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move to DSLR or not?
Looking for a new camera and not sure whether to venture into the world of DSLR's or not. I have a Point and Shoot digital which I like for portability, but that's about it. It takes 10 seconds between shots if I use the flash and at least 4 if I don't. Are there point and shoots that offer almost instant shot to shot time (not burst) or is a dslr the way to go? Any thoughts would be appreciated..

ThanksStacie..

Comments (19)

I don't know much about P&S's anymore, but I do know that the Sony H9 is almost as fast as a DSLR from time to time to focus and take pictures (saw this in a CameraLabs video review), and the Canon G9 is almost designed as a mini-DSLR. Maybe checking either of those would help you...

Comment #1

Stacie,.

It depends on what you want to do with the camera. If you are looking for high quality shots a DSLR will beat any Point and Shoot. Any DSLR will be faster. Down side is having to change lenses and deal with larger size and over time greater cost..

Look at the kind of shots you take. Look at how often you do prints. You might want to go with a big zoom point and shoot. They will not be as fast as a DSLR which can do at least 3 frames per second, but do you really need that?.

MaddogOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #2

I prefer to make prints and take lots of photos of my young son, pets, vacation destinations, etc. I'm not really into macro, wildlife or scenic photography. I have missed some great moments due to shutter lag with my current p&s. Ultimately I want to take 10 good photos instead of 100 and hope to get 1 or two out of the bunch. Budget wise I'm right around $600 initial investment. Thanks for your thoughts and ideas, all are greatly appreciated..

Stacie..

Comment #3

Imaging Resource has a "performance" page as part of their reviews which lists different cycle times. I don't personally have a need for fast shot-to-shot times, but it was interesting to see that the G9's time was 2.12 seconds (flash recycle in 5.4 seconds) while the H9 was 1.74 seconds (slower flash recycling of 12.5 seconds). In comparison, an entry level DSLR (XTi) has a cycle time of 0.35 seconds (flash recycle in 3 seconds)...

Comment #4

Cedi wrote:.

I prefer to make prints and take lots of photos of my young son,pets, vacation destinations, etc. I'm not really into macro,wildlife or scenic photography. I have missed some great moments dueto shutter lag with my current p&s. Ultimately I want to take 10good photos instead of 100 and hope to get 1 or two out of the bunch.Budget wise I'm right around $600 initial investment. Thanks foryour thoughts and ideas, all are greatly appreciated..

Stacie.

I have been following a number of forums on dpreview (and others) for the past 12 months, debating whether to get into DSLR or not (I have a couple of digicams and film SLRs)..

What I see is, that in order to make a "significant" difference to your output in terms of "quality", getting a DSLR camera is only the first step of many..

Apart from the camera body, you would need a variety of fairly expensive lenses (as the lenses on digicams are already equal IMO to the DSLR consumer range -if not already somewhat better)..

Then, in order to obtain a significant improvement in your finished "image", you would need to invest significant time and money in post-processing: the mere ownership of even the "best" DSLR gear on the planet, as such, won't produce any improvement in your results whatever. If you don't believe me, track some threads posting "unprocessed-straight-off-the-camera" images on the varioous DSLR forums in dpreview (e.g. Sony, Canon, Pentax, and Nikon DSLR forums).

Then there's the whole issue of the dreaded "dust bunnies" on the sensor, which is another frequent topic on the DSLR threads..

For these reasons, there are frequent threads lauding the advantages (simplicity, convenience, lightness, portability) of various P&S cameras posted by owners/users of very expensive DSLRs and associated equipment..

The "shutter-lag" issue with P&Ss is largely a furphy, and can be minimized by suitable technique..

If you can't get "good shots" from a P&S, will you do any better with a DSLR?..

Comment #5

Stacie, I have a dSLR as well as a point and shoot and some camera's that are a little more than p & s. The one that gets the most use is my Panasonic FZ10, which I got several years ago. The zoom goes up to 12x, it captures speed for kids outdoor sports and when I added a $69 Sunpak flash for indoors, it's captured some beautiful homecoming and prom pictures. There are also manual controls on it which are very helpful when you don't want to shoot on automatic..

Your major considerations are price and convenience when weighing a middle of the range camera against a dSLR. Lenses are not cheap and you'd probably want more than one, and it can be a hassle to bring a camera bag with lenses on vacations, etc. That's why mine stays home more than the FZ10..

These are just some things you should think about before making the plunge either way..

Maureen..

Comment #6

Cedi wrote:.

