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Old 01-09-2013, 11:16 PM   #1
letthewookiewin
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Questions about purchasing a Canon

In 2011 on Black Friday, I bought a Fujifilm Finepix S3280. It was only $99 and I considered it my gateway camera to a "big girl" DSLR. We took it to WDW this past June and it did ok. Overall I'm not totally happy with the camera, and want to replace it by the time of our September trip. In the next couple of weeks I was thinking of purchasing a Canon. I don't really take a lot of video and mainly want amazing pictures from our TPV balcony at the CR.

My current Fujifilm has an optical zoom of 24X, and then lens the Canons come with are 18mm - 55mm. I'm totally clueless as to what that means on the Canon. Does that mean that with the lens the Canon comes with it will have a longer zoom than the Fujifilm? Will that type of lens take pretty close pictures of the castle from a balcony at the CR or at least closer than the Fujifilm?

Also, the Rebel T4i is about $200 more than the T3i, if the additional money isn't as issue, is the T4i worth the additional money? If it is, I am ok with paying it. I just don't want to if there isn't that much of a difference.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:22 PM   #2
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I'm not an expert on Canons, so I'll defer on the difference between dSLR models.

But to answer the lens question -- a kit dSLR lens has much LESS zoom than you are used to. Technically, to compare it to your current camera, it's about a 3x zoom.
Many dSLR owners will, at a minimum, add a 200mm telephoto zoom lens, which you could look at as being approximately equivalent to 12x, compared to your current camera.

Bigger sensors produce much higher image quality. But the bigger the sensor, you need a much bigger lens to achieve telephoto zoom. Your current camera has a tiny sensor, so it can achieve a big telephoto zoom effect, with a small lens.
A dSLR has a much bigger sensor.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by letthewookiewin View Post
In 2011 on Black Friday, I bought a Fujifilm Finepix S3280. It was only $99 and I considered it my gateway camera to a "big girl" DSLR. We took it to WDW this past June and it did ok. Overall I'm not totally happy with the camera, and want to replace it by the time of our September trip. In the next couple of weeks I was thinking of purchasing a Canon. I don't really take a lot of video and mainly want amazing pictures from our TPV balcony at the CR.
While a DSLR is certainly capable of producing higher quality images than your little Fuji, getting amazing shots is 90% photographer 10% camera. Most of the truly great images you see on this board come from people who have spent a lot of time learning their craft.

Quote:
My current Fujifilm has an optical zoom of 24X, and then lens the Canons come with are 18mm - 55mm. I'm totally clueless as to what that means on the Canon. Does that mean that with the lens the Canon comes with it will have a longer zoom than the Fujifilm? Will that type of lens take pretty close pictures of the castle from a balcony at the CR or at least closer than the Fujifilm?
If memory serves the long end on the Fuji is something like 500mm in DSLR lens terms. The Canon has a much, much shorter zoom. In fact most of us with DSLR's don't have any lenses long enough to match the super zooms. They're just too expensive.

Quote:
Also, the Rebel T4i is about $200 more than the T3i, if the additional money isn't as issue, is the T4i worth the additional money? If it is, I am ok with paying it. I just don't want to if there isn't that much of a difference.
For me, after being able to really use a T4i recently I think just seeing the difference in noise it's worth the increased price. Especially when you consider the rebate Canon has right now that will get you into one with the 18-55 kit lens for right at $650. But everyone's needs are different and what is worth it to me may not be worth it to you.

Edited to add... I just looked at B&H... with the rebate the T3i and T4i are the same price with the 18-55 kit lens. Kind of makes it a no brainer I guess.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:58 PM   #4
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Thank you!! As I said,I' m truly clueless when it comes to this kind of stuff. Well that makes me second guess getting a Canon over a Nikon. I can get the Nikon D3200 with an extra 55mm - 300mm lens for not much more than the Canon with just an 18mm - 33mm lens.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by letthewookiewin View Post
Thank you!! As I said,I' m truly clueless when it comes to this kind of stuff. Well that makes me second guess getting a Canon over a Nikon. I can get the Nikon D3200 with an extra 55mm - 300mm lens for not much more than the Canon with just an 18mm - 33mm lens.
The Nikon D3200 and the Canon T4i (or T3i) are not on the same level. The D3200 is more equal to Canon's T3 (that little i makes a huge difference in the Rebels.), which is a good bit cheaper. It doesn't mean the Nikon is a bad camera by any means, it's just not the same level on the food chain as the Canons you're comparing it to.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photo_chick

