Canon Rebel T1i with EF-S 18-55 IS lens and EF 75-300 Telephoto AF lens
Canon Rebel T1i
It is overall a very reliable sturdy camera, fast accurate autofocus and excellent performance in low light compared to other cameras in its price range.
The telephoto lens is a bit slower than the kit lens to focus and seems to always be a bit inaccurate (very, very close but not quite perfect) so I usually find myself using autofocus then fine tuning in manual.
Other than that, I have no complaints about it.
It is not the first camera I have experienced, I used my parent's Canon SX100 IS for years before getting the T1i and it is also a very good camera for the price.
I am a huge fan of its incredible zoom range and very impressive macro functionality, as well as its accurate color balance.
The advanced options available in full manual mode (though it is a point-and-shoot) are incredibly thorough, I can manually adjust the aperture, shutter speed, ISO speed, flash output, white balance, and color mode from one menu.
That is what made me want an SLR, because I know that the larger sensor and interchangeable lenses in DSLR cameras will only let me achieve more artistic shots and overall get better results.
I have no complaints about the SX100 IS, and only the less than ideal AF in my telephoto. Keep in mind, it is absolutely the cheapest telephoto lens Canon makes so I do not expect it to be exceptional quality.
However, given that fact, it is a very good buy and highly recommended for only $200)
As an upgrade from my advanced digicam, the Rebel T1i is probably the best next step. It takes truly incredible quality images, especially for the price.
I know a professional photographer who uses a $5000 Nikon D3s and, after comparing pictures, we decided that the first impression of the overall quality of the images are similar, the only significant difference being the superior autofocus from his $2000 lens.
Of course, the expensive Nikon has faster burst speed, better low light performance, better compatibility with full-frame lenses and tons of other advantages, but as far as first impressions of the final products go, they truly are comparable cameras.
The Nikon has many features I wish my Canon had (full frame sensor, dual memory cards, slightly larger sensor, etc. ) and that is what contributes to the substantial price difference.
As an advanced amateur SLR or even a professional's backup, it is a great camera that is well built, very comfortable to hold for extended periods of time, and overall a great buy.
Thanks for the post Steve. Spot on with the advantages of a dSLR over a compact camera.
Very true also that a dSLR can deliver great results when compared to professional dSLRs. The biggest difference these days between pro and amateur versions is the speed of operation (frames per second for example) and the robust-ness - pro versions can take a lot of punishment!
Thanks for the submission,