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View Full Version : Looking for an entry-level SLR (Rebel XS/100D?)


Wyatt
2009-09-19, 13:54
My wife and I have decided we want to buy an entry-level D-SLR. She wants something that has good auto modes, since she's never had an SLR before. She's a little intimidated by the idea of manual modes. I like auto modes, but I want to have some more control over the camera, so I want a manual mode that's easy to manipulate.

She mostly wants to be able to take nicer pictures of our daughter and our dogs. I'd like to do that too, but I also enjoy taking pictures of scenery and architecture when I travel (2-4 times a year, probably more in the near future). I'd also like something we can grow with and add more lenses in the future.

A few weeks ago, we were at Wal-Mart (yeah, I know) and I played with the Canon Rebel XS (1000D in Europe) for a little while. I was impressed with how easy it was to manipulate. I thought the $599 they wanted was reasonable, and it seemed like a good camera for my wife to get her feet wet with. Plus, her dad has a Canon (50D I think), and I'm fairly certain I could use his 55-200mm lens with this camera if I wanted to.

Fast forward to today, and the camera's just $509 at Amazon. Factor in the lack of sales tax, and I think I can talk her into letting me buy a basic 50mm lens to go with it. :p

So this is what we're leaning toward: This camera (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-XS-Digital-18-55mm-Black/dp/B001CBKJGG/) and (if I get my way) this lens (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Autofocus-Warranty-Filters-Accessory/dp/B000JK0HRC/). I know the lens isn't high end by any means, but I would like to have a fixed lens to shoot with. I've never shot with a fixed length on an SLR, so I'm interested to see how it impacts my approach.

Here comes the question part. Is there a better option for us in this price range? Also, what else do we need to add? I know we'll want another battery, a bag and a UV filter for the kit lens, but what other things should I be thinking about?

torifile
2009-09-19, 14:46
I don't think you'll need another battery. The batteries in the dslrs last forever. Check www.steves-digicams.com/ for some nice comparisons. The battery in the XS is rated for 600 shots. I don't know about you, but that's a couple of weeks of shooting for us.

As far as "easy" use - it's all relative, I suppose. I've never found the dslr to be an easy camera just to pick up and use without knowing what you're doing. The XS looks like it's a good entry-level camera, though. The thing that I'm currently most in love with on my 40d is the continuous shooting. I've got a really active son and if I had to rely on just one or 2 shots and hope to get the "best" one, I'd be sorely disappointed much of the time. I just hold the shutter button down and it'll just go. It's wonderful. :)

The XS has 1.5 fps upto 5 at a time in RAW (which you should use). I don't know if that's enough not to get frustrated at just missing the shot. In my opinion, you ought to look at a used 40d in that price range. It's more than you want to spend, but you'll grow into it nicely. And it's just as "easy" to use as any of the lower level cameras.

Oh, and if you're going to be shooting RAW, get a very large card. I've got an 8 gig card and it's really nice not to have to worry about running out of space.

Dorian Gray
2009-09-19, 15:37
I would agree with torifile that you shouldn't buy a second battery until you've used the camera for a while and feel the need. There's a good chance you won't due to the long battery life of these SLRs.

If you do an Amazon search for "Canon 50" the first link is that 50 mm lens for $100 - without the assorted detritus that comes with the one you posted. I'd go for that and choose a good filter later - again, only if you find yourself needing a filter.

The 40D is a better camera than the 1000D in some ways (mostly speed and build quality), but it's also vastly larger and heavier. You and your wife might find the XS quite big enough! In terms of image quality, the 40D and 1000D are practically identical (i.e. very good indeed).

At this price Nikon can't really compete unless your needs are pretty specific. I have a D60 (similar to today's D3000) but these cameras are slightly pricier and produce significantly noisier images at high ISO speeds (low light). However Nikon do have a unique lens that's better suited to crop-sensor cameras than the ubiquitous 50 mm lenses: the AF-S 35 mm f/1.8 DX Nikkor (http://www.nikonusa.com/Find-Your-Nikon/Product/Camera-Lenses/2183/AF-S-DX-NIKKOR-35mm-f%252F1.8G.html). We had a thread (http://forums.applenova.com/showthread.php?p=612806) about this lens. It's more expensive than a 50 mm f/1.8, though.

