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Old 08-26-2009, 09:50 PM
 
11,726 posts, read 24,750,155 times
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I would avoid the Rebels or any other camera that lacks dual control wheels/dials for setting aperture and shutter speed when in manual mode. It's my understanding that the Rebel makes you push a button to change modes or dig into a menu or something like that instead of having a dedicated wheel for each. I believe it also lacks a spot metering mode. You can pick up a used 20D pretty cheap and since it shares the same controls with the 30D, 40D, 5D, etc, you won't have to relearn when you eventually upgrade.
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:39 PM
 
Location: ABQ
79 posts, read 130,103 times
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Something I forgot to add...

While you research (including going to camera/eletronic stores and handling potential models of interest) on what digital SLR you want to dive into, I highly suggest placing your point-n-shoot into either manual, shutter, or aperture priority mode (if available). Some p-n-s cameras have the ability to do such, some don't. If yours does, going into such settings will get you a little more familiar with the learning curve you'll get hit with once upgraded to a digital SLR. Most digital SLRs have auto settings should you get a little intimidated once upgraded.

And....you're welcome, any time!
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
5,347 posts, read 6,674,257 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeCalifornia View Post
I would avoid the Rebels or any other camera that lacks dual control wheels/dials for setting aperture and shutter speed when in manual mode. It's my understanding that the Rebel makes you push a button to change modes or dig into a menu or something like that instead of having a dedicated wheel for each.
That's not really the case. With the XSi, there is a dial on top next to the shutter release button which controls shutter speed. To change Aperture, you just hold one button which switches the dial to change the aperture. It IS an extra step to change the aperture but does not require digging through menu on the LCD as you suggest.

Canon EOS 450D / Digital Rebel XSi Review: 7. Operation & Controls: Digital Photography Review

Quote:
Manual Exposure

In this mode you define the exposure by selecting the aperture and the shutter speed manually. Turn the main dial to select shutter speed, hold the Av/exposure compensation button and turn the main dial to select aperture. If you change the exposure the meter graphic on the viewfinder status bar and LCD will reflect the exposure level compared to the metered exposure, if it's outside of +/- 2EV the indicator bar will blink either + or -.
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Old 08-27-2009, 11:45 AM
 
485 posts, read 1,032,278 times
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Thank you all once again! I am sure I will take my time on this purchase... I may even pick it out and have my hubby buy it for me for Christmas lol. I want to make sure that what I get is a good sound camera that will be user friendly. I looked into taking classes at local colleges, but they want you to buy 35 mm cameras, really?? It's a digital world, why would I want to do that? So I guess I will bookmark the links I have been given and get me a few books and dig in!
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:21 PM
 
186 posts, read 349,213 times
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I bought my first DSLR about 18 months ago (a Nikon D40...it's all I could afford at the time, but it's been a good camera!). I still have a lot to learn, but I'm starting to get more comfortable shooting in manual. I've used forums like this one and a lot of the websites that are recommended through posters here to learn what I know so far. It's intimidating at first (I tried manual and went back to auto for a while), but after a while it will start to make more sense. You can teach yourself
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Old 08-27-2009, 02:13 PM
 
4,437 posts, read 6,002,219 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTTNFAM View Post
Is it possible for someone who has had no experience with SLR's to teach themselves to use one without having to take classes, or are they just too complicated?
Very easy.. you'll never go back to P&S..

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTTNFAM View Post
Are there certain DSLR's that would be better for a beginner?
All manufacturers have beginner models..

I only know Sony products..

Entry Level (A230/330/380)
Enthusiast (A500/550)
High Amateur (700 series)
Semi-Professional/Professional (A850/900)

Nikon D40 would probably be a good entry level dslr too..

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTTNFAM View Post
I am looking at a Canon EOS XSi, which states that it is easy for the DSLR beginner. What are your thoughts? Thanks in advance!
Can't speak for the Canon..

You really need to pick up the camera and feel it. What feels comfortable..

www.dpreview.com is a very good website that allows you to do side by side comparisons of cameras etc from a function standpoint.
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Old 08-27-2009, 02:32 PM
 
485 posts, read 1,032,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musincy View Post
I bought my first DSLR about 18 months ago (a Nikon D40...it's all I could afford at the time, but it's been a good camera!). I still have a lot to learn, but I'm starting to get more comfortable shooting in manual. I've used forums like this one and a lot of the websites that are recommended through posters here to learn what I know so far. It's intimidating at first (I tried manual and went back to auto for a while), but after a while it will start to make more sense. You can teach yourself
Thanks! It's good to know have and are doing this on their own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigthirsty View Post
Very easy.. you'll never go back to P&S..



