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dst
04-20-2006, 01:44 AM
I am considering upgrading to a Canon A620 from an A80. Or go to Digital Rebel.

I'm not sure what to go with, I like the simplicity/cost of the A620 and love my A80.

But I want to extend my photo taking abilities, maybe take a class in the near future. Also I’d like to learn to use different lenses with different ‘focus-ranges’ (I forgot the actually term)... How much are a set of average lens?

My subjects will be mostly Cars and Cosplayers. What would you use?

Thanks :cheers:

TomodachiFriend
04-20-2006, 03:19 AM
Since you laready have an A80, get the Rebel. You won't gain much by going with the A620.

SolarTempest
04-20-2006, 10:01 AM
It's a small cost, but if you upgrade to the A620, you won't be able to use your CompactFlash cards anymore because the A620 uses SD cards.

Looking at a feature comparison, I really think the only big advantages the A620 has are the higher megapixels, slightly longer zoom range, and 1cm macro mode. I don't see any of these as major benefits over the A80.

If you go Canon, I suppose an "average/lower end" lens is about $250 CAD. You can get the 50mm F1.8 MK II lens for really nice cosplay portraits for about $120 CAD. Tax not included.

Edit: accidentally put 1.4 instead of 1.8.

staereo
04-20-2006, 05:44 PM
Solar means the 1.8 mk2. the 1.4 is probably closer to 400 CAD. (just guessing from the difference between the 1.8's cost from here to there)

I have the 50 1.8mk2 and love it. So Solar's right, lenses are out there that can be considered great values.

Anyways, I say dig rebel. Its a dslr that will take you a LONG, LONG way. And when youre ready to upgrade again, if you remain in brand, you can take all your lenses with you, keeping all that money you invested useful with your next camera.

Hands down, the dSLR.
Bruce

jtnishi
04-20-2006, 06:10 PM
Just by a quick lookup, though, isn't comparing the two really looking at two whole different classes of camera?

The others are generally right in that the gains with the A620 over the A80 are incremental at best. If you were thinking about going with the A620, it'd almost make better sense to stick with the A80, and save the money. You gain something in resolution, but unless you're making really big prints, it probably won't provide enough serious advantage to justify what is presumably a >$300 cost. That determination is probably yours to make, but looking at the side-by-side (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare_post.asp?method=sidebyside&cameras=canon_a620%2Ccanon_a80&show=all) at dpreview, it doesn't look like that much changes between the A80 and the A620 except the resolution.

The Digital Rebel, on the other hand, being a dSLR, is a different class of beast altogether. Arguably, jumping into a DRebel would be a real upgrade. But then again, it's also a lot more expensive than just upgrading compact cameras. Body + lens will run a fair amount of money. SolarTempest is right in that average consumer class lenses will run about $200USD. Some will run cheaper, like the 50mm. Some will run much more expensively, like Canon's L lenses, which can run 4 figures. You can get a decent starting set from about $500, irregardless of Canon or Nikon, but buying lenses can seriously become a crack habit nearly as bad as buying more anime/manga. :D

If you are ready to invest the time, effort, and money, then I'm with everyone else: get the dSLR, and don't look back. Learning to use one is a great experience. If you're not ready, save the money for now, and stick with your old camera. The lenses probably won't get too much cheaper, but the camera bodies probably will. The A80 is almost certainly still a relevant, useful camera now.

dst
04-20-2006, 09:22 PM
Thanks for the opinions / information. :cheers:

There are some features and upgrades to the 620 that I like (Continuous drive mode, 2.0in (vs 1.5in) LCD, shorter boot/taking pictures time, 7.1MP) Also, I have a friend who will give me 50 bucks for my A80 right now. Maybe I can get more from him?

Is there such thing as a lens 'starter-set' or 'beginers-set'? Like a set of well priced essential lenses. I'd like to get an idea of the first lenes I'll have to buy after ordering the Rebel. A model number or link would be great. Or would the you guys listed be good enough for cosplayers and cars for the time being?

btw: I'm looking at the XT.

