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 Post subject: Please HELP!!!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:35 am 
Hello to all,

I really need your help.

I always loved photography, I had until now a Canon Powershot A610 but I just got married and my first son is on its way so I want to buy my first reflex.

Even though I know Canon and Nikon have both great cameras, I decided to go for canon since I think the menus are much better (easier and faster access, the building quality also better especially on some of the lenses, and the built in focus motor).

I honestly was thinking in Buying a basic entry camera Canon 1100d, because from what I’ve read the difference between the pictures taken by any of the entry level cameras (1100d; 550d; d3100 or d5100) is not that great and I have serious doubts that I can take real use of the video function of these DSLRs that is another reason why I putted Nikon 3100d out of the way.

But when I started looking to the packs available in Portugal for the 1100d I got a little disappointed. I think canon is really making a big effort to separate their cameras from each other.

The only pack available with stabilized lens is with a 18-55, and what everyone tells me is that a 18-55 lens in very limited and that in a few moths I’ll be looking for another lens to work with and I’ll spend more money after ,then if I would buy a better pack now.

So I started looking for the body only and lens apart and I found a good deal for the 18-135 canon lens stabilized 349€ with the body only (399€+349€) 748€.

The real question comes now, there is also available a pack of the 550 with the same lens for 849€ with of course Full HD, more ISO, and a 1M dot screen, but does is it worth the extra effort?

So resuming I have four questions for you:

Do you think 18-55 lenses are really a poor lens to entry the SLR world and should I go for a all terrain 18-135?

Do you think the 550d is worth the extra 100€?

Does anyone with a 1100d or 550d can tell me if they actually use it for
filming (normal people please ;) no pros for this one)? Is it relatively easy to keep the children focused when they are running if you shoot with a closed aperture for example?

Please a really appreciate you help on this, it’s the first time a really look to DSLRs and I’m a bit lost.

All help is appreciated

Thanks

Ricardo


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:24 pm 
Ricardo,

Welcome to the forum.

I recently made the jump to DSLR. I purchased a 550D with the 18mm to 135mm kit lens.

I was looking at the 7D at one point but didnt buy it because it wouldn't fit in a reasonably sized pelicase.

The 550D is often described as a mini 7D. Same sensor, same processor (just one of them!) and similar video capabilities just in a plastic body.

With regard to video my take on it is that the video you can get out of a DSLR is outstanding but is no where near as user friendly as a dedicated camcorder. Video with a DSLR needs planning as the autofocus doesnt work well during shots and neither does the zoom. Sound can also be an issue.

I'm getting on well with my 18 to 135 lens. Its pretty good to keep on the camera most of the time, a good walkabout lens. It does everything ok.

Having a lens like this you'll find out what kind of focal length you like to use for the kind of photography you find your self doing. From this info you'll be able to decide a) if you need another lens and b) what focal lengths and speeds will be your priorities.

I'm a few month in and I'm starting to want more from my lens here and there. I'd love a small compact 18mm prime lens but cant find anything that fits the bill better than my kit lens atm. I've brought the dead cheap 50mm f1.8 to play with a fast prime and see how I get on with that.

550D with the 18 to 135 kit lens is a great camera opening up the DSLR world of possibilities. It won't limit you in any way, it has great resolution, high ISO performance, awesome video functionality and runs with the best of them in all the other areas DSLRs function well.

All depends on your budget I guess. You could spend more or you could spend less :P

Hope this helps

Ian


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:30 pm 
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Location: bit east of Melbourne
Hi there Welcome aboard.

Its a bit hard to answer all your questions, if you are likely to want to use video, the 550D would be worth it. In addition it offers other benefits that as you grow with your camera you are more likely appreciate. Its at a more mature pricepoint, its been out for a while. So in short I think its definitely worth it.

There is nothing wrong with the kit lenses, they are very good value and get you started and as you learn, you may understand what you want next a bit better. Out of the two I would pick the 18-135.

Then add something like a 50 1.8 /1.4 prime or 85 1.8 prime lens later for low light and portrait shots. I love the 85 outdoors when photographing the kids.

If budget allows the canon 15-85 or 17-55 canon IS USM is also an option and one day you may want to add a flash.

