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Old     (wayz)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-07-2008, 3:54 PM Reply   
I just started to get interested in photography, and have been doing some research on my first DSLR. I've been looking at the Canon Rebel XSi, which is in my budget. Any input on this camera? Also, I've read that the kit lens aren't that good. What lens would you recommend? My purpose would be for shooting wake, and also taking photos of my kids. Any input would be great. I've seen the photos you all posted and they rock! Thanks in advance.
Old     (Walt)      Join Date: Jan 2003       10-07-2008, 4:00 PM Reply   
For wakeboarding and portrait the Canon 70-200L f\4 will work well.
Old     (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       10-07-2008, 4:01 PM Reply   
The XSi is a great camera to start off with, as far as lenses the options are endless, just depends on how much money you want to spend.

The best for wake and kids sporting events would be a 70-200 L Series 2.8 you can probably find one of those for around $1200.00

Money spent on good glass is money well spent.
Old     (wayz)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-07-2008, 4:22 PM Reply   
Thanks for the input guys. What is the comparable model in the Nikon world? Dam guys, you're going to break me on the lens, $1200? That's more than the camera body. This input is valuable, so I don't have to upgrade a crappy kit lens after my 1st year. Any others?
Old     (Walt)      Join Date: Jan 2003       10-07-2008, 4:32 PM Reply   
You can get the 70-200L f/4 for around 600.00
Old     (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       10-07-2008, 4:34 PM Reply   
Yeah the F4 will do ya just fine.

Any body these days is fine for a starter.

The better the lens the better quality pics you will get.
Old     (dmonte3283)      Join Date: Jun 2003       10-07-2008, 5:00 PM Reply   
Anyone have any shots taken with the Rebel xsi? I too am looking at that same camera. Coming out of a point and shoot, I'd like to step up to a dslr.
Old     (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       10-07-2008, 6:33 PM Reply   
I have had shots published in Wakeboarding Mag, The Standerd and Alliance with an XTi the step below your camera.
Old     (wayz)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-07-2008, 9:50 PM Reply   
Nice! What lens are you using on it?
Old     (joshturner)      Join Date: Jun 2007       10-07-2008, 10:57 PM Reply   
I the nikon world you would be looing at probably a D80 for comparison. personally i am a nikon shooter (D200) which can be had for about 1000 now for the body and is a great camera. as far as which system to get into... well its a lot of personal prefference. nikon does have a much better lighting system which is something to think about if you ever think you will be getting into some creative lighting. you can control nikon flashes off the camera with your pop up flash on the D80. nice feature. lens systems are very comparable but it seems like canon has slightly more options. that said i have never come across a situation where i needed a lens that nikon did not offer. Riley is very accurate when he says that money spent on glass i money well spent. the lens is what shapes and bend the light onto the sensor. it is the most crucial part of a strong image. the body is important but is limited by the lens.

again this may be person bias but i do really prefer the nikon bodies for the reason of the fact that in "my" hands, and i say this biasly, it feels like a generally stronger build and all the main adjustment components are all located so precisly and ergonomically. you very rarely have to scroll through a menu to adjust a main function on a nikon.

again both are very good manufacturers. you cant really go wrong. just head down to a pro shop and spend an hour or so browsing with a rep and put everything in your hands and see what feels best.
it also doesnt hurt to take a look at what each comapny is putting out in regards to thier pro cameras and accessories. although they might not be in your ballpark now they are very good premonitions of whats to come from the line ups. Nikon D3 is arguably the best digital camera ever made where as canon just put out the 5D mark II that shoots full HD video as well and can pull frame grabs off it that look amazing. just do your research. its tough but try to outline as well as possible what system you want to stick with cuz once you start to develop a collection, switching sucks.

hope this helps and isnt too biased.
Old     (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       10-07-2008, 11:38 PM Reply   
The Canon Rebel series is equivalent to the Nikon D40.
Old     (cbk)      Join Date: Aug 2006       10-08-2008, 5:38 AM Reply   
I have the XT which is even a step below Riley's, but it is a great camera and I have had many shots that I am pleased with. This one looks much better in it's original size.

