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Canon XS and New to Digital Photography

Updated on December 21, 2009

Digital Camera Review

This will be the beginning of a series of articles on the Canon XS. Included will be reviews and comments on a telephoto lens, a Tamron AF 75-300mm. I ordered these from Amazon on Sunday, 12/20/09, taking advantage of a one-day sale on the camera for $409, regular price $449. The lens was an additional $117.28 which is an average price for this particular lens.

I also ordered a lightweight 57" tripod. I needed something that's easy to pack around but still has three leg stability. I have a heavier tripod, but when space and weight is at a premium, it would be nice to have something smaller.

Of course you need a case for a camera and Amazon filled the bill on this as well for $14.95. And I added some Zeikos lens filters for the zoom for another $6.89, normally $9.49.

And to top off the order I added a Sandisk 4gb memory card for $20.99.

I'm making the jump from film to digital. Yes, I'm behind the times. I'm not what you would call a terribly experienced photographer and make no claims to being a pro. Rather I'm an enthusiastic amateur who mainly shoots wildlife and the kids. My Brother owns a picture frame shop and occasionally sells one of my prints, but other than that, I shoot mainly for fun. I don't intend to give up on film, it still captures warmth and color in a way that digital doesn't seem to. Rather, I'm adding to my options.

There won't be a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo in this series, if you need that, then check with DPReviews where you will find reviews from pros who really know their stuff. This will be a journal of my personal experience with this camera told from a complete newbie to digital SLR photography.

I chose the Canon XS for several reasons, one being price. Originally when I started shoppping DSLR's I was eyeing the Pentax K2000 because of it's backwards compatibility with lenses. And since I have been shooting 35mm for 25 years with Pentax SLR's, I have several lenses that will work with that new digital camera. I also shopped the Nikon D3000 and was pretty well sold on it, mainly for it's in-camera Tilt-Shift effect. These were the players in this price range to me. Olympus and Sony also have feature-rich cameras in the entry-level DSLR field but didn't make my list.

In the end, the Canon's reputation for stunning image quality and the ready availability of lenses for sale and rent is what sold me. I fully intend to upgrade to a semi-pro camera within a couple of years if I can make a few bucks with this one, so having the ability to collect lenses along the way is very desirable. And if I need to rent a specialty lens for a few days I can do that as well.

Also this is a good price point to enter into digital photography with the advantages of DSLR ability. The 10.2MP camera should deliver enough image quality for larger prints suitable for framing and the list of abilities the Canon XS has is impressive. If you want a camera that also has video ability then you would need to step up, but I have a digital video camera and just don't see the need for this in my still camera. It does have Live View as well, however I'm skeptical that this will be a feature I use that much other than for snapshots. So that wasn't a deal-breaker for me one way or the other. My primary concerns were image quality, lens compatibility and availability, build quality, Black and White function and crispness and reliability. The Canon XS promises to deliver on all these and many more.

I ordered these items from Amazon on Sunday 12/20 with two day delivery and received emails that all will be here on Wednesday 12/23. Once I receive them I will add another article about my first impressions and overall feel for this camera and accessories.


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