I prefer to make prints and take lots of photos of my young son,pets, vacation destinations, etc. I'm not really into macro,wildlife or scenic photography. I have missed some great moments dueto shutter lag with my current p&s. Ultimately I want to take 10good photos instead of 100 and hope to get 1 or two out of the bunch.Budget wise I'm right around $600 initial investment. Thanks foryour thoughts and ideas, all are greatly appreciated..

Stacie.

Stacie,.

Ok. Based on what you ae saying a DSLR with kit lenses will meet almost all of your needs for a good long time. I'm going to tell you right upfront that I like Olys. However all DSLRs made now are fine cameras. However for the $$ I think the Olys offer the best value and far and away the best kit lenses..

I'm going to suggest you look at the oly 410 with the 2 lens kit. You can get it for about $560. I like the 510 because it has image stabilization but from what you are saying you want to shoot it is a nice to have IMO and it's about $100 more. This will give you 2 VERY good kit lenses that will provide ok wide and good telephoto capabilities..

Here is a link to the Oly website..

Http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/product.asp?product=1294.

Here is a link to my pbase site so you can see some sample images. The image quality from the 410 and 510 are the same, the 510 just has some addtional features that the 410 does not..

Http://www.pbase.com/maddogmd11.

Remember that Olympus is what I like. You should handle several cameras, check the prices, and see what feels the best for YOU. ANY of the DSLRs available now are good cameras so don't be limited by what I or anyone else says on these forums..

Good luck.

Maddog.

Olympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #7

I'd say getting 1 great photo out of 100 is pretty good going! All you'll gain with a DSLR is 99 better exposed and more sharply focused images; of course if that's where the only problem lies then you'll do better with almost any modern camera..

People pictures are a lot easier to get right with a DSLR not just because there iis less lag, but because it works more quickly taking and displaying shot to shot. The downside of a DSLR is that people see it as a serious camera and so are not so spontaneous both as subjects or photographers..

Image stablisation does not help with fast moving kids, only a fast shutter speed will help there and to get it you need to either use flash or select a high ISO. In non DSLRs high ISO = a lot of digital noise..

Take a look at my "Back to the Bridge Camera" link below for a discussion on a top of the range non-DSLR in use with a DSLR..

Stacie.

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

Comment #8

Mikelis wrote:.

The "shutter-lag" issue with P&Ss is largely a furphy, and can beminimized by suitable technique..

In Stacie's original message, the problem was that of missing opportunities due to long shot-to-shot cycle times (in single shot mode, not burst, the OP's present model taking about 4 seconds). I wonder if that was what was meant by the term "shutter lag" in the follow-up post. Cycle time differences between P&S and DSLRs are quite pronounced. Whether the 2 second average of most modern compacts would be acceptable isn't for me to say, but DSLRs come in typically at 1/2 second or less, and the flash recycle times are also much shorter...

Comment #9

In trying to be concise, I wasn't very clear. I am concerned with both shutter lag and cycle time. I have half pressed the shutter release to focus on my subject, then fully depressed the shutter release only to find when I played the image back, the subject was completely gone. Kids do move fast. So shutter lag is one concern. In this same scenario, I wonder if I would have had something that had a very quick shot to shot cycle time I could have captured something, rather than nothing..

I am also concerned about noise in my photos especially at low iso..

I am looking at the Pentax k100d super and the Olympus e-510. Both seem to have some auto capabilities that would help while I am learning, but then offer full manual operation for the future. I also have to consider my husband who can aim and shoot and nothing more..

Thanks for everyone's input. It is so greatly appreciated..

Stacie..

Comment #10

I have both a DSLR and top quality P&S. In broad daylight, the differences are at their minimum and the DSLR still offers a little more natural looking photo. As the light gets lower or more difficult, the DSLR wins, no contest. I also shoot with good glass on my DSLR and again, no contest as far as resolution...

Comment #11

Cedi wrote:.

In trying to be concise, I wasn't very clear. I am concerned withboth shutter lag and cycle time. I have half pressed the shutterrelease to focus on my subject, then fully depressed the shutterrelease only to find when I played the image back, the subject wascompletely gone. Kids do move fast. So shutter lag is one concern.In this same scenario, I wonder if I would have had something thathad a very quick shot to shot cycle time I could have capturedsomething, rather than nothing..

True enough..

There are some fixed-lens cameras with very short lag times if prefocused (while I haven't used them, my memory is telling me that Ricohs tend to be recommended here), and it's possible for an SLR to be slower due to the mirror bounce..

