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Old Aug 31, 2004, 1:59 PM   #21
Zal
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Timeless-161 wrote:
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Out of interest - do you ever use an SLR? If not, are there specific reasons for not doing so?
Actually, no. :-) I know that if I had an SLR, all my money would be spent buying more and more lenses--I know that about myself. I love equipment, and I can be easily caught up in it. Using an all-in-one camera forces me to forget about getting the next great lens, the next faster lens, etc... and focus on photography, not camera junk.

The other reason is that I like to travel light. Walking, hiking, and flying with a bag full of lenses is not my idea of a good time. I'm much happier with a single "take anywhere" system.

Everyone's different though. I can fully appreciate someone needing a 1DMkII and 10 different lenses if that's what makes them happy. More power to ya! Just don't confuse "camera equipment" with "making great photographs". :-)
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 2:05 PM   #22
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Cameras are wonderful toys, and many of us are, or have been, camera junkies. We long for new cameras, we constantly play with those we own, sometimes we even take pictures with them.

All jokes aside folks, this is a technology in its boom time, rapidly changing to meet demands (or sometimes just to create them). You buy a camera today and find it is obsolete by the time you get it home from the store. That, in itself is a problem, but remember that the camera you purchased for its image quality still takes great pictures, moreover camera envy, and camera snobbery, is one of the biggest challenges faced by digital photography hobbyists. Camera types and brand names can often become more important than the images they were meant to capture.

First of all lets set some limits so that I am not immediately dismissed as delusional:

1) It is the photographer who creates the image, the camera is just a tool.

2) Obviously not every camera is well suited for every photographer.

3) Image quality is an issue, so we will summarily dismiss the novelty cameras, or those with resolution too small for even photo-album prints. (Although 1.3MP or 2MP cameras can produce acceptable 4" X 6" prints I believe that in today's marketplace 3MP should be considered a practical lower limit for the typical hobbiest)

4) Creative control is also an issue so we will also dismiss cameras which do not offer any real control, (example: if it has only AE program, then it must have some form of exposure compensation) though this does not imply that a camera must have a complete set of manual controls.

5) All established camera companies make good cameras (and most also make a few bad ones). Kodak, Fuji, Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Leica, Pentax, Konica-Minolta, all make some excellent cameras, so do electronics companies such as Sony, Panasonic, Casio, Samsung, Toshiba and HP.

6) DSLRs are the top of the heap in terms of overall flexibility, but they are not the only answer to every digital photographic question. The costs involved in building a DSLR system are restrictive, and if you purchase that DSLR body and then stick bargain store lenses on it you will not achieve the image quality of a good digicam.

7) High end digicams can provide for 90% of all photographic situations for the average amateur user (and as a back up camera for most pros).

Sometimes the question of why someone does not use a DSLR comes down to simple economics, a talented amateur photographer may be hard pressed to find $1000 for what amounts to a starter into a DSLR system, however that same $1000 can provide a very capable high end compact which will fulfill the photographers needs well into the future. Yes there are limitations to the compacts, but you will quickly spend twice as much money on a DSLR system in order to match the compacts capabilities. I am not arguing against DSLRs, as a matter of fact I want one, my problem is purely economic. For now I will use my film SLR when I need the capabilities that the digital compact cannot provide.

There are many great pictures that did not require a DSLR to produce. Zal has shown us a few of them, great work.

Ira
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 2:30 PM   #23
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Greetings,

I havea D2h, 2 F5's, and a Kodak 620x, a pentax wr90, and a canon aqua. I am a full time freelance photographer. Camera bodies are TOOLS, nothing more nothing less. I can take the same quality photo, in certain situations, with an old Nikon FM as I can with an F5, or my Pentax WR-90 point and shoot. The more advanced cameras offer more options for situations that you may find yourself in. Now, if I wanted to shoot ice hockey action, I can't use my point and shoot and expect quality results. You have to use the tool designed for the job.

Now, it is the person behind the camera that makes a differance. It blows my mind how oftenthis happens, where I give someone my camera (D2H) with a lens and flash attached, to someone to take a photo of my entire family, and the photo comes out blurry! My wife has trouble taking in focus photos with the pentax. That proves the point more than anything.

Also, another thing about equipment, and the costs. You are correct, it is not over after the body is purchased. For pros, it is even worse, we can't just have 1 battery, or 1 memory card. We have to have backups for everything. I have 3 batteries for my D2H, I have 5 batteries for my F5's. These things are expensive, the D2H batteries are about $130 each. You want good close up shots of sports action at night, you need that $5000 lens due to the 2.8. Many pro arenas, indoor, for basketball and hockey, the shot is800asa, 250 or 300 at 2.8, or at least the ones in Philadelphia are. The baseball and football stadiums are 400asa, 300/2.8. If you only have an f4 lens, well, you have a choice, go with more noise by doubling the asa to 800, orget motion blur by dropping the shutter to 125. Again, equipmentis just a tool. Use the correct tool for he job, you are not going to put a nail in your wall to hang a photo with a sledgehammer. I know many portrait shooters, who don't have any lens faster than 3.5, except their 50mm. They do all their shooting at f8 or 11, so why pay for the fast glass.

This is just my opinion, and I may be wrong, but hey, that's why its called an opinion.



Mike
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 2:54 PM   #24
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Dervical, the voice of experience and reason, well stated. For wedding portraits I would always dig out my old Yashica D, a 6cm square image from its 80mm f/3.5 lens set at f/11 was better than anything my 35mm SLRs could do, but the Yashica was a clumsy device for even moderate motion. DSLRs are indispensible in the roles where speed and ruggedness are important.

