Novice questions about Canon cameras

Discussion in 'Canon' started by Matt, Jul 16, 2004.

  1. Matt

    Matt Guest

    I've been thinking about buying a Canon Rebel TI. On paper it looks
    like a great value, tons of versatilty, innovation, and great features
    at a real good price. But... I handled one the other day and found
    myself wondering if it was very well built. It just didn't feel that
    solid in my hand.

    Is the Rebel TI a durable product? Would I be better of buying a
    higher end used camera for about the same kind of money. It seems
    like an ELAN 7E might be comparable in price used.
    If the Rebel TI gets good marks for quality, I can see no reason not
    to buy it. I have read some reviews. Most ofthem were good, but the
    one bad one said that the camera wasn't well built.

    So I turn to you camera buffs for insight. Thanks in advance for any
    helpful comments


    Matt, Jul 16, 2004
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  2. Where did you ever get the idea to buy this kind of crap? Get hold of
    a used Leicaflex and get to know what a REAL camera feels like, sonny
    Michael Scarpitti, Jul 16, 2004
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  3. Where did you ever get the idea to buy this kind of crap. Get hold of
    a used Leicaflex and get to know what a REAL camera feels like, sonny
    Michael Scarpitti, Jul 16, 2004
  4. Matt

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    The camera is quite well built. The body is made of polycarbonate, an
    engineering plastic that is better than metal. Don't let lightness fool you.
    On the other hand, if you are an experienced 35mm SLR user, teh Elan 7 is a
    camera you will not outgrow. It can do most things faster than any Rebel and
    is a camera used by many professionals. My wife has an Elan 7 and I swear
    it's the best consumer priced camera I've ever used.
    Tony Spadaro, Jul 16, 2004
  5. Matt

    Matt Guest

    Well, since your the only answer I have so far, I'll bite.

    I went to ebay and dug into leicaflex. Limited stuff to see, but
    either very spendy (by my standards) or old and beat up, with repairs
    and lenses needed. Must be a high quality unit, but I think that a
    latemodel one in good shape will run more than I want to spend.

    Why do you consider the Canon equipment to be crap? That's kind of
    what I was trying to find out anyway.

    Sonny Boy
    Matt, Jul 16, 2004
  6. Matt

    The Dave© Guest

    My girlfriend has the ti (I have a 2000). It is an excellent camera.
    It doesm feel light, I agree. If you buy the battery grip, which I
    recommend anyway just for the battery issue, it feels much more
    substantial and comfortable in your hand. At least, to me.
    The Dave©, Jul 16, 2004
  7. Matt

    Matt Guest

    Thanks Tony, that's very helpful. I appreciate the insight.

    Matt, Jul 17, 2004
  8. Matt

    Dallas Guest

    Gee, Scarface. Is that nervous twitch getting the better of you? We only
    need to hear your bile once, thank you.
    Dallas, Jul 17, 2004
  9. Matt

    Matt Guest

    Thanks Dave, that's a good tip about the battery grip. I'm starting
    to warm up to the Rebel Ti after much research and positive comments
    here on the list. I'm going to have some questions about lenses next.


    Matt, Jul 17, 2004
  10. Matt

    Ted Azito Guest

    Firstly, if you have to ask these questions, you are probably at the
    stage where you really do not need an autofocus camera, or at least
    don't know that you do.

    Secondly, the Rebel and other consumo Canon cameras available are
    not, under any circumstances, all that durable. The pro models are
    built with different materials and they are not particularly known for
    ruggedness vis-a-vis the metal cameras.

    Mr.Spadaro to the contrary, polycarbonate is not more durable than a
    good aluminum structure. The 70s and early 80s SLR families were and
    still are more durable, more reliable, and far more repairable-when
    parts are to be had-than the current generation of cameras.

    Canon PRO bodies and lenses are not poor tools: they are very
    versatile, reasonably rugged, their user interface is liked by some,
    and the optical quality is good. The consumer versions such as the
    Rebel are none of the above.

    Hands down, used manual focus gear is probably a better bet: if you
    are determined to own new I would look at Nikon. Not that Canon is
    necessarily poorer, but manual and autofocus Nikon optics interchange
    and there are a lot of them.