Fast SLRs tend to be very fast, however, and even (relatively) slower SLRs usually aren't all that slow. There's also no lag from an optical viewfinder, whereas not all EVFs are zippy so what you're seeing and therefore reacting to may be significantly more up-to-date on an OVF..

The E-510 should be pretty responsive so long as you're not using the LCD live view. If you use -that- mode, it'll do an extra shutter-close and mirror-bounce when triggering the shutter. Likewise, LCD live view will introduce some lag compared to an OVF, just as an EVF will..

I am also concerned about noise in my photos especially at low iso..

Low, as in not wanting even a sprinkling of luminance noise at ISO 100 (perhaps noticeable with blue skies)? Or did you mean high ISOs?.

You'll probably find the E-510 acceptable for fairly ordinary print sizes and conditions, although it's not number one at very high ISOs (e.g. 1600 or 3200)..

I am looking at the Pentax k100d super and the Olympus e-510. Bothseem to have some auto capabilities that would help while I amlearning, but then offer full manual operation for the future. Ialso have to consider my husband who can aim and shoot and nothingmore..

Pretty much any DSLR you can buy offers full manual operations, as well as aperture and shutter priority. Scene modes are not unusual on mass-market / entry-level cameras, although there's resistance to having them on the top tier..

I haven't used any of the Pentax cameras, but I have used two of the Olympus bodies (E-1, E-3). I might caution you to handle candidates in person, if possible; some people don't like the size of the viewfinder on the E-510, or the fact that the information display is on the right of the viewfinder instead of below. This may or may not be a problem for you. Likewise, the layout of controls or balance of it all may or may not be comfortable for your hands..

You may also want to get some sample images and have them printed perhaps at least as valuable a comparison as pixel-peeping...

Comment #12

Stacie:.

If you are willing to put some time into learning the basics of photography and how to properly use your camera (i.e., not in automatic mode), and if you are willing to learn the fundamentals of processing photographs, then, YES, by all means buy a dslr. Any of the introductory models will work just fineall of them are good. If you are not willing to do these things, then you should stick with a P&S..

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

Comment #13

Size is an issue. A DSLR won't fit in your pocket, or carry on your belt. Take a look at the Canon forum. Many who own both a DSLR & G9 will often reach for the G9 first, due to it's portability..

Also, how important are interchangeable lenses? This is one of the great diffenences between DSLRs and P&S cameras...

Comment #14

BigBen08 wrote:.

Also, how important are interchangeable lenses? This is one of thegreat diffenences between DSLRs and P&S cameras..

This is one main problem with DSLRs: no matter which lens is attached, it turns out you should have had a different one!.

With a P&S, like a Panasonic TZ3, a Ricoh Gx100, a Sony H9, or a Panny FZ50, you are equipped for almost anything...including Macro...

Comment #15

This is one main problem with DSLRs: no matter which lens isattached, it turns out you should have had a different one!>>.

Unless you use a decent zoom with a range of focal lengths that suits the majority of your photography, this is bound to be the case. 18mm (28mm equivalent) is seldom wide enough for good dynamic effect, and with my 35mm film camera I still use an 18mm thatts like 12mm on an APSC sensor..

The only time when I find changing lenses to be a physical problem is in the walk-around situation, especially when out and about walking the dog or climbing over difficult terrain. The worst case is when one unexpectedly finds something that requires a good macro lens..

I think 'proper' photographers are supposed to adopt an almost Zen like state of patience coupled with a sense of unlimited perserverence..

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

Comment #16

Thanks for all the input. I decided to go ahead with the dlsr, and am so excited. Just being able to shoot frame after frame without waiting for 4+ seconds has already been worth it. Thanks again!!!.

Stacie..

Comment #17

I decided on the Pentax K100d Super. I was able to purchase it locally for the same price as online and the camera shop spent about an hour with me going over every feature of the camera. Thanks for asking. Now I'm just itching to put it to good use..

Stacie..

Comment #18

I wouldn't knock a point and shoot completely off your list though either most Americans are two car families right there are advantages to a PS that a DSLR will never have you will never fit a DSLR in your pocket........unless you have really big pockets (then I question your fashion taste lol).

I have a PS as a back up camera that I can carry around with me I keep it in my purse because you never know when you might just see something that you need a camera for and those moments when I don't have my DSLR the PS comes in handy Casio is really good for shutter speed and Fuji is really good on low light and both those brands offer small, low priced cameras that will work really well too..

I think it's great to go DSLR the possibilities are endless with one and the quality of your pictures even if you are just using it in "auto" "PS" mode is phenomenal and I think you'll be really happy with it but don't over look the convenience of having a small camera nearby either...

Comment #19

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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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