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Canon XS After a Month

Updated on March 10, 2010

My Canon Digital Camera

My first month with my new Canon XS DSLR Camera has been quite nice. My Wife has found it an easy to use entry-level digital camera, as have I, and all in all we've taken something on the order of 800 images with it. As far as entry-level SLR digital cameras go, I think this fills the bill.

I haven't really played with it too much outside of the auto settings, but these settings have proven quite useful and so easy to do informal photography with that I haven't really needed to much. I have used the portrait and landscape settings more than any other and they have provided rather good results. Of course one of the greatest things about digital cameras is that you can shoot all the practice images you like without an investment in film. This has already saved me at least a couple hundred dollars in film and processing.

Great for Christmas pictures and family photos.
Great for Christmas pictures and family photos.

The kit lens has proven to be of very good quality, not too soft, although not nearly as crisp as my fine 35mm film glass. The auto-focus is fast and the image stabilization works very well. All in all, for the average family pictures of holidays and get togethers, it does the job. It is somewhat hard to fill the entire frame with, so cropping will improve the portrait ability. But the images from the camera are clean enough that you can zoom and crop using your photo software and you will end up with very nice images of your loved ones. For a few hundred dollars, a better piece of Canon glass would certainly be a good investment if you intend to use this camera for fine portraits or pictures of the holidays that you intend to blow up past 8x10. But don't be afraid of the kit lens if you're on a budget.

Photographs that sell
Photographs that sell

I have been using this Canon camera quite a bit with a Tamron 75-300mm zoom, more on that lens in another hub, and the performance has been very good indeed. Using that lens, I have been able to produce quite sharp images in the auto settings and predict that when I switch to RAW I'll be able to produce even finer images. In fact, some of the images that I have had printed out to 11x14 and 12x18 have been good enough to sell, and I've made a few bucks so far. When I add better glass and learn the RAW techniques, I believe I will be producing color images at least as good as with film.

Not shot in B$W, but digital photography makes it easy
Not shot in B$W, but digital photography makes it easy

I haven't shot in B&W yet, although have used editing software to pull the color out of images, but I am excited to try it with this camera. I think that the sharpness of the basic images I have already shot will carry over quite nicely and shades will be caught in a pleasing manner. It does remain to be seen how B&W digital images stack up against film as far as I'm concerned. I have seen some amazing B&W images from digital photography but am wondering if those photographers don't just possess extraordinary skill and what the results from an amateur such as myself will produce.

All in all, the first month with my new Canon XS have been very pleasant and the price from Amazon made it even better.  I've convinced myself that I need a Canon 1D next and will probably be ordering one from Amazon before next hunting season.

Play with colors using digital photography editing programs
Play with colors using digital photography editing programs


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