snubbr.com

dSLR -- first time buyer with a specific question
Hello,.

I'm a painter. I use a digital camera to take pictures of my paintings and put them on my website, my gallery's website, submit to competitions, etc..

Up to this point I have been using the Canon Powershot G3, which I bought new a few years ago. It treated me fine, but I've outgrown it..

I've used film SLRs and like the freedom that comes with an SLR so the logical choice was dSLR for my new camera. I had been looking at Canon's XTi (400D) because money (i regret to say) is an object..

Now, with the upcoming release of the XSi (450D) I am torn between the two..

The XTi will inevitably continue to drop in price (it dropped a little on the 24th, and will surely continue up to and probably after the XSi's release) which makes it more and more appealing to me. But after reading some of the negitive feedback on this and other forums I'm considering waiting for the XSi..

I'm drawn to XSi's Live-View (as a previous G3 user, I'm sure I'd miss it, even if I eventually grew out of it), the higher mp is also appealing for the possibility of larger prints (granted it's not a significant difference), and the kit lens is [according to this forum] considerably better..

I was using the G3, which used CF cards (and would transfer to the XTi), but the XSi uses SD which are considerably cheaper since I would have to upgrade anyway..

Also... any reccomendations for a lens that would serve me well? My paintings are generally modest in size (from about 6x6" up to 30x30") and like I said I've just been using my old G3 and dont have much hands on experience with lenses. Would I want a Macro lens for this? A wide angle lens? I'm not really sure.....

Comments (15)

Your question is like asking - "I'm looking for a cheap economical car to drive to work, any suggestions?" Well yes, get an older Mazda that's been well taken care of and you'll get what you want. But in all honesty, wouldn't life be a bit more fun with a used BMW, heck you can get a 318 that's a hoot to drive - best cornering car you'll probably ever own..

So the budget answer to your question is to get the camera I own, sells cheap on eBay and it will do all you want it to do - the Digital Rebel. Here's a link below, just forward the slide show and you'll see all Digital Rebel shots (also known as the 300D):.

Http://www.dpreview.com/gallery/canoneos300d_samples2/.

You can see from these shots, the camera will more than do what you ask for, since your requirements are so modest. The kit lens will work with your paintings to get what you want; put it on a tripod and close the lens down a bit (smaller opening in the lens) and take a longer shutter speed shot of your paintings - they aren't going anywhere so long shutter speeds isn't an issue..

Now for the BMW answer. Are you really only going to use it for your paintings, if so see above. However why not take the camera for a little spin, you know, around the windies and twisties, live a little. So if you are going to expand your photography, go with the new XSi, go dumpster diving to get the extra money, and again you will be able to use your kit lens for your painting requirements..

Probably one of the best "bargain" L lens right now, and expanding your repertoire beyound - but including the kit lens - is the non-IS Canon 70 - 200 f4 L lens. This will do the bulk of your point and shoot type shots, trips, of the dog, friends and enemies, etc. But it packs a great image quality. Save up for this puppy after you get your XSi. Review link below - no, you don't need IS:.

Http://the-digital-picture.com/...on-EF-70-200mm-f-4.0-L-USM-Lens-Review.aspx..

Comment #1

Ebineesey wrote:.

Also... any reccomendations for a lens that would serve me well? Mypaintings are generally modest in size (from about 6x6" up to 30x30")and like I said I've just been using my old G3 and dont have muchhands on experience with lenses. Would I want a Macro lens for this?A wide angle lens? I'm not really sure....

I would not choose a wideangle for original images of this size. The only motivation for a wideangle would be for a very large painting (covering an entire wall perhaps) where you could not get far enough back to fit it in..

The kit lens may be suitable, but for smaller originals a macro might be even better..

The advantage of a macro lens is the low distortion (barrel and pincushion type) and sharp image quality. The one thing to be wary of, some macro lenses of longer focal lengths (such as 150mm) would probably be unsuitable for an original 30x30", as you'd need to stand a long way back from the subject to fit it in, in a small room that might be impossible. A shorter macro such as a 50mm (or perhaps a 90mm) might work well..

Another factor, perhaps less important is the shape of your original paintings. If some are tall and narrow, or wide but short, a DSLR having a 3:2 (aspect ratio) sensor would be fine. But if most of your work is square or almost square, the images will require cropping - in effect part of the sensor area would be wasted, so you might want to consider one of the four thirds DSLRs from Olympus, which would give more efficient use of the pixels, given the 4:3 sensor, which is closer to square.Regards,Peter..

