1. don't buy dslr in pc show, expensive most of the time.
2. for me, 550d is better, price savings to 500d not worth it, get 550d.
3. tamron 90mm is very affordable, but you must make sure you like the working distance. most third party true macro lenses will not be too shabby, there are also 50mm macro lenses, 150mm macro lenses, 180mm...
you can always google for differences between the 2. dpreview Here is a high level comparison.
I doubt there is a dedicated macro lens that goes for 100+ unless your friend was referring to macro attachment like the Raynox DCR 250 which goes for around $125 est
Difference between 550D and 500D? Basically they are Canon's basic level entry cameras. The difference is in the numbers, performance, as well as different accessories between the two (like batteries, battery grip, etc).
Personally, I own a 500D, but if I was camera-less, and were to get a new camera, 550D would be the one I'd get.
The macro lens your friend got, is an attachment to her own kit lens? Even the Raynox don't start at $100 plus. It is in the next price bracket range. Does it include 'wide angle' function as well? If it is, I have nothing to say except to tell your friend not to complain about the images
Lastly, avoid buying from most shops in Sim Lim Square. There is a list of recommended camera shops.
List of camera shops in Singapore
AP - Alan Photo, #01-38 Sim Lim Square, Tel: 6336 0922, e-mail: email@example.com AP-F - Alan Photo, #05-20 Funan Digitalife Mall, Tel: 6883 0922, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org CP - Cathay Photo, #01-11/14 Peninsula Plaza, Tel: 6337 4274, e-mail: email@example.com CP-M - Cathay Photo, #02-215/216 Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, Tel: 6339 6188, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org John - John 3:16, #05-46 Funan Digitalife Mall, Tel: 6337 2877 / 6337 1897, e-mail: email@example.com Lord's - Lord's Camera, 304 Orchard Road #01-79 Lucky Plaza, Tel: 6235 4605, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org MS - MS Colour, Block 711 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8, #01-3501C, Tel: 6457 6380, e-mail: email@example.com, web e-quote MS - MS Colour Outlet - 53 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3, AMK Hub #02-24, Tel: 6452 2828
TCW - The Camera Workshop, 3 Coleman Street, #01-31, Tel: 6336 1956 / 6336 7808, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org TK - T K Foto Technic, 100 Beach Rd, #02-45 Shaw Towers, Tel: 6292 4533, e-mail: email@example.com OP - Orient Photo, 1 Rochor Canal Road, #06-53/31, Sim Lim Square, Tel: 6339 1035, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can email the above shops for an e-quote for the items you'd like to buy.
Lastly, unless you THINK you can get better pricing at those PC Shows, we strongly refrain from buying there. And should you have decided to buy from those PC Shows, and found you've been 'chopped like a carrot', please do not come crying here to compare prices. You've been warned to do your homework.
Please ask very clearly what your friend got. There are many ways to get macro capabilities:
- Macro extension tubes (to be put between body and lens)
- Macro lens adapters (to be put in front of the lens)
- Dedicated Macro lenses
Extension tubes come quite cheap (way below $100) but you need to operate the lens manually (focusing, aperture). Macro lens adapters are either more expensive than $100 (see Raynox) or they are best left in the shops for their lousy image quality. Dedicated macro lenses costs much more, the price guide will give you some indication.
Chances are that your female friend got chopped by a sales guy selling her some el cheapo macro lens adapter. There's one infamous brand "Vitacon" (better spelled "Vita-con") but also other funky brands like SteinZeiser (imitating some German brand) and others. For all of them: it's a piece of cheap glass screwed in front of the lens. In return, this lens will screw your image quality. Best to throw and forget about the money spend.
PC show is good cos sometimes they release good gifts like the Crumpler5MDH, but don't squeeze in the ants queue.. Go to shops like AP,CP etc.. Slowly take your time.. And bargain ..
For Macro lens, I think the 100mm Macro looks good to me.. But before you commit to get Macro lens, I personally suggest you to borrow from your friend or rent it to try out first, whether do you like the focal reach. It's better than you commit to a lens and start to regret cos of the focal reach.. Then u sell and lose money..