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Old Jun 22, 2006, 9:27 PM   #1
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I've noticed a lot of SLR bodies around ranging from cheap $800 ones to $5000 ones... and I was wondering, what's the difference between the low end models, like obviously the more expensive ones have higher resolution, but besides that, could someone educate me on this?
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Old Jun 22, 2006, 9:52 PM   #2
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Morag2 wrote:
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I've noticed a lot of SLR bodies around ranging from cheap $800 ones to $5000 ones... and I was wondering, what's the difference between the low end models, like obviously the more expensive ones have higher resolution, but besides that, could someone educate me on this?
The lower end models are ususally missing some of the features of the higher priced model (despite the pixels). Things like external flash-synch connections, weather sealing, metal frames, smaller exposure grids, fewer focus points, less custom settings, fewer white balance choices, etc., etc.

That being said, some of the newer, lower priced models do have improved processors, thus better performance in certain circumstances.
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Old Jun 22, 2006, 10:42 PM   #3
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Alright, thanks Kalypso. Well I can't afford a cheap DSLR, let along a high-end one, but it's still nice to know.
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Old Jun 23, 2006, 9:33 AM   #4
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Kalypso wrote:
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Morag2 wrote:
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I've noticed a lot of SLR bodies around ranging from cheap $800 ones to $5000 ones... and I was wondering, what's the difference between the low end models, like obviously the more expensive ones have higher resolution, but besides that, could someone educate me on this?
The lower end models are ususally missing some of the features of the higher priced model (despite the pixels). Things like external flash-synch connections, weather sealing, metal frames, smaller exposure grids, fewer focus points, less custom settings, fewer white balance choices, etc., etc.

That being said, some of the newer, lower priced models do have improved processors, thus better performance in certain circumstances.
Your summary is quite accurate. If I had to use only one word to describe the differences, it would be "tough."

I doubt if the actual difference in material cost is THAT large a difference. So the biggest cause of price differential comes with another word - "Profit."

The mark-ups are greater. But if you want such a tough camera (yes, with a larger sensor) then you just have to eat your liver and buy it....:?

Canon even sells two identical cameras, the difference being in firmware and of course price - never forget price...:G

Todays "pro-model" will be tommorows intermediate one.

But whatever your machine, a great picture is a great picture and and except for those who actually work with their cameras, and MUST have that reliability, it becomes an academic distinction.

Dave
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Old Jun 23, 2006, 12:13 PM   #5
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The higher-priced cameras tend to have metal bodies while the lower-priced ones have plastic bodies (but the plastic is usually more durable than the plastic used on point-and-shoot cameras)
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Old Jun 23, 2006, 12:18 PM   #6
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Pro-camera also have bigger buffer and write speed to allow for faster shooting, more FPS, some even have Wi-Fi capability so they can download pic into their computer right away....
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Old Jun 23, 2006, 12:23 PM   #7
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I don't know what the difference in material costs is, but the difference in research is more.

It's the formula-one racing argument. Honda and others spend huge amounts of money building race cars. They are very expensive pieces of equipment. Some of that tech gets pushed down into cheaper cars (and on occasion, some gets pushed up.)

The markup is greater on the higher end cameras because:
- They work better. Better doesn't always matter, but they do work better. They have better AF systems, better metering systems, faster processors,...
- They are more expensive to make. They have additional features, they use more expensive parts. The full frame sensor is more expensive to produce because it has more materials and the yield is lower.
- They are more expensive to design.

I'm sure their profit margin is higher than I think it should be, but it should be higher than the margin on the non-pro cameras (in absolute dollars) because they are more expensive to make and fewer people buy them.

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Canon even sells two identical cameras, the difference being in firmware and of course price - never forget price...:G
I don't know exactly what you mean by that smiley-face, but if I read it right I disagree. If you mean something like the Rebel XT and the 20D or 30D, the cameras are not "identical". They use different composite materials, they have different buttons. I'm sure the XT is cheaper to make and I'm sure it uses cheaper parts.

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Todays "pro-model" will be tommorows intermediate one.
I don't believe this is true, but maybe it will become true. This has not been true in the film realm except over long periods of time. The nikon 8008 (1991) is a good film camera, is not the same as the F4 that came out in 1988. The F50 (1994) is not "identical" to F4.

Now maybe you really mean "identical" in features and not construction? I wouldn't say "identical" but I might say "important features are pushed down." But I'm an engineer, I have a definition of "identical" and it isn't a loose one.

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But whatever your machine, a great picture is a great picture and and except for those who actually work with their cameras, and MUST have that reliability, it becomes an academic distinction.
And that, I completely agree with. Absolutely.

Eric
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Old Jun 23, 2006, 4:46 PM   #8
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The quality of the parts is quite an important issue. The cheaper cameras will use plastic parts, while the expensive models will use considerably more durable parts. The reason is that the low end models are built for a limited life span and much gentler use than the more expensive pro cameras. The pro cameras are designed for very heavy daily use and the pros will not be happy if the camera breaks down regularly because some cheap plastic part keeps wearing out. Hence more durable, and expensive, parts used in the construction.

Fester and better electronics will also be found in the more expensive cameras.
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Old Jun 24, 2006, 8:31 PM   #9
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There was a little bashing of Plastic. Just remember.....Plastic bodies are not a bad thing. And metal is not neccessarily better.

The key difference thatI find between "entry level" and "exotic level" is the ability tomake fine tune adjustments as well as incrementally small improvements in finished product quality, not the weight of the equipment or the amount of plastic or metal that is used in making the item.



Since somebody mention auto's, let's keep with that theme.

An off the shelf Honda Civic is Bang for the Buck a better buythan the Honda Formula One racer. Sure the F-1 is faster, brakes, steers, etc better, but at what cost? Figuritively 100x the price and the F-1 is how much faster? Not that much to justify 100x the price.

A Hondaetc built for the race track will have the capability of rapidly changing engines, transmissions, brake systems etc .... for the purpose of evaluating and installingdifferent components as rapidily as possible..... Ooops, looks like rain, time to change the tires,suspension and maybe even the gearing. The need for a FAST vehicle means that very light weight components are going to be used.Last time I checked, there sure is a lot of carbon fiber, plastics and exotic magnesium alloys being used on race vehicles.

And gosh darn, there are a lot of fancy plastics, potentially some carbon fiber, and I know of several "entry level" dSLR camera bodies that even havemagnesium alloy frames.

Our entry level dSLR's are about as exotic as most Formula One race cars.... at a cost that is affordable for most.

Sure thehigher end dSLR'shaveMORE exotic features. Features that are costly to produce and become even costlier as the sales are not that great.

But let's not bash the plastic bodies used on most camera's, as even their big expensive brothersoften use plastic as well.



One final point. I buy lots of consumer products. And a lot of plastic. Equipment that is designed to be repaired (such as an entry level dSLR that may need a sensor cleaned from time to time) will have durable mountsand connections ususally made from light weight metals that allowrelatively frequent assembly anddisassembly while "disposable" equipment that would be expensive to repair or clean will usually have snap together connections.
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Old Jun 24, 2006, 9:42 PM   #10
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......or, how many ways can we all answer the same question?
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