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Gear Talk => EOS Bodies - For Stills => Topic started by: MrKorney on August 23, 2012, 09:57:19 AM

Title: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: MrKorney on August 23, 2012, 09:57:19 AM
My friend has a rebel xt (not xti) and is going to India.  She wants to know if, for $200, it's a better idea to buy a point and shoot or another lens to compliment her 18-55mm.  My problem is I don't believe there is a good answer to this question.  She says used lenses are not an issue, but $200 will still only get you so far.

As you can probably tell she really isn't that into photography as much as she just wants a record of her trip, but I would still like to give her good/correct advice.  What say you CR braintrust?
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: Studio1930 on August 23, 2012, 10:00:01 AM
IF she isn't into it that much and is traveling then I would say a point n shoot is a better option.
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: RLPhoto on August 23, 2012, 02:45:58 PM
My friend has a rebel xt (not xti) and is going to India.  She wants to know if, for $200, it's a better idea to buy a point and shoot or another lens to compliment her 18-55mm.  My problem is I don't believe there is a good answer to this question.  She says used lenses are not an issue, but $200 will still only get you so far.

As you can probably tell she really isn't that into photography as much as she just wants a record of her trip, but I would still like to give her good/correct advice.  What say you CR braintrust?

50mm 1.8... ::)
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: DArora on August 23, 2012, 03:24:36 PM
40mm f/2.8 pancake??
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: lola on August 23, 2012, 03:41:52 PM
Come on guys, he says she's not that into photography, already has the 18-55mm. and you're recommending the 50mm. prime and the 40mm. pancake...

A brand new EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II costs $199 at amazon.com and it will definitely broaden her options.
Considering the fact that beginners tend to be attached to teles more, she might even get deeper into photography.
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: sdsr on August 23, 2012, 03:44:02 PM
I doubt she could get a point-and-shoot for $200 that's as good as, let alone better than, her Rebel; but for $200 she could get a new IS lens that's lightweight, gets good reviews and takes over where hers ends: the EF-S 55-250 IS II.
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: distant.star on August 23, 2012, 03:53:37 PM

.
No brain here, but what this situation needs is a Powershot S95.

Now $280 at Canon refurb shop.
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: RLPhoto on August 23, 2012, 04:08:09 PM
Come on guys, he says she's not that into photography, already has the 18-55mm. and you're recommending the 50mm. prime and the 40mm. pancake...

A brand new EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II costs $199 at amazon.com and it will definitely broaden her options.
Considering the fact that beginners tend to be attached to teles more, she might even get deeper into photography.

I Loled at this comment. Remembering that the original kit lens was a fixed prime. ::)

If she wants to go out and see the nightlife , a 50mm will do more good.
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: Menace on August 23, 2012, 04:09:06 PM
Go with the EFs 55-250 IS II to complement her existing lens  :)
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: SambalOelek on August 23, 2012, 04:23:57 PM
Keeping in mind that the Rebel XT has very limited high ISO capabilities, and that the 18-55 non-IS is not exactly great, an affordable, high optical-quality prime (35mm f/2, 40mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8) will certainly bring out the best images you can get on a $200 budget.

Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: unfocused on August 23, 2012, 05:23:00 PM
Come on guys, he says she's not that into photography, already has the 18-55mm. and you're recommending the 50mm. prime and the 40mm. pancake...

A brand new EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II costs $199 at amazon.com and it will definitely broaden her options.
Considering the fact that beginners tend to be attached to teles more, she might even get deeper into photography.

Exactly. The 55-250mm may be the best bargain in Canon's lineup (50mm 1.8 is a close second, but for different purposes).

The little zoom is sharp and light. For travel, it will fit the bill very nicely.
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: AJ on August 23, 2012, 05:29:06 PM
Don't buy anything.  Shoot the XT + 18-55 as is.
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: Ryan708 on August 23, 2012, 06:17:32 PM
noobs often want a mega super tele zoom, but almost never use it, or use it for something that you could just take a few steps closer to. it is too bad she has the older 18-55 non IS, her oportunities for dim lighting are pretty bad. and the old 18-55 was an awful soft lens. A point and shoot under 250$ will be awful in dim lighting as well however. I might have to jump on the 55-250IS bandwagon
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: Rocky on August 23, 2012, 06:39:10 PM
It sound crazy but it may work out well. Keep the XT and get the 18-55 IS II for $150. It is a Much Much better lens than the 18-55 non-IS that she is having now. There is no $200 P &S can beat this combination.
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: Ryan708 on August 23, 2012, 07:12:03 PM
i vote used 18-55 IS for about 75 bucks, and a 50mm 1.8II for low light. nice combo, nice and light, no P+S will match that
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: dr croubie on August 23, 2012, 07:36:55 PM
I'd vote, in order, depending on what you can actually get within the budget:

