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Old Jun 15, 2005, 10:36 AM   #1
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Being a rookie when it comes to cameras, I have purely a picture quality question.

I realize the great quality of a slr like the 350D for asa and speed, but how does the picture quality only compare if you have a 350D with a sigma 18-200 vs. nikon 8800?

I hear all the discussion about the different lenses for the 350D, and I know that at higher asa speeds, there is no comparison but how about at lower asa speeds? All you pros out there make it sound like getting at non 'L' lens is very inferior but how much more of a step down is it to a good non slr. I have a SLR film camera and would like to stay with one in a digital format if there is a significant difference with a lower quality lens.

Thanks
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Old Jun 15, 2005, 11:23 AM   #2
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I had a Nikon 5700 and I can tell you from experience that I was able to get some really nice photos out of it. The problem was that the conditions had to be near perfect in order to do so...
I switched from the 5700 to the 20D because of several limitations, including:

Poor low-light performance.
Slow focus
Shutter Lag
Time from camera off to camera on

I cannot tell you how many shots I lost due to those limitations.
I'm also not saying the Nikon was/is a bad camera. It's just in a different league than the SLRs. You can take good or bad photos with any camera, it's just deciding what limitations you can live with and how much money you want to spend. I could no longer live with the ones I mentioned above..

Hope this helps...

mactek
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Old Jun 15, 2005, 11:28 AM   #3
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My background is the same as Mactek. I owned the Nikon 5700 camera. I now own the 20D and it is a great camera. There is really no comparison between the 5700 and the 20D. I would think that the same comparison would exist between the 5700 and the Nikon D70.
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Old Jun 15, 2005, 11:52 AM   #4
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mactek wrote:
Quote:
Poor low-light performance.
Slow focus
Shutter Lag
Time from camera off to camera on
I think Mactek hit the nail on the head. What the DSLR buys you is the ability to capture more shots. For bright sun, low ISO, high shutter speed you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between images captured from the two cameras (assuming you had focus and exposure set properly in both).

However, I think there is one other aspect missing from non DSLR cameras - shallow DOF. For certain circumstances, you may want to have a shallow depth of field (only target in focus and background blurred). Because of the shorter lenses and smaller sensors on digicams you can't get the same shallow DOF as you can with a DSLR. So, in that area alone - a DSLR and non DSLR shooting the same equivelant focal length, ISO, aperture and shutter speed could produce different quality pictures.
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Old Jun 15, 2005, 1:36 PM   #5
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Thanks alot, that helps me quite a bit. Now all I have to do is save up for a 350D
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Old Jun 15, 2005, 8:15 PM   #6
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The current generation of compact digital cameras (the higher end like the Panasonic Lumix FZ20) answer all but the low light (or high ISO) weaknesses cited earlier. With the smaller sensor, the small lenses required make it much easier to produce a f2.8 12X zoom and they are capable of producing small DOF. Almost no shutter lag, instant on. So why do I have a 20D instead of a FZ20? I shoot my kids playing sports and you can not use the lcd, you must be able to use the viewfinder and use the focus points properly.

Static objects in good light with 8X10 prints will be virtually indistinguishable at ISO 100. Dynamic objects even in excellent light requires luck to get good yield with a compact camera. Anything requiring ISO beyond 200 can be ugly with the compact camera.

Sigma 18-200 or similar lens - as long as you stay within the "sweet spot" for that lens, 2 stops or more down from wide open, you will get good shots. Generally, lens tend to even out as you stop down.
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Old Jun 15, 2005, 10:45 PM   #7
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However!

Once you decend into the world of SLR goodiness, you'll be back into that spending mode on accessories, lenses, etc. Most likely, you'll end up spending several times over your current P & S & its accessories. I'm still thinking on whether to buy a flash, the XT accessory kit (batterygrip/battery/case bag), or save up for a lens

So that's something to ponder about. :?:
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