For school/work I wanted to get a nice DSLR camera.  What did I want in a camera?

  • Something that took great detail/close up shots.  I knew that I would need a macro lens and ring flash, as these are what is most commonly used in my field.
  • Something that would be under $1000 since I am a poor grad student.
  • A versatile camera that could be used to take snapshots.
  • Easy to learn.

After talking to some instructors and some fellow students I narrowed it down to a few different options.

  1. Canon Digital Rebel xSi
  2. Canon EOS Rebel T1i
  3. Nikon d60

What I ended up getting was the Canon EOS Rebel T1i in a kit from Costco.  Here is what my kit included:

Features and Benefits:

  • Effective Pixels: 15.1 -megapixel CMOS sensor with DIGIC 4 Image Processor
  • LCD Monitor: 3.0″ TFT color LCD; 920,000 dot color monitor
  • Top Shooting Rate: Up to 3.4 frames per second
  • Live View: Enhanced Live View shooting includes face detection mode
  • HD Video: Full HD video capture at 1920×1080 resolution with HDMI output
  • Focus Area/Sensors: 9 AF points (Cross-type)
  • ISO Sensitivity: ISO 100 to 3200 in 1 step increments
  • Focusing Modes: Auto, One-Shot AF, Predictive Al Servo AF, AI Focus AF, Manual Focusing (MF)
  • Metering Modes: 35-zone TTL full-aperture
  • Power Source: Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery
  • Images Per Battery Charge: Up to 500
  • Dimensions: 5.1” x 3.8” x 2.4” (W x H x D)
  • Weight: Approx. 1.1 lbs.
  • Storage Media: SD/SDHC

What’s Included:

  • Canon Rebel T1i Digital SLR Camera Body
  • Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS Lens
  • Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS Lens
  • Canon Rebel Gadget Bag
  • 4GB SD Card
  • Mini HDMI Cable
  • Rechargeable Battery Pack
  • Battery Charger
  • AV Cable
  • USB Interface Cable
  • Wide Strap
  • EOS Digital Solution Disk
  • EOS Rebel T1i Guide with Rick Sammon DVD
  • “Great Photography is Easy” Booklet

To me this seemed like a pretty good deal and I knew from previous experience if I had any problems Costco customer service would help me out.  I also ended up purchasing a Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Digital SLR Lens for EOS Digital SLR Cameras and a Sigma EM-140 DG Macro Ring Flash for Canon SLR Cameras.

What I have learned since getting all this equipment is that photography is not easy!  Even when you have the fancy equipment.  So I recently joined a photography group in my town and went to my first meeting; I learned about the exposure triangle and then I came home and practiced some shots.  The guys in the group were great and did not make fun of all my newbie questions.  At this point I want to become proficient in using the different modes on my camera and capturing what my eye sees.  After that I can start focusing on the “pretty” shots.

Taken in aperture priority mode, no flash, EFS60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Shutter 1/25

Aperture f/8.0

ISO 400