One camera you might want to consider is the upcoming Pentax K-x (http://www.pentaximaging.com/slr/K-x_Black/). This camera is going to be about $650 with the kit lens, but it offers a specification that's in a different league from entry-level Nikon and Canon models. The Sony CMOS sensor it uses defined the performance limits of crop-format sensors for over two years, it has Live View and High Definition video recording, and it can muster 4.7 frames per second in continuous shooting. That's amazing value for money - at least on paper! But by going that route you wouldn't be able to use your father-in-law's Canon lenses.

Swox
2009-09-19, 16:27
I second everything Torifile said, and I'd add that I wouldn't personally get the package you linked with the lens. The filters are likely garbage. That lens is actually capable of some pretty sharp shots, but if you put a bad filter on it, the quality will be pretty seriously compromised. I'd look at something from Hoya or B+W instead. A lens hood is definitely good too.

I'm sure you'd be happy with the XS too, I hear it's a pretty good camera, but the 40D (which we just bought used earlier this year) is just fantastic. It's got a bigger, brighter viewfinder, it's tougher, I love the grip, it has a better focusing mechanism, a second control wheel, and higher fps. It really is a joy to use, if you've got the extra bucks for it.

Wyatt
2009-09-19, 20:04
I don't think you'll need another battery. The batteries in the dslrs last forever. Check www.steves-digicams.com/ for some nice comparisons. The battery in the XS is rated for 600 shots. I don't know about you, but that's a couple of weeks of shooting for us.

I've never heard of that site before, but that's a number I've been looking for. It sounds like I dont need to spend the extra money.

The XS has 1.5 fps upto 5 at a time in RAW (which you should use). I don't know if that's enough not to get frustrated at just missing the shot. In my opinion, you ought to look at a used 40d in that price range. It's more than you want to spend, but you'll grow into it nicely. And it's just as "easy" to use as any of the lower level cameras.

The 40D is a great camera. I'd love to be able to do that, but I can't afford a new one, and neither of us want to spend that much money on a used camera. I *might* be willing to go refurbished, but my wife definitely isn't. :\

The continuous shooting on the XS is a little slow, but I honestly might just switch to JPEG if I'm doing that a lot. For more artistic shots, I'll want to shoot RAW, but if I'm desperate to just get a shot, I might be willing to compromise.

The 40D is a better camera than the 1000D in some ways (mostly speed and build quality), but it's also vastly larger and heavier. You and your wife might find the XS quite big enough! In terms of image quality, the 40D and 1000D are practically identical (i.e. very good indeed).

Yeah, I think the size difference would be a big problem, especially for my wife. I carried around a borrowed D50 for much of my last two years of college, but I don't want to have to carry something that big if I don't want to.

I did really like the D50, and I almost bought a D40 a couple years ago, but I've never used anything as easy as the 1000D before. Seriously, in less than a minute I knew where all the controls were, and that's a huge plus for me.

One camera you might want to consider is the upcoming Pentax K-x (http://www.pentaximaging.com/slr/K-x_Black/). This camera is going to be about $650 with the kit lens, but it offers a specification that's in a different league from entry-level Nikon and Canon models. The Sony CMOS sensor it uses defined the performance limits of crop-format sensors for over two years, it has Live View and High Definition video recording, and it can muster 4.7 frames per second in continuous shooting. That's amazing value for money - at least on paper! But by going that route you wouldn't be able to use your father-in-law's Canon lenses.

That's probably the second place camera for me right now. It's very impressive. Video isn't an important feature for me, though, and I feel like I'd be paying extra for that. We did just spend $350 on a pretty nice Sony Handicam this summer that we both really like. I doubt we'd want to forego good pictures just to take HD video when we have a nice SD video camera. Our crummy old point and shoot still camera wouldn't really justify it for me. :p

Plus, $650 for the body and kit lens is more than I'm looking at for the kit and 50mm with the Canon. If other lenses turned out to be cheaper, though, it might be the cheaper option in the long run, at which point the video might actually put it over the top. And the red one looks hilariously awesome. :D

Then again, I don't care about live view, but the Mrs. might like to have it. She's never said anything about it being important, though.

