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Old May 21, 2009, 11:14 AM   #31
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IHowever, saying that you can guarantee 100% that you will get better results with a DSLR than with ANY P&S is simply not true.
Tullio,

here is my exact quote:
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But, if I were to go out and buy a t1i with my current flashes and lenses I can say with 100% certainty I can produce better results in any situation than I could with any digicam
So, I didn't claim ANY DSLR. And I didn't claim anything about kit lenses. A very specific entry level DSLR and quality lenses I already own. And I stand by that claim. Now, I'm not the best photographer in the world so could a better photographer get better results with a p&s than I could with a dslr? Sure they could. That's why my statement was keeping the photographer (me) the same.

An important note though - many digicam users that move into a DSLR initially report WORSE results. That is often due to not understanding how the different tool operates.

The key in my claim was the superior glass and being able to select the appropriate lens for a given job will ALWAYS mean a system will outperform a single-box solution. At a cost. Never discount there is a cost associated (money, size, convenience, etc....).

Are there bad DSLRs out there - yes. Each has their pros/cons. Is it possible to find weaknesses in one dslr/lens combo that a digicam does better than in that weak area? Sure it is. No doubt about it.
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Old May 21, 2009, 12:05 PM   #32
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One final note as it relates to the cost of building a lens collection. All other downsides / costs asside, money is a significant factor in DSLRs. But, the quality photos I was able to produce along the way made me enough money to pay for every piece of equipment. It's still just a hobby and I only do occasional work now - but this expensive hobby is 100% self funded - with extra money left over for other things. For a 3 hour commitment the other day I pocket $100 - and that was with a discount. So, that's how I mitigate the money cost of a DSLR system. No mitigation for the pain in the butt though of big/heavy gear. If I were using a digicam, do you think I'd have been able to make that $100 (shooting HS softball)? I might book an $1100 event for later this year for 12 total hours of my time (travel, PP and on-site). I could shoot that event with my current lenses/flash and an XSI / t1i instead of my 1d if I had to. These particular entry level DSLRs are good enough for that level of pro work - with the right lenses and flash. I don't see how I could produce the shots I'd need to with any digicam.

Disclaimer: At no point am I claiming a DSLR is the right choice for the OP or anyone else. My sole point is to dispell the blanket notion that the gap between DSLR performance and digicam performance is small. It's not. Not when you use a DSLR as a SYSTEM and stop thinking of it as an expensive digicam with only the kit lens. And not when you pick the right SYSTEM for your needs. And you build your lens and flash collection wisely. But there are still a vast majority of people that don't want to invest the time to learn, the money or want to incur the cost of a DSLR system - for them it's a bad investment. And majority of DSLR shooters still have digicams for when convenience trumps quality.
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Old May 21, 2009, 12:55 PM   #33
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Tullio,

here is my exact quote:


So, I didn't claim ANY DSLR. And I didn't claim anything about kit lenses. A very specific entry level DSLR and quality lenses I already own. And I stand by that claim. Now, I'm not the best photographer in the world so could a better photographer get better results with a p&s than I could with a dslr? Sure they could. That's why my statement was keeping the photographer (me) the same.
My bad, John. Yes, you were very specific about a particular P&S, which indeed makes a big difference in terms of claims. It's also true that you did not mention kit lenses as being capable of producing better images than P&S. So, I take some of my comments back.
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Old May 22, 2009, 11:12 AM   #34
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You also have to take image processing differences into consideration when comparing cameras (especially if comparing a point and shoot model to a dSLR). Most dSLR models use a more conservative approach to image processing.

For example, look at the bottom of this page in the review you mentioned comparing the LX3 with a Canon dSLR, and you'll see much softer default output from the LX3's raw files using the included raw converter (very little sharpening as compared to the LX3's jpeg images).

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Pa..._results.shtml

So, with a dSLR, you may need to change some of it's default settings if you want it's jpeg output to look more like a point and shoot model and don't want to spend more time post processing later (as I realize you already do now with your A200).
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Old May 22, 2009, 12:08 PM   #35
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Even though the LX3 RAW file is much softer than the JPEG, I think it's superior to the Canon files (the Canon images were taken at f8.0, which theoretically should produce the sharpest images possible (just about any DSLR lens will perform its best at f8.0). The Canon images lack details big time, even when compared to the LX3 RAW. Now granted, the LX3 is not a cheap P&S and the lens has a very limited FL but I've seen some pretty good images taken with it, better than many DSLRs out there.
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Old May 22, 2009, 12:24 PM   #36
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Tullio - the fault with your premise is you continue to think of a DSLR as a point-and-shoot which cannot have it's lens changed. I will preface my statements by stating I know nothing about the LX3 and it's capabilities. So I won't speak to whether it is better or worse than the Canon XSI with kit lens.

