View Full Version : Debating on just going straight to a DSLR

06-21-2006, 03:35 PM
Okay I know I 'just' posted.. about getting a lower end digital.

But the more we talk about it, the more we tend to wonder if it'd be wiser to just buy a DSLR instead of buying something to 'make-do' with then later buying the DSLR on top of it..

Would it be a good idea to consider a Digital Rebel ... since I have a film rebel, so I could exchange EF lenses... or is that not a good basis to go on for choosing??

We are having a very difficult time narrowing down options, and even if we narrow it down to a Canon Digital SLR even within that bracket is quite a range of quality/prices etc.

Is it absurd to think of spending only $400 for a body only digital rebel, or $450 for a body an lens? I'm thinking of either eBay or refurbished sites at this point.

But feel like I'm wandering around in the dark part of the time. Should I just slap my hands an go back to looking at the lower end digitals lol?? :wink2:

I have been all over bhphoto an keh looking at what they have currently as well as almost constantly on eBay... is there any other places I should be keeping an eye out for these?

Admittedly I think the Nikon d50's are awesome.. but they are generally still way outta our price range, and would mean no sharing lenses either.

Help there's toooo many options how do I figure out what I need and define better what we want ??


06-21-2006, 08:42 PM
More specific questions as we do more research ourselves.

I am becoming fairly serious about some cameras on KEH at this point.

What we are trying to decide between is buying either a d30 or d60 the main difference besides price is megapixel the d30 (older/original model) has a 3.2 megapixel .... whereas the d60 has a 6.3 megapixel.

Would you find it sufficient to buy a 3.2 megapixel and expect to be happy with it for more then a year or two, or would it be a dissappointment and you find yourself wanting to upgrade just for more megapixels??

I should clarify that at this point, I rarely if ever have need of more then a 8x10 enlargement. This camera would be used for nearly all household purposes from snapshots of the kids/flowers to more detailed photos of birds/bugs/landscapes (I love taking pics of old barns etc).

We are thinking about getting either the D30 3.25 M/P WITH CABLES, CD, BATTERY & CHARGER, INSTRUCTION BOOK (REQUIRES CF CARD ), DIGITAL SLR INTERCHANGEABLE LENS CAMERA (for $339.00). Or the Canon Digital
D60 6 M/P BODY ONLY (REQUIRES CF CARD ) DIGITAL SLR INTERCHANGEABLE LENS CAMERA ($399.00). The latter does not come with a battery or charger.

Both we'd have to buy a card for, which is fine.

So how important do you consider the megapixel difference... am I missing something else important here??

Also the plan since neither come with lenses is to purchase a lens seperately for between $60-80 (yes I have seen them on KEH for that).

Hope this makes sense, and thanks for putting up with all my questions :), if we do go the digital route... I'll reward you with pictures ;) to share later.


06-21-2006, 10:32 PM
I don't think I can guide you but maybe share a little. First the Canon is out of sight, love, that is what I use (just wish I could take good pics with it). Yes, share lens. Major cost savings. Wife and I have two bodies and share a set of 4 lens.

On the Canon, there are two models out, the older and the newer. The newer is worth a lot more both to you and on the market. The older one has a lot of limits. Another point is that the newer one is 8mpix. For your uses I would buy the kit with the 35 - 70mm lens (if you don't have it). Reasons for this is the Ds are heavier. You want a good snapshot/good art camera, I'm thinking the lighter one would be easier for you to use day in and out.

don't buy on my word but this is what I would do.


06-21-2006, 10:43 PM
unless you're expecting to do prints of more than 11x14 on a constant basis, the D30 is more than enough...

