Baby on the way, please help buy good SLR

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by n_mettu, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. Hello, I am swamped w/ work/school and don't have adequate time to research
    this on my own without your help. I am in the market for a good DSLR,
    preferably Canon since I've heard that Canon leads the market in this field.
    We have a baby due in less than 4 weeks, and I'm getting stressed that we
    haven't bought this camera yet, and that I haven't practiced with it yet.
    Please help recommend a good DSLR. (I was thinking of either XT or XTi or
    perhaps 30D if there is a good reason to spend that much more.) Plus, we also
    want some help figuring out if we need a separate flash, what kind of lens, if
    any we need to get now to take good pics of a baby, and any other tips you
    have. Thank you all so much in advance for your help. We are looking to
    purchase this week, so any advice you have would be much appreciated.
  2. Hi,

    Congratulations on the forth-coming arrival :)

    I'd suggest grabbing an XTi (complete with kit lens), and try taking some photos of other babies and/or kids - if you like the results you get then "job done" :)

    Answering questions like you've asked can be a bit like to old "how long is a piece of string" - there's always the option to buy better lenses - better cameras - better lighting - all the way up to full-blown professional studio-quality equipment. Obviously this is an extreme example - but - the question is always "how far do you go", which is why I suggest starting with just the camera and see how you go from there.

    Hope this helps,

  3. Can't help ya, you posted in the Canon forum.

    Sorry, I had to do that. My wife shoots an XT and loves it. I shoot a Nikon d70s and a d200. The D200 is a wonderful camera. My wife's XT seems small. If the money is there I would go with a Nikon D200. If not one of the Canon's would do the same thing if your used to Canon stuff.
    Nikon D200 Tokina 80-400
  4. I'll probably get rocks thrown at me on this site, but for a family cam to shoot baby pics I think the best out there right now for a quality kit lens and easy to use DSLR I would get a Nikon D40 (not 40X). You can buy one with a very good 18-55mm kit lens (better than the Canon kit lens) and a 2G SD card for $526.63 at Adorama. I use Canon DSLRs. Good luck!
  5. A good flash would be the 430ex by Canon. That is if you want to avoid the on camera
    flash most dSLRS have. The flash's power can be adjusted and the head allows for
    bouncing the light for really pleasing photos.

    Camera...Canon XTi which is fairly new, has 10MP, is a good choice (many people buy
    this one). 30D is more rugged, bigger and has 8MP. The new Canon is 40D is even
    better still. There is the 5D which is a very good camera but quite expensive.

    The xTi can be purchased with an 18-55mm zoom lens for $100 extra. I think most
    people buy it because it is versatile, and is decent. Many people also use the 50mm 1.8
    with good results especially for portraits. That lens cost about $80. As far as lenses go
    there are other options...if you want to spend more money.

    Look here for info on Canon...IMO way too much information, but will help get you going.

    No need to get stressed about the camera, there is plenty help around.
  6. I agree with Colin.

    The price difference with the XT and XTi models is not much different and although the XT is a great first DSLR I'd grab the XTi due to more features and its a great all around camera that will serve you well for more then just baby photos.

    The kit lens (18-55mm) will do fine for now but I'm certain you will want to upgrade this in the future when you get used to the XT(i) and wish to add to your lens collection. A cheap "portrait" lens for great photos of the new baby would be the very well reviewed Canon 50mm f1.8 II Lens which you can get for around 70 bucks NEW and it seems to do a very good job with portrait photos. It's not the best built lens but for 70 bucks it does an amazing job taking photos of more then just portraits. Example -

    IF you are only using the camera for family purposes and the new arrival then I'd say the XTi will serve you better over the more expensive 30D model which honestly from what I have heard and read about lacks in some areas compared to the XTi.

    Good luck with the purchase and congrats on the new arrival! All the best to your "new" family.
  7. The XTi would be a good camera, complete with its kit lens that you can walk around with. The Nikon D80 is also a very good camera. The next level up would the the Canon 40D or Nikon D200 - with little time on your hands I would suggest the XTi would be your best bet. You can start off using it in the automatic modes and get some nice results - when you get some time, move on to the 'creative' modes and get even better results. The camera will not limit you (as long as you read the manual and spend some time with this new baby before the other one arrives). The 430ex will complement it nicely and by moving the flash further from the lens, will improve the quality of flash photos. Make sure you buy a lot of CF card space (2GB+) and remember to charge all batteries before you go to the hospital (I should repeat that last bit again.)
  8. New baby, busy job...sounds like you'll be using the full auto mode for the next couple of years. Ditch the dSLR. Get a Canon G9 and maybe a 430ex so you can bounce light, keeping it out of baby's eyes.

    Congratulations! ! !
  9. Frankly, there are no bad current generation DSLR's. Any low-end kit from Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Olympus will do well. The consumer level Pentax and Olympus bodies are particular good values in that image stabilization is built-in.

    Pick up a 50mm prime lens (in addition to the kit zoom) as well. Shoot this stopped down a bit to f2.8. You'll find this gives very nice available light portraits of mom and the new baby.

    As for flash, get a Sunpak 383 (about $80.) Flash dedication isn't generally all that useful, particularly when considering the price premium. You want high light output more than anything else.

