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      Members Only Fluid Forum View   08/08/2017

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eagle_3464

Beginners kit

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We have decided to get the Canon XSI but would like recommendations on accessories we will need to be fully equipped at a beginners level with this level of camera. How much difference between the 250mm IS and 300mm IS and how much extra are these differences worth? Whichever store we choose will be quite a distance so I don't want to be caught up with "oh now we need this or need that".

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Hey eagle, congrats on taking the plunge.

Must haves include one or two memory cards. I'd suggest 2 Gb cards, which will give you 4 Gb, and since it's in two cards if one fails you'll still be able to take pictures.

You'll want a good tripod for landscape shots or family shots using the camera's timer when you want to run around and get back into the picture.

You'll also want a spare battery, partly because IS uses batteries faster than non IS, partly so you again have a backup in case of battery failure. You can get them very inexpensively (and at top quality) from SterlingTek online.

You may find you want a flash, but that's probably something you won't know for sure until you use the camera for awhile. The on-camera popup flash works for a lot of things.

As for how much difference 50mm makes on the top end of a zoom, that really depends on your subjects. If you want to shoot outdoor sports and people having fun, 250mm will be plenty. It also should be enough for some nature photography. There are some types of nature shooting (wildlife and birds in particular), where that extra 50mm could make a difference.

So in the end, if you review what you think you'll be photographing, that will help you decide on which lens. They're both quite good. If that's the only lens you plan on buying, I'd go with the 50-250 so you have something approaching wide angle on the lower end for landscape and family shots.

You may want to pick up a UV filter to leave on the lens as a permanent protection against scratching and scuffing the lens' front element. Many do that, though I do not. If you do, be sure to pick a good brand like Hoya or B+W if they have one of those brands in the store. Putting a cheap filter in front of a good lens will cost you image quality.

On the computer side, you can buy a card reader instead of using the cable that comes with the camera. A card reader is WAY faster. Plugs into the USB or firewire port on your computer, and you plop in the memory card and start downloading. Saves a ton of time. Costs about $25 for a good one.

Good luck, and show us some of your stuff! gringrin

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