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Thread: Newbie Gear Advice

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    Member Bloobeard's Avatar
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    Newbie Gear Advice

    I'm planning on dipping my toes into DSLR photography and am looking for advice:

    I think a Canon 500D is right for me: Entry level and some friends have Canons so there is opportunity for lens borrowing so the body is pretty much set. I have no specific plans on the types of things I want to photo other than my young family and general scenery around Hong Kong so what lens should I go for?

    Is the EOS-500D (Kit: EF-S 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 IS) at around $1370 good value? The dpreview for the lens is favourable.

    Or am I better off buying the body and pairing it with something faster but not as zoomy (is that a valid photography term?) for the same price like a Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 SP XR Di II LD ASL IF VC?
    www.the-digital-picture.com gives the non-VC version a good rap.

    Or do you have some other suggestions? What is going to enhance my joy and wonder the most!

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    I am new to dslr's myself so it would be good if you can tell us how much experience you have with photography.. what you like to photograph.. experience with film or point & shoot? things like this will help people to give the right advice. Trust me.. there's a lot of help here.
    cheers,
    ...Rex...


    CANON 450D, EF-S 18-55 IS, EF-S 55-250 IS

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    The general advice is to buy the best lens you can afford as this will last you many times longer then a body and to buy what feels best in your hands and what you feel comfortable using.

    I have had a couple of canons and was happy with them but each brands has good and bad points.

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    @KALBO
    Thanks Rex.
    23 years ago I handled an SLR for high-school photography class so terms like f-stop have a vague familiarity
    The past few years my camera has been a succession of phones (LG Renoir is the latest) for snapping whatever catches my eye. We have a Nikon P3 P&S as well which has been great.
    I have a 15 month old daughter who will probably be my main human subject for the next 17 years , other than that, day-to-day I see lots of interesting streetscapes in HK and we do get to travel a bit around SE asia. Eventually I would like to try tilt-shift photography (I am fascinated by the minaturisation illusion) but it seems to be a bit premature to shell out for a TS lens. I also admire HDR imagery but I'm getting ahead of myself.

    @pgphotographytas
    Cheers Paul, I'm down with that advice. I know that the 500D won't be forever and that lenses tend to last a lot longer. Does that wisdom also apply to the newer IS systems? It seems that the more moving parts a lens has the more likely something is to break. One of the main limiting factors is the WAF. I don't think that my first lens is allowed to cost more than the body I have to prove my worth as a photographer first!

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    The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday
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    Hi Bloobeard,
    good choice with the 500D. My first SLR was the venerable 400D, the 500D is even better plus you now have the added bonus of HD video!

    I would recommend the Tamron 17-50 lens. Whilst it doesn't have the long zoom capability it is the ideal range for portraits on the 500D (and good for landscapes). The big benefit though is the "fast" f2.8 aperture, that means it will allow you to blur the background (shallow depth of field) and make your portrait shots look pro It will also have better low light capability, giving you sharp hand held shots indoors etc. which is great for young children.

    Have fun...
    Cheers
    John

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    Ausphotography Veteran rwg717's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgbphotographytas View Post
    The general advice is to buy the best lens you can afford as this will last you many times longer then a body and to buy what feels best in your hands and what you feel comfortable using.

    I have had a couple of canons and was happy with them but each brands has good and bad points.
    This is pretty good advice, sadly most people (self included) tend to "chase" something better not long after buying a lens that seemed right at the time. Bit of research first is the best thing but I don't think there are many AP members who only have the one lens in their kit....get the bank balance ready
    Richard
    I've been wrong before!! Happy to have constructive criticism though.Gear used Canon 50D, 7D & 5DMkII plus expensive things hanging off their fronts and of course a "nifty fifty".

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    Ausphotography Regular David's Avatar
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    I was advised starting out new 2 years ago to get a Canon entry level camera that came with a couple of kit lenses and not spend more that 1000.00 for it so I got a 400D which came with an 18-55mm and 75-300mm kit lens kit.

    I was then advised not to spend another cent on camera or body gear for at least 1 year and learn about photography before I invest in 'real glass', ie more expensive lenses and a body upgrade.