All manufacturers have beginner models..

I only know Sony products..

Entry Level (A230/330/380)
Enthusiast (A500/550)
High Amateur (700 series)
Semi-Professional/Professional (A850/900)

Nikon D40 would probably be a good entry level dslr too..



Can't speak for the Canon..

You really need to pick up the camera and feel it. What feels comfortable..

www.dpreview.com is a very good website that allows you to do side by side comparisons of cameras etc from a function standpoint.
I haven't even looked into Sony, which is strange because I like the product. My "purse" camera is a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W120, and I like it for everyday shots, but pf course it isn't great for scenery, though I have gotten some nice hsots with it. I have a large Olympus digital (my hubby has it on his job, so I am not sure the exact model) I bought years ago, and love it for scenery and the like. I may have to look into the Sony line. Thanks!
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Old 08-27-2009, 03:01 PM
 
4,437 posts, read 6,002,219 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTTNFAM View Post
Thanks! It's good to know have and are doing this on their own.



I haven't even looked into Sony, which is strange because I like the product. My "purse" camera is a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W120, and I like it for everyday shots, but pf course it isn't great for scenery, though I have gotten some nice hsots with it. I have a large Olympus digital (my hubby has it on his job, so I am not sure the exact model) I bought years ago, and love it for scenery and the like. I may have to look into the Sony line. Thanks!
Since you are a woman I would DEFINITELY check out the Sony A-2xx/3xx models at Best Buy.

Sony may never admit it but those models were specifically designed for your hands.

see my post here:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/9258731-post8.html
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:12 PM
 
1,111 posts, read 3,013,831 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTTNFAM View Post
Thanks to all of you for your comments! I do want to start out with a cheaper DSLR and work my way up. I see Nikon mentioned a lot...would you say they are better than the Canon? Are there particular features I should look for in the camera I buy? I also wonder the difference in lens cost between the two brands? I have never had to deal with lens with my point and shoot cameras, and I have been told they are expensive, and that some brands are worse than others on cost.
I consider myself to be an enthusiast as well and self-taught. Most of my learnings have been through reading books, websites, forums, etc. I have taken workshops (not neccessarily classes), but once you get a understanding of the basics, going out and practicing is the best way to learn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTTNFAM View Post
I see Nikon mentioned a lot...would you say they are better than the Canon?
I would not say one is necessary better than the other. It's like asking Honda or Toyota - people have their preferences. I shoot Nikon, so I will be bias and say Nikon is better . But my advice would be to go to a camera store and take them in your hands, take some sample shots, and see which feels better to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTTNFAM View Post
Are there particular features I should look for in the camera I buy?
Don't worry too much about the features since they are similar. You may consider some hardware features like a swivel LCD screen, which the Nikon 5000 has, but Canon does not. But in terms of functions, it is pretty much the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTTNFAM View Post
I also wonder the difference in lens cost between the two brands? I have never had to deal with lens with my point and shoot cameras, and I have been told they are expensive, and that some brands are worse than others on cost.
Yes, your lenses will be the bulk of your cost if you get serious about photography. However, the lifetime use of your lens will pay for itself as they are generally compatible with new bodies and pro-quality lens is always worth. Nikon prices have gone up this year due to the drop in value of the dollar against the Yen, but pro Nikon lens have always been a little higher than pro Canon. However, if your starting out then you probably don't need to worry about pro lenses. Consumer grade lenses are pretty much equal across Canon and Nikon.
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:16 PM
 
1,111 posts, read 3,013,831 times
Reputation: 775
Quote:
Originally Posted by musincy View Post
I bought my first DSLR about 18 months ago (a Nikon D40...it's all I could afford at the time, but it's been a good camera!). I still have a lot to learn, but I'm starting to get more comfortable shooting in manual. I've used forums like this one and a lot of the websites that are recommended through posters here to learn what I know so far. It's intimidating at first (I tried manual and went back to auto for a while), but after a while it will start to make more sense. You can teach yourself
IMO, depending on what you like to shoot, once you get comfortable there really should be no reason to shoot in full manual. I shoot in Aperture Priority 90% of the time as I like to control my DoF and let the camera determine the shutter speed.
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