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Old Jun 23, 2004, 7:26 AM   #1
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I have a G3 and so far Im really happy with it with exception of photographing birds. I find that to get the shots I like I have to crop in a fair bit. I would not mind this if I could actually see what the bird is doing a little better. Today I looked at a canon slr EOS I think. With a 300 lens attached, Wow what a wonderful camera. The cost is the only problem. Im looking at getting one in the future. What I would miss is the swivel lens that I have on the G3 which is great for waist height type photos.



What I want to know is, apart from the zoom lenses, what other things are better about the SLR? Do you still shoot through the viewfinder only? Will i find a CanonSLR worth the money? I do shoot a lot of close ups. And last of all, can a G3 style digital camera produce as good a photo as the SLR if it has more mega pixels?
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Old Jun 23, 2004, 11:06 AM   #2
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Here's a limited thought. You could I believe use a spotting scope with your camera - This is called Digiscoping. There's a topic devoted to that on this forum. Ask there if your existing camera is suitable to use with a spotting scope. Spotting scopews are also useful with an SLR, so if you decide latewr to purchase one, you could still use the scope. The better scopes have better optics then any lens.

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Old Jun 23, 2004, 11:10 AM   #3
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Thanks
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Old Jun 23, 2004, 11:27 AM   #4
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Given the types of photography that I've seen you submit, I think an SLR is a strong consideration for you. In addition to the obvious advantages of interchangeable lenses, an SLR has superior lens quality over P&S. You're able to be much more creative in most cases. Disadvantages of course are there. They're bulkier, cost more, you're always looking for another lens , etc.

I'll tell you right now. Bird photography is one of the tougher ones and requires longer lenses. A 300 mm won't cut it. I would say 400mm is the minimum and most birders are going to want longer.

I might suggest you visit www.birdsasart.com . It's a wonderful site, he offers a free newsletter filled with beautiful shots of birds, and has a FAQ section about bird photography (slanted toward Canon).

Megapixels don't mean as much as sensor size and that is the limiting factor of P&S cameras. A smaller sensor size will never perform as well as a larger one. You can get some great shots with a P&S, don't get me wrong. It's just that a good SLR will always outperform. Bear in mind, however, that an SLR is not a camera that you just pick up and snap shots. It requires you to learn about photography, to understand exposure and your camera's meter and metering modes in order to attain the best quality. With a point and shoot, you can pretty much just snap the picture and get a reasonable shot because the manufacturers design those cameras to be shot that way. An SLR is designed for creative control and while you CAN take pictures in auto mode, this forum is filled with unhappy dSLR owners because they haven't taken the time to learn about exposure and how their camera works. In short, you have to be willing to devote some time to master the camera. It isn't a case of getting great pictures because you bought the latest and greatest Canon dSLR with the very best L lens to go with it. Photographers take pictures, not cameras.

Hope this gave you some food for thought. Whether or not it is worth the money is one of those questions that only you can answer. For me, it's a passionate hobby and worth the money....to me!
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Old Jun 23, 2004, 11:31 AM   #5
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The advantage of DSLRs is not only the better quality, interchangeable lenses, but the ability to have more control over exposure and focus. I have a Nikon D100 and a Minolta S414. The Minolta is not SLR and is very difficult to control. The LCD screen is almost impossible to use for focusing purposes. Since the viewfinder does not "see" through the lens, it can't be used for focusing at all. The lens in the Minolta is sharp for its small size but there are only a couple of aperture settings and very few shutter speed settings. The LCD screen is practically impossible to use in bright daylite, even with a Hoodman hood on it.

With the D100, I can look through lens and actually see if my subject is in focus. I can see my composition even in bright sunlight. I have a wide range of aperture settings. I have manual focus available on the lens. I have the ability to put a wide range of filters on my lenses. I am just getting started with the Cokin system. I can put extention tubes or telextenders in front of my lenses (between lens and camera body) to either extend or shorten the focal length of the lens. I have a wide range of lenses available for different purposes. I currently have a 17-35mm, 28-80mm, 80-200mm, and 80-300mm.

