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Thread: Help required from Duncan or other Photographers

  1. #1
    Regular Member Graham SRi 2.2's Avatar
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    Question Help required from Duncan or other Photographers

    Hi,

    So it's my wife's 30th birthday coming up and I'm trying to come up with a present that will stand out beyond the other ones!!

    She is a keen (and pretty good) amateur photographer and currently has a Fuji Finepix S5500 but she has been looking to upgrade to a digital SLR for a while now. Basically, I think I've narrowed it down to 2 choices:

    1) Canon EOS 400D or;
    2) Sony A100/A200

    I thought I was sold on the Canon but then I found out that the image stabilisation was built into the lens rather than the camera body. The Sony on the other hand has it built in to the camera. What I don't understand is how much of a difference it would make on amateur levels of photography!? We are looking at basic portrait and landscape shots, a lot of wildlife/animal pics and the occassional sports shots.

    Jessops have some very good bundles on the Canon but I don't know enough about cameras to decide between the two.

    Any help/guidance would be very much appreciated!!

    Thanks

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    Regular Member AndrewTi's Avatar
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    While an expert stumbles accross this thread, We've got a Canon 350D Digi-SLR, I'm a photographic numpty, but even I can get a picture with it!

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    Regular Member In a states's Avatar
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    Canon have just launched the 450D if you can afford it go for that.

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    Hi Graham, I have a Canon 400D and I find it to be a great camera, but I've also heard really good things about the sony.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the key to a good SLR is the glass you put in front of it. Canon have a tremendous range of top quality lenses, and you can also get many 3rd party lenses that are great too.

    On the Image Stabilisation issue, it does make a difference, how much of a difference depends on what sort of pictures you take and on the level of light available. I have 1 Image Stabiliser lens and 3 non I-S lenses. The I-S is great in low-light situations and if you have a long zoom lens. But on wide angle lenses generally it isnt needed, as they are usually "Faster" lenses that allow more light through to the camera and allow faster shutter speeds.

    One thing I would reccomend, dont buy from Jessops unless you want to pay more than you have to. Try http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/index.html for some price comparisons.


    Hope this helps,


    Tim

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    Ex Vec-C Admin / Founder Duncan's Avatar
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    Have a look at www.dpreview.com for good, independent reviews.

    BTW, Jessops will price match a lot of places, even internet ones.

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    Regular Member fenderguitar's Avatar
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    Both are good cameras,depends what you want to spend in the long run also.I have the Sony A100 and can,t fault it.plus it can use all the old type A mounting lenses.Also with the anti-shake you wont be paying for it everytime you buy a new lense.The cannon and nikon usually get the best reviews in the photo magazines,usually 5 star compared to Sony 4 star.I,m sure there will be others on with there views so best of luck with whatever you decide

  7. #7
    Regular Member Graham SRi 2.2's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    Thanks for the good advice and I'll check out the review site as well -thanks Duncan!

    I think I'm pretty much set on the 400D - the bundle on Jessops gives you the camera body, stock 18-55 lens, Tamron 70-300 lens, flash gun, extra battery, 4GB CF card and LowePro bag for £610. I've tried to put a similar bundle together separately but can't get near the price.

    As I said - it's just the issue with the IS but then I can't get the above level of kit for the Sony at that sort of price.

    Thanks for all your help

    Graham

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    If it's only the issue of whether or not to have IS, then maybe think about this;

    IS is a relatively new thing, photographers for over 100 years have managed without it and have been able to produce wonderful photos. You can always buy a new lens with IS if your wife decides that it is something that she feels she needs/wants.

    Just as another thought, one of the cheapest canon lenses that offers pretty outstanding quality is the Canon 50mm F1.8, its only about £55-65 and well worth it.

    Tim

  9. #9
    Regular Member Graham SRi 2.2's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks for that vote of confidence mate, I was pretty set on the 400D, having read the reviews on the site that Duncan recommended but just had that nagging doubt about the IS. but not being a photographer in the slightest myself, I just didn't want to make the wrong decision as I want it to be something she can use and enjoy for a good long time.

    And also it sets a precedent for my 30th later on this year

    Thanks again for all your help and I might even get some pics of the vec done with her new camera

    Cheers,

    Graham

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    Believe me, your wife will love either camera. The step up in capabilities you get when you get a SLR is tremendous. I cant speak too much about the sony as I have never even held one, but I do know that they are a good camera.

    But I can say that the Canon 400D is a great camera, and there is a great choice for lenses from Canon, Sigma and Tamron. I've had mine for just about a year now and I love it. It took a while to get used to it, as there's much more to mess/play with in the settings than my old fuji point and shoot camera had.

    If you do get her the Canon, there's a great canon forum http://photography-on-the.net/forum/ I've learnt a lot from there and got a lot of great ideas for photos too.

    Tim

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