Comment #2

Rebel Xti 400D. That is what I've been planning to go with now for a while....with the release of the 450 Xsi it only makes it more within my grasp. I am hearing some negative aspects about the 450 Xsi...for example...sure it has live view...but it is basically worthless because of how slow it is. You never had live view on your film SLR...you don't need it on the dSLR either. The only positive to the 450Xsi is a slightly larger viewfinder I believe. Not really worth the extra $300 the camera will likely cost me.

I'll be going for JUST the body, because I think I'll pay the $175 for the 18-55mm IS lens. As for a macro...check out Canon's 60mm macro. Last month there was a write up about another company putting out a 30mm I think as well which might work better for the larger paintings...

Comment #3

Sherwoodpete wrote:.

I would not choose a wideangle for original images of this size. Theonly motivation for a wideangle would be for a very large painting(covering an entire wall perhaps) where you could not get far enoughback to fit it in.The kit lens may be suitable, but for smaller originals a macro mightbe even better.The advantage of a macro lens is the low distortion (barrel andpincushion type) and sharp image quality. The one thing to be waryof, some macro lenses of longer focal lengths (such as 150mm) wouldprobably be unsuitable for an original 30x30", as you'd need to standa long way back from the subject to fit it in, in a small room thatmight be impossible. A shorter macro such as a 50mm (or perhaps a90mm) might work well.Regards,Peter.

Peter, thank you for the advice on lenses..

In reality most of my paintings are right around 14x14 or rectangles there about. It's good to know that a short macro might be the way to go. (and obviously, the kit lens would suffice even if it wasn't ideal.).

Thanks again!Any reccomendations on specific lenses?..

Comment #4

Keqwow wrote:.

Rebel Xti 400D. That is what I've been planning to go with now for awhile....with the release of the 450 Xsi it only makes it more withinmy grasp. I am hearing some negative aspects about the 450 Xsi...forexample...sure it has live view...but it is basically worthlessbecause of how slow it is. You never had live view on your filmSLR...you don't need it on the dSLR either. The only positive to the450Xsi is a slightly larger viewfinder I believe. Not really worththe extra $300 the camera will likely cost me.



See, I've been entertaining that same thought. But, in light of the few negitive reviews, what if the XSi bombs...? Does that mean the XTi will go back UP in price? It's kind of an odd situation...

Comment #5

If you are looking for a good cheap lens, the Canon 50mm f1.8 is only $80. It's sharp, fast and has very little distortion. My daughter has a Rebel XTi and she uses the 50mm more than the kit lens...

Comment #6

Rsn48 wrote:.

Your question is like asking - "I'm looking for a cheap economicalcar to drive to work, any suggestions?" Well yes, get an older Mazdathat's been well taken care of and you'll get what you want. But inall honesty, wouldn't life be a bit more fun with a used BMW, heckyou can get a 318 that's a hoot to drive - best cornering car you'llprobably ever own..

So the budget answer to your question is to get the camera I own,sells cheap on eBay and it will do all you want it to do - theDigital Rebel. Here's a link below, just forward the slide show andyou'll see all Digital Rebel shots (also known as the 300D):.

Http://www.dpreview.com/gallery/canoneos300d_samples2/.

You can see from these shots, the camera will more than do what youask for, since your requirements are so modest. The kit lens willwork with your paintings to get what you want; put it on a tripod andclose the lens down a bit (smaller opening in the lens) and take alonger shutter speed shot of your paintings - they aren't goinganywhere so long shutter speeds isn't an issue..

Now for the BMW answer. Are you really only going to use it for yourpaintings, if so see above. However why not take the camera for alittle spin, you know, around the windies and twisties, live alittle. So if you are going to expand your photography, go with thenew XSi, go dumpster diving to get the extra money, and again youwill be able to use your kit lens for your painting requirements..

Probably one of the best "bargain" L lens right now, and expandingyour repertoire beyound - but including the kit lens - is the non-ISCanon 70 - 200 f4 L lens. This will do the bulk of your point andshoot type shots, trips, of the dog, friends and enemies, etc. Butit packs a great image quality. Save up for this puppy after you getyour XSi. Review link below - no, you don't need IS:.

Http://the-digital-picture.com/...on-EF-70-200mm-f-4.0-L-USM-Lens-Review.aspx.

