View Full Version : Buying a digital SLR

8th April 2005, 09:41 AM
Hi Folks,

I am about to step into the world of digital photography, and am deciding between the Canon 350D and the Canon 20D.

I just read the dpreview review of the 350D, and it got an extremely good write up.

I have done a quick phone around in Adelaide and have found the cheapest price for the 350D is $1695. This is with the kit lens. Add another $700 to $1000 for a reasonable USM IS lens. This is a major ripoff when compared to the American price (under US$700 for the 350D).

The cheapest price for the 20D is $2469 - body only, then $2495 with the kit lens, or $3325 with the 17-85 USM IS lens. Again, a major ripoff compared to the American price.

Does anyone in Adelaide know of cheaper prices?

I am leaning towards the 20D with the kit lens. This way I can practice on a very good camera, and save up for a better lens. But the 350D is quite tempting. If only on price.

Of course, you then have to add on a couple of 1 Gig CF cards, a card reader (does anyone sell firewire card readers?), an extra battery, a lens hood, a circular polarizing filter, a bag, ... So there is another $400 - although I can probably haggle for an Ultra II CF card and battery, especially if I buy the more expensive 20D.

I can get them a little cheaper over the web, but am unsure how safe and reliable these places are. I like the idea of walking into a shop and holding an item before I buy, then walking back in later if it needs fixing or returning.

A rather expensive hobby!


8th April 2005, 10:49 AM
You have stumbled into one of the most commonly asked questions, heh. It's sort of like 12" iBook vs 12" Power Book.

It basically breaks down into a function of cost. Say you want to spend $4000 in total for body + glass, you can either have ~$2500 or ~$1500 worth of glass. I think the 350D with $2500 worth of glass is a better photographic tool than a 20D with ~$1500. Of course this 'equation' skews toward the 20D the more you want to spend, and vice versa. Glass also holds its value markedly better than digital bodies, if that is a concern for you.

I get the impression that you are getting 'into' DSLR photography from an non-SLR photography background, so I doubt you will really miss the extra functionality.

Personally, I'd wait until 1st May and get a black 350D.

8th April 2005, 10:57 AM
IAIN... if your new then i would get the 350D. I dont think it will limit your potential in any way and the extra cash saved could be used for lenses. Also the kit lense with the 350D is said to be better than the one with the 20D (which is said to be crap). So strait off you have yourself a semi decent for price wide angle.

In terms of cheap 350D price

centre.net.au has the 350D (US version called Rebel XT in black/silver) for $1469 i think delivery is $15 but you may be able to get free delivery. He orders them in so they wont get to you strait away so email him to find out. Now going by his prices the $2469 kit or $2799 with 17-85IS.

So the saving would be $1000 or $1330. With that cash you could get alot of gear.

If you want a super ripper of a deal (requires buying from the US) i will talk to you about it in PM as my post will take up too long.

I'd go 350D and gets some lenses and a card for the same price as what you would spend on 20D. Otherwise you will be spendinig over 3k. The centre.net.au 20D + 17-85 IS deal is very attractive tho!

Some good cheaper lenses you could put cash towards $1000-$1330

Tamron 28-75 f2.8 <&#036;600 from AUS
Canon 50mm 1.8 &#036;150 from AUS
Sigma 24-70 f2.8 <&#036;600 imported
Sigma 18-125 <&#036;400 from AUS

Of course if you end up going for the 20D get the 17-85IS version that way you dont need to spend another &#036;900 to get it.. only an extra &#036;330 over the 20D kit price.

Regaurding this MACK warranty and international orders - i would do it - and I AM doing it... i will let you know when i get it but i have been told from a MASSIVE camera company that it will get fixed at CANON AUSTRALIA... i have it in writting too.

But yeh.. i would buy the 350D over the 20D if it meant i could afford better glass.. cos the better glass will get you the better pics..not the camera when these two have identical image quality (as said by Luminous landscape dude and Phil at DPREVIEW)

8th April 2005, 10:59 AM
PS: good glass will hold its value better than the body.. its also a better "tool kit" as a whole for photography rather than a 20D + crappy glass cos your poor&#33;

8th April 2005, 11:47 AM
A lense will always outlast a camera body; get the 350D body and the best glass you can afford. This is much better than a more expensive body and cheaper glass (you will kick yourself later if you go down this path). Once you learn more about photography, you will appreciate the investment in more expensive glass; by purchasing cheaper glass now, you will only end up wanting to sell it at at later stage so that you can upgrade to superior lenses (been there done that).

Although I am a Nikon user, I still think that the Canon 350D is a great camera and as long as you have a keen interest in photography and are willing to learn how to use all the features, you will enjoy your purchase.

A great place to purchase glass from overseas is HK Supplies (www.hksupplies.com). I have dealt with Mr. Poon on a number of occasions and I have always been happy with the product and the service. I usually get my lenses from Hong Kong to Western Australia in 2-3 days.

You can also visit the forums at d70users.com and read the feedback for HK Supplies in the merchandise/seller section. Mr. Poon has a purchasing deal with that forum (he even came over from Hong Kong for the Christmas Party), and most of the members purchase products from him (one of the members from the forum has now moved to Hong Kong and is working for Mr. Poon).

Good luck and make sure to post some pictures.

8th April 2005, 01:04 PM
I got all my gear from BH Photo Video in the US. 6 days to WA and all arrived safe and sound.

With that option and the money you save you could probably get the 20D and good glass.

Anyway the 350D will probably suit you just fine.



P.S. I have a 20D and some expensive glass to go with it if you want to ask any questions PM me.

