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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 16, 2010, 3:08 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2
Default P&S and DSLR Opinions

I currently own an Olympus c750 which is a 4MP camera with a 10x optical zoom. It does video and can zoom while filming. My two biggest complaints with the camera are the response time between shots and poor quality in low light. Otherwise, the camera takes great shots and has served its purpose well.

My mom had a Canon Powershot A570 that died.

Therefore, I'm looking at replacing both camera's with 1 new one for several reasons. First, I want a pocketable camera that will do what my Olympus does and I want a camera that my mom can use that's not overly complicated. I'm afraid that having used a 10x optical zoom for so long that if I drop to a 7x or 5x, I'm just not going to be happy. Same with the ability to zoom while doing video. My Olympus is just too big to stick in a pocket or purse. I don't need great pictures, just good pictures, with quick response time and is considered "good" overall. Primary purpose will to be take "in-the-moment" pictures which could be a hike, skiing, party, sporting event, etc. Indoors, outdoors, low light, sun light. Basically, just a great, general purpose camera.

Now, to take care of the more "planned" events in which I really want to capture the moment as well as experiment with photography in general, I want to supplement my P&S camera with a DSLR. If I know I'm going to a big event and want to lug around a big camera, I'll have that option.

Therefore, I'm looking at a two camera solution and want some opinions on what people think might be my best choices. I'm very impatient when it comes to trying to research all the various camera's out there. Camera A is good at this but camera B is good at that. I want real-world experiences and opinions.

For the P&S camera, I'm looking at the new Nikon S8000 with 14MP, 10x optical zoom and HD video. Being a very new camera, I can't find any reviews of it. I've had a chance to play with it but the response time was hit and miss as the camera didn't always focus on what I wanted to take a picture of. Then again, not reading the manual, I can't put all the blame on the camera.

For the DSLR group, I'm considering the Nikon D3000 kit with a 18-55 VR lens and 55-250 VR lens (both Nikkor). Costco has a great deal on the kit at $800. Again, I don't need top-of-the-line as I will be learning and experimenting.

So, that's where I'm at. Any thoughts, opinions, lashings? Your input greatly appreciated!
aznative75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Mar 16, 2010, 5:13 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,544
Default

It's not very clear where you would divide the photographic duties between the P&S and the dSLR. Ins ome of the situations you mentioned (party, sporting event, ... Indoors, ... low light, ...) a dSLR would outperform a P&S, but if those constitute a big priority, the D3000 might not be the best choice, especially with those lenses. For about the same money, the Pentax K-x two lens kit could do a much better job, and for a little more money, the Canon T1i could do an even better job. It depends on your priorities.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 16, 2010, 9:36 AM   #3
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

I'm also a bit concerned with the notion of using the digicam most of the time but taking the DSLR along if you have a "big event". That's fine if you have a lot of experience with the DSLR. But a DSLR is NOT, repeat NOT a "magic digicam". For example, let's say a "big event" is a graduation ceremony. A dslr with one of the telephoto lenses in a 2 lens "kit" will do LESS POORLY than the digicam but it will still perform poorly. You'll either need an external flash or a better lens for it to do well. Same goes for the event being a "wedding". So, if you think picking up the DSLR and 2 lens kits is going to deliver shots in those 'special event' that are significantly better you may be setting yourself up for disappointment.

It would also be concerning if your self-reported impatience carries over from research to learning. If you want better results at 'important events' the way to achieve them is buy learning about photography. Learning isn't the same as practicing. Learning requires practicing but practicing is not a guarantee you will learn.

You asked for 'real life' input and this is it. I bring this up because if you're going to be only using the DSLR a small portion of the time and if you haven't taken the time to learn photography (very different than learning how to operate a camera) and you don't have an understanding of what equipment (lenses, apertures, focal lengths, flashes, etc) a given 'event' will require you may end up spending a lot of money on a DSLR solution and not gain much from it over the digicam. In other words a very poor return on your investment.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 16, 2010, 5:50 PM   #4
Super Moderator
 
peripatetic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3,599
Default

Ditto.

