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Old Apr 8, 2011, 8:44 AM   #1
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Default Point & Shoot or DSLR

Hi Friends

I'm new to this forum and want to buy a good digital camera for taking family, picnic, landscape pics and also want to use it for occasional video shooting.

But everyone is asking what you want: P&S or DSLR and I'm not sure what is the pros and cons of both of these. But to me DSLRs are costly (more price = more quality ???) and there is NO zoom mentioned anywhere in DSLRs.

My priorities are (with $400 USD):

1. Excellent image/video quality
2. more and more optical zoom

Also, what is better between: COMS and CCD image sensors ?

Please help me.
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Old Apr 8, 2011, 9:25 AM   #2
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the zoom for a D-SLR would be dependent on what lens you use on the camera (i.e. 18-55mm, 70-300mm etc), since D-SLR do not have built in lenses.

Also most D-SLRs unless you buy a used one wil run over $400 for just the body let alone getting lenses or a kit with a body and a lens or two.

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Old Apr 8, 2011, 9:55 AM   #3
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Your price point puts new DSLRs out of consideration. Zoom is a function of the lens and you can change lenses on DSLRs to suit your purposes at the moment. DSLRs have much larger (physically) sensors than P&Ss so typically show much lower noise at high ISOs (used in low light conditions).

Speaking in only very general terms CCD sensors tend to have less noise at high ISOs than CMOS sensors but CMOS sensors have a higher burst rate. There are good cameras w/CCD and good cameras w/CMOS. IMO look for the features and performance you want and don't worry about how the mfr. achieves that performance.

More zoom will in general mean a smaller sensor and a less light through the lens at telephoto settings which translate to poorer low light performance for the added telephoto reach. Just personally 20x is about all that is practical and even then there are trade-offs.

A. C.
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Old Apr 8, 2011, 10:27 AM   #4
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with your budget, i'd not even look at dslrs. a good lens itself is almost $1000. you can get a pretty good p&s for that price.
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Old Apr 8, 2011, 11:34 AM   #5
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For your price get a good bridge camera. Generally, if the zoom is less you get better image quality but with a longer zoom you get much more versatility.
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Old Apr 8, 2011, 1:59 PM   #6
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Okay here's the deal.

You can't afford a DSLR in that budget so let that option go. Like, completely. If it comes to quality, a DSLR is MILES ahead of your PnS cameras. Every 'pro' lies with a dslr against a 'con' in a point and shoot so keep it in your mind that even at 5-600 dollars you won't be getting a DSLR quality from a PnS. So hands down, quality is better

Coming over to the 'better', it depends upon your purpose. PnS are turn on, point and shoot cameras (hence the name :P), but DSLRs are a little more sophisticated and need more tuning and all.

As for the no zoom on the DSLR part, you have a range of over 30 40 lenses that you can attach to a single DSLR camera and the zoom range is consequently governed by the lens you put on. But you have to have a VERY large pocket in order to have a 'decent' zoom on a DSLR (check amazon for lenses by Nikkor you'll see what I'm talking about)

So imho, a PnS would satisfy whatever you need to do.

As for the CMOS and CCD. That drove me crazy when I was going for a camera. In short, these are the tradeoffs.

A CMOS sensor is quicker i.e. the moment it captures an image, it sends it to the processor and refreshes itself and is ready for the next shot within 0.8 to 0.9 seconds, so you get better burst shooting with a CMOS sensor camera.
On the severe downside, a CMOS is more susceptible to noise. A LOT of noise. Especially in low light and ISOs 400 and greater.

A CCD is comparatively slower than a CMOS. I have a panasonic fz40 and it gives me a full resolution burst of around 3 pictures per second. On the upside, CCD sensors are better in low light and give comparatively better low light results.

So it you're not a photography fan and don't take low light etc, a CMOS would suit you better.

Last edited by xHassan; Apr 8, 2011 at 2:02 PM.
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Old Apr 8, 2011, 10:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ac.smith View Post
More zoom will in general mean a smaller sensor and a less light through the lens at telephoto settings which translate to poorer low light performance for the added telephoto reach. Just personally 20x is about all that is practical and even then there are trade-offs.

A. C.
Thank you all for your reply and time.

Now I'm pretty sure that, with my budget I can not think of DSLRs.
And I did not know that more zoom == less sensor size == less quality

In low light shooting means without flash ??? Because with my old Sony DSC-W5, I can even take high quality images in a dark room with flash. Offcourse those were very close objects rather than at far.
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Old Apr 8, 2011, 10:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyTechie View Post
Thank you all for your reply and time.

Now I'm pretty sure that, with my budget I can not think of DSLRs.
And I did not know that more zoom == less sensor size == less quality

In low light shooting means without flash ??? Because with my old Sony DSC-W5, I can even take high quality images in a dark room with flash. Offcourse those were very close objects rather than at far.
In good light without extreme contrast it may be very hard to tell a large sensor P&S from a small sensor P&S. It's as the light goes away that the sacrifices (noise & smaller aperture) make themselves more apparent.

Yes, we mean without flash when we're talking about low light.

A. C.
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Old Apr 8, 2011, 10:44 PM   #9
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Your budget will leave you short for a HD dslr.
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Old Apr 8, 2011, 10:58 PM   #10
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As already mentioned at the price range a DSLR is not within your budget.

Have you considered a Canon G-Series as they would meet your budget and are considered a bridge camera. I think you can still find some G11's in stores but you'd have to call around at first. The newer model is the G12 but that's over your limit a bit, I think. So, a G9 - G11 would be a possibility....used most likely. They are great cameras and offer room to grow and eventually put you on the path of a DSLR. The G11 runs off of the CMOS Digic 4 sensor but I'm not sure about the slightly older models. It also produces good low light pictures.

I'm not 100% sure about the manual controls on a Nikon, but a family member of mine has a Nikon CoolPix and likes it. Likewise, there are some Canon SX.... models that I think had decent write ups. You'd have to look into it a bit more on this site under "canon" as I'm not too familiar with those.

Those are the only one's I'm familiar with. If you check out some of the P&S headings like, Canon, Nikon, Panasonic from this site you'll find some good feedback and information on what camera's would be suitable for your needs.

PS: attached is a photo of my daughter shot with my G11 in 'P' mode (program). She was standing next to the window so its pretty much as it was shot. The only post processing I've done to it is adjust the WB (white balance) a bit and saturated the colours slightly to give them more richness......Just to give you an idea of what the camera can produce.
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Last edited by Shutterbug74; Apr 8, 2011 at 11:07 PM.
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