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Old 04-07-2010, 09:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm looking at the Canon EOS 550D as my starter SLR.

I've had great luck with my Canon P&S and have been using an SD1000 from release through today and love it, yet I also wish I could capture the clarity of an SLR along with depth-of-field without having to resort to Photoshop.

I'll probably pick up the kit and skip getting a lens as I agree with the reviewer in dpreviews:

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The unavoidable fact is that to get the most out of the 550D's sensor you really need to pair it with Canon's better lenses, which is a considerable investment. Arguably, this is academic for most enthusiast photographers, since most of the time digital images are either admired onscreen or in small (sub-A4) prints. Of course if this is how you primarily view your images (and if we're honest, for most of us it is), it could be argued that packing 18 million pixels is somewhat unnecessary in the first place
Agreed.

Plus for the most part I shoot at 1600x1200 (what is that? Two megapixles?) which is fine for 4x6 work, the web, and capturing the moment without taxing your HD space. The very few times I up the ante is when I'm capturing things like birthday parties or special events. Day to day stuff is fine at a lower resolution.

18 megapixes? I doubt I'll be shooting a lot of images at that resolution.

I have a friend who shoots everything in RAW max resolution.

To each his own.

I'm not a pro nor do I aspire to be one. I like the fact that the 550D shoots HD video, has great low-light capabilities, and is well rated.

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the bottom line here is that the EOS 550D offers excellent image quality in a range of different conditions, including exceptionally low light, thanks to its usable ISO 12800 setting. Image quality is equal or better than its predecessor the EOS 500D, and not noticeably inferior to the considerably more expensive EOS 7D. The 550D's video capability is excellent too...

With all this taken into account, it is hard not to recommend the EOS 550D. Quite simply, taken as a whole, it is the best camera of its class that we've ever seen, and one of those rare cameras that won't look out of date in a couple of years' time.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:00 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by william View Post
I'm looking at the Canon EOS 550D as my starter SLR.

yet I also wish I could capture the clarity of an SLR along with depth-of-field without having to resort to Photoshop.

I'll probably pick up the kit and skip getting a lens as I agree with the reviewer in dpreviews:
Day to day stuff is fine at a lower resolution.

18 megapixes? I doubt I'll be shooting a lot of images at that resolution.
That's an incredible camera. T2 is VERY sweet.

For shooting kids I might suggest you get the body only and stick with the $100 nifty 50mm. It's 1.8 aperture will let you get that fuzzed out BG look you crave. The kit lens 3.5-4.0 min aperture will never look that nice. A nifty 50mm for kids pix will look like you have a Time-Life photog following your family around!

And the tech in me cringes at not using max res at all times - shoot dual raw/jpg if you want quick jpgs to mail. Most photo pgm's will auto re-size down to 1600 for daily use. Hard drives are cheap - life is precious - shoot high res!
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The reason to buy an SLR is for lens choice and low sensor noise. Shooting at high ISO without a lot of sensor noise gives yo a couple stops so that you can have a reasonable shutter speed indoors without a flash. Typical P&S look bad at close inspection over ISO 200, most SLRs look pretty good at ISO 800 (giving you two stops you can apply to your shutter speed).

The "nifty 50" recommended above is decent, but keep in mind it's more like an 85mm on most Digital cams. 85mm is pretty tight for use indoors.

Read reviews on Pentax bodies. The image stabilization on them is in the sensor rather than the lens, and it could save you some cash in the long run.

Digital Camera Reviews & Info | Digital Camera Resource Page is a pretty good review site with some decent sample shots that can be viewed in full resolution.

Before you spend the money, think about what lenses you want and read reviews on amazon. The glass is more important than the body, will be with you longer than the body, and more expensive than the body. Just get a body that fits the glass that interests you.

On price, you're better off saving for a while than trying to nickel and dime it. If you gave yourself an $800 budget then find that you aren't satisfied with the kit lens, you just wasted $150 on a kit lens that just sits in a drawer. If you find that you really want $1200 in lenses that you'll use and a $600 body, it's money better spent. Be patient and buy what you really want and will use when you can afford it, rather than going cheap in haste.

You may also want to read up on the micro 4/3 cams coming out recently. They have many of the advantages of an SLR in a more compact body. If you've never used an SLR, you should probably consider whether you'll really lug around such a big heavy conspicuous cam. For similar money, a medium sized body may be more ideal.
Amazon.com: DMC-GF1
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Review | Digital Camera Resource Page
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