18-55IS, 50/1.8, 55-250 (obviously getting all three is ideal, but i doubt you'll get all 3 under $200).
18-55 IS + 55-250 for more focal length options
18-55 IS + 50/1.8 for more low-light options
50/1.8 + 55-250 for the best range, but then keeping the 18-55 non-IS and seeing the quality difference between that and the 2 new lenses she might get disappointed with the wider photos.

Already having a dslr, no mater which one, i wouldn't bother with a P&S (at least, a P&S you can get for less than $500)
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: DianeK on August 23, 2012, 07:40:16 PM
noobs often want a mega super tele zoom, but almost never use it
Must not shoot birds or wildlife then?
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: risc32 on August 23, 2012, 08:24:59 PM
35mm f2 or a point and shoot. either of those + a large memory card. a 50mm on a crop is just to long for general purpose. i can't even think of a reason to recommend a tele.
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: ScottyP on August 23, 2012, 09:04:04 PM
Get a flash.  The most glaring flaw of the 18-55 she has will be poor performance in low light.  You could get a decent 3rd party flash and go a long way towards remedying that deficiency.  Bower, metz, Sigma, Vivitar. 

She might even have enough for a flash AND something else, like a tripod or a 50mm f/1.8.  The flash plus the nifty fifty would address low light in 2 ways, and (to an extent) also address image quality.
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: AnselA on August 23, 2012, 09:22:28 PM
It is interesting to read a posting where people are thoughtful and trying to be thrifty. I find that the discussion here fall quickly to which L is the best choice for any situation.
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: EchoLocation on August 23, 2012, 09:45:10 PM
I'm sorry, but I don't think that most photographers understand what it means to backpack with gear. A tripod? for a beginner? an external flash?
her XT already has a flash. I have backpacked for the past 10 months in Asia, and it's a pain in the as$ carrying extra stuff around, and strapping a giant tripod on my bag or carrying an external flash for a beginner is like telling my mom to put nitrous in her prius.
way overkill. I understand that lighting is essential, and tripods help a ton, but please.... for a beginner, or someone not that interested at the moment, more accessories to make life more confusing, and her bag heavier is a bad idea.
i agree that the 50mm would be good, but on a crop, its too tight.
i'd upgrade to the 18-55 IS II if possible, and call it a day. or get an S100 or something like that. otherwise, just tell her to enjoy what she has and use it
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: ScottyP on August 23, 2012, 10:02:53 PM
I'm sorry, but I don't think that most photographers understand what it means to backpack with gear. A tripod? for a beginner? an external flash?
her XT already has a flash. I have backpacked for the past 10 months in Asia, and it's a pain in the as$ carrying extra stuff around, and strapping a giant tripod on my bag or carrying an external flash for a beginner is like telling my mom to put nitrous in her prius.
way overkill. I understand that lighting is essential, and tripods help a ton, but please.... for a beginner, or someone not that interested at the moment, more accessories to make life more confusing, and her bag heavier is a bad idea.
i agree that the 50mm would be good, but on a crop, its too tight.
i'd upgrade to the 18-55 IS II if possible, and call it a day. or get an S100 or something like that. otherwise, just tell her to enjoy what she has and use it

Backpack?  Where in the OP's question does the word "backpack" appear?  It is nice that you have been to the hemisphere referenced in the OP, but not all elements of your experience apply to this trip to India. 

