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Digital or Digital SLR?

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by KirstyD, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. KirstyD

    KirstyD
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    Im looking to buy a new camera and i have no idea where to start. Far too much choice!! My last camera was a normal digital camera with 4MP and 3xOptical Zoom. I want to go for a better one now as my other half has a similar camera to my old one to use for nights out and needing something small etc.

    Just want to get some opinions on the real difference between some different types for someone who is not an expert but is interested in photography.

    Ok so:

    Option 1 - Standard digital (now can get around 7MP and 3x Optical zoom which is pretty compact, e.g sony cybershot type thing)

    Option 2 - Standard Digital but more hefty ones with better Optical Zooms around 10x e.g. Konica Minolta Z5 type thing

    Option 3 - Digital SLR (dont know too much about the differences here except the adjustable lens giving nice shots) What is the real differences with these camers?


    Thanks All!!
     
  2. mjw123

    mjw123
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    Oh dear - can, worms, open..............i'm saying nothing :suicide:
     
  3. KirstyD

    KirstyD
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    I know this is really vague, but i dont know where to start and thought this was a good place for some advice. If not can you offer some advice about where else to go. I want to know what im doing before i purchase something this expensive.
     
  4. RobertP

    RobertP
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    You will get good advice here... just be patient :) It is not the busiest of forums - but we try to be helpful.

    Different cameras suit different people. What you want to use it for an how seriously you want to take the hobby all affect the choices.

    You will also get replies wherever you ask that are biased according to the respondants preferences - hence the worms remark... my DSLR is better than your compact etc :)

    You need to think about what you want to do with it and if other factors like size,weight, speed whatever are important.

    Need more info
     
  5. mjw123

    mjw123
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    Kirsty,

    I don't mean to be rude but by the fact that you asking the question about the difference between a DSLR and a compact tells me you are not really ready for one yet. They can produce stunning results in the rights hands but are fairly complex and you need to add on lenses etc for different scenarios.

    I think you be better off with a compact until you get up to speed.

    You could pic up a fun compact like an Ixus 40 / Pentax optio etc but I think you be better off with something between a fun compact and an dslr. My current preference in the Panasonic FZ5 or Olympus 770 but there are many others including the Canon S1 & newer S2 - both have image stabilisation which is a big help for those long zoom pics to stop camera shake.

    Do a bit of reading on the long zooms but the Panasonic, Olympus and Canon powershot seem to be the best on the market.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide. :smashin:
     
  6. seany

    seany
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    ""I don't mean to be rude but by the fact that you asking the question about the difference between a DSLR and a compact tells me you are not really ready for one yet. They can produce stunning results in the rights hands but are fairly complex and you need to add on lenses etc for different scenarios"

    Agree 100% with that Mike.

    What i did was go from a compact (ixus 400) then to a 10X zoom (canon S1) with more manual control, then on to a DSLR. For me that route has worked, learnt what was and what wasn't for me. I'm personally glad i did it that way, and if you was to do it that way you may well come to a different conclusion.

    That's not to say that you can't go get one now, as learning should be one of the reasons you want one. But you should understand the difference and seriously do some research.

    Are you willing to carry 5lb + about with you? Are you willing to invest in some lenses? If the answer to any of those two is no then it's not for you.

    You really have to give us some idea as to what you want and what you're used to doing.

    First thing i'd do is walk in to jessops and try a compact like the canon S70, a zoom like the canon S2 IS or Panasonic FZ20, and a digital slr like the canon 350/ 20D with something like a 28-135 mm lens on it (standard lens). See how they feel, how they operate. That alone might make make up your mind for you

    Do some research on aperture/ shutter speeds and exposure. Research lenses http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Default.aspx you need to learn how they work and which lens would suit you photographic interests.

    Basically as mike said, if you're not even sure on the differences you have a lot of research to do before we can even help you fully.
     
  7. SystemBlack

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    I know the majority of replies state that you shouldn't get a DSLR as you are probably only learning. I beg to differ.
    No one suggested I get a compact 35mm film camera before getting an SLR so I got a very cheap Praktica SLR with 50mm and 135mm lenses. It didn't even have a light meter so I had to guess exposure most of the time. I then progressed to Canon SLR's as upgrades before eventually getting my D60 two and a half years ago.
    When I was using film, the learning process was quite slow as I had to wait until I got the slides/prints back to see how I'd done and it was quite an expensive hobby to run.
    With digital, the results can be on your computer within minutes and so you may "outgrow" your compact very quickly and camera prices for even newish second user models is quite low. I would suggest you get a second hand D60 for around £500 and that may even include a cheap zoom too. You will be able to use it as a point and shoot since it has a few simple modes ie: portrait, sports, macro, fully auto but you can switch over to various creative modes and even manual. You will learn a hell of a lot more with this camera than a compact. Compacts do have their place but the DSLR would be a greater investment and the fact that you can buy some really serious glass for it, you may never get rid of it.
     
