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Old 07-25-2009, 09:09 AM   #1
mom2rtk
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Help me have PHOTOGRAPHY FUN in Sept!

OK, I'm about 2 months out from our fall trip, and I'm thinking about what new ground I can cover with my photography at Disney.

My Canon Xti was kind enough to die just recently, and that was a GOOD thing. I keep it under extended warranty and this will be my 4th brand new camera since I bought my first canon slr in 04. It looks like the Xsi will probably be what I get in its place, but I have them checking to see if they can get the T1i with me paying the difference.

1) Any thoughts on these camera models (not that I'll have much choice.... I"ll know more soon....) but hey, it's a "free" replacement.....

2)Anyone know if the pop-up flash is any better on these newer canon models? When I went from xt to xti, they might as well have left that flash completely off, and I always used the speedlite if I thought I might need a flash. (WAY too bulky to carry around for long....) Flash recycle time was insanely slow with that pop-up and left me waiting tapping my foot too many times. A little research online showed me I was not alone in this.

3) I now have my 50mm f1.8 to try out on some lower light situations (like the Halloween parade). I'm dying to get my camera now to try it out. (Thanks to everyone here for the recommendation!)

4) I want to try something different, and after reading here, I'm considering renting something, maybe a wide angle for some special effects. I have an 18-200 zoom already, and love doing things at the 18 wide angle. Would a slightly wider angle make enough difference to matter?

5) I've heard you all talk about your more comfortable camera straps. I keep my camera around my neck almost non-stop. Would I really notice much difference? Which ones do you recommend?

6) I'll be into a new memory format with the new camera. I've bought on Ebay before, but do think most of those are fake. Where is the cheapest place to buy a bunch of real SDHC cards.... Anyone need a deal on some compact flash memory?????????

7) Sorry to ask so many questions. I'm just having fun plotting and planning..... Feel free to add other suggestions!

Last edited by mom2rtk; 07-25-2009 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:21 AM   #2
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2. pop up flashes are always limited in their abilities
5. optech straps are very good for comfort, some people have recently tried the rapidstrap and like it even better than optech..

6, I buy all my memory from the 3 following places..

A. ecost.com
b. mydigitaldiscount.com
c. mwave.com

I've had great experiences with all 3 and basically buy from whichever one has the best price at the time..
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:28 AM   #3
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If you are going to rent a lens, I would look at wider like the 10-22mm or longer like 400mm f 5.6. I would notice a difference between 10mm (16mm on the crop body) as oppose to the 18 (28mm on crop).

The wider gives you options on architecture shots you would not get with your kit today.

On the other end, the extra reach of a telephoto would come in handy in Animal Kingdom. I find 400mm works well for animal picts if you like shooting those subjects. I find it not as useful in the other parks though.

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Old 07-25-2009, 10:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MICKEY88 View Post
2. pop up flashes are always limited in their abilities
5. optech straps are very good for comfort, some people have recently tried the rapidstrap and like it even better than optech..

6, I buy all my memory from the 3 following places..

A. ecost.com
b. mydigitaldiscount.com
c. mwave.com

I've had great experiences with all 3 and basically buy from whichever one has the best price at the time..
Thanks! I really need to stock up on memory. I hate buying all new, but at least for once in my life it will be the same format as my "ankle camera"..... the tiny one I keep in a pocket or in my bag for when I don't want to carry the dslr (which is not often..... mostly I let my 8 year old use the p&s).

I agree that I shouldn't have high expectations of my pop-up flash. But when I went from Xt to Xti (a step up in generations) I noticed a BIG difference in it. I'm so used to bells and whistles getting better on things that I didn't expect a step down. And I've read countless posts from others on this, so I k now it wasn't just MY camera..... Regardless, I'm hoping the Sti or T1i might have addressed this problem.....

Anyway, with the help of advice on this board, I'm hoping to go flashless more often anyway.......

On the neck straps: Do they sell those at the same places you recommended for the memory? Or do you have another recommendation? Of course maybe I can Ebay one of those.... probably not as much worry of fake stuff like with memory...