Thanks again! :cheers:

fightstar
04-20-2006, 09:45 PM
It's a small cost, but if you upgrade to the A620, you won't be able to use your CompactFlash cards anymore because the A620 uses SD cards.

Looking at a feature comparison, I really think the only big advantages the A620 has are the higher megapixels, slightly longer zoom range, and 1cm macro mode. I don't see any of these as major benefits over the A80.

If you go Canon, I suppose an "average/lower end" lens is about $250 CAD. You can get the 50mm F1.8 MK II lens for really nice cosplay portraits for about $120 CAD. Tax not included.

Edit: accidentally put 1.4 instead of 1.8.

If speed is your main concern the go with the A620. Just like SolarTempest said it doesn't use the compact flash cards. Which means it uses faster memory which means fast picture taking. That is my $0.02 on the subject. Good luck!

Eriol
04-20-2006, 10:32 PM
Thanks for the opinions / information. :cheers:

There are some features and upgrades to the 620 that I like (Continuous drive mode, 2.0in (vs 1.5in) LCD, shorter boot/taking pictures time, 7.1MP) Also, I have a friend who will give me 50 bucks for my A80 right now. Maybe I can get more from him?

You should research information at dpreview.com and steves-digicams.com. They have a lot of technical information and test photographs using cameras. I know the Digitial Rebel XT is discussed on both sites. Most of dpreview.com's camera reviews also discuss how the camera compares with other similar cameras in its class. For example, if you look up the Digital Rebel XT, you will also see comparison information on a Pentax and Nikon camera of similar class.


Is there such thing as a lens 'starter-set' or 'beginers-set'? Like a set of well priced essential lenses. I'd like to get an idea of the first lenes I'll have to buy after ordering the Rebel. A model number or link would be great. Or would the you guys listed be good enough for cosplayers and cars for the time being?

btw: I'm looking at the XT.

Thanks again! :cheers:

The XT is packaged in kits. Depending on the kit configuratoin, you get the camera body and 1 or 2 lenses.

There doesn't seem to be many lens kits. Lenses are often priced individually as consumer/prosumer or professional lenses. The difference in price between the two markets is noticeable. A consumer lens might be $200 USD while a professional lens starts at $1000 USD, for example. The professional lenses are generally more durable and have sophisticated motors.

A digital SLR is a *major* committment. Do your research. I spent a year on and off researching.

SolarTempest
04-20-2006, 11:25 PM
I'd like to get an idea of the first lenes I'll have to buy after ordering the Rebel. A model number or link would be great. Or would the you guys listed be good enough for cosplayers and cars for the time being?
You'll want to get a nice prime lens for portraits. The following is a few suggestions for such a lens:
- Canon 50mm F1.8 ($105 USD, good)
- Canon 50mm F1.4 ($438 USD, even better)
- Canon 35mm F2.0 ($350 USD, good)
- Sigma 30mm F1.4 ($614, used by ZiggyB (http://images.cosplay.com/gallery.php?cat=38299&member=418), I think)

A good wide angle zoom lens would be nice for cars. I would think the most practical (if your budget is limited) lenses to look at for this would be:
- Canon 17-85 EF-S IS USM (should be pretty decent)
- Canon 18-55 EF-S (I am not a fan of this lens)

If you plan on using a lot of flash (outside and inside) while doing portrait work, other cameras may be a better choice than the Rebel. This is because it's slower sync (http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/syncspeed.htm#summary) shutter speed. Linked article is a little technical in some places, but that's my best source to explain it.

And of course, if you can get more than $50 for your A80, then by all means do so :toothy:

staereo
04-21-2006, 06:41 AM
Solar mentions some fantastic prime (meaning 'not zoom', if you're new to the interchangable lens world) lenses here. Realistically the rebel (or any non fullframe camera) will have an issue about the crop factor. I use the 50 1.8 myself, because it's my personal opinion that you don't want to drop far below 50mm focal length's worth of distortion when trying to capture people accurately. You start getting protruding chins and noses when you fill your frame. The problem here, and why you see these wider angle prime lenses on his list, is because you will have a crop factor, which will crop your image to what would seem to be a longer focal length, like 80mm on a 50mm lens. This means you will have to get further away than you normally would on a 35mm equivalant camera. Something that can be a problem at cons.

