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#1 kacholu

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:41 PM

I have always wondered how do you know which product is the best for you?
Obviously we would have to try them out and see but that's not possible since really time consuming.

So how do you guys choose which laptop or camera to buy?
Are there certain websites with lots of ratings and reviews?
Also where would I find the best deals?

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#2 Lups

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:45 PM

I bought a MacBook because my friend had one and showed me how cool they were and what they could do. This was 2 years ago and I don't regret it.

Buying a laptop all depends on what you want to do with the computer. Will you game? Or just use the Internet / Microsoft word. Do you need a lot of memory or RAM? Questions like that.

Phone was easy for me. iPhone because 1) I had a Mac 2) My BB broke 3) I hate Samsung phones and 4) I already knew how to work it.

Cell phones are just like Computers. You buy one that fits your need. If you just make calls, you don't really need a smart phone. If you text a lot, you'll want a qwerty keyboard / smartphone. If you only use it for email or business purposes, get a BB.

Cameras are out of my knowledge, but the 2 most important factors are Megapixels and 1080i(720p) or 1080p capability

The 2 dominant do it all phones are the iPhone 4/4s/5 and Samsung Nexus/Galaxy S2/S3

I hope this helped at least a bit

Edited by Henrik Sedin, 06 December 2012 - 11:47 PM.

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#3 kacholu

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:55 PM

I bought a MacBook because my friend had one and showed me how cool they were and what they could do. This was 2 years ago and I don't regret it.

Buying a laptop all depends on what you want to do with the computer. Will you game? Or just use the Internet / Microsoft word. Do you need a lot of memory or RAM? Questions like that.

Phone was easy for me. iPhone because 1) I had a Mac 2) My BB broke 3) I hate Samsung phones and 4) I already knew how to work it.

Cell phones are just like Computers. You buy one that fits your need. If you just make calls, you don't really need a smart phone. If you text a lot, you'll want a qwerty keyboard / smartphone. If you only use it for email or business purposes, get a BB.

Cameras are out of my knowledge, but the 2 most important factors are Megapixels and 1080i(720p) or 1080p capability

The 2 dominant do it all phones are the iPhone 4/4s/5 and Samsung Nexus/Galaxy S2/S3

I hope this helped at least a bit


Sorry I should have clarified what I need for each of them.

For the laptop I need something with lots of RAM and ability to run many applications at the same time. That's about it nothing else.

For the camera I want a photographers camera. All I know is lenses are more important and more expensive.

For cell phones I think I'm good with iPhone for now but would be good to hear other experiences.

I usually turn to friends as well like you did but I thought I would see if there are more helpful ways. Like there is a site that rates phones called gsnarena I believe.
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#4 Rey

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:58 AM

It's all about how much money you have to dish out. The more it cost the better it is. Without an idea, no one can really say anything.

Edited by Rey, 07 December 2012 - 12:59 AM.

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#5 schlaBAM

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:07 AM

Sorry I should have clarified what I need for each of them.

For the laptop I need something with lots of RAM and ability to run many applications at the same time. That's about it nothing else.

For the camera I want a photographers camera. All I know is lenses are more important and more expensive.

For cell phones I think I'm good with iPhone for now but would be good to hear other experiences.

I usually turn to friends as well like you did but I thought I would see if there are more helpful ways. Like there is a site that rates phones called gsnarena I believe.


If you're going to have alot of applications open, get a macbook pro with 8gbs of ram. You'll never have trouble. You could get a Samsung ultrabook (series 9) and save a bit of money, but you'll have a smaller drive as the ultrabook has a solid state (which also means a faster boot-up, and system otherwise). I still recommend the MBP. I have a PC desktop for gaming and streaming the odd game as I'm off at university, but I generally have 4-8 programs open on my macbook all the time and rarely finding myself have any lag whatsoever.

For phones, I recommend physically going to a store with everything on display like wireless wave (not sure if they're in vancity, they're on the island.. anyways something similar). I have a blackberry bold, and I love it. I hate iphones and most other droids because I prefer a physical keyboard. I've tried for years to type with my ipod touch, but it just doesn't suit me. I may try out the new BB10 when it comes out in january, but most likely I'll end up getting the new BB Bold with the physical keyboard as that's what I love and prefer. Everybody has preferences.