The Nikon D3200 and the Canon T4i (or T3i) are not on the same level. The D3200 is more equal to Canon's T3 (that little i makes a huge difference in the Rebels.), which is a good bit cheaper. It doesn't mean the Nikon is a bad camera by any means, it's just not the same level on the food chain as the Canons you're comparing it to.
Well between the D3200 and the T3i, which would you buy? I just hate to spend that much on the T4i since I'll have to buy an additional lens. I just don't use it enough to justify the T4i cost.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by letthewookiewin View Post
Well between the D3200 and the T3i, which would you buy? I just hate to spend that much on the T4i since I'll have to buy an additional lens. I just don't use it enough to justify the T4i cost.
I wouldn't buy the D3200 under any circumstances for myself because of the limitations the camera has with lenses. It will not auto focus with all Nikon lenses. I don't want a camera that I have to look at a string of letters to figure out if I'll have full functionality. All of that doesn't make the Nikon a bad camera at all. I know people who have cameras from that line and love them. It's just not a camera I'd buy because of the lens functionality issues.

As far as the other.... The T3 or T3i? They are two different cameras. I'd get the T4i over both of them. Because right now at B&H it's the same price as the T3i, and it is a significantly better performer in many areas than the T3. But it really comes down to you and what your needs and wants are. and I can certainly understand not wanting to spend more. But also keep in mind that a DSLR is not a one time cost. To get some of those great shots you see you will have to use the right tools, and that means more lenses. Lenses that can easily cost more than the camera.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photo_chick

I wouldn't buy the D3200 under any circumstances for myself because of the limitations the camera has with lenses. It will not auto focus with all Nikon lenses. I don't want a camera that I have to look at a string of letters to figure out if I'll have full functionality. All of that doesn't make the Nikon a bad camera at all. I know people who have cameras from that line and love them. It's just not a camera I'd buy because of the lens functionality issues.

As far as the other.... The T3 or T3i? They are two different cameras. I'd get the T4i over both of them. Because right now at B&H it's the same price as the T3i, and it is a significantly better performer in many areas than the T3. But it really comes down to you and what your needs and wants are. and I can certainly understand not wanting to spend more. But also keep in mind that a DSLR is not a one time cost. To get some of those great shots you see you will have to use the right tools, and that means more lenses. Lenses that can easily cost more than the camera.
What is B&H?
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:48 AM   #9
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What is B&H?
Actually, I may have found it. If I did, they have the T4i for $649. I assume it come with the 18mm - 55 mm lens. Which is way better than the prices I was looking at.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:28 AM   #10
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You could also buy a Pentax K30 for $676 with the 18-55 from B&H. You get weathersealing, 2 dials, and in body stabilization.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:40 AM   #11
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There are some terms in here that may not mean much to the OP but I will provide definitions at the end. 24x by itself means little, what really matters is the actual focal lengths of the lens (magnification would be even more accurate but the manufacturers choose not to give that). Anyway, to use 35mm equivalent the S3280 has a lens that goes from 24mm to 576mm, impressive. To get that kind of range with a typical 1.5x crop consumer dSLR would require a lens that goes from about 16 to 360! Afaik none exist although there are some 18-270 lenses available.

The 18-55 (about 3x) is equivalent to about 24-80, a commonly used zoom range in the old film days and a good "walkaround" lens. This range is good for most typical photos but will not give the kind of range you probably want for taking photos of Cindy's castle from Contemporary, unless you want a wide view with a very small castle. One of the best solutions is to get the camera with the 18-55 lens and also get Canon's 55-250 lens. With an equivalent of about 375mm this will get relatively closeup photos of MK from where you are.

Here is an example taken from California Grill with an equivalent 340mm lens (magnification of about 7), if this is what you are looking for then the 55-250 will get you there:


For the best photos with a lens this long you will want a tripod or some steady camera support. IS and a fast shutter speed may get you by in the day but for anything less than bright sunlight some motion blur is likely.



Magnification - the size of the image provided by the lens as compared to a "normal" lens (50mm in 35mm equivalent). Your s3280 has a maximum magnification of about 11 (that's a lot).