    The first useful lighting accessory is a diffuser. Commercial units are nice, or you could just tape a white index card to the back of the flash head.

    More than anything else though, good photographs come from good photographers. The particular make or kit is almost inconsequential relative to technique: knowing how to use the equipment, composition, lighting, and tools of the digital darkroom.

    I'd suggest getting a couple of good books along with the camera equipment. If you ever get into it a bit more deeply, I like the material presented at very much.
  10. It sounds like you want a camera to record your child's first years, rather than wanting a
    camera to start a serious photo addiction and lots of lenses. I'd seriously look at the
    Pentax K100 or K100 Super, with the in-body shake reduction. That and the kit lens will
    make it easy to grab shots that look good of you child, and pentax has some really nice
    lenses as well.

    If you are looking a starting a hobby, then a nikon or canon is easier to find lenses for at a
    price you can afford, and the XTi is plenty. Forget the flash, don;t worry about a lot of
    lenses, just shoot tons and have fun:)

    My boy is 7 months old and i use a beat up Digital Rebel and a Leica M6, the rebel is for
    when i don;t have time to think:)
  11. Go w/a point and shoot until you have more time to figure out how to properly work a DSLR, or you'll be "Mr Green Mode" forever....
  12. Well.. you asked about a "good" SLR yet the first ones you mention are the cheapest DSLRs Canon makes. The answer for you then is a 30D (which are now very cheap considering the 40D's phenomenol success in the market).
  13. Are you sure you need an SLR? You can get really good results from a point and shoot too. If you check the specs on a Canon Powershot G9, you'll find them comparable (and in some cases better) than the dslr's. I've got friends who carry Powershot G7 as a backup to a dslr, and they get great shots.
  14. Get either the XT or the D40, whichever one feels most comfortable in your hands. Kit lenses are excellent quality despite their low price.

    Spend the money you save on a flash, the 430ex for the Canon or the SB-400 for the Nikon.

    Sheldon, the green mode works, and works well. My wife is proof of that! Her shots may not be well composed but they are all properly exposed.
  15. I'm with the folks that recommend a good point and shoot such as the Canon G9. With your apparent schedule, you're not gonna have time to learn how to use a DSLR properly. Better to start out the right way rather than teach yourself bad habits and end up posting questions here like " Why doesn't my Canon EOS 40D take good pictures ?"

    Good luck and congratulations on the birth of your baby.
  16. The XT or XTi recommendations are spot on.

    I would also recommend the 50mm f/1.8 lens for photographing your baby. I shot with that lens and our XT almost exclusively for the first 3 months of our son's life. It's a good combination.
  17. I agree with others: Canon EOS Rebel XT/XTi with kit lens and a 50/1.8 or a similar combo from Pentax. No need for an extra flash, in my opinion. Photographing a baby with a portrait lens, experimenting with depth of field, is fun and in fact a great way of learning more about photography. Congratulations! Good luck!
  18. Are you planing to really get into photography? If not I would suggest a Canon S5-IS. Great little camera with many SLR like controls and built in Image Stabilzation.

    Other wise Colin Southern gave good advise on the XT/XTi and kit lens(as did others I am sure).

    Just an Idea.

  19. Anybody that has an slr and a p&s knows that the low light capabilities of a p&s stink relative to a slr. For the most part you can't shoot at ISO 400 with a p&s and, in low light, iso 400 is pretty much the starting point for recovering any degree of ambient background light. That, coupled with the slower fixed lens on most p&s's, leaves you taking pictures at iso 100-200 with an onboard flash with similiarly limited capability. The result is usually a decently exposed subject with a severely underexposed background; consequently, I'd recommend a slr. The superior high-ISO capability enables/facilitates natural low light photography and the onboard pop-up flash on consumer and semi-pro slr's does a (very) respectable job. It lacks the versatility of the shoe-mounted variety, but it's there when you need it without the fuss and geek factor of the shoe-mount. Put a fairly fast lens (f1.8) on a slr and you've got a formidable low light weapon.

    Opinions, of course, are like ..........., everyone's got one.

  20. I own a 300D, 20D, 5D and a G7. I'd still suggest you look at the G9 before you make your decision. It's no ordinary P&S. It has a hot shoe, it has many of the advanced features of an SLR, it has IS, and it will store RAW files. No, it's not going to outperform an SLR and it does have low-light issues. That said, it has a rare combination of convenience and flexibility that shouldn't be discounted without looking.
  21. Skip the DSLR and get a S5 IS.

    Why? Video + stills.

  22. If you have the money, in Canon world the 40D with the 50/1.8 lens and a 430 EX flash (so you can bounce it) is the best solution. The XTi may work as well and is lighter, easier to carry around. I'm not sure about its AF though - the Rebels used to have focusing problems at portrait range with large-aperture primes and lowish light, which is exactly what you'd use.

    I would not go with the kit lens - for now all you need is a portrait lens, and the 50/1.8 will work like a charm and produce much better photos than the kit zoom. Later you can add a decent standard zoom or a 28/2.8 for a more normal perspective.

    Definitely get a flash you can bounce off the ceiling/walls - a direct flash at close range will result in terrible pictures.

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