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P&S or DSLR?
I am looking to replace my Canon PS Pro 1 with a more capable digital. It does very well in brilliant sunshine, for subjects not requiring an extension lens, provided that you are prepared to wait several seconds between exposures (awkward given that the response of the shutter is sometimes sluggish), and provided that the focus does not unaccountably reset to 5 metres (even when manual focus is selected). Focusing is the thing that most often goes wrong. I carry spare batteries so I can use the LCD display rather than pushing up my spectacles to squint into the viewfinder..

My principal photographic interest is railway scenes. The train will arrive at a time and speed of it's own choosing, irrespective of the weather. It will not back up and run past again if I don't get a good exposure, and may travel a significant distance between exposures. It is generally too far away for fill-in flash, except where I would risk blinding the driver. The locations where I wish to photograph are often far from home, and it takes time to get from one location to another during the day. This is particularly so when following a special train, which might not run again for a year if at all in those locations.

I think the word here is unforgiving"..

So I am unsure whether to go for a sophisticated point-and-click or a prosumer style DSLR - the gap in capabilities is narrowing. I need all the automated help I can get for hurry-up shots, while retaining the manual capabilities for when I have time to fiddle around..

I am particularly intrigued by the scene recognition and auto-focus capabilities of the D300. The Nikon blurb suggests that this system is optimised for recognising human subjects, like the more commonplace face detection capabilities. I'm not all that interested in auto-focusing on Thomas the Tank Engine when he deigns to look my way. Will SRS track a blob of arbitrary colour?.

I also think that any DSLR without live view might cause me trouble. I have seen references to Zigview, and it has a place on my wish list, but the cost makes me look for cheaper solutions..

Any general comments and specific info from SRS users are most welcome...

Comments (6)

I think the way for you to go is a dSLR. That said the choice you have to make is which one. My preference is one of the Pentax cameras. One thing is it is one that is weather proof to a point. The other waterproof cameras are a lot more expensive. Thatis where a plastic bag or as I recommend to my students get a rain hat that you can get when you stay in most hotels.

Also there are only 34 million lens for this camera. They are backwards compatable with any type of Pentax lens 42mm screw mount ever made. These lens are available for not a lot of money. That is the way I would go...

Comment #1

You're welcome to check out my "Back to the Bridge Camera" link below to see how a Fuji 9100/9600 fares when used alongside a DSLR..

However, the Pro1 image quality is going to be very difficult to beat, and none of the bridge cameras work fast enough shot to shot (not meaning burst... but charging onboard flash and including reviewing shots as well.).

I think you should seriously look at a Canon 40D - the viewfinder is a little better than on the 30D and that was one of the best IMO for glasses wearers. It also offers a kind of live view. If you want a flip out LCD with the live view, then there is a Panasonic DSLR on the market and also a Minolta Alpha 350 just announced..

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

Comment #2

Jsimonm wrote:.

I am looking to replace my Canon PS Pro 1 with a more capabledigital. It does very well in brilliant sunshine, for subjects notrequiring an extension lens, provided that you are prepared to waitseveral seconds between exposures (awkward given that the response ofthe shutter is sometimes sluggish), and provided that the focus doesnot unaccountably reset to 5 metres (even when manual focus isselected). Focusing is the thing that most often goes wrong. I carryspare batteries so I can use the LCD display rather than pushing upmy spectacles to squint into the viewfinder..

My principal photographic interest is railway scenes. The train willarrive at a time and speed of it's own choosing, irrespective of theweather. It will not back up and run past again if I don't get a goodexposure, and may travel a significant distance between exposures. Itis generally too far away for fill-in flash, except where I wouldrisk blinding the driver. The locations where I wish to photographare often far from home, and it takes time to get from one locationto another during the day. This is particularly so when following aspecial train, which might not run again for a year if at all inthose locations.

Ithink the word here is unforgiving"..

So I am unsure whether to go for a sophisticated point-and-click or aprosumer style DSLR - the gap in capabilities is narrowing..

I think differently. The gap is widening...by design, I think. About 3-4 years ago, Japan, Inc. decided to create a really cheap, entry-level dSLR and stopped improving high-end consumer digicams. The sensors got smaller...zoom ratios got bigger...noise went up...in-camera NR became pervasive and heavy. IQ went down..

There are a few indications that since everyone's cheap dSLRs are successful, they might release some better high IQ digicams. Stay tuned....

I needall the automated help I can get for hurry-up shots, while retainingthe manual capabilities for when I have time to fiddle around..

Gosh, I can't help but wonder how you'd cope with a faster form of transportaion than a train? .

I am particularly intrigued by the scene recognition and auto-focuscapabilities of the D300. The Nikon blurb suggests that this systemis optimised for recognising human subjects, like the morecommonplace face detection capabilities. I'm not all that interestedin auto-focusing on Thomas the Tank Engine when he deigns to look myway. Will SRS track a blob of arbitrary colour?.

Yes. All that marketing BS is confusing. It focuses on anything...and quickly..

I also think that any DSLR without live view might cause me trouble.I have seen references to Zigview, and it has a place on my wishlist, but the cost makes me look for cheaper solutions..

Zigview is a kluge!.

Any general comments and specific info from SRS users are most welcome..

If it can track jet aricraft at Mach 1 and race cars at 200 MPH, capturing a train should be easy..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #3

Thanks to all respondents. John's bridge website is good value. Charles has convinced me that SRS can run rings around my poor old eyes when it comes to focusing. My first camera in a previous life (1970s) was a Pentax, but all my old Tamron lenses are way past their use-by..

To summarise my conclusions so far:.

Nikon SRS looks like the perfect solution to my focusing issues, but is a relatively high end choice..

I need a short delay between shots in situations where flash is not a consideration..

I need the capability to extend beyond 7x optical zoom at the telephoto end. To do this without dropping too many f-stops may cost..

My old SLR lenses died from fungus attack, so I may need to be careful of this, especially going DSLR..

New models in March may shed more light on my possible options..

Any further comments welcome...

Comment #4

Jsimonm wrote:.

Thanks to all respondents. John's bridge website is good value.Charles has convinced me that SRS can run rings around my poor oldeyes when it comes to focusing. My first camera in a previous life(1970s) was a Pentax, but all my old Tamron lenses are way past theiruse-by..

To summarise my conclusions so far:.

Nikon SRS looks like the perfect solution to my focusing issues, butis a relatively high end choice..

While I have the D300, honestly, all the comparable dSLRs focus well. You should also consider the 40D and the K20D..

I need a short delay between shots in situations where flash is not aconsideration..

I need the capability to extend beyond 7x optical zoom at thetelephoto end. To do this without dropping too many f-stops may cost..

Or you need to change lenses. With a big-format sensor, large zoom ratios are difficult and result in compromises..

My old SLR lenses died from fungus attack, so I may need to becareful of this, especially going DSLR..

I'm lead to believe that modern lenses are less likely to support fungus growth. Older lens coatings were the culprit...they were organic (food)..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #5

A couple of things you mentioned stood out. The need of of wide dynamic range because of the likelyhood of part of the image in shadows against a bright background and the need of quick response in shooting the correct image. Fuji DSLRs (S5 is worth it) have a very good ability to capture wide dynamic range also good color tone capture. Bracketing the exposure images. (several images in quick succession at different exposures) is something to try.The zigview (too bad it is so danged expensive) is on my list. Being able to frame a picture without looking through the lens would be of great benefit.http://www.engadget.com/...6/09/11/zigview-s2-digital-angle-finder-for-dslrs/Will..

Comment #6

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