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Old Aug 28, 2005, 10:55 AM   #11
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Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
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Sam has some valid points. For some users, the smaller size and weight of a non-DSLR model is better.

But, if you go this route, keep in mind that most non-DSLR models are relatively noisy at anything above the lowest ISO speed settings (with ISO 400 being virtually unusable from some cameras, depending on the viewing sizes needed, because of noise and/or in camera processing). That's mostly because their sensors are much smaller. As a result, the photosites for each pixel require more light for equivalent ISO speed sensitivity. This problem has gotten worse in recent years, because of the trend of trying to stuff more and more pixels into a small sensor. Although, we are beginning to see some models with improvements now.

So, when you try to amplify their signal to increase ISO sensitivity in low light, it's like turning up the volume on a weak radio station. But, instead of hum, static and hiss, you get image noise.

DSLR models have much larger sensors, with larger photosites for each pixel. As a result, you have much higher ISO speeds available. This can be useful to help prevent blur from slower shutter speeds in less than optimum lighting.

Although there are exceptions, DSLR models also tend to operate much faster (Auitofocus Speed, Cycle times between photos, etc.).

Sam is also right that lenses can add size, weight and cost to a DSLR solution. On the other side of the argument, with a DSLR, your lenses become an investment. So, when you get ready to upgrade to a newer body later, you take your lenses with you. With a non-DSLR model, the lenses are permanently attached.

There are a number of other differences, too (for example, Depth of Field is dramatically greater for any given 35mm equivalent focal length, focus distance and aperture with a non-DSLR model). This can be a good thing if you want more depth of field.

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 allowing faster shutter speeds,and they tend tofocus much faster and more accurately, especially with a moving subject). 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.

There is no right or wrong choice. You'll need to decide what conditions you're going to be using the camera in, and how much size, weight and cost you're willing to put up with to get the desired results.

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 28, 2005, 11:14 PM   #12
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rob g, A insightful info, im leaning to the big brother of D50, the D70. Thanks

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