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Move from P&S to 1st dSLR? (for low light, action, general)
Hi,.

I'm considering moving into the world of dSLR because I would like to get more into photography and overcome some of the limits I have encountered using my compact camera..

Currently I have a Ricoh gx100 compact which is great for street photography, landscapes and general use and I really like this camera..

But, I find myself in situations fairly regularly where I want to take pictures in low light, or of moving subjects (usually dance). In these situations, the gx100 just doesn't seem to be able to achieve very good results. I would also like to be able to take pictures that have a good depth of field, something which I understand is very limited with compacts..

Having said that, portability is very important to me, and I do not really see myself carrying around a heap of equipment..

So I'm wondering if there is a dSLR which might suit my needs?.

Basically my requirements are:- Good performance in low light and action situations.

- As small and portable as possible (I do realize that a dSLR is going to be much bulkier than a compact however).

- Camera that is suited to a beginner owning a dSLR for the first time (I am willing to put some time into learning though)- Wide angle ability is more important to me than zoom capability..

-It is also worth noting that since I live in Japan, the Japanese brands are much easier and cheaper for me to get than non-Japanese ones.

From reading around this forum, I see a lot of people recommending the following cameras:-Canon XSI (X2 Kiss here in Japan I believe).

-Nikon D40 or D60 (I read somewhere that this has a 18-200mm lens? If so, it seems like a good option since I can make do with one versatile lens rather than carry multiple ones)- Olympus E-420 or E-510-Pentax k20D.

If anyone has any advice on these or anything else for my needs, it is greatly appreciated. Thanks for you help...

Comments (6)

Kiri wrote:.

Hi,I'm considering moving into the world of dSLR because I would like toget more into photography and overcome some of the limits I haveencountered using my compact camera..

Currently I have a Ricoh gx100 compact which is great for streetphotography, landscapes and general use and I really like this camera.But, I find myself in situations fairly regularly where I want totake pictures in low light, or of moving subjects (usually dance). Inthese situations, the gx100 just doesn't seem to be able to achievevery good results. I would also like to be able to take pictures thathave a good depth of field, something which I understand is verylimited with compacts..

Having said that, portability is very important to me, and I do notreally see myself carrying around a heap of equipment..

So I'm wondering if there is a dSLR which might suit my needs?.

Basically my requirements are:- Good performance in low light and action situations- As small and portable as possible (I do realize that a dSLR isgoing to be much bulkier than a compact however)- Camera that is suited to a beginner owning a dSLR for the firsttime (I am willing to put some time into learning though)- Wide angle ability is more important to me than zoom capability..

-It is also worth noting that since I live in Japan, the Japanesebrands are much easier and cheaper for me to get than non-Japaneseones.

From reading around this forum, I see a lot of people recommendingthe following cameras:-Canon XSI (X2 Kiss here in Japan I believe)-Nikon D40 or D60 (I read somewhere that this has a 18-200mm lens? Ifso, it seems like a good option since I can make do with oneversatile lens rather than carry multiple ones)- Olympus E-420 or E-510-Pentax k20D.

If anyone has any advice on these or anything else for my needs, itis greatly appreciated. Thanks for you help..

Hi.

All dslrs will be better in low light than your point and shoot.Try as many as you can and get what you like..

The K20d is in another league to the other cameras you mention , it is also bigger. If you do try Pentax, try a K200d or even a K100d super if you can find one..

As for depth of field, that is one area where your compact wins for the most part. With the fast lenses you really need with a dslr to get the best in low light, the faster the lens the shallower the dof. You can still use smaller apertures in low light but the shutter speed will be very slow and too slow for people..

It would seem you need a camera with the highest reasonable iso some have a useable iso 3200 ( Pentax K100d super for example...newer k200d only has 1600)... the entry Canons are pretty good in low light as is the Nikon d40..

Having said that I think you would be fine with just about any dslr and kit lens..

Neil..

Comment #1

Thanks for the reply.I just went down to the shop and checked out some of the cameras and prices..

Canon xs1/450D is going for about US$750 with 18-55 lens or $1000 with additional 55-250 lens..

Nikon D80 $880 with 18-135 lensNikon D60 $760Nikon D40 $600 with 18-55 + 55-200 lens.

Olympus E-520 $900 with 14-42 + 40-150 lens.

Seems like the D40 is best value, but I'm not really sure how it compares to the others..

Does anyone know how the quality of the lenses compare between canon/nikon/olympus? Specifically with the wide angle ones..

Also some of the cameras come with a 'VR' lens. What is VR?..

Comment #2

Currently I have a Ricoh gx100 compact.

Me too! Great camera..

I would also like to be able to take pictures that.

