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xclimber47


Nov 28, 2009, 12:58 PM
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dSLR versus high-end point & shoot
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So I know this topic has probably been hit on before, but I didn't feel like sifting through hundreds of posts to find it..

I have experience with photography and manual camera settings, but have been using a film camera (gasp!). Its just too much trouble to develop photographs though and I'm looking at buying a new digital camera. I would like a quality camera, but I do not plan on trying to get photographs into magazines or anything, so I will not be spending $1000+ on a camera.

The main question is whether I would like to get a lower end dslr (still in the $5-700 range) or a high end point and shoot with manual settings. I'm leaning towards dslr, but point & shoot cameras like the canon G11 have incredible stats (14.7MP, 28-140mm lens, etc). The kicker is that dslrs are big/heavy. I'm not sure if I want to lug a camera like that on climbing trips, but I feel like spending $4-$500 on a point and shoot is a waste, even if it is a nice one.

Any thoughts?


Neel


Nov 28, 2009, 1:05 PM
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Re: [xclimber47] dSLR versus high-end point & shoot [In reply to]
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I went through this same debate a couple years ago and ended up getting a Canon G9 thinking that it was a good compromise. but what i found was that, for a P+S, it was still pretty big (wouldn't fit in my pocket unless i was wearing cargos), and although it had manual control, you still wouldn't be able to beat the image quality of even a mediocre lens on an slr when it came to things like depth of field, etc.

In the end i eventually gave up the G9 and got an SLR. I'll eventually pick up a cheap, small P+S for those times that i dont want to carry an slr around. I think if you know what you're doing you'll probably be disappointed unless you get an SLR. Something like that Canon T1i is relatively cheap, and i've seen people take some impressive shots with them.


irregularpanda


Nov 28, 2009, 3:32 PM
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Re: [xclimber47] dSLR versus high-end point & shoot [In reply to]
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xclimber47 wrote:
Any thoughts?

I'm about to get the Panasonic DMC LX3. So not really any thoughts, but just to consider that one as well. It's not a full SLR, but it has great (reportedly) manual settings.

Another one I heard about was the Olympus Pen. Sounds like a brilliant idea, but I think I'd trust it more after they come out with a 2nd or 3rd version of the camera first.


macblaze


Nov 28, 2009, 4:35 PM
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Re: [xclimber47] dSLR versus high-end point & shoot [In reply to]
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My friend the professional photographer would say get both... She has a couple of dslr's and olympus for underwater and bad conditions a couple more point and shoots for off- the cuff stuff.. etc. etc.

The point is there isn't a be all and end all for every situation. I have a Panasonic dmc-lz7. I love the size, the quality and the fact that it takes AAs so I never have to worry about running out of batteries when miles away from power. The aforementioned friend scoffs at it for its lack of detailed manual control, but she's SOL when her batteries go kaput.

Fit the camera to the adventure... Oh, and dslr's are waaaaay too bulky to be hanging off the back of your harness Wink


(This post was edited by macblaze on Nov 28, 2009, 4:36 PM)


Urban_Cowboy


Nov 28, 2009, 6:05 PM
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Re: [macblaze] dSLR versus high-end point & shoot [In reply to]
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I'm in the "both" camp. Got a Canon A590 p&S, good little camera; and a Canon Digital Rebel XSi, great dSLR on a "reasonable" budget. I'd also agree that a high-end p&s is a waste of money when you could get a decent dSLR for not much more. We still have a 35mm SLR, it'll be interesting to see what's on the film when it ever gets full...not sure when the last picture was taken with it.


yodadave


Nov 28, 2009, 6:05 PM
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Re: [irregularpanda] dSLR versus high-end point & shoot [In reply to]
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i and my family have all loved our panasonics but all 3 of our dmcs have developed lens spots inside the camera. Its a real bummer because panasonics service options suck


kennoyce


Nov 28, 2009, 6:54 PM
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Re: [xclimber47] dSLR versus high-end point & shoot [In reply to]
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I would certainly recommend the dslr. If you know anything about photography then you need a dslr. I'm a Nikon guy, so for a cheap dslr I would recommend either the D40 (super cheap, but only 3 focus points), or the d5000 (more expensive, but has 11 focus points, active "D" lighting which helps with dynamic range, and a flip around screen to help keep it from scratching among other perks), plus the low end nikons feel so much nicer than a rebel and are even slightly smaller and have an ever so slightly larger sensor.

It is nice having a P&S for certain things (I have an olympus waterproof which works ok when I am not worried too much about IQ), but a high end P&S still has a tiny sensor with way to many pixels and the manual controls are usually a pain to use. You also need the larger sensor and lenses to have any real control of depth of field or other fun stuff.

