Numbers game - Grin with cat attached
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Numbers game Jun. 24th, 2006 11:23 am
Due to extreme parental generosity, and a degree of "Damnit, I can justify something good *this* year", I find myself suddenly in the market for a DSLR, in the GBP600 price bracket.

Recommendations anyone? Quick startup, rapid autofocus, wide aperture / shutter range all priorities.


Wechsler (now perkier, thanks people ;)

From: realtan_dannan
Date: June 24th, 2006 - 02:09 pm (Link)
Canon 350D. I love my 300 and the 350 has a couple of extra perks. You should be able to find a package of body and 2 lenses for the price.
From: wechsler
Date: June 24th, 2006 - 05:33 pm (Link)
I've seen this recommended a few places, and managed to get it and a 18/55 lens for just over 500; I'll try and pick up a 55/200 or so for it soon.
From: reddragdiva
Date: June 24th, 2006 - 05:52 pm (Link)
Hah, got it already? Well done ;-) I see wintrmute isn't on your friends list and was about to suggest you ask him for advice. bmovie has a few photographers on it, oddly enough ...
From: davefish
Date: June 24th, 2006 - 11:08 pm (Link)
Its a good camera, and does pretty much everything. If you are wanting to do low light work, then I'll do my usual recommendation of the Canon 50mm f1.8 lens, which is by far the best value for money bit of glass that Canon sell.

It doesn't take you long from asking the question to getting the new shiny!
From: ev1ldonut
Date: June 26th, 2006 - 07:44 am (Link)
The lens can have a big effect on how quick the autofocus is, if you're looking for a new lens, I'd really recommend (if you can find one in the length you want) getting an 'UltraSonicMotor' lens, as their autofucus is really quick. Also worth getting if you can afford it is one with IS (image stabilization), which can be very useful in lower light and/or long distance conditions.

Avoid the 75-300mm IS USM lens, as it's a bit soft at the 300mm end. I'm extremely happy with my 28-12mm IS USM. Also rememebr that there is a 1.6x cropping factor on DSLRs, so a 200mm lens would effectively function as a 320mm. :)
From: wechsler
Date: June 26th, 2006 - 11:39 am (Link)
Can you clarify the spec on that second lens, as I can't identify it, and anything that seems to match costs £scary.
From: ev1ldonut
Date: June 26th, 2006 - 11:46 am (Link)
Sorry, it's a 28-135mm IS USM, bit of a typo there. :/

Brand new it does indeed cost £scary, but they go second hand on eBay for around £250 to £300. I got mine for £260. Make sure if you get second hand that you go for someone with a good rating, that had a genuine reason for sale (so you know they aren't selling it cos it's b0rked). The guy I bought off was selling as he wanted to upgrade to an 'L' series lens (those are the big white ones that you see the paparazzi use, they cost £terrifying but are amazing).
From: davefish
Date: June 26th, 2006 - 12:42 pm (Link)
If you are going for 2nd hand, there are a few shops. Try London camera exchange as they have a decent stock, and a rating system for the stuff they are selling.

wechsler, do you think that you'll want to shoot stuff that needs a long telephoto or not? The lens you get should generally be definied by the usage you'll be putting it to.

(I only got an L lens because I got one second hand and it was a bargin for what it was... it was still £terrifying)
From: wechsler
Date: June 26th, 2006 - 01:14 pm (Link)
Dumb question from an SLR n00b - what *is* unity magnification on an SLR? I'm too used to compacts that quote as '3x'; am I right in thinking that 50mm is "standard" on FSLRs and so 50/1.6 =~ 30 on the 350D - so 200mm is about 6.5x?
From: davefish
Date: June 26th, 2006 - 01:22 pm (Link)
The sort of "standard" focal length is historically 50mm, so the traditional zooms you get with the camera are 28->70 (ish)

This was landing on a film that was 36mm x 24mm. Most DSLR's (Or all DSLR's that you and I can afford) have sensors smaller than this, which is where the focal length multiplier comes in.

With that focal length multiplier, your kit lens ends up roughly in the range of the traditional zoom I mentioned above. My 70-200 has enough pulling power for my needs on my 20D (Which has the same 1.6x multiplier as your 350) and more is really only needed for sports, birds and wildlife, and paparazzi-like behavior. I've not touched my 75-300 in quite some time.
From: davefish
Date: June 26th, 2006 - 01:31 pm (Link)
Oh, and that 3x is going to be the full zoom range, so a 25->75 would be a 3x, rather than a 0.5x -> 1.5x

Oh, and the zuperzoom[1] lenses for DSLR's generally are not well thought of. They are the ones with ranges like 28-200 or 28-300. Generally not super optical characteristics and bulky. You paid for lens interchangeability, you should use it.

[1] The typo stayed in as it was amusing
(no subject) - (Anonymous)
From: wechsler
Date: June 24th, 2006 - 10:11 pm (Link)
No real price difference online (and don't tell me if you find one) and I'd been planning to get one for a while. Everyone I know who's a keen photographer has an EOS (or other canon) so it didn't take much confirmation.