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To buy a 500D now or wait for the 550D to drop in price. Advice please.

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Nelpiece:
Hi folks,

Hope y'all had a great Christmas.

I am looking to buy my first DSLR camera in the next couple of months and would like some advice.

In May of 2011 I will be going on my honeymoon and my wife to be and I would like to splash out on a new DSLR to capture the memories. We are eyeing up the 550D and with the current cashback offer we can get one for £450. However a friend of ours who is a semi-pro photographer reckons we should spend a bit more and get the 550D. The current price of the 550D with an 18-55 mm lens is £649. We don't want to spend more than £500 ideally and so I wondered if you think the price of the 550D will drop to around £500 by the time April comes around - I'd like at least a month to play around with it and get used to it before we go on holiday.

Any comments welcomed thanks.

CR Backup Admin:

--- Quote from: Nelpiece on December 27, 2010, 12:39:19 PM ---Hi folks,

Hope y'all had a great Christmas.

I am looking to buy my first DSLR camera in the next couple of months and would like some advice.

In May of 2011 I will be going on my honeymoon and my wife to be and I would like to splash out on a new DSLR to capture the memories. We are eyeing up the 550D and with the current cashback offer we can get one for £450. However a friend of ours who is a semi-pro photographer reckons we should spend a bit more and get the 550D. The current price of the 550D with an 18-55 mm lens is £649. We don't want to spend more than £500 ideally and so I wondered if you think the price of the 550D will drop to around £500 by the time April comes around - I'd like at least a month to play around with it and get used to it before we go on holiday.

Any comments welcomed thanks.

--- End quote ---

Realistically, give strong consideration to getting a good point and shoot.  It will be much more portable and easier to carry everywhere. 

The good thing about DSLR's is the ability to interchange lenses, and the higher IQ, but the bad thing about them is that they are not very portable or easy to carry, and a month is not nearly long enough to educate yourself on a part time basis to get to a point where you will exceed what a p&s can do.  You may be the exception, but don't bet a lot of money on it. Almost every image is razor sharp when using a P&S, but the first complaint from new DSLR users is often about the fuzzy images.  The large sensors make for shallow depth of field, and focusing is much more critical.  You will want to understand what you can expect in any given situation, and be able to set the camera accordingly.  IS lenses do make it easier to get sharp images, but they still require some understanding of proper use.

In any event, good luck in your marriage and in your photography.

Policar:
I think the difficulty of using a dSLR is hugely exaggerated.  Once you learn the relationship between ISO, shutter speed, and f-stop in terms of exposure and how each alters the image...it's self-explanatory, a matter of practice and honing technique from there.  I actually think it's a lot easier to learn this on a pre-1990s manual focus film SLR and with an external meter because you have to set everything yourself.  On a digital SLR it's just heaps of nebulous "modes" that obscure what's really going on.  But if you're intelligent and motivated you can learn this fast and there's plenty of literature online or, better yet, in print.  You can also just buy expensive gear and set everything to auto mode, which, sadly, works half the time, whether you know what you're doing or not.

I also think the capabilities of point-and-shoot cameras are hugely underrated.  The s95 or something should be a couple stops grainier than the t1i (I've never used either, could be wrong) but then its lens is a couple stops faster.  If you want to take "good snapshots" the s95 may be much better and much smaller, but if you want to take up photography as a hobby (or business) a dSLR offers flexibility at the cost of money, size, and having to buy more lenses down the road.  I doubt resolution is any different between any 12+ APS-C megapixel cameras for 95% of shots and grain is probably "acceptable" for both, so you should be okay with either one.  I have the t2i and it's nice, but it resides in that weird part of the market where it's too crippled to be prosumer, too bulky to be a point and shoot.  But it's REALLY small by SLR standards!

Gothmoth:
my crystal ball says..... 550D around april = 570 pounds.

but for you and your needs i would suggest an olympus E-PL1 or panasonic GF2 or GF1.
a micro four third camera. smaller then a DSLR and better image quality then a point and shoot.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusepl1/

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/panasonicdmcgf2/

peejay:
Panasonic GF1, with the pancake, is a lovely and very capable little camera.

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