15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Canon 500D body only, 6 May 2010
I bought this as my first dSLR, a significant step up from the compact cameras I had previously owned. However I have in the past had a Minolta SLR and my wife had a Canon SLR with a couple lenses, hence we went for Canon over other brands so we didn't have to buy the kit lens. Instead I bought the cheap (but excellent) 50mm f1.8 to go with the 28-90mm we already owned. I've now had it for a couple months, taken a few thousand photos, and added a 55-250mm zoom lens to my collection.
Having a scientific background I have really enjoyed getting the hang of all the settings. I bought the "For Dummies" book for this camera which is a thousand times better than the manual for explaining how things work. The only key tripping point with this camera (and I assume this is the same for most other dSLR's) is that you really need to keep the ISO at 100 or 200. In the auto-ISO mode the camera trades off between f-stop, shutter speed and ISO, often using quite a high ISO setting which gives low quality images. A bit of thinking about the lighting normally allows pretty good indoor photos during the day with a 200 ISO and using the 50mm f1.8 lens, however a flash is definately on my wish list.
Moving from a compact to a SLR is quite a culture change, and I have wrecked lots of pictures through not really knowing what I am doing. However as I have been getting the hang of things much better results have been forthcoming. To be safe I have oftened use the fully automatic mode however this does not give quite as good results as one might expect from the equivalent mode on a compact camera, probably because you don't but a dSLR to just use in auto mode! I have now switched to using the P mode or creative auto mode for "non-thinking" shots and use the advanced modes when I have time to play with settings. To be honest I don't use the live view function and the video facility is a bit of a gimmick, especially as it only really works with manual focusing. The video is all right for spontaneous filming however my middle-of-the-range Panasonic video camera is much better.
The only point of getting a dSLR is to combine it with different lenses, so the financial commitment is more than just for the camera. I didn't previously realise quite how much lenses cost, and you do tend to get what you pay for. I am not serious (or rich) enough to buy any of the professional lenses, however the few cheaper lenses I have bought are perfectly good for family pictures and day outings to the zoo etc. Indeed this set up is excellent if you are just a beginner and want to learn about photography. I would recommend this camera whole-heartedly to any beginner or amateur photographer as easy to use and, once you get the hang of it, capable of pretty good pictures.