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Old Apr 22, 2005, 8:05 PM   #1
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I have an Olympus C4000 zoom and i am loving it, but I was thinking about moving up in the world. I am novice hobby photographer and would love to hear what you experts think about going digital SLR. I'm really interested in close ups and landscapes and everything in between. I love to blow up my prints and frame them. I guess I want to know how involved I should get to get some really great pics. I've got a ton to learn about digital photography so I need some good advice. Thanks for your time and help.:?
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Old Apr 23, 2005, 9:07 AM   #2
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I don't think anyone would argue that a DLSRcan give you better pictures with more detail and less noise.

The downside is that it costs more in money, time and effort.

Firstly the camera will cost you more and to fully utilise it you will probably eventually want to buy additional expensive, lenses.

Secondly you will not get the best out of the camera if you do not have some understanding of photographic principals such as shutter speed and apeture, their relationship to each other and to depth of field for starters.

Finally it will most likely give you the best pictures straight out of the camera as a digital compact will you are likely to need to spend some time post processing on the computer.

Is it worth it, in my opinion for me yes. Is it worth it for you depends on how serious you are about photography. For family and holiday snapshots go with a digital compact. If photography is your hobby then it may be worth going DSLR but you can still get great shots from the better comapcts.
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Old Apr 23, 2005, 9:38 AM   #3
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Thanks, Nagasaki. That is the type of input I'm looking for. Like I said, I have a lot to learn about photography and a lot I learn by reading and online. I get a thrill when I take a good picture and print it out, but I always find room for improvement. I'm hoping I can find a local class on digital photography for hands on learning. You gave me a great answer, I guess it's up to me how far I want to go. Thanks
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Old Apr 23, 2005, 10:01 AM   #4
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Definately worth a look at a DSLR. I upgraded from a canon A80 to a NikonD70 and would'nt look back. The biggest problem was deciding at the time which DSLR to buy. If your really interested finding all the info on DSLR, thenmy favourate site is

infodigitalcamera.com


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Old Apr 25, 2005, 12:42 PM   #5
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Waheguru, Thanks for the website...it has a lot of usefull info on it. I guess I'll keep on researching. I'm not in a hurry so I can take my time looking at all the cameras, maybe they will even come down in price by the time I make my decision.:-)
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Old Apr 25, 2005, 1:49 PM   #6
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starship wrote:
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I have an Olympus C4000 zoom and i am loving it, but I was thinking about moving up in the world. I am novice hobby photographer and would love to hear what you experts think about going digital SLR. I'm really interested in close ups and landscapes and everything in between.
A Digital SLR can be great for many users. There are a number of differences you need to be aware of... One of them is Depth of Field.

For example, if you like closeups, with a non-DLSR model, you've got dramatically more depth of field for any given 35mm equivalent focal length, focus distance and aperture. This is because Depth of Field is based on the Actual (versus 35mm equivalent) focal length. Non-DSLR models use much smaller sensor, allowing much shorter focal length lenses to be used for any given 35mm equivalent focal length.

See this handy online Depth of Field Calculator to get a better understanding of how Aperture, Focus Distance and Focal Length work together for Depth of Field purposes:

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

This makes it much easier to get everything in focus for tiny subjects using a non-DSLR model. With a DSLR, you'd need to have a lens that allows you to focus close enough so that your subject occupies the desired portion of the frame. If you're serious about this aspect, then you'll want to look at a lens with decent macro ability. These are rated as 1:1 (lifesize, meaning a subject the same size as your imager can fill the frame), 1:2 (meaning a subject twice as large as your imager can fill the frame, etc.).

Even with alens that hasdecent macro ability, you may need to shoot at much smaller apertures for the desired Depth of Field with smaller subjects (resulting in longer shutter speeds, often requiring either the use of a tripod, or higher ISO speeds in less than optimal lighting).

So, for very small subjects, the non-DLSR models usually have the advantage in many conditions.

Likewise, it's much easier to get greater Depth of Field for subjects like Landscapes with a non-DSLR model. You may be able to get something relatively close to the camera in focus, while still having a relatively sharp background -- even shooting at wide open apertures when using shorter focal lengths.