I second everything Torifile said, and I'd add that I wouldn't personally get the package you linked with the lens. The filters are likely garbage. That lens is actually capable of some pretty sharp shots, but if you put a bad filter on it, the quality will be pretty seriously compromised. I'd look at something from Hoya or B+W instead. A lens hood is definitely good too.

I hadn't thought about the filters degrading quality at all. I'll definitely skip the bundle, then, and maybe pick up a hood instead. Is there something specific I should be looking at in a hood, or is every hood basically the same?

Swox
2009-09-19, 20:20
I've only ever had to buy a hood once, and I happened to have found the Canon branded one, so I don't have much advice in that area. I guess I'd just look for some customer reviews if you're going to go third party.

I got my 40D used from Henry's here in Toronto. They gave me a three year warrantee with it for about $900 CAD after taxes (13%), which is pretty sweet. The ship to the US, too. If you can find a reputable store like them who will offer you a nice warrantee like that, I wouldn't hesitate to go used on a body, personally (obviously ;) ).

Wyatt
2009-09-19, 20:36
Yeah, I think I'd probably end up with a Canon hood unless somebody here points out a better option. :)

So far, you guys have pretty much reinforced what we were already thinking. We talked through all your responses, and we're leaning even more toward the XS now.

So what about bags? I'd need room for the body and both lenses, of course, but I'd also like one that I can carry one of our MacBooks in. If there was a place to put the Handicam and its charger, that would be awesome. We could just keep that bag packed and take it with us when we want to carry one of the cameras. I've used Lowepro bags in the past, but I don't know that I'm stuck on using them.

[edit] Of course, I'd love if it was something I could get at Amazon to support teh Nova. :)

PB PM
2009-09-21, 18:20
Looks like a good kit. There are a lot of choices with camera bags, and it really depends on what kind of bag you are looking for. Do you want a shoulder bag, or backpack? If you want to carry your notebook, then a backpack is most likely the best option. Lowepro, Crumper, Kata and Thinktank all have great choices in the range you are looking at.

turtle
2009-09-21, 23:15
I love my 5 Million Dollar Home by Crumpler. I'll post a pick of it in the Camera pic thread. It works great though for sure. I don't keep my flash in there. I do keep my body, kit lens, 300mm and 100mm in there all the time though.

Wyatt
2009-09-23, 05:25
I love my 5 Million Dollar Home by Crumpler. I'll post a pick of it in the Camera pic thread. It works great though for sure. I don't keep my flash in there. I do keep my body, kit lens, 300mm and 100mm in there all the time though.
Is there a similar bag from them with room for a laptop for under $100? I ask because I found this bag at Best Buy last week for $80 bucks and thought it was a good deal. For $67 w/ free shipping and no tax at Amazon, it's a steal:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EY5R8C/ref=noref?ie=UTF8&s=photo

It's the Lowepro CompuDaypack. There's definitely enough room for everything we want to carry in there. I'm partial to Lowepro bags, like I said before, so there's that to consider too.

I do like Crumpler's style, though. I've never used one of their bags, but the one you posted in the camera pic thread looked pretty nice. If only it had room for a laptop...

So yeah, I either want a messenger bag (I know, it's rare in camera bags) or a backpack, under $100, with room for everything I've mentioned here for the camera, plus our 13" MacBook and our little video camera. The CompuDaypack definitely pulls that off, but I'm trying to not get too fixated on one bag.

We're waiting to buy anything until we have the bills paid off for our daughter being born, and the first of them came yesterday. As long as there aren't any surprise expenses, we're doing this. I'm hoping to have it ordered by the first week of November or so, so that we have it by Thanksgiving.

turtle
2009-09-23, 06:15
I don't know if there is a version that has a computer compartment. I we got this when I was heading to DC for vacation and knew my huge Canon bag would be too much to carry all the time.

