Do you non professionals still use DSLR's? And why?

Started Feb 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
Christoph Stephan
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,655Gear list
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Re: dSLR can be themost cost-effective route
In reply to Midwest, Feb 19, 2013

Midwest wrote:

I like to bring this up when the subject of dSLR cost comes up... it does relate back to the thread topic so I hope you'll bear with me.

My first dSLR, a Canon XSi, was bought two years after introduction as a closeout at a department store. I think I paid $575 at the time including the 18-55 IS kit zoom. I bought a pair of new/unused lenses on Ebay that the buyer must have gotten with a 'kit' and didn't need (55-250 IS zoom, and 50mm 1.8). That was another $250 for a total of $825....

Last fall I snagged a deal with a Canon T3i, the 18-55 and 55-250 kit zooms, and a pro level Canon photo printer (plus another $100 worth of extras - 13x19 photo paper, SD card, spare battery, extra cable). Everything was new, no refurbs or anything. It cost me $999 and came with a $400 rebate, making the actual cost $599, no tax, no shipping. I sold off those two kit lenses (I already had them in perfect shape), sold my XSi camera body on Ebay (almost like new with box and all materials) and the net cost of upgrading my camera body and acquiring the printer, paper, and etc. ended up being $137 - including providing free shipping and paying seller's fees on Ebay. I've left nothing out. $137.

Buying lenses on eBay also savbed me a lot of money. I got the  EF-S 10-22 mm and the EF-100-400mm LIS at half their price - and was very lucky so far.

With regard to my Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 Macro, eBay was the only way to get it because Sigma had already discontinued production of this vertile gem of a lens.

My total investment after three years, in a dSLR system that I am very happy with, is under $1000 and I'm set for this year and probably next and maybe even the year after. I watch the bridge zoom and 'compact' users racing to get on line for the next $500 or $600 release of their camera, over and over (hoping for "dSLR-like" image quality they're not going to get) and it becomes clear to me that the dSLR is not always the expensive route in photography. It seems to me it's mostly the new-model-chasers who are the ones saying 'dSLR's are too expensive, you have to buy thousands of dollars and lug a bag of glass, etc. etc.' And while some poo-poo the kit lenses, Canon's are actually quite good performers.

I cannot heap enough praise on my EF-S 55-250mm IS. And its that lightweight - with me on almost every trip!

And I would agree that "chasing the latest model mostly is a waste of money. DSLRs have quite matured in the recent years - most relevant progress nowadays concerns the film feature - not important if your focus is still photos - and high ISO cleanliness, which can be handy at times, but is only important for moving subjects in dim light - if you are prepared to use a tripod.

In contrast The lenses you own is what pushes further the borders of your photography. Better be content with an older body and save money for the lenses...

And, for some reason, the Canon Rebel series (T3i, T4i, 600d, 650d, whatever) even appears to be less expensive than the indisputably less-capable M mirrorless model.

Even if the M mirrorlens were intrinsically as capable as the Rebel line, its lack of a viewfinder makes the "user-machine" system far less capable than the Rebel line. Framing with the screen - prone to camera shake and guesswork in bright light. Would you remove the steering wheel of your car just to save weight?

I prefer my older DSLRs with a good set of lenses to any next generation mirrorless big time...

 Christoph Stephan's gear list:Christoph Stephan's gear list
Canon EOS 20D Canon EOS 40D Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Tamron AF 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD Aspherical (IF) Macro +1 more
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