First DSLR, used 300D?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by cps, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. cps

    cps

    Okay I have a few questions, that might seem utterly foolish to most of you however I still consider myself new to the digital world. I've only had a Canon SX120 digital camera for about a year now, though I've been shooting film with Rebels since I was about 18 years old. Anyways I was strongly considering getting a bridge camera, either the Panasonic FZ35, or Fuji S200 EXR, however after doing some reading I had begun to consider going to DSLR route. However it will be a used DSLR as I just cannot afford a new one at this time. I have 3 working lenses for my Canon at the moment, the 50mm 1.8, a 35-80mm 3.5 (which actually though a kit lens is pretty good) and a Cosina 28-210mm zoom, which seems to be working at the moment. (though it has it's moments when it doesn't work). For now I'd like to keep the price as low as possible on a body and was thinking of either a Digital Rebel (300D) or an XT (350D?), I don't care if it's a Japanese KISS or a European model as long as the menus are english what do I care? Okay, couple of questions now:
    Seeing as how the 300D is an older model, will it really give me better IQ than say the Panasonic FZ35? This might seem like a dumb question, and I do have a basic grasp of sensor size etc, but I don't want to get a 300D only to find out it just can't do what a newer zoom camera can. Again probably a stupid question I know.
    Second, is there that much a difference between a 300D and an XT? one is 6.3 MP the other 8, does that make much of a difference? I'm pretty sure it's going to come down to either of these two bodies, the XTi is still pretty pricey almost approaching a new XS. But a 300D or XT can be had reasonably cheap.
    Third, others on here suggested I get think about a used DSLR, and I will definitely get one through KEH. I've gotten used 35mm gear there and have no problem, but are used DSLRs okay too? I know, someone is going to probably want to tell me just get a used 20/30D or a new XS, again price is the issue. I don't have a wide angle lens either, but I actually am so used to shooting with my 50mm prime that I can actually hold off on a lens for the time being.
    Will I be satisfied with a 300D seeing as how I'm used to shooting film on my Rebel SLR? I really like the prices involved and it would give me room to get a lens maybe as well. I've heard about actuations on DSLRs but how does one find this out? I mean who keeps track of how many times they'll clicked the shutter? is this stored somewhere in the camera's memory?
    Anyways I apologize if I'm rehashing old stuff but I'm still so new to the digital world.
     
  2. Features in the 300D were intentionally crippled in firmware, so the camera wouldn't compete with the 10D. Firmware limitations were lifted in the 350D. It's a much better camera. The larger sensor (and I don't mean pixel count) of any DSLR should give you nicer portrait images than the smaller sensor on any point & shoot. But technology has improved since 2005, and some P&S cameras might be better in low light. Canon's S95 is a great example, but it probably costs more than a used DSLR.
     
  3. cps

    cps

    Because I can't afford that? ;) I know it's a fantastic deal and it has me drooling, but it's just beyond my price range. I do appreciate you pointing that out to me, as I did not know about. (I noticed a similar deal with the XS the other day which was fantastic too), but it's just too much for me especially with Christmas shopping coming up and all. :)
     
  4. cps

    cps

    Peter, could you tell me which features you're referring to? I'm basically concerned with IQ, but if there is something specific I might use I'd be interested. Remember I'm shooting a Rebel 35mm SLR so it's not like I'm used a feature rich camera as it is. Though my SX120 has a lot of cool stuff.
     
  5. Well I tried.
    I do my searches on ebay and was recently told about KEH, but I only search for exactly what I want after I've done my research homework.
    If I was shooting Canon, I'd be looking at the EOS 7D. More $$$
    The XSi and the T1i are much cheaper.
    Decide exactly what you would like and save your dollars, and window shop too.
     
  6. Go with the 350XT. It's just not worth it to go w/such an old model as the 300. No one has pointed it out yet, but the
    300 did have some issues. I know money is tight, but there comes a point where you'll be throwing it away if you go
    too cheap/old.
     
