<p>&#160;</p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3"><em>Hi Steve,</em></font></p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3"><em>I live in a small town just north of Phan Rang in Vietnam. I have a Sony DSC-V1 that I think has reached its use by date. I bought it in Hong Kong 5 year ago and it has served me well. It has developed a problem whereby after the 3rd shot the photos go a ghostly white, like a negative on a white background. I'm flying to Saigon next Wednesday and am hoping I can find someone to fix it. It would be a great little camera for my uni student sister in law. I have a Sony HDD camcorder that I bought in Australia last year and although it;s supposed to take 10 megapixel stills they aren't as good as the 5 megapixel photos I've taken with the Cybershot camera. I'm not a professional photographer, just a part timer who likes taking and captioning photos to send to friends around the world.</em></font></p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3"><em>I'm looking for a replacement and am thinking of buying the Canon EOS 500D. </em></font><a href="http://www.dpreview.com" title="http://www.dpreview.com/"><font face="Arial" size="3"><em>www.dpreview.com</em></font></a><font size="3"><em> gives it a good wrap but not so the 18-200 lens I want to buy with it. The camera is $720 U.S. with an 18-55 lens. The 18-200 lens is $550U.S. They give the camera a "High Recommendation" but only give the lens a "Recommendation with reservations." This has me worried. With $1500 U.S. to spend could you recommend anything else in this class of camera? I have read heaps of reviews on the dpreview site but would appreciate your advice.</em></font></p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3"><em>Kevin J.</em></font></p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3"><em>Phan Rang</em></font></p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3"><em>Vietnam</em></font></p> <p><font size="3">&#160;</font></p> <p><font size="3">Hi Kevin -</font></p> <p><font size="3">The replacement you mention, the Canon 500d <em>(or T1i in other parts of the world)</em> is a fine camera.&#160; There's nothing else like it in this price range.&#160; In fact, it has even caught the attention of many professionals who just want a small DSLR for family use.&#160; </font></p> <p><font size="3">With video and all the other capabilities it offers, not to mention very good image quality, it's a solid winner.</font></p> <p><font size="3">You'll find the 500D leaps and bounds ahead of what you've been using.&#160; You might even be stunned.. :)</font></p> <p><font size="3">I've read the reviews at DPReview, as you know I often link their reviews in my column because they're complete and usually very accurate.</font></p> <p><font size="3">I've used the 500d with the 18-55 and I think you'll be pleased with both.&#160; This 18-55 is a newer model with IS <span class="AItalics">(image stabilization)</span> which performs much better than Canon's old 18-55.&#160; </font></p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3">The 18-200 you mention is pretty average for a lens with this much of a zoom range, and better than you'll find from non-OEM brands like Sigma, Tokina, and others.&#160; 18-200's are considered consumer lenses and no manufacturer makes them to really high standards.&#160; It's a cost issue.&#160; Someone willing to spend more wouldn't be looking for a 18-200.&#160; An exception to the 18-200 lens mediocrity is the Nikkor 18-200.&#160; It's not great, but it's better than the competition.</font></p> <p><font size="3">$1500 is significant.. This leaves you with $780 for a lens.&#160; There are two lenses that come to mind which offer outstanding image quality, very fast AF speed, and are built really tough.. and are size/weight wise are a great match for the 500D.&#160; The lenses are the Canon 70-200mm F4, and the Canon 70-200mm F4 IS.&#160; I'd recommend the latter, but it's a few hundred outside of your budget.&#160; Though, I think if you could fit it in your budget, you'd be very pleased.</font></p> <p><font size="3">So.. the Canon 500D <span class="AItalics">(T1i)</span> with the 18-55mm IS lens is a great choice.&#160; Adding the 70-200mm F4 IS would be an outstanding addition.</font></p> <p><font size="3">I hope this helps.</font></p> <p><font size="3">Steve</font></p> <p><font size="3">&#160;</font></p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3"><em>G'day Steve,</em></font></p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3"><em>Thanks for the advice. I feel a lot better now. I'll still go with the 18-200 but will keep the 18-55 the camera comes with. I've set myself a limit of $1500 for the camera, lens, memory card, and carry bag so I'd better stick to it. Was looking at the EOS 5D Mark 11 but changed my mind. Beautiful camera but at $2300 more for someone who is semi professional. I'm just a part timer. Never know perhaps further down the track. Once again thanks for the advice and Merry Christmas to you and yours and a Happy and Lucky New Year!</em></font></p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3"><em>Kevin J,</em></font></p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3"><em>Phan Rang,</em></font></p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3"><em>Vietnam.</em></font></p> <p><font size="3">&#160;</font></p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3"><em>Hi Steve,</em></font></p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3"><em>Thanks for taking the time to answer my enquiry. I will take your advice. I'll just purchase the camera and 18-55 lens for now and make a decision about a bigger lens later on. That will be the sensible way to go. I've just had a scary thought. What if the 500D isn't as good, photo wise, as my old Sony Cyber Shot DSC-V1? After all the 500D is $280 cheaper. I bought the little Sony at the camera shop in the Hong Kong airport 5 year ago and its been a little bottler. </em></font><a href="http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Sony/sony_dscv1.asp" title="http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Sony/sony_dscv1.asp"><font face="Arial" size="3"><em>http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Sony/sony_dscv1.asp</em></font></a></p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3"><em>I must have taken a couple of thousand shots with this little camera and I get some real beauties from time to time. Even though its playing up I was still able to take this cropped shot (attached) the other day, and have attached 1 of my all time favourites from my street when I was living in Nha Trang. I captioned it ''The Tortoise and the Hare.'' If you blow it up full screen you'll see how heavy the rain was that day. Like I said Steve, I'm just a part timer who likes to caption nice photos to send off to friends. Thanks for your time.</em></font></p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3"><em>Kevin J.</em></font></p> <p><font size="3">&#160;</font></p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3"><em>G'day Steve,</em></font></p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3"><em>I am so glad I emailed you about the Canon EOS 500D. Especially about the choice of lenses. I purchased the camera on my way to Vung Tau for Xmas. It had the 18-55mm lens. I bought other extras as well including a 16 gig flashcard and a good quality tripod. I went back to Saigon on the 2nd and purchased the 70-200 F4 IS USM, BG-E5 battery grip, and a Lowepro Slingshot 300 AW backpack. All up I spent $3000 Aust dollars, nearly double my budget but am very happy with my purchases. Saw my next camera while I was there. The Canon EOS 5D Mark11. Thanks Steve for pointing me in the right direction. Without your advice I would have bought the 18-200. Glad I didn't. All the best.</em></font></p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3"><em>Kevin J,</em></font></p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3"><em>Phan Rang,</em></font></p> <p class="AItalics"><font size="3"><em>Vietnam.</em></font></p> <p><font size="3">&#160;</font></p> <p><font size="3">Kevin -</font></p> <p><font size="3">It looks like you've selected some great equipment and are well on your way to meeting your goals.&#160; I can't wait to see some images from your new gear!&#160; Don't forget to send in some submissions to share.&#160; I'd really like to see more of Vietnam.</font></p> <p><font size="3">Steve</font></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: arial; font-size: 12pt; font-weight: bold;"><font size="2">Please submit your questions to </font><a href="mailto:QandA@Bkkimages.com" title="mailto:QandA@Bkkimages.com mailto:QandA@bangkokdigitalimging.com"><font face="Arial" size="2">QandA@Bkkimages.com</font></a><font size="2">&#160; All questions will be answered and most will show up in the weekly column.</font>&#160;</span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b><font size="3"><span style="font-family: arial; font-size: 24pt; font-weight: bold;">&#160;</span></font></b></p>