With that statement out there I would NEVER, EVER, EVER base an image quality decision on a single photo. And if you look at my advice in the past - I'm consistent on this - you want galleries of shots to compare. In one of the shots posted in the review there the shot from the DSLR isn't in focus or there was camera shake. It's just vastly worse than the other shots from the same camera in the test.

Second - and we keep coming back to this: if a person only wants to use kit lenses then a DSLR probably isn't for them. Kit lenses are budget lenses - some better than others but in the end - budget lenses. The whole POINT of a DSLR is to interchange the lenses / flashes / etc to use the right tool for the job. When you're talking about advanced photographers though - each person uses a different tool. So it's impossible for a manufacturer to produce a high-grade 'kit lens' and charge for it because so many of the users will have different requirements.

Bottom line - the LX3 may be an outstanding camera - but the linked test doesn't prove it's a better photographic solution than the DSLR it's compared to. Single type of shot, only using kit lens, etc...

If you continue to think of a dslr like an expensive digicam you'll never find one you like and quite possibly DSLRs just aren't for you.
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Old May 22, 2009, 12:57 PM   #37
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I never said DSLRs are expensive digicams. What I've been saying is that more and more manufacturers are turning low-end DSLRs into P&S delux. Sony is a great example of this practice. Their new entry-level models have been stripped down of simple features such as AEL, their bodies are getting smaller and smaller AND they don't sell body only, you must buy the kit. The other thing I don't do is to go solely by reviews. I've stated in many posts before that reviews should always be taken with a grain of salt. I think the same applies to images we see on the internet. I believe that any camera (DSLR or P&S) is capable of taking good pictures. The question is, how many pictures one has to take before that one good image can be chosen? The ratio between good/bad is what determines the quality of the camera (for the sake of this discussion, let's not take the technical qualities of the individual behind the camera into consideration). The thing is, when we see images being posted on the internet, we don't really know it that awesome picture was one out of 10, 100 or 1000 and that makes a big difference. It's like buying a CD based on 1 song you heard on the radio. You don't know whether the other 9 songs on the album are good or just a bunch of garbbage. With that said, I agree with you that the LX3/XSi comparisson is not necessarily accurate. But it is a fact that the little P&S holds its own against most other P&S and even some DSLRs (at least with the kit lens). I also believe that there is room for both types of cameras. Last year I went to San Diego on vacation and took with me my A300 (sold it after that trip in favor of the Oly E520 and now I have to the A200) and an old Sony V3. The V3 went to the beach while the A300 went downtown. Last thing I wanted was to get sand inside the A300.
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Old May 22, 2009, 1:10 PM   #38
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I also believe that there is room for both types of cameras.
We are in 100% agreement there. Absolutely room for both - there are so many digicam, superzoom and DSLR options on the market because there is a market for all of them.
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Old May 24, 2009, 11:40 AM   #39
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I have been reading this thread and have learned a lot. I also did some research and came up with a list of the models, I would like some additional guidance. I like the Sony A200 as I cannot see upping the price for the A300 for live view. The main thing that keeps Sony in my list is the stabilization in the body of the camera. I also like Pentax K20 and the other model in my serious consideration is the Canon XSI. I have found that they all have pakage deals with kit lenses. However by reading things here on the forums the kit packages are not what they lead the consumer to be as in money saving and often can build a better package with money left over. If the wife could be persuaded to, I would really like the Canon 50D however, I will say to be safe I will stick with the models above. I have seen the Canon XSI with two kit lenes for about $900 dollars thats before sales tax. The Sony A200 with kit lenses I have seen for about $700 and the Pentax for about $990 with one kit lens.

Can anyone build me a better package with one of the cameras listed above? My budget is $1100 dollars. I would like one lens to be 300mm-400mm range if possible. I appreciate any suggestions as well as input from everyone here on the forums. I would like a package that gives me a good camera and quality lenses. I then can build from there.

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Old May 24, 2009, 12:05 PM   #40
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For starters, the new Sony A230 seems to come bundled up with superior kit lenses than the A200. However, since it hasn't been relesase yet, no one has compared them with other brands/models kit lenses to make that determination. There are plenty of choices out there that meet your $1100 budget: the Oly E620 two-lens kit ($800) Zuiko lenses are supposed to be some of the best kit lenses available. I used to have the previous model E520 and found the kit lenses to be OK. Much better than the A200, that's for sure. Th E620 comes packed with features and you should not disconsire it. Then there is the Canon you mentioned, the brand new Nikon D5000 with two-lens kit for just about $1100 (at Amazon). This model is getting good press. The Pentax K20D is also a good camera but I haven't seen a two-lens kit. The thing is, the A200 is an entry level model while the E620 and K20D are not. I believe the D5000 and XSi are also entry levels. Just make sure you compare apples-to-apples.
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