06-22-2006, 01:18 AM
Again not advice but a personal obsevation. I would always go for the higher megapixel however as with all things I need to handle things first to see if it feels right. An example of this is most of my friends use they high end cannons for their pro work. I however use Nikons ONLY because they feel right in the hand and fits my hand naturally. However good a camera is if it doesnt feel right it will lessen your enjoyment of it


06-23-2006, 04:03 PM
I bought a point & shoot digital camera about a year ago to "get my feet wet" in digital photography and I was never happy with it. A point & shoot is still a point & shoot wether its digital or film (don't get me wrong, it was a high quality Sony 4.1 MP camera,, but I was never comfortable with it), but after spending more than two decades using SLRs I just couldn't "settle". Last week I finally bought a Canon Rebel XT (I hate the whole "Rebel" brand name--sounds kind of cheap and tacky! Oh well!) I have several canon film SLRs and lenses so I really needed to stick with the Canon line (although the Nikon DSLRs are tempting!) Fortunately the 8 MP Rebel has one of the best price/performance points of anything I looked at. The body isn't nearly as robust as the higher grade 30D, but the picture quality is indistinguishable. I use the difference in price to buy a digitally compatible high end flash and a fast compact flash card. I figure if I need a better camera body down the line I can keep the Rebel as a backup.

My advice? If you are serious about photography spend the money to get something you will enjoy using. The Rebel is a good, high quality camera that even a pro could use if he wanted something light and doesn't knock his gear around too much. The Nikons and Pentax's, etc. are all good too (thanks to fierce competition) but seeing as how you already have an EOS lens you can put the money you save towards a higher pixel count. Stick with KEH, B&H, Adoramma, or a brick and mortar camera store like Ritz, or an independent (if you can find any these days).

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BUY (OR I SHOULD SAY "TRY TO BUY" FROM THOSE WEB STORES IN BROOKLYN OR NJ (AND A FEW OTHER MAIL DROP LOCATIONS) WHO ADVERTISE RIDICULOUSLY LOW PRICES! THEY ARE CROOKS! There are about a dozen of these companies all run by the same gang. Its a bait and switch scheme and if you don't buy the overpriced "upgrades" they try to hard sell you your order goes into "backorder limbo" forever. If you do succumb to the hard sell and go for the "upgrades" you end up paying more than if you went to a legit store and half the time you get a stripped camera outfit with all of the original accessories replaced by inferior versions, or nothing at all! (What, you thought that camera came with a battery? Foolish consumer. Ha ha ha ha ha.)

Resellerratings.com is a good place to see real vendor ratings. Believe it or not some of these places actually run phony "ratings" websites that give their companies glowing reviews.

06-23-2006, 04:14 PM
Thank you all...... after much discussion I 'think' we have decided to get a dSLR .....
this will mean waiting till August (but considering I was willing to wait a couple more yrs if we got a p & s that's really a short time!) ....... which means I've got some time to figure out what's the best deal for our situation.

Still definitely welcome opinions/advice on going the dSLR route, it seems my DH has had frustrations with p & s digital... that would be solved by dSLR (even though he is NOT a SLR user normally) and he's willing to take the 'step up' to avoid unncessarily spending on a cheap camera now to just go out an buy a good one in a year or two.

I'm still wavering between going with the 'old' d30 or with a newer d60 .... and trying to decide what lens to get as well. But it's a fun 'problem' to have, and now that I know we have more time till we actually buy I look forward to this time of research and eagerly await owning my own canon dSLR :D.

Thanks again,
and please feel free to post more if you have something to add!

06-24-2006, 11:55 PM
I did the leap 3 years ago-- I took the plunge and invested in a Nikon D100 (about 3 months prior to the D70 coming out), since I already had a Nikon N80, it made sense for me to go the route of Nikon with the dSLR as well, so that I could save money on Lenses...

Over 16,000 (yes, 16,000) images later, I have not regretted my choice. I would far rather have 1 decent camera vs. several cheap ones. I use Photoshop as my Digital darkroom and I love the photos I've taken. Now-a-days, my film camera collects a lot of dust, but I still bring it out occasionally. Mine's a 6 Megapixel and I've enlarged photos to 16x20 with absolutely no promblem.

I think you'll be much happier with the dSLR, Definitely go Canon if you already have the lenses-- it will cost you less in the long run!

06-25-2006, 12:02 AM
BTW-- I shoot almost exclusively in RAW format, so I use 256 (which I'm not sure are even available any more) and 512 compact flash cards for memory.

