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Old Mar 16, 2006, 10:43 AM   #11
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Intrepid wrote:
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I have an Olympus c-8080 and I defy anyone to show me better picture quality from say a Rebel XT or Nikon D70.
This statement has some merit, but the difference isn't limited to JUST high ISO shots. That camera has an effective focal length of 28mm-140mm. So, if you need a wide angle shot - guess what? You can't do it. Similarly, if you need a longer shot - wildlife or field sports say, you can't do it. In both those instances, the camera is not capable of capturing the necessary shot. But A DSLR with an ultra wide lens (say a Rebel XT with 10-22mm lens - 16mm equivelant) would capture the wide shot and with a 400mm lens (640mm equivelent) would certainly give a lot more flexibility to capture wildlife or sports images. So, high ISO is not the only limitation of digicams. The lens can also be a limitation. It still depends on what your shooting needs are. So, to directly answer your question - I'd be glad to show you a quality difference of a picture I take with a 20d and 400mm lens of a bird 300 feet away vs. your picture of that same bird.

Now, another potential limitation which may be important - the ability to use an external flash. Some digicams have it and some don't. Built in flashes on just about any camera (DSLRs included) are really very weak. Try taking a picture of a wedding party spread out on the dais of a dim church and you'll see what I mean. If you do a lot of indoor shooting, an external flash will dramatically improve the quality of your photos. And, guess what? When you have that powerful flash, you don't need high ISOs (again, we're assuming situations where flash makes sense - family parties, not indoor sports). So, a camera with a hotshoe is a huge bonus.

So, my earlier statements still apply - under ideal conditions you won't notice a difference in picture quality. But, your own shooting needs will determine how often you are in ideal conditions. That's why it's important for you to identify what your shooting conditions will be. That way we can identify whether a digicam will have the ability to provide what you need.

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Old Mar 16, 2006, 11:00 AM   #12
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Re: C8080 and DSLR..

You need to check out this
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Cano...lumi_graph.gif
versus this
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Niko...lumi_graph.gif

The DSLRs have half or less noise at any ISO setting of the digicams. Maybe it doesn't matter for 5x7s, but it sure matters for 8x10s or 12x18s.


The D50 has the same noise at ISO1600 as the C8080 has at ISO 400. That is 2 stops faster. When the D50 is shooting at 1/125th, the C8080 is shooting at 1/30th, for the same noise.

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Old Mar 16, 2006, 1:09 PM   #13
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Thanks, Me2-

That is exactly the point I was attempting to make in my previous post.

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Old Mar 16, 2006, 2:32 PM   #14
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As it was already said, this is a question of your priorities and your budget.

DSLR generally gives you better quality images with less noise and a faster shooting rate. But DSLR body is just a very sophisticated lightproof box with controls, and it's only as good as a lens mounted on it. The kit zooms are quite good, but usually slow at around F3.5-5.6 and a bit short (28-80mm). If this is enough for you, or you are ready to invest into better/other more expensive lenses - go for it.

And guys, please be reasonable. This is not fair to say to someone with $400-500 budget to get a 10-22mm lense which alone costs around $600-700 or a 400mm prime with a price of $1000-$8000US depending on the model. Let's not compare apples and oranges.

I currently own Fuji S5500 and S9500 and happy with the results from both of them and also waiting for a next generation budget DSLR (digital from the ground up).
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Old Mar 16, 2006, 2:41 PM   #15
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You can usually spot the difference between shots posted online from DSLRs and non-DSLRs. They just seem richer in texture and dynamic range. The Fuji F10 and probably the F30 come close to a DSLR in noise and equal a 6Mp DSLR for resolution, but dynamic range isn't as good and the camera is pretty limited.

What you get with a good non-DSLR is pretty good versatility for the price. Things like stabilized 12X zoom lenses get pricey to duplicate with a DSLR. And you have to carry lenses since you can't do that with a single lens.

I'm not dumb enough to think I will get photos of the same quality without a DSLR. But I carried a film SLR for years with lenses, filters et al and I'm not willing to do that now. With a little work in Photoshop I can come close enough without the hassle.

If you really mean point and shoot there isn't a comparison. But point and shoot doesn't come close to a description of an upper end non-DSLR. With full controls and more information in the viewfinder like a real time histogram, as well as direct feedback from the sensor, it would be the DSLR that would be considered the point in shoot comparing the two. You get a much better view through the viewfinder of a DSLR, but you get a lot more feedback and equal controls from an upper end non-DSLR. There isn't anything about a KM A2 that remotely resembles point and shoot other than you can put it in program mode. But you can do that with a DSLR as well.

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Old Mar 16, 2006, 4:02 PM   #16
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I'll challenge you on both the cost and weight/size of the new DSLRs.