For cameras, again, it's preference. You can't go wrong with Nikon or Canon, if you're a new photographer I don't recommend getting anything too fancy (I have a canon 7D, and unless you know how to shoot manually I'd learn on something easier). You can get a decent body for about 999, get something like one of the new Canon Rebel models (T4i, I believe), and it will be a great camera to learn on. Getting the starters kit will be good too, as you will most likely get a standard 18-55MM lens, and then once you get the hang of it(or get some more money), pick up another lens or two. Getting a fisheye is really cool, they're expensive, but if you want to have a lens that takes fun photos, a fisheye is where it's at. Go into Lens and Shutter, and ask a bunch of questions. They won't pressure you into buying anything, and they will give you alot of tips / advice on what they think is best for you. They also have used bodies and lenses so sometimes you can get a great deal on things! It's worth a visit.
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#6 Pouria

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:17 AM

I have always wondered how do you know which product is the best for you?
Obviously we would have to try them out and see but that's not possible since really time consuming.

So how do you guys choose which laptop or camera to buy?
Are there certain websites with lots of ratings and reviews?
Also where would I find the best deals?


How to choose?
Look at specs, tech reviews, watch youtube reviews/unboxings, go to the store and see it first hand.

Website for ratings and reviews?
CNET, Engadget, Youtube (technobuffalo, soldierknowsbest, Phonedog)

Where to find best deals?
Red Flags Forum, Flyers (Futureshop, BestBuy, NCIX, Costco)
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#7 Pouria

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:26 AM

Sorry I should have clarified what I need for each of them.

For the laptop I need something with lots of RAM and ability to run many applications at the same time. That's about it nothing else.

For the camera I want a photographers camera. All I know is lenses are more important and more expensive.

For cell phones I think I'm good with iPhone for now but would be good to hear other experiences.


I usually turn to friends as well like you did but I thought I would see if there are more helpful ways. Like there is a site that rates phones called gsnarena I believe.


Laptop: Buy a PC if you need lots of processing power and RAM. Better Value! You can get a Dell, Lenovo or an HP laptop
Camera: Buy the Sony NEX 5r (Has interchangeable lenses and takes DSLR quality pictures while being more compact)
Cell phones: Buy the Nexus 4 if you want to save and get good value for your money. Buy an iPhone 5 if you like the familiarity. Buy the Galaxy Note 2 if you want the biggest screen and the most power. Buy the Lumia 920 if you like to be different.
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#8 JHansenFan

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:36 AM

How i chose my Camera/Phone. Well I want an Iphone and there is a nice camera on the iPhone so.... IPhone 5.


How i chose my Computer. Well I'm in University, and everyone uses a mac so..... I bought a macbook pro :)
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#9 Pouria

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:39 AM

How i chose my Camera/Phone. Well I want an Iphone and there is a nice camera on the iPhone so.... IPhone 5.


How i chose my Computer. Well I'm in University, and everyone uses a mac so..... I bought a macbook pro :)


So you basically follow the herd?
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#10 kacholu

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:41 AM

Thanks everyone for the advice!! Now I have a lot to think about. I just looked up the prices and it seems like the total cost would be around 4k with lenses for the camera.
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#11 schlaBAM

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:55 AM

Thanks everyone for the advice!! Now I have a lot to think about. I just looked up the prices and it seems like the total cost would be around 4k with lenses for the camera.


curiosity speaking, what camera / lenses are you considering?
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#12 bluesy_shoes

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:55 AM

what do you need this stuff for? school?

I'm an architecture student and I recently bought a lenovo w530 with a bunch of upgrades i did myself. I love macbooks, i've been using macs for seven years, but it would have cost me a grand extra for the processing power, the ssd storage, and the ram. I run photoshop, illustrator, autocad, and indesign simultaneously along with chrome, itunes, ect. for hours on end with no real issues. battery life leaves something to be desired, but that is to expected with a workstation like mine. i don't really need battery life, but the power brick is ridiculously large. one thing i will say is that if you don't want to worry at all about your computer, and you don't want to learn how to deal with issues yourself, don't get a pc. though you can't upgrade the new mbp's, they are way more user friendly, and they rarely run into issues. i don't love my pc, but it is a work computer and it does its job very well. i expect it to last me 3-4 years running high performance software.
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#13 Pouria

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 02:04 AM

Thanks everyone for the advice!! Now I have a lot to think about. I just looked up the prices and it seems like the total cost would be around 4k with lenses for the camera.


