Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Feb 14, 2010, 2:19 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: TN
Posts: 4
Default Why move up to DSLR... my reason/questions

I have used a Canon Pro 1 for quite a time and I've found it marginally satisfactory for my wants, so I am thinking about swapping up to a Canon EOS T1i. The main reason for wanting to do this and the reason for the "marginally" description has everything to do with manual focus.

The Pro 1 LCD viewfinder makes it nearly impossible to manually focus properly, which I find disturbing after using my old FTb film cam for many years.

The question part is... are all the non-SLR digicams done badly in this respect, or am I thinking of jumping to an SLR for a normal-ish ground-glass focusing system based on not enough information on the state of LCD viewfinder screens on newer cameras?
gmcc is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Feb 14, 2010, 2:36 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

gmcc-

Welcome to the Forum. We're glad you dropped by.

Probably 85 to 90% of DSLR users today use the optical viewfinder, rather that what in the DSLR parlance is called "Live View." Using the LiveView technique the proposed photo is framed and composed using the DSLR camera's LCD screen.

To accomplish LiveView, camera manufacturers have had to modify the normal light pathway of the DSLR camera to activate LiveView. Thus, you will find that DSLR cameras well equipped to use LiveView tend to be more expensive.

The automatic focusing systems in use today, and especially on the Canon T-1, are very reliable and dependable. That is why the majority of DSLR users use the optical viewfinder combined with the camera's auto focus system.

I still have my Canon Pro-1, and it is operable, but I must say that it does not get much use. I shoot with a Canon XSi. There has been a huge technology leap since the Pro-1 was produced. Even in point and shoot cameras, users may frame their photos using the LCD screen, but the focusing is handled 100% by the auto focus system.

Camera choices are quite wide in today's camera market. Point and shoot cameras of limited zoom and even super zoom have improved a great deal over the years. Although a DSLR camera kit due to physical camera size and multiple lenses, is naturally bigger in size and weight. Most photo enthusiasts move to a DSLR cameras for the interchangeability of lenses, that allow them to deal with a wide variety of photo situations, and to measurably improve their image quality in low light level shooting situations.

Set a budget, read the reviews to become familiar with each camera's feature set, and then head for a retailer and physically handle all of the cameras in your "finalist" category. How any camera feels in hand and how well your hand spans the camera controls is very important.

Have a good day.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Feb 14, 2010 at 2:45 PM.
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14, 2010, 3:18 PM   #3
Super Moderator
 
Hards80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 9,046
Default

One thing, manual focus with a dslr is not quite the same as an old manual focus camera, there is no split prism circle to help you focus.

however, they will light up the focus points and confirm focus if you have the shutter half-pressed, so as long as you trust the camera's focus, you can manual focus that way quite easily with a dslr.

however, i am not sure why you would want to, as the autofocus on todays dslrs are quite good and alot faster than you.

aftermarket companies make split circle accessory focusing screens, but they black out at small apertures and can impact metering, etc.
Hards80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14, 2010, 5:02 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: TN
Posts: 4
Default

Maybe the thing is that auto-focus is much better than I think... but if I'm trying to shoot something like what is attached (hopefully) and I want the sea-oat sharp and don't care about anything else, it seems that a manual focus would be the way to make sure that happens...?
Attached Images
 
gmcc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14, 2010, 5:06 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

gmcc-

Auto focus works very well and it can see set up (spot focus mode) on a number of point and shoot cameras like the Panasonic FZ-35 to focus in exactly the spot you want to focus upon.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14, 2010, 5:08 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: TN
Posts: 4
Default

Got the budget part already :-), and the wife would plan to take over the Pro1 for real estate doings, and I tend to stick with Canon because I know how they think (menu's, settings etc.).

I don't know that I'd have much use for the live view because of my preference to use a real viewfinder but I can imagine instances where it would be nice in cases where it was either awkward or impossible to get to the optical VF.

The reason even for the question I guess, is that I will be giving up having a wide to long zoom always on the cam... without doing the lens swap business. Possibly not a huge deal, but there are trade-offs with anything.
gmcc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14, 2010, 5:27 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

gmcc-

The Canon SX-200 has (in 35mm terms) 28mm to 336mm along with 12mp for around $300. That beats the price and the zoom range of the Pro-1.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14, 2010, 5:38 PM   #8
Super Moderator
 
Hards80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 9,046
Default

for a scene like that posted, its pretty easy to get the sea oat sharp. you have the ability to let the camera chooses the AF points, or you choose. you can easily just use only the center AF point and focus on the oat and recompose. quicker and easier than manual focus.
Hards80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14, 2010, 8:53 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: NYC
Posts: 1,990
Default

I bought myself the Sigma DP2. This is a P&S that be used fully automatically, or fully manually, and with every variation in between. If used manually, you can use the LCD screen to focus, although the auto focus works perfectly in every situation except dark night.

Image quality is just as good as that from a dSLR; in fact better in some respects.

It has severe limitations compared to a dSLR. A fixed lens, and unless you are in manual focus mode, a long lag time (in manual focus mode, there is more or less NO lag time).

I am absolutely in love with this camera!

Here are a few threads I posted in it's image quality:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ot...ra-dp-2-a.html

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ot...sigma-dp2.html

Dave
Chato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 24, 2010, 11:17 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Tullio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,370
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chato View Post
I've looked at the images posted on those two threads and even though the full WA shots look very good, the cropped images don't look very sharp (except the shot of the gentleman but that shot was taken from a very short distance to begin with so I would expect the resolution to be much better than the rest). Perhaps the lack of sharpness is due to the compression of the image because I also see jagged edges all over them. IMO, cameras such as the DP2, LX3, S90 produce excellent IQ but one should not think that they can replace a long zoom camera by simply cropping the heck of the image. You need a lot of resolution to turn a 28mm image into a 400mm+ cropped image and a realy don't believe any of these cameras are really capable of that. Sure there will be a shot here and there where the camera focused very very accurately, exposure was spot on, light condition was more than ideal and as result the WA image can then be cropped 300% and still look good. But, generally speaking, those shots are exceptions. If one wants to shoot wild life, a long zoom lens is a must (whether on a DSLR or P&S camera).
__________________

Tullio
Tullio is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 8:45 AM.