Granted, you need a big camera bag to hold all the "goodies" you can use with a DSLR but, in my opinion, it is worth the effort.
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Old Jun 23, 2004, 11:37 AM   #6
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I wanted to second ohenry's coments (like I usually do) and add a few more.

You asked some specific questions:

Quote:
What I want to know is, apart from the zoom lenses, what other things are better about the SLR? Do you still shoot through the viewfinder only? Will i find a Canon SLR worth the money? I do shoot a lot of close ups. And last of all, can a G3 style digital camera produce as good a photo as the SLR if it has more mega pixels?
1) What ohenry said and some more. More responsive shutter, faster AF system, usually a better metering system (faster too.) Less noise in the shots at higher ISOs. This not only can contribute to better pictures overall, it also means more control over shutter speed (you want to be able to say "I'll use ISO 400 and get 1/1000 shutter to stop that action" instead of "well, if I use ISO 400 I'll get 1/1000 but the quality will be so bad that the shot isn't worth it.)

2) You can only shoot through the view finder on all SLRs that I know. You are looking into the view finder which lets you see directly through the lens.

3) Canon makes very good dSLRs. If you'll find it worth the money is a question for you. Like ohenry, I have found it worth the money.

4) I might disagree with ohenry on the statement that a SLR will always produce a better picture than a fixed lens P&S. They might eventually match the quality of an SLR. Sensor sizes might get bigger, lenses might get better. They could do it now if they could still hit the price range they needed. But they don't, so the cameras don't compare. Period. It isn't a question of megapixels, though. Its a question of the quality of the sensor (not its MP) the quality of the lens, and that it works fast enough (and well enough) to let you do what you want.

You mentioned that you do a lot of close up shots. There are many VERY GOOD macro lenses by both Canon and Nikon. I don't know if the G3 does good macro, but there are some digital P&S cameras that do macro well. Don't worry about loosing macro ability if you got a dSLR. You can do it there too... but be warned, so macro lenses are very expensive. But the quality.. WOW.

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Old Jun 23, 2004, 11:41 AM   #7
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thanks for the replies, I spent years with a fully manual SLR where I learned to use it the hard way, lots of useless prints and the few great ones. I love my digital but I do miss the different lenses. I guess I will have to bide my time and wait until I can afford the SLR. The guy in my local camera shop told me today that the SLRs price drop was leveling out now but what I can buy today I will pick up next year for the same price only the camera will have more, say 8 megapixels instead of 6, so I gather that some of the stock they have in now will have to go out cheaper eventually.

Photography has been my passion for years, just that since digital has come in Im getting into it even more.
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Old Jun 23, 2004, 12:12 PM   #8
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"Photography has been my passion for years, just that since digital has come in Im getting into it even more."

The same with me. The difference with digital is that I no longer have any inhibitions about shooting with expensive film. I am taking shots now that I would have passed by with film. With Velvia running about $10 for a 36-exposure roll and Agfa and Fuji professional print films running about $6-7 for a 36-exp roll, I was conservative in my shooting. Now, I will shoot just about anything while still trying to maintain good photographic stardards of composition.

Since the first of the year, I have shot over 1600 pictures with my D100. For me, that's a lot, but "I'm lovin' it!"
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Old Jun 23, 2004, 8:04 PM   #9
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I think since I got my first digital in 2000 I taken thousands of shots, deleted as many as Ive kept. I have five disks full and the hard drive on my computer holds 12 catagories of shots:roll:
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Old Jun 23, 2004, 9:03 PM   #10
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I had someone make this comment to my wife when I purchased my D70: "Once you make the investment in lenses, you will keep those for 20 years. Yes, SLR bodies and their features do change but not at near the rate of the cameras most people are purchasing."

Canon G3 (which I still have) was released in October 2002, then came the G5 in June 2003, and now the Pro1 April 2004. Other "compact" cameras seen to have similar product cycles.

Now, the Canon 10D has been out since March 2003and selling well; the Nikon D100 has been out going on 2 years now and is still selling well. So what if Canon or Nikon release a new body, you still have your lenses to use which is where the real investment is.
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