    I took that advise and despite the fact that it was not long before I realised that there were much better lenses out there and my kit lenses as they call them were limited in their quality etc, most of the problem with my photography was not the lens or body but the person behind them both

    -After the first year Id learn't alot and did not need anyone to tell me what kind of lens to get for x photography or y photography- and having kept my promise to myself to not spend any more money on lenses or a body for the first, I upgraded with a informed perspective that matched up with my natural interest areas in photography and seeing what other togs used to get those kind of shots.

    I think an entry level Canon with one or two kit lenses attached to it UNDER 1,000.00 or not much above it would be a great way to start your adventure and learn about yourself and your photography basics like composition, exposure, DOF, etc BEFORE you get too far ahead of yourself - don't buy a Mazarati to go the corner shop for milk until you know how and why to change the gears-
    Comments and CC welcome..

    Gear: Canon 6D & 1Ds Cameras l Canon EF 17-40mm F 4.0 L USM l Canon EF 24-105mm F4.0 L IS USM l Canon EF 70 - 200 F4.0 L USM Lenses I Manfrotto Tripods I Adobe Photoshop CS6 l Lightroom 3.0 I Lee Filters



    "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust 1871 - 1922

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    Hmm.. a Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM has come up for $360. Decent price? Looks like a good walkaround lens.

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    Make sure you hold a 500d before purchase as they are small for large hands. Adding a battery grip can help with this and also help to balance heavier lenses (the 18-200 is quite heavy and will be somewhat unbalanced on this camera).

    The XXXD range of canon are great cameras but menus are more accessible on the the XXD range. Make sure you handle both and have a bit of a play with the menus to see which suits you better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloobeard View Post
    Hmm.. a Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM has come up for $360. Decent price? Looks like a good walkaround lens.
    If you're not after fast glass the 17-85 is a great walk around lens but the newer canon 15-85mm lens is much sharper and a bit wider (less likely to require a wide angle as soon). A review of this lens is on the following site - make sure you download the comparisons part way down this review as its a good resource for a few of these lenses and how they fair for image details. Throw in a nifty-fifty for some fast glass and you're good to go.

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...ns-Review.aspx

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    Quote Originally Posted by RamblinR View Post
    Make sure you hold a 500d before purchase as they are small for large hands.
    I've read this quite a bit around the place. I actually have smallish hands (but big feet!) so I think it will be okay.

    Make sure you handle both and have a bit of a play with the menus to see which suits you better.
    I have also considered the 50D and have looked closely at the feature comparisons. I'd like to have some sort of video recording capability so am leaning toward the 500D. I get what people are saying about the top menu, but being completely new to DSLRs I have the feeling that I won't miss what I've never had. I also know that the 550D is going to be better than the 500D but I have to be firm at this stage and avoid budget creep on the body and aim for better glass.

    Of course this is all subject to change

    Thanks for the tip on the lens.

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    Buy the body only then get the tammy.

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    Well, I changed my mind and did get the 550D after all along with the Tamron 17-50 VC, Loving it!

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    Goodonya Man after my own heart! The difference in price will be forgotten in a short space of time and what else would you have spent that money on anyway?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloobeard View Post
    Well, I changed my mind and did get the 550D after all along with the Tamron 17-50 VC, Loving it!
    Hi Bloobeard

    that's great that you got sorted out. May i ask where bought the camera from?
    i'm currently in the same boat and trying to learn from as much from AusPhotography as possible

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    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    I was advised starting out new 2 years ago to get a Canon entry level camera that came with a couple of kit lenses and not spend more that 1000.00 for it so I got a 400D which came with an 18-55mm and 75-300mm kit lens kit.....-
    I am in the EXACT same boat as David, although my 1 year is now getting close to 2.
    I am not in the position of having to ask which lens is best for me, I KNOW - just have to save a little bit more...
    Canon EOS 400D (aka. Rebel XTi / KISS Digital X)
    EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II (Kit lens)
    EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 II (Kit lens)
    EF 50mm f/1.8 II
    Kenko extension tubes

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    if you are in hong kong, this is a handy reference: http://ygdragon.net/photo/cameraprice.htm
    Thanks,
    Nam

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    As you are unsure of what you will want out of photography, my suggestion is taking your second option body only and the 17-50 is a great lens. The 500d is feature packed for its price, yes it has limitation but we all access menus and although it good having a topdeck screen and menu option this is not a deal breaker. Stay with that one lens and explore what you want to do.
    Do take the others suggestion try the size. regards

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