I do not think a speedlite is terribly more complicated (or large, or heavy) than the built-in flash, but it does allow for bounce light indoors, and more power.  I am not sure how excited one can or should become at the prospect of replacing an 18-55 I with an 18-55 II as you suggest, or if that would even be worth the price.  And getting this person interested in photography was one of the OP's stated aspirations. 
I only listed "tripod" and "50 1.8" because you could buy either one with the money left over on @$200.00 after buying the flash.  Even if she does not need a tripod on the trip, upon her return a tripod is a very basic cheap thing for a photographer to have.  The 50mm would be GREAT on the trip; feather light, teeny-tiny portable, and fantastic in low light compared to the kit zoom. 
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: emag on August 23, 2012, 10:47:00 PM
Nix the India trip, put the money into good lenses and go to Alaska.  Or get the 55-250.
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: DianeK on August 23, 2012, 10:53:53 PM
but please.... for a beginner, or someone not that interested at the moment, more accessories to make life more confusing, and her bag heavier is a bad idea.
i agree that the 50mm would be good, but on a crop, its too tight.
i'd upgrade to the 18-55 IS II if possible, and call it a day. or get an S100 or something like that. otherwise, just tell her to enjoy what she has and use it

I tend to agree with most of the above based on personal experience.  I got into photography after a 20 year absence last year when I was going to Africa.  I love my gear: 7D, 60D, 70-300L, 10-22, 15-85, 100 macro, flashes and pocket wizards and I got some great images in Africa and a few other places since.  BUT, it is a pain in the a$$ carrying around all that gear and opportunities have been missed when I left it behind in hotel rooms because I just didn't feel like lugging it around another day.
 
Landscapes, birds and wildlife is what keeps me carrying it but honestly, if I was going on a long trip that didn't involve fauna and where I was relying on public transit a lot, I would probably get the new Sony RX100 to slip in my pocket and leave my bulky gear at home.  We did a 6 week trip in South America 4 years ago and all we had was my husband's Canon Powershot as we hadn't made the leap to digital dslr yet.  And quite frankly, we have great photos of that trip.  Would they have been better with the 7D? Probably.  Would a lot of shots have been missed from mountain tops and kayaks because we didn't want to carry extra gear? You bet!  All I'm saying is for someone who isn't as obsessed as we (me included) are here about getting the perfect shot, a good quality P & S makes sense in this case.
Diane
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: pwp on August 23, 2012, 11:43:48 PM
Doesn't it depend on what the OP actually wants to achieve with photos from the India trip. If they are for commercial use as travel photos, then definitely stay with a DSLR and decent glass.

But if they are for personal use, a decent quality pocket camera is going to make for happier traveling. The number one golden rule for travel is to travel light. The Canon S100 is an obvious choice. I've recommended it to plenty of people who have absolutely fallen in love with this little gem, and thanked me for the recommendation. They have valued the comparative anonymity of a point and shoot over a DSLR, particularly in a destination like India. Sure it's a little more than the proposed $200 point and shoot, but it's IQ, build quality, low light performance and startlingly strong video performance make the S100 the travelers  friend.

-PW

Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: DianeK on August 23, 2012, 11:56:40 PM
@pwp:  well said, and much less wordy than I was  ;)
Diane
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: trygved on August 24, 2012, 12:05:55 AM
I know $200 is the budget, but I say have her pick up a thrifty fifty and keep an extra hundred.
The 50mm will be tight, but low light shallow DOF photography is very exciting when coming from cell phones, slow lenses and P&S cameras.
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: underjammer on August 24, 2012, 12:43:49 AM
My friend has a rebel xt (not xti) and is going to India.  She wants to know if, for $200, it's a better idea to buy a point and shoot or another lens to compliment her 18-55mm.  My problem is I don't believe there is a good answer to this question.  She says used lenses are not an issue, but $200 will still only get you so far.

As you can probably tell she really isn't that into photography as much as she just wants a record of her trip, but I would still like to give her good/correct advice.  What say you CR braintrust?

Just how not-into-photography is she, exactly..?  The fact that she's curious about other lenses sounds like she's more into it than not into it..  Does she use her camera regularly for fun, and does she use it much in non-auto mode?  Personally, I'd say unless she's really into it, going to India with a DSLR with multiple lenses is going to be more trouble than it's worth.

What's she going to be doing there..?  Is she going to be doing tourist-ee stuff?  Or doing some what of a cultural exchange, and hanging around indoors with family/friends?  Visiting historic sites is a day-time thing, and high ISO won't be a problem..  Pretty much all the temple and palace type places that I went to were all open-air outdoorsie.  And unless she's in the mountains, it's probably going to be hottt, and maybe humid, if she's on a coast.  Maybe this time of the year isn't so bad, though?

