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Old Aug 8, 2005, 10:19 PM   #1
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Sorry if this has been answered before or if this is a dumb question...but here goes.

What is the difference in quality of a pic taken with an 8Mpix DSLR and an 8Mpix all-in-one type camera? For example lets just say between a Canon 20D and a Panasonic FZ30 both at the same exact settings ?

Can the DSLR pic be enlarged more when printing?
There has to be a big difference of some kind since a DSLR with a 300mm lens seems to be twice the price of an all-in-one with same lens reach.


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Old Aug 8, 2005, 11:46 PM   #2
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Any difference in quality will come from the quality difference between the lens that the two cameras are using and the sensors.
Are the pure optics of the DSLR lens any better than the all-in-one (AIO)? If the DSLR lens is from the camera manufacturer it may well be. Purchasers of DSLR's are going to expect a higher level of optical quality and very likely the lens will be faster (more light sensitive) than the AIO lens.
One big step up in a DSLR is in the light sensor. DSLR's have larger sensors than AIO's, many of them being CMOS sensors as opposed to the CCD sensors of most AIO's. The more sophisticated sensors of the DSLR let it take pictures at high ISO's with little noise.
So, could you enlarge pictures taken with a DSLR more than with the AIO before you start seeing image degradation? There are a lot of variables, here, and results would vary depending on which two cameras you were comparing. Overall, I'd say yes.
Is the huge price difference that you see between the top DSLR's and even the best AIO's warranted? I guess that if it weren't, they wouldn't be selling.
DSLR's have a lot more features that make them out-perform their AIO cousines: Like more sophisticated electronics, larger buffers, very low shutter-lag, more rugged construction, the abilty to optically view through the lens, a wider lens range -- you get the idea.
Now, the performance difference between say, something like a Nikon D50 and a Nikon CP8800 would be interesting to explore. You can probably buy a D50 w/lens for close to the same price as an 8800.
If anyone out there has experiance with low-end DSLR's and AIO's in the same price range, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.
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Old Aug 9, 2005, 12:44 AM   #3
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I basically agree with granthagen.

I would also suggest that you go to steves'd digicams and read the reviews comparing those cameras. Specifically, download the images and see how you feel they compare.

The problem with judging something based on quality and cost is we don't know what your standards are. For me, a DSLR was required. For others, it would be way overkill and a waste of money. Only you, looking at the results with your own eyes and expectations, can tell.

The type of photography I do could not be done (basically) with a P&S. Then again, I have a single camera lens that is worth more than my car.

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Old Aug 9, 2005, 7:09 AM   #4
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eric s wrote:
Then again, I have a single camera lens that is worth more than my car.


Of course, in 4 more years that lens will still probably be worth 90% of what you paid for it while the car will be worthless. You just have to look at it from an investment standpoint :-)
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Old Aug 9, 2005, 2:17 PM   #5
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And that is exactly how I look at it. I felt "if I end up selling it because I don't like it (too heavy was my main fear)" I knew I could sell it for almost the value I purchased it. Or I could start a business of renting it to sports reporters who come in to town. I know the usual store they go to, and they run out... and offered to refer them on to me. The downside is that they don't treat them very well so if you go that route you have to not care about using the lens yourself.

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Old Aug 9, 2005, 3:22 PM   #6
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-cleaner, noise free images at low ISO
-cleaner, usable images at high ISO
-great flexibility in lens choice
-fast operation
-mostly rugged construction (there are exceptions)
-control over DOF

Point and Shoot:

-much lower cost (when you take lens selection into account)
-high quality, relatively fast zoom, long zoom range
-great DOF
-light weight, especially when you consider the typical DSLR outfit
-macro capabilities built in
-does not require sensor cleaning since most are well sealed against dust


-get what you can afford
-photography should be fun, not intimidating, if a DSLR seems too complex then it may not be for you
-if you specialize in low light, fast action or anything with specific lens requirements you need a DSLR


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Old Aug 9, 2005, 3:33 PM   #7
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:cart: Fun? What has fun got to do with it, photography is about accumualteing the most amount of stuff.
In the end the one with the most photo-stuff wins:!:
-photography should be fun
Actually I agree, get what you can both afford and are comfortable with.
In the end, that is what you will end up actually going out and using the most.

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