Sunday, November 9, 2008
Buying a Digital SLR Camera
I've decided to buy myself a digital SLR camera. I, like always, did a lot of research on what to buy, and I ended up deciding to buy the Canon Rebel XSi. I've been interested in photography for quite a while. I owned a Canon Elan 7E and was pretty happy with it so I decided to stick with the Canon line. It has the additional benefit that I can use most of my old lenses on the new camera, so I should save some money since I won't be buying all new gear.
This is actually a little unusual for me. When I buy electronics, I almost never buy the entry level. I'm a firm believer that you should basically buy the upper middle of a product line. You should not buy the best because usually the price premium is too great to justify the benefit you get out of the extra features. You usually should not buy the entry level either because the manufacturer often saves the better, more useful features for the step up models. The upper middle of a product line tends to be where the sweet spot is in terms of price and performance, so it is what I generally recommend people do.
Now while I could have afforded to buy the step up model, either the EOS 40D or the EOS 50D, I decided that this time the entry level model just made more sense to me. The step up features did not seem to mean too much to me. The step up models have better construction, higher ISO settings, and a few more controls to tweak. None of these are a show stopper for me, and not worth the price gap of over $300, or over a 50% premium. The resolution of the XSi is actually better than the 40D and slightly under the 50D but I don't expect this to make much difference. Photography at high levels depends much more on your lenses than it does on the camera body, so for me I think it is all a wash. So this time, I decided to save the cash and hopefully use the price difference to buy a nice lens or two.
I also decided to just save some money on this purchase. It is not as if I'm worried about my finances, far from it, but it cannot hurt right now to be a little cautious just in case. In fact, I'm saving money mostly because there is a host of other things I want to buy and I did not want to go overboard buying too much photography equipment; especially when you consider the fact that I've taken a few years off from this hobby and I'm not so sure how much energy I'm going to put back into it.
So if anyone has any experience with this camera, or any of the other ones I've mentioned, let me know what you think. I'll be buying it off Amazon soon, much like I will be for most of my purchases going forward, to get around some of the things going on in California. More on that later ...