Also, if she's just there on vacation, and she's not that into photography, she should be focusing on her trip, and not on taking pictures of her trip..  She doesn't want to get done with her trip and realize she missed the experience because she was too busy with her camera.  However, if she's going to be there a while, actually living there, then by all means definitely bring the camera and use it when she can, if that's what she's into.

When I was there, I used my 17-85mm for like 90% of my shots..  I did throw on a telephoto when I was taking pictures of palace details, or monkeys and what not, but most of the time not so much..  I also traveled alone, so I could take my sweet time and not be rushed by anyone, or slow anyone down..

I also had a point and shoot with me, which I used a whole bunch.  There is ALLL sorts of crazy stuff going on in the streets of India, and point'n'shoot in hand is waaaaay easier than DSLR in hand.  And it's also inconspicuous, which is a GOOD thing in a lot of situations.

Also, in India, a big camera is a magnet for people wanting your money.  They're going to get in her shots and then demand money from her, if she's doing tourist-ee stuff, haha.  To avoid it, she's going to have to tell them to get lost.  A LOT, haha.  But they move along..  Or at least they moved along for me (a guy).  They'll probably do it if she's got a point and shoot, too, but they probably won't notice quite as quickly..

Anyway, these are things to consider..  If she's really into it, then by all means I highly recommend she brings her Rebel!  But if she's not, and just wants pictures for memories, and doesn't really care, I'd really recommend just a point and shoot..

IF she's set on bringing the Rebel, I'd really really really recommend getting the 18-55mm IS.  It's all over eBay and craigslist for ridiculously cheap..  And, I'd ALSO recommend the 55-250 IS as others have said, too..  It also is extremely available on the used market..  I wouldn't recommend a prime just before going on a big trip.  That's going to be a lot of time playing/messing with camera instead of focusing on the trip!  (but again, if she's INTO photography and isn't just there for a quick visit, then sure, a prime is a great lens to play with and use..  But not so much otherwise..).  A 50mm prime on an XT for a travel lens?  I don't think so.  And don't forget, multiple lenses plus camera most likely means a dedicated camera bag.

If she's going to get a point and shoot, I can't say NO to an s95 or s100.. they are awesome...  I have an s90..  but if she really isn't THAT into photography, and doesn't really live for RAW format, I don't see why she shouldn't get something like an sx230 or sx260 (affordable travel zoom!)..  People are going to tear me a new one for such a suggestion, probably, haha, due to some idea of "questionable" image quality..  but what ever..  We all used ancient point and shoots years ago that were just fine...  I had my SD630 with me in India, and that thing rocked.  If you buy an s95, you're not going to be zooming in to see the crazy detail work on the Taj Mahal, etc..  All us s90-s100 users are already carrying our DSLRS on trips with us, so we don't need that extra zoom a travel zoom will give you.
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: MrKorney on August 24, 2012, 01:16:44 AM
I'm sorry, but I don't think that most photographers understand what it means to backpack with gear. A tripod? for a beginner? an external flash?
her XT already has a flash. I have backpacked for the past 10 months in Asia, and it's a pain in the as$ carrying extra stuff around, and strapping a giant tripod on my bag or carrying an external flash for a beginner is like telling my mom to put nitrous in her prius.
way overkill. I understand that lighting is essential, and tripods help a ton, but please.... for a beginner, or someone not that interested at the moment, more accessories to make life more confusing, and her bag heavier is a bad idea.
i agree that the 50mm would be good, but on a crop, its too tight.
i'd upgrade to the 18-55 IS II if possible, and call it a day. or get an S100 or something like that. otherwise, just tell her to enjoy what she has and use it

Echo, I have to agree, I bet either she got the dslr as a gift or cause she wanted to take "better" pictures than a p&s not realizing that you have to have a different attitude carrying around a dslr and never got into it

She will not like the Idea of buying the second version of the same lens(and with that thought makes me think she is just more worried about documentation than quality)...at the same time, I do also believe that even if she did nothing she would still have better pictures than a $200 point and shoot....feel free everyone to shoot me down.
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: DianeK on August 24, 2012, 02:10:19 AM
at the same time, I do also believe that even if she did nothing she would still have better pictures than a $200 point and shoot....feel free everyone to shoot me down.
Only if she takes the Rebel everywhere like she would a P&S ;)
Diane
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: CanNotYet on August 24, 2012, 02:15:01 AM
First post as a newly registered lurker. I had to put in something in this thread. I think underjammer is totally right here. My first thought was also: what will she be doing? I have a 30D with some lenses, but if I went to India for 2-3 weeks, it would stay at home. Lugging that thing halfway around the world aint the smoothest thing to do.