However, since such a small part of my photography involves cons, I opted to go with a more flattering lens, being a 50mm. I still carry a zoom lens if I need to go wider, but just because you have a crop factor that makes it appear to be an longer focal length, doesnt actually MAKE it a longer focal length.

A 30mm lens, for example, will still give you a 30mm distortion appearance, EVEN THOUGH your crop makes it appear to be somewhere around 45-48mm.

On the up side, this crop factor will cut down on c.a., because lenses perform poorest on the edges of your image, and since those edges get cropped off, your lenses will appear to perform better.

But still, when you can use an 50mm+ you will still want to. Sometimes, though, at a crowded con, you will simply not have the room to back up far enough to frame your subject with an 80mm equiv crop.

The 17-85 is a phenominal lens, but it is also phenominally expensive for what you're getting. Great lens nonetheless. They have some figure for how many stops an IS lens affords you in terms of hand holding shake resistance. This is off the top of my head, but I want to say it is 2 stops. Thats significant. VERY significant for all you people with shakey paws, like myself.

Establishing that the 17-85 is a far superior lens, the 18-55 really isnt as bad as the rap it seems to get. I think because canon offers the 17-85, the 18-55 gets a worse rap than it should. I mean, you put a porsche turbo next to a honda s2000, and the s2000 would get a poor rap. This doesn't mean that the s2000 is crap. Just that there is better out there.

I have the 18-55, and honestly it was a great lens to have in the bag. c.a. isnt bad, and it uses the same filter size as many of my other lenses.

I could easily offerup the 24-70 2.8L as a portrait zoom lens, and really make the 17-85IS look like trash. And I promise I could offer up images that were far more differentiated than between the 17-85 and the 18-55.

The 18-55 is more affordable, and I'm pretty sure you can get it in a kit with the rebel. If the 17-85 is packaged with the rebel too, check the price. Everyone that gets the 17-85 is super happy with it, and they dont regret their decision to get the pricier kit, but ive never heard of a person new to photography unhappy with the quality of the 18-55. The price difference is SIGNIFICANT. hundreds and hundreds of dollars difference.

Also, the xsync of the rebel is 1/200. Anything above 1/60 or whatnot should be fast enough to hand hold. Unless you're capturing indoor sports. But 1/200 is fast for just portraits.

Bruce

AdamN
04-21-2006, 04:36 PM
I got the kit lens 18-55 with my Canon XT. I was NOT happy with it and got some much better lenses since. It wasn't all that sharp and I got a lot of light flare (even with a light hood) and CA (cromatic abbrasion, or purple fringing around objects). The 50mm 1.8 can be bought at B&H for $80 and is considered by most to be of superb quality and totally cheap for such a great lens (the 50mm 1.4 is around $300). If you want some longer lenses or zooms check out http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/ which has great reviews by people who own the lenses.

Don't discount Sigma or Tamron lenses. Some people swear only by Canon or Nikon but you can find some really great lenses that give Canon and Nikon a run for their money in terms of quality vs price. For example: Sigma makes a 70-200 2.8 for $900 which a lot of people claim to be of equal quality to the Canon's 70-200 2.8 which sells for around $1200 (not Image Stabelizer, which is in another price range all together) .

If you really want quality then be prepared to spend over $200 per lens. That said, bargain hunt on forums and ebay. I got a great deal on a Tamron 28-75 2.8 for $220, which normally sells for $340.