Well, price really isn't too much of a concern. I just mentioned it to ward off the "go buy this 12,000 dollar camera" suggestions..

My price range is that of the cameras I mentioned. ie: Under $1000 and if I can squeeze two lenses into that budget, even better..

I happen to drive an '87 BMW 325. It drives only slightly better than my previous '89 pontiac but I understand your analogy..

I think the XT is out of the question for me, the advances that took place in the XTi are enough to make that jump... I'm just torn between the XTi and the XSi..

With the XTi I can probably buy the body alone, the IS lens upgrade, and another macro within my budget. I'm trying to outweigh the higher mp, smaller SD cards, increased battery life, better kit lens, and live-view of the XSi between the affordability of the XTi, despite those things...

Comment #7

The olympus e 510 with the two lens kit (14-42 and 40-150) could be a option for you. You should find in at B and H photo for $650-685. Ask some questions over at the olympus slr forum. Good luck...

Comment #8

I have some limited experience in both painting and photography, having been comissioned by a private client for 9 oil paintings in 2006 and doing mostly photography now for work..

I'd say either camera would likely treat you very well, a good decision to move up from the Xt model IMHO..

While a macro lens may offer great detail, a close focusing distance, and such... It's a fairly specific lens and wouldn't necessarily offer much versatility for you to use it and enjoy your camera for other (leisurely) captures..

A standard prime; like the already mentioned 50/1.8 could do nicely. Depends if you have enough space to back up and photograph- but a 50mm on a 1.6x crop won't be too difficult if you can step 3-5 paces back from your ptgs..

The main thing I might humbly suggest is investing a bit into lighting. Some sort of diffuse lighting. When shooting flat art, a common method is to use two 'strip lights' (which are long, narrow Soft Boxes) angled at 45 degrees toward the artwork. This disallows glare/reflections and offers a wonderful even light quality to an entire work. You could prolly use some inexpensive strobes shot thru white umbrellas (would requir light stands and umbrella adapter brackets), or if all your work is relatively small... You may be able to use the Stoffen Softbox accessory that you can buy for speedlights for about $20/each..

I think this is the best way to see the most remarkable improvement in your image quality and most accurate representation of your works. If you were to consider getting umbrellas, a 'kit' from B&H like Impact or whatever may include TWO 8-foot light stands, umbrella adapter brackets, TWO 32" umbrellas (make sure the silver/black is removable and has translucent white also), maybe even include a reflector (great for outdoor portraits) all for about $100- a MUCH better deal than buying components individually..

As a great all-around lens that I'd be highly confident shooting artwork, I might suggest you consider the 24-105mm f/4 L. It would prolly be the one and only lens you would want if you're out walking around taking photos (making gleaning some inspiration for your paintings?). And it is very well built and has remarkable image quality. It is about $1000, so maybe that's not a high priority to you. You can opt for something like the 35mm f/2 or 50/1.4 or 50/1.8 and get your images (just not the same versatility to also use your camera in other settings)..

Dunno if this helps. YMMV. Cheers..

~ davidmy flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/prodesma/my website: http://kaptures.net/..

Comment #9

Just to add a different suggestion, if you really just want to photograph paintings a fine option would be a Zeiss Ikon with a good Zeiss planar lens. Takes film, but plenty of people will scan the negatives for you and the image quality will be vastly better...

Comment #10

I think it's time you moved up into the next generation of BMW's, maybe get a 1997 car .... lol! What makes BMW cars great to drive is not the "muscle straight ahead" male testosterone driven 0 to 60 speedway wonders; it's how they perform in the twisting mountains of Germany - or for that matter North America. Or, how steady they can be driven at top speed on the Autobahn. There are throaty, gurgling wonders such as the new 3 M car, but the majority of us drive for the curves, not the straights..

I laughed when you told me you didn't want the XT which is what you thought I recommended. I didn't... lol!... I recommended the camera before it. Its all the camera you need and if all you shoot is paintings, don't waste your money on anything else..

Now if you want to get out there and join the macro thread in the Canon lens forum shooting butterflies and other wondrous small critters, then by all means get the latest and greatest..

But if you think that in the deepest depths of your soul, there lurks an artsy fartsy photographer just waiting to emerge, you are better off with the Canon 30 or 40D, most likely the 40D. Why. Well you are assuming the camera is most important, and it certainly is, but of almost equal importance is the software you will eventually be using to muck around with your artsy digital graphic wonders. So if you are using adobe software, what most true artsy fartsies use, then you will want the more "professional" cameras. Again why? Because the plug ins that you can get third party to the adobe software will more support the mid-serious amateur or pro camera, than the entry level Rebel in all it's guises..