Tamron also make an excellent 17-50 lens, the non vc version, its shorter in range but a step up in low light and image performance.

_________________
Canon Powershot S95, Canon 6D,7D, Canon 40 2.8 STM, Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC, Canon 17-40 L, Canon 15-85, Canon 85 1.8, Sigma 30 1.4, 50mm 1.8, Canon 100 2.8L Macro, Canon 70-300L +Kenko 1.4 Pro 300DGX, Canon 430EX II and RS 4 Classic


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:46 pm 
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Posts: 822
Location: United Kingdom
ricardovfo wrote:
Do you think 18-55 lenses are really a poor lens to entry the SLR world and should I go for a all terrain 18-135?

I don't think the lens is a bad one. It's not hugely fast (AF speed and aperture), the images aren't always pin sharp and you do suffer some vignetting at the wide end but despite its shortcomings, it's a good lens to get you started though if you believe you'll need the great reach from the get-go, you can't go wrong with the 18-135mm.

ricardoyfo wrote:
Do you think the 550d is worth the extra 100€?

That is entirely down to you and depends on whether you'll make use of the 550D's benefits over the 1100D, not the least of which includes 1080p video recording, the 18MP count (handy for large prints) and the faster continuous shooting rate.

With my own money, however, I would take the 550D over the 1100D in a heartbeat, regardless of the price difference.


ricardoyfo wrote:
Does anyone with a 1100d or 550d can tell me if they actually use it for filming (normal people please no pros for this one)? Is it relatively easy to keep the children focused when they are running if you shoot with a closed aperture for example?

I agree with ianganderton that it's much easier to use a dedicated camcorder for recording video. If you don't intend on doing any editing, you may find the sound of the lens distracting (especially a non-USM system) with autofocus. It's also worth pointing out that AF is NOT full time on Canon's DSLRs - you'll need to depress the shutter button half way for the AF to work but it's not desperately quick. I'm not poo-pooing it but video recording with DSLRs is not a job for the faint-hearted, especially when the subject moves out of focus constantly.

ianganderton wrote:
The 550D is often described as a mini 7D. Same sensor, same processor (just one of them!) and similar video capabilities just in a plastic body.

I agree with you on most of that but the 7D and 550D don't quite use the same sensor. They have the same effective pixel count but the 7D's non-usable pixel count is slightly higher than that of the 550D.

_________________
DSLRs: Canon EOS 70D, 30D
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM


Last edited by Rorschach on Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:16 am
Posts: 237
Gordon directly compares the Canon 18-55mm IS to the Canon 18-135mm IS on the Canon 18-135mm verdict page:
Quote:
So don't upgrade to the EF-S 18-135mm IS expecting better image quality, or faster and quicker focusing. You will enjoy a small boost in build along with a polariser-friendly filter-mount, but it really boils down to the difference in range from a single lens.

If you really want something that's a noticeable upgrade from the basic kit lens, look for a 17-50 or 17-55 f2.8 lens. I would think a faster lens is especially suitable for photographing young children.

But we should ask at some point, what are your other photographic interests? Even if your son motivates the move to a DSLR, I assume you'll be photographing other things as well.

_________________
Body: Canon Rebel XS, Canon EOS 7D
Lenses: Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.0 OS HSM DC Macro, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS II, Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 USM, Canon EF 85mm f1.8 II USM


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 Post subject: Thank you all
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:23 pm 
First of all thank you for welcoming me and all the answers you gave.

Answering to theorigamist I like to do Landscapes, and portraits like faces that's why I'm thinking in this lens catching my family members without them knowing with spontaneous faces.

Regarding the video I imagine it will be more difficult then a dedicated camera, but will my wife be able to make a video with it?

I'm concerned specially for the first 18 to 24 months of the baby then I'll probably buy a Kodak of 150€ that also makes films in HD.

Regarding AF I'm not counting on using AF just manual focus. Is it difficult to keep people in focus in a low aperture? Within a 10m X 10m square like a room or a small garden?