*NOTE* This is not a Camera company vs company, ultimately it comes down to personal choice.

www.sigma4less.com has some good deals on ALL camera lenses.

staereo
04-21-2006, 05:51 PM
As I often do, I'm going to have to go ahead and back up my statement. I'm not sure why I don't take the time to do this when I write my statement. I suppose I do my best at not talking when I dont know, so I just kind of assume people will get to decide the level to which they want to listen to my advice.

But, I feel the need to express some sources for independant viewing, to judge the lens. As I said above, I am not claiming the 18-55 is a pro lens. Just that it does not deserve the rap that it receives.

Note, I am not using my own photographs here, although I would be more than happy to supply my own.

http://home.swiftdsl.com.au/~smeegles/Stuff/docklands2.jpg

http://img133.imageshack.us/img133/4885/thisone7no.jpg

http://www.pbase.com/sean_mcr/image/57962115

http://www.pbase.com/sean_mcr/image/48588924

http://www.pbase.com/sean_mcr/image/57572603

http://www.pbase.com/sean_mcr/image/56137757

http://mypixel.ca/photo/coldhome.jpg

http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/9137/temple8ix.jpg

Again, not saying its L glass or anything. Most people photographers are in agreement that this lens doesnt deserve the bad rap that it gets, from being compared to a lens worth hundreds and hundreds more.

Apples to apples, oranges to oranges...

And as always, i believe skill>gear. If you know the limitations of your equipment, and work around those limitations, you can push glass a little further. The alternatives to this lens are VERY pricey. Not that they shouldnt be on your shopping list, eventually. But for people just getting into the SLR world, its not a bad place to start.

Bruce

SolarTempest
04-21-2006, 08:14 PM
I use the 50 1.8 myself ... You start getting protruding chins and noses when you fill your frame. ... This means you will have to get further away than you normally would on a 35mm equivalant camera. Something that can be a problem at cons.
If I was to do a lot more cosplay and convention photography, I would consider picking up a 30mm lens. It's more suitable for full body portraits (which is good for showing off entire costumes) and like Staereo mentions, you don't have to back up as far to take pictures (which is much better in smaller hallways).

Also, the xsync of the rebel is 1/200. Anything above 1/60 or whatnot should be fast enough to hand hold. Unless you're capturing indoor sports. But 1/200 is fast for just portraits.
I don't find image blur to be the problem with slower xsync speeds, just that you can't use fill flash when you're using a lens like the 50mm F1.8 and still use a large aperture for delightlfully soft backgrounds.

The aforementioned fredmiranda site is a good resource for equipment reviews. I like how AdamN has suggested alternative lens brands too. My Sigma telephoto is has much better build quality and image quality than it's equivalent (and more expensive) Nikon counterpart.

staereo
04-21-2006, 08:59 PM
The aforementioned fredmiranda site is a good resource for equipment reviews. I like how AdamN has suggested alternative lens brands too. My Sigma telephoto is has much better build quality and image quality than it's equivalent (and more expensive) Nikon counterpart.

Fredmiranda is definately FANTASTIC.

I don't have any non canon lenses. HOWEVER, It's just out of happenstance that I dont. Sigma and Tamron both have lenses worth looking at. (As do quite a few other brands). This is a great point.

The canon crowd can often get sucked up into tunnelvision with the 'L' lenses. We often forget the other great products available to us as alternatives.

After all, only sigma makes the Bigma. :P

Good info!

Bruce :rockon:

Ollie
04-21-2006, 09:47 PM
If you're just getting into the SLR relm, the Canon kit lens, the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is a good deal. For its price, it does fairly well. It's got a short enough focal length to get full-body shots even when you're close, and at 55mm you can get enough "zoom" to get bust-shots even if you're not really close. It's what I think is called a walk-around lens, able to suit many needs. It does have some quality issues, but if you're used to a point-and-shoot, I'm going to bet it's still an improvement.

I also have the mentioned 50mm f/1.8 mkII lens. It is notoriously cheap. You're paying very little for a good prime lens and is constructed out of plastic parts. I had to send mine back for repair under warrenty. That being said, when it worked it was great. Just be very careful of buying one used and if you buy one new make sure to keep your reciept and warrenty card.

