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Thread: I'm a student and I am so in over my head. HELP!

  1. #1

    I'm a student and I am so in over my head. HELP!



    I've loved photography forever! However, I've only ever considered it a hobby. (Until recently that is.) I'm in college right now, and I have decided to virtually start all over on my degree and major in photography. Once I finally realized that I love it too much not to, I practically had no choice.


    I'm super excited to get going on my new classes, but as would be expected I need to have a "good" camera before I even think about registering. While I understand a great deal of photog lingo, I'm not comfortable enough in my knowledge base to pick out a camera without some feedback first.


    Being a starving college student I don't have loads of money to toss out on this right now. But I don't want to sacrifice quality. So I've been looking at getting a Cannon XT1i. Or do I save money and get a used XTi or XSi? Do I need something better the and the XT1i? (Clearly I don't know nearly enough about all this fun stuff yet!) What are your thoughts? I'm intending to buy a much better camera later on, but for now I just need a good one that won't let me down and can get me through college and my degree. I'd really appreciate ANY advice!

  2. #2

    Re: I'm a student and I am so in over my head. HELP!



    The majority of Canon cameras are quite reliable in most respects. Though I must say, I don't believe the XT1i exists... maybe you mean the XTi, or the T1i, or maybe some lovechild of theirs that I am unaware of.


    Either way, I shot with an XTi for quite a while and it never really gave me any troubles. I will say it isn't quite a modern camera and things have improved greatly since its release, most noticeably in the low-light department. There is nothing wrong with getting a Rebel because they aren't terrible by any means, and you may even snag a lens with one.


    I will recommend though, from my experience that you have a look for something like a used 40D or something. Stepping up to the X0D line will get you a camera with a little more heft to it, better construction, likely better features, and a long lasting shutter. I would head out to a local camera store and have a feel of either model, be it a rebel or a X0D. To me, the larger bodies just fit better and being comfortable with your "tool" is very important.


    Most importantly remember this, it is not the camera that makes the picture, it is the photographer. There were plenty of professional photographers making amazing images with digital cameras much much crappier than anything we see in todays market. Just get something that works for you and learn how to use it to the best of your ability and I promise you will be happy with it.

  3. #3
    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    Re: I'm a student and I am so in over my head. HELP!



    First of all, you need to get the lingo correct--you're talking about the Canon Rebel T1i (no "X"). As you're a starving student (I've been there), I'll list the current refurbished body-onlyprices (in US dollars) of the two most likely candidates:


    Canon Rebel T1i - $600


    Canon Rebel XSi - $430


    You can find Adorama's Refurbished Inventory here.


    The XSi is a very good camera for the money. In fact, I think (right now) it's the perfect starter SLR. It isn't the newest and greatest Rebel (it does not shoot video like the T1i), but it's a very solid choice for the money. In fact, you probably wouldn't see much difference in picture quality even if you bought the latest and greatest (except for an increase in resolution and slightly better performance at higher ISOs).


    You might want to get yourself a decent lens while you're at it. Honestly, the lens has more to do with the final picture quality than the camera does. Finding the right general purpose lens for yourself on a budget will probably be a much more difficult task.


    EDIT: Like the above poster said, the most important variable in taking a beautiful picture is the photographer. A great photographer can make fantastic images with equipment that seems inferior and limiting to the rest of us.

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    Re: I'm a student and I am so in over my head. HELP!



    You might consider a slightly older, but far more robust Canon. Especially if you intend to make this your major. The Canon 1D MKII can be found used for less than $1,000 and is a very solid tool. It requires more knowledge on your part, but it is a solid workhorse.


    I would consider it for three reasons
    1. Weather sealing (Only the 1-series bodies are truly weather sealed)
    2. Frame rate (The 1D MKII will be twice as fast as the older Rebel series cameras)
    3. Durability (These things are built like tanks)



    Hope it helps.

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    Re: I'm a student and I am so in over my head. HELP!



    I new less than you about camera tech when I first started shooting and I opted for a used EOS 20D from eBay. I've never had a problem with it. Unless you want to count that time I put an old flash that fires with 250V on the hotshoe. (EOS bodys can withstand 6V haha).


    I've shot around with my friend's XTi and I would take my 20D over a rebel any day. Even the older xx-d bodies feel more robust than current rebels.


    If you want to go xx-d though, I'd recommend the used or refurbished markets for EOS 30D s and/or 40D s.


    Just my take on it.


    -Rodger

  6. #6

    Re: I'm a student and I am so in over my head. HELP!



    Ditto on what Dallas said...

  7. #7

    Re: I'm a student and I am so in over my head. HELP!



    Adorama, referbished body XTi,XSi, , whatever, they will be good. Glass is what you should invest in. I know it costs a bit more, but "L" glass will make you want to shoot more every time you see the results. A 17-40 f/4L wont break the bank too bad, but you can use it on a crop camera or full frame and you will keep good glass forever! Bodies lose value fast and you can always find good deals every time a new model comes out,


    JeffersonPoster

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    Senior Member Dave Johnston's Avatar
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    Re: I'm a student and I am so in over my head. HELP!



    First of all. I wish you the best of luck in your new endeavor. I will agree with most posters here that the xxD line is on quite a different level from the rebel line as far as handling, and performance goes. That doesn't mean a whole lot when you consider I have printed just as many pictures on my wall from an XSi as my 50D. I will echo that the person behind the camera is much more important than the relatively narrow bracket of camera generations you are currently choosing from.


    What might be a helpful addition is what your budget can be. I understand that you are a "starving" college student, but having a number would help us to help you a bit more. It would be nice the have some decent glass to go with your camera. Personally, I would rather take a rebel with a solid lens, than an xxD with a kit lens.


    Hope this helps.





    PS... what was your major before?
    5D mark III, 50D, 17-40 f4L, 24-70 f2.8L, 70-200 f4L ​IS, 28 f1.8, 50 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 100 f2.8 Macro

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    Re: I'm a student and I am so in over my head. HELP!



    Hey, I run an XTi and am quite happy with it. I am not a pro, but an avid amateur. If your limit is pretty low get an older refurbished rebel body (I wouldn't go back beyond the XTi, but an XSi or T1i are good too) and get a better lens. On a budget Tamron's 17-50 f/2.8 (not the VC edition) is a good value for a first lens. That's my $0.02


    If you can afford an xxD and still get a pretty decent lens then do that. I am just one of those buy-glass-first people.

  10. #10
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Re: I'm a student and I am so in over my head. HELP!



    Quote Originally Posted by Whatsreal
    I am just one of those buy-glass-first people.

    +1


    Also,keep in mind that dollar for dollar (or whatever your local currency is), you'll get better image quality with a prime lens than a zoom, in other wordsyou can get good quality prime lenses (with wider apertures) for much less than the cost of good quality zoom lenses. One example - the new EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6, which has good IQ and costs ~US$700, compared to the EF 85mm f/1.8 - you lose zoom, but you gain better IQ, 3.33 stops of aperture, and save ~US$300.

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