I pretty much agree with all underjammers suggestions, but like to add (gasp!) third-party lenses into the mix. :) Newer ones have few (if any) compability problems with an older Rebel, and can be had at rock-bottom prices.

But number one suggestion. SX 230Hs. Under budget, nice pics (I know... Stop being geeks about it) :), good zoom, small size. Perfect for travel. Get a gorilla-pod and off to enjoy India.
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: Jotho on August 24, 2012, 02:54:53 AM
Doesn't it depend on what the OP actually wants to achieve with photos from the India trip. If they are for commercial use as travel photos, then definitely stay with a DSLR and decent glass.

But if they are for personal use, a decent quality pocket camera is going to make for happier traveling. The number one golden rule for travel is to travel light. The Canon S100 is an obvious choice. I've recommended it to plenty of people who have absolutely fallen in love with this little gem, and thanked me for the recommendation. They have valued the comparative anonymity of a point and shoot over a DSLR, particularly in a destination like India. Sure it's a little more than the proposed $200 point and shoot, but it's IQ, build quality, low light performance and startlingly strong video performance make the S100 the travelers  friend.

-PW

+1 on this, I have also recommended the S100 to a few friends and they've been happy with it. I am very happy with mine, small, comparably rugged, great image quality and low light performance. Only thing I would criticize is battery time. Easily addressed though. Although this is out of budget, I still think it would be worth it. She has probably spent significant money on the tickets and other so this would still be a small part of the overall budget.

For a cheap traveler's lens I would recommend Sigma 18-200. Great choice for travel photography if you're learning. Obviously not the best glass in the market, but very useful.
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: Rocky on August 25, 2012, 02:35:44 AM
Doesn't it depend on what the OP actually wants to achieve with photos from the India trip. If they are for commercial use as travel photos, then definitely stay with a DSLR and decent glass.

But if they are for personal use, a decent quality pocket camera is going to make for happier traveling. The number one golden rule for travel is to travel light. The Canon S100 is an obvious choice. I've recommended it to plenty of people who have absolutely fallen in love with this little gem, and thanked me for the recommendation. They have valued the comparative anonymity of a point and shoot over a DSLR, particularly in a destination like India. Sure it's a little more than the proposed $200 point and shoot, but it's IQ, build quality, low light performance and startlingly strong video performance make the S100 the travelers  friend.

-PW

+1 on this, I have also recommended the S100 to a few friends and they've been happy with it. I am very happy with mine, small, comparably rugged, great image quality and low light performance. Only thing I would criticize is battery time. Easily addressed though. Although this is out of budget, I still think it would be worth it. She has probably spent significant money on the tickets and other so this would still be a small part of the overall budget.

For a cheap traveler's lens I would recommend Sigma 18-200. Great choice for travel photography if you're learning. Obviously not the best glass in the market, but very useful.
Both of you have gone beyond the $200 budget.
Rebel XT and the 18-55 IS lens is very light.  this combination can fit in a lady'e larger purse  easily.
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: tiger82 on August 25, 2012, 10:45:15 AM
It just occurred to me that asking a group where most of the people own 7D, 5D2, 5D3, 1D4, 1DS3, and 1Dx about a cheap alternative is going to get skewed answers.  The Rebel XT is the cheap camera.
The shutter delay and slow AF of most P&S cameras ensures a lot of missed opportunities during what may be a once in a lifetime trip.  Go with the XT
Title: Re: Cheap Camera Ideas...worth it?
Post by: friedmud on August 25, 2012, 11:42:01 AM
I own an XSi and a 7D and recently got to use an XTi.  Wow there are a lot of features missing in the XTi.  If you are going for a cheap and light older body I would recommend the XSi (maybe used).  It has a great sensor, has liveview, much better screen, mirror lockup, decent AF.

I can't see going any lower than that.  If you're going lower then I would recommend a point and shoot... The photos you get will look better (especially without editing them).

Oh - I'm off to trek across England for the next two weeks with about 50-60 pounds of gear on my back... So maybe I'm not the best one to give advice here either :-)