I had a friend tell me that if you plan to shoot at a lower resolution, you shouldn't invest in too large of a memory card-- otherwise, if you end up losing it, you'll lose thousands of photos vs. a few. (Trust me-- We were standing on a deck in Denali National park in Alaska and I dropped my card "neatly" through a crack in the decking. Luckily, I had a really NICE National Park employee take the extra time to fish it out for me-- One of my friends (a very SKINNY friend) even offered to open the grate under the deck and crawl under there to retreive it for me (his girlfriend berated him in French for being an idiot, so he didn't end up doing it.) I was absolutely sick to my stomach because I had a large number of photos on that card.... So, if you plan to shoot in .jpg mode at a lower resolution, it might be wise to invest in a slightly smaller card...

I personally prefer to carry about 6-8 cards with me vs. 1 big card and losing all of the photos at 1 shot if something were to happen.

06-25-2006, 12:41 AM
256cards are still available, but with 2gb cards going routinely at frys for around $50, the 256mb cards aren't worth the money.

I carry a couple big cards - I have a tendency of losing them ;) But I am pretty much immediately downloading to my Epson P2000 right after filling the card, so I've always got 40gbs on standby ;)

06-25-2006, 03:10 AM
I did the leap 3 years ago--

Over 16,000 (yes, 16,000) images later,

Sheesh - is that all????????????????? :evil:

LOL - I got my D70 nearly a year ago and have over 50,000 images in my computer. Somebody needs to clean house!! Hahhahaha

I shoot in RAW and have 2 gig cards that I use, and 3 batteries. I can shoot off a full card in under 20 minutes (about 180+- pics), depending on how silly I get, and I wish sometimes that I had a few more cards.

My advice ... don't buy anything until you hold it in your hot little hands!!! I tried the Rebel and it just didn't fit me. The Nikon was made for me and fits like a glove. And I also needed a more rugged body too - tend to get into some tricky and dirty places and situations and life is hard on a camera around me.

Sue :heart:

06-25-2006, 03:59 PM
Well I um ... wasn't able to contain myself.

I kept watching eBay and trying for various ones that were on the lower end of pricing... and was constantly being outbid. Tried 'one last time' last night, and ended up winning one for only $335!

It's a "Canon DS6041 Digital Rebel SLR (6.3 megapixels), BLACK
camera body with 18-55mm lens. 1 battery and no charger. body appears in mint condition, camera is in good shape and takes excellent photos."

Though we have a tinsie flash card (64meg!) in the house we'll probably be ordering a gig.. or at least 512 for it. And picking up a battery charger an possibly extra battery.

So much for waiting till August :p. I probably won't have it 'in hand' until sometime next week (aka the first week in July), but it is exciting despite that.

I've heard that this is essentially the same as the 300d ... anyone know if this is true or not? I can't seem to find any reviews on it though I have found a page with the full specs for it http://uaflibrary.us/media/equipment/?id=7

Thanks for staying with me on this 'journey' ... now the real excitement will come when I come rushing back with all sorts of digital questions LOL... since I've never really used digital cameras as yet.


06-25-2006, 11:25 PM
the 300D is just the european name. Same camera.

Good camera. Was what I started with till I moved to the 20D

Kevin M
06-26-2006, 04:40 AM
My daughter has a 300D (Rebel) - which I occasionally borrow as a backup. It has the same sensor as the 10D - and using the same lens and exposure settings - it takes an identical picture. The 10D is heavier built and has more functions - but the 300D has all the essential functions that you need.

07-07-2006, 03:25 PM
PS: The Rebel (300D) is SO close to the 10D that it actually has the 10D software embedded on its chip. You can "turn on" most of the 10D functions with a simple software "hack". (Digital SLRs are made to accept software upgrades from the manufacturer via the USB cable.)

Of course this software patch doesn't come from Canon and therefore voids any warranty. I have even heard that some Canon licensed repair centers will refuse to work on any Rebel that has this patch. It might be worth checking into if the camera is already out of warranty and you can always remove it if you need to get the camera repaired. I haven't heard of any problems, but use at your own risk. I have a Rebel XT so I haven't tried this.

Web search on "Canon Rebel hack".

07-07-2006, 03:28 PM
thanks everybody .... I just received my Canon Digital Rebel yesterday afternoon,
got to play with it some last night. I think I'll be quite happy for a while, new functions to explore, and even got a couple of good photos on our first try :).

07-07-2006, 06:09 PM
Cool we look forward to seeing your pics :D