Recently, my friend Sydni wrote a blog post about “What camera should I buy” because she gets frequent questions of what kind of dslr camera to purchase.  Sydni did the Nikon version because she prefers to shoot Nikon cameras and that is what she is familiar with. SO…I decided to write up a Canon version of “What Camera Should I Buy?” as I have had a few people ask me the same question a few times over the last year or two. Plus, I can’t let Sydni get away with JUST recommending Nikons! lol

When it comes down to it, choosing a brand of camera really basically depends on how it feels in your hands. (That’s how some people break down and make their choice.)  Do not forget that there are other dslr brands out there as well that have good technology—such as Sony or Olympus. (Sony is the same thing as the former Minolta if you happen to have old Minolta slr lenses.)

Back to Canon though.  I love my 30D Canon, and honestly, I probably won’t shoot with anything else that I personally own, despite the fact that my mother, cousin, best shooting buddy, Cliff’s cousin all shoot with Nikon. (Yep, I’m REALLY outnumbered in my family.)  They make excellent lenses and sharp, sharp products, and I really liked the Canon I worked with in the Public Relations department at ETBU when I was working there. So that is how I made my choice. (and I think my mom was secretly jealous when I got my new Canon. ;))

Anyway, here’s my list of Canon cameras I would recommend checking out if you happen to be in the market for your first DSLR!

First on the list is the Canon EOS 7D 
It is 18 Megapixels and is super sharp, even in dark gyms according to my co-worker who is the photography teacher at my school.  This camera combined with the 70-200 f/2.8 IS will help you produce some beautiful images from sports and activities inside dark gyms and soccer games 7dor night time football games.  Another person I know, Megan Dacy, loves her new Canon EOS 7D. Some of the things she loves about her camera is the super fast shooting speed of 8 frames per second, “making wildlife photography fun and easy.”  She also loves how this camera has three custom settings where she can save shooting info. in three different settings, truly making her camera, HER camera. Another one of her favorite features is the 1080 HD video capability, which is super easy to switch over to.

So, if you have some experience with a higher level point and shoot and know some information about manual settings for your images, the 7D will be a great investment for you. This camera is compatible with all Canon EF and EF-S lenses—(basically, all the high end lenses as well.) The highest ISO is at 12,800, which allows you to shoot with more light in low light situations. Cost runs around $1575.00 for the for the body alone, but with a 28-135mm lens, it cost about $1775.00.

Next we have the Canon EOS 50D 
This camera is two versions newer than the current camera I have, so how could I not recommend it? My friend Justin owns this camera and used it to replace 50dhis rebel about a year ago. The camera has 15.1 Megapixels and a 3 inch LCD screen with live view available and face detection. ISO Capabilities run up to 12,800, (just think, about film grain—allows you to shoot in lower light situations,) and shoots up to 6.3 frames per second, (a little less than the 7D.) This camera is also compatible with all Canon EF and EF-S lenses. Since this camera came out more than a year ago and the 7D is basically the newer version of this line of cameras, the price has dropped to about $1095.99 for a new 50D with a 28-235mm lens. So, if you can live without the HD video capabilities and a little faster shutter speed, but want a camera with great capabilities with more control, the 50D would be a good investment for you.

Next we’ll get into the Canon Rebels. The Rebel line of Canon’s cameras are lighter in weight than the 50D and 7D, so they are a little bit easier to transport and are great for starting out learning a DSLR and great for moms who want more control over the shooting process when they are capturing all those memories of their precious loved ones. 🙂

This line of cameras would be great for you if you want more control over your settings and want to increase your skill, but don’t necessarily want to go pro. For the 50D body alone, cost will run you around $825.00 and with a 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 lens the cost will run around 1,099.95 according to Amazon.

Let’s start off with the Canon Rebel T2i
t2i The T2i is a great 18 Megapixel DSLR with a 3.0 inch LCD screen and 1080p HD movie capabilities, and advanced live view. ISO capabilities maximize at 6400 (smaller than the 7D and 50D) but still more powerful than the previous EOS versions. The T2i can shoot up to 3.7 frames per second and is compatible with all of Canon’s EF and EF-S lenses. One thing that is really cool about the T2i is its compatibility with SDXC memory cards and features an indicator for the Eye-Fi* support.  Which means….with the appropriate memory card—you can wirelessly transfer the images straight from your camera—you don’t even have to take the card out of the slot! (how awesome is that!?!) (Of course you have to have the appropriate compatible technology to make it work.) One thing I really like about this camera is how much lighter than mine it is.  (Totally more handy when out traveling or running around on vacation!) To buy this camera equipped with an EF-S 17-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens it will cost you around $1,029.00

Next we have the Canon Rebel T1i
t1i The lightweight and user friendly T1i is a great starting point in the digital slr world with its 15.1 Megapixels and 3.0 live view LCD monitor that shoots up to 3.5 frames per second and offers HD video capture with resolutions up to 1080p. ISO ranges up to 3200 so it is a little lower than the T2i, but it is also a lot more friendly on the pocketbook! It is still compatible with all Canon EF and EF-S lenses so you don’t have to worry about your camera not being able to use a top notch lens. To buy this camera equipped with an EF-S 18-55mm f/2.5-5.6 IS lens will cost you around $699.00. (WOW! A LOT less than the T2i!) 

Differences between the T2i and T1i are honestly, not that much, other than ISO capabilities and the megapixels.  When it comes down to it, megapixels are not what the camera is all about and does not determine whether or not the camera is “all that and a bag of chips” so don’t let the smaller megapixels determine whether or not you will purchase the camera.  My camera at this point only has 8.2 megapixels in it and it still takes great photos. You have to consider what you want to use your camera for and how much you want to invest in it. 

Here is some other “Must Have" information when purchasing a camera:

  • Visit a store, hold the cameras, test the cameras, play around with them. (And I don’t mean go to Target or Best Buy—go to a camera store where they will actually have a charged battery so you can REALLY test it out!) Another thing you might want to consider is renting a camera for the weekend with a lens so you can really get a feel for how you like it. One place Sydni and I go to frequently to rent equipment is Arlington Camera, where the people are nice, and really know their stuff!
  • Shop around. After you have decided which camera fits your budget best and you have decided that you cannot, without a doubt, live without this camera, shop around.  Look at various locations and check various credible sites for prices on the camera and make sure you look up what the package includes. One place, Abe’s of Maine will have packages available that would include all the little goodies you might want/need with your new camera.  Other reliable stores include B&H Photo, Arlington Camera, and New Egg.
  • Buy a UV filter for your lens! A UV filter protects your lens from harmful UV rays and also protects your expensive lenses from scratches.  It is a lot cheaper to buy a new filter rather than a new lens. I keep a UV filter on each of my lenses at all times.
  • Do your research. Read, research, take a class, learn how to use your camera. If you don’t know how to use your camera, you’ll never reach your full potential with your new amazing dslr. Some stores offer free classes and places like UTA offer continuing education courses on digital photography.

Other than that, good luck in your new search to find a new camera! Also, don’t forget, how often do you really get the chance to shoot a canon?  Only when shooting with a Canon camera! 😉

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