Newbie Advice Please- Canon EOS350D

Discussion in 'Canon' started by The Wuffler, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. The Wuffler

    The Wuffler Guest

    As a first foray into DSLRs the Canon seems to fit nicely into my budget.
    I`ve seen one advertised with 18-55mm lens and was wondering whether this
    lens was suitable for fairly close-up work or whether a separate macro lens
    would be required?
    Also, general verdict - ease of use etc.

    The Wuffler, Jul 11, 2006
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  2. The Wuffler

    Bill Guest

    If you don't have any specific reason to go with the 350D, have you
    considered the Nikon D50 instead?

    I consider the D50 to be a better performer for the price, especially
    with the Nikkor 18-70 which is a much better lense than Canons 18-55.

    Many people also agree the little Rebel XT/350D is too small and not
    that comfortable to hold - which is a very important aspect and should
    not be overlooked. Make sure you handle several models before you lay
    down your money.
    Close focus distance is about 5-6" from the front of the lense at 55mm,
    which isn't too bad. But it's no macro lense as magnification is only
    about 1:4 lifesize. I suppose it all depends on your needs though and it
    may be good enough.
    The Canon XT/350D is a great camera (I have one).

    It has lots of features and is capable of excellent image quality. Good
    lenses makes a big difference with any camera, so if you can afford
    better glass it's a good idea to opt for something better than the kit
    Bill, Jul 12, 2006
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  3. The Wuffler

    dwight Guest

    I would agree that as much research as possible (including picking up and
    handling different models) is important, before plunking down close to
    $1,000 for anything. But I've never felt the problem with the XT's size that
    some others report, and I don't have small hands.

    Maybe it has to do with "hand memory." Having used the S1 for a year before
    coming to the XT, the new camera feels just fine to me. Certainly, it's
    about exactly the same size as my Pentax ZX-M in width, although slightly
    taller. And the more I use it, the more natural it feels (also true with
    most things).
    When I approached DSLRs, the biggest draw was the "interchangable lenses"
    aspect - which, of course, means buying as many lenses as one can afford in
    as little time as one can. Before that, I always looked for the best "all
    around" camera (read: compromise). The kit lens lasted a good 60 days,
    before I started lusting after zoom, prime, and macro.

    It could be said that the kit lens is a good performer across a fairly good
    range, doing nothing outstanding but everything "well." As some have said
    here, if I could pack only one lens, that one might be the pick right now
    (given my limited arsenal).

    To the OP, I'd say that the XT will entertain for a long time, and will only
    get better with each added lens. In the meantime, the kit lens will do quite
    nicely. This assumes, of course, that your "budget" will be almost entirely
    blown on the camera, itself...

    dwight, Jul 12, 2006
  4. The Wuffler

    Bill Guest

    I don't have small hands either, which is why I actually prefer the
    handling of my friends Nikon D70s over my little XT.

    Don't get me wrong...the XT is a great little camera and I like the
    small size and weight. But when you can compare the XT and 20D
    side-by-side with the D70s and D200, it's hard to ignore the more
    natural layout and design of the Nikon - especially the shutter release.

    But that's for me though. Some people just don't like the layout of the
    Nikons. Some don't like either brand, and prefer the ergonomics of the

    It's a very personal thing and I'm starting to realize it's not a
    hand-size issue, but rather a hand-shape and dexterity issue. Where your
    index finger naturally falls greatly affects how you like the camera
    I went from a Canon film body to the Canon A75 in the interim, and then
    the XT, so there was an obvious familiarity there.
    I used to think so too.

    But when you switch back and forth as often as I do, you soon realize
    some things are more natural than others. But again, I'm sure it's a
    personal thing.

    If everyone was the same, there would only be one brand of DSLR.