The only drawback I see to the Lowepro is you can't keep a full size lens attached while storing the camera. It also isn't easy to get to for lens change out. If you're using it to hold everything for a trip but not easy access then it would be great.

Wyatt
2009-09-23, 07:09
The only drawback I see to the Lowepro is you can't keep a full size lens attached while storing the camera. It also isn't easy to get to for lens change out. If you're using it to hold everything for a trip but not easy access then it would be great.

Those are both good points. I guess I'll need to find out how big a lens I can leave attached. I think the biggest I'd ever have would be a 75-300mm, but that would be pretty long. I don't see myself changing lenses very frequently, so access isn't a big deal to me right now.

I guess the purpose of this bag really is for travel. It's more about having one bag I can keep everything in when we travel out of town. We don't travel a ton (maybe 15 times a year, and it's mostly weekend trips), but it's a lot easier if I just have one geek bag, which I think needs to be a consideration since we have a baby and two dogs to squeeze into the car too. :) If I find myself getting annoyed by the access problem, I could always buy a second bag to pack away in my suitcase for use once I get where I'm going. :p

Speaking of lenses, I have a bit of a conundrum. At one point, my wife said I could spend up to $1000 on the whole kit. Assuming I buy this camera and bag, with an 8 GB SD card, that puts me around $600. Assuming she's still okay with that budget once we pay hospital bills, I have a choice to make on lenses.

Option 1 is to just buy this lens: http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Standard-Medium-Telephoto-Cameras/dp/B00009XVCZ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1253707307&sr=8-1 That's the Canon 50mm 1.4. It's a fantastic lens, and I know it's more durable than the 1.8. But...

Option 2 is to buy the 50mm 1.8 plus this: http://www.amazon.com/Tamron-75-300mm-4-0-5-6-Digital-Cameras/dp/B00005V8R8/ref=acc_glance_foto_ai_113_3_tit A Tamron 75-300mm 4.0-5.6. The reviews suggest it's pretty good, but I might have to focus manually a lot. This ends up being almost $175 cheaper, but I'm concerned about the durability of both lenses.

Here's the link to the 50mm 1.8: http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Standard-Medium-Telephoto-Cameras/dp/B00009XVCZ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1253707307&sr=8-1

Since I think I'm likely to use the 50mm pretty much all the time, I'm leaning toward option 1. I'd hate to buy the 1.8 and have it break down after a year. Which option would you guys pick, given these two options? Is there a better way to use the rest of my budget?

PB PM
2009-09-23, 10:42
I wouldn't worry too much about the durability of the 50mm 1.8 MkII. As for the Tamron, you'll find it extremely challenging to manual focus that lens in the small viewfinder of the XS, especially on the long end. If you want a teleophoto lens, wait till you can get something that will work with your camera or get the Canon 55-200mm IS. You might also consider just sticking with the 18-55mm IS and the 50mm 1.8 MkII to start and see if you even need something longer than that. I say that because the resale value of those low end kit zooms/Tamron telephoto zooms is almost non-existent, and if you don't use it, you'd either loose a lot on resale or be stuck with it.

Kyros
2009-09-23, 11:19
Actually, I'd start out with just the kit, no extra lenses. After learning a bit you should be able to tell pretty quickly what type of lens you want next. There's no point in getting a 50/1.8 if you find out that you don't shoot in low light very often. As for the quality of the lens, I can't say much, since I've never used Canon, but the general consensus seems to be that optically, any first party lens is effectively flawless for general shooting.

That being said, if you know you will shoot in low light and you feel you can afford the 50/1.4 I would just go ahead and get it. The thing about lenses is that they will last forever, unlike your camera body which will become outdated. A 50/1.8 won't fall apart, but you might end up finding that you want the extra light the 1.4 provides and you end up paying twice. Although, generally the used market for lenses is very good for sellers. On the nikon side, anyway, you can easily get 75% back even on 2+ year old kit lenses.

I'd also like to second that focusing manually on low-end DSLRs is a chore you probably would rather do without.

PB PM
2009-09-23, 12:08
Good points, Kyros.