Nexus 4 (16 GB) - $359 + tax
Sony NEX 5R (with 18-55 mm lens) - $699 + tax
18-200 mm lens - $849 + tax
Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook (8GB RAM, 2.6 Ghz intel i5, 1GB AMD Raedon graphics, 500 GB HDD + 32 GB SSD, built in optical drive (DVD burner)) - $899 + tax

Total: $2806 + tax ($336) = $3142

Based on better value products, you should be able to spend a little over 3K. Although you do get great quality products such as the latest Nexus phone, latest Sony camera and latest Dell Ultrabook. Plus the phone is an unlocked pentaband that would work on any network and you would own it outright without monthly payments.
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#14 avelanch

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:29 AM

I have always wondered how do you know which product is the best for you?
Obviously we would have to try them out and see but that's not possible since really time consuming.

So how do you guys choose which laptop or camera to buy?
Are there certain websites with lots of ratings and reviews?
Also where would I find the best deals?

http://www.toptenreviews.com/
great site, really breaks it down, helps me with my big purchases.
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#15 avelanch

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:30 AM

Nexus 4 (16 GB) - $359 + tax
Sony NEX 5R (with 18-55 mm lens) - $699 + tax
18-200 mm lens - $849 + tax
Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook (8GB RAM, 2.6 Ghz intel i5, 1GB AMD Raedon graphics, 500 GB HDD + 32 GB SSD, built in optical drive (DVD burner)) - $899 + tax

Total: $2806 + tax ($336) = $3142

Based on better value products, you should be able to spend a little over 3K. Although you do get great quality products such as the latest Nexus phone, latest Sony camera and latest Dell Ultrabook. Plus the phone is an unlocked pentaband that would work on any network and you would own it outright without monthly payments.

are you REALLY suggesting a sony camera? Really? espescially when a superior Nikon D5100 could be had for cheaper?

Also, a dell computer? ugh. what's wrong with you.

Edited by avelanch, 07 December 2012 - 08:31 AM.

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#16 MoneypuckOverlord

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:51 AM

Google is your friend.

That being said, I'm just going to give you reccomendations based on brand

Choosing the right laptop, camera and phone

Laptops= Asus (very good warranty) HP, and apple. Apple's notebooks are the fastest growing, and the 2nd most popular on the planet behind, Acer, who are known to manufacture cheap and affordable notebooks. You go to universaty or a college, gauranteed, mass majority is sporting an apple note book.

Camera. Ummmmmm, megapixel has absolutley nothing to do with it..... You can go with a pocket camera or the ones that have the big round lense for ultra good quality camera. Megapixel just means how big the photo is, rather then quality. Brand's I reccomend is Canon, Nikon. Canon Rebel series is pure awesome.

Phones. I guess you can check out tech reviews. Apple, Nokia, HTC, these 3 companies make wonderful solid as hell phones, that don't feel cheap like Sony, Samsung, LG, Motorolla.

Cheers
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#17 ronthecivil

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:56 AM

Nexus 4 (16 GB) - $359 + tax
Sony NEX 5R (with 18-55 mm lens) - $699 + tax
18-200 mm lens - $849 + tax
Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook (8GB RAM, 2.6 Ghz intel i5, 1GB AMD Raedon graphics, 500 GB HDD + 32 GB SSD, built in optical drive (DVD burner)) - $899 + tax

Total: $2806 + tax ($336) = $3142

Based on better value products, you should be able to spend a little over 3K. Although you do get great quality products such as the latest Nexus phone, latest Sony camera and latest Dell Ultrabook. Plus the phone is an unlocked pentaband that would work on any network and you would own it outright without monthly payments.


What's the point of that laptop? It's overpowered for day to day web surfing/video chat/playing with the camera/doing office type stuff and underpowered for gaming.

It's like someone that want to game in a 400 ft^2 appartment and for some reason hates desktops.

To get a laptop just look at what is in the 300-400 dollar range and get the one with the most memory for your price point.

