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Old Sep 10, 2007, 12:36 PM   #1
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Hi group. I'm looking for some recommendations for my next camera purchase. I have a Fujifilm S9000 that I'm afraid the command dial has broken. I'm looking at this opportunity to either upgrade to the S9100, or take the plunge into DSLR waters. I have been looking at the Olympus E-500, Nikon D40, Canon Digital Rebel, and the Pentax K100D.

I take mostly shots of my kids, and nature pics. I really would have loved to have gotten a shot of the moon the other night with the eclipse.....dang it! I would like to learn how to get off of those programed settings and explore the manual options. I'm actually signed up for a basic photography class next month. I really enjoy taking pics, so that's why I'm considering going with a dslr.....maybe it's something that can grow with me as I get more knowledge and experience?

Unfortunately, money will be an object. That actually made my ears perk up when I saw that the E-500 came with 2 lenses. If they aren't the best quality, are they still better lenses than what's on the S9100?

Thanks and I look forward to your replies.

-Scott




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Old Sep 10, 2007, 1:07 PM   #2
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The lens on the S9100 has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 28-300mm, and an aperture of f/2.8-4.9. The two lenses that come with the EVolt E-500 are the 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 and the 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6, which have 35mm equivalent focal lengths of 28-90mm and 80-300mm respectively. So your field of view is the same either way. What is different is the low-light capability. At the wide end, the S9100 lens is 2/3 f-stop brighter, and at the long end, about 1/2 stop brighter. That means you'd be able to use a faster shutter speed with the S9100 than the E-500.

The dSLRs you've mentioned are all fine cameras, but with interchangeable lens dSLRs, the body is only half the camera. And good lenses, that is, lenses that will give you apertures equivalent to that of the S9100, are going to cost as much as the S9100 alone. You didn't mention a budget, but the dSLRs you mentioned are at the lower end of the price range, so I thought I'd bring that up.

The S9100 will give you capabilities that will cost a lot more on a dSLR, but a dSLR will give you capabilities that you can't get on the S9100. And you haven't mentioned wanting to do anything that the S9100 can't do, so I'd suggest that you stick with the S9100.
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Old Sep 10, 2007, 1:59 PM   #3
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Thanks, TCav-

You put into your post exactly what I was thinking. There is not much in Scott's OP that points to a need for a DSLR camera. So, Scott is the need for the DSLR camera part of something that lies in the future and that is not included in your first post?

I think that it is commendable that you will be taking a formal classroom course in photography in the near future. Perhaps, it might be wise to wait until you finish the course to have a better view on what your direction you might wish to take at that time. Often times, I see students in my classes, alter their camera aspirations as they move through the course and learn more about photography.

If you have a camera to use for the course work, I would wait until you finish the course before making any camera decisions. If we have misinterepted your post, please let us know more details.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 10, 2007, 2:13 PM   #4
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Thanks to both of you for your response.

No, there really isn't a "need" for the dslr camera....only an interest...and with prices between the two classes getting closer and closer, I wanted to leave my options open. The 9100 does have manual settings, so I could still use that camera to learn beyond the programed modes I suppose.

The point TCav made about the lens is well taken. I didn't realize that the lens on the 9100 is actually abrighter lens. I can just see my budget getting blown away by wanting a better lens if I got one of the entry level dSLR's. I really do (or did) use the zoom alot on my 9000. I'm kinda spoiled with that zoom now.

Sarah, I think you're right as well. I will take the class and just see if what I learn has an impact on my wants/expectations for my photography interest in the future.

I guess I was just thinking that if the dSLR cameras were so much better than point and shoot cameras, I should just go ahead and get one. I will weigh the decision some more.

Thanks!

-Scott
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Old Sep 10, 2007, 2:35 PM   #5
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mtclimber wrote:
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I think that it is commendable that you will be taking a formal classroom course in photography in the near future. Perhaps, it might be wise to wait until you finish the course to have a better view on what your direction you might wish to take at that time. Often times, I see students in my classes, alter their camera aspirations as they move through the course and learn more about photography.
Excellent advice. I've seen people recommend books, on-line tutorials, even podcasts for someone to learn photography. There is nothing like instructor-led instruction.
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Old Sep 10, 2007, 3:28 PM   #6
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Scott-

The bottom line is this: DSLR cameras have a much larger CMOS imager which yields less noise in a low light level shooting environment. Therefore, if the bulk of your shooting is in a high ISO/low light shooting environment, the DSLR camera does offer a measurable advantage. The interchangable lens, though expensive, also offer more capability. However, both of these two capabilities come at a rather high cost in terms of $$ expense. The consumer level DSLR bodies, or the body + a kit lens comes a a reasonable cost. The real steep costs come in the lenses needed.

A skilled photographer can turn out excellent photos with a point and shoot camera in most shooting environments except perhaps where very high ISO settings and very low light levels are the norm. So, the gap between the output of point and shoot cameras and DSLR cameras is not as large as some might expect it to be. In support of my point I will attach a photo from a $(US) 150.00 camera.

Sarah Joyce


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Old Sep 10, 2007, 3:39 PM   #7
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mtclimber wrote:
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...In support of my point I will attach a photo from a $(US) 150.00 camera.
Oh! ...a photo FROM a $150 camera! I initially thought it was a photo OF a $150 camera! I was going to ask where you bought it. [suB][/suB]
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Old Sep 10, 2007, 6:16 PM   #8
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I knew you would love the implied humor., TCav.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 10, 2007, 9:09 PM   #9
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Of the DSLRs mentioned, the E500 would be the most handicapped in low light applications without flash. The remainder perform pretty much on par with each other. I have the E500 and love it. I don't do much interior photography, however.




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Old Sep 10, 2007, 9:29 PM   #10
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fldspringer wrote:
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Of the DSLRs mentioned, the E500 would be the most handicapped in low light applications without flash. The remainder perform pretty much on par with each other. I have the E500 and love it. I don't do much interior photography, however.
Actually, the kit lenses for all the dSLRs the OP mentioned have maximum apertures of f/3.5, which is the same for the 14-45 for the E-500. Is there another reason why the E-500 would be handicapped in low light?
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