  7. Nothing wrong with a used DSLR, every single DSLR I've owned has been a used one. KEH is great, but they do run a little on the spendy side. The other downside of buying from a dealer is that you don't know the history of the camera that they took on trade in. They can tell you how the outside condition of the camera is and that it works, but they can't tell you how much mileage (shutter actuations) are on it.
    If you're looking to buy a camera now, I am currently selling a Rebel XTi body. :)
    http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/953245
     
  8. A 350D is definitely much better than a 300D. The 300D was crippled, as others have pointed out, and I'd find it extremely annoying to use, knowing how the 350D doesn't have those limitations. For instance, the 300D doesn't allow you to select a metering mode or AF mode. That would drive me totally insane in about five minutes.
     
  9. As people have said, the XT (350) or XTi(400) are a better deal used. While newer ones go higher ISOs, either of these will have enough punch to do excellent photography.
    In the last few weeks on eBay, XTi bodies only have gone from just over $200 up to $400+ -- some poor innocent paid a cool $1000 for one, just the body, no lens. Actually, they go in the same price range with the older 18-55mm non-IS lens. That would do, but it's nothing like so good as the newer version. On the other hand, if you get it 'free' it's certainly worth that price. ;)
    As always, it takes patience to get the lower prices - read the descriptions carefully too. Don't buy from someone with no eBay record. If you need a warranty of sorts, then it's advisable to pay a little more (retail, in short) and get it from Adorama, B&H, KEH or other well-rated eStores wherever you are. Prices at Adorama are about US$350 now, so I wouldn't pay that much on eBay.
    Your lenses will serve, although at some point you might want to add the newer 18-55mm IS lens, since you will lose what little wide-angle you had on the film cameras because of the smaller sensor 1.6X format difference. They can sell for as little as US$70 on eBay, used, but working or even like new. If the Cosina is already dodgy, I wouldn't count on it.
     
  10. Among the functions that the firmware crippled are:
    • Custom functions menu
    • Flash Exposure Compensation using SET button
    • SET button function when shooting (to change image quality or shooting parameters)
    • Shutter release w/o CF card
    • Flash sync speed in Av mode
    • RAW+JPEG rec. Enables setting the quality of embedded JPEG
    • Mirror Lock up
    • the ability to select the autofocus mode: AI servo, Oneshot etc.
    • ISO 3200
    Aside from missing features, the 300D is just older. Neither electronic computer components nor shutters last forever.
     
  11. I should add two things. 1) The list of firmware features is plagiarized from Bob Atkins. See http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/digital/digital_rebel_firmware_hack.html
    and 2) Some VERY nice pictures have been taken with the 300D. It probably won't limit the quality of your photos.
     
  12. The 300D and 10D are both good cameras that can produce beautiful results. The issue with them is startup time, response time, writing to the card time. The 10D cannot use EF-s lenses also. I would get a 10D over a 300D. These have limitations that will make you looking to upgrade.
    But I would go with a 20D (very fast, rugged, better user interface, cleaner high ISO) or an XT or XTi body over the above. Check out Craigslist.org - I see these for $175-250 for the body (including 20D's show up for that price which is a fast excellent heavy duty camera). If you go to KEH.com (excellent company) the have the 20D for $265-310. KEH has a reputation for underrating (I have experienced it with a lens supposed UGLY that was minimum Excellent). Adorama (also excellent) has a Exc- for $249 currently. The 20D can last quite a while with you not having that urge to upgrade quickly because of frustration or missing the shot.
     
  13. Hi Chuck,
    I am still shooting with the original 300D I bought new about seven years ago. It is slow compared to the newer models and a fair amount of noise when trying to shoot an evening sunset shot. I have babied it all its life, never dropped, and I keep the sensor cleaned. The only change I did was replace the kit lens after six months with a 24-70 F2.8L. I wanted more light for the sensor.
    You are much bettter off at this technology stage of buying the best you can afford and new. If only a basic kit. There is no telling how much life is left in a used 300D or any older models because you will never know what kind of wear and tear it has been through.
    I also have a 10D but it is converted to Infrared only. What I do like is it is faster and quieter.
    Even with these older models still working, I want to buy a newer body to replace the 300D and have faster shooting, more features, and higher ISO settings. The higher megapixel counts of the newer bodies means I will have better resolution too.
    The 300D when originally reviewed was considered a snapshot camera. It offered a lot for the price at the time but the technology has improved. All these cameras are complex computers. Why hobble yourself with a Windows 98 or 2000 machine equivilant, when buying a quadcore current machine will have the lifespan you need from now. It is really about being careful with the equipment and maxing out its abilites as it slowly ages to obsolescence.
    CHEERS...Mathew
     
  14. I'd aim a bit higher. As mentioned both 300D and 10D are getting very old and slow and 10D can't even take Canon's own EF-S lenses.
    Start from 350D/20D and you'll be much happier. Prices should still be very low.
    New 18-55 IS lens is great compared to your old zooms and you'll get wide angle. I can tell you that EF 35-80 won't shine on digital. 50/1.8 is good, stunningly sharp at middle apertures.
     