If you want a gaming computor get a desktop computor.
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#18 avelanch

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:56 AM

Google is your friend.

That being said, I'm just going to give you reccomendations based on brand

Choosing the right laptop, camera and phone

Laptops= Asus (very good warranty) HP, and apple. Apple's notebooks are the fastest growing, and the 2nd most popular on the planet behind, Acer, who are known to manufacture cheap and affordable notebooks. You go to universaty or a college, gauranteed, mass majority is sporting an apple note book.

Camera. Ummmmmm, megapixel has absolutley nothing to do with it..... You can go with a pocket camera or the ones that have the big round lense for ultra good quality camera. Megapixel just means how big the photo is, rather then quality. Brand's I reccomend is Canon, Nikon. Canon Rebel series is pure awesome.

Phones. I guess you can check out tech reviews. Apple, Nokia, HTC, these 3 companies make wonderful solid as hell phones, that don't feel cheap like Sony, Samsung, LG, Motorolla.

Cheers

yeah, the lenses and sensors mean everything in cameras. nikon and cannon having the best components (they are basically on par with eachother, despite what photophiles will argue over until the end of time).

Also, i'd add toshiba to the laptops (espescially their ultrabooks)

Edited by avelanch, 07 December 2012 - 01:40 PM.

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#19 ronthecivil

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:58 AM

Google is your friend.

That being said, I'm just going to give you reccomendations based on brand

Choosing the right laptop, camera and phone

Laptops= Asus (very good warranty) HP, and apple. Apple's notebooks are the fastest growing, and the 2nd most popular on the planet behind, Acer, who are known to manufacture cheap and affordable notebooks. You go to universaty or a college, gauranteed, mass majority is sporting an apple note book.

Camera. Ummmmmm, megapixel has absolutley nothing to do with it..... You can go with a pocket camera or the ones that have the big round lense for ultra good quality camera. Megapixel just means how big the photo is, rather then quality. Brand's I reccomend is Canon, Nikon. Canon Rebel series is pure awesome.

Phones. I guess you can check out tech reviews. Apple, Nokia, HTC, these 3 companies make wonderful solid as hell phones, that don't feel cheap like Sony, Samsung, LG, Motorolla.

Cheers


For phone? Whatever one is cheapest IMO. If and when my current phone dies I have a spare that I just inherited from work. I will be buying a smart phone like never.

Cost? zero for the phone, get cheap plan.
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#20 Heretic

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:00 AM

Laptops are a "it depends" answer.

My son wanted a laptop - but he's also a gamer like me - so after checking out reviews, we got him an Alienware laptop.
Yes, Dell bought them, but the Alienware has been rock solid now for 16 months.

When researching, don't just use one source - look at many.


Edit: BTW, when I said we bought him - it was a collective "we" - that is, his mom and I paid half and he paid half as the Alienware's are kind of like Mac's - pricey.

Edited by Heretic, 07 December 2012 - 09:24 AM.

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#21 SterlingArcher

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:03 AM

Samsung S2 because it's simply better then the iPhone.

Windows laptop cause it's much cheaper than a mac and does exactly what i need it to ans more.

camera i don't really use one, so not much of an opinion on that.

mp3 player i got a ipod mini touch, not very expensive and you have the option use it as a watch, which is easy in the gym while working out.
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#22 avelanch

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:16 AM

Laptops are a "it depends" answer.

My son wanted a laptop - but he's also a gamer like me - so after checking out reviews, we got him an Alienware laptop.
Yes, Dell bought them, but the Alienware has been rock solid now for 16 months.

When researching, don't just use one source - look at many.

dell bought alienware? man, i hope they don't/didn't ruin it.
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#23 n00bxQb

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:35 AM

dell bought alienware? man, i hope they don't/didn't ruin it.

Dell bought Alienware YEARS ago
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#24 ronthecivil

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:53 AM

Dell bought Alienware YEARS ago


But who cares? Who buys a laptop to game?

Heck, even at that pricpoint....

http://pc.ncix.com/n...84FD278-4704142

Would destroy that one if you configure it right.
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#25 avelanch

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:57 AM

Dell bought Alienware YEARS ago

haven't really been into computer gaming for about a decade, so it's news to me.
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#26 canucks_dynasty

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:56 AM

For cameras, I usually go to dpreview or dcresource. It gives a review of the digital cameras out there.