Dorian Gray
2009-09-23, 13:04
Accurate manual focus on an XS cannot be done. It's that simple, I'm afraid. I have a Nikon D60 with a similar viewfinder, and I can't focus it accurately despite having a decade of manual-focus experience from a film SLR (Nikon FM2). The viewfinders in these DSLRs are too small and they don't show the effect of apertures larger than about f/4. So you're focusing an f/1.8 image (with next-to-no depth of field) in a small, dark viewfinder with the lens effectively stopped down to f/4. Nothing will be critically sharp except by luck.

A 50 mm lens is a viable single-lens option (though limiting) on a full-frame DSLR or film camera. But on crop-sensor cameras the lens is just too long (field of view too narrow) to be of much use as your only lens. It works well for portraits and landscapes and some other things, but not as a general-purpose lens. A 50 mm lens on your future Canon will have a field of view equivalent to an 80 mm lens on film, and that's nearly unusable indoors, for example (where you might hope to use a low-light lens).

AWR got a Canon 40D and a 50 mm f/1.4 lens a while ago. Perhaps he could let you know how he got on with that. My own thoughts are that you should know what 50 mm feels like on a crop-sensor DSLR before committing to the expensive f/1.4 version, at least.

PB PM
2009-09-23, 13:09
Yup, on a camera without a pentaprism viewfinder, I would not manual focus, period. Of course the XS does have liveview, which means you can accurately manual focus in that mode.

BuonRotto
2009-09-23, 13:53
I would always recommend an extra battery and a backup/extra storage card just in case something happens or you can't get to a point to recharge or whatever. They're small and relatively inexpensive.

I agree on the 50mm lens on the APS-C (1.5 crop factor) camera sensor. Does Canon make a 35 or 38 mm prime? Much more useful. A full frame 50 mm lens is almost indispensable. I missed having one until very recently, but 50mm on an APS-C body is too narrow for anything other than portrait or macro, and isn't of course a good tele.

Don't bother shooting RAW unless you like/are looking forward to doing a lot of post-processing. Shooting RAW in lieu of good JPEG output (though Canons usually do have good JPEG output, putting aside niggles about them being overly-smooth) isn't a good reason to shoot RAW IMO. If you want SLR quality but aren't planning on a lot of manual override, shooting mostly in subject modes and auto, just make sure you get good JPEGs from the camera. Ideally, you have enough memory to shoot RAW+JPEG.

More questions: when you travel, are you lugging all of this around? Are you hiking or biking or that sort of thing? What type of photograph or subject do you plan on using these lenses for?

Kyros
2009-09-23, 14:42
What type of photograph or subject do you plan on using these lenses for?

This really is the most important question, which is why I wouldn't buy an extra lens just yet. You probably won't really know what type of lens you want to buy until you have experienced the limitations of the kit lens. I guess the basic idea is that unless you can say exactly why you want a lens (and know why your current lens isn't good enough), you shouldn't buy that lens. Obviously you can buy a lens and discover that it was a great purchase, but you are much safer waiting.

This isn't to discourage you, though. Trust me, once you get into photography more seriously and start using manual modes, etc, you will probably find a new lens that you know will be useful to you on a weekly basis. :)

One more thing about manually focusing: one thing that's nice about it is that it will force you to think about your shots more. I was lucky, I bought a used D60 that the previous owner had outfitted with a split-screen viewfinder (there's 2 little semicircles in the middle and if the picture doesn't line up inside them, it's out of focus). It's an expensive upgrade that I probably wouldn't risk doing myself, but it is something to consider sometime down the line. It was really the only way I could use my dad's old lenses which don't autofocus with the D60.

Xaqtly
2009-09-23, 17:10
Yeah I bought the 75-300mm lens and found that I really don't use it much. But then I bought the 85mm 1.8, and I pretty much never take it off. I use the kit 18-55 if I need a macro shot or just a wider angle.

