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  1. #1
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    DSLR vs. nice P & S

    I had an older Canon Powershot (I think it was an SD400 maybe?), but I lost it somehow & I'm looking to upgrade. I'm not sure if I should go for an entry-level DSLR or a nice point & shoot model.

    I found a site (CameraAddict.com) that sells a Canon Rebel XT kit with an 18-55mm lens for $388 with free shipping. From what I've seen, this is an excellent deal. It is more than I had hoped to spend (less than $300), but I wouldn't mind if the image quality--with the kit lens--would be a lot better than a point and shoot camera in the under $300 range.

    I would mainly be using this camera at horse shows (both posed photos & action shots -- mostly outside but some inside) and for candids of family, friends, etc. For taking pics of pets also. I do need some zoom, and a more experienced photographer than me told me that the 18-55 lens wouldn't be enough for what I need.

    One of my peeves with the other camera is that the time between when I pushed the button & when it actually took the photo was too long so it was really hard for me to get the timing right in certain shots.

    Any suggestions, advice, or insight?

  2. #2
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR vs. nice P & S

    First read these reviews from reseller.com http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Camera_Addict

    I think those are worse ratings than broadway photo which is hard to believe.

    Then read our camera dealer feedback forum and though camera addict doesn't seem to be listed, I would not be surprised to find out they are actually one of the other spots to avoid with a different name. Recommended sites and sites to avoid
    You are correct in that you will have to go to dslr to get rid of shutter lag.
    Research/research/research and ask questions here as its quite the friendly bunch.
    Keep Shooting!

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  3. #3
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    Re: DSLR vs. nice P & S

    Darn, I thought that price might have been too good to be true! Thanks for the link.

    I guess it looks like I won't be able to afford a DSLR, then. Haha. Now I just need to figure out which point & shoot will be best... I have been reading a lot of reviews lately but not really finding anything I really LOVE the sounds of. I think I need to go to a store and actually test some of them out.

    Does anyone know any point-and-shoot cameras that would come close to a DSLR in getting rid of that shutter lag?

  4. #4
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR vs. nice P & S

    I have yet to use a compact digital camera that comes close to a DSLR for shutter-lag, and certainly not for image quality. Have you considered looking at a used digital SLR? I shot with and made a lot of money with a Canon EOS 10D. I would take that 6-megapixel digital SLR over any available compact camera if I was serious about shooting sports. I think some of the Canon 12-megapixel cameras might have better image quality than the 10D now - at least at low ISO. But the shutter-lag and AF performance of even the best compact won't come close. I think you should be able to find really good deals on used cameras like the EOS 10D, 20D, XT, and XTi, now.
    Photo-John

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  5. #5
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR vs. nice P & S

    B&H,(very trusted) and others sell used AFTER checking them. Some places also sell refurbished which is what I'd look for. I don't remember which ones so maybe someone will come with some links.
    Keep Shooting!

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  6. #6
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    Re: DSLR vs. nice P & S

    Thanks for the tips. I will keep looking around. I have found a few used cameras that I could afford, the problem is that I don't think I can afford the body AND a suitable lens (oh the joys of being a college student). I would need something fairly versatile with some kind of zoom.

    I don't need professional quality pics, but I do want something pretty nice (and reliable). I'm sure I wouldn't be printing anything over 8x10", most likely stuff in the 3x5" to 5x7" range, along with viewing on my computer & posting online (forums, so keeping it fairly small). At these sizes, would there be much difference in quality between the DSLR and the point-and-shoot? I'm looking at Canon S5, SX100 IS and the Kodak easyshare Z1012 IS (supposedly has 0.23 second click-to-capture).

  7. #7
    Member erikzen's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR vs. nice P & S

    I have used two different Canon P&S cameras. The first one I had was a Power Shot S110 I received as a wedding present from my wife which I used with great results up until last year when it was unfortunately stolen. For Christmas I returned the favor and bought my wife the S1000. These are great little cameras that produce nice images for web and for 4x6 prints.

    The Canons can take great pictures in their automatic modes but have the ability to tweak some of the exposure settings. I took some 4x6 worthy shots of the inside the Basillica at the Piazza San Marco in Venice without a flash. The biggest drawback to these cameras is the limited zoom function. Using the digital zoom to go beyond 3x is pretty much worthless in terms of being able to publish it, although if you want to save a memory it's fine. For the money, these cameras are really worthwhile and make a great introduction to digital photography. With a program like Photoshop you can really do a lot with your images, especially for web or 4x6 prints.

    My wife who is not particularly enamoured with technology uses an HP printer that can accept numerous types of cards. The printer allows for some editing right on the machine, including zoom, brightness and red eye reduction.

    For someone interested in digital photography on a budget this might be a good start. It's how I got started and was not tempted to get an SLR until recently, when I had a business need, prices came down, and I finally felt I wanted to take my photography to the next level.

    I want to reiterate these cameras don't have great zoom capaiblity. I can't directly recommend any of the models with greater optical zoom as I haven't tried them, but I would look at something like the Canon SX100 with 10x optical zoom.

    The Canons seem to have a lot of features that most users probably never touch. Get one of these cameras and master it and when you graduate college buy yourself an entry level DSLR as a graduation present. Prices will continue to come down as technology improves.

  8. #8
    Color me obvious dumpy's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR vs. nice P & S

    I echo the previous poster on Canon P&S cameras, some of them are very capable. I went from a Film SLR to a Canon S2IS and then to a DSLR. None of these transitions were awkward.
    I used my S2 in full manual mode most of the time, it let me work on my camera skills without paying for film and also gave me lots of practice with digital. It was a great "I want a DSLR, but can't afford one" gap filler for me. I also thought the IQ was excellent (check my gallery for some examples).
    It (or more accurately the S5) may make a great transition camera for you, that is let you have more manual control and learn how to use it before plunging into DSLR land. I've also heard great things about the G9, but don't enough about it myself to comment other than it does have RAW mode.

  9. #9
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    Re: DSLR vs. nice P & S

    Thanks for your insight, erikzen & dumpy. I did really like my Canon Powershot except for the action shots where I kept missing the moment due to the shutter lag. I think I will go to Best Buy and try out the SX100 IS, S5 IS, the Kodak, and anything else they have tomorrow and see which one I like!

    Thanks to all for the tips!

  10. #10
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR vs. nice P & S

    Look at the Olympus E410. The price has dropped since the release of the 420. I think it is under $400.00. DSLR's are the way to go if you can.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

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  11. #11
    Member erikzen's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR vs. nice P & S

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCary
    DSLR's are the way to go if you can.
    Definitely! aubade914 cites lag as one of the problems. In my short time with the E-510 I can already see that there is very little lag between shots, plus you have the continuous shooting mode.

  12. #12
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    Re: DSLR vs. nice P & S

    Thanks for all the help, everyone. I went to try the cameras out today and ended up with the Nikon P80. I reallllly wanted to buy the Nikon D40 after testing it out there but I just can't afford it at this time. But I took a few test shots with the P80 when I got it home and I think it will work great for me at this point in my life. I know I will want to upgrade to a DSLR someday, though. :-)

    Thanks again! You gave me some good things to think about!

  13. #13
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    Re: DSLR vs. nice P & S

    DSLR features - quality image, Speed, huge depth of field, high optics, Adaptability, Manual contraon etc.. compared to all kind of other camera versions.

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