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Old Jan 11, 2009, 8:54 PM   #1
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Hey

I'm looking to start photography as a proper hobby, maybe even doing a course in it etc.

Anyway i'm looking to get a camera for this puprose but am unsure of what to get. Of course a digital SLR is what i would need if i was to take it properly and do a course etc and recenrlty i have been offered a good pentax one at a decend price.

However looking around some of the suer zoom cameras seem pretty amazing. u can get 12 optical zooms with 10 mega pixel and face detection technology for much cheaper then the cheapest digital SLR camerasl which generally are around 6 megapixels with a 18-55 mm lens that is about 3 optical.

So basically what are the advantages i should know about for slr, is this what i should go for if i want to take it seriously? was reading about the superzooms and a lot of them say u have all the manual controls of an slr camera these days? I've done a lot of reading about them but would be good if someoe could help me out here and point a few things out. Just at the moment i'm not seeing the advantage of SLR now you can get these superzoom cameras....
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Old Jan 11, 2009, 9:43 PM   #2
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There are several advantages dSLRs ahve over even the best P&S Digicam.

To start with, there are any number of lenses that are designed to customize a dLSR for exactly what you want to photograph exactly the way you want to photograph it. A classic example is available light photography. The lenses on P&S Digicams usually have maximum apertures of f/3.5 (maybe f/2.8, if you're lucky.) With dSLRs, there are an abundance of lenses that go as wide as f/2.8, and many that go even wider, even as wide as f/1.2! The larger (numerically smaller) the aperture, the more light the lens lets in, so the faster the shutter speed can be so you can avoid motion blur due to subject movement. Some people (myself included) prefer available light photography, but there are times when available light photography is foisted upon you. Indoor sporting events and stage performances, for instance, prohibit flash, which means that you need a lens fast enough (with a large enough aperture) to give a proper exposure with a reasonably fast shutter speed. That just is not possible with even the bestP&S digicam.

In addition, dSLRs use larger image sensors, which keeps the pixel density down, and therefore, the image noise. This allows dSLRs to use higher ISO settings than P&S Digicams, and with lower levels of visible noise. This allows the use of faster shutter speeds for sports/action/wildlife photography.

Another advantageis the selection of accessories available for dSLRs, to make it easier to do what you want. For instance, dSLRs can use right angle viewfinders to accomopdate unusual camera positions. Certainly, some P&S digicams have tiltable 'Live View' displays, but all dSLRs can use right angle viewfinders to compose and focus.

To be sure, all this comes at a price, in terms of cost, complexity, size and weight. If you want to take snapshots, get a P&S Digicam, but if you want to take photographs, a dSLR is the tool of choice.
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Old Jan 12, 2009, 8:24 AM   #3
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So I will get a better pic with a digital SLR. How much are the lenses tho if i want to buy a new onefor different zooms?
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Old Jan 12, 2009, 9:00 AM   #4
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I think it may be too much money to commit to buy a dSLR, at least to me, if one is a newbie and not very clear about the various terminologies of photography, let alone what such terms mean and what are their impact to image quality.

Furthermore, when buying a dSLR for the first time, one is committed to a particular dSLR system, be it Pentax, Canon, Nikon or Sony. This is because SLR lens are expensive but they last for years, while a camera body may change after a couple of years as technology improves and one's requirement and skill progresses. As a newbie with minimal knowledge, it will be quite a challenging decision to choose a dSLR system i.e which brand to adopt for a decade if not for life.

To me, I feel more comfortable as a newbie to start off with a superzoom, to try out the various manual settings of a camera. I can drop out if photography is too difficult to my liking. I can also stay put at the superzoom level and feel happy. Naturally, I may progress to dSLR as time passes.

In short, I have adopted the approach of testing the water while I am learning the trick of the new trade, without too much upfront cash layout. Later, when I am real serious about it, my skill will hopefully improve and I will be more capable of making an informed choice of selecting a particular dSLR system.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old Jan 12, 2009, 10:09 AM   #5
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hearing_aid wrote:
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So I will get a better pic with a digital SLR. How much are the lenses tho if i want to buy a new onefor different zooms?
If you leave the DSLR on auto and take pictures in good light, out of doors, you won't see much of a difference. The superzoom would probably be more useful due to its wide lens range.

However, if you learn how to use the DSLR's manual controls and take pictures under challenging lighting conditions (high contrast, low light), you should get a better picture with the DSLR.

Additional lenses for a DSLR can range from less than $100 to thousands. It depends on what kind of a lens you want and the quality of the lens.
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Old Jan 12, 2009, 10:14 AM   #6
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hearing_aid wrote:
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So I will get a better pic with a digital SLR.
No. I didn't say that. What I said was that you'll have the tools to get a better picture with a dSLR. How you take advantage of them is up to you.

hearing_aid wrote:
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How much are the lenses tho if i want to buy a new onefor different zooms?
It depends on what you want to shoot. You haven't gone into any detail on what type(s) of photography you want to persue. The lenses you'd use will vary with what you wnat to take pphotos of. And even if you spend $5,000 on a dSLR, if you only use $50 lenses, you're not going to get good results.
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Old Jan 12, 2009, 10:16 AM   #7
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dancheng wrote:
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I think it may be too much money to commit to buy a dSLR, at least to me, if one is a newbie and not very clear about the various terminologies of photography, let alone what such terms mean and what are their impact to image quality.