The Ricoh has great depth of field! In other words, it has lots of it. What you're wanting from an SLR is a limited depth of field, or at least the ability to control aperture to limit the depth of field..

So I'm wondering if there is a dSLR which might suit my needs?.

No SLR is exactly small. The Olympus E420 is the smallest, and the Olympus 4/3 lens system also means their lenses are smaller. It's a very good camera, and just a bit different, which might appeal to you as a Ricoh owner..

For the lowest noise at high ISO, a complete contrast to the Ricoh, the Canon XSi is probably the top mainstream SLR. You'll miss the twin control wheels of the GX100, but you have to spend a lot on an SLR to get that..

There are no bad SLRs, so try to hold them in store to make sure the one you choose fits your hands. This is important: I nearly bought a Nikon D80 once until I compared it to a Canon 400D in store. The size difference was startling. I was so glad I hadn't bought without touching ..

Androohttp://Androo.smugmug.com..

Comment #3

I saw a thread where the kits were ranked: Oly, Nikon, Pentax, Canon, Sony...

Comment #4

Kiri wrote:.

Thanks for the reply.I just went down to the shop and checked out some of the cameras andprices..

Canon xs1/450D is going for about US$750 with 18-55 lens or $1000with additional 55-250 lens..

Nikon D80 $880 with 18-135 lensNikon D60 $760Nikon D40 $600 with 18-55 + 55-200 lens.

Olympus E-520 $900 with 14-42 + 40-150 lens.

Seems like the D40 is best value, but I'm not really sure how itcompares to the others..

Does anyone know how the quality of the lenses compare betweencanon/nikon/olympus? Specifically with the wide angle ones..

Also some of the cameras come with a 'VR' lens. What is VR?.

HI.

Kit lenses are reviewed here.

Http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/.

Probably the Oly is the best (of those, the Pentax rates higher and the tested Pentax lens has been replaced by a better lens still). Oly makes great camera but would not be my pick for low light..

If you are only going to buy the one lens than maybe the Nikon D40, though for low light the kit lens will possibly dissapoint from any brand simply because they are slow lenses. Still usable in low light but might limit your shutter speed..

A good fast 50 mm lens will help, but there are none that will work with the D40 (a expensive Sigma one is coming)..actually they will work but not auto focus..

If I was going Nikon I would try and find a good used D50. It may not be quite as good overall as a d40 but screwdrive auto focus works with it, so many more good low light lenses are available to it. There are some available to the D40 type cameras but no where near as many. An inexpensive Nikon 50 1.8 (probably the cheapest/best bang for buck going) makes it very useable..

D60 is in the same boat as the D40, the D80 is larger and can auto focus a 50 1.8 af lens..

The Canon has very good low light performance and there is a cheap 50 af lens available. be careful though as there seem to be quite a few 450s with focus problems...a good one is very good but make sure you try before you buy and that you can take it back if not happy..

Neither Canon or Nikon have stabilisation built into the camera, they use VR (Nikon) and IS (Canon) in certain lenses ...like the new Kit lenses..

There are NO stabilized short lenses (under 100mm) faster than 2.8 for Nikon or Canon, I think there are one or two that are 2.8 but they are very expensive..

Samsung, Pentax, Sony and Oly have stabilisation in the cameras (for some it is only certain models)..

For low light, Stabilization is more important than auto focus to me... I use old fast manual focus lenses in low light a lot. I was happy with my Pentax Ist*D but much prefer the k100d now simply becaue of the antishake. It will not help with subject movement, for that you still need the faster shutter speeds of a faster lens and higher iso....it is still a great feature though and sometimes it does help in that if the subject is not moving you may get a shot you would otherwise miss..

Of those cameras on your list I would get in ordera GOOD copy Canon 450 plus IS kit lens plus 50 1.8Nikon D80 (not too big?) plus VR kit lens plus 50 1.8Nikon D40 plus VR kit lens plus 50 1.8.

I would opt for a K100d or D50 over those though and they would both be cheaper but thats me...

The D40 (and D50) uses the same sensor as my K100d.This is Kirsty Lee Akers (again) at iso 3200 1/45.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Neil.

Link back to flickrhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/26884588@N00/..

Comment #5

Thanks for your reply Neil.I hadn't looked at the pentax k100d yet, so I will certainly give it a look..

I think the canon is a very nice camera also, but I'm a bit hesitant about it because it did not feel very natural or intuitive to me when I held it..

I am still rather taken with the Olympus design and mindset. Though I realize the smaller sensor and lenses make it not quite as good in low light...Though perhaps with a fast lens it might perform fairly well ? .

Anyway, thanks for your advice.And very nice photos by the way .

Cheers..

Comment #6

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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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