Will $1K be the magic number for consumer DSLR's?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Lisa Horton, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. Lisa Horton

    Lisa Horton Guest

    The Rebel name says entry level. The styling is consistent with entry
    level SLR's, although the feature set is richer. But it's still almost
    4X the price of a film Rebel.

    In R.P.E.35mm, we continually see people wondering if they should get
    Rebel or an Elan, better body or better starting lens(es). If these
    potential Rebel purchasers are hesitant to spend an extra couple of
    hundred, are they going to be willing/able to spend an extra $600 for

    Or will the real market for the Digital Rebel be the current Elan
    (mid-range) level purchasers, and the Rebel market continuing to wait
    for the $500 DSLR? Considering that the Rebel line far outsells all the
    other models combined, the difference here is big bucks.

    I guess we'll all know the answer by January or so, but it may be fun to
    speculate now :)

    Lisa Horton, Aug 22, 2003
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  2. IMO, it's still too much money. You can argue all day about how much
    money one will save on film, but you're still talking a huge chunk of
    change to the vast majority of the public.

    I was looking for my first digicam earlier this year. I debated long
    and hard about spending $500+ for a beefed-up point and shoot (Canon
    G3), but finally decided to buy a very affordable A40 for a little
    over $200 and wait for the first DSLR that came in under $1000. Well,
    it's here now, but I still can't justify spending that much money
    knowing that something better will probably be around the corner for
    half that in a couple of years.

    Generally, the people that will settle for a camera the quality of a
    Rebel want to use it as a better point and shoot. I still don't think
    that the majority of those people are willing to spend 200% more money
    just to be digital.

    That said, I think the 300D will sell very well. It just won't
    displace the film Rebel. I think we're one more product cycle away.
    Aaron J. Ginn, Aug 22, 2003
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  3. Have the digicam companies considered making a DSLR with an upgradeable CCD
    (or CMOS)? If they made a standard 35mm modular chip, folks could buy a camera
    and upgrade just the chip in the future. A minor firmware refresh could finish
    the upgrade. I think people would be more apt to buy one now instead of
    waiting for the chips (like you) to acheive better and better resolutions.
    Ethan Trewhitt, Aug 22, 2003
  4. That's going to be the case for a lot of people, I think; but there's an
    issue of price instability at work, no doubt. We're used to prices of
    anything electronic dropping regularly and predictably, and getting much
    more for much less if we wait. I don't think that factor would have as much
    influence on the Elan group, since they're already not averse to paying
    higher-than-amateur prices for quality gear, which is the D-Rebel's category

    I'm getting pretty seriously tempted by this new digital Rebel, though, and
    I'm sure it will displace my film Rebel (G) almost 100% of the time.

    I bought a Fujifilm 2300 when it first came out -- clearly an entry-level
    unit, but reasonable for a P/S -- and its price now is about half of what I
    paid. I don't for a minute regret buying it, but that kind of thing really
    bothers some folks... especially when it's 100% predictable.

    I think the digital Rebel will appeal to people who have been waiting for a
    (relatively) serious DSLR at a reasonable price, and who already have a
    digital camera; by now, most current owners of digital P/S's know what they
    DON'T like about their cameras, and if those shortcomings are taken care of
    by the Rebel, it'll sell.

    In other words, yeah -- the sub-$1,000 price tag will be a magic number,
    like it was for PC's, and there's a lot of people who now know what they
    want in a digital, besides not needing film & processing.
    Robert A. Barr, Aug 23, 2003

  5. I'm not waiting for better resolution. I think 6 MP is more than
    enough for me. Anything more requires more storage space and faster
    memory cards. I'm really waiting for a price drop to around $500 or
    so. I just expect that the increased resolution will come along for
    the ride.

    Plus, it's not the sensor I'm worried about. The build quality of the
    300D simply does not justify a $1000 price tag to me. For that price,
    I at least want a magnesium alloy body.