But then I just love shallow DoF. Personal preference. I love teh bokeh. I think the next lens I get will probably be a wide angle lens since I live in a place that lends itself to those kind of pictures, and I go to Utah on a semi regular basis which just begs to be photographed in wide angle. :D

I'm still a photography noob but I am learning what I like and how to take pics that come out how I like them to come out, even if they aren't always as sharp or composed as well as I'd like.

As mentioned, get a fast 8GB card and shoot in RAW. My only complaint with my Rebel XT is that it doesn't autofocus as well as I'd like a lot of the time. At F/1.8 that's kind of important. :) So I've been learning how to manually focus as well, still pretty bad at it but learning. Anyway with 8GB of storage and the stupidly long battery life these cameras have, I just take hundreds of shots without worrying about it.

The main progress I've made recently is remembering to change the ISO settings depending on the lighting. :D

Swox
2009-09-23, 18:08
I just started with the kit lens (18-50) with my RebelXT, and I really learned what I wanted from a few years of using that combo: a 40D, a Tamron 17-50, and a Canon 70-300 IS. The only thing I'd like to add is something for low light, but that's not likely to happen for a year or more. I'd recommend doing the same, as others here have said.

On the subject of manual focusing with a Rebel: I can't imagine trying that, at least if I really needed to nail the shot. My XT was pretty awful at AF in even moderately low light, and that damn viewfinder was almost no help at all (I think my eyes are a bit further recessed in my head than the makers intended). The 40D is a dream in comparison.

turtle
2009-09-23, 18:12
The AF is my only real complaint with the XT too. I never really thought about what I didn't like in the camera until seeing it here which is pretty funny actually. :D

I really notice the AF issue with my 100mm Marco too. Less than great light sucks with making it work for sure.

For the bag, from what I can see, you won't be able to keep much more than a kit lens for 50mm'ish prime on there while in the bag. The sketches don't snow much clearance since this camera faces down with that layout. Personally, I'd be to concerned about the weight of all my crap on the camera and lenses. But, Lowepro doesn't make crap so I'm sure they've got some extra padding and such to minimize it being a problem.

BuonRotto
2009-09-23, 18:13
I was lucky, I bought a used D60 that the previous owner had outfitted with a split-screen viewfinder (there's 2 little semicircles in the middle and if the picture doesn't line up inside them, it's out of focus). It's an expensive upgrade that I probably wouldn't risk doing myself, but it is something to consider sometime down the line.

I would LOVE this on my camera! It's the one thing I absolutely miss to death from my old film Nikon. In that case, it was a lovely small center circle with the same "split screen" effect within the circle -- when the image in the upper semicircle lined up with the lower semicircle, you had focus. Also, it had a grain ring around that where once the image was in focus, the grain disappeared. I miss that viewfinder! *sigh*

[ADDED]
Ok, did a bunch of googling, and found that at least two companies make these things:

http://haodascreen.com/sifs.aspx
http://www.katzeyeoptics.com

It sounds like these screens may only be good at very open apertures though. I've read in a couple of places that they start to black out over f5.6, or for the higher end ones, around f11. I'll do some more homework. Since none of them say they make these for the Oly e620, I'll bide my time.

Follow up: apparently the Katz Eye products work fine and are more rigorously tested than others. Nikon actually OKs the use of their screens in their dSLRs. The ring tends to disappear at amall aperture sizes since not enough light reaches the screen to illuminate the prisms, but it doesn't create a black dot in your viewfinder.
[DONE ADDING]

This is essential for manual focus with the viewfinder. You simply cannot see DOFeven with preview well above a certain threshold in dSLRs. Live View with zoom helps but it's more arduous.

Actually, I would say that manual focus and having a fixed prime or two make you think about composition a lot. Having to walk around to find the best vantage point for your subject (if you have the luxury) helps you practice good composition, where I think I got lazy with only a zoom lens.

I change ISO as sparingly as possible and keep it as low as I can stand. Only when I go below the acceptable hand-held shutter speed threshold (rule of thumb is 1/[the focal length] though IS/VR and other factors like macro use weigh in) or if I am trying to capture high speed objects, do I go up.

Does the Xt allow manual override/manual assist for focusing, or is it all or nothing?

