Going DSLR

We (me and Antonia) have finally decided to go the DSLR way. We were considering the switch for some time but only recently the pros of the current DSLR technology started to outweigh the cons for us.

We are proud owners of a Canon Powershot A95 compact digital camera for about 3 years and are generally very satisfied with it. Some of the main advantages of the compact digital cameras include:

  • Lightweight – A95 is not the lightest one at about 330 g but still only a half of the 2005’s lightest DSLRs.
  • Compact – you can carry it in your pocket.
  • Automatic shooting modes and various scene modes for point-and-shoot simplicity.
  • Live preview on a tilt LCD – none of the 2005’s DSLRs provided live preview and even though the current models do provide live preview it’s not nearly as useful as A95’s is.
  • Much cheaper than DSLR.

In November 2007 we were on a business trip to the USA and a friend of ours asked us if we could buy a Nikon 40D for her. You know – electronics are much cheaper in the US than in Europe. So we bought it and used it for few weeks while we were staying in Boston. It turned out DSLRs got cheaper, lighter and even my wife, who don’t want to know too much technical details about photography and prefers point-and-click interfaces, liked it. And the main selling points for us were:

  • Excellent low light/high ISO performance. This one is quite annoying with A95 and we have lots of blurry and noisy low light pictures.
  • No shutter lag. It’s instant. No more “oh, could you please stand still one more second please” or shots that include only the cat’s tail.

There are more SLR advantages that come as a bonus to the two above:

  • High degree of manual control.
  • Wide range of interchangeable lenses. Some are very expensive though.
  • Lenses are often high quality and produce images that are sharp and have a wide dynamic range.
  • Precise focus.
  • Higher frame rate.
  • More control over depth of field.

And some of the biggest disadvantages that were there in 2005 have improved significantly. For example Canon EOS 450D, aka Digital Rebel XSi, weights only 475 g (body only). A DSLR with comparable specifications weighted at least 700 g back in 2005.

So we decided to buy a Canon EOS 450D aka Digital Rebel XSi. It’s the latest incarnation of the Canon’s Digital Rebel line and some of the more notable improvements in comparison to 400D are:

  • Larger 3.0″ LCD monitor.
  • Live View.
  • Spot metering
  • Improved auto-focus.
  • 3.5 fps continuous shooting.
  • Larger viewfinder.
  • Display of the ISO sensitivity on the viewfinder status line.

We are waiting for our shiny new Digital Rebel to arrive from the US. Without any lenses so far because we are going to test first what kind of lenses will suit us best. Thanks to my brother Dave who has a rather extensive collection of Canon compatible lenses and is willing to borrow us some of them for test ride.

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4 Responses to Going DSLR

  1. Totto says:

    A good choice with the Digital Rebel! Having it for about 2 months, I’m addicted to it 🙂 Learning the tricks of shooting is a big obsession.
    The touch to different lenses will be very heplful for sure. For now I’m only using the kit 18-55mm IS lens that is also very good one for a starter like me itself.

  2. zImage says:

    @Totto: the obsession I’m afraid of…

    By the way, friends call me Toto 🙂

  3. Antonia says:

    The camera is at home. Finally! And it’s beautiful, I love it 🙂

  4. Aujla says:

    very nice and informative site. I really had a great time reading some of you post.. keep it up and looking forward to read more soon.

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