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Old Jul 20, 2008, 2:58 PM   #1
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Hello all,

I am a happy user of a Canon S3 IS camera.

The pictures I take are watched on my HD projector on a 100" screen ( for this I do not need more than 2 mpixels) or they are printed (sometimes)in 4x6 size (not larger).

I am quite happy with the picture quality - but of course would not mind something better. (I had a Coolpix 950 before and find the S3 pictures much better - mainlydue to more saturated colors.)

So: if I were to get a DSLR ( I like the Sony A300 ), will I get better picture quality (considering that I do not need more than 6 mpixels - so the higher resolution is of no benefit to me)?

What will be better?

Thank you for your advice.

Greetings from Canada,

Miklos
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Old Jul 20, 2008, 3:14 PM   #2
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First, you get to spend a lot more money!

Second, you get to spend a lot more time learning how to use it!

Third, you get to carry a bigger, heavier camera and lenses around with you wherever you go!

Can we sign you up? [suB]:-)[/suB]
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Old Jul 20, 2008, 3:16 PM   #3
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Seriously, there are some real benefits to going with a dSLR, but you don't seem to be missing what a dSLR would give you.
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Old Jul 20, 2008, 3:19 PM   #4
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The Canon S3 IS is a very nice camera. The Sony A3oo is alot better. You can make alot more adjustments and change settings such as the white balance before you transfer the photos to your PC. You can also play with the depth of field with the A300. The main difference is the IQ. Much nicer with the A300. You can shoot in 16:9 format.The A300 has 3 FPS. Also alot of different lens to choose from. I have had the Canon S2 IS since 2005. It's definitely a step up to DSLR.
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Old Jul 20, 2008, 4:47 PM   #5
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JeffP wrote:
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The Canon S3 IS is a very nice camera. The Sony A3oo is alot better. You can make alot more adjustments and change settings such as the white balance before you transfer the photos to your PC. You can also play with the depth of field with the A300. The main difference is the IQ. Much nicer with the A300. You can shoot in 16:9 format.The A300 has 3 FPS. Also alot of different lens to choose from. I have had the Canon S2 IS since 2005. It's definitely a step up to DSLR.

Thank you, JeffP.

Overall, I use custom settings on my S3 - aperture set to 8.0, camera selects (automatically) the best shutter speed, ISO 100... and I do not really change it (unless I need to decrease the aperture and increase the ISO if there is not enough light). I find the pictures I get (at least most of them) pleasing. At the same time, I enjoy experimenting with settings - if they really make a difference.

I take mostly nature, landscape, architecture pictures, and since recently some I also take pictures of our baby.

As far as lenses are used, I think I would be happy with the factory supplied one (so the ability to have several is not very important for me). Iused for many years a Canon EOS 650,and was very happy with its default lens.

16:9 - sounds interesting, as my projector is 16:9.

I never adjust pictures in my PC: I take way too many (and have way to little time) for that. All I do is I delete the ones I do not like.

White balance: yes, the S3 is sometimes a bit off (even one picture to the next - but this does not bother me too much). I always use auto white balance.

But is there any other gain in IQ? What is it?

( I have sort of made up my mind already, that I "need" an A300, but would like to justify it for myself).

Thanks again for your advice.

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Old Jul 20, 2008, 5:54 PM   #6
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If you take the same photo with a dSLR and your S3 IS, there probably won't be much difference in the image quality, and if there were, you wouldn't notice in on your HD projector or on a 4x6 print.

The primary difference between the two types of cameras is the kinds of photos you can take with a dSLR that you have probably already learned not to bother trying to take with your S3 IS.

DSLRs have larger image sensors that can be used at higher ISO settings without noticeable noise. DSLRs have lenses with larger apertures, so you can take photos in less well lit places like middle school gymnasiums, and play with the depth of field for artistic effects.

DSLRs are 'No Compromise' cameras, and perhaps you will learn to take advantage of their extended capabilities. But if you do, no doubt you will want to present them on something more than a 4x6 print or a 2MP HD projector.
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Old Jul 20, 2008, 7:27 PM   #7
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If you are happy with what you have, why change it? If you were unhappy with the image quality because you couldn't get a fast enough shutter speed with the Canon, then I can see getting a dSLR. A dSLR can be more capable and provide better image quality in some situations, but there are downsides. And there's no guarantee you would see the better quality - you can end up with poorer pictures (a p&s cameras have a bigger depth of field when all other things, such as shutter speed, aperture, and fieldof view,are equal).
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Old Jul 20, 2008, 9:22 PM   #8
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Is there anything in your photography that you want to do but can't accomplish with your S3?
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Old Jul 21, 2008, 8:44 AM   #9
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dr_spock wrote:
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Is there anything in your photography that you want to do but can't accomplish with your S3?
Well, sometimes I would not mind

- the ability to take (better) handheld pictures when light is limited ( ISO 800 is VERY graining on the S3)

- better dynamic range ( to take pictures where there is a great contrast difference or backlit pictures)

- stronger built in flash.

However, mtngal's reply made me think. Is that really possible that if all settings are the same my S3 would result in better pictures than an A300 (in a well lit scene)?
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Old Jul 21, 2008, 9:11 AM   #10
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Miklos wrote:
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dr_spock wrote:
Quote:
Is there anything in your photography that you want to do but can't accomplish with your S3?
Well, sometimes I would not mind

- the ability to take (better) handheld pictures when light is limited ( ISO 800 is VERY graining on the S3)

- better dynamic range ( to take pictures where there is a great contrast difference or backlit pictures)

- stronger built in flash.
A dSLR will certainly do all that, and under any set of circumstances, any dSLR will have the potential for better image quality than your S3.
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