Old     (coldlake)      Join Date: Oct 2006       10-08-2008, 5:42 AM Reply   
I have the XT also. Bought the 70-200F4L lens from B&H for under $570, agree this lens is perfect for watersports. Great setup, great pix! Also have 50mm 1.8, great sharp lens for little cash.

(Message edited by coldlake on October 08, 2008)
Old     (wakeboard_pittsburgh)      Join Date: Jul 2008       10-08-2008, 6:49 AM Reply   

I just bought my dslr camera this summer and I know how confusing it can be. I ended up with the Canon XTI for $550. This was when the XSI just came out and they dropped the prices on the XTI. Now you can find the XSI for about that price &sr=8-11

I have taken about 4,500 hundred shots with my XTI, and I love every second of it. Since the XSI is basically the updated version of the XTI, I highly recommend it.

Now about lenses. This was the hardest part for me to learn. Here are a few main points that I got from the experience.

- The lower the aperture (the number after the “f”) the better for wakeboarding and the more expensive it will be. It lets in more light to the camera, which results in better sports pictures.

- I bought the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 ($195) as a temporary fix until I can afford the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L ($1,200). It was a mistake and I want my $200 dollars back. Any non-prime lens under $200 you will want to throw away after a week. Also, I thought about getting the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 that some already mentioned in this post, but I could not justify it since I will eventually buy the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L. I would end up with two lenses with the exact same length.

- I had a hard time understanding what length of zoom to buy. I do a lot of shooting behind the boat, and I did not understand what length corresponded to what type of picture. I have turned on the Photo Properties on my website ( so you can see what length equals what type of picture behind the boat. All of these are on a 75-80 ft line.
- 28 mm -
- 75 mm -
- 132 mm -

- I bought the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens with my XTI, and it is by far my favorite for riding in the boat. It is still wide enough at 28 to take pictures of my friends in the boat, and the zoom at 135mm is good enough to take close up shots of people riding behind the boat (Note: I have to live with the fact that the aperture is at 5.6 @ 135 mm until I can afford better glass). It also works well as a general lens for everyday life. At $390, it fit perfectly in my price range.

Here is what I recommend…

Go out and buy the Canon XSI and the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens right now. I delayed for about 6 months and it cost me a lot of good pictures. Once you actually start taking pictures, you will get a better feeling for what you need and you can start adding to your portfolio of lenses.

For more reading, check out my favorite resources:
- Mike Isler’s wakeboarding photography tips:
- Digital Photography School - Sign up for their weekly newsletter.

Sorry for the long post.
Old     (wayz)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-08-2008, 8:10 AM Reply   
Lots of input, I really appreciate it. I have a lot of lens research to do, but I'll take everyone's recommendation on here seriously, since you guys did it by trial and error. That's going to save me ton of cash/mistakes.
Old     (helix_rider)      Join Date: Mar 2003       10-08-2008, 8:53 AM Reply   
Waylon...something else to consider is frames/second. If you are wanting to have sequence shots with more than 3-4 pics in it...I think you'll need to go with something like the Canon 40D or 50D. I have the 30D with the 70-200/F4 and absolutely love it...the 50D would be dream to have.
Old     (Walt)      Join Date: Jan 2003       10-08-2008, 9:54 AM Reply   


The lower the aperture (the number after the “f”) the better for wakeboarding

f/4 is plenty for wakeboarding in most situations. The extra stops are nice to have if your shooting in low light.
Old     (antbug)      Join Date: Jul 2004       10-08-2008, 10:13 AM Reply   
Way ~ Listen to Walt and get the 70-200 f4 for Wake. They are around $600 new, $500 used. Then pick up a 50mm f1.8 for portrait pics. You can get one for about $90 new. You will love the 50mm and it's a cheap, fun lens.