    Bill, Jul 12, 2006
  5. The Wuffler

    Arild P. Guest

    I have a 350D/XT and would suggest that if you decide on this model you
    buy it *without* the kit lens and instead of get a better lens.
    I made the big mistake of buying a Canon EOS-300 (35mm film) with the
    kit lens and have been pretty disappointed. Back then I had no idea the
    choice of lens meant so much, but when you think about it it makes
    sense. The lens *is* actually the camera. The camera body merely
    "records" what you look at through the lens, so if you get a bad image
    to begin with the camera body will record a bad image no matter how
    good the actual camera is.

    I'm really not in the position to determine how good or bad the kit
    lens (or any other lens for that matter) is, but visit your local
    camera store and ask them if you can try out the EOS-350D with the kit
    lens, try to zoom in and out, focus press the button half-way down),
    focus at objects close and far away, see how quickly it locks on the
    Does the lens "wiggle" if you touch it, or does it seem firm and

    I found the kit lens of my EOS-300 to be very badly made. Very wiggly.
    If I wanted to manually focus it would go out of focus by just touching
    it. The same thing when using a polarizing filter; by merely adjusting
    the filter the lens would go out of focus.

    On the other hand, I've heard some people say that it's a totally
    decent lens and take "OK" pictures, so it depends who you ask.

    Anyway, once you've tried the EOS-350D with the kit lens in the store,
    ask them to exchange the lens with say something at the complete other
    end of the spectrum; an "L" lens from Canon, which is what the pros
    use. Try it out the same way so you can get a feel of the difference in
    build and focusing speed. I don't know if you'd see an optical
    difference right away when simply testing like this, but you will
    definitely get a different total impression.

    Personally, I ended up with a Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 lens. I needed
    something that gave me good results, it had to be well built, a
    versatile zoom-range for most situations (an "allround", "everyday"
    lens) and shouldn't cost too much. So far I'm very happy with it
    although I probably don't know what I'm missing if I had bought a
    professional "L" lens to begin with, but I do know that I'd miss a lot
    of my money if I went that route ;-)

    I suggest you spend some time figuring out what you need. Use google to
    search for lens and camera tests. That's what I did and resulted in my
    To conclude; I'm very happy with my setup so far (i've had it for a
    little over a month and am starting to understand how to use the manual
    settings creatively although i see this takes a lot of practice). And
    having only a 35mm film SLR (and 35mm compact camera) to compare with,
    this is a *huge* difference!! Getting the results right away has opened
    up a completely new world to me! And for the first time I'm really
    getting to learn how to use a camera because of that.

    Oh, if you do get the EOS-350D/Rebel XT, do yourself a favour and get
    the Magic lantern guide for it as the Canon manual is nothing more than
    a reference leaflet at best. OK for someone who's used to SLRs, but if
    you're new to it all you need something better. Here's a link to that
    book at Amazon:

    And if you're new to photography in general I suggest you also get
    "Understanding exposure"
    .. It's definitely helped me along the way, explaining the relationship
    between shutter speed and aperture and how to use them in different
    situations. Easy to read and right to the point with plenty of photos
    to illustrate what he's talking about.

    Good luck with your choice!
    Arild P., Jul 12, 2006
  6. The Wuffler

    dwight Guest

    I think you and I are saying the same thing.

    I was thinking in terms of playing piano ("hand memory"). Given enough
    repetition, even the most unnatural sequences become familiar. Same with a
    camera, or a new car, or YET ANOTHER remote control... the more you use it,
    the more at ease you become.

    In cameras, I use five different models (between film and digital), each
    with a different feel. But, "like riding a bicycle", the familiarity quickly
    returns when I pick up any of the five.

    Now, when starting with a clean hand-slate, the original poster is well
    advised to try different models on for size...

    dwight, Jul 13, 2006
  7. The Wuffler

    C J Southern Guest

    I agree. I started out with a 350D / XT, but only started keeping the photos
    I took when I'd but a decent lens on it - the kit lens (or me anyway) was an
    embarrasment. Others opinions of the kit lens will vary - but no doubt
    you'll be able to read all about them in their reply to this!
    C J Southern, Jul 13, 2006
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