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Old Aug 26, 2008, 12:38 PM   #1
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Hi everyone,
Sorry to add to numerous posts similar to this, but I really need help on 2 issues:

1) Do I deserve a DSLR?
I've already read through many articles and forum posts on the topic of P&S vs DSLR so I know the pros and cons of both. Instead I'd like your advice/opinions on whether the type of photography I do justifies my desire for a DSLR. I love photography, but I'm concerned I'll be spending too much money on a camera that's too advanced for its user.

I've never owned or used a DSLR before. I've used a Canon Powershot A80 for the past 5 years. It served me well and the only reason I'm getting a new camera is because I lost it a couple of months ago

I am a student on a tight budget, so if I get a DSLR I won't be buying additional lenses anytime soon. I've used various modes like landscape, night and sports and have a basic understanding of shutter speed, but haven't ventured into fully manual, although I'm willing to try.

The types of photos I take are:
- night scenes (city skylines, buildings lit up at night)
- nature macro esp. flowers
- travel photography (buildings, architecture, cities from high rise viewpoints)
- nature landscapes (mountains, rivers, clouds)
- occasionally animals
- people at parties/functions

I normally don't do any post processing of photos. My photos are for personal use, like posting online or for use as PC wallpaper. When I print photos it's usually photo album size (3R/4R).

Photography is only a hobby for me, but I'm still particular about taking clear, beautiful pictures. I'm always trying to get the perfect shot and usually end up with a dozen photos of the same thing.

So, does all this justify getting a DSLR?

2) Canon 400D or 450D
I am trying to decide between the Canon 400D/XTi and 450D/XSi. From what I've read the only differences between the two that really matter to me are liveview, an image stabilizing kit lens, battery life and camera weight. The price difference between the two models in my country is approx. USD190. Is it worth paying more for the additional benefits of the newer model?

Also I've seen many complaints about the AF on the 450D. How serious is this problem and do all 450Ds have it? Is this a valid reason not to buy the 450D?

If you need additional info to advise me please ask.

I'd really appreciate all the advice/help you can offer
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Old Aug 26, 2008, 9:03 PM   #2
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If you feel that you won't use your camera much, but just want to have one on hand when you want to 'capture a moment', then perhaps a good point and shoot is all you need. Is your reluctance to buy a DSLR because you are afread of breaking the budget? Or do you feel that the camera would be too large and heavy to take with you? For some people there would be a good case to have BOTH a DSLR AND a compact point and shoot. Keep the compact in your pocket so you have a camera ready (maybe you have one in your cell phone already?), and take the DSLR for those planned photo outings.

There are good beginner kits that come with decent 'kit' lenses. I just bought a Sony A300, it came with a fair kit lens that covers 18-70mm (that's 27-105mm in 35mm coverage). This is almost all the lens most will ever need. I will probably add a 75-300mm telephoto (112-450mm in 35mm coverage). The A300 has the best live view feature so far in a DSLR, and as such represents a nice bridge between the way you use a point and shoot vs a DSLR. Sony's A200 is the same camera but omits the live view, but has a brighter viewfinder and is about $100 cheaper. I also considered the Olympus E520 (last year's E510 can be had for a few hundred $ less). The fact that used Minolta lenses that can be found at bargin prices work on the Sony cameras swayed my decision. I didn't consider Nikon and Canon, but not because they are bad cameras, far from that! I used to have Nikon 35mm equipment, but the lenses would not have been compatible with their current digital offerings. The Nikon and Canon cameras that have the live view feature were larger and more expensive than the Sony and Olympus offerings.

Most entry DSLR's have a built in flash, but for serious work an off camera flash (hot shoe or wireless) would be a good idea. Actually the same should be said for point and shoot cameras, but few have the required hotshoe or sync terminal. My Olympus C5050 is one of the few exceptions.

DSLR cameras give you more control over your picture taking that the point and shoots, but you have to learn how to get the most out of them. If you are too lazy to do this, then they are a waste of money. You need to decide just what you want to get out of photography and then you can decide what equipment you need and how much you want to spend.
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Old Aug 27, 2008, 1:13 PM   #3
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thanks for your reply kscharf.

i'm reluctant to buy a DSLR mainly because of the price factor. if DSLRs fell in d same price range as P&S the choice would be a no brainer. size/weight isn't much of an issue, my last camera couldn't fit into my pocket either. when i take photos its usually planned, like on holidays/functions, although sometimes i just feel like taking random stuff like clouds and flowers.

another concern is that i'll be overwhelmed with the functions of a DSLR. i'm not so good with gadgets. the tech talk goes right over my head and it takes me quite awhile to grasp it.

however i do believe i have a stronger interest in photography than the average joe. i love being able to capture the beauty i see and keep that moment with me.

how often do people use liveview? is there a big difference between a lens with IS and without IS? will i be missing out on a lot if i get the 400D without liveview and IS?

thanks again
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