    Why do camera manufacturers work so hard at making new camera models,
    with more and more functionality, but less ruggedness and user
    elegance? One reason is that the new camera invariably costs less to
    build. Plastics are moldable, with an upfront outlay for tooling, but
    very low unit cost once set up. And electronics are cheap if made in
    volume. On the other hand, the more stuff it does, the easier it is to
    promote, and most camera buyers are not knowledgeable or even

    Medium format has changed much less than 35mm since the "Golden Era",
    and large format even less. Large format, being tripod-bound and
    heavy, is never bought as a phallic status symbol (or far more
    rarely), and occasionally medium format is, but not nearly as often as

    If I were starting from scratch I would look around for manual focus
    mechanical or semi-mechanical 35mm SLRs from Nikon, Canon or Pentax,
    used and not cosmetically perfect, at good prices. I have bought used
    Canon and Pentax cameras with the obligatory 50mm lens for as cheap as
    $50 for gifts and "loaners" and at that price can afford to shelf a
    body or lens if it proves bad against the day when I set up a proper
    camera repair bench or can supply it for parts if needed. Autofocus
    cameras should IMO be viewed as specialized tools for pros and
    dedicated amateurs in particular fields.

    When buyers smarten up, the camera manufacturers will have to go back
    to making the cameras people want. Yes, digital will kill much of the
    market currently extant for 35mm. That's ok because it's still going
    to be bigger than the large format market. The end of consumo film
    cameras and minilabs will be a blessing for good photography.
    Ted Azito, Jul 18, 2004
  11. Even if he doesn't "need" autofocus, it is sure handy to have for
    situations when you typically do - like sports or action.
    They're plenty durable for ordinary use. No camera is going to like
    being dropped - the consumer models might fair slightly worse, but the
    best thing is not to drop the camera or abuse it in the first place.
    It is quite a bit more durable. Is it as rigid? No. Will it deform
    upon impact like aluminum? No. Is it lighter and cheaper to
    manufacture? Yes.

    Polycarbonate is a excellent material if you know what it can and cannot
    do. Unfortunately, many people do not know what it can do, much less
    what it can't. Without getting too technical, it's rugged enough for
    most people who aren't going to drag it across rocks.
    I don't see the relevancy. Are you putting your cameras through the
    Nikon manual and autofocus interchange to a point - many of the newer
    (especially consumer) models do not fully support the older lenses. Not
    necessarily a point in Nikon's favor.
    Uh, progress is good? Better to have features you use occasionally with
    good results than never have them in the first place. Technology is not
    the devil.

    I don't think people are breaking any more cameras today than they used
    to (per capita, at least), so I doubt the build is a valid worry.
    ....which has nothing to do with anything.
    Judging by market trends and camera sales, the camera manufacturers HAVE
    smartened up. They produce affordable cameras with wide feature sets
    that appeal to amateurs. They also produce tank-like metal bodies with
    expensive glass for professionals. Depending on your whim, you can go
    nearly any direction at any budget and still get better gear than you
    could have 20 or 30 years ago.

    Now the REAL point of this post should have been: "It's the
    photographer, not the camera."
    Brian C. Baird, Jul 18, 2004
  12. Matt

    Skip M Guest

    My that was helpful.

    Skip Middleton
    My that was helpful.
    Skip M, Jul 18, 2004
  13. Matt

    Matt Guest

    Even if he doesn't "need" autofocus, it is sure handy to have for
    Here's an example of a shot I would like to have auto focus for... a
    bald eagle is coming in close to pick up a fish I have just thrown

    (Snip discussion of merits of plastics versus aluminum bodies. Very
    Left it in cause it made me laugh. Good one. I've put my cell phone
    through the wash. I learned that they are NOT submersible.

    Gotta admit it... I am probably a fairly typical consumer. I look for
    technology to help me do things I should probably learn how to do the
    old fashioned way. I'm impressed with trick stuff. Also, since I
    don't really know what to look for in used equipment, I'm afraid I'll
    buy someone else's problems for not knowing better. I looked hard at
    some of the old Canon's but never had a sense of peace that I was
    getting something good, and I felt like I was sacrificing things that
    were not available at that time. I'm always afraid I'll miss
    something. That's why I was drawn to that sigma lens package. 2 zoom
    lens's for the same kind of money as one? That makes my mouth water.
    I'm just glad I took the time to ask you guys before strolling down
    that garden path.
    I know this is true. A certain percentage of the pictures I have
    taken with my point and shoot 35mm and with my olympus digital have
    turned out very well, because I put some thought into composition. Or
    sometimes I just got lucky. But I believe the SLR will greatly
    enhance my luck and increase my capabilities, especially with low
    light and action type shots. Anyway, I'm excited about taking more
    nice photographs and less snapshots.