Many thanks for the help!
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:38 AM   #5
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What else can you guys tell me about memory cards? Are some faster than others? Is there a point at which MORE memory on a card slows down the camera?
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Old 07-25-2009, 12:11 PM   #6
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With memory cards, some are faster than others...and some ar faster than needed for your camera or style of shooting. Generally, the ones rated in the same speed level as the Sandisk Extreme III is about as much as is needed for an entry-level DSLR that can shoot 5fps or less. Extreme IV is a bit overkill, but won't hurt any. Memory is so cheap nowadays, it's no worry to have to switch cards.

As for straps, there are a lot of aftermarket ones out there. On these boards, OpTech seems to have been the first mentioned and hyped, and seems to have a following here. Black Rapid is slowly making inroads with a few new members. When I came over to this board, I had already become a fan of Kata Reflex E straps from other boards, where they are very popular...I find them unbelievably comfortable for even very heavy lenses attached to camera bodies, for all day walking, and super strong, adjustable, and well made latches and quick release tabs. Just another to consider, if you're looking. You really should get a strap that's comfortable to you, not just someone else - so check them all out, and decide based on what seems best for what you'd want or like.

A wide lens, or wide zoom, would probably be the most fun to experiment with if you've never had one before. Though I'm a big proponent of megazooms, being a wildlife and bird photography enthusiast, they just aren't that fun to bring into the Disney parks and walk around with all day...so I tend to leave my 200-500 at home even though it would be brilliant at AK. A 10-20, 10-24, or 12-24 wide zoom could be lots of fun - it's an entirely new style of photography and gives a whole new perspective on things you shoot all the time. I'm looking very forward to trying mine out at Disney.
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Old 07-25-2009, 03:22 PM   #7
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Anyone out there know much about the various Canon SLR models??

1) The pop-up flash tanked in performance when I went from Xt to Xti. Did they do better with the Xsi??

2) Anyone have feedback on the Xsi vs. the ne T1i???? I can go get the Xsi today, but am waiting to see if they can let me pay the difference and get the new T1i.

I know the video quality isn't great, but I NEVER pick up the video recorder because the SLR is always in my hands. I might get video of the kids if my SLR has it.

The T1i has ISO 3200. The Xsi is still at 1600. I really want to improve my low light photography results. I'm going around and around with the store trying to upgrade to the T1i, but need to know if these 2 upgrades are worth the fight.......

Any input is greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-25-2009, 03:53 PM   #8
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The Xsi flash is still pretty wimpy, ok for fill flash and desperate times. The new EX270 is very small and a great improvement.

Get the T1i if you want video, otherwise I see no reason, image quality is not improved.

The higher ISO appears to be mostly noise with noise reduction applied, ending up with less detail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2rtk View Post
Anyone out there know much about the various Canon SLR models??

1) The pop-up flash tanked in performance when I went from Xt to Xti. Did they do better with the Xsi??

2) Anyone have feedback on the Xsi vs. the ne T1i???? I can go get the Xsi today, but am waiting to see if they can let me pay the difference and get the new T1i.

I know the video quality isn't great, but I NEVER pick up the video recorder because the SLR is always in my hands. I might get video of the kids if my SLR has it.

The T1i has ISO 3200. The Xsi is still at 1600. I really want to improve my low light photography results. I'm going around and around with the store trying to upgrade to the T1i, but need to know if these 2 upgrades are worth the fight.......

Any input is greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-25-2009, 04:34 PM   #9
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I buy my memory from Newegg and Buy.com. Newegg is the best in customer service in case there is something ever wrong with it. Buy.com is a good deal site, but their service leaves something to be desired. I usually buy my more expensive memory from Newgg and the "disposable" memory from Buy. For example, on a $7 2GB MicroSD card, it it would not even be worth my shipping cost to get it replaced if something goes wrong.
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:48 PM   #10
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My only advice, whatever you get, is to go out and shoot with it before you take it to Disney. Especially, try to make the camera do anything you think you might want it to do at Disney. Take every opportunity to get comfortable with it ahead of time. It's a shame to want to do something a bit unusual when you're presented with a rare opportunity, only to be defeated -- and not because your camera can't do what you want, but because it does so differently than you expected.

