Most readers of this site use Entry Level DSLRs of some sort. Semi-pro and professional photographers like me don’t always tend to give those types of cameras the full credit they deserve. After seeing things like a Sony A350 survive time in a freezer and Fred Miranda’s Rebel XT survive a fall out of an airplane it can be said that quite a bit can actually be done with these cameras and that they probably can last much longer than we think. More after the jump.
Some professional agencies like Getty have approved camera lists. However, there are always ways around that. With Getty, so long as you have files that are large enough in size as a TIFF, you should be fine. Of course there are other technical parameters as well.
Getty still approves the use of the Canon 30D and 40D despite the current Rebel T1i having a much better imaging sensor than both of those cameras. The secret to getting the best out of them is your lenses.
I’m often asked about entry level DSLR cameras. A major factor of all this though is your lenses. If you’ve got a kit lens, you’re really not going to go very far in terms of image quality. Once you upgrade to better lenses, like Canon’s L series, you’ll be taking much better images.
Also, Pentax’s K-x camera has been given excellent ratings according to DPReview. The sensor is excellent in low-light and I’ve actually heard that many wish that it were the sensor inside of the K-7. It also shoots pretty quickly and has 720p HD video.
In fact, I know lots of tech journalists that shoot with entry-level DSLRs as opposed to the more advanced cameras like the 5D Mk II.
So now that image quality is out of the way, what about durability? As mentioned before, Fred Miranda’s XT survived a very long fall and a Sony A350 survived time in the freezer. Additionally, my old Olympus E-510 has survived being accidentally dropped in the snow before while filming/shooting during a really rough snow storm.
And it’s still performed rather flawlessly. I sold it. It’s still clicking and doing well.
So while we often clamor about how the higher end cameras deliver excellent results, we should also keep in mind that the lower end can do this as well. However, either way, fair amounts of money need to be spent. Good glass can help deliver better images as can better flash systems, etc. Even buying older, second hand and outdated models can still help you to deliver great results. The newer models just make it easier for you to do so. As a helpful tip: buy refurbished.
While you may not want to shoot an entire event with two Rebels alone, they can do well as a backup for the most part. While these images are pretty damned good, don’t expect a Rebel to deliver better images than a 5D Mk II.
Also, try to focus on being a better photographer.