Thank you all and please any new comment helps! :)

Ricardo


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 827
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
I won't steer you where you don't want to go - but just make this basic observation: video with most DSLRs is of very high specification, but not what most consumers think of when they think 'video'...the user functionality is not like a camcorder, and so not as easy to use, as convenient for casual and family filming, or as simple to focus and track for someone new to them.

In all honesty, there are other brands and cameras that would be MUCH better at consumer-style video functionality - some other brands of DSLRs, hybrids, and mirrorless cameras can basically do video the way a camcorder does - full continuous focus, stabilization, tracking, and simplicity, with the same high HD specifications. If video is something very important to your decision, and you want consumer, amateur level video functionality as opposed to professional manually-controlled cinematographer style video, you really might consider one of those other brands or products. They are just as capable as a stills camera, interchangeable lens capabilities, etc, but much better for that type of video.

_________________
Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:10 pm 
Once you've learned your way around the camera I put money on the fact you'll use AF much more than MF for candid people shots. Modern AF systems are pretty damn good as long as its not really dark.

If your looking at doing a lot of inside photography there is a good chance you'll invest in a flash at some point and/or the cheap as chips Canon 50mm f1.8. Its a bit long for small rooms but you get a lot of speed for your cash which is dead handy for low ish light.

I wish there was a cheap as chips 18mm f1.8 :roll:


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 Post subject: Focus
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:28 pm 
ianganderton Yes i'm completely sure about that, I said MF for video because of the noise and poor video focus.

I'm mostly concerned is about the video manual focus!? Will it be relatively easer to use?

Or shall I say will it be easy enough for the extra 100€ comparing to the 1100D that shoots only HD and not Full HD.

I would hate to give this extra 100€ and after 6 months I need to spend another 250€ in a camcorder because I can't really make decent movies with my DSLR...

This is my dilema :)

Thank zackiedawg I'll look into it some more since that my biggest interest is photography I've been thinking in Canon or Nikon maximum.
My dilema is buy like a 1100d and then a camcorder or risk to go an extra mile for the 550d since I wont need a camcorder with the Full HD od this baby! :)

If any one as experience in shooting movies with 1100d or 550d or even d3100 please give me some comments.

And again thank you all


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:48 pm 
I think the thing with using DSLR's for video is they need a different approach to the one most folks use with camcorders.

With a DSLR you need to plan your shot where as most people with camcorders point their camera in the general direction of the subject, press the record button and then continue to wave the camera around in an annoying fashion making for video that makes the viewer nauseous!!

A when shooting with a DSLR you either need to plan your shot so that the focus doesnt change or you need to plan your focus change and know where your going with it (the after market focus pullers mostly have marking circles on them for exactly this reason)

Its worth bearing in mind that this is in no small part due to the small depth of field you access with a DSLR with interchangable lenses.

You are looking at a DSLR because you are finding your point and shoot lacking in some way. You'll find that initially your DSLR is a little more complicated and you'll need to learn a bit to start to get the best out of it. Using it for video is the same.

If you want a video camera that you can pick up and wave around a lot while still keeping the subject in some sort of rough focus then DSLR's are not for you

But

There is a good reason the amateur film scene LOVES cameras like the 550D. The quality of video that can be got out of them can be eye wateringly beautiful when used right. Check out Vimeo's 550D group for some examples http://vimeo.com/groups/550d

Hope this helps

Ian


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 827
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
Quote:
Thank zackiedawg I'll look into it some more since that my biggest interest is photography I've been thinking in Canon or Nikon maximum.
My dilema is buy like a 1100d and then a camcorder or risk to go an extra mile for the 550d since I wont need a camcorder with the Full HD od this baby!


No problem. Just wanted to make sure you were aware of the differences. What Ian mentioned is exactly it - it takes a different style of shooting, or a development of pro-level video skills, when using a DSLR for video. And autofocus during video simply isn't usable for DSLRs the way a standard camcorder is, since it cannot continually focus during the shoot. It's why mirrorless cameras with video, like M4:3 and Sony NEX, and Sony's SLT fixed-mirror designs, exist - they can autofocus DURING video, tracking and moving with your subjects just like a camcorder.

