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February 13, 2006

One thing that makes me happy: my Digital Rebel XT

I bought my first digital camera – a Canon G2 – back in the Fall of 2002 . It was fun; I took lots of great pictures with it.

A neighbor had a Canon Digital Rebel, and she let me borrow it from time to time in exchange for helping with her computer. Using the Rebel left no doubt - I had to get a DSLR. But I wanted to get something a little better than the Rebel.

So when the Canon Digital Rebel XT came out last spring, I jumped at the chance. It helped that I had $600 in Best Buy gift certificates, but it still cost another $600 or so. I bought the 3 year "we'll fix it if anything goes wrong" extended warantee. (Those are normally not a good deal, but I had something go wrong with my G2, and it cost me $250 to get it repaired.)

I've been happy with it. By far the biggest advantage is speed. I don't care about fast cars, but fast cameras are wonderful. The biggest advantage is taking pictures of people, especially kids doing cute things.

I still use the kit lens that came with it. Other people deride the quality of the lens; I'm I could do better, but my budget doesn't allow it. And I'm pretty happy with the pictures I've taken.

The one thing I've grown a little dissatisfied with is the view finder. Reviews note that it's smaller than average. This wasn't an issue until last month when I started taking a photography class. The instructer told us not to manipulate the photos at all - no cropping, no playing with levels in Photoshop - just what comes out of the camera. She talks about shooting full frame, and doing making sure what we get in the view finder is what we want. She also places a lot of emphasis on making sure the background isn't distracting. All of this is hard to do through the viewfinder on the XT.

Overall, I''m very happy with it. They say things don't make you happy - but I think it's fair to say that the use of things can make you happy. Taking pictures makes me very happy.