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Now is the Time to Upgrade to DSLR

My brother and my good friend, Paul, has within the last few days contacted me about upgrading from P&S digital cameras to digital SLR cameras. Coincidence right before Christmas? Perhaps not. But it is a coincidence that they asked me during the "Cash In With Canon" rebate program. They can get some awesome deals right now. I've spent quite a bit of time putting together some information on what's the best equipment to buy for new DSLR folks. I think my advice will help others as well, so I am posting my e-mail to them here.

E-mail to my brother (forwarded to Paul) . . . he was on his way overseas:

If you are serious about buying an SLR camera, now is the time. Canon runs its "Cash in with Canon" rebate program at the end of every year. This year, it is between 10/15/2006 and 1/13/2007. The rebates are stackable, meaning the more items you buy, the more rebate increase for each item. You can save about $300 dollars or more. I bought most of my Canon equipments during this rebate program.

The rebate runs out a week after you come home, so you should either order as soon as you get home or you should order now, before you leave. Have them shipped to me or dad's warehouse.

The Canon rebate program is too good to pass up, because unlike computer and consumer equipment, professional camera equipment do not drop in price over time (very little if at all). Especially lenses. Digital camera bodies are a slightly different story.

If you decide to go with Canon, you should get one out of these two lenses . . . no question about it:
Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM vs. Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

My second e-mail to them . . . after researching all the parts:

It seems that two of you are interested now . . . :-)
Welcome to the dark side. To make it easy for you guys, I've linked the products you should get before the rebate runs out:

1. Canon EOS 30D 8.2MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)

2. Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

3. Canon EW78BII Lens Hood for EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Canon SLR Lens

Options: The following are equipments that I would purchase with a brand new camera/lens combination after all the experiences I've had. They are listed from highest priority to lowest priority.

4. Canon BGE2 Battery Grip for the EOS 20D and EOS 30D Digital SLR Cameras

5. Canon Deluxe Photo Backpack 200EG for Canon EOS SLR Cameras

6. You guys know I don't like to use flash much. But Paul, you were asking me how to shoot flash photos that look natural, you'll want one of these:
Canon Speedlite 580EX Flash for Canon Pro1, Pro 90, G Series, and EOS SLR Digital Cameras


1. Save three hundred bucks with the refurbished 30D. Does it quality for rebate? Don't know. I suspect it does. If you order early, you have a chance to return it and get the non-refurbished one if it doesn't come with what you need for a rebate:
Canon EOS-30D Digital SLR Camera Body, 8.2 Megapixels, Interchangeable Lens Camera - Refurbished by Canon U.S.A.

2. When you order the 30D, add the 18-55mm kit lens. This lens is not great and is no match for the 28-135mm or the 24-105mm lens. But it's cheap and its ultra-wide angle could come in handy at times. Here is my review of this lens:
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens

3. If you got the money, instead of getting the 28-135mm lens, consider getting the 24-105mm lens. It's a professional lens with some perks that you will grow to appreciate.
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras
Canon EW-83H Lens Hood for EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens

Check out my "Where to buy cameras?" article. Adorama is a professional dealer. You can buy from them through Amazon, which is really convenient.

After you guys get your cameras, let me know. I'd be happy to give you guys a workshop.

Chieh Cheng
Sun, 24 Dec 2006 11:57:35 -0800

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