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DSLR or compact camera - what to buy on a limited budget
Hi all,.

I am looking for a camera to replace my older Olympus 4mpix compact camera, but I am not sure what kind of kamera I should buy on a limited budget (<$1000)..

I am considering a DSLR for image quality, but I will not likely spend any money on lenses so I will have to do with the one in the kit. Considering this, will I get a better camera wrt features/zoom range/IS/etc spending the money on a 'high-end' compact instead of an entry level budget DSLR kit?.

For example, I am looking at the Canon PowerShot G9, and Sony A100 with a 18-77 mm lens..

Your insight is appreciated!..

Comments (16)

Fu8 wrote:.

I am looking for a camera to replace my older Olympus 4mpix compactcamera, but I am not sure what kind of kamera I should buy on alimited budget (<$1000)..

Lot of options..

I am considering a DSLR for image quality, but I will not likelyspend any money on lenses so I will have to do with the one in thekit. Considering this, will I get a better camera wrt features/zoomrange/IS/etc spending the money on a 'high-end' compact instead of anentry level budget DSLR kit?.

What about Olympus E510 with twin lens kit. Price ~ $550 on amazon..

One of better kit lenses and together they will effectively cover 10.7x zoom equi..

For example, I am looking at the Canon PowerShot G9, and Sony A100with a 18-77 mm lens..

DSLRs have better dynamic range and produce less noisy images at higher ISOs..

You have to prioritize based on size, zoom, quality, price, functionality. (DSLRs lose on size and zoom.)Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #1

You mean the 18-70 kit lens on the Sony Alpha 100 (same as on my old Minolta KM5D)?.

That's a reasonable lens but it can give quite a bit of distortion at wide angle.The 28-300 lens on my Fuji 9100 (prosumer camera) is better..

I think the thing to do here is to work out which focal lengths you use most. If you're a mainly telephoto person then you'd need to be looking at either a Panasonic Fz50 or one of the Fujis. If you're into wide angle more then the DSLR will be the better choice. Don't rule out Olympus, they're a neat size and work nicely..

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

Comment #2

I am also debating this issue. if you are serious about learning photography then there are many dslr options for $1000. but if not, then you may be wasting a lot of money taking pictures you don't really like if you don't really know how to use a dslr and you're not going to put time into learning. the cheapest modern dslr with not a very good lens runs about $400 whereas you can get decent image-stabilized compact cameras at $200. you will mainly see the difference at low light and distortion / aberration depending on the lens. I am leaning towards a p&s since I just want to take random pictures when I am walking around and notice something interesting.

Anyway a lot of dslrs are probably just gathering dust on shelves...

Comment #3

That is very interesting. Most people would assume that any DSLR is better than a 'compact'. (Of course the sensor is larger on a DSLR, which should give better image quality)..

My main use for the camera will be family pictures (indoors), so I guess my main priorities for a camera would be low noise at higher ISO, and fast lenses with zoom in the wider range. Camera size, speed, ruggedness etc is not that important..

I've tried searching for prosumer cameras with wider angle zoom and wider aperture, but I do not know how these compare to the lower end DSLRs..

Are there any comparative reviews of DSLRs and SLR-likes?..

Comment #4

Intriguing. If a $200 compact camera can give better pictures than a $400 dslr...

As I've already got a couple of compact cameras, and even a mobile phone camera with a few megapixels, I am looking for something to complement them, on the occasions where image quality is important..

For me, that would be **family stuff**. I don't care for nature photography, and for travel/vacation, I'm usually happy with the grainy-mobile-snapshots and the occasional glossy postcard  ..

Comment #5

Fu8 wrote:.

That is very interesting. Most people would assume that any DSLR isbetter than a 'compact'. (Of course the sensor is larger on a DSLR,which should give better image quality)..

Well, that is generally true. You are quite correct that the much larger sensor on a DSLR (around 10x larger) is capable of producing better image quality, espically in poor light. At low ISO valies, i.e. in good light, good compacts are capable of excellent results, especially if you only view images on -screen or only require small prints, say 5 x 7 inches. In these circumstances a compact may be 'better' in that it is lighter, smaller, and therefore more likely to be in your pocket when you want it..