You'll never really go below f4 for wake and if you need it for portrait pics, you can slap on the 50mm 1.8 and blur the hell out of the backround. I have some fun lens you can play with to see what you want. Hit me up or stop by the shop!
Old     (antbug)      Join Date: Jul 2004       10-08-2008, 10:16 AM Reply   
I also have a Rebel I can sell you cheap. Something to start with before you spend all your money and the good stuff! hahahaha
Old     (dmonte3283)      Join Date: Jun 2003       10-08-2008, 10:45 AM Reply   
I have seen other people talk about that 50mm 1.8 lens... what makes so many people like it?
Old     (antbug)      Join Date: Jul 2004       10-08-2008, 10:52 AM Reply   

1st it's a f1.8 lens
2nd it's $90 new
3rd it really fun to play with the depth of field
4th it's $90 new
5th it's almost a L quality lens
6th did I say it's only $90 hahahaha

Trust me you will love this lens! Get one ASAP!
Old     (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       10-08-2008, 11:06 AM Reply   
I am shooting with the 2.8 70-200 and the 10-22 for wide angle.

I had a sequence of Shane Bonifay published in Wakeboarding Mag that was shot with a $100.00 Canon 70-200 non L series.

And a shot of Josh Sanders in The Standerd with the stock 18-55 lens.

I guess the point is these days all the cameras are really good enough it's just knowing the settings to get the shot you want.
Old     (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       10-08-2008, 11:09 AM Reply   
The 50mm Rocks! so fun to play with!
Old     (wakeboard_pittsburgh)      Join Date: Jul 2008       10-08-2008, 11:13 AM Reply   
"f/4 is plenty for wakeboarding in most situations."

Walt is right. I am just biased towards the 2.8 because I live in Pittsburgh and it is always clowdy here. A friend of mine let me borrow his fixed 200mm f/2.8 and it was amazing.
Old     (wayz)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-08-2008, 2:21 PM Reply   
Good to hear about that 50mm lens @ $90 bones! Ant, I'll roll through the shop and see what's up.
Old     (antbug)      Join Date: Jul 2004       10-08-2008, 2:56 PM Reply   
Way ~ What day are you thinking?
Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       10-08-2008, 8:17 PM Reply   
You get the right shot with a disposable camera and it will get published (and that's the way it should be.)

I got a coffee table book a while back, "through the lens with national geographic" or something like that. These are some of the greatest shots ever taken and the technical quality of many of them is worse then anything I've ever seen posted here.

But let's face it once you know what to look for you'll see the difference. Nothing wrong with going for both.
Old     (mammoth)      Join Date: Apr 2005       10-08-2008, 8:39 PM Reply   
Waylon...keep in mind that you can rent lenses to experiment with what works for you.

Check out borrowlenses. Search WW forums to see how people here have liked them.

"and all the main adjustment components are all located so precisly and ergonomically. you very rarely have to scroll through a menu to adjust a main function on a nikon.

An exception to this is the D40 and D40X (the D60 might be the same), horrible interface. Since getting my D90 I've learned to appreciate what Josh is describing, but the D40(X) lacks the ergos.
Old     (wayz)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-09-2008, 7:55 AM Reply   
Ant, I'll send you an email. I'm tied up this weekend, we got visitors coming to see Talon. I'll give you a call.
Old     (wayz)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-09-2008, 8:13 AM Reply   
Hey what's up with the imported or USA version of the products? I'm referring on B&H, I see some items they're exactly the same but a slight difference in price. Is there any difference in buying a imported vs. USA version? If not, why not just buy the cheaper one, right?

(Message edited by wayz on October 09, 2008)
Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       10-09-2008, 3:19 PM Reply   
Canon won't calibrate or fix a grey market lens, you'd have to send it to B&H for that, then they move it on. For the savings it's probably not worth it.
Old     (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       10-09-2008, 6:12 PM Reply   
Support the USA that's reason enough for me..
Old     (supraride)      Join Date: Jun 2007       10-09-2008, 6:44 PM Reply   
Waylon, Costco has the xsi for 799.00. I dont know if thats a good price or not. I just thought I pass that along.


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