8th April 2005, 01:05 PM
Thanks for the replies people. I own a pentax SLR, so have had some experience - which is why I am not afraid to tackle the 20D as my first digital SLR.

The majority of the comments seem to mirror what I had been thinking in the past - buy the cheaper camera and get good lenses. Perhaps I will revisit that thinking.

I am going away for a 3 week holiday at the end of the month, so buying overseas is no good for me. Although this means I get all of this duty free, a 10% savings.

I really want to hand over my money within the next week, giving me a couple of weeks to get used to the camera. It&#39;s a pity the black 350D won&#39;t be out before I go away. Then again, I&#39;m sure the silver body takes exactly the same pictures&#33;

I&#39;ll see if I can find reviews for the Tamron and Sigma lenses.

Thanks all&#33;


8th April 2005, 02:09 PM
Reg Tamron 28-75 f2.8 - i have it and its amazing. But if you dont want to double up on focal length and your set on getting something wide then this might let you down ONLY in that respect. Some people have commented that its sharper than the canon L equivalent but i think thats an extremist. I would say that for the price its as close as you can get and 1/4 of price its a bargain. I think its amazing in every respect but i just wish it was wider.

See the thing is tho.. if your going to get something like the 17-85 IS for &#036;950 then for almost the same price you could get

Tamron 28-75 f2.8 for &#036;580 from TEDS (even less imported or ebayed)
Sigma 20mm f1.8 for &#036;450 imported

= &#036;1030

PS thats what i have done as i need the faster glass for potential work and for my needs.

8th April 2005, 03:11 PM
Go for lens quality before camera features.Camera and lens kits are ok for most but usually have lenses which aren&#39;t great quality.Decide which lenses you would like to have first then choose the camera.If you really want the 20D have you thought about getting a second hand one and buying the lenses new.


8th April 2005, 03:25 PM
Originally posted by chris@Apr 8 2005, 01:04 PM
I got all my gear from BH Photo Video in the US. 6 days to WA and all arrived safe and sound.

so what happens tax wise if you do buy something worth let&#39;s say &#036;2000 US from BH Photo ?

It all seems too cheap and dont know what tax to factor in... any way of not paying the tax (duty free somehow?)

8th April 2005, 03:35 PM
only way to legally avoid customs (and it doesnt seem to always work) is to use a POSTAL SERVICE and NOT a COURIER company like FEDEX, UPS.

On the customs site it says you can import &#036;1000 worth inclduing shipping and insurance charges before you need to pay any Duty/GST if you use a POSTAL COMPANY = USPS. If you use a courier company its says the limit is &#036;250 before you get stung.

Using USPS i have never had to pay GST. My friend improted a &#036;1300US laptop through USPS and not only did it get here from a wednessay -> monday it didnt get GST/DUTY

Thats the best advice and experience i can give you.

Some ebay sellers write we can claim it as gift etc but thats all BS you can still pay duty on a gift. Try and use USPS EMS service which is a fast trackable service.

8th April 2005, 04:04 PM

I went for the Nikon D70. Great camera, excellent photos and awesome battery life. Nikon had offer at time with free Telephoto lens, &#036;200 cash back and 3 years club membership.

Love it. Highly recommend it..

8th April 2005, 06:32 PM
Australian Customs (http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=4376) has all the info you need about duties and taxes.

16th April 2005, 08:30 PM
This may be too late for this thread, but Ted&#39;s here in Brisbane are offering 20D body only for &#036;2399. Was quoted this today. Ted&#39;s are in Adelaide aswell I believe.

Have decided myself to go with a 20D, body only. I already have some Canon lenses, and although I will now only have a smallest 35mm equiv of 46 or so mm, I intend to save up further and buy a better quality "standard" lens. For the moment my existing Canon lenses will serve me well&#33;

edit - oops, price was &#036;2369 few stores down the road from Ted&#39;s - Ted&#39;s were &#036;2399....

16th April 2005, 08:54 PM
I too recommend the Nikon D70.

16th April 2005, 08:59 PM

I bought a camera just last week from camerastore.com.au. They are based in Adelaide (as the online retailer for Diamonds on Rundle Street) and are very reliable. I ordered during my lunch break and the unit was delivered to my office 9am the next morning.

I ordered a basic point and shoot Sony (DSC-P100) which is all I need for my snaps. I dunno a thing about photography, pro cameras and SLRs. So my advice is the check this page:


See how the products/prices compare then contact camerastore to see if they can match or better the best offer you have found. If they can do better, they will be very competitive (as they were for the purchase I made). So just ask, the worst they can say is &#39;No"&#33;

Good luck :)

16th April 2005, 09:38 PM
Well there is a Big difference between the 20D and the 350D.

The 20D is very superior compared to the 350D and IF you are really really really interested into going into professional photography I recommend you get the 20D since it gives you many manual controls. The 350D may limit you after a few months.

I have the 300D model and i have been using it for about 2 years now and its a very good camera. So i would imagine that the 350D should suit your needs for some time.

If you can&#39;t fork out that extra &#036;1000 the 350D will still keep you very very happy. So unless your thinking about doing professional modelling shots or something the 350D should do the trick.

Don&#39;t worry about other brand because canon makes the most affordible SLR cameras on the market and the Lens is absoultely fantastic&#33; Pentax is the only other rband I would recommend. Sony and the rest are really shit.

Your main concern for picture quailty is not megapixel but the size of the sensor chip and the Len. I can tell you know that my Canon Eos 300D 6.3mega pixel camera can out gun a 8mega pixel Sony camera. Why? because the sensor chip is twice as big and the lens is from canon (the best in the industry i reckon).

16th April 2005, 09:45 PM
I personally think you need a 10D with a 28-135mm Lens Package ;)