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jaymevb

desiring some camera advice

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We are looking to spend about $400 on a DSLR and are leaning towards an XT, XTi, or 20D. The XTi has a bigger screen and 2 more megapixels but does anyone have a good reason to choose one over the others?

secondly, would it be better to buy the body only and buy a better lens (but still cheap, the wife has me on a budget)or just stick with the 18-55 they come with? we're mostly interested in outdoor shots such as scenery, wildlife, flowers, fishing, water sports etc with some weddings and portraits mixed in. I really like the shallow depth of field look if that helps too. basically, is there a better lens than the 18-55 for less than $100 for our uses?

i know you have to pay to play, but this is what we have to work with for now.

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You can read this recent post: http://www.fishingminnesota.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1755411/New_to_photography#Post1755411

Also, re: the 18-55, it depends on which one it is. If it has IS, I can attest to the fact that it's a good lens. It also has macro ability for flowers. The earlier ones weren't so good. As far as wildlife is concerned, you better plan on saving a lot more ching.

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The kit lens (18-55 non IS)that is usually packaged with an XT or XTI does not receive very favorable reviews. The newer lens (18-55 w/ IS) does have good reviews and I can add my own recommendation. It is currently the kit lens with a Canon XSI. I seldom even notice the Image Stabilization in my hobby use. This lens produces better, sharper pictures than the non-IS, older version.

The 18-55 IS lens on its own costs $120-140 from on-line sellers.

I don't think you'll notice the difference between 8 or 10 megapixels. If you can find an XT body and use the 18-55IS you'd have a very good combination and the cost should be close to the amount you stated. Good Luck.

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Jay, CFRay makes sense to me. It's the kind of thing I'd recommend myself. The glass is by far the more important thing here unless you need a very fast camera for sports or the like.

You can pick up an XT and 18-55 IS for starters and then save for a telephoto zoom for down the road. A good quality zoom like the Canon 70-300 IS will run you more than the body and 18-55 combined, but IMO it's worth saving a bit of money for a better quality lens than spending $150 right away for one that's slow to operate and doesn't deliver really good image quality.

Just my $.02.

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thanks for the advice, i wasn't sure if the image stabilization would make much of a difference on that small of a lens. i noticed that the fixed zoom lenses are pretty cheap even with low f's, how useful would a 50 f2.8 be?

is there a reason to choose a 20d over an XT?

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The 20D and XT sensors and image quality are virtually identical, so the differences are the speed of operation and burst rate and added features the 20D offers over the XT. The XT also is quite small compared with the 20D. I used the XT as a backup body for a couple years and ended up buying the battery grip for it, which makes the body larger and easier for me to handle. If you don't need those things, save money and go with the XT.

A 50mm f1.8 (the so-called Nifty Fifty or Plastic Fantastic) is very inexpensive and tack sharp. The 18-55 zoom is nice because you don't have to move yourself forward or back as often as if you have a fixed 50mm. The weakest point of the old 18-55 kit lens comes out in high contrast and backlit situations, which can look pretty harsh with that lens. It also wasn't the sharpest lens around. The 18-55 IS version is better.

IS at those focal lengths isn't very important to me. Some really like it. I've fooled around with IS wide angles but ended up not caring much one way or another. My current wide is the Canon 17-40 f4L, which is not stabilized, and I have great luck with it. But someone else may tell you they think wide angle IS is totally the cat's meow. It's really just an individual thing. The IS runs off battery power, so a person really needs a second battery just to be sure they don't run out at a crucial moment. That's true of any camera body, but is just a bit more important with IS adding to battery drain.

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The reasons the 18-55 IS lens gets much better reviews than the kit 18-55, is not because of the IS. When I bought this lens, IS wasn't a factor in my decision. It's just an all around higher quality lens with edge to edge sharpness and no vignetting or CA.

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