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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Preordering New Canon Xsi from Amazon...
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03/22/2008 04:55:03 PM · #1
I'm posting this, to get some information on how preorders work through Amazon. The Canon Digital Rebel XSi 12MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens is slated for an April 27th release, and I'm wondering if anyone with any experience preordering items not yet released from Amazon have encountered any backorder, or delay problems.

I order plenty from Amazon, but I've never preordered anything. I'm worried I may not see my new camera for weeks/months. Any suggestions other than Amazon to get this camera on-time would also be greatly apprecuiated!

Lens suggestions would be helpful as well, as I would like a better "all around" lens for my DSLR. I'm not concerned with macros, or overtly long range, since I have a competent camera for macros, at least.
03/22/2008 04:57:16 PM · #2
The only things I've pre-ordered from Amazon were Harry Potter books and Lord of the Rings DVDs and all arrived on time. B&H is an excellent online retailer, by the way. And a VERY good walkabout lens is the 24-105 f/4 IS though it doesn't come cheap.
03/22/2008 05:06:02 PM · #3
I can't answer the pre-order question since I haven't pre-ordered anything from Amazon before. I have ordered a backordered product from them and still received it about a week and a half after the order was placed. As for the lens suggestion, what's your price range and do you want a prime or zoom lens? We might be able to narrow down your choices if you could provide those bits of info and try to suggest a nice lens for your needs.
03/22/2008 05:26:50 PM · #4
I have pre-ordered from Amazon, books, DVDs and CDs. All have arrived on time. However pre-ordering from a camera sites might be more effective as this is all they deal with.

In UK, Warehouse Express are one of the best for filling pre-orders. I guess the US has B&H for this. Depends where you want to put your money tho??

Amazon are still pretty good:))
03/22/2008 05:30:31 PM · #5
My experience pre-ordering books/dvds with amazon has been great--often the price drops after I place the original pre-order, and they lower it for me, too. They do not increase the cost to me if the price happens to go up. With things that are on a set release schedule (like books and dvds) this works very well, and the items generally arrive the same day they are available in the local stores.

On those occasions where something is delayed, they send me an email and a chance to cancel the order.

I have not ordered a camera via Pre-Order, though--I usually order such things when I see them In Stock and then get 2-day shipping, or overnight, since I can't stand to wait. I can also compare prices on the day of ordering. I have no reason to think that pre-ordering would not work well, though. It is just that I have simply not done it for cameras, etc.

Some price checking is worthwhile, as Amazon's prices for cameras are not always better: my Canon G9 was on sale for the same price right down the street at Circuit City, oddly enough.
03/22/2008 06:19:00 PM · #6
Originally posted by trevytrev:

I can't answer the pre-order question since I haven't pre-ordered anything from Amazon before. I have ordered a backordered product from them and still received it about a week and a half after the order was placed. As for the lens suggestion, what's your price range and do you want a prime or zoom lens? We might be able to narrow down your choices if you could provide those bits of info and try to suggest a nice lens for your needs.


This will be my first DSLR, and I know what a zoom lens is, but not a "prime" lens. Help? Then I can help you to help me...

My preference is to have an IS lens, that is a good "walkabout" lens as melethia described. By zoom lens, I'm guessing you mean something for long-focal shots, which isn't a big priority for me at this time.

My understandind is that the included lens is a bit on the dim, and not-so-sharp side, and I would like something of better quality and performance.
03/22/2008 06:22:31 PM · #7
Originally posted by chromeydome:

On those occasions where something is delayed, they send me an email and a chance to cancel the order.


This is good intel, because I did not see this in Amazons policy. That helps. I have no photography shops within a 90 mile radius, but have plenty of Amazon experience. To know I have an out
if the item becomes backordered makes a big difference.

03/22/2008 06:44:21 PM · #8
Originally posted by supernaught:

Originally posted by trevytrev:

I can't answer the pre-order question since I haven't pre-ordered anything from Amazon before. I have ordered a backordered product from them and still received it about a week and a half after the order was placed. As for the lens suggestion, what's your price range and do you want a prime or zoom lens? We might be able to narrow down your choices if you could provide those bits of info and try to suggest a nice lens for your needs.