But you mentioned that you like taking pictures indoors without a flash. That means ISO values of 800 or above.... and this is where you will really see the difference in image quality with a DSLR. Something like a Nikon D40 or Pentax K100d, both of which have good, sharp kit lenses, will do an excellent job for you. The pentax has the advantage of image stabilisation built-in..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #6

I've compared a Fuji 9100 with 28-300 lens in use against a KM 5D in the introduction to then "Back to the Bridge Camera" link below. I think the DSLR is essential if you want to shoot detail above ISO 400. If you don't crop you might just get away with it, but who wants to only just get the shots?.

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

Comment #7

With your current camera is simply picture quality then any camera you get now will improve your situation. If the camera you have now isn't limiting you then stick with a good quality non-DSLR. You have a ton to pick from..

I ran into a man a few days ago with a DSLR and he was using it only on automatic and had only the kit lens with no intention of getting more. I thought it was rather a waste.Patrick T. KellyOaxaca, Mexico..

Comment #8

Fu8 wrote:.

Hi all,.

I am looking for a camera to replace my older Olympus 4mpix compactcamera, but I am not sure what kind of kamera I should buy on alimited budget (<$1000)..

I am considering a DSLR for image quality, but I will not likelyspend any money on lenses so I will have to do with the one in thekit. Considering this, will I get a better camera wrt features/zoomrange/IS/etc spending the money on a 'high-end' compact instead of anentry level budget DSLR kit?.

For example, I am looking at the Canon PowerShot G9, and Sony A100with a 18-77 mm lens..

Your insight is appreciated!.

Hi.

You can get a good camera with a nice lens for your $1000..

A Pentax K100d with a Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 may suit you. This lens is quite popular, a notch above the kit lens and is stabilised on the Pentax, which has a reasonable iso 3200 if needed...

Having said that you could get a decent lens with most entry cameras and you should try as many as you can....what suits you on paper or computer screen you might not like once you get it in your hand..

Neil..

Comment #9

If you are sticking to daylight and good light shooting, something like a G7, G9, A640, A650, NV15 may be adequate. When conditions get bad, then the DSLR rules. Since your budget is < $1000, I would go for a K100D or K100D super. Get the Sigma 17-70 and you may still have enough money for another lens or even an NV15 digicam...

Comment #10

For long term investment DSLR. They give you somewhere to move too, your initial investment in lenses is long term, the body is slightly less disposable than a compact. Its definetly tue that straight out of the box a compact may get better images than some DSLR's but in the hands of a practiced user the range of what can be done with the dslr is of a far far better quality..

Yes I know there is stunning work done with compacts but that is more to do with the individual exceptional photographers eye and composition. For 99% of us the extra from the dslr is what we need. Most dslr manufacturers have a very reasonably priced fast 50mm lens which is ideal for indoor use, and gives that extra quality the general use kit lens has not got..

Tony..

Comment #11

Doesn't seem to have as vocal a fan base as Oympus and Pentax, but is an excellent camera with very good ISS system. The 18-70 kit lens is one of the better low priced kit lenses around. With newer Sony models coming out you should be able to find good buys on it...

Comment #12

Cameras do not take photos. Photographers take photos using a tool known as a camera. A good photographer with a P&S camera can take better photos than a noob photographer with a top-of-the-line dslr. A noob photographer probably will take better photos with a P&S than with a dslr. However, if the noob studies and practices for a few months, he or she will take MUCH better photos with a dslr..

What it boils down to is this: How bad do you want to learn photography? If the answer is "a lot," then buy a dslr. If it is "not much," then stick with a P&S..

Jerryhttp://jchoate.zenfolio.com/..

Comment #13

Thanks! do you have any tips on 50mm fixed f.length lenses? I am looking into the Sigma 17-70 also.....

Comment #14

Your point is taken .

However, I think that it relates mostly to the ability to 'see' motives, compose pictures and be at the right place at the right time, and only secondary to be able to get everything out of your camera's technical possibilities...?.

I consider myself not very talented wrt to the first, but with a certain technical understanding.Having modest goals for my photography, I still would like to have a camera with a greater usage range than the old 4mpix...

Comment #15

That is really the first question you should be asking yourself. Certainly while DSLRs have image quality advantages, you will always get the best photographs from the camera you have with you, not the one at home in the closet. They are vastly different tools for different things. I personally couldn't live without both...

Comment #16

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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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