Steve's Digicams Forums

Steve's Digicams Forums (
-   Newbie Help (
-   -   total rethink-go with SLR instead? (

cafewriter Apr 26, 2003 11:24 PM

total rethink-go with SLR instead?
Hi all,

This is going to please some of the pros out there, but I am starting to have a total rethink about a digital camera altogether and go for an SLR. Reason? Having talked to a photo guy about it today, he feels that and SLR would allow me the room to grow into the camera that I know I would need, and there is so much more you can do with them. Since I'm not in the market to get a digital/SLR, it's still a choice. So here's some q's:

Are SLR's in danger of becoming obsolete any time soon? (he felt that film will be around for a loooonnngg time)

We were discussing popularity of digitals and the reasons why. Basically, I've come to these conclusions.
The only real advantages of D over SLR are:
a) you get to view your pic immediately
2) you bypass the middle process of waiting for development by uploading images onto computer immediately

However, what I understand is digitals don't have the same quality initial photo (proficiency of photographer accounted for) compared to SLRs, and really, anything can be achieved with sofware, like Photoshop. Meaning, it's easier to fix a good SLR shot with PHotoshop than it is to improve a lesser quality digital.

2) things like lenses and filters are more limited, whereas with SLr's you can go nuts buying things forever

Upfront cost. But realisitically, say you never added any extras to an SLR and for six months used both, how much cost difference would it roughly be re SLR processing, puttting onto to CD, development, vs digital's batteries and cards.

3) he said digital are less robust generally, more fragile technology.

4) they're trendy, they're the latest thing, so that's in part accounts for the popularity

any further thoughts/clarifications??

Yes, I know you can get good shots with the digis coming out now, ( I had my heart set on the Canon G3), but having now looked at the Canon EOS Elan 7E, and what I can do with it, I'm now changing my mind. Good quality prints are important to me, but I also want to upload. Is putting on CD rom the only way to do this with SLR's?

The only thing I had with the Canon 7E was just ever so slightly large for my small hands, (whereas he showed me Nikon N80 SLR which was really comfortable). Any suggestions on similar features in a model just slightly smaller?

Where can I now go to get SLR advice?

If anyone thinks I still could do fantastic work with digital and to go for the Canon g3, then please argue me back around to digital. Otherwise, SLR lovers, direction, please?

(this is my first camera purchase since many years)

Mike Haywood Apr 27, 2003 4:05 AM

Hi Cafe: I am only 1 1/2 years into digital so my knowledge level is still young but here is a thought. I first had Canon SLR's which I used for several years and still have. I tried digital in the form of the Sony FD-97 2 megapixel camera for taking eBay photos. Through this camera I really developed a liking for the digital system. I needed a new printer so invested in the Canon i950 printer.
What this all boils down to is, as my interest in photography returned recently I decided to upgrade digitaly so looked around and decided on the Canon 10D digital SLR. It made sense to go this way since I already had several lenses from my EOS 10 SLR from 12 years ago. Put the 6 megapixel Canon camera together with the Canon i950 printer and you get amazing do at home photos.

Tomsch Apr 27, 2003 8:47 AM

Total Rethink?
I don't pretend to have the answer to your quest but I've been around a very long time and can tell you what I know and then you decide what is the best course for you.
You said you talked to a " film guy" and he has impacted your thinking. He said film would be around for a long time and I would agree with him. The question is do you want to work within the boundries that film offers? He told you that techno is fragile and he is correct. What new techology isn't ? This is an amazing time we live in and certainly exciting for photography. If there weren't gadget freaks out there buying what company would be producing new stuff? This is a huge grouth industry and as such we proffet by the competition by them for our bucks. Look at the cost per megapixel or the cost of storage media in the last few years.
I have just ordered my fifth digital camera and I don't feel it will be my last.I capture more images weekly than I exposed film in the previous ten years. So we know what works for me. The quest is to discover what will work for you! What ever you decide, take your time to weigh each pro and con , make a good purchase and then be happy with it. But most important Keep Pushing That Shutter Release!

cafewriter Apr 27, 2003 11:29 AM

Hi Tom and Mike,

I agree with you, it is the toy fanatics that keep things growing.
You might be interested in this, in particular, his Response paragraph, (and then some of the comments from the other users are enlightening, too). The basic gist of the article I get is the guy is saying that many SLRers or die people are Luddite purists...

Tom, I don't think I can afford 6 mpx, and Mike, I can't afford to keep upgrading regularly; I want a camera that would go the road for a while.Even though I love technology myself. Tom, you already have filters, but I'm starting from scratch.

The only other issue I have with digis is comparable to the issue we all face with PC's and their O/S etc. Its just the nature of the beast that one is forced to upgrade their o/s every 2 years or so, and their computer RAM and Hardrive storage, simply because Micrsoft and others introduce new stuff so fast, they no longer support it. (eg Win 95 is no longer supported, and shortly, anything 2000 and under, too, forcing everyone to go to XP etc). another example; we need faster and faster modems, and then ISDN etc, because as the Web advances quickly as well, one can no longer view anything or download without waiting ages! Do you get where I'm going to? I sense the same thing applies to Digis. eg, the comapny just as quickly makes supporting s/w or your computer itself suddenly needs new upgrades in s/w or h/w to keep pace with the camera. eg. I have a 1999 computer. It has a USB bus, but it has been suggested to me that this might be too old/slow to use with a camera like the Canon G3. The other issue is depenceny. Still, I like the idea and convenience of a digital. As you say, it depends on what I want to do and what best suits me...I guess this is why I am here and what i am trying to work out!
thanks again,

Lin Evans Apr 27, 2003 12:08 PM


The only real advantages of D over SLR are:
a) you get to view your pic immediately
2) you bypass the middle process of waiting for development by uploading images onto computer immediately
These are two of many advantages of digital, but whether or not the advantages are relative to your needs is another issue.