As far as cost goes, the D50 and KM 5&7D and the E1 bodies are available for the same price as a digicam, maybe less. There are some outstanding bargains out there and they will only get better.

The lenses will generally cost extra, but the thing about lenses is that they will work on whatever body you use for the next 15 years. With a digicam, when it is obsolete, you throw the body and lens away. With a DSLR, you give the body to your kids as a starter and get a new one. You continue to use the lenses. And when you buy lenses, the used selection and quality is pretty good.

And lest you think that a 10x zoom is the exclusive domain of the megazooms, Nikon has an 18-200, not that I would own one.

Weight and size are another issue, but the megazooms are neither small nor light either. These are not pocketable cameras and once you put a camera in a case, a half a pound is neither here nor there. On a typical 180 pound male, a 1 pound increase in camera weight is a bit over a 0.5% increase in his overall weight. Imperceptible.

I could start talking about durability, but I don't have figures to back up my claims. I'll argue that the DSLR equipment, especially the WATERPROOF E1 is more durable than any digicam.

And we haven't even talked about viewfinders or battery life yet.

As far as I am concerned, when it comes right down to it the cost and inconvenience of using a DSLR is well, well worth the value of the pictures it takes and I am neither an equipment buff nor a professional. And I have carried both a film SLR and a Coolpix on many hiking and skiing trips, so it isn't like I haven't lived with the inconvenience part.
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Old Mar 16, 2006, 7:09 PM   #17
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algold wrote:
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And guys, please be reasonable. This is not fair to say to someone with $400-500 budget to get a 10-22mm lense which alone costs around $600-700 or a 400mm prime with a price of $1000-$8000US depending on the model. Let's not compare apples and oranges.
Algold,

I think you misunderstood what I meant. My whole point was that ISO alone is not the only difference. Depending on what your particular goals are, a digicam may or may not be able to meet them - that's all. Certain photographic goals require more sophisticated equipment. If a budget is $500, that's fine - unless you want a camer that can do something only that $2000 solution can do. No intention of pushing anyone down the DSLR path. There are plenty of people who buy more equipment than they need or can use. I for one, like to spend only as much as I have to to achieve my results.
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Old Mar 17, 2006, 3:10 AM   #18
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JohnG,

There was no misunderstanding and actually both of us were saying the same things slightly differently. The problem of many first time buyers is that they don't know or can't decide what they want, and too many people don't know much about photography at all and are looking not even for a P&S but for a "press-the-button-get-a-great-picture-every-time" kind of camera that doesn't exist.

I've seen many lousy pics taken with semi-pro and pro equipment andmany great pics taken with P&S cameras. In many cases it's not the camera, but the photographer.

Sorry for drifting off the original topic.
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Old Mar 17, 2006, 3:38 PM   #19
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The answer is: The P&S. No contest.

You stated dollar limits, and seem to not want to lug something huge around.

Get something SMALL, and don't leave home without it - you will get far more good pix than the most expensive DSLR sitting home in a drawer with 10 pounds of lenses.

I could suggest the Pentax WPi for it's waterproof & therefore dirt proofness - good in a pocket camera. Better sharpness & anti-shake but still tiny: Panasonic models - check Steve's reviews. Zoom in on the pix of the brick building & look at the street sign.

Tiny is important, important important. On trips where I know i'll be shooting a lot, I keep a tiny camera in my shirt pocket on a neck lanyard for drop-proof.
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Old Mar 17, 2006, 11:52 PM   #20
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Here is some advice. Find your piggy bank or wherever you keep your spare cash and rob it of about $100.

Then take that $100 and the $400-$500 that you are going to spend on the P&S and buy yourself a D50 body on eBay. They have been selling for $420-$450 all week. Then go to a pawn shop or used camera shop and buy yourself a 50f1.8 lens. I know that doesn't provide anywhere near the same utility as a super zoom, but it will suffice...
...because if you bought the P&S, in about a month you would be well aware of its limitations and wanting to upgrade anyway. Then what you do is take the $250 that you would have spent upgrading the P&S and put $100 back in the piggy bank and put the rest towards another lens. And then at Christmas or your birthday you buy yourself another lens, until you have the kit that suits your needs. And then you have a camera that will last for 10 years and you'll be happy with. Every 2 or 3 years you can take the money that you would have spent upgrading the P&S and put it back in your piggy bank, or against your next DSLR body. That is how you get ahead of the "by a new camera every 2 years" game.

10 pounds ? I don't think so. The D50 and the Pentax and the Rebel are pretty light. So are some of the lenses. Some of them are heavy, but you get a lot more lens for those than you would on the P&S.

A D50 with a 18-200 isn't much heavier than a P&S, isn't a lot more $$$ and it will outshoot the P&S eight ways to Sunday. Aren't your memories worth that ?
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