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Do I buy a digital SLR or Not??
I need a new camera. I had a Nikon n65 film camera with a 28 -200 lens that I loved. Then I had three kids and needed digital. I bought a Canon SD100 thinking we could use that for spur of the moment stuff and still use film for the big moments. But I am done with film. I need everything online to get stuff done:) he Canon broke and now I have nothing.

But do I really need to spend the money or is there something out there that is good enough, like the Canon S5 or something similar? My husband does triathlons and my kids are just getting into sports and I want to capture the moments. I missed a lot with the SD100 and the lag time. But, if I do get the D40, I am thinking I want to get the Tamron lens from 18-200 because that is what I was used too and I loved getting the close ups. However, with digital is the lens that comes with it, the 18 - 55, enough? I cannot have 2 lenses. With 3 little kids I am hoping I remember the camera let alone 2 lenses to change.

I just can't make the decision. I found the D40 kit plus the Tamron lens for about $700. I have the money but is just over my head for a mom with no photograhper aspirations, just great memories of my kids and life:) Thank you!!!..

Comments (11)

Howdy Claudia. That's a tough question. I bought my first DSLR about 10 months ago (Canon Rebel XT). I had the same frustrations as you - the shutter lag made me miss all the good shots, plus poor low light performance, poor high ISO performance, etc etc..

I'm sure someone out there can point you to a non-SLR camera that might be suitable. I'm not sure about all the bridge cameras out there, but I think you'll still have the shutter lag problem, so the question is, can you live with that. For me, I'm so glad I got the XT, I love the camera, the image quality, the flexibility..

The kit lens could be suitable for doing whaty ou want to do, I'd have two concerns: it may not be long enough for the sports photos you want to take and if you take a lot of indoor pictures, it could struggle (I'm not sure about the Nikon's stock lens, but the Rebel stock lens struggled indoors)..

These are some things you may want to think about, the cons:.

1. Can get expensive. When I got my camera, I thought I would just buy one lens and be done with it (or if I bought more, buy the cheap ones to cover whatever focal length I needed). This is not the case, I keep wanting to get more lenses! haha..

2. Learning curve. There is a learning curve to using an SLR. There are auto modes which will act like your p&S but to really get the most out of your camera, you'll need to learn photography concepts, practice, and learn how to post process your photos.3. Heavier: SLR is generally bulkier and heavier than a P&S.

Those are the main cons I can think of. But I think the pros HEAVILY outweigh the cons, at least for me personally. I'm willing to put in the time to practice and learn as well as read up on how to use my camera. With young children, you might be busy as it is! But here are my pros, for me, getting an SLR.

1. Flexibility: I'm able to take pictures in a wide range of situations. There are lenses available for just about anything you would want to do..

2. Image Quality: Stellar. I love the difference. Also, less noisy at higher ISO means you can take pics in low light and not have them look like bad..

3. Getting the moment: For me, it's easier to capture the moment, no shutter lag. The important thing though to getting the moment is having the camera with you, so if you find the SLR too cumbersome or big to carry around, you obviously won't be able to capture the moment, even if you have no shutter lag..

There are a lot more benefits to SLR as well. I did a lot of reading here before purchasing to make sure this was something I wanted to get into. I really enjoy it and only wish I was able to get an SLR much sooner..

Just trying to learn.

Blog: http://novicephotog.blogspot.com/Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/9778447@N07/..

Comment #1

For me, the biggest frustration with a High end P&S (Canon G3) wasn't the image quality, which I thought (and still think) was excellent, it was the shutter lag. When I bought my Olympus E500 2 lens kit. I not only got two very good lenses along with even BETTER image quality, I got rid of that excreable shutter lag! I couldn't be happier with my purchase and am considering an upgrade to a newer model that will be much smaller physically (E420)..

You sound like someone with a need for.not action photos, but more of those perfect moments when the expression is just right, etc. The only reliable way to consistetly improve the number of keepers along those lines is with a DSLR..

I think you are a prime candidate for an entry level DSLR. If you were to ask me, I would suggest the Olympus E420 1 lens kit since you seem attracted to the size and convenience of the P&S and seem unattracted to switching lenses. It's quite a bit smaller than the competition, and the image quality is excellent (and NO shutter lag!)..

However the 2 lens kit would prove most useful for those sports shots all parents and spouses want when you just can't get close enough..

The Oly 1 lens kit has a 14 - 42 mm lens, which is the equivalent to a 35mm film camera's 28 - 84 mm lens..