    Aaron J. Ginn, Aug 23, 2003
  6. Lisa Horton

    Lisa Horton Guest

    That savings though, would apply more or less equally to any digital
    camera when used as the exclusive replacement for film, yes? Does that
    factor have any special significance for any particular price point?
    For this price point?

    And the film & processing cost is spread out over the year(s), one
    doesn't have to produce a lump sum. Even if it's on a credit card paid
    off over time, it still feels like spending a kilobuck :)

    I'm wondering too, if this is the DSLR for you Tony :)

    Lisa Horton, Aug 23, 2003
  7. Lisa Horton

    Lisa Horton Guest

    That is my suspicion as well.
    I think you have an interesting choice, between a new Rebel D and a used
    D30, with each offering different advantages :)

    Lisa Horton, Aug 23, 2003
  8. Lisa Horton

    Wayne J Guest

    Too bad the gravy always gets spent on a new lens.

    Wayne J, Aug 23, 2003
  9. Lisa Horton

    JK Guest

    The price difference isn't what matters, it is the full price of the digital
    (okay, perhaps minus the trade in value you get for the film camera
    body, which may not be much), since most people already have a film
    Most people don't shoot 100+ rolls of film a year. Many people shoot
    less than 10 rolls a year. Others shoot plenty of film and rationalize
    that a fancy digital camera would save them money in the third year,
    however they might be ready to upgrade to a better digital camera
    within 18 months or so?
    JK, Aug 23, 2003
  10. Realty check, Lisa: The 300D has the 10D's sensor, electronics, AF, and
    metering, all of which are significant improvements over the D30.

    The 300D seems essentially identical to the 10D. The 10D's ISO 3200 noise is
    more than a bit off the wall, so that's no loss. So far the only dumbing
    down is that the AF _may_ be harder to control, and even there, many people
    find the Rebel's AF just fine.

    So I don't see a used D30 offering _any_ advantages.

    Oops. You must be trying to dump your D30. Sorry...

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Aug 23, 2003
  11. Lisa Horton

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    I don't plan to buy it as it does not have the two dial interface of the
    Elan and EOS 3. My wife might buy one - but she's really happy with her Elan
    7 so she might not. I would not hesitate to recommend the Rebel DSLR for
    those who would have bought a Rebel film camera however.

    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
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    Tony Spadaro, Aug 23, 2003
  12. Lisa Horton

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    A person who only shoots ten rolls of film a year doesn't need to waste
    money on any SLR. They can if they wish but a point and shoot will do the
    job - film or digital. I still haven't seen those "older" digital cameras
    being dumped at a few cents on the dollar by people who felt compelled to
    get a new one after 18 months. There are people who will buy a new digital
    every 18 months - but they are either making money from the cameras or they
    are the type who don't feel happy having last year's anything. Look at the
    market ther is for Leica collectors edition cameras and count up the number
    of people who trade in their car every other year.

    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    New email - Contact on the Menyou page.
    Tony Spadaro, Aug 23, 2003
  13. I think you are right about under US$1,000 being a magic number for success
    in the US market. And Canon were brilliant in coming out with the
    ulra-ultra-cheap 18-55mm lens.

    Lots of people are complaining about the 300D being not a lot cheaper than
    the 10D, but being a lot chintzier, cheaper looking/feeling.

    I think that's an advantage: I really like the idea of a camera that doesn't
    look pretentious (partly because my main camera looks like an oversized
    alien death ray from a 50's B sci fi flick) yet provides just as good
    performance; I much prefer an Oly OM-1n to a Nikon F5.
    But it's not the film camera that's the competition: it's the high end
    consumer digitals.

    That's why the cheap lens is so important. The F717 is $600 ($900 with
    accessories), which seems infinitely cheaper than D10 + 17-40 + 50/1.8 +
    70-200. Ouch, that's serious money.

    But the 300D with the kit lens is only a bit more. Sony must be not happy.
    Of course, they've got the 8MP F828, so that'll be an interesting fight.

