-S lens will not work on all Canon SLR cameras. There is nothing wrong with an EF-S lens, but you should be aware. The suggested EF-S 17-85mm IS lens would make a decent walk-about lens. It may not have the zoom you are looking for though. It all depends on how you intend to use your camera. Visit Canon's website and review the lens section. You will get a better understanding of what lenses are available and how they would fit into your requirements.

NLee seems to have given some misinformation. Digital SLR body has more than a life span of just a few short years. Each camera is rated with a shutter life expectancy. A pro may need shutter replacements yearly, while a hobbyist may go for many years before this need arises. When it does happen one gets it fixed for a couple hundred bucks and keeps shooting. It is not uncommon, but not necessary to replace ones camera with every new model that hits the shelves. DLSR cameras continue to work long after the model has been retired. It is also true that the prices fall, but not that greatly. Price drops mostly occur when a model has been replaced with a newer one.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2007 6:16:29 AM PST
C. Lancaster says:
I am so torn between which SLR to get. I was reading about the Nikon D40 on Consumer Reports. Do you or does anyone have an opinon on the Nikon vs Rebel? I like that the Nikon has the zoom already and I can start taking pictures of my kids etc and not use the kit lens that I am reading about on the XTI that everyone says is bad. But then I keep thinking that that XTI is the best and that is what I want. Meanwhile time is passing and I need to take pictures :). Thanks for those who have given my input thus far!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2007 9:49:24 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 3, 2007 10:44:36 AM PST
Jason P. says:
There are millions of reviews comparing the Nikon vs. Canon online, and the differences generally come down to brand preference -- people get religion when it comes to camera brand loyalty, so you're unlikely to ever get a balanced opinion when asking which is better. They are both fantastic cameras and quality brands.

Also, don't say "the Nikon has the zoom already" -- it doesn't, the lens that's frequently sold with the body does. "Zoom" is something that happens in each individual lens (or doesn't happen) depending on the optical capabilities of that individual lens -- "Zoom" doesn't happen on the camera body, which contains the camera's sensor and microprocessors. When you say "Nikon D40" or "Cannon Rebel XTi" you're talking about the body of the camera only, although these bodies are frequently sold with kit lenses that can "Zoom".

I didn't buy the kit lens when I bought my Rebel XTi -- I bought the body only and picked-up a zoom lens separately (EF 28-105) that's much higher quality and much more versatile than the kit lens. There are dozens of good lenses you could choose to pair with the camera body at all difference price points.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2007 10:51:14 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 3, 2007 11:10:49 AM PST
L. T. Beasimer says: "NLee seems to have given some misinformation. Digital SLR body has more than a life span of just a few short years. "

I don't mean the DSLR body will break down after a few year. Just that it effectively becomes obsolete. Newer models are coming out with more features, higher resolution, faster speed, longer battery life, etc... at a lower cost. Furthermore, even if the mechanical shutter is good for 10 years, the electronic parts could (and often do) fail pre-maturely. The cost of repairing an old DLSR is often close to the cost of a new replacement model. So for a beginner, there is really no need to pay top dollars to get something that will be replaced in 3 years.

Let's see a show of hands here: How many people are still using DSLR bodies bought in 2004 or earlier?

BTW, this is not a debate. We are all adding our opinions to help some newbie. So you don't have to mark someone else's post as "Not adding to the discussion" just because you disagree with his opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2007 9:41:36 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 3, 2007 9:48:21 PM PST
RealBuyer says:
I have a was the first DSLR I bought..

Words of advice....GET THE D40! It is exceptional for its size, price and quality of photo's (the 6 megapixel sensor is great and 6 MP's are more than enough). The lens the D40 comes with is outstanding. You really don't need anything else. Don't even get the D40x because it isn't as good as the D40. The D40 is twice as sensitive to light as the D40x because it defaults to ISO 200 which means better photo's!