If you're going for DSLR...just go for basic...Nikon or Cannon (ie. Canon T4i) so you can learn how to shoot and adjust manually. Once you're good at manual then you can upgrade to a higher model. If you are sure you are going to do those fancy shots...you might want to to just go straight to a higher model (ie. 7D). If your goal is to do photography for a living...it'll be costly (ie. 5D or 1D).

Get an external flash. I have the 580EX ($500). It's great to avoid the flash directly at the subject. You can bounce the flash off the ceiling for a better effect.

Then get a better lens (I'm still in need to upgrade my lens from the starter kit). Typically one for portrait and one for zoom. Read up on websites to understand the lingo. The better the lens...the more $$ it gets. Plan on upgrading lens next year to something like an all-in-one type. 18-200mm or something like that.

I still have my Canon Rebel XSi. Takes great pictures so far. I'll upgrade the body once I get better at manual settings. And the only way to get better is to practice (ie. trial and error) or go take some photography lessons.


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#27 schlaBAM

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:01 PM

are you REALLY suggesting a sony camera? Really? espescially when a superior Nikon D5100 could be had for cheaper?

Also, a dell computer? ugh. what's wrong with you.


thank you. at least somebody's got some sense here.

don't buy a sony camera. people may say it's "good", but you can get many other better alternatives for roughly the same price.
I'd still recommend starting out with something like a Canon Rebel T3i or T4i, or the Nikon equivalent.
and dell is just a flat out terrible idea. they have the worst craftsmanship and it will break.
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#28 Stefan

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:19 PM

Cnet.com for professional and consumer reviews.
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#29 kacholu

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 02:49 PM

For cameras, I usually go to dpreview or dcresource. It gives a review of the digital cameras out there.

If you're going for DSLR...just go for basic...Nikon or Cannon (ie. Canon T4i) so you can learn how to shoot and adjust manually. Once you're good at manual then you can upgrade to a higher model. If you are sure you are going to do those fancy shots...you might want to to just go straight to a higher model (ie. 7D). If your goal is to do photography for a living...it'll be costly (ie. 5D or 1D).

Get an external flash. I have the 580EX ($500). It's great to avoid the flash directly at the subject. You can bounce the flash off the ceiling for a better effect.

Then get a better lens (I'm still in need to upgrade my lens from the starter kit). Typically one for portrait and one for zoom. Read up on websites to understand the lingo. The better the lens...the more $$ it gets. Plan on upgrading lens next year to something like an all-in-one type. 18-200mm or something like that.

I still have my Canon Rebel XSi. Takes great pictures so far. I'll upgrade the body once I get better at manual settings. And the only way to get better is to practice (ie. trial and error) or go take some photography lessons.


I was looking into DSLR, I'm completely new to photogrophy so a starter camera would be a good idea. At the same time I'm a student so don't think I can afford a starter and then a good one.

Do you use the camera for a job?
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#30 canucks_dynasty

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:12 PM

I was looking into DSLR, I'm completely new to photogrophy so a starter camera would be a good idea. At the same time I'm a student so don't think I can afford a starter and then a good one.

Do you use the camera for a job?


Not for a job...personal use. Got the camera for taking pics of the new baby I was gonna have. I knew the point-and-shoot wouldn't get the shots I wanted (or least I told myself that). The continuous shot option on DSLR is a godsend when the baby got older (becoming a toddler - elementary school age). Kids hardly stay still for photos.

The new Canon Rebel T4i will last you a long time. My XSi is over 4yrs old and nothing's wrong with it. The only reason to upgrade it is if I wanted the new stuff that my old camera doesn't have (ie. LCD display while shooting, etc).

You can go on Craiglist or Kijiji and buy used DSLR cameras cheaper than buying brand new. But remember...try before you buy. As in make sure it works properly, check lens for scratches, etc.

It's been 4yrs and I'm still a noob at taking pictures. No need to upgrade the camera body just yet if my skills aren't there.

Been toying with the idea of taking photography lessons. Also might ask sis-in-law for pointers since she is heavily into photography. She's looking to get the Canon 5D Mark II ($$$) and work as a photographer part time (as a side business).

Things not to cheap out on are lenses.


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