35mm equivalent - the focal length of a lens that would provide the same magnification if used on a 35mm film camera

1.5x crop - the amount we multiply the focal length by when used on a typical consumer dSLR (a 100 mm lens appears as 150mm, sort of). Most dSLRs are this type, Canons are 1.6x (negligible difference)

walkaround lens - our "go to" lens, the one we keep on the camera most of the time for typical photos

IS - image stabilization, Canon's term for stabilizers to steady the photo

B&H - one of the best online camera stores
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Actually, I may have found it. If I did, they have the T4i for $649. I assume it come with the 18mm - 55 mm lens. Which is way better than the prices I was looking at.
Read the product description to make sure what it comes with. That is the price right now for it with the 18-55 using an instant rebate from Canon that's good until 2/2/13. But it's also the price for the just the camera with no rebate. It's also commonly sold with the 18-135 STM lens, which usually makes the price around $1000 because of the more expensive lens.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:35 PM   #13
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OP, before you shell out the cash for a new DSLR, I want to make sure you took in Photo Chick's point about images being 90% photographer and 10% camera. I'd hate for you to spend that amount of money, and then be disappointed by the results.

Let me pause to say that I honestly don't mean this reply to sound preachy. I'm actually adding this paragraph after the fact, because I just read what I wrote, and I'm afraid it does come off that way. A $650 camera is a pretty significant investment, though, and I just want to make sure you realize it won't magically transform the photos you take.

A camera is a tool, and a tool is only as good as the person using it. I'll try to explain my point by likening it to another tool; a saw, for example.

If you go to Home Depot and look at table saws, you might find a basic, portable unit for about $150. Sitting next to it may be one that costs $2,500 that includes a combination of table saw, lathe, sanding belt, jigsaw, and drill press.

A skilled carpenter who's been practicing woodworking for years could probably take that cheap $150 table saw and build a really nice table. It wouldn't be fancy, but it would be nicely made and beautiful. The same skilled carpenter could use the more expensive tool to make a truly amazing table. He'd know how to use all the different bells and whistles on the more expensive tool to their best advantage, and the result would be a fine crafted work of art. People would love either table, and would probably pay to have them in their houses.

A weekend do-it-yourselfer like myself would take the $150 table saw and I'd probably be able to make a table (of sorts). It likely wouldn't be that pretty, wouldn't be too stable, and would certainly not be something I'd want to display in my living room. But it would be a table; something good enough that I could use in the garage or in a garden shed, perhaps. If I got the fancy tool, I could do a better job of building a table. It would look better than my attempt with the cheaper tool, but still wouldn't be up to the standard of either of the skilled woodworker's tables. If I wanted to match his product, I'd need to put in the work of reading about woodworking, possibly taking some classes, and getting lots of hands-on experience.

If you want to take a DSLR out of the box, leave it in full automatic mode, and use it the same way you've used your point-and-shoot camera, you will see some improvements. The optics and sensors in the camera will indeed give you better pictures than you got with your Fuji. It's an expensive way to achieve the amount of improvement you'll see, though. There are lots of people who use DSLRs in this fashion who are very happy with them. If this is you, the question between the T3 and the T4i (or even the Nikon you mention) might be good reasoning to lean you toward the cheaper DSLR options. All of the camera's you mention are probably pretty much equal at this level. They'll all create wonderful snapshots for you.

If you think you might be on the cusp of wanting to pursue a higher level of photo taking and become a photography hobbyist, the T4i is absolutely a wonderful starter DSLR. It has lots of those bells and whistles I was talking about. You'll also want to look at some software to use to "develop" or "tweak" you photographs after you get them into your computer. Dedicate some time to read a few books, watch some online training videos, and spend lots of time practicing with your camera, and you'll be amazed at how quickly you can move from snapshots that are passable for a vacation album to shots you want to frame and hang in your house as artwork. I took this step of wanting to learn how to use all the buttons on my DSLR (a Canon Rebel XT) about two years ago, and have had an absolutely wonderful time learning since. It's become a hobby that I love, and I've since moved to a Canon 60D.

The folks on this board a very helpful in recommending books and web sites and other learning opportunities, should you choose to go in that direction.

In any case, have a great time at the Contemporary. Be sure to come back and show us some photos!
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:12 PM   #14
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Over the last month or two I've noticed that t4i's price has dropped $150 -$200, so if there is not much of a price difference I would definitely go with the 4ti. While the kit lens is fine I would look into spending an additional $200 and get kit combo with the t4i and 18-135 IS STM lens. That's the camera a got a few months ago and am very happy with both. The 18-135 is also considerably nicer than the kit lens and it will get you closer to the zoom you had to the Fuji. If you also think you will shoot video that lens focuses must faster than the 18-55 kit lens, and the is also completely silent, so you will not hear the motor when it focuses.

