Monday, September 7, 2009

Entry Level Canon Camera Bodies

I've been asked multiple times in the last few weeks which entry level camera (under $1000) one should buy when getting into photography. Here is my response:

Thanks for getting me involved in the buying process, always glad to help. As far as bodies... hmmm. The bodies don't hold their value as well as the lenses- so a smart investment is in the lenses. That being said... buy your camera online!! B and H photo is my favorite. Good prices, no tax and no shipping. If you're looking for a local retailer- Talls Camera is good but they're expensive.
So, for bodies: I'd start with a rebel. They take great pictures and have fully manual options for when you get tired of the "green" fully-automatic mode and want to learn more. It's a great entry level camera that takes amazing photos. Canon has made many models of digital rebels. They come out with a new model every year. If you're going to buy a used rebel, buy a rebel XTi or rebel XSi- 10 and 12 megapixels, respectively and an anti- dust sensor that vibrates (to shake off dust) every time you start it. They have older models- the rebel XT and original rebel, but their image processors are known to be quite "noisy" as far as digitals go. The rebel Xti is 10 megapixels, the XSi is 12 megapixels, that's the only major difference. Neither of them record video. The XSi is still sold new, and can be found here

The newest rebel is the T1i can be found here- it's 15 megapixels, HD video recording and has live view (where you can see the image on the screen before you take the photo). The other rebels you have to look through the viewfinder to see the image.
I don't personally feel it's worth the extra $300 to own a rebel T1i rather than the XTi, 10 megapixels is MORE than enough for any consumer or even semi-pro user. I have full HD video on my 5D mark II camera, and I never use it. If you can find a gently used rebel XTi, I'd recommend that. You shouldn't pay more than $550 for it- hopefully less, like $500. Then, you could spend the money you saved on a nice lens. If you're looking to spend more money than $1000 on a camera body, the brand spanking new (just announced today) 7D is the way to go.
This thing is a force! If it didn't have an APS-C sensor, I'd totally buy one! It's a true mid-range professional camera. Price: $1699, body only. It shoots a full 8 frames a second and is 18 megapixels. Honestly, this is too much for someone just starting out. Get a rebel and use it for a couple years- you know you'll be ready for an upgrade when you start "wanting more" from your camera. You'll start saying to yourself, "I want a faster fps rate" or "I want a full frame sensor". For now, a rebel is PERFECT, and you should be able to snag a great price on it.

Any more questions, feel free to ask!