Ira


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Old Aug 31, 2004, 4:08 PM   #25
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Dervical wrote:
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...Also, another thing about equipment, and the costs. You are correct, it is not over after the body is purchased. For pros, it is even worse, we can't just have 1 battery, or 1 memory card. We have to have backups for everything. I have 3 batteries for my D2H, I have 5 batteries for my F5's. These things are expensive, the D2H batteries are about $130 each. You want good close up shots of sports action at night, you need that $5000 lens due to the 2.8. Many pro arenas, indoor, for basketball and hockey, the shot is800asa, 250 or 300 at 2.8, or at least the ones in Philadelphia are. The baseball and football stadiums are 400asa, 300/2.8. If you only have an f4 lens, well, you have a choice, go with more noise by doubling the asa to 800, orget motion blur by dropping the shutter to 125. Again, equipmentis just a tool. Use the correct tool for he job, you are not going to put a nail in your wall to hang a photo with a sledgehammer. I know many portrait shooters, who don't have any lens faster than 3.5, except their 50mm. They do all their shooting at f8 or 11, so why pay for the fast glass...


yourabsolutiely right...you cant try to buy cheap stuff and hope it works, another big thing with fast primes, is the quality you get for paying extra on name brand (ie: nikon, canon, not sigma)

now, i could understand geting a 300 f/4 for hs basket ball, if you have some white lightnings and a set of pw's to light the arena

along the lines of back-up stuff, you need all you can get, i have 4 baterys for my d100, but there cheap, like $20 each, a buddy of mine had a d1h shutter blow out and was stuck with out a camera for for 3 days untill nps could send him a loaner, and that sucked....
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 7:52 PM   #26
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Timeless-161 wrote:
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Kalypso wrote:
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This picture was made with a 35mm, P&S Olympus Stylus Epic (non-zoom version).
Kalypso - i know the point you're trying to make but i think that your example proves the opposite. You are hoisted by your own petart (or whatever the phrase is) because the shots that you have posted elsewhere and which have been taken with an SLR are so much better than the shot posted above.
You assume a lot...97% of the shots I've ever posted before were made with about 1/2 being made with an Olymous C2100 2mp camera. The other half was made up of about 75% of them taken with a 5mp Minolta Dimage 7i & the rest with a 3mp Canon D30/DSLR. The minority of my posted images have been made with a DSLR...so how do you explain that?
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Old Sep 1, 2004, 8:07 AM   #27
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Kalypso wrote:
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Timeless-161 wrote:

You assume a lot...97% of the shots I've ever posted before were made with about 1/2 being made with an Olymous C2100 2mp camera. The other half was made up of about 75% of them taken with a 5mp Minolta Dimage 7i & the rest with a 3mp Canon D30/DSLR. The minority of my posted images have been made with a DSLR...so how do you explain that?
Ok, maybe i jumped to conclusions because you strangely did not choose one of your best shots to demonstrate that a non SLR camera can take great shots.

But the point is that if you are happy to spend the money on an SLR and to carry it around with it extra accessories etc then an SLR will allow any given photographer to take better shots in a wider variety of situations than a point and shoot.

Give the SLR to a muppet and the above photographer will almost certainly take a better shot with the P&S than the muppet does with the SLR. Give both cameras to the same photographer and give them the time to set up the shot, the lightingand set the P&S via menus, and the photos are likely to be identical unless blown up to an unrealistic degree.

I'll try to go back and answer the original question -

In my view, there are some undeniable advantages to SLRs:

1. greater variety of lens choice

2. larger sensor = wider range of usable ISO values

3. usually a better functionality with less reliance on menus (the Minolta A1 / A2 come close on this but they are the pinacle of the non SLR models when it comes to functionality)

4. optical viewfinder - some simply prefer it (others don't but lets not start that debate again here)

5. faster focussing and less shutter lag - many P&S or prosumer are now very close, but many are not

There are also obvious disadvantages:

1. cost

2. bulk & weight (esp when carrying mutiple lenses)

3. you can look like a member of the press corps (or a tourist with too much money)

Whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages is a matter of personal choice but IMO the disadvantages are not related to photography, they are just personal issues.

In many situations, the advantages don't make a big difference, but at some crucial times the SLR will have real advantages over the P&S.

BUT - the real factor that makes a good photgraph is not affected by any of the above: the vision of the person using the camera and their familiarity with it.

I would put it at 95% vision, 5% equipment.
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Old Sep 1, 2004, 10:14 AM   #28
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Here - here - Timeless-161 that is exactly the point that I, and I think others here, were trying to make. I want a DSLR but the cost is prohibitive at the moment. The main areas that compacts are still weak in are action photography (too much lag and, in most cases, no reliable manual focus) and in low light situations (due to the much higher usable ISO with the large sensors).

It is likely that I will eventually have a DSLR, right now the Digital Rebel does not appeal to me but the Nikon D70 is close, and Pentax is promising a lower priced model this fall, the Maxxum 7 Digital sounds like it will be way out of my price range, which is too bad since I already have all focal lengths from 19mm to 210mm covered in Maxxum lenses.

Great discussion

Ira
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Old Sep 1, 2004, 3:21 PM   #29
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Monza76 wrote:
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Great discussion

Ira
I agree! Just for fun, I'm going to post 4 images...one was taken with a 2mp Olympus C2100. Another was taken with a 3mp Canon D30, DSLR. Another was taken with a 5mp Minolta Dimage 7i. Another was taken with a 35mm Nikon N80. Who can figure out which camera took which image?

#1.


#2.


#3.


#4.
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Old Sep 1, 2004, 3:34 PM   #30
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I'll takea stab at this...

#1: D30

#2: C2100

#3: Film

#4: 7i

Close?
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