If you don't know much about DSLR's, just think about light sensitivity, lens quality etc. The 18-55mm (wide angle + zoom) lens the Nikon comes with is really exceptional. I was blown away by the quality for such a low price ($479 at

I tried the Canon Rebel also and was unimpressed.

Just try a D40, you won't regret it. You should also purchase a SB-400 speedlight for the bounce flash feature for indoor photo's. The direct flash on board any DSLR makes indoor photo's look blah.

Check out for a great review of the D40. He really explains why the D40 is such a great camera. You won't be torn after you read =)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2007 8:48:53 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 4, 2007 9:37:17 AM PST
C. Lancaster says:
Thanks for the tip on the D40. I just went and bought it last night. If I don't like it I may return it. My lack of experience is causing me trouble with the flash. So the built in flash is not for indoor use? Just the burst of bright light on the photos cause them to look poor. Any tips for that. I need to do a lot of reading I think :). Also my pictures are blurry. Not sure why. Thanks for the advice! I really appreciate it.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2007 11:34:37 AM PST
Your first decision should be how much you can afford. Decide on a dollar figure at the beginning and then look for specific models. The good news is that there are plenty of sources of equipment reviews and other information. Here are several:

I have had good experience with all of the above. Many of these sites offer good used equipment. Also, 35mm is not dead. Consider getting a good 35mm body that accepts the same lenses, flashes and other accessories as your digital SLR.
Good hunting and good shooting!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2007 8:01:54 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 5, 2007 8:12:20 AM PST
The built-in flash on any DSLR is pretty much useless. It is better than nothing when you need some extra light indoor, but the photos typically come out with harsh lighting and uneven exposure.

As a newbie you are probably shooting flash photo in AUTO mode. Stop that! Learn to use 'Av' mode and you can produce indoor photos with more even exposure.

If all your indoor photos come out blurry, it is most likely because the exposure time is too long, and hence camera shake becomes a problem. Your should try to reduce exposure time, or reduce camera shake. Here are somethings you can do:

1. Stop drinking so your hands won't shake so much.
2. Set the 'film speed' of your DSLR to ISO=800 when taking indoor shots. This shortens the exposure time.
3. Use a tripod, or place the camera on something, or just lean against the wall.
4. Get a lens with 'Image Stabilization' or 'Vibration Reduction' function.
5. Get an external flash unit to provide more powerful and even lighting.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2007 9:00:54 AM PST
C. Lancaster says:
Okay so here is my last question (I promise). Why is when I try to zoom and look in the lens at the max zoom everything is blurry? I changed to ISO 800 that helped a lot! Thanks for that tip.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2007 10:02:22 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 5, 2007 12:50:29 PM PST
"Why is when I try to zoom and look in the lens at the max zoom everything is blurry?"

At maximum zoom, your lens' aperature is smaller (5.6) than when it is at minimum zoom (3.5), so the exposure time is about 2.5x longer.
(Smaller apperature number actually means larger openning, which allows more light to go through)

The other possibility is that your lens is unable to focus too close when it is at maximum zoom.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2008 9:17:02 PM PST
jmg says:
what does slr mean

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2008 6:59:36 AM PST
C. Lancaster says:
The term digital SLR is short for digital single lens reflex, so named because these types of cameras use a mirror positioned behind the camera lens to direct light toward the viewfinder when you're composing a photo. When you release the shutter, the mirror swings quickly out of the way, letting light from the lens travel straight to the sensor and momentarily blacking out the viewfinder. The viewfinder in an SLR incorporates a prism--usually a pentaprism--that flips the incoming image around so that you can see it right side up and bounces it onto the focusing screen where you see it.