    The reviews I have read comparing the various models comparable to the
    Rebel Ti seem to favor the Ti on most fronts. I know that in other
    price ranges, there are probably better quality products. Incidently,
    here's the deal I have found that looks great compared to anything
    else I have seen, new or used. offers the Rebel Ti, with the Canon 28-90 IIM zoom,
    batteries, caps and strap brand new for $198. B&H offers the same
    package for $40 more. shows has a very
    high satisfaction rating. This is $100 less than my local guy will
    do. I have a feeling this is a bargain that will hold up.

    Thanks for the helpful feedback Ted and Brian.

    Matt, Jul 19, 2004
  14. Matt

    Kiwanda Guest

    (Matt) wrote in
    I have a Revel XS, a Rebel G, and a TI. The TI is a work camera
    actually; the others I've used for a long time and have been very
    happy with. I generally shoot slides outdoors, but often pack a
    second body for B&W prints, so have been carrying two Rebels for
    well over a decade. The TI is the best of the lot; while it feels
    light the polycarb body is tough. They finally used a metal lens
    mount, and the overall form factor and controls are improved.

    I'd suggest looking for a used Rebel from someone who is trading
    up or giving up on film. There are a lot out there in almost
    unused condition, sometimes to be had with several lenses at
    bargain prices. Or buy a new TI at a warehouse club (Sams or
    Costco) and look at B&H or CameraWorld for additional lenses
    after you have shot enough film to know what you want.

    People will argue about this forever, but the Rebels are easy to
    use for beginners, very reliable, and quite capable of taking
    excellent photos. If you're starting out and want a Canon
    autofocus, there's really not much reason to consider another

    Kiwanda, Jul 19, 2004
  15. Get one in your hands, and that will convince you.
    If it looks like crap, smells like crap, etc........
    You found out.
    Michael Scarpitti, Jul 19, 2004
  16. Thomas E. Witte, Jul 20, 2004
  17. IMO, you'll probably want AF, not necessarily because you'll want to use
    it all the time (although IMO that's pretty likely), but because today,
    its an Industry Standard and you'll eventually run into hassles if you
    don't have it because you'll be incompatible with the rest of the world.

    Also, because AF is so common, you'll also probably generally find that
    it will be more expensive for you to try to avoidthis feature than
    simply buying a camera with AF and turning it off when you don't want it.

    Its kind of like trying to buy a quality car and avoid power windows :)

    Yeah, a pretty good discussion. There were two things I didn't see
    mentioned. One was that some people have fairly strong preferences for
    retaining metal in their lens mount, under the rationale that this is
    the highest-wear item. Not sure how many grains of salt to apply here,
    although it does make sense. IIRC, some of the Rebel had a plastic
    mount; on the Canon line I think you need to upgrade to the Elan to make
    sure its metal.

    The second was that physical camera weight helps reduce body shake.
    OTOH, being too heavy makes it an anchor that becomes a hassle, so you
    leave the SLR at home and take the P&S...ultimately counterproductive.
    There needs to be a compromise based on how you're going to use the
    equipment, or else its going to become a Garage Queen.

    And on durability, the reality is that barring some obvious abuse or
    accident, most consumer-grade cameras are sufficiently durable such that
    by the time that it wears out because of its "inferior" construction,
    there will probably be enough new product features that will tempt you
    to buy a new replacement anyway, and its manufacturing advantages will
    provide cost breaks such as what we see right now with the digital Rebel
    versus the 10D: $599 vs $1199 is hard to argue against.

    You have to go pretty far up the product lines to get to the dust/water
    resistant models with O-rings...and your lens costs are going to be what
    you notice a lot more than your body cost.

    A very fair point. In general, you have to decide how much "legwork"
    you're willing to do to try to minimize your buyer's risks. Since this
    level of consumer gear simply isn't expensive, I'd opt for the extra
    bucks to buy new and get a "real" warranty. I know that used is
    technically a better deal, but after including a cost factor on how much
    my time investment is worth, its a close enough horse race.

    Just beware of "2 cheap lenses for the price of 1 good lens" offers :)

    And while its probably out of your price range of consideration, I've
    been surprised to find an advertisement from A&M Photo World of a Canon
    EOS-3, a 28-135mm IS, 75-300mm IS and the usual package extras for
    $1299, which is roughly $300 less than the sum of their individual
    costs; nearly a 20% discount. If I had my Canon film gear burned in a
    car fire this afternoon, this is probably the package I'd buy to rebuild

    With your anticipated application being stuff other than basic/normal,
    you'll probably have a greater need for the "advanced" features, which
    will affect what you believe your choices to be. Personally, I find I
    use depth-of-field functions (& preview of same) a lot, so that's an
    important feature for my next SLR, whatever and wherever that will be.

    H. Huntzinger, Jul 20, 2004
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