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Old 07-25-2009, 05:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Experiment_626 View Post
My only advice, whatever you get, is to go out and shoot with it before you take it to Disney. Especially, try to make the camera do anything you think you might want it to do at Disney. Take every opportunity to get comfortable with it ahead of time. It's a shame to want to do something a bit unusual when you're presented with a rare opportunity, only to be defeated -- and not because your camera can't do what you want, but because it does so differently than you expected.

SSB
I agree! And I'm so glad it died when it did. This will be the 4th new one I've had since I bought my first in 2004, and have keep the extended warranty up for this very reason. The most they seem to last for me is about 2 years, so I was due! My last one died half way through our second of 2 days in Disneyland in 2007. I REALLY didn't want that to happen on this trip!

I was also fortunate it didn't die in the last week of so right before the trip. I should have something within a week at the most, and have plenty of time to get to know it.....

And yes, I'll keep the warranty up on this one too...... It's been money well spent....... I bought the first one at Sears because their warranty even covers accidental dropping or breakage (which so far...knock wood..... has not been the case.....)
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:46 AM   #12
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I have to ask...

How are these cameras breaking? You are going through a camera a year!

By the time you get the fifth camera you will have had as many camera's as I have had over 25 years. I have never had a camera break. They get upgraded. My old Cannon T70 still worked when I sold it and it was 20-25 years old.

Later,
Dan
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:02 AM   #13
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I have to ask...

How are these cameras breaking? You are going through a camera a year!

By the time you get the fifth camera you will have had as many camera's as I have had over 25 years. I have never had a camera break. They get upgraded. My old Cannon T70 still worked when I sold it and it was 20-25 years old.

Later,
Dan
Well, it's been a variety of of little things. I don't drop them or misuse them in any way. I'm very careful with them, but do use them a lot.

Let's see....

1) The first one was doing fine, but one day the hot shoe stopped functioning. It would not longer fire the external flash. They couldn't fix it, so they game me a replacement. I think this was the Xt model I got. (Can't remember for sure...)

2) That replacement died in the summer of 07 in Disneyland. One minute it was working, then it wasn't. It would take a part of a photo, with wide black bands at the top and bottom. It was a problem with the shutter curtain. I had to mail it back to the same place, and they couldn't fix it. This time the Xt was not available, so I paid a small amount and upgraded to the Xti.

3) The Xti all of a sudden about a month ago stopped firing the pop-up flash. This was not a HUGE problem since I don't use the pop-up much, but I still wanted it fixed. Well, they couldn't fix it either, so now I'm picking out my 4th camera.....

Now that I think about it..... there might have been another one in there somewhere too...... This might be my 5th....

So am I doing something wrong??? My hunch is that I just use it a lot, then little things come up, and they have a TERRIBLE service center, so they just replace it....
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:26 AM   #14
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If you have the extra money, I would go with the T1i. I would do so for several reasons.

1) Movie mode. I have a 5D Mark II, and while I bought it for the sake of photography, it is a really neat thing to be able to capture something in HD motion if you need/want to. Just beware, HD footage takes up a lot of memory card space.

2)Digic IV processor. This image processor absolutely flies! Reviewing your images and toggling through menus never becomes an issue.

3) The LCD screen. Coming from an XTi, you will see a HUGE difference on the new screens Canon has made since that camera. Viewing your shots on the screen is now much less misleading than it once was.

4)Higher Resolution. The T1i has a 15.1MP sensor, and now while we're talking taking 4X6's and printing them, you would be fine with a 6MP camera. But, when it comes to cropping your images, this is a lifesaver. Say you're on the Safari at Animal Kingdom, and you catch a shot of a cheetah at 200mm. But it still looks far away because of that corner they like to hide in. Well, go into photoshop and make a tighter crop, and since you have higher resolution, you won't suffer as much from grain. I took a shot of a rabbit outside my house at 200mm, and after cropping it, it was equal to around a 320mm shot. And it was still clear!

Good luck with whatever you do, and I certainly hope this helped in your decision making progress!
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Old 07-26-2009, 01:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2rtk View Post
My hunch is that I just use it a lot, then little things come up, and they have a TERRIBLE service center, so they just replace it....
It usually comes down to money. The cost of a technician, after burdens such as benefits are considered, can be equal to or more than the cost of just giving you a new one. Unless it is a higher end model, it is usually just not worth looking at.
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