Point of the story is you should first get a dslr, then get a cheap P&S to take when you don't want to carry the dslr.


maldaly


Nov 28, 2009, 10:01 PM
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I support kennoyce's statement but would buy in the reverse order. Get a good P&S (Can't beat the Canon S90 now. G10&11 are too much and not enough) then see what's lacking and buy (or not buy) a DSLR.
Best,
Mal


gimmeslack


Nov 29, 2009, 4:14 AM
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Re: [irregularpanda] dSLR versus high-end point & shoot [In reply to]
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I've obsessed over this question over the years as I drifted from great film cameras to digital. I recently bought the LX3 equivalent (Leica badged - only because I got a great deal and i wanted the packaged software).

Bottom line: quit expecting a compact to be as good as a DSLR. They are two different beasts. YES, both can take great photos. NO, the compact cannot do everything the SLR can.

When I can afford it, a full frame sensor DSLR is at the top of my shopping list...

And yes, the LX3 is an awesome camera ;-)


wes_allen


Nov 29, 2009, 6:26 AM
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Re: [xclimber47] dSLR versus high-end point & shoot [In reply to]
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Unless you are wanting to get published / go pro / make huge prints, the very best camera is the one you have with you. Period. So, what are you going to take around with you? I will carry a lot of photo gear to the crag if I am planning on doing a bit of shooting, but would probably have more photos overall if we had a smaller camera, though they might not be as good (good being very relative).

Hoping to buy a g11 next month as the camera we take everywhere. It can use an external flash and has great manual controls, the two requirements for me.

Otherwise, you really can't go wrong with any of the current lower end dslrs, though you might try to find a used one and spend the money on glass instead. In good light, images from my old 20d and the 135L are hard to tell from the 5dII, until you print really, really big.


macblaze


Nov 29, 2009, 8:39 AM
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Re: [wes_allen] dSLR versus high-end point & shoot [In reply to]
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wes_allen wrote:
Unless you are wanting to get published / go pro / make huge prints, the very best camera is the one you have with you. Period.

Here here! I ran across this site where a fellow has decided to take the equipment factor out of the art of photography and shoots using an iPhone camera... http://justwhatisee.com/


maldaly


Nov 29, 2009, 11:06 AM
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And don't forget Chase Jarvis' website and book, "The Best camera is the One You Have With you". Awesome coffee table book of just iPhone photography. I'm shooting my iPhone more and more but it is no replacement for a good P&S or a dSLR. It's fun and I get some crazy shots with it. Both of the attached are from a photo shoot where I had my full camera rig with me but chose to make these shots with my iPhone. Digital manipulation happened in-camera with the free Chase Jarvis App called The Best Camera.




(This post was edited by maldaly on Nov 29, 2009, 11:07 AM)


agdavis


Nov 29, 2009, 11:18 AM
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Re: [xclimber47] dSLR versus high-end point & shoot [In reply to]
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If you go the dSLR route, I would highly recommend getting a used one. Quality dSLRs such as canon and Nikon are built like tanks, so you would be wise to take advantage of the deep discounts. Cameras are a lot like cars -- as soon as you take them off the lot, their value drops by 30% -- same goes for dSLRs.


xclimber47


Nov 29, 2009, 1:46 PM
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cool, thanks for the thoughts, I just wanted to see some more opinions, and I think you guys have at least made me more confident in my decision. I'll probably be going the dslr route. Guess the next step is picking a model.. but I think I got it from here..


kriso9tails


Nov 29, 2009, 2:26 PM
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Re: [xclimber47] dSLR versus high-end point & shoot [In reply to]
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xclimber47 wrote:
I'll probably be going the dslr route. Guess the next step is picking a model.. but I think I got it from here..

If you're trying to keep the cost down, consider the compatibility with your old glass. On occasion I still grab older lenses (that I'm not going to buy newer versions of until I invest in a new body). Yes, certain functionality may be lost, but there are always ways to compensate, especially when you consider the type of latitude you get out of your RAW files.


pbnjonny


Nov 30, 2009, 12:23 AM
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Re: [maldaly] dSLR versus high-end point & shoot [In reply to]
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Mal's post probably brings up the most important thing for me, having a nice DSLR isn't going to do any good if its a hassle to take with you. You're never going to get a good picture if you're camera is left at home or in your car because its too big or heavy or what have you.

Personally as much as I love using DSLRs, there are too many instances where I want to have a camera that carrying around a whole kit just wouldn't work for me. So I went and bought a Panasonic LX3, although its still slightly too big to carry all the time, my pictures folder still has a lot more in it than if I only had a DSLR.

That said, I almost always try to take my dad's or a friends DSLR with me on climbing trips. The ability to switch lenses and having a much faster zoom and focus time is so much nicer and lets you get the shot you want to get more often.


JasonsDrivingForce


Nov 30, 2009, 6:58 AM
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Re: [xclimber47] dSLR versus high-end point & shoot [In reply to]
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I agree that there isnít a compact camera that can touch a DSLR in medium to low light. However, the new micro four thirds E.V.I.L(Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) cameras are quite outstanding in outdoor light.

