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Old Apr 25, 2009, 12:07 PM   #1
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Greetings all (who happen to read this). I'm here because I want to move to the next level of photo taking. I have 2 P&S (Canon A40 and SD850is) that have been used for any/everything. I've explored the settings to try and create different/interesting photos and just feel like I've hit the limitations of the cameras.

My next stop is Actually a photography class, but the class that's available requires a DSLR. That doesn't really make sense to me as it's Supposed to be a newbie class, and wouldn't you want to learn skills before making a choice in equipment? Regardless, it's their rule so I have to prime my knowledge on my own, which is why I've googled myself here.

So, it's off to read through the "best camera to buy" forum so I can read through the existing posts and see if I can't find a trend of recommendations that fit my needs/wants.

Cheers,

Brian
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Old Apr 25, 2009, 12:29 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums Brian.

Well... one thing about a point and shoot camera is that they have very tiny sensors compared to most dSLR models. As a result, they use much shorter focal length lens for any given "35mm equivalent" focal length in order to get the same angle of view (apparent magnification).

Because of that (shorter focal length for any given subject framing with a non-dSLR cameras), you have much greater depth of field (how much of the image is in focus as you move further away from your focus point).

That limits your ability to do things like use a wider aperture to help larger subjects (i.e, your people type photos) stand out from distracting backgrounds (since too much of an image is going to be in focus with a non-dSLR model shooting most larger subjects, even at wide open apertures). You've got a much wider variety of lenses available for a dSLR model, too (for example, brighter fixed focal length lenses with wider available apertures that can help you achieve better results for some types of photos).

So, I can understand a photography class wanting you to have a tool that allows you to take more types of photos, and a dSLR is going to be much better suited for some types of images.

A dSLR is a usually a better bet for shooting in existing light without a flash, too (where you may need better image quality at higher ISO speeds), due to their much larger sensors, and you usually have more manual control options with a typical dSLR model versus a typical point and shoot model (and they probably want you to understand the relationship between focal length, aperture, ISO speed, shutter speed and lighting levels, and want to make sure you've got a camera that allows you to control more of those variables)

There are pros and cons to both types of cameras (with smaller size and weight being a big plus for most non-dSLR models)

If you start a new thread in our What Camera Should I Buy? Forum along with information on budget and the conditions you plan on shooting in more often, some of our members can probably steer you in the right direction.

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Old Apr 25, 2009, 5:51 PM   #3
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Thanks. Actually, I'm back on about page 4 now of that very forum (just reading every post) and getting a feeling of what I'm going to need. Since I'm roughly 4 months out from buying anything (going homeless and traveling around Alaska for the summer), I have plenty of time to think about what my Initial plans are for photography, and how that weighs against the possible future. I have an initial pecking order already (which is more than I had this time last week ~ heh).

I've also checked and see that there are some of the "recommended reading" books available at the public libraries in Alaska, so I'll be picking those up where and when possible.

This is one of those things I've thought about off and on for 20 years (since I started college and had friends taking photography classes, plus my dad had a setup for wedding and portraits that he used for extra income). I'm just finally to a place and time where I can toss $1000 and lots of time at a new hobby.

Brian
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Old Apr 25, 2009, 6:59 PM   #4
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Most any of the popular dSLR models are capable of taking great photos. Your skill using one is probably the most important part, and any new camera can take some getting used to in order to get the best images from it.

Alaska, huh? I keep teasing my wife that we should sell everything and move to someplace like a wilderness area in Alaska. I've seen some stunning photos from there. But, she's going to want nearby shopping centers, etc. and would never agree to a move like that. :-)

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