  8. mr jones

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    get a half decent prosumer camera for now, then if you need to move on up to a dslr if you need.

    for £300-400 you could get one hell of a camera that might just do the job you want perfectly :)

    you need to decide exactly what ypu want the camera for and then decide whether there is a compact/prosumer that will fit the bill.or whether you need to move onto a DSLR to cover your photography needs, a wrong decision could leave you frustrated and/or down trodden with photography as a whole
     
  9. mr jones

    mr jones
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    yeh but these days alot of compacts can cover a persons needs perfectly without the need and cost of an SLR costing alot more. in the old days 35mm film compacts were pretty shabby, not many compacts could fulfil the users need without forking out for an slr + lenses, these days some of the compact/prosumer market can.



    grrrr as for "creative modes" as far as im concerned my DLR should have M, A and S modes and nothing else, its a camera for people that are above needing a camera mode for a particular shot, my camera in 5 months has NEVER entered any of these "creative/lightweight" modes and i dont think DSLR's SHould have them. if you need a camera to tell you what you need for a particular setup, buy a compact, if your willing to learn and set a camera manually (or semi manually) buy a DSLR and learn the hardway[/rant]
     
  10. Bl4ckGryph0n

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    I think those modes are great, basically turning the camera in a point&shoot. I tend to refer to them as a 'waiter' and 'family' mode. Try giving you camera on fully manual mode to waiter in the restaurant or your granny for example who want to take a picture....Its good to have then and makes that type of camera very versatile....

    My view is, if you just want to take snap-shots go for your category 1. Yes you can get more creative with them but I guess the menu system will get you quite annoyed if you want to change a setting...So just point and shoot...

    Between categories 2 & 3 its a bit more difficult. I think it is a bit like the housing-ladder....If you can afford why start with a small place because it is just you and upgrade along when you need more space...Just go straight to the top-end because you always run out of space and once you are there your perspective will change very quickly was seemed big is small again...But just like a 5 bedroom detached is more work (rooms to decorate, garden to maintain) than a 1 bedroom flat...So is a DSLR (category 3) more work than a 'prosumer'....

    I should leave the smokes :D
     
  11. severnsource

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    Unless you are going to get into photography seriously or want some specific feature of an SLR, I would discount the SLR.

    For me the main advantage of an SLR is the viewfinder. It is sharp and accurate. Standard digicams have either poor or no optical viewfinder and the LCD displays are difficult to see in bright light and make it hard to assess image sharpness. The other advantages in terms of image quality and versatility are nowhere near as big as they were in the days of film photography.

    SLRs have two big disadvantges, they are bulky and expensive. The bulk means that you have to make deliberate effort to take them with you, whereas a compact is muvh easier to take all the time, so you are more likely to use it. Although the cheaper DSLRs are similar in price to top of the range standard digicams, the camera is only the start. In order to take advantage of the SLRs capabilities you will need more lenses at the least, and these soon start to get expensive. I've already spent over £1400 on lenses, and I haven't finished yet.

    The choice between options 1 & 2 is more difficult. Good examples of both are capable of taking excellent pictures. The standard ones are more portable but less versatile. Of course you could get one of each!

    Bill
     
  12. KoThreads

    KoThreads
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    I was in a similar situation about 2 years ago when my old Ricoh Mirai ditched itself, and ended up buying a Fuji S5000 that is a half way house. A digital that thinks it's an SLR.

    I'm not a serious snapper but It's never let me down.

    It's now been replaced, but you can still pick up it's bigger brother the S7000, which a friend has, and that's even better and more flexible, external flash etc.

    IMHO i'd like them both :D
     
  13. SystemBlack

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    The creative modes "are" the M ,Av ,Tv and possibly P too. The digicam modes are the macro, landscape, sports etc. I agree that most modern DSLR's are trying to be all things to all men (sorry girls, that's just the saying) and I have never used anything but the creative settings, a lot of the time on manual, but severnsource has probably the most valid point about the viewfinder, WYSIWYG (almost) and that is why I don't think I could ever own even a very excellent all in one but that's what my personal opinion is (but then again, all replies will be subjective in the most part).
    I hope the debate has opened up valid arguments for either type of camera and we all get to take some very excellent pictures.

    http://gordon-walker.fotopic.net/p1507322.html
     
  14. kenlynch

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    Just a quick point about compacts, I wouldn't bother with the high megapixel ones. High megapixel doesn't necesarily mean better picture quality, go for something around the six megapixel at most - the eight megapixel cameras are prone to sensor blooming (this shows up as unsightly purple fringing on bright highlights). Don't be swayed by the size of zoom either, a lens that is doing more may not be as good optically.

    Try a few out and look for sample pictures at www.pbase.com as you can search by camera.

    As for whether to get a DSLR really boils down to whether you want one really. It is a myth that they are harder to learn than a compact (in my opinion anyway) as essentially most high-end compacts have shutter priority, aperture priority and manual, it's just most people ignore them and you can ignore them on a DSLR and use it fully auto. You can get a DSLR relatively cheap now (under £600), just the main issue is the lenses, they can be bloody expensive (although not a problem for some people round here who seem to have money to burn :D ) so factor that into your decision.
     

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