May 5, 2009

DSLR - Shall I Do It?

As I mentioned in my last post, my wonderful, trusty Canon finally fired its last shot shortly before my son’s 6th grade musical performance, giving me permission to camera shop since I am most sure it is not repairable (that's my story & I'm stickin' to it!) In record time, I ordered it’s replacement – the same model only better. The Canon Powershot SX10 IS: 10 mega pixel, 20x zoom. All the bells and whistles that my 2004 model never had. And then (shock!), it was backordered! And then the order canceled! I was surprised to find it is not readily available on many of my favorite internet stores and quite pricey by comparison where it is “in stock”.

Since I needed a camera NOW, I bought a less expensive Canon to get me by. While at Sam’s Club looking at the point & shoots, I was drawn to what to me is the king of the road: The Canon Rebel. I’ve longed for a DSLR. I picked it up and powered it on. Although the display that appeared on the LCD was foreign to me, I looked through the viewfinder and zoomed in on a banner in the store. I didn’t know how to focus this type of camera, but instinct took over. It was all so clear. I clicked the picture. And my mind drifts to my tack room. What can I sell on Craig's List or eBay to justify the cost above and beyond what I was planning to spend on a new camera? I've got to have this bad boy!

I love to take pictures. I have a good eye for what I want to capture though my skills have a bit to be desired. But I take enough pictures that sometimes I get lucky. The Pioneer Woman has hooked me on Photo Shop. I think this Canon Rebel will help me stack the deck.

I don’t mind big and bulky. Actually, I have a harder time holding the smaller cameras. My old Canon was not quite as big as a DSLR, but not compact by any means. With a DSLR, I only worry that I will always have to “fiddle” with the camera and can’t take quick shots? Is there an “automatic” button to just click & shoot if needed?

My subjects are pretty vanilla. My kids at their school functions & sporting events. My horses & trail riding. My dogs. The sky. Scenery and sunset. It'll spend a lot of time in my saddle bag, nicely padded, of course.

So help me out! Have you crossed into the DSLR world? What are the pros & cons? What do I have to buy besides the camera? Is it a big learning curve? I'm pretty loyal to the Canon brand -- is there one Rebel that stands out among the other (I see a few models online). What are your recommendations? If you aren't a Canon person, what do you use?



  1. oh, this is the camera I got after Christmas, and it takes awesome pictures! That is about all I do with it so far, as I don't have the bells and whistles figured out at all! My goal this summer is to start at the beginning of PW photo pages and start learning! It is bulky but I'll just have to figure how to best pack it on the front of the saddle!!!

  2. I currently have a Nikon D40x and I love it. I had a Canon Rebel 35mm camera before all this digital stuff though and I really liked that one. I love, love, love my DSLR but I bought a point and shoot digital after breaking the autofocus on my DSLR lens just to have something to carry around in those less than ideal situations for a larger camera. I found myself growing weary of dragging my big camera to places like the zoo or the barn because I was always so paranoid about breaking it after spending all that money on it. My Nikon takes wonderful pictures and I don't regret buying it for a minute!

  3. My husband purchased a 2 year old Canon DSLR and I LOVE it. But since it's used and we don't have as much invested in it, I am able to be more free with it and don't worry about it. Before my DSLR, I bought a nice Minolta camera for more than I spent on my DSLR, lens, and memory cards, and it still left me wanting more. The DSLR does have more settings but it still has an "auto setting" that works well. I am no camera expert, but I have learned much by reading the manual and then playing around with the manual settings (such as shutter speed). I now use these more than I the automatic function, but it's nice to still have that function there. If you don't feel like dropping the "big bucks" for new, consider used (I paid around $350 for my DSLR, lens, extra battery and two 1 gig mem cards) and I haven't had any issues with it. The DSLR makes it easier to catch those perfect shots that you can picture in your head, but can't seem to get with a "normal" digital camera.