So get out there, make President Bush proud, spend your money, stop the recession, and have fun with a camera that will challenge you a bit...

Comment #11

A 350 gives you 14 MP and Live viewA 300 gives you 10 MP and Live viewA 200 gives you 10 MP no Live view but bigger viewfinder.

All share fast AF with all current Sony and all Minolta AF "A-mount" compatible lenses from sigma, tamron, Tokina, as Sony bought the Minolta DSLR and SLR assest two years ago..

All take your CF card..

Ralf- too lazy for hosting an online gallery..

Comment #12

Ebineesey wrote:.

Also... any reccomendations for a lens that would serve me well? Mypaintings are generally modest in size (from about 6x6" up to 30x30")and like I said I've just been using my old G3 and dont have muchhands on experience with lenses. Would I want a Macro lens for this?A wide angle lens? I'm not really sure....

Macro lenses are typically better corrected for flat-field reproduction and sharpness at close focusing distances. With normal lenses, resolution at the border often doesn't begin to approach that of the center until stopped down so far that diffraction is limiting the overall image quality. You might consider the modestly-priced Sigma 50mm F/2.8 EX macro DG. Every optical quality seems exceptionally good (no distortion, vanishingly low vignetting, very high resolution across the entire frame, low chromatic aberrations)..

Http://www.photozone.de/...f-50mm-f28-ex-macro-dg-test-reportreview?start=1..

Comment #13

Prodesma wrote:.

While a macro lens may offer great detail, a close focusing distance,and such... It's a fairly specific lens and wouldn't necessarilyoffer much versatility for you to use it and enjoy your camera forother (leisurely) captures..

A standard prime; like the already mentioned 50/1.8 could do nicely.Depends if you have enough space to back up and photograph- but a50mm on a 1.6x crop won't be too difficult if you can step 3-5 pacesback from your ptgs..

I think you want a macro lens even if you don't use it close up. Macro lens requirements include a flat field of focus. If you're taking photo's of a flat object and want good focus and detail at the edges and corners, you want a macro. Non-macro's will trade some flatness of field for other qualities such as cost or weight. I have a Canon 50mm f/1.8. It's a nice economical lens but it does not have a planar depth of focus..

For your purposes a short macro would be good. Say a 50mm macro on a 1.5 or 1.6 crop body (Consumer and Enthusiast grade SLR's from Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and Sony.) Pentax announced a new 35mm macro which would also seem like a good focal length for your work..

On a 4/3 body the crop factor is 2, so you'd need a shorter focal length than 50mm. I'm not sure one exists, but the Olympus or Leica folks could help you there...

Comment #14

But you definitely want a macro lens because it is better suited for reproduction purposes..

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/..

Comment #15

Click Here to View All...

Sponsored Amazon Deals:

1. Get big savings on Amazon warehouse deals.
2. Save up to 70% on Amazon Products.


This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

Categories: Home | Diet & Weight Management | Vitamins & Supplements | Herbs & Cleansing |

Sexual Health | Medifast Support | Nutrisystem Support | Medifast Questions |

Web Hosting | Web Hosts | Website Hosting | Hosting |

Web Hosting | GoDaddy | Digital Cameras | Best WebHosts |

Web Hosting FAQ | Web Hosts FAQ | Hosting FAQ | Hosting Group |

Hosting Questions | Camera Tips | Best Cameras To Buy | Best Cameras This Year |

Camera Q-A | Digital Cameras Q-A | Camera Forum | Nov 2010 - Cameras |

Oct 2010 - Cameras | Oct 2010 - DSLRs | Oct 2010 - Camera Tips | Sep 2010 - Cameras |

Sep 2010 - DSLRS | Sep 2010 - Camera Tips | Aug 2010 - Cameras | Aug 2010 - DSLR Tips |

Aug 2010 - Camera Tips | July 2010 - Cameras | July 2010 - Nikon Cameras | July 2010 - Canon Cameras |

July 2010 - Pentax Cameras | Medifast Recipes | Medifast Recipes Tips | Medifast Recipes Strategies |

Medifast Recipes Experiences | Medifast Recipes Group | Medifast Recipes Forum | Medifast Support Strategies |

Medifast Support Experiences |

 

(C) Copyright 2010 All rights reserved.