Nobody likes to be called a dummy by a dummy.

EOS 350D (Digital Rebel XT)

Anyone have one of these? What do you think? I've gone through a couple of P&S style digitals (a Canon S50, and then a Sony P-150), and have just been terribly disappointed in the number of poor/missed shots (despite all best practices), and have been contemplating going back to the SLR style.

The only hesitation really is size.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 4th, 2005
Size?

I much prefer the old, large SLR cameras to the stupid, postage-stamp sized digitals. They're ridiculous. I've got large hands and fumbling with those tiny thing is a sure fire way to get my ire up. If I'm not accidentally pressing one of the buttons encrusting the surface like sequins on a cheap dress, then I'm getting my digits in the shot and spoiling the picture.

Hooray for huge cameras!
Permalink muppet 
August 4th, 2005
SLR?

What a moron, get an 8x10 view camera:

http://www.photo.net/photo/large-format/choosing
Permalink Ward 
August 4th, 2005
Interesting - have the Canon S-60 and have no problems with it. It's pretty much the same as yours.

I checked out the 350D, and it feels very cheap when you hold it - pretty much just a plastic body. Although it's okay, I'm starting to lean toward the Konica-Minolta SLR camera with their anti-shaking mechanism and better viewfinder optics. It's also not so menu-driven like the Canon models, which can be a problem for some.
Permalink QADude 
August 4th, 2005
I have an old Minolta 5xi SLR (with various unwiedly lenses), and I found that while it took great pictures (albeit old school), I just never brought it anywhere. It was just too big, and too expensive, that it was quite an event when I actually brought it along. With the little P&S I find that I just stick it in my pocket going anywhere.

Of course then I get there, take a bunch of pictures, and one or two is half decent. The rest have fringing, terrible focus, terrible colour balance, and so on. The S50 was bad for poor focus, but the P-150 is bad for just about everything, and manages to muck up the most static of situations.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 4th, 2005
I haven't tried the digital rebels, but I like the analogue ones just fine, and I've heard good things about them.

There's a website, whose name slips my mind, that reviews these things. The guy seems fairly independant, and he takes tons of photos under various conditions so you can compare the cameras to each other.

Found it:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Canon/canon_eos350d.asp
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 4th, 2005
Damn that's a long review.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 4th, 2005
DP Review does a pretty good job of their reviews. Steve's Digicams is also a good site, but he tends to be very pro-Canon which concerns me.

I would also suggest checking out Imaging Resource:
http://www.imaging-resource.com/
Permalink QADude 
August 4th, 2005
I have a hobbyist friend who loves her digital rebel. I have a professional friend who returned hers and opted for the 20D instead.

(Heh, "professional friend". Anyone here seen The Lance Crawl Show?)
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 4th, 2005
QADude,

Didn't notice that you had the S60 previously. The S60 is improved in several ways over the S50 (I think it came out over a year later), including a new lens, and presumably better software. The S50 I had did a wonderful job in every way except for the intelligent autofocus, which managed to incorrectly focus a large number of shots. Of course trying to mnaually focus on it was ridiculous, so the auto-focus was critical. By the S60 they probably learned some lessons and improved the autofocus.

The P150 is the same way - it has a much faster startup time (which is nice, and important) than the S50 did, but it manages to botch focus AND colour balance endlessly. Sony had the P150 on the market for only a short while, and then released the almost exact P200, so I suspect that they did some software improvements.

In all cases I am taking pictures of my children, often in movement, so it isn't a framed and prepared shot, but is in the moment. One of the problem with photography reviews is that they usually do their tests by doing landscape style photos on a tripod, which isn't a realistic test of P&S cameras (or SLRs for most shots).
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 4th, 2005
Dennis -
I have an S-50 and I've noticed the same thing about the autofocus. It works great -- outdoors on sunny days. Not so well when indoors and/or under low-light conditions.

But when it works, you get some very nice photos out of it.
Permalink example 
August 4th, 2005
One of the things I loved most about the S50, and this is a feature that I think is unique to Canon, is the gravity sensor that automatically tagged photos with the orientation. When you downloaded the pictures it would automatically rotate accordingly. The Sony doesn't have it, and damn do I miss it.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 4th, 2005
Dennis,

Actually I think the auto-focus on the S-60 needs some more work. I haven't nailed this down yet, but from time to time the auto-focus will mess up and lose focus.

The manual focus is useless and the macro mode isn't much better. The macro mode has a storng tendency to focus behind the object in spite of the fact that I'm manually focusing on it. Just weird. My previous camera (Casio QV300EX) had zero problems with macro mode and manual focus, which I use a lot for wildflower pictures. Hence why I'm very diappointed in those two respects.

It's reasonably good for fast action shots from what I've tried. Then again, I normally don't take high speed shots.
Permalink QADude 
August 4th, 2005
I have the 350, I've had it a little over a month and I'm still working out all the features. Certainly the AF and fully programmed mode is efficient but as a manual camera it really does work very well.

I resisted going digital for years because I couldn't imagine the quality being anything like film and whereas I understood how to push film and exposure I knew that doing the same thing with digital was a different process.

I'm actually having as much fun with the 350 as I have with the Lomo Automatic and that's saying a lot.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 4th, 2005
Funny you should ask that. I don't know anythign about cameras, photography, but just today my friend posted some pictures from a trip. I remarked 'wow, those are some of the nicest digital photos i've ever seen, what kind of camera is that?' and it was the Ditial Rebl XT. The stuff he shot looked *really* good.
Permalink Vince 
August 4th, 2005
I'm sure the 350D is a fine camera, but I bought my 20D before the 350D came out. I love the 20D. I leave it on always. The battery drain is not significant. It can take 5 frames a second. Built in image stabilization would be nice, but I got the lens that has it. Switching the ISO setting to 1600 lets me take pictures with the flash off in a dim room with acceptable grainyness. Even with the built-in flash, I rarely see any red-eye. It is fun to use a camera again!

Oh, plan to buy Adobe Elements 3. I don't need the full Photoshop. I never had the time or money to bother cropping pictures from film. With digital, I've learned to widen the field of view quite a bit more than with film cameras, with the plan to crop later.
Permalink XYZZY 
August 4th, 2005
Based upon some of the comments here, and my favourable opinion of Canon, I grabbed one with the kit lens. I've only used it for an evening as I got it last night, but thus far I have found it extraordinary - the percentage of successful shots is exemplary, and the featureset is amazing. It isn't the cheapest camera around, but it is remarkable how much it blows away the other two digital cameras I've owned (that cost about 2/3rds of the price, so it wasn't like they were cheap compared to it). Anyway was just playing around and got this shot which I love.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dforbes/32469264/

This is more of a blog type entry, so I apologize, but the gist is that if you're in the market, look at this camera.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 9th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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