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Best digital SLA for novice

by zoenipp / March 5, 2007 1:52 AM PST

I own a nice Canon G5 digital camera but am looking to upgrade to a digital SLR so that I can take more professional pic's of my family and shoot my children's sporting events. I've been looking at the highly-rated Canon Rebel XT for a few years, waiting for the price to drop, and now my husband wants to buy me a camera for my birthday. I just finished looking at the CNET reviews and they don't recommend the XTi. I've checked online and I can still buy an XT with or without a lens. I can't afford their top recommendation, the Nikon D80. From reading reviews, I think I am better off buying the body only and purchasing lenses separately. What would be the best lens (please give brand and spec's) for a beginning SLR owner? I need a nice, general-purpose lens and also one that will shoot action/sports pic's? Any comments/suggestions regarding camera or lens selection would be appreciated.

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Digital Camera DSLR
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / March 5, 2007 12:59 PM PST

I often disagree with CNET reviews and rating system.
Owners of the XTi do too.

Here is a link:

The red stars are the rating of the camera owners.
Right under the red stars is a link to "owner's opinions".
Click the link and see what owners have to say about the XTi.


The kit lens that comes with the Rebel is an OK lens.
The image quality is about equal to the G5 that you have.

No one seems to agree which lens is the ideal starter lens.
But the cost will be somewhere between $400 and $600.

If that is more than you budget, you should start with the kit lens.

An alternative is the 50mm f1.8 (non zoom) lens.
The Rebel will see it as being 80mm.
That lens has been around for a long time and updated several times over the years.
It sells for about $80.
For low light situations it is the lens of choice.
80mm is just about perfect for portraits.
It is great for indoor basketball (under the lights).
I have seen many good action shots with this lens.
The focal length is just right if you are in the lower levels of the stands and near the basketball goal.

Before you start spending over $400 for a lens, you should read some reviews of lenses.

Here is a link for a sight in Europe that reviews lenses:

Two popular lenses for Canon DSLR cameras are:
.....Canon 17-55mm f2.8 (image stabilized)
.....Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 (not image stabilized).


...The lower the f-stop number, the brighter the lens and in the case of zoom lenses......the more expensive the lens.

i.e. - f1.8 is brighter that f4.5

A bright lens is better when shooting in low light situations, particularly action situations.

...All SLR lenses are marked with the focal lengths for a 35mm film camera.
The Rebel camera will see the lens differently, because its sensor is smaller that a 35mm film image.
A lens marked as 17-55mm will be seen by the Rebel as 27.2-88mm.
(use a multiplier of 1.6)


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Look like...
by jump1127 / March 6, 2007 4:30 PM PST

you either choose Canon or Nikon for your new DSLR. I really don't know how serious you'll take photography. I'd classify the 2 brands in the following categories:


Nikon D40, D50
Canon 350D ( rebel XT ), 400D ( Rebel XTi )


Nikon D70, D70s, and D80
Canon 20D, 30D


Nikon D100, D200, D2X, D2Xs
Canon 5D, 1D mark IIN, 1D mark III, 1Ds Mark II

Each Camera has different size of sensor which result in the different FOV ( field of view ). The more FOV , the narrower view the shot picture.

Most Nikon comes with 1.5 FOV ( or multiplier ). It will have the effect on the wide angle since you field-of-view become narrow than the lense, and some lenses can only be use to a specific camera only. For example, not every Nikon's lenses can be used on Nikon D40.

Most Canon comes with 1.6 FOV, except 1.3 FOV for 1 D markII N and 1 D mark III, and full 35-mm frame for 5D and 1Ds mark II.

For lenses, the focal length determine the use as following :

wide angle : 14-40 mm for landscape and architecture
normal lense : 50 mm for regular view size
portrait lense range : 50-135 mm
bird & nature shooting : 100-600 mm range
Macro shooting : such as 100 mm macro
and many more to choose.

Most people prefer zoom lenses, such as Canon EF 24-70, 70-200, and so on, despite the ease of use. Nevertheless, the quality also a trade-off. The fix focal lense, such as 50mm, 85mm, and 135mm, provide the superior quality picture outcome. Which lense is good for you, you must be the judge whether you love to choose outdoor, life, portrait, landscape, or macro more. Flash is also necessary when it comes to shooting under the dim light.

I personally suggest that you don't haste and purchase everything all at once. Find out what you need, and purchase them one at a time what you must firstly use your camera for.

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