    But I'd guess that the 300D will eat the Minolta A1, Canon G3/4/5, Nikon
    5700 etc. for lunch.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Aug 23, 2003
  14. Lisa Horton

    JK Guest

    Look on Ebay. There are many digital cameras there.
    Probably the latter.
    JK, Aug 23, 2003
  15. According to the specs for the 300D at
    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0308/03082005canoneos300d.asp the only
    autofocus mode available in advanced exposure modes such as Av, Tv, and
    M is "AI Focus". If I were switching from a used D30 I'd find the
    inability to use one-shot focus annoying.
    David Eppstein, Aug 23, 2003
  16. Lisa Horton

    Lisa Horton Guest

    But the D30 does have several advantages, all of which work against
    selling mine. It has a rear dial, almost essential if you shoot much in
    manual mode. It has custom functions, allowing you to set, among other
    things, 1/3 stop increments. It has a feature I miss in the 10D, the
    ability to use the "set" button to change the ISO on the fly even more
    quickly. It has a PC socket, which I use frequently. I have a good
    adapter, but not needing it means I don't have to make sure to take it
    with me. I dislike the Rebel's inability to completely control AF
    mode. I either want one shot or continuous, and I like to choose the
    mode myself.

    Granted, as a primary camera the extra resolution and (presumably, if
    consistent with the 10D) vastly superior AF are compelling advantages.
    Balanced against the extra resolution though, is the doubled storage
    requirement. For someone who occasionally prints at 8x10/12, and rarely
    above that, the extra resolution is of small benefit.

    I would also speculate that the Rebel may not be as rugged as the D30.
    That might be significant to some. And finally, I observe that quite a
    few photography hobbyists do prefer a larger heavier camera, all other
    things aside.

    So not quite as simple as it might seem at first glance. But you should
    still get the Rebel David :)


    Lisa Horton, Aug 23, 2003
  17. CF gets cheaper by the week. And it's not just resolution: the D60 is lower
    noise than the D30, and the 10D is lower noise than the D60. The D30 is
    getting rather long in tooth.
    The resolution is my main problem with current dSLRs: MF looks a lot better
    than 35mm or 6MP digital at A4, and I only print A4. The 300D isn't going to
    be my main camera.
    Yes. I try to keep it in mind that everyone has unique needs and perspective
    on what they need<g>. I've already got a super-jumbo alien death ray, so
    what I need is something less conspicuous. Smaller, lighter, cheaper, less
    professional looking are all _advantages_ here.

    Since it will only be for low-light, it's hard to justify the price and
    weight of a 10D, but the 300D low light performance appears to be _more_
    amazing than expected. There's a site with ISO 100 to 1600 examples, and I
    can't tell the difference between ISO 100 and 800, and I'm not really sure
    that the ISO 1600 really is worse. It couldn't possibly be as good as it
    looks. With a 50/1.4 that's going to be one sweet camera.
    I probably will, at some point<g>.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Aug 23, 2003
  18. Lisa Horton

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    I don't consider ebay to be a reliable "source" of anything. I've ended
    up with enough crap at auctions where I could see the goods before buying,
    that I will not ever bid in a blind auction. In the real world there simpoly
    are not a whole lot of ads for digital camera at real low prices. In fact I
    notice most of the ads say things like "Cost $789 new, will sacrifice for

    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    New email - Contact on the Menyou page.
    Tony Spadaro, Aug 23, 2003
  19. Lisa Horton

    Mark B. Guest

    Actually, the larger buffer makes the D30 a keeper for me. I'm considering
    the 300D as a companion to my D30. The other disadvantage to the 300D is no
    mirror lockup - which I usually use on my D30 for shooting with a long
    telephoto or macro.

    Mark B., Aug 23, 2003
  20. Lisa Horton

    gr Guest

    You'll procrastinate for the next 10 years with that reasoning.

    Think of a digital camera as entertainment, not as an investment. If you
    spend $1000 and it lasts you 2 years before you buy another one, that's
    about $10 per week. Now, think of all the money you spend on really crappy
    entertainment over a week. Don't you think $10/week is worth it?
    gr, Aug 23, 2003
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