This will be my first DSLR, and I know what a zoom lens is, but not a "prime" lens. Help? Then I can help you to help me...

My preference is to have an IS lens, that is a good "walkabout" lens as melethia described. By zoom lens, I'm guessing you mean something for long-focal shots, which isn't a big priority for me at this time.

My understandind is that the included lens is a bit on the dim, and not-so-sharp side, and I would like something of better quality and performance.


A zoom lens means that the focal distance changes between to set distances. My wide angle canon 16-35L covers the focal distances between 16mm up to 35mm, you can zoom between those focal distances giving you more flexibility, but usually at a higher cost and a bit of sacrifice in image quality. Whereas my prime lens is a fixed focal distance, such as my canon 50mm. It cannot be any focal distance other than 50mm. The benefit to primes is that they are usually cheaper and higher image quality compared to the same counterpart in a zoom lens, but you suffer in flexibility. I think you are confusing the zoom for meaning what telephoto means, and that would be a long focal length, such as a 200mm Lens, used for bringing far object in to closer view. So you can actually have a wide angle zoom lens, such as my canon 16-35L stated above, or a prime telephoto lens, such as a canon 400mmL lens. I hope I explained that well enough b/c it was a bit confusing to me at first as well. Now what price range do you want to work with on this lens? Do you want versatility and the ability to change focal distances, or do you want a prime for it's benefits?

ETA: Here is site that explains alot of the terms used in lenses if you want to do a quick read. It does a better job than I do.

Message edited by author 2008-03-22 18:51:18.
03/22/2008 07:12:01 PM · #9
Originally posted by trevytrev:

Originally posted by supernaught:

Originally posted by trevytrev:

I can't answer the pre-order question since I haven't pre-ordered anything from Amazon before. I have ordered a backordered product from them and still received it about a week and a half after the order was placed. As for the lens suggestion, what's your price range and do you want a prime or zoom lens? We might be able to narrow down your choices if you could provide those bits of info and try to suggest a nice lens for your needs.


This will be my first DSLR, and I know what a zoom lens is, but not a "prime" lens. Help? Then I can help you to help me...

My preference is to have an IS lens, that is a good "walkabout" lens as melethia described. By zoom lens, I'm guessing you mean something for long-focal shots, which isn't a big priority for me at this time.

My understandind is that the included lens is a bit on the dim, and not-so-sharp side, and I would like something of better quality and performance.


A zoom lens means that the focal distance changes between to set distances. My wide angle canon 16-35L covers the focal distances between 16mm up to 35mm, you can zoom between those focal distances giving you more flexibility, but usually at a higher cost and a bit of sacrifice in image quality. Whereas my prime lens is a fixed focal distance, such as my canon 50mm. It cannot be any focal distance other than 50mm. The benefit to primes is that they are usually cheaper and higher image quality compared to the same counterpart in a zoom lens, but you suffer in flexibility. I think you are confusing the zoom for meaning what telephoto means, and that would be a long focal length, such as a 200mm Lens, used for bringing far object in to closer view. So you can actually have a wide angle zoom lens, such as my canon 16-35L stated above, or a prime telephoto lens, such as a canon 400mmL lens. I hope I explained that well enough b/c it was a bit confusing to me at first as well. Now what price range do you want to work with on this lens? Do you want versatility and the ability to change focal distances, or do you want a prime for it's benefits?

ETA: Here is site that explains alot of the terms used in lenses if you want to do a quick read. It does a better job than I do.


That was an extremely helpful description, and I understand entirely. My first lens should be a quality prime, then. Anything under or around $500 would be perfect. I hate to take up much of your time, but any recommendations would be welcomed, as well as those of others posting here.

And yes, I was confusing zoom with telephoto. I'm going to be buying lenses consecutively, and according to my needs as they develope, but a quality prime sounds perfect for now.
03/22/2008 07:29:21 PM · #10
Order the camera body only. I would second the 24-105mm lens as a versatile, walk-around lens. It has good, sharp focus in situations that are well lit and is worth the extra cash.

