Tuesday, April 17, 2007

going DSLR

After literally YEARS of cursing my Canon Digital Elf's persnickety autofocus and selective shutter, I am upgrading to a Digital SLR in time for Father's Day. And as with any decision where I'm going to dump $$ on something new, I have researched myself into utter paralysis. (And I had a recurring dream the other night where I was comparing camera options - a combination of intense research and caffeine before bed?)

Nikon D40?
Canon Rebel XT?
Spend an extra $500 on the next model up from either of these?
Something else?

Everybody (who owns one) has an opinion on which one is best, but there are few resources that offer true side-by-side comparisons and complete lists of pros and cons. Every time I think I've made up my mind, I find something that talks me back into neutrality.

And almost as wide open is the list of way to purchase this camera. Photography websites offer these cameras for prices ranging from $409 to $599. For the exact same camera (I think.) So why the range?

Trust me, I have pursued all the obvious avenues, and near as I can tell, the packages are apples-to-apples.

One thing that fascinates me is how out of line retail is with the internet pricing. Do retail stores EVER sell a digital camera? You'd have to be a complete idiot to spend the extra $200. Unless there's a some benefit I'm missing. A guy at Wolf camera told me the price includes photography lessons, "for things like composition and selecting a subject." No thanks. Can I waive the lessons and get a $150 discount?

My too-good-to-be-true gene fires up every time I decide to go for the lowest price. And my seriously-cheap, what're-you-stupid? gene counter fires when I I decide to go with Costco's price ($549, $50 off retail)



Lori Witzel said...

Hey James! Thanks for the comment and the question on my site...

My magic shaman's bag is a Canon Digital Rebel XT. I replaced the kit lens with the same focal length zoom Tamron lens, and the somewhat better optics are, well, better.

I also loved using a Canon A610 (I think that's what it was) but its lil' brain blew up and Canon replaced it with a kludgier Powershot point and shoot that made me decide I needed to shoot Camera Raw and quit fooling around.

I have an ambivalent relationship to those tools. One the one hand -- how freaking cool that we can catch light and turn it into pixels immediately! On the other hand, it's all about the mind/eye/soul, and I'm not able to chat with most people who use cameras because I just don't care as much about the equipment in the bag as I do the equipment of my mind.

I'd say get what seems fun and pleasurable, so you use it and take it around in your car and find excuses to walk around looking at things catching light and pixels.

And if that means you get a point and shoot, it's all good.


Make the logo bigger said...

James, try this thread for more discussion too.

James-H said...

Thanks all. Good link, Bill.

Jetpacks said...

I went with the Nikon D50 in December and I'm not disappointed yet.

Moda di Magno said...

Santa gifted me with a D40 for Christmas - he's all pro: www.thomasmagno.com, and he was tired of my lousy camera phone shots ending up on the blog. The D40 has been ridiculously easy to use - I love it. Since Thomas is a Nikon man, I have lens options - but haven't found the need to swap out the normal. I did get the top mounted flash (which offers nice portraity light.)