My Panasonic DMC-GF1with the 20mm F1.7 pancake is about the size of a Canon G series. It shoots amazing 720p video and awesome pictures. At $900 for the camera and lens it isnít cheap. However, it is well worth that price.

Check out this review and some sample videos below.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/PanasonicGF1/

http://www.youtube.com/user/mpgxsvcd


(This post was edited by JasonsDrivingForce on Nov 30, 2009, 7:00 AM)


JasonsDrivingForce


Nov 30, 2009, 7:04 AM
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agdavis wrote:
If you go the dSLR route, I would highly recommend getting a used one. Quality dSLRs such as canon and Nikon are built like tanks, so you would be wise to take advantage of the deep discounts. Cameras are a lot like cars -- as soon as you take them off the lot, their value drops by 30% -- same goes for dSLRs.

Actually the Panasonic DMC-LX3 appreciated in value once everyone realized that Panasonic would not keep up with the US demand. Lotís of people were selling them used for $100-$200 above MSRP and people were actually buying them.

The new Panasonic GF1 is getting to be the same way. You canít find them for MSRP anywhere in the US and some people are already advertising them for $200-$300 above MSRP.

You have to also consider that REALLY good glass can hold its value as well.


(This post was edited by JasonsDrivingForce on Nov 30, 2009, 7:05 AM)


JasonsDrivingForce


Nov 30, 2009, 7:09 AM
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Re: [wes_allen] dSLR versus high-end point & shoot [In reply to]
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wes_allen wrote:
Hoping to buy a g11 next month as the camera we take everywhere. It can use an external flash and has great manual controls, the two requirements for me.

Wes, have you considered the micro four thirds? The Panasonic GF1 is about the same size as the G11, it has a hot shoe, full manual controls, HD video, and it can use your Canon Glass with an adapter.

The G11 is a great camera but there is no escaping its smaller sensor and mediocre glass.


JasonsDrivingForce


Nov 30, 2009, 10:17 PM
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Re: [maldaly] dSLR versus high-end point & shoot [In reply to]
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Here are a few pics I took this weekend with the GF1. I think it did pretty well considering it is a compact camera under $1000.










(This post was edited by JasonsDrivingForce on Nov 30, 2009, 10:20 PM)


jnm1


Nov 30, 2009, 10:43 PM
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Re: [JasonsDrivingForce] dSLR versus high-end point & shoot [In reply to]
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I recently bought the Olympus EP-1, also a micro four thirds. It's definitely a nice alternative to a dSLR and I've been really happy with the image quality and it's portability so far. It can also take the full size Zuiko Digital lenses.
(and of course now there's an EP-2!)

But the GF1 looks appealing with being able to use Canon lenses which I really like. I wonder if there has been a comparison between it and the EP-1 yet?


jnm1


Nov 30, 2009, 11:21 PM
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Nevermind. Did an internet search (which I should have done in the first place ) and it seems that almost every review compares it to the E-P1.
I got my E-P1 before the GF1 came out and now after looking at it (especially the weight - 26%less then the E-P1) I might have gone with the GF1.

Nice shots btw.


JasonsDrivingForce


Dec 1, 2009, 5:59 AM
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jnm1 wrote:
But the GF1 looks appealing with being able to use Canon lenses which I really like. I wonder if there has been a comparison between it and the EP-1 yet?

The good news is that I think your EP-1 can use all of the lenses that the GF1 can. They are both micro four thirds cameras. Just hop on ebay and buy the canon to micro four thirds adapter for $40-$100.

Your EP-1 also has in camera image stabilization which could come in handy with those 50+mm(100+mm eq.) prime lenses.

The EP-1 is a very fine camera. I went with the GF1 only because I like the AVC-HD lite format better than the mjpeg of the EP-1 or EP-2. I also like the built-in flash of the GF1. It actually works very well.


wes_allen


Dec 1, 2009, 6:03 AM
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Nope, the g11 is just fine for what we want. I will just bring the 5dII and some good glass if I am that worried about IQ. But, for web sized stuff and small prints, it is fine.

But, I will be having some fun playing with a flash sync of 1/2000...

JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
wes_allen wrote:
Hoping to buy a g11 next month as the camera we take everywhere. It can use an external flash and has great manual controls, the two requirements for me.

Wes, have you considered the micro four thirds? The Panasonic GF1 is about the same size as the G11, it has a hot shoe, full manual controls, HD video, and it can use your Canon Glass with an adapter.

The G11 is a great camera but there is no escaping its smaller sensor and mediocre glass.


JasonsDrivingForce


Dec 1, 2009, 6:11 AM
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Yes you will. Post some images from the G11 when you get it. I have only seen a few samples from reviews so far.


wes_allen wrote:
But, I will be having some fun playing with a flash sync of 1/2000...


(This post was edited by JasonsDrivingForce on Dec 1, 2009, 6:11 AM)

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