The lens choice would really depend on what type of photography you are going to do.
03/22/2008 07:48:37 PM · #11
Ok, I'll post a few of the standard staples that many people seem to like in the canon primes around the price you are looking.

The canon 50mm f/1.8 II which can be bought for around $90. It's cheap and fast and a good starter lens. Might be cheaper than what you are going for but you could use this an an option and then get another lens, since you would still have $400 to play with.

The Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM which is a nicer quality build and has a USM motor. It faster than it's plastic little brother and I hear good things about it quality wise, hopefully some here can attest to it but I am adding this to my bag soon, it's about $310.

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM which is noted as a very nice lens for portraits, for about $340. Just check out ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Larus's portfolio and see the shots he took with this lens and the canon f1.4. I will say that he uses a Full Frame camera though and you will be getting a crop factor on your camera. The 85 will equate into a 136mm lens and the 50mm's will factor to 80mm. These are both kind of tight so you might consider a wider prime.

The Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM is wider and will factor to about 45mm, a normal range lens. I don't know much about this lens, though you could google it and read the reviews.

I'm going to throw in a zoom lens that I have and love and that's the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Angle . It cost around $670 but it is a L lens and well worth the money my opinion. It doesn't equate to an ultra wide on the crop body but it does get you pretty wide and it sharp. The f/4 is little slow but nothing that I have found to be a problem with the excepton to low light/no flash photography such as a wedding.

These are just a few options and I linked to Adorama but you don't have to buy there, but they do have good service and prices. i would stick to them, Amazon or B&H for what you are going to buy as they will most likely be the cheapest most reputable dealers. Hope this helps and hopefully others can vouch for these or give you other suggestions. Research them all before you buy and make sure they meet your needs, the internet is definitely your friend when it comes to lenses, or any camera gear for that matter. You can also go to a local brick and mortar store and try them out and then go buy the one you like best online. Happy hunting, Trevor:)

ETA: That I don't want you to think that zoom lens are poor quality b/c a lot are not, many are excellent and very comparable to the primes, though usually not as fast(wider apatures). So don't back yourself into a prime unless you really want to go that route. there are so many great options in both fixed and zoom.

ETA somemore:) The more I think about it the more I feel you should get a zoom lens that covers a wide range for versatility, since it's your first lens. You will get a feel for what focal distance you use frequently and maybe go for a prime in that focal range later down the road. As you start to get a feel for what you need you can add the other lenses.

Message edited by author 2008-03-22 19:58:13.
03/22/2008 11:34:42 PM · #12
Originally posted by trevytrev:

Ok, I'll post a few of the standard staples that many people seem to like in the canon primes around the price you are looking.


Trev, you are a testament to every good thing I've heard about DPChallenge, and this is eminently the most useful information I've found on the www. You just made things alot easier for me, with excellent links, along with the rest of the informative, and fast responses. DPC rocks.

If anyone else would take Trevs suggestions, and offer more alternatives and data, I would certainly be very appreciative. I will definitely take the advice, and consider the zoom lens as my starter. If anyone would rather send an email, than post - feel free. But I think there may be others that might benefit from this post, since it's higher on the list than some others, currently.

I hope that at some point, I can be as big of a help to newer members as you folks. Amazing... and thanks to you all!

03/23/2008 12:17:13 AM · #13
I think you have the "out" until they actually ship, even if they did not have a backorder or delay--so, for example, if you pre-order now and change your mind in a week, you can just cancel. I think you can cancel until about the day it begins to be prepped for shipment, and they don't bill you until that point anyway. You can call them to confirm that if you don't see it on the site, I suppose.
03/23/2008 12:42:38 AM · #14
Originally posted by chromeydome:

I think you have the "out" until they actually ship, even if they did not have a backorder or delay--so, for example, if you pre-order now and change your mind in a week, you can just cancel. I think you can cancel until about the day it begins to be prepped for shipment, and they don't bill you until that point anyway. You can call them to confirm that if you don't see it on the site, I suppose.