The SLR design allows one camera to accommodate a very wide range of lens focal lengths, and that's the biggest reason that SLRs dominate serious photography. The explanation? With a non-SLR camera, you have to match the angle of view of the "taking" lens with that of the "viewing" lens. That's easy with a fixed lens or a short-range zoom, but it requires increasingly complex and expensive viewfinder mechanisms as you try to cover a wider range of focal lengths. With an SLR, you avoid this problem because the taking and viewing lens are one and the same.
Source ""

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2008 9:12:49 AM PST
G. Richards says:
Just to stir the pot, for those sitting on the fence between the Nikon and Canon, here's a third option: Sony A200 (Feb.). On paper it looks very interesting and includes image stabilization!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2008 9:42:44 AM PST
R. Weinstock says:
Nonsense about the built in flash. It has limitations. I find on my Canon 10D, I use the manual controls so that I don't overexpose. There is also a device that diffuses the built in flash.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2008 9:45:20 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 3, 2008 9:46:02 AM PST
R. Weinstock says:
Actually there are plenty of choices. The Olympus e-510 with built in image stabilization and the two zoom kit (equivalent to 28 to 300 for a 35 mm camera) for under $800 (maybe $700) is a good choice though limited lens selection. The two new Sony A-300 and 350 and the Pentax all have much to recommend them. Canon and Nikon probably have the most in terms of lens choices.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2008 9:51:01 AM PST
R. Weinstock says:
Hi Hoe. And you can turn to other sites for reviews of the Canons that show why it is a great camera. Why were you unimpressed by the Rebel. Too small for your hands. Rebels and the other Canon cameras were state of the art as far as low light capability and other matters until the most recent Nikon cameras D300 and D3), and if you look at the website you will see that the are quite ready to acknowledge how Nikon has surpassed Canon now. By the way, the understanding is that the new kit lens for the new Canon Rebel Xsi is much better than the previous kit lenses.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2008 3:11:05 PM PST
Karolynliz says:
Does anyone have any advise for a newbee torn between a canon rebel xti (or waiting for the new xsi) or the olympus e510. I have visited two local camera shops, one reccomends the canon because the imiage stabilization is in the lens, the other favors the olympus becaus the IS is in the body. Who is right? does it even matter? Please help.. Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2008 6:21:22 PM PST
Jeff Beale says:
I will be buying the XSI. I like you have been torn.. literally tearing myself in two trying to debate the camera question. I like the Olympus, but it's shots per second are way down if you are clicking of pics of the kids playing. Ultimately I ruled it out because I could not upgrade the lenses down the road. As has been discussed here, new technology upgrades these cameras farely frequently. I am going to invest in canon because the lenses should follow from camera to camera. And I will take the xsi for the 12.2 mp and the bonus of being able to use a variety of sd & sdhc memory cards. for the $300 and a IS lens I think it is a no brainer

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2008 7:31:52 AM PST
R. Weinstock says:
The Olympus E-510 with two lenses is a remarkable value and built in image stablilization certain is valuable as it makes purchasing lenses very affordable. The four-third systems, which also includes Panasonic DSLRs, have far less lense choices available than with other systems such as Canon and Nikon (and lets not forget Pentax and Sony). The two lenses will not be suitable for all situations (such as low light concert or indoor photography) but will be a fine general system for the average person. I say this as someone who has a Canon system with lenses.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2008 7:12:01 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 26, 2008 7:12:23 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2008 9:47:40 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 9, 2008 9:48:39 AM PDT
Martin Hogan says:
Wait for the new Canon XSi to be released. For sensor/image quality; it will quickly become the best buy in the consumer DSLR market.

Olympus makes a killer and affordable line of DSLR's, but their good glass is very expensive. They have a budget line of "kit" oriented lenses but they are not sharp throughout the image--lots of barreling, softness on the edges, distortion, etc.; more than one could be happy with. Make sure you would be happy shooting in their four-thirds system too; kinda awkward if you are used to 35mm.

The Pentax K20D is a stellar camera, but it breaches the $1200 mark. Pentax's DA limited lenses are very nice too!
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Discussion in:  Digital SLR forum
Participants:  13
Total posts:  25
Initial post:  Dec 1, 2007
Latest post:  Mar 9, 2008

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