A DSLR has the POTENTIAL to produce better images. But if you don't know what you are doing it will perform worse than a P&S. It's not rocket science, but there is a significant learning curve with SLR photography. If you don't have the patience then you're going to be in for a nasty surprise.

Spending more money doesn't help either. The more expensive the camera, the bigger the potential, but the less it will do for you, and the greater demand that is placed on the skill of the photographer.

You may want to rethink this.
__________________
My gallery
My X100 blog
peripatetic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 16, 2010, 7:34 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

Well I would look at a panasonic ZS3 for a pocket size camera with a 12x zoom with HD. It is a very good little camera. That has really good image quality. It gives you a nice wide angle and a decent zoom. Right now it is about 240 dollars

On the DSLR note, you can get a lot better camera for 800 dollars. But if you are willing to get deeper into photography,

You can get a pentax k-x with a 18-55 and a 55-300 lens for 700 form the on line retailers. This camera has better low light then the D3000, and has HD also. It also has menu options and art filters, that will help out new dslr owners making the transition from point and shoot. It is a higher grade camera.

There is allot you can do with a dslr, I would check out steve's knowledge center, and www.dslrtips.com , they have youtube workshop. You can check if dslr shooting is something you are really wanting to get into. Buying a DSLR is a big investment, you might as well check if it is something you really want to get into.
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.

Last edited by shoturtle; Mar 16, 2010 at 8:10 PM.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 2010, 4:46 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
a-beginner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 197
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
Ditto.

A DSLR has the POTENTIAL to produce better images. But if you don't know what you are doing it will perform worse than a P&S. It's not rocket science, but there is a significant learning curve with SLR photography. If you don't have the patience then you're going to be in for a nasty surprise.

I completely agree with this. If you search the various fora on photography, you will find many who shifted from P&S to DSLR complaining about the lower quality of the DSLR images compared to what they used to get with their P&S.

You will need to spend time and effort to know photo techniques and how they can be used with your chosen equipment. It is not as simple as picking up a camera body and two lenses.

I moved from a Canon S5IS to a Canon DSLR and did find, at the start, disappointing results with the DSLR.

Once you are able to learn and put it into practice, you can be really amazed by the beauty of DSLR images.
a-beginner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 2010, 10:53 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

aznative-

You have received some excellent advice in this thread. A-beginner hit upon it perfectly. There is a different skill set that must be used with a DSLR camera. You will have to develop those new skills, and the only way to get your skills to the desired level is to shoot with that camera pretty much exclusively.

In addition, DSLR camera manufacturers have the expectation that the photographer is going to be doing post processing, to customize the appearance and look of the photos. Therefore, you should expect to post process your images.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 2010, 12:37 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 37
Default

This has me a little confused as I am in the same boat. I am tired of missing shots from long lag time, slow focussing, and poor low light performance. I figured I'd bring the P&S everywhere in case I want to take a picture, but have the DSLR for places where I plan on taking pictures. I have read posts that say even a cheap DSLR will outperform a good P&S. But here it seems to be saying that may not be true. I don't except someone to just buy an expensive DSLR and put it in auto mode and just snap a bunch of shots and except them to be great. But even if you do use auto or P mode at first, but understand how aperture and shutter speed and ISO settings work a little bit, aren't you going to get better shots with the DSLR? You will at least get ones you would have missed with the P&S due to shutter lag and slow focussing won't you?
JM667 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 2010, 12:51 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

jm667-

Yes, you will get better, sharper, photos with a DSLR camera if you start working toward a real DSLR skill level. It is in low light level shooting and difficult action photo environments that you will see the measurable difference very easily.

What we are attempting to do here is to make sure that folks know that they are going to have to develop some new/added skills to make their DSLR photos really shine. Think of a DSLR camera as a growth situation rather than a magic bullt kind of camera.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18, 2010, 1:29 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 37
Default

So for example, if I use a P&S and a DSLR to take a shot of something or someone outdoors in great light with no action and using auto mode in both, the DSLR will not take any better of a picture and could possibly be worse? But if I do the same thing of a little kid running around inside the house with poor light, the P&S might not even be able to capture that shot? Am I on the right track here?
JM667 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 2:17 AM.