Noted. I'll give them a call/email anyway, now that you mention it. I really want to avoid being "locked in" to a potentially back-ordered item. If anyone has any info on how many of these cameras Canon is initially shipping, and possibly, how many preorders might be floating out there, please post it. I'm sure this will be in high demand, and I'm placing my order this week.

It's good that I can cancel, though, so I guess as long as I don't wait 'til shipping prep. to change my mind, I'm good. Thanks Chromeydome!
03/23/2008 12:48:40 AM · #15
Amazon is a great company, but ordering sensitive equipment directly from Amazon has some drawbacks (compared with getting it from a real camera dealer like B&H), basically how the item is packed.

Camera stores know how to pack a camera and/or lens so they arrive without damage. I have ordered items from Amazon (and Costco) where the item was put in a large box with no packing material (or maybe one of those flimsy little air-baggies). By the time UPS or FedEx gets the package to you, the camera box is all beat up from bouncing around inside the shipping box. Most likely the camera or lens will work, but why take the chance. Sure, Amazon will let you return it, but that is a big hassle.

I prefer to purchase from a professional camera source that knows how to pack stuff. Everything I have purchased from B&H was packed very well and shipped when promised. My friends that order from B&H say the same thing.

Just my two cents worth...
03/23/2008 01:14:23 AM · #16
Amazon Cancelation Policy IN WRITING

note: if you order the camera and it says "ships from ______" third party seller, the cancellation may not work that way. If you can order the camera and it ships from Amazon, should work fine.

I checked Here and it offers "Prime" shipping, so that generally means it ships from Amazon.

There ya go, Supernaught!!

I will also note that when I received a camera with a hot pixel once, I was able to return it as "defective" without having to go thru a warranty repair thing. I don't know about the return policy from other outfits, local stores, etc., but would be sure about it before I purchased from anyone.

I will also mention that Amazon Customer Service, while Outstanding in the past, has deteriorated somewhat (my own experience, not a proven fact across the board) in the last 6-8 months or so. Lots of little problems. But returns are generally pretty easy.

I have not had stuff arrive as poorly packed as described by seasaw, but they definitely do skimp on the packing: drop it in a box, throw in a strip of "airbags" and that is it. Not the way I would pack it, but on the other hand, nothing received that was damaged, so maybe it is okay. I have amazon prime, get second day shipping free (and amazon prime more than pays for itself the very first Christmas season!).

Message edited by author 2008-03-23 01:32:42.
03/23/2008 01:30:08 AM · #17
Sure you want to go buying a camera sight unseen ?

The risk your taking is that the image quality is relatively unknown. Better to wait for some reviews and samples and then make an informed decision me thinks.

bazz.
03/23/2008 01:34:04 AM · #18
Since it's your first dSLR, I suggest you get the kit lens that comes with it. The 18-55 IS will do just fine as a walkabout lens and will give you an excellent opportunity to learn the tool (the camera). You can buy more lenses as you become more proficient and start to see what you like to do - hence what lenses you'll want. Oh, but go ahead and get the 50mm f/1.8 cheap plastic lens. It's amazing for the price and will give you a feel for a "prime" lens.

Message edited by author 2008-03-23 01:36:43.
03/23/2008 01:53:16 AM · #19
Originally posted by Melethia:

Since it's your first dSLR, I suggest you get the kit lens that comes with it. The 18-55 IS will do just fine as a walkabout lens and will give you an excellent opportunity to learn the tool (the camera). You can buy more lenses as you become more proficient and start to see what you like to do - hence what lenses you'll want. Oh, but go ahead and get the 50mm f/1.8 cheap plastic lens. It's amazing for the price and will give you a feel for a "prime" lens.

I'll second Deb's sound advice here. The kit lenses are just fine for a starter lens and the 50mm is generally considered a terrific lens all the way around, and is dirt cheap.

You can get adventurous after you hve a feel for the two lenses and know more what YOU need from a lens.
03/23/2008 01:58:21 AM · #20
Originally posted by sir_bazz:

Sure you want to go buying a camera sight unseen ?

The risk your taking is that the image quality is relatively unknown. Better to wait for some reviews and samples and then make an informed decision me thinks.