The 2 lens kit adds a 40 - 150 mm lens, which is the equivalent of an 80 - 300 mm lens..

STOP Global Stasis! Change is good!.

Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos..http://www.photo.net/photos/GlenBarrington..

Comment #2

Riceowl wrote:.

2. Learning curve. There is a learning curve to using an SLR.There are auto modes which will act like your p&S but to really getthe most out of your camera, you'll need to learn photographyconcepts, practice, and learn how to post process your photos..

She has experience with a film SLR..

3. Heavier: SLR is generally bulkier and heavier than a P&S.

You mean bigger means heavier too? lol. .

There are a lot more benefits to SLR as well. I did a lot of readinghere before purchasing to make sure this was something I wanted toget into. I really enjoy it and only wish I was able to get an SLRmuch sooner..

Again she has a bit of experience with a film SLR..

To the OP: there is also the alternative of keep using your film SLR and just get a CD of scans when you get your film developed. They often come in a 6MP size for about $2.50. Then you get the best of both words: a digital file (free of dust that would appear if you scanned your own negatives) and you don't need to learn anything new on a dSLR. You can use the same methods with the film SLR you know well. ..

Comment #3

We've got to a stage in photography wehre people seem to think that really, really advanced technology should be cheap..

And, compared to a few years ago, it is..

The new Canon Digital REbel XSi is a lot more advanced than the REbel XT of just a few years ago, and costs 30 percent less..

But nonetheless, it's still a lot of money becasue it is a very advan ced piece of technology..

Which does nothing to solve your problem I keep looking for a.

$500 camera with a wide-ranging zoomlens, and NO SHUTTER LAG and I can't find one, either..

My sympathies in regard to chaging lenses and corralling plural concurrent kids..

So, what to do?.

Choice one is sacrifice the shutter lag, takes pictrues now and save your money until you have enough to buy a better camera with less shutter lag, to photograph bigger kids..

Second my choice is to see if there's a bit more space on your credit card, but this is of course up to you. A D40, or D40x or Canon XTi or, ev en better, the new Caon XSi, with any of several brands of 18-200mm lens would really go a long way to solving your problems. If you buy Canon, Nikon, Tamron,Tokina or Sigma lenses, you have nothing to fear..

But unfortunately your price point is low for the advanced science you want..

ANOTHER FACTOR: it seems that when you get to Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras, lots of people then getmore involved in post-processing the term for altering pictures on a home computer. So you'll probably want to spend another $100 on software like Adobe Photoshop Elements (version 6 for Windows, new version coming for Macs)..

BAK..

Comment #4

I do not want cheap. I said I had the $$$. I was just wondering if I was over my head and would it be a waste to spend the money. But thank you for the input. From what I can see I will have the shutter lag unless I get the DSLR. So that answers my question.

So I will get the D40. Now the hard part is deciphering websites who are selling grey market and the real thing with the warranties. Or does it really matter???Thank you for everyones input!!! Keep it coming:)..

Comment #5

Claudiasw wrote:.

I do not want cheap. I said I had the $$$. I was just wondering if Iwas over my head and would it be a waste to spend the money. Butthank you for the input. From what I can see I will have the shutterlag unless I get the DSLR. So that answers my question.

So I will get the D40. Now thehard part is deciphering websites who are selling grey market and thereal thing with the warranties. Or does it really matter???Thank you for everyones input!!! Keep it coming:).

I would look for a reputable dealer near your home. Should you have questions about your camera or need service, there is no substitute for dealing with a person standing in front of you as compared to one thousands of miles away via telephone..

FINE PRINT: I reserve the right to be wrong. Should you prove me wrong, I reserve the right to change my mind...

Comment #6

Claudiasw wrote:.

I do not want cheap. I said I had the $$$. I was just wondering if Iwas over my head and would it be a waste to spend the money. Butthank you for the input. From what I can see I will have the shutterlag unless I get the DSLR. So that answers my question.

So I will get the D40. Now thehard part is deciphering websites who are selling grey market and thereal thing with the warranties. Or does it really matter???Thank you for everyones input!!! Keep it coming:).

I think it matters. For me, the manufacturer should stand behind the new products we buy. And it isn't just the warranty work you give up with grey market, it's any recall or remediation of errors and omissions you lose with GM..

Yes, yes, most remediation is now done via firmware downloads. But not always..

Factor in the above with the fact that you do far less for the economy of your own country, and the fact that GM isn't all THAT much cheaper, I don't think you save all that much.STOP Global Stasis! Change is good!.

Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos..http://www.photo.net/photos/GlenBarrington..

Comment #7

You know how to use an SLR and you have a Nikon lens you love. That's doesn't require any comment from me - you know what you want..

As for the particular model bare two things in mind :.

(a) The latest Nikon's ( from the D40, 40X and 60 ) have NO AF MOTOR. If your old lens needs to driven by an AF motor in the camera you won't get anything from it with the D40. In this case get something like a used D50 or D70s..

(b) No Exposure bracketing on the D40, D40X or D60. If you want this feature, don't get these entry level models. Again an older D50 or D70 or D70s will do this..

As for the lenses. Bare in mind the crop factor because the DSLR sensors are smaller. Your 28-200 has an effective field of view of about 43-300 ( multiply by about 1.5 ). That's still useful of course, and coupled with the standard Nikon 18-55 it would be a good partnership. In fact some older lenses #, being designed for full frame, actually get a boost from the smaller format DSLR sensors as the extreme border is no longer in the frame - you get the 'sweet spot' effect which improves the border performance - worth remembering. A lot of enthusiasts hunt out older lenses for this reason.



The Nikon 18-55 standard kit lens is very good - I'd have plumped for a Nikon instead of the Pentax for that lens except the feel and handling of the K100D are better for me. I'd suggest the 18-55 when included as part of a kit is so cheap that it's pointless not to get it. If you aren't getting a lens ( body only ) then the 18-200 VR. The older Nikon 18-55 kits ( with the D50, D70/70s are not quite as good, but you'd hardly complain )..

If you want to get a good all purpose lens the Nikon 18-200 VR is well considered. Another option would be to get the 55-200 VR ( which is sold separately and as part of twin lens kits ). It's a very well regarded lens..

Have a look at lens reviews at DPReview itself and Photozone.de and Photodo.com for more info..

I don't think you'll be over your head. Far from it - you're starting well ahead of most DSLR users these days..

So to summarize :.

(a) The "modern" D40, D40X or D60(b) A used D50 or D70 or D70s(c) the Nikon 18-55 kit and a 55-200 VR(d) the Nikon 18-55 and your old 28-200 lens(e) the Nikon 18-200 VR.

Good hunting..

StephenG.

Fuji S3 ProPentax K100DFuji S9600Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #8

Claudia, sorry to imply you didn't have SLR experience. I didn't put it together that your previous camera was a film SLR. I saw the NIkon model (don't know nikon models) and thought maybe the lens 28-200 you gave was the zoom lens on a P&S, I wasn't thinking and missed the film part entirely..

RedFox: Believe it or not I did read the post, but apparently didn't comprehend it as well as I should have. And maybe for my con of "heavier" I should have put "not quite as convenient", thinking in terms of having children, a DSLR is not as convenient as it is bulkier and heavier. FOr me, I probably baby my camera too much, if not in use, it's always in it's case, lenses detached, whereas my P&S was always just lying around somewhere..

Just trying to learn.

Blog: http://novicephotog.blogspot.com/Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/9778447@N07/..

Comment #9

The Canon Xsi. If you want to do sports, you'll have twice the amount of pixels for cropping than the d40 has in the Xsi (6 vs. 12MP). This can be a very significant thing when you double your pixels, and it'll help even for pictures of kids if you want, and I strongly suggest, to print keepers in 4x6 to have a paper copy of the image not leaving it to the unknown of digital corruption and file compatability and media readability in 10, 20, or even 30 years from now. The Xsi is still entry level but a step above the d40 as far as controls, features, and performance. Plus it has liveview which you may, or may not, find useful.

Just 3 points of the d40...

Comment #10

Buying on the grey market is not recommended and "international" warranities may not be ecactly "international enough"..

You seem to have boxed yourself into a kind of corner with the DSLR purchase though because modern compacts no longer have that terrible shutter lag. I can actually use the Fuji 9100 (admittedy a big SLR-like camera, in the same way that I would my DSLR and still expect to get the shots, with the exception of the DSLR handling review shots quite a lot faster..

Did you like the live preview function on the s100? Might you miss it on a DSLR without the facility (needing to check the shot after you've taken it on the LCD)?.

The Sony Alpha 350 DSLR might then be a good one for you consider as it has a flip out LCD with live view. You could also attach one of those Tamron lenses. 18-55 (28-77mm) is surely not going to be sufficient..

John.Please visit me at:http://www.pbase.com/johnfr/backtothebridgehttp://www.pbase.com/johnfr/digital_dartmoor..

Comment #11

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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