Lenses can be found on the cheap. I got a 80-200mm lens which is very nice for about $80, and it's in pretty good condition. I'd gladly trade it in for a better quality lens, but for the price you pay you'll get a decent deal. If you just start with the kit, you'll learn as you go and know where you should spend your money on. Don't get the impression that you'll need a bunch of extra lenses to use the camera. You will end up wanting to, though.

staereo
04-21-2006, 10:15 PM
Ollie makes some great points. Sometimes I have a hard time communicating things so fluidly. But thats exactly the idea I was attempting to convey.

Bruce

Oklahoma
04-22-2006, 06:16 AM
I belive that you should look at what you will be doing with that camera first. I use a 20D for the most part and love it but there are times that it is inconvient due to the size (especially when cosplaying). If you are only looking for a camera to use to snap quick pictures of other cosplayers and things like that I would say go with the a point and shoot, but if you are wanting to take pictures and advance in photography and learn to take better pictures deffinatly go with the SLR.

I am not saying that the A620 isn't a nice camera (because it is) it is just if you are willing to drop the money for an SLR but want the convience of a point and shoot I would recomend looking at some of the SLR LIKE cameras. While they do cost more than the A620 they usually don't cost as much as an SLR and take great pictures. One of the problems that I have with Point and Shoot cameras though is the limitation of them. Most point and shoot cameras only go up to 400 or 800 ISO and medium F stop speeds (~F5.0), not friendly for low light photography and the flash is only good for about 10 feet. SLR like cameras give most of the funcionality of slrs like high ISO's and possibility of an external flash and the convenience of point and shoot. Just a little food for thought.

dst
05-25-2006, 02:00 AM
I decided to wait and think about it, now the deal is back and I wanted to review this thread.

Then I realized that I did not thank you all for your detailed posts.

I appreciate the detail and effort put into all your posts, they really did help me.
Thanks a lot guys.

If AX had a bar I'd buy all you a beer. :cheers:

[SG]
05-25-2006, 03:13 AM
Revived! I noticed a recent Rebel XT deal myself ...

Anywho, I have the original rebel and I have to say it's a pretty sweet camera. The bottom point is pretty much what jtnishi said on the first page, and I'll throw in my bit.

If you go DSLR be prepared to spend big, I know a few guys that spent about 10k on what they have now and they get pretty decent pictures.

If you're looking for just a plain camera that's cheaper to maintain, I'd say stick with a point and shoot. DSLR's are great and fun to use, low on the noise and you can bump the ISO on the XT to 800 and still get decent shots with some post processing. there is a learning curve though, and from past experience, taking photos on the manual mode is more satisfying then automatic :)

If you go with the DSLR option, remember that you're not going to be buying the camera for the camera. You'll be buying in to a lens system. In a few years, you'll most likely sell the rebel you'll be getting and buy something like the eos-40D :P

Eriol
05-25-2006, 10:29 AM
']If you go DSLR be prepared to spend big, I know a few guys that spent about 10k on what they have now and they get pretty decent pictures.

.....

If you go with the DSLR option, remember that you're not going to be buying the camera for the camera. You'll be buying in to a lens system. In a few years, you'll most likely sell the rebel you'll be getting and buy something like the eos-40D :P

DST, don't overspend if you don't need to like SG's people. The camera ultimately does not matter; it's the photographer: http://kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm

A DSLR kit with a modest wide-angle, supplemented with a modest telescopic lens, tripod, flash, and accessories, probably won't run you more than 2K. There is little need to spend 10K unless the photographer is experienced and needs the equipment to capture very specific situations.

As Oklahoma said, the price of the A620 is close enough to the Digital Rebel XT, you may just want to save up and go to the XT. The XT will provide far more shooting options than the A620 in the long run. Also, the XT and its brethen are less likely to be made obsolete than the A620. The product cycle for digital cameras like the A620 seems to be only 1-2 years. The DSLR product cycle seems to hold up longer.