Personally I'm thinking that combo may be all I need for my trip this summer, at least for the majority of my shots, but will probably bring an additional lens or two, which I probably won't bring to the park each day.

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Old 01-10-2013, 04:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdsOfPreyDave
OP, before you shell out the cash for a new DSLR, I want to make sure you took in Photo Chick's point about images being 90% photographer and 10% camera. I'd hate for you to spend that amount of money, and then be disappointed by the results.

Let me pause to say that I honestly don't mean this reply to sound preachy. I'm actually adding this paragraph after the fact, because I just read what I wrote, and I'm afraid it does come off that way. A $650 camera is a pretty significant investment, though, and I just want to make sure you realize it won't magically transform the photos you take.

A camera is a tool, and a tool is only as good as the person using it. I'll try to explain my point by likening it to another tool; a saw, for example.

If you go to Home Depot and look at table saws, you might find a basic, portable unit for about $150. Sitting next to it may be one that costs $2,500 that includes a combination of table saw, lathe, sanding belt, jigsaw, and drill press.

A skilled carpenter who's been practicing woodworking for years could probably take that cheap $150 table saw and build a really nice table. It wouldn't be fancy, but it would be nicely made and beautiful. The same skilled carpenter could use the more expensive tool to make a truly amazing table. He'd know how to use all the different bells and whistles on the more expensive tool to their best advantage, and the result would be a fine crafted work of art. People would love either table, and would probably pay to have them in their houses.

A weekend do-it-yourselfer like myself would take the $150 table saw and I'd probably be able to make a table (of sorts). It likely wouldn't be that pretty, wouldn't be too stable, and would certainly not be something I'd want to display in my living room. But it would be a table; something good enough that I could use in the garage or in a garden shed, perhaps. If I got the fancy tool, I could do a better job of building a table. It would look better than my attempt with the cheaper tool, but still wouldn't be up to the standard of either of the skilled woodworker's tables. If I wanted to match his product, I'd need to put in the work of reading about woodworking, possibly taking some classes, and getting lots of hands-on experience.

If you want to take a DSLR out of the box, leave it in full automatic mode, and use it the same way you've used your point-and-shoot camera, you will see some improvements. The optics and sensors in the camera will indeed give you better pictures than you got with your Fuji. It's an expensive way to achieve the amount of improvement you'll see, though. There are lots of people who use DSLRs in this fashion who are very happy with them. If this is you, the question between the T3 and the T4i (or even the Nikon you mention) might be good reasoning to lean you toward the cheaper DSLR options. All of the camera's you mention are probably pretty much equal at this level. They'll all create wonderful snapshots for you.

If you think you might be on the cusp of wanting to pursue a higher level of photo taking and become a photography hobbyist, the T4i is absolutely a wonderful starter DSLR. It has lots of those bells and whistles I was talking about. You'll also want to look at some software to use to "develop" or "tweak" you photographs after you get them into your computer. Dedicate some time to read a few books, watch some online training videos, and spend lots of time practicing with your camera, and you'll be amazed at how quickly you can move from snapshots that are passable for a vacation album to shots you want to frame and hang in your house as artwork. I took this step of wanting to learn how to use all the buttons on my DSLR (a Canon Rebel XT) about two years ago, and have had an absolutely wonderful time learning since. It's become a hobby that I love, and I've since moved to a Canon 60D.

The folks on this board a very helpful in recommending books and web sites and other learning opportunities, should you choose to go in that direction.

In any case, have a great time at the Contemporary. Be sure to come back and show us some photos!
You don't sound preachy at all. I'll take all the knowledge I can get. I know that getting the DSLR will not turn me into a prize winning photographer just from buying it. I just hate the limitations if the Fuji. I love that with the DSLRs I can buy lenses to be able to have a longer range vs the Fuji not having that ability. Hopefully within the next several years we will be taking a vacation to CA and a cruise to Alaska. I don't think the Fuji would be able to take the kinds of pictures I would want to take. Plus I want to be able to take great shots at my boys football games next season.

Probably if the Fuji had the ability to have longer lenses, I wouldn't think about buying another one. While I'm waiting for the money to come in, I'm doing a lot of research an watching tutorials on the T4i.
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