BTW - just because your focus is still photography doesn't mean you can only look to Canon or Nikon - Pentax, Sony, and even the Olympus, Panasonic, and Samsung mirrorless systems are all quite good and capable too - some having their own unique advantages. I personally don't shoot video - no interest in it - but find my stills photography best served by a different brand than Canon or Nikon. Basic point is: they're all good...so just choose on features, feel, and price...it may be Canon or Nikon is better for you, it may be some other brand is...or maybe they're all so close as to be tied, but the video capabilities of one of those other models is worth going that route, since video is something you're considering. Having an excellent still camera that can also use full time phase-detect AF on an APS-C sensor while shooting video could be just the beast you're looking for. And still get that awesome 'DSLR' video look and depth of field control. It's worth strong consideration...if video is something you're into (which I profess I am not).

_________________
Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:34 pm 
Thank you ianganderton I think I understood your point.

And now that you say so I can see that it in the videos I already saw of the DSLRs.

The subject often walks in a meter by meter square, and the camera is very often still, and thank you for the link I'll look at it know.

But I actually like the effect this gives to a composition after, it's smoe how romantic, it's like a mid reality between stills and usual video, and I would like to test my self with one of this babies and see what I could do with it over time...

zackiedawg Thank you also for you comment, I think you have also your point and it is worth to look at it a little better, since probably my wife will also want to make some videos and shoot some pictures.

The thing is I didn't look at it until now so what cameras do you think I should look at this price point? Maximum 800€.

Thank you both for your help!

Ricardo


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 827
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
I would find it best to consider all possible options, as you may find out that a DSLR is not needed, or an APS-C sensor, or you might confirm that it is...something you won't know unless you check out all competitors and see how they look to you.

For someone intensely interested in video and still functionality, I'd certainly recommend having a look at the Sony SLT models - the A35 and A55. And also work a look might be the Sony NEX, Samsung NX, Olympus Pen, and Panasonic M4:3 options - each of these is a mirrorless system, that can either come close or match the IQ of DSLR systems, share lens interchangeability, and also offer good autofocus video...but will also have some compromises on tracking focus speed, low light focus speed, and lens availability. The Sony SLT models are essentially DSLRs with the mirror fixed and partially transparent - by fixing the mirror, they can manage phase-detect autofocus continously while shooting video or stills at up to 10 frames per second.

You've already got some good selections on your list from Canon and Nikon, and it might be worth throwing Pentax in for a look - they don't have any different video functionality from Canon or Nikon, but a high bang for the buck quotient.

The above mirrorless or SLT models are within your budget range.

_________________
Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:30 am 
I have a different point of view to zackiedawg. When considering the purchase of your first DSLR I think its actually very difficult to buy a bad camera, they all take great photos if used with a modicum of nouse. I think the choice is actually more difficult than that if you consider it properly. You need to make a choice on which brand you should plump for with virtually no experience on which to base it.

Which ever brand you choose you'll find yourself investing in it after the initial purchase. Since buying my 550D I've brought a cheap 50mm f1.8 lens and a Canon flash with remote trigger that are also Canon specific. It becomes more difficult to swap to a different brand.

Have a look here for some thoughts.

The DSLR is not about the actual camera itself its about the kit that builds up. Its that personal camera kit that enable you take the images (photos or video) that inspire you.

If it suits your budget a 550D with a 18 to 153 kit lens is a great camera. It might be thats all you'll ever need and it will just do the job. It might be the starting point for a great kit also.

Zackiedawg is also right.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:27 am 
Hi,

I honestly think you are both right, I'll look closer into those sony cameras you said zackiedawg since based on what you're saying they might be the ideal solution for many people. I checked already some info of that translucent mirror technology and it is really cool I didn't knew it existed. And it probably is a very good Still and Video shooting hybrid. Definitely worth considering...

And I also understand ianganderton since the choice I'll make now will mark my entry into reflex photography, and since its something I really like I must look a little into the future since this decision will pin-point my development. This is one of the reasons I'm thinking in Canon and not Nikon specially for this price range, since Canon has the AF motor on the body, and a lot a lenses in the market (even used market) that will allow me to buy other lenses with other prices.

Thank you both again for your messages! You are really helping me a lot in my decision, even the questions that you raised me are taking me towards a decision, and a more consistent one.

Thank you again!

Ricardo


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