  15. 450D (XSi) with 18-55IS - refurbished from www.adorama.com - $479
    includes one year warranty
     
  16. [[I know money is tight, but there comes a point where you'll be throwing it away if you go too cheap/old.]]
    Unless you unknowingly buy a broken camera, this is simply not true.
    [[Will I be satisfied with a 300D seeing as how I'm used to shooting film on my Rebel SLR?]]
    Chuck,
    You will be able to move almost seamlessly into a DSLR from a film SLR. The only difference will be the change in the field of view from your lenses.
    Between these two, the 350D is definitely your choice here. You'll be able to use it for quite a long time. The 300D is a nice camera, but Canon really improved things when moving to the 350D.
     
  17. The 300d was my 1st dSLR. I still miss it. It handled rather well for an entry-level camera and the only complaint I had (at the time) was the slow start-up. To get around that I left it in sleep mode whenever I felt I would be using the camera a lot, e.g. on the street.
    I had the firmware hack (Google that) and that allowed me to shoot comfortably at high-ISO. The attached image was shot with the crummy kit lens everyone slags off, at 1600 ISO; f3.5; 1/15th sec.
    I have no complaints with this shot.
    Reasons why you won't like the 350D? it's smaller than the 300D. The ergonomics are bad and it took Canon several years to get that right with the 450D. The 450D, however, is one heck of a noisy camera at high-ISO. and its images are also very "plastic" in look and feel, IMO.
    I sound like that Rockwell bloke :)
    00Xgxp-302763584.JPG
     
  18. cps

    cps

    Wow! Thank you everyone for such fantastic responses. I really appreciate the details and all the advice and handy tips. It seems everyone is pretty sure that the XT would be the way to go for a used DSLR (or a 20D). I guess I'll have to do some serious price comparisons and searches. There doesn't seem to be a lot of XTs available but used 300Ds seem abundant. I'm definitely wary of ebay for used electronics but maybe I should give that a look with careful research. I will try and keep my options open and some of the sites/cameras mentioned I'm off to take a look at right now.
     
  19. There's heaps of used 300D's around because nobody wants the bloody things :)
     
  20. [[There doesn't seem to be a lot of XTs available but used 300Ds seem abundant]]
    Search for both 350D and XT if you're looking on craigslist or similar. KEH has a bunch, but they're going to be higher priced than elsewhere. The advantage there would be the return policy and their very conservative ratings.
    Do consider the need for a new battery for the camera. At this point the original battery on a 350D will be at or nearing end-of-life (mine certainly is). You can get a replacement from Sterlingtek.com.
     
  21. the 20d takes efs and ef lenses i believe? not big prices for a decent rig? regards chuck. let us know if you need more help. post some shoots withyour choice . miken
     
  22. chuck i just had a look at uk hee bay canon 20d plus 90 300lens plus 18 35 lens £235 = $380 at present bid mark miken
     
  23. Chuck
    In my view the most important thing you mentioned in your orginal post was that you have a Canon 50 mm 1.8 at your disposal. This is everything. Follow Mike's comment re (hebay) - grab yourself a 20D, mount that 50 on it. Set the dial to deliver raw images at 200 ISO. Bin the rest of it. Use any money left over to buy a spare battery and / or meory card. Here's an example of an image taken with that exact kit.
    PS: Here's an apocraphyl (sp? help me out) story about the 50mm 1.8: About a week before this image was taken I was sitting in a little parkette in London near the Tate. I had the 50mm EF 1.8 mounted on the 20D and it wouldn't autofocus. Given that I'd only paid $40 for this lens in 1998 or so, I took it off and was going dump it in nearest bin. Than I saw a flower that looked like it needed to be photographed so I took the 50 in the plam of my hand and wacked hard on the side the bench. Put it back on the 20D and have been using it ever since. DOn't know if the 20D would have taken that, but the lens did.
    00Xh9K-302889684.jpg
     