On the other hand, you've got much greater control of Depth of Field using a DSLR model. This can be nice when you want to help your subject stand out from distracting backgrounds by usinga larger aperture setting. For example, you want your subject to be sharp, and your background to be blurred. This can be very difficult to achieve with a non-DSLR model.

You may need more than one lens to match the focal range capability on some of the popular non-DSLR models, resulting in increased size, weight and cost with a DSLR.

You also give up the ability to frame with the LCD (you must use the Optical Viewfinder). Of course, a decent through the lens viewfinder (as with a DSLR) is much better to many users. I just want to make sure you're aware of this (since some people like to use the LCD for framing). Of course, you give up features like movie recording with a DSLR, too (which is something I would never use anyway).

There are many moredifferences. For example, one of the more important ones is thata DSLR can shoot at much higher ISO speeds (thanks to it's larger sensor, which has less noise as ISO speeds are increased).

A DSLR model is usually much faster, too (Autofocus Speed, Cycle times between photos, etc.). Also, with a DSLR model, you can take your lenses with you when you upgrade within a manufacturer (provided the manufacturer doesn't change lens mount systems, which doesn't happen very often). So, your lenses become an investment.

These are just a few of the differences. Some users like to have both camera types. A smaller camera that's more convenient to carry, and a DSLR for conditions that warrant one. There are pros and cons to both.


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Old Apr 25, 2005, 2:06 PM   #7
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JimC...What a tremendous amount of information! So you are basically saying that I can get professional looking results with a non DSL? You told me things I never would have thought. I just assumed I would have to go DSL to have great photos. I greatly appreciate your help! I'm going back over to Steves reviews and check out more options. Thanks again
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Old Apr 25, 2005, 2:38 PM   #8
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this is a very interesting topic that i have been wondering about as well. glad someone started it and hope more infomation comes out of it
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Old Apr 25, 2005, 2:46 PM   #9
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starship wrote:
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JimC...What a tremendous amount of information! So you are basically saying that I can get professional looking results with a non DSL?
I'm just explaining some conditions where a DSLR may work differently compared to a non-DSLR model, and where there can be some advantages to non-DSLR models for some of these conditions, depending on the lenses you have for the DSLR, etc.

For example, Steve uses a Nikon Coolpix 4500 to take the product photography shots you see in the reviews here (it's simply better for that purpose, thanks to a great built in macro mode, and more depth of field for any given aperture setting, focus distance and 35mm equivalent focal length compared to a DSLR).

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...amp;forum_id=2

But, Steve also has a Nikon DSLR.

You'll need decide what is professional looking, for the subject types and conditions you're using a camera in (and how much you're willing to invest in lenses, post processing time, etc.). Of course, your skill in using the equipment also comes into play (compositional skill, use of lighting, etc.). The camera is only a tool. It's your job to get the most out of it.

It's not really a black and white issue (where one camera typeis always better than another).

If you're shooting sports (or other subjects in less than optimal lighting), a DSLR coupled with a bright lens is often the only camera capable of getting the desired results (because they can shoot at higher ISO speeds, focus faster and more accurately, etc.). Ditto for existing light shooting of non-stationary subjects without a flash. A DSLR with a bright lens is often a must.

If you're shooting portraits, or subjects where you want better control over Depth of Field, a DSLR is often the only tool that will work well forgetting the shallow depth of field you may want to help your subjects stand out from distracting backgrounds.

As a general rule, a DSLR is going to have more potential for many conditions. For one thing, noise will be lower. Also, most DSLR models don't processthe images as much (often requiring some degree of post processing to get as much "punch" in the images).

But, a non-DSLR model may overprocess it's images, so that sharpening halos, etc., stand out at larger print or viewing sizes. Shooting in RAW puts this aspect on a more even playing field, but a DSLR is usually much better equipped to handle it (speed of operation, buffer size, etc.). Noise may be more noticeable in non-DSLR models at larger viewing sizes, too. There can also be differences in Dynamic Range between models.

No one camera/lens combinationis really perfect for all conditions and subject types.

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Old Apr 27, 2005, 2:25 PM   #10
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JimC....Thanks so much, you have been for helpful. I have decided to do much more reading on the different cameras. I think I will narrow it down to 2 non-DSL's and 2 DSL's and then weigh the most important features. Wow, by time I get done with my research I'll be able to buy a DSL for the price of non-DSL. Kidding. Again thanks, I appreciate your help.
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