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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    5

    Talking Brand New to DSLR (I have the camera and lens picked out but whats next?)

    Hello everyone. Well I believe I have made my decision. For my entry in true digital photography I believe I am going to go with the Canon EOS Rebel Xti for the camera body and the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM for the lens. Now I know many have said I should get the "70-200mm L" but, I went to my local professional photography shop "Van Tuil" and I talked to one of the seasoned photographers there and he really helped me decide. Besides he used to do equine photography.

    What I need to know now is what exactly do I need to get started right away. If you could specify what exactly I need to get right away to what I can save up for. I have a really tight budget.

    The main work that I will focus on is Equine/ Wildlife, Pet and Portrait Photography

    Also I know I'm going to need memory cards but would it be better to use 1 4gb or 4 1gb memory cards. Someone said to do that because the smaller ones are faster to process. What about a battery grip, is it worth getting? And UV Filters? Whatever advice you can give me would be awesome.

    Ok well that is it, and thanks for the help in advanced.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    5
    Oh and I apologize if this is in the wrong forum area.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Brisbane, CA
    Posts
    3,591
    Quote Originally Posted by bakerbrand View Post
    What I need to know now is what exactly do I need to get started right away. If you could specify what exactly I need to get right away to what I can save up for. I have a really tight budget.

    Also I know I'm going to need memory cards but would it be better to use 1 4gb or 4 1gb memory cards. Someone said to do that because the smaller ones are faster to process. What about a battery grip, is it worth getting? And UV Filters? Whatever advice you can give me would be awesome.
    Get whatever combination of memory card is convenient for you. Shoot RAW for higher quality. I'm not sure if your camera will come with software to edit RAW files or not. If it does then that's the way to go.

    I would only use a UV filter if your are in an environment that might damage the front element of the lens. Otherwise just use the lens hood for protection.

    You might also consider getting a camera bag. Get something you can grow into though.
    Lukas

    Camera: Anonymous
    I could tell you but I wouldn't want you to get all pissy if it's the wrong brand

    Flickr

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    667
    Is the Canon XTi the type of camera that comes with RAW editing software? I don't know what software Canon cameras are packaged with.

    For portraits on a budget, you could try the 50mm or 85mm f/1.8 lenses. These will also help you with the odd indoor photo here or there.

    There is more than one version of each of the lenses that were suggested to you, and I'm guessing that the price will vary for each version.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    10
    They do come with a RAW editing app. You could also use Photoshop CS2 or CS3 for that.

    I was just about to get that camera with Canon 18-55mm IS lens but I decided I'm waiting for the XSi, which may be more interesting and comes with that lens for $899.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Lightbulb Pet Photography

    Pets are skittish to photograph, usually. So, the chances are most of your shots may wind up being handheld. Therefore, a stablized lens might be the right thing to use.

    Canon's EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM might be just what you are looking for, for this use.

    A little darker choice of lens would be the EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, but it is a lot cheaper. The rule usually is ... "light costs money."

    You also should get your hands on a decent flash for your camera, mostly for indoor work, but also as "fill-flash" when you are shooting against a bright sky, outdoors. The 430EX, although cheaper, may not have the punch you may need for outdoor use. Consider the 580EX II first and try it out. Take your favorite sales guy, run him outside against the bright sky and try both flash units. Remember, pretend he's as big as a horse, so back up accordingly. If you are too close, you will not simulate the images that you are planning to take.

    Get a good tripod ... one that will not fold up under the weight of your camera and lenses. Lightweight ones are nice, but costly. Consider a Manfrotto 3021N. It weighs a bit, but is extremely sturdy. A good wind will not tip it over. And just in case, it does come with a stake ring for those goofy windy or unsturdy-ground days.

    Between the 17-55mm and the 70-300mm, you should have most of your photographic ground covered. As you get better, you should also begin to consider use of "bright" PRIME lenses, which allow for more creativity in your shots, by using shallow depth of field -DOF- (if you are unfamiliar with this term, please look it up on the Internet) and allowing variations in your lighting. Start with the EF 50mm f/1.8 II, to limit your cost ... and then move into an EF 35mm f/2 to allow for a closer shot. You can get both of these for a combined cost of around $295.

    Call back when you get some work done on your equine subjects.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-30-2008 at 12:21 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    1,770
    Are the horses moving? I'm guessing yes. Is it usually in bright daylight or lower light? If light is dim, the f5.6 might be a tad limiting for some conditions but for most should be fine.

    Although the 70-300 IS has nice IQ, and IS is wonderful to have, it's not known for AF performance. You can cope by pre-focusing on a spot.

    I'd suggest buying it from somewhere that has a full return policy since it might not pan out. Canon L lenses with USM are known for pro-level AF capability - and weather sealing is a plus considering that horses kick up a lot of dust. The consumer zooms are known for dust-sucking qualities.

    As suggested above; getting 50 f1.8 is a cheap portrait solution. The 85 f1.8 would offer superior and more pro-looking results. For portraits; you generally want a fast lens that has beautiful bokeh (background blur). A 70mm f4 lens wouldn't be as suitable, although for some situations would be fine. Pet and portrait photography would have similar demands.

    RE: Memory. Speed is the same, but having smaller cards makes for less lost photos if the card is damaged. Too small and you'll miss shots because you've run out - depending on how many you take. At 10MB per photo, you won't get much from a 1 GB card.

    I would suggest two 2GB cards. Also; get a card wallet. If you shoot RAW, you're sure to gather up a few more cards. Always keep the used cards upside down, and empty cards rightside up.
    Last edited by Vich; 01-30-2008 at 01:21 PM. Reason: spelling of "lost" from "lots"
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Lightbulb some thoughts ... about quality

    There is one other aspect to this ... that often gets overlooked ...

    it's not cheap. Hopefully you are planning on getting paid for these shots ... and if so, then buy glassware consistant with "professional" photography ... not consumer level junk. (I know this is hard to hear, but it is the truth.)

    Your photgraphs have a much better chance of looking "saleable" with better glass and your production will not be as much of a struggle, as it could be with "darker" lenses. You don't have to fight with light, with a better lens.

    Now, bear in mind, all of this is relative to the given situation. No one solution works for everything, that's why there are so many different lenses available for DSLR cameras. The best advice is to simply not "handicap" yourself with difficult lenses. Your best bet lies with non-variable aperture glass. Use f/2.8 as your target ... costs a bit more, but your shots will be that much more reliable and less contrived.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    For moving subjects, fast is better than stabilised.

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