My friend has the A620, and looking at what it has, I think an XT would be better. I think the A620's size is the only thing going for it, and that is not saying much since the A620 is bigger than other digital cameras and is about 2/3 the size of the XT.

Rosieal
05-25-2006, 09:00 PM
It's a short reply... DSLR, if you are planning to make use of your camera more often than the average person.

[SG]
05-27-2006, 03:01 AM
In a matter of fact most of the people I do know are very experienced photographers. They prefer to buy all those fancy lenses and accessories that make me drool all the time.

But anyways, yea you can buy a very good setup for 2k if you're more of the average photographers. You might just want to hold out on the telephoto lenses though since they're only needed if you're in the back of the crowd or something.

The very basic I tell people that want a DSLR is getting at least:

wide-angle
'normal' lens .. 35 ~ 70mm range
tripod
camera bag

Oh.. and don't forget cleaning supplies .... for your glass and sensor :)

Eriol
05-28-2006, 06:18 PM
']In a matter of fact most of the people I do know are very experienced photographers. They prefer to buy all those fancy lenses and accessories that make me drool all the time.

In that case, you only supported my statement that only experienced photographers would need the more high-quality and more expensive equipment. :)

I was concerned about average or amateur photographers spending too much money at the start.

iamacow
05-29-2006, 02:49 PM
As an avid photographer, my advice is, forget the A620, go straight for the Rebel. It'll save you money of upgrading.
Since you plan to take classes, I believe most classes require an SLR/dSLR. At least, classes where you can actually learn something.

Look at it this way, with the standard kit lens, you can do many many many many things the A620 can't, and everything that the A620 can. You can take images like:
http://www.ntu.edu.sg/home2002/s8170706e/white/s1.jpg
http://www.ntu.edu.sg/home2002/s8170706e/white/IMG_1426.jpg
No editing done, this is more or less right out of the camera. Try do this with a A620. I did this with a Rebel XT.

Of course, prepare another US$300 for accessories

Zalan
06-05-2006, 03:54 PM
I definately suggest going the dslr if you will take lots of photos, I own the 20d, and it is a phenominal camera, takes amazing photos, and seems very rugged (magnesium alloy (i think) body).

My initial outlay of money was about 1.7k all said and done, I have yet to buy any extra lenses over the basic 18-55 it came with (but I'm getting closer to spending more every day)

I purchased:
Camera
4 gig microdrive
tripod
gadget bag
a couple filters
can't think of anything else that I bought but I know I got a few extra things.

The big selling point for this camera for me was that down the line if I decide to get another camera, all I need to pick up is the body and I can use all my lenses with the next camera. Between the XT and 20d it was a good week with me trying to decide between the two. I finally went with the 20d since the body was the metal body vs the plastic.

I also have a small 5 megapixel nikon point and shoot for when I don't feel like carrying the 20d someplace.

dst
06-17-2006, 03:46 PM
First off, thanks again to all those who posted here. You guys helped alot in my decision.

My Silver Rebel XT w/18-55m lens kit should be in by Tuesday, just in time for AX! I'm so excited!

I have made another thread asking for tips for an inexperianced DSLR user who needs to learn the basics before AX in less than two weeks. Please check it out if you can!

http://forums.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=85308

Thanks again! :cheers:

EJ Shin
07-09-2006, 04:30 PM
Solar means the 1.8 mk2. the 1.4 is probably closer to 400 CAD. (just guessing from the difference between the 1.8's cost from here to there)

I have the 50 1.8mk2 and love it. So Solar's right, lenses are out there that can be considered great values.


You can get the 1.4 Ultrasonic 50mm for about 200-250 on eBay. That's how much I got mine for. I didn't want to get the 1.8MK2 50mm lens because it doesn't have a distance scale and it has a plastic mount. The 1.8MK1 50mm is a better buy if you can find one. Though, I've seen the 1.8MK2 50mm lens sell for under a 100 bucks.