Whether to go digital is a decision only you can make, but here are some factors which would be worth considering.

1. How familiar are you with your computer - how often do you use it?

2. How many photos do you typically take in a period of a month or so? Do you use your camera daily, or do you shoot a few rolls once a month and put it away.

3. Do you want or need to improve your photographic techniques?

The savings with digital over film grow exponentially the more you use the camera. Your skills will grow at nearly the same rate if you are serious about photography. A good consumer/prosumer digicam such as a Sony DSC-F717 or a Nikon 5700 or Minolta 7Hi will produce better prints at up to 8x10 than you will get with a typical 35mm color film system. Only if you are very skilled as a photographer, will you generally get better results with film and then only if your developing and printing is being done by a knowledgeable technician. This won't happen with the "one hour photo" people.

With digital you have the ability to fine tune your images without the additional steps involved with scanning, removing dust, etc. A little skill in the digital darkroom will have you making quality prints which in all probability you would never get with your 35mm color film efforts.

This may or may not be a sufficient reason to go with digital. If you are a very casual shooter who only grabs your camera for vacations or holiday use, you will probably be better served with film. If you shoot or want to shoot lots of images and already have a computer and reasonable computer skills, you will find that digital will change your life.

As far as "pleasing the pros" - there are plenty of us who have replaced our 35mm color film platform with digital and have never been happier.


Shmackey Apr 27, 2003 10:20 PM

My film SLR is gathering dust, and I'm still a digital newbie (although I'm very computer-competent).

Don't underestimate the benefit of being able to Photoshop every image before you print it. I almost never print an image now without a little tweak here and there. You can't do that with film. And you only print the ones you want.

NHL Apr 27, 2003 11:49 PM


If anyone thinks I still could do fantastic work with digital and to go for the Canon g3, then please argue me back around to digital. Otherwise, SLR lovers, direction, please?
... Well you're not going to find too many SLR lovers here :lol:. We're actually all pictures lovers at heart, and we've found ourselves shooting more pictures as a result of converting to digital!

One thing that you've forgot to mention is the time involved with films and their associated costs which actually will hold you back, and also limit you to be more careful with each shot! Digital free you up instead (ie mistakes are easily forgotten and free) and let you experiment more with your creativity... 8)

It's not just simple as the cost of the G3 vs the Elan... You have to add up the film processing expenses since they are all one-time use. Beside I never had any luck with processing to CD directly, even from Kodak own labs! CF flash cards on the other hand are re-usable, getting cheaper everyday, and will work with any digicam now or in the future. The PC/Printer costs are a given regardless whether it's a digital camera or your digitized slides (forgot about the slide scanner too didn't you?)... :oops: :oops: :oops:

BTW I'm still looking @ buying film cameras, but as a collector! To actually shoot pictures with I'm shopping for a dSLR! :P

ardvark50 Apr 28, 2003 1:46 AM

I was in a similar position as you are with my friends telling me all the same things that the dealer told you. I decided to use my dad's old oly om10 slr for a few years until i can afford and justify the cost of a dslr. I personally am happy with my choice and love using manual settings, ring focus, picture quality, etc. I suggest to you borrow a friends slr for a few days, or if worse comes to worse, pick up an old used slr (because they should be cheap and slrs can work for decades with only the occasional battery change) and see how you like it. This way, even if you go with digital in the end, you get valuable photography experience, several nice shots and any lenses for this slr can possibly be used on a future dslr purchase if you ever choose to get one (plus if you bought the used slr, then you have the best of both worlds). 35mm film will be around for years, especially considering that millions of people have 35mm cameras and companies are continuing to make new film models. Also, 35mm one hour processing for single prints costs only about 6-7 dollars at walmart. As to digicams being more fragile, true they are basically electronics and could break at any time, but just remember how fragile that $2000 fixed focal length slr lense is (not to mention the same lense with a zoom). As for image quality, I've seen great results with each.

NHL Apr 28, 2003 8:37 AM

... Also don't forget with some of the above cameras that Lin mentioned, you can also do things like What you see I What You Get (WYSIWYG), with a real-time histogram in the manual mode that you can only dream of with a film SLR and a lighmeter! :cry:

Imagine seeing your result with film only 1-hr afterward when the sun has already set on what you want to pictured up in the first place... :oops: :oops: :oops:

BTW the filters that you mentioned also work with digital, especially polarizers and graduated NDs!

marokero Apr 28, 2003 11:36 AM

I use a DSLR because cleaning scanned negative images was too time consuming, and in my work I only make 11x14 enlargements for wedding albums (rarely 11x22), so a 6 megapixel image is good enough for my needs.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 3:38 PM.