  4. I just went DSLR last month and I love it! I have a Nikon D40. I still have my Sony Cybershot point and shoot for when I ride or times I don't want to haul the big one around.
    I got a great package deal with two lenses, but there is another macro lens I want next! :)
    I was going to get the Canon you mentioned (the "ultra" 20x zoom) and looked at it at the stores...but for about $100 more, I could get a DSLR and despite the great qualities of that Canon, it's not a DSLR. I knew I'd want to move up to a DSLR within a year, so why buy two cameras in two years? So I coughed up a bit more money and got the Nikon. I will say, the Nikon was a bit cheaper than the Rebel. I was not loyal to either brand, other than what I read and see from other bloggers who photograph. Also, a camera store clerk told me he thinks Canons are overpriced, and that unless you are doing professional or sports photography, Canon's weren't worth their price. Of course, that is just his opinion.
    Anyway, I'm thrilled I did it, I love taking pictures and it has made all the difference in the world!
    Good luck!

  5. oops...I better clarify...I got the Power Shot SX 10 IS. We looked at the other types with larger lens, and figured at this time, I didn't need the larger lens with what pictures I'll be taking. I hope I can get to where all of you are at with your photo abilities!

  6. oops...I better clarify...I got the Power Shot SX 10 IS. We looked at the other types with larger lens, and figured at this time, I didn't need the larger lens with what pictures I'll be taking. I hope I can get to where all of you are at with your photo abilities!

  7. LOL Brenda's stuttering.

    I say go for it.

    My two Nikon Coolpix's have done me well but now one is dead (probably because it rode too many miles in my hip pocket AND I dropped it in the arena dirt at Wahoo) and the other is cracked and beaten from banging on my saddle horn while bushwacking, but it's still kicking!

    If I were to invest money in a good camera, I would be hesitant to take it where I've taken the others... but gawd, it sure would be nice to take to shows.

    Dan even said he is thinking about getting a smaller one like my pocket variety for quick easy shots that turn out fairly well. At least a lot better than my cellphone camera (snort).

  8. Oooh! How exciting! Camera Shopping!

    I'm a loyal Canon fan. My previous Canon was stolen (as you might remember) but my hubby finally bought me a new Canon for Christmas. I love love love my Canon PowerShot SX110 IS with 9 Mega Pixels, 10X Optical Zoom and 10X Digital Zoom......I love me some Zooom! hehe

    I also like that it's got lots of manual options and is one step away from a DSLR if I choose to play and learn more about all those options.
    And because I want a lighter a camera, I like that, while it's not slim enough to slip into a pocket, it's still small enough to fit into my purse or horn bag on my saddle.

    I have no advice or tips. I just can't wait to see what camera you choose...and all your terrific pictures, too! :)


  9. Have had Canon pro cameras for years and years. The Rebel is perfect to get you going with something more than the "saddle bag cameras" as I call my junky little Samsung. Get some basic lenses and start opening the world of your photography up! I buy only Canon lenses, and have actually found some good deals on used once and awhile. Do it. You DO have a great ey for photography, and I'd love to see what you could do with a great camera. (and Canon does make great cameras)!

  10. I just advanced from a cannon 35mm to a digital. I ended up with an Olympus E510. I really like it though I am still learning how to use it. I picked it because of the quickness between the time you push the button to when the shutter actually works because I wanted to be able to get the fast shots of forward ears on the horses and the puck actually going in to the net at the grandson's hockey games. It takes really great pictures--I just have to get smarter!!

  11. Do any of you ride mules? WWW.MULEVILLE.COM

  12. The Canon powershot is a superb camera! Just remember if you go the full DSLR you need the lenses to go with it and that could cause probs on trail riding, I use a full size Nikon D80 and carry a full backpack full of lenses while hiking and its a pain in the butt sometimes..:-)

  13. Thanks everyone for your comments. And what did I choose????? Drum roll.... I'm going back to the Canon Powershot SX10 IS. I have no complaints about the earlier version of this camera which I own & excited about the new features. A majority of the pictures I take are from the back of a horse & this camera works well for that. I do want a DSLR, but not as my only camera and I certainly don't have the time to learn to use one right now. Amy suggested a used DSLR which is a GREAT idea & Ed convinced me that carrying around lenses in a saddle bag while dodging trees and crossing creeks might not be a good idea.

    For now, I bought a low priced Canon (A1000, I think) to get me by until I can get my new SX 10!


I am so glad you stopped by and look forward to hearing from you! Do come again.