I agree with Kyros: try out the kit lenses and you'll either start to find their faults to the point it drives you nuts and/or you find you prefer to shoot certain subjects that lend themselves to certain kinds of lenses. You'll also have a better idea of what a lens is worth to you when you find out how often you *really* bring your SLR along with you.

turtle
2009-09-23, 18:45
...
Does the Xt allow manual override/manual assist for focusing, or is it all or nothing?
...

All or nothing. :(

PB PM
2009-09-23, 18:46
I thought about getting a split screen for my viewfinder a few times, but I find that the green dot (Nikon DSLRs have this) also tells you if you are in focus. The problem with the split screen is that it can affect auto focus if it is not installed correctly, as the AF sensor is linked to the mirror system.

BuonRotto
2009-09-24, 08:23
Does the Nikon green dot work on manual focus too?

Yeah, you have to be careful about the viewfinder. I actually spoke directly with Rachael Katz of the Katz Eye company. They do a bunch of testing on each camera and have to avoid any AF and/or metering issues with their focus screens. They have a guarantee for their stuff. Unfortunately, they don't have a focus screen for the e620 yet, and their R&D is bare bones right now since business is so off. There are anecdotes out there that Nikon is OK with their focus screens, though I'm not sure if it still voids the warranty in that case.

Kyros
2009-09-24, 12:51
Does the Nikon green dot work on manual focus too?

Yes it does. It can be somewhat unreliable , though, if your scene has many objects at a similar distance (but not close enough to be in focus together at wide apertures), like if you are trying to catch a butterfly on a flower for instance. It is much better than just eyeballing, though.

PB PM
2009-09-24, 14:20
Yeah the green dot on Nikon DSLRs represents the electric range finder and works with all lenses that have a maximum aperture of F5.6 or larger. It is more reliable on the higher end models that have pentaprisms, its spot on with my D300 when I use my manual focus lenses. Of course the large viewfinder does give a lot more light than the D60, which helps a lot!

Kyros
2009-09-25, 14:25
Looks like you should wait if the 1000D is your choice, apparently a 1500D is coming soon:

http://photorumors.com/2009/09/24/the-canon-rebel-1500dt1-coming-soon/

Wyatt
2009-09-25, 15:00
Looks like you should wait if the 1000D is your choice, apparently a 1500D is coming soon:

http://photorumors.com/2009/09/24/the-canon-rebel-1500dt1-coming-soon/
Now that is very interesting. I wish I knew more about when to expect it. If the details there are correct - especially the faster continuous shooting - I definitely think we want to wait for that one. Even if it ends up costing a bit more, it sounds like the better choice for us.

Kyros
2009-09-25, 18:41
Now that is very interesting. I wish I knew more about when to expect it. If the details there are correct - especially the faster continuous shooting - I definitely think we want to wait for that one. Even if it ends up costing a bit more, it sounds like the better choice for us.

I'm guessing that it will be arriving in stores a good bit before christmas, like the article states. Low-end DSLRs thrive off of the Christmas season. If it were a professional camera, I wouldn't be as certain, but in this case I'd be surprised if it were later.

Still, camera bodies are rather like computers: wait if you can, buy if you can't. It will definitely be an improvement, but it will still be obsolete eventually, so if you have an awesome vacation lined up before christmas, I'd buy whatever's available a couple of weeks before it (a couple of weeks so you can get used to it a bit before the vacation itself). The shots you'd miss by not having a camera would heavily outweigh any improvements in the camera. Whether or not you'd wait in this situation would depend on how much you like any point and shoots you own, though.

Wyatt
2009-10-16, 14:56
So I noticed this morning that the XS dropped to $499 on Amazon. I just couldn't pass that up. I ordered it, along with an 8 GB SDHC card (class 6) and a UV filter. Now I just have to wait for shipping. :p

Even with the 1500D/T1 probably on the way, I feel like I made the right choice. I can't feel bad about getting an awesome camera for less than $500. I can't wait to start contributing to the photography threads in Creative Endeavors.

PB PM
2009-10-16, 16:56
Congrats, looking forward to seeing your photos! :)