Hard for me to even consider that the latest iteration of the digital Rebel being anything but a terrific unit......8>)

And I'm a Nikon user.
03/23/2008 02:11:16 AM · #21
Originally posted by sir_bazz:

Sure you want to go buying a camera sight unseen ?

The risk your taking is that the image quality is relatively unknown. Better to wait for some reviews and samples and then make an informed decision me thinks.

bazz.

I can appreciate your candor, and sound advice, but there are researchable, and downloadable samples to evaluate, and while I understand that Canons customer service has been described as a bit lax in some circles (especially compared to Nikkons), I'm confident enough in the warranties, and the Canon brand to take the leap.

Thank you sir_baz!
03/23/2008 02:21:40 AM · #22
Let me also mention this, in regard to the criteria I used when comparing the new Rebel Xsi to similarly priced new DSLRs: I really wanted a live view, because it's easier on my mediocre eyesight when reviewing, and indeed shooting many of the subjects which I plan to.

I wish the Xsi had built in IS, but I was impressed enough that it was included in the new kit lens.

I was also impressed with the built in auto adjust feature (handy for review, in many instances, as well as pre importation of adjusted shots).

The price. I was considring a 40D, because of the high ISO - 3200 I believe? But potentially better shooting in low-light condition versus the price tag edged me back to the Xsi.

And lastly, I'm more familiar with the friendly Canon interface than the other brands, due to my current camera.

Plus - it's brand new, and new is always fun - provided the quality is there, as sir_bazz warned. I can certainly understand those concerns, and have taken them to heart in my research, as much as possible anyways.
03/23/2008 02:27:04 AM · #23
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Originally posted by Melethia:

Since it's your first dSLR, I suggest you get the kit lens that comes with it. The 18-55 IS will do just fine as a walkabout lens and will give you an excellent opportunity to learn the tool (the camera). You can buy more lenses as you become more proficient and start to see what you like to do - hence what lenses you'll want. Oh, but go ahead and get the 50mm f/1.8 cheap plastic lens. It's amazing for the price and will give you a feel for a "prime" lens.

I'll second Deb's sound advice here. The kit lenses are just fine for a starter lens and the 50mm is generally considered a terrific lens all the way around, and is dirt cheap.

You can get adventurous after you hve a feel for the two lenses and know more what YOU need from a lens.


So, I shouldn't be concerned about durability, overall shot quality or functionality with the kit lens? I just wanna be able to take competent shots outta the box.

What about noise? Are the plastic lenses as smooth, and quiet as the metal ones?

I guess I shouldn't be concerned, as having the kit lens will be a nice backup option when/if I upgrade to a higher quality prime.
03/23/2008 02:42:37 AM · #24
' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' chromeydome, ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' seasaw

Excellent info, since I've never orderd electronics from Amazon. And thanks for linking to their policy info, as well. If anyone else can substantiate/confirm seasaws experience with Amazon, that would be enough to edge me toward B&H. I'm very picky about this kind of Gear, and would be horrified to see it arrive in the condition he described.

As well, I'd like to limit the chance of having to go through the hassle of sending it back, as much as possible. I checked B&H's ratings, and they look really good.

I was only going with Amazon because I'm registered there, and haven't had any problems with the non-electronic items I've ordered to date.

Actually, I did order a Gerber LMF Mk II knife from there (I camp/hike alot in summer, deep woods), and for some reason, I recieved a used one, and had to return it. But that notwithstanding, I've had no problems with shipping on time, or damaged goods.

(I do alot of deep woods ambling/camping/hiking in the summertime, and that knife is an amazing tool, btw - just a thought for more adventurous outdoor photographers. Note: I'll be taking my powershot sx100 on those excursions, not my DSLR)

Message edited by author 2008-03-23 03:06:33.
03/23/2008 09:17:46 AM · #25
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Hard for me to even consider that the latest iteration of the digital Rebel being anything but a terrific unit......8>)

And I'm a Nikon user.


Here's the discussion regarding those samples at DPReview. Some interesting opinions in there before it turns into another Nikon Vs Canon debate.

bazz.
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