  24. Chuck-
    Agreed on what most everyone has said. I sell these things, and I always use car analogies at work. Making a big print (over 5x7) or doing professional work is like towing: it's a big job, and regardless of the 'wow' factor, that's the number one thing you need to do. Think of SLRs like trucks and point-and-shoots like cars. Sure a new, high-tech Mazdaspeed or whatever you equate Canon's s95 to has got lots more horepower than an old truck, and is a much more sophisticated piece of machinery. But you're going to have a tough time towing anything with a Mazda, because it's just not made to do that. Your SLRs, while older, might require more work, might not be as fancy or high-tech, or use higher ISOs ... but they can 'tow' a lot better. They'll make better enlargements with more sharpness and range than a much higher megapixel point-and-shoot, because that's what they're designed to do.
    The 20D is a great choice. It's extremely durable, and even used you'll probably get more life out of it than a new pocketcam. Whether or not you need that versus a Rebel is up to you though. The Rebel will focus more slowly and lack as many outside controls and durability, but you'll also get more stuff for the same price. For some people, durability isn't a huge issue.
    If you do decide on a Rebel XT, message me. My shop has a black one for sale with a battery grip, 4 batteries, charger, and 18-55 non-IS lens for only $370. We're in Upstate New York, USA, and we ship. We also offer a 30-day warranty, or we can sell you a 1 year third-party warranty for ... I think $40. The camera isn't mint (some of the rubber coating on the grip has come off), but we know the guy it came from personally, and can vouch for the way he treats his gear.
    Personally I'd go with the 20D because I do beat my stuff up, but if you treat your gear pretty well and AF speed isn't a huge selling point, let me know.
     
  25. Zack makes a great point (where is that store in upstate NY anyway?) : Case study example to illustrate the towing concept: A few years ago I bought a Canon G10 as a travel camera . Lumionuous Lanscape reviewers tested it and said its images were almost as good Hasselblad P45+ ( http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/kidding.shtml). I've made some great shots with it over the years that have made me very happy. BUT - and here's where the towing analogy comes in -- I just recently discovered that the G10 (and all Canon G series cameras G11 etc) can only produce images in the sRGB color(colour) space. So even though the G10 will deliver very high quality CR2 raw images, those images will be hobbled in terms of post processing printing and output on state of the art color printers. The 20D on the other hand spits out CR2 raw files in the Adobe RGB space.
    Now if I could just get someone to answer my post on Prophoto RGB under DxO I'd be ecstatic!
     
  26. Zack makes a great point (where is that store in upstate NY anyway?) : Case study example to illustrate the towing concept: A few years ago I bought a Canon G10 as a travel camera . Lumionuous Lanscape reviewers tested it and said its images were almost as good Hasselblad P45+ ( http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/kidding.shtml). I've made some great shots with it over the years that have made me very happy. BUT - and here's where the towing analogy comes in -- I just recently discovered that the G10 (and all Canon G series cameras G11 etc) can only produce images in the sRGB color(colour) space. So even though the G10 will deliver very high quality CR2 raw images, those images will be hobbled in terms of post processing printing and output on state of the art color printers. The 20D on the other hand spits out CR2 raw files in the Adobe RGB space.
    Now if I could just get someone to answer my post on Prophoto RGB under DxO I'd be ecstatic!
    00XhB9-302925584.jpg
     
  27. Hi Chuck,
    With single shots off of my 300D I have no problem formating the image to print about 11x17 on 12x18 paper at Costco. I do not like to go larger than 11" on the short axis for close viewing. But I do a lot of stitching to max the size of the image so I can go larger. What I really need is more pixels for the given image to improve the detail quality and sharpness. Hence the desire for a larger sensor.
    If you are into printing the photos and have access to a Costco, then you might try the posterboard prints they do. The paper has a semigloss smooth finish. Not gloss and not lustre which I am not fond of. It is pricier stuff though but the paper is about 1/16" thick so you are not going to accidentily kink the paper. The only problem is the ability to control the size of the finished image from what I give them. The stupid software will sometimes enlarge the image or shrink it. When it is printed right I love what I get.
    CHEERS...Mathew
    00XhBB-302923584.jpg
     
