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Old Apr 22, 2008, 5:42 PM   #21
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georgus-

I actually leave on 26 April and will return on 29 July 2008.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 8:56 AM   #22
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Interesting discussion here and I would add a few thoughts. If someone is looking to grow creatively outside of landscape photography or other areas where narrow apertures are helpful for a lot of depth of field then going the P&S route might not be for them.

When I started getting more serious in my digital photography the super zooms were just starting to get more available however if I had gone this route I would soon have needed to sell up and go dSLR as I started shooting sports and there is no P&S out that which will do a good job. Another area that the P&S will struggle is with low light conditions where ISO control of a P&S is generally very weak.

So yes a P&S is a one of cost, but someone looking to grow in their craft will most likely be limited. If someone just wants family snap shots, landscapes, macros (a lot of P&S cameras can do very well here) then a P&S is a good option outside of thatI would look at what going the dSLR route offers.
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 9:55 AM   #23
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I think the question or either/or is a bit of a red herring to be honest.

I don't know ANYONE who has a DSLR who doesn't ALSO have a P&S. The little cameras are just too handy and too good at what they do.

If you need what a SLR can do then a P&S ain't enough, but that doesn't mean you don't need a P&S too. It does probably mean though that you don't need one of those "superzoom" jobs.
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 9:58 AM   #24
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peripatetic wrote:
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I don't know ANYONE who has a DSLR who doesn't ALSO have a P&S. The little cameras are just too handy and too good at what they do.
Now you do

I manage to survive with my 3 DSLR's lol, however I do sometimes think that adding a Superzoom might be handy in certain situations.
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 11:27 AM   #25
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Mark and Peripathetic-

When I started this thread, almost a month ago, my thought was to get folks to give a bit more thoughtto whether a digicam or aDSLR camera was the best tool for their job and really met their needs I did not intend that that thisthreadwas to present an "either or situation."

As peripathetic has noted there are many of us thatuse a digicam as well as DSLR cameras. There seems to be a place for each type of camera.

Have a great day!

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 12:45 PM   #26
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I'm aware of that and just wanted to make it clear when the P&S side does a good job and where it can't and also to show what can happen when people get bitten by the photography bug. Also it was mentioned about the steep learning curve with a DSLR however with the scene modes (the same as most people will use on a P&S) then this is less of an issue. There are other important things to look at though, mainly the amount of kit you can end up carrying with a DSLR setup... for example when I do a wedding I take 2 camera bags comprising of 3 cameras, 6 lenses (to cover any possible malfunctions), 2 flash units etc etc, so not everything is positive in the DSLR camp.

Another thing not mentioned is learning the craft, how to compose a good shot.... this doesn't change with any camera and if you can't get a good composition with a P&S then a DSLR will certainly not help.
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 1:30 PM   #27
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Sarah & I have been discussing this in PMs for awhile so I thought it time to jump into her topic with the ruminations of an S-5 user. Here's my original post to Sarah:

I've been an S series user since January, '06 (S2 and S5) and these were my first cameras. I've learned a tremendous amount and actually gotten some good images every so often.

For the last two months I've been gearing up for a DSLR. Researched and discarded the D40, D40x, A200, 40D (too big for my hands) and came down to the E-510, 400D and 450D. Was pretty much set on the 450D but this weekend I borrowed a 400D (18-55 kit lens) to play with a bit and now

hold everything

I shot about 150 frames with the XTi,-- inside, outside, high noon, early evening and with my 430EX; I used 100/200/400/800 and 1600 ISO in M, P and Av modes. The frames were nice enough but I think I could have gotten all but 2 (for DOF reasons) with my S5 at at least 80% of the IQ.

Lastly, I also lost a series of images of some deer drinking across the river from me because the 18-55 didn't have the reach and they were gone too fast for me to switch to a 55-250 or 70-300, even if I had one with me. I realized I could have zoomed out with the S5 immediately and at least had a shot at the images, sooooo

now I'm not so sure that the $800 - $1200 investment in a DSLR (and a 55-250 IS lens) can be justified in my hands. This is not to equate the S5 with a DSLR for all people, merely to question whether I can really expect to improve the images I get by moving up right now. There's no question that my S5 has not been up to some of my recent wildlife attempts in terms of IQ but I'm not convinced I'll do any better with the 400D/450D setup.

I'm not really looking for advice so much as comment and, possibly, to remind people that there is a lot to be said for the S series in terms of IQ, manual controls and a 400mm f3.5 lens that you don't have to carry seperately.

I'll probably still buy a DSLR this year but the fever to do so has truly broken, at least for now.




Note: Since this post I've also been looking at the a300 but I'm still not making any move for the next month or so, if then.
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 1:44 PM   #28
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Mark-

I started this thread almost a month ago. And I happen to disagree with your assertion that scene modes on the consumer level DSLR camera ease new folksinto the DSLR world. That is only half true. As somebody who teaches digital cameras, both digicam and DSLR models, yes, I have seen newbie folks able to ease more comfortably into a consumer level DSLR. However, two things are lacking.In a lot of cases, most new users don't take the time to learn just exactly whatadjustments that the scene modesare makingfor them. As a result they do not learn their photo craft, instead they depend ever more blindly and more often on the auto mode and the scene modes to take their photos.

I realize it is all the increasing dependence on automation in our society. Hovever, I sort of view that pattern as making a DSLR camera become a point and shoot camera. My goal as a professional instructor, is to provide some kind of incentive for those new users to do a better job of understanding and learning the craft of photography.If they do not expand their knowledge, and that is their own particular choice, their DSLR camera essentially becomes asophisticated point and shoot DSLR camera. I guess we just have to accept that as a new DSLR application.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 3:21 PM   #29
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mtclimber wrote:
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Mark-

inmost new users don't take the time to learn just exactly whatadjustments that the scene modesare makingfor them. As a result they do not learn their photo craft, instead they depend ever more blindly and more often on the auto mode and the scene modes to take their photos.
Sarah, this is undoubtedly true. However, the point Mark was making is that the DSLR as a tool does not have a steeper learning curve than a digicam. The tool has the same prefab modes so it isn't really more difficult to learn.

The learning curve is photography. That curve exists whether using a digicam or a DSLR.

Or to put it another way - if you use the landscape prefab mode on your current camera you'll likely find one on any entry level DSLR. Same with a number of other prefab modes.

While I absolutely agree with the notion many people don't need a DSLR - I think "learning curve" really isn't relevant to the choice. With 2 exceptions, the learning curve is no more severe on a basic DSLR than a point and shoot. You either learn to understand exposure, lighting and composition or you dont.

The two exceptions are focusing and DOF. A dslr user needs to be concerned with the focus points. And with shallower DOF, focus mistakes are more noticable. But that's not much of a learning curve.

Now - as a user explores different types of photography there is a new learning curve. For example: external flash. Whether you mount a 430ex on a canon 400d or a S5IS, the learning curve to master external flash use is pretty much the same.

So, IMO, a photographer should consider many things when deciding if they need a DSLR, but learning curve isn't one.

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Old Apr 23, 2008, 4:08 PM   #30
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JohnG and Mark-

A point well made! The learning curve is the very same, be it a digicam or a consumer level DSLR camera. I apologize that I did not directly address the actual learn curve. Instead I zoomed ahead to the results of the learning curve, and how it seems that the learning curve produces a variety of results.

This is the age of doing everything as quickly as possible, hence automation had come into play and to effect the learning curve.

Again, gentlemen, I hope that you will accept my apologies for jumping ahead a bit.

Sarah Joyce
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