Furthermore, when buying a dSLR for the first time, one is committed to a particular dSLR system, be it Pentax, Canon, Nikon or Sony. This is because SLR lens are expensive but they last for years, while a camera body may change after a couple of years as technology improves and one's requirement and skill progresses. As a newbie with minimal knowledge, it will be quite a challenging decision to choose a dSLR system i.e which brand to adopt for a decade if not for life.

To me, I feel more comfortable as a newbie to start off with a superzoom, to try out the various manual settings of a camera. I can drop out if photography is too difficult to my liking. I can also stay put at the superzoom level and feel happy. Naturally, I may progress to dSLR as time passes.

In short, I have adopted the approach of testing the water while I am learning the trick of the new trade, without too much upfront cash layout. Later, when I am real serious about it, my skill will hopefully improve and I will be more capable of making an informed choice of selecting a particular dSLR system.

Just my 2 cents.
And a good 2 cents it is.
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Old Jan 12, 2009, 7:42 PM   #8
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Get an SLR. They are more expensive than a superzoom point and shoot sure, but they are awhole lot more versatile, and they can operate as point and shoots as well if you don't wan't to take a break from manual controls. A Canon xsi is about the same as a fuji finepix s6000fd, its really all about the lenses. The person who commented that bodies will change but glass technology will endure is right, a "superzoom" is attached to the lens, so you're investing in something that will wholly be obsolete whereas if you invest in a DSLR system you can buy good glass that will last you your whole life. I personally shoot with an old rebel eos which now is worth like $200, but my lenses are worth thousands, and they hold their value. And they take amazing photos. I would look at these reviews they're good.
http://www.bestinclass.com/digital-c...tions/3d137e47


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Old Jan 12, 2009, 8:39 PM   #9
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A good photo depends upon the camera and the skill of the photographer.

It is true that dSLR has auto mode and can be operated similar to a super zoom. But in general, auto mode in a dSLR is not so foolproof as that of a super zoom. In other words, the Point and Shoot results of a dSLR is not as good as a superzoom. This may be quite discouraging to a newbie user who has just bought a new dSLR.

Come to think about it. Why should the manufacturer take pains to fine tune the auto mode of a dSLR? He knows that majority of the users of a dSLR do not care much about auto mode.

Conversely, the manufacturer of a superzoom will see it a bread-and-butter issue to ensure auto-mode is as foolproof as possible so that every point and shoot picture is a success to the user who is not as technically capable as a dSLR user.

In short, manufacturers are focusing on the needs of buyers in a particular market segment.

My another 2 cents.
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Old Jan 12, 2009, 9:15 PM   #10
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dancheng wrote:
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It is true that dSLR has auto mode and can be operated similar to a super zoom. But in general, auto mode in a dSLR is not so foolproof as that of a super zoom. In other words, the Point and Shoot results of a dSLR is not as good as a superzoom. This may be quite discouraging to a newbie user who has just bought a new dSLR.
There is some truth to this. But it has nothing to do with manufacturer's not fine tuning auto mode on a dslr. There are 2 things about a DSLR that give digicam users trouble - one is easy to fix the other a little more difficult but not very:

1. DSLRs set default in-camera processing to much lower levels than digicams. For starters less sharpening is applied. The reasoning is simple - you can easily add sharpness to an image but you cannot take it away. All dslrs allow the user to adjust the in-camera processing so for users who don't like to edit they can always increase the in camera processing.

2. depth-of-field (DOF). Because of the smaller lens sensor size and smaller physical lens focal length of digicams there is much greater depth of field in an image as compared to a DSLR. So, when using a dslr when the focus is off the correct subject it is much more noticable than in a digicam. Even when the focus is correctly on the subject, some people with a background in digicams are used to and prefer most subjects in the frame appearing to be in focus. When the depth of field in a DSLR is shallower they do not like the results. The first part of this simply requires the user to pay a bit more attention to their focusing technique - i.e. getting focus point(s) on the subject and looking for the visual que in the viewfinder that focus lock has occured (not just a sound but seeing what focus point(s) are being used and what those points are over). For some people that's an easy thing to do. For others it's more difficult.

In the end, a DSLR isn't much more difficult to use. But it is not a magic point-and-shoot. The people who end up being most disappointed with DSLRs are the ones expecting it to be that magic point and shoot. It really isn't. For those that wish to use it as such they will not get any better results than they would with a superzoom. But, by the same token I've handed my gear over to family members to take some snaps with and with very little instruction they're quite capable of taking a photo and getting the focus correct. But what makes it a bad choice for them to use longer term is the size / weight not the difficulty.

One last comment. I said above "All dslrs allow the user to adjust the in-camera processing so for users who don't like to edit they can always increase the in camera processing." I would suggest that much of photography is about darkroom technique - whether chemical or digital. For people that don't want to post process I would question how much they really care about getting good results. If they're not interested in learning photographic principles and processing techniques then they're very unlikely to use the benefits a DSLR system provides. In which case they're likely better off saving their pennies and buying a digicam - less expensive, smaller and more easily managed.
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