  28. May I be the first to suggest that you buy a used 350D, and a new 18-55mm IS kit lens to go with it - not the earlier 18-55mm, but the modern one with image stabilisation - or one of those Sigma 18-125mm lenses or similar. You'll have to buy a few new batteries but these are cheaply available on eBay. You'll be able to sell the lot in a year or so, assuming you don't break it, for not much less than you paid.
    I owned a 300D briefly as a hasty emergency backup for my 5D; it was the absolute cheapest body available and it used the same batteries and memory cards as my 5D. The image quality was fine, but I wasn't greatly impressed with the camera itself. In almost every respect it is obsolescent in 2010 - it will produce lovely six megapixel images, but everything that has come since is at least as good and in most cases better. The 300D is surprisingly big, but feels lightweight and flimsy; you'll get frustrated waiting for the image to save to the card and then appear on the monitor; and the silver body looked naff. I was worried that the body would conk out as well (do a google search for "300d sub-mirror" to find lots of broken cameras). It is however of considerable historical interest; it is symbolic of the days when banks would lend any old Tom, Dick, or Harry £1,000 to buy a digital camera.
    In the UK the 300D has depreciated to their minimum, about £130 eBay prices, at which level they're basically disposable. I surmise that in a few years they'll be as scarce as a Morris Marina (an awful car that was popular in Britain in the 1970s - Austin sold 800,000 of them, and apparently only 746 were still running in 2006, because no-one wants or cares about them).
    At the time the 300D's big brother was the 10D, which predated it by a few months and cannot use modern EF-S lenses. It has a bit more functionality but the same resolution. Used 10Ds regularly go for slightly less - I bought one solely to converted it to infrared, because it was the absolute cheapest options - but the 10D will complicate your lens options and it's just as big and slow as the 300D. Its unique selling points are meaningless nowadays and its amusing to read the old Photo.net threads where rich men boast about their brand-new 10D. Shadows and dust. The earlier D30 - my own first digital SLR - and D60 had horrible autofocus and are also slow and also limit your lens options. Some of the older used Canon-bodied Kodak DCS cameras very occasionally pop up cheaply but they are too eccentric for ordinary people.
    Given a budget of £250 I would suggest a good used 20D - *the* stone-cold classic used digital SLR - with an 18-55mm IS and a 50mm f/1.8 and some cheap eBay batteries and memory cards. Less than that, a 350D. The 30D doesn't add much to the 20D and the 40D doesn't add much to the 30D and the 50D doesn't add much to the 40D, although it adds a fair bit to the 20D, albeit that if you're a rubbish photographer at eight megapixels you'll be just as bad at fifteen megapixels. Later models add video.
    One other thing. As far as I know the 300D predated the wave of eBay accessory knock-offs, and so although you can pick up a cheap portrait/battery grip for the 350D for £30, there was never a clone of the BG-E1, and so you'll need to buy the original. Assuming you want one. Also, the 300D had a relatively limited set of firmware options, although it's not hard to update the firmware unofficially (some Russian chaps converted the 10Ds firmware to run on the 300D - you get spot metering and ISO 3200, amongst other things).
    For the record my chain was D30 - 350D - 5D - 5D MkII, with a parallel chain of Olympus E-20 - 300D - Fuji S2 - Canon 10D for curiosity, and a further parallel chain of Kodak DCS 520 - 460 - 420 - 560 because I was fascinated with the Kodak DCS cameras. Keep them well and sell them again, think of depreciation as a hiring fee. Laugh at the old Photo.net threads where men argue about them and defend them as if they were maligned girlfriends.
    The one lens that I have kept all that time is a 50mm f/1.8. Bought one; sold it; bought another; kept it.
     
  29. cps

    cps

    Thanks everyone! I actually did bid on a used 20D on ebay last night, but was outbid. I'm ebaying again today (since I pulled a muscle in my back and am laid up I have nothing else to do). Forgive me if this question is inappropriate for the forum but due to the vast differences in prices of used gear I see everywhere what would a good price be for either a used 20D or a used XT with or without the kit lens? I know it depends on condition and usage but I see various prices at KEH and Adorama but it's hard to get a feel for what these things should be going for. If this is not something I should be asking I apologize. I think I have a pretty good grasp for the 20D price range, but not entirely sure about the XT.
     

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