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dSLR kit on a budget -- Canon XT or other?
I've spent hours reading reviews on different dSLRs online. For every good review there seems to be a less positive one. I'm confused. I'm looking for a good basic dSLR for non-studio portraits. That's it really. I have 2 compact cameras for traveling (TZ3 for day and F31 for night).

Case in point a recent indoor party where a flash wasn't possible. All the shots were very noisy and many out of focus due to the long exposure. I might as well not have even bothered. I've seen some pretty good deals on cameras right now. The Canon Digital XT kit can be found for under $500, but I'm also in no hurry either..

Comments (9)

You'll have excellent budget set-up for low light portraiture: ISO up to 3200 (ISO1600 is really usable), and STABILISED f/1.4 portrait lens. That means you will be able to handhold ~1/10-1/20 sec..

Edvinas..

Comment #1

Looks great, but pricewise I'm finding that's closer to $700-750. Is the Pentax K100D kit very good? Better than the Canon XT or Olympus 410 kits?..

Comment #2

I can't tell you about other brands because I only had Nikon..

I sold my D40 a while for $450 with kit lens. D40's can be had for around $450 new and used..

Recently, I bought a Nikon D1H for $380 with 3 batts, 28-80 lens, and other accessories. This is, for me, great value for the money as it takes great pictures..

My suggestion for your price range: get a D1H/D1X they are great cameras for the price they are going now! You can get them very cheap. Meaning you can have enough money to get a good glass..

My 2 cents..

P.s. with the money you save, say you get a body for around $400ish, you can buy a 50mm f/1.8 and the newer 18-55 AF-S VR. ..

Comment #3

I've had my Pentax K100D for about four months now and love it. I haven't been following the pricing closely, but you can probably get it around $500. Beach camera had the best price when I got mine. The kit lens is pretty good and there are some very reasonable other lenses.DavidDallas, TX..

Comment #4

DSHarned wrote:.

Beach camera had the best price when I got mine.The kit lens is pretty good and there are some very reasonable otherlenses..

Looks like the Pentax or Canon body are well under $400. Now, why would I want to get a 50mm fixed rather than a 18-55? Wouldn't everything seem cropped too tight at 50mm? I'm new to the dSLR world, but I thought 50mm digital was similar to 80mm film. No?.

And just to make this post more confusing. I do have a Sigma 28-105mm f3.8-5.6 (Canon) lens left over from my old film SLR days. I don't know much about the lens, but with that aperture, I'm not sure if it's the best choice for moving kids as my main subject...

Comment #5

Budget low light is hard to come by especially for a budget of $500, a fast lens that can perform in low light is going to cost you dearly, and almost all kit lenses are of the f3.5 brand. Since you are shooting in-doors, why not a decent flash with a diffuser and bounce the light? Would be a cheaper solution...

Comment #6

CMD is me wrote:.

DSHarned wrote:.

Beach camera had the best price when I got mine.The kit lens is pretty good and there are some very reasonable otherlenses..

Looks like the Pentax or Canon body are well under $400. Now, whywould I want to get a 50mm fixed rather than a 18-55? Wouldn'teverything seem cropped too tight at 50mm? I'm new to the dSLR world,but I thought 50mm digital was similar to 80mm film. No?.

Because you said money is an issue, that's why the prime idea was suggested.Also faster aperture..

Comment #7

I bought my Canon XT a couple of months ago making the most of the price drop that comes just before the next model is released. on the whole, once you get used to a few irritating things about these prosumer level cameras (lack of features and logic found on cams half the price), you will find it a nice camera. I am not really happy with the kit lens that came with it (focus frustrations etc.) but ya get what you pay for and it is really nice to have a bit of wide angle with minimal distortion. Most problems I have had with it to date can realistically be put down to my acquired laziness from previous cams...

Comment #8

CMD is me wrote:.

Both are great little cameras in their element, but whenI want to get a few really good shots, or light isn't the best, theytend to fall short. Case in point a recent indoor party where aflash wasn't possible. All the shots were very noisy and many out offocus due to the long exposure. I might as well not have evenbothered. I've seen some pretty good deals on cameras right now. TheCanon Digital XT kit can be found for under $500, but I'm also in nohurry either.



Taking party pictures in low light is very much a gamble and you shouldn't expect a very high proportion of good results..

Several years ago I shot a friend's 40th in a reasonably well-lit restaurant, using B&W film uprated to 800 in a Konica Hexar, which had a fixed 35mm f2 lens. Under those lighting conditions, even f2 would have been giving me times no quicker than about 1/30th, OK for cutting out most of my camera shake, but not fast enough to halt the slightest movement by the subjects..

I started shooting as the guests began to arrive and carried on all evening, to the point they came to disregard the camera and stopped lapsing into grins every time it pointed at them. I began to spot little sequences - getting out and lighting cigarettes (it was that long ago!), sipping from a wine glass or the receiving or opening of a present. Among all the movements concerned, each time there would be one or two instants when the subject came to rest - and was the time to shoot. Go too soon or just afterwards and the result was a blur. By the end I'd shot 5 or 6 films, perhaps 200 exposures, but I had enough to put together an album of 40 decent shots that featured all the guests..

And that situation wasn't so very different from any other instance where you have to rely on pauses in the action to be able to capture a decent image. Certainly a DSLR's faster reaction time will help, but the real trick is to get to foresee the moment, and shoot as it happens..

Do that and you'll be able to use almost any camera..

Get the XT - I love mine - or look for a deal on the XTi, they're both very capable cameras and an excellent introduction to the whole Canon system..

Peter.

Peter - on the green island of Ischiahttp://www.pbase.com/isolaverde..

Comment #9

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