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Well after a 4 day trip to east Texas with the new gear, here are my unprofessional reviews if the stuff I have.
Canon Digital Rebel XT/350D with kit lens:
I love it. It starts up and shoots fast, the controls are pretty easy to figure out, and it's light enough that you don't get worn out with it hanging around your neck all day. The battery lasts a long time. I got over 600 shots off of the first charge with using the flash probably 25-30% of the shots. I bought a 800MAH battery off of ebay for $8.50, and it is as good as the factory battery so far. The small size is not a concern for me as I have fairly small hands, but I can see where it may be a problem if you have very large hands. I shot mostly in Av mode and some in full auto, and just a few in portrait mode and the shots were all very good in regards to color reproduction. Shooting in full manual mode, setting the f-stop is a little awkward as you have to hold the AV +/- button with one finger and turn the control wheel with another, but with a little use, it will not be so awkward. Overall, I guess it's a real nice starter DSLR, and a good stepping stone to a 20D or whatever might come out next.
Sigma 28-80 and 70-300mm lens kit:
Not really knowing much about lenses, as this is my first SLR type camera, all I can say is that I have read that these lenes are soft, and uncapable of taking sharp photographs, but I do not find this to be true. The kit came with the two lenses, lens hoods for both, and a pretty nice case that makes a nice home for them when they are not on the camera. The 70-300 is nicely balanced in it XT even when at full zoom, it did not feel awkward, and the 28-80 is light enough to stick on the camera and walk around all day without getting a sore neck. Both were noticeably heavier than the kit lens which also took some nice crisp shots. AL-in-all, I think the lens kit was a good deal for $215.00.
CompactDrive 20GB Portable Storage Device:
This thing performed flawlessly. After every little jaunt with the camera, I popped the CF card out of the camera, stuck it in this thing, turned it on and hit the copy button. It creates a folder for each transfer you do, which helps keep your shots semi-organized into sessions. When I got home, I just plugged it into a USB 2.0 post on my PC, and copied and pasted the pics over to my hard drive. Windows XP recognizes it as a portable hard drive, no software to install.
Lexar 4x 1GB CF card:
What can I say. It's a memory card and it worked. I had to get this because my 1GB80x Lexar Pro card did not arrive before I left, but I'll use the 4x for a backup now. I had no problems with the card.
Makeshift Camera Backpack:
Basically I got a small cheapo camera bag with the Sigma lens kit in one of those "bonus" kits that had a tripod, bag and cleaning kit. I stuck the camera and Storage device in it, the Sigmas in their bag, and put them in a laptop backpack that I had in the attic. Functional, but a pain in the a** as every time I wanted to change lenses I had to take off the backpack, open it up, take the camera bag out(it was in top of the lens bag), open the lens bag to get out the lens I wanted, and reverse the process. I will be getting a LowePro bag SOON.
I guess that's it. Hope someone finds this entertaining if not helpful.