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Canon EOS 350D: Delving into the D-SLR Market

The decision to buy a semi-professional D-SLR camera is a big one; the initial outlay is huge and to progress you must spend money. You can still become an SLR-owner on a budget; but you must be clever and careful. Not rushing into anything and understanding your options and what you’re looking for is the key.

For the past few months I’ve been “uming and ahing” about buying a D-SLR. I’ve been weighing up the pros and cons: I’m an amateur photographer; I love photography and undoubtedly always will; My dream is to be a photographic journalist – albeit not for quite a while; I already own a good camera; My current camera is a ‘point-and-click’ non-SLR 35mm camera and is only suitable for certain uses; I’m not that great at photography; I do want to improve and eventually take a ‘proper’ course on photography; I get free tickets to gigs all the time as a ‘photographer’ but don’t own a ‘professional camera’… the list goes on.

One of the main problems with me though is that I don’t go many places specifically with the intention of taking photographs – I would love to but don’t. My main ‘reason’ for not doing so is that my current camera will not produce shots worthy of me going on a photographic excursion – knowing full well that this is just not true.

I had narrowed my choices down to one of two cameras: the Nikon D50 or the Canon EOS 350D (Digital Rebel XT to you Americans) – both sub $1000 (£600) for the initial camera and the ‘kit’ lens. These ‘beginner’ cameras are ideal for someone in my position and spending this amount of money on a camera will eventually spur me onto taking a serious look at my photography and getting out of the house and using it to its full potential.

I’ve been edging towards the Canon for quite a while now and yesterday ‘bit the bullet’ and bought it. It’s ideal for my needs: the features and available hardware won’t limit my creativity at the level of expertise that I have, and it will allow me to learn the finer points of SLR photography first-hand. I found an absolute bargain on eBay and bought it: brand new, with the ‘kit’ lens for £430. Just 20 hours later it was sitting on my desk in its packaging. That was 6 hours ago and now I can’t wait to get home from work to have a little play.

Although, I can’t actually do anything with it yet as I need a Compact Flash card – one is on its way to me but won’t be here for two days time – it’s a SanDisk Ultra II 2Gb card which will allow me to store 300 RAW photos. The wait is punishing.