I am looking to pick up a digital SLR before I take my trip to Ghana. I thought long and hard about this decision. I’m no great photographer by any stretch, and I’d like to improve my skills and develop photography into more than the occasional habit that it is right now for me. In my mind a big part of this means learning how to actually control the light that enters the camera. This means moving past the digital point-and-shoots that I’ve relied on for the past few years and buying a true SLR camera.
The new Canon Digital Rebel XTi was just released; one of the new features is a self cleaning sensor! The XTi is replacing the camera that I had my eye on, the Digital Rebel XT. I think I’m going to try and purchase the XT at a good price as merchants will begin discounting them. I was planning on getting the body with the lens kit but may try and pick up just the body and a Sigma 30mm/1.4 lens based on some positive reviews like Phillip Greenspun’s “Building a Digital SLR Camera System”.
Another really neat thing I ran across was taking pictures through another cameras viewfinder. This is called Through the Viewfinder (TtV). An excellent tutorial on this process along with instructions for building a contraption to do this is provided by Russ Morris. There is a Flickr group for Through the Viewfinder photos and a website throughtheviewfinder.net devoted to the process. I really like Mr. E.’s TtVs photos.
After going to a camera shop and handling the Canon Digitial Rebel XT, it just didn’t feel right in my hands as it is rather small. I picked up the Nikon D50 and it has a much bigger grip and felt much better. The Nikon D50 is basically the competition against the Rebel XT and gets great reviews. So, with that in mind I went ahead and bought the D50 with the kit lense, a Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18 – 55mm f/3.5 – 5.6G ED.