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Photography Question 
Julie Gamicchia
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/14/2005
 

Differences between DSLR's and regular digi cams


Can someone please tell me what would be the advantage of buying a DSLR, compared to sticking with my Nikon coolpix 8700. Right now I am shooting mainly indoor and outdoor portraits. I guess my question is..what does the DSLR do that my camera does not. Thank you for any insight. :)


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10/11/2005 12:46:13 PM

 
Forrest C. Wilkinson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/15/2005
  Julie,

A great, and often asked question. And if you'd ask me, and probably many other professionals, they would tell you simply, "Everything." Most point and shoot cameras have "picture LCD displays" which show you what the camera is shooting. Well these displays are normally not of a high quality and will not show you exactly where your focus is, whereas you see that in a DSLR; that is the most obvious diffrence. But the main difference is that DSLR's have interchangable lenses, and better sensors in many cases. The lens on your CoolPix is a low end Nikon lens compared to the high quality Nikkor or Canon L Series lenses. Remember that, when selling a point-and-shoot camera, all they have to do is make the camera look good, the lens doesn't matter. And truthfully, you can talk all you want about megapixels and sensors; but the truth is, the lens is what makes a good, sharp picture. And bluntly, a point and shoot lens will not give even close to as good of a picture as a DSLR with a $1200 Canon L series lens. You will not regret going to DSLR. Let me know if there's any other way I can help.


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10/11/2005 1:55:43 PM

 
Julie Gamicchia
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/14/2005
  Forrest thank you, the information that you provided was very helpful. Another question do you know what would be the best dslr for under $1,000. I know that there are not many under that price but I have found a few...mostly "body only" of course. Thank you again!! Julie :)


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10/11/2005 5:14:59 PM

 
Forrest C. Wilkinson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/15/2005
  The best DSLR under a thousand is probably the Canon Digital Rebel XT, however I recommend spending another $200 on the Canon 20D.


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10/12/2005 1:25:05 PM

 
Jay A. Grantham
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2005
  I don't currently own a DSLR, but have been shopping.
I would have to say, go to a local camera shop and put them in your hands. I was looking at the Canon, Nikon and Konica Minolta all in the same price range (350 Rebel, 50D, 5D respectivly) but after holding them I looked at the Canon 20D and Nikon D70s. (D70s fits me best) All the cameras mentioned (and many more not mentioned) will do fine.
The camera is just a tool.. get the one that feels best to you.
I spent about $30 on magazines and spent many hours on-line reading about the cameras.. do the same or similar and you won't be so overwhelmed going in to your investment.
fyi, http://www.dpreview.com/ and other sites have some great reviews.

Good Luck!

--jay


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10/12/2005 2:45:06 PM

 
Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  Many reasons why the DSLR is superior to a P&S.

1) Physically larger image sensor. This equates to sharper images, better color rendition, far leass "noise."
A 5 MP DSLR will run circles around a 8MP point & shoot in this regard.

2) A good DSLR allows the user to make many adjustments "on the fly." No stupid menus to cycle thru just to change white balance, exp comp, meter mode etc...

3) Faster..Faster..Faster! A good DSLR when you press the shutter shoots the pic NOW! Minimal delay.

4) Faster autofocus! Period.

5) Almost instant on when you power it up..not to mention it does not consume batteries nearly as fast as a P&S.
I never checked, but I can probably shoot at least 500 pics on one charge.

6) Interchangeable lenses

There are more reasons, but I think I covered the major ones.

Happy shooting,

Pete


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10/12/2005 9:33:55 PM

 
Julie Gamicchia
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/14/2005
  Thank you all for your suggestions!! Pete thank you, you answered one of my main issues...I want a faster camera by the time I focus and try to take the shot...my subject has usually moved...drives me crazy. I have been checking out the Nikon D70s...probably more than I can spend but since I have started my own business I think it will be a worthy investment...now I just have to convince my husband of that! :) Thank you all again! Julie


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10/13/2005 8:17:12 AM

 
Jay A. Grantham
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2005
  DSLR are that for sure.. MUCH Faster!

Grats on your business.. shoot me an email and I may have a way for you to show your husband why it's a worthy investment (if the business is photography related).


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10/13/2005 8:35:09 AM

 
Julie Gamicchia
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/14/2005
  Okay so I found the Canon Digital Rebel XT for a decent price, but...my husband is looking at the Olympus Evolt E300 Digital SLR (he knows absolutely nothing about photography/cameras and is really trying to get me to buy the Olympus)I know he means well... I am trying to find some comparisions...the Olympus
comes with two lenses, the Canon comes with one and is about $30.00 cheaper. I am not familiar with the Olympus brand...any info would be appreciated. :)


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10/13/2005 10:01:55 AM

 
Jay A. Grantham
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2005
  A quote from November 2005 Digital Photographer, author Douglas Stevenson in his article "How to Buy A Digital Camera"..

As long as you stick with recognized name manufacturers, like Sony, Casio, Epson, Panasonic, and all the other long-established names in the camera industry, companies like Fujifilm, Kodak, Nikon, Konica Minolta, Samsung, Olympus and Canon, you can rest assured that there are no truly bad cameras out there.

Hope that helps

--jay


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10/13/2005 11:41:27 AM

 
Julie Gamicchia
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/14/2005
  Thanks Jay..I did a lot of comparisons on both of the cameras..I like the Canons features a little bit better..but the Olympus does come with the two lenses..so I will probably end up with that one. Thanks again! :) Julie


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10/13/2005 11:46:55 AM

 
Forrest C. Wilkinson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/15/2005
  I might tend to disagree with Douglas on that issue. The bundled lenses are going to be very low quality in the Olympus situation. Canon's EF-S lenses are a whole lot better, even though they still aren't great. Remember, the better the lens, the faster the autofocus motor, the faster focus you will get, and add on the focus points into your arguement. The lens is going to give you the sharper picture though, so Canon blows right past Olympus in that department. Think about it, you won't see any professionals using Olympus cameras on the sidelines of any football games, you see Canon 1D Mark II's and Canon L glass lenses. But if you are going to be using the bundled lenses, there is no comparison between the Canon XT and the Olympus E300, the XT is considerably better with the lenses and with the camera, my advice is, go with the XT. And my second piece of advice is, buy a Canon L glass lens or a better Olympus lens ASAP. Canon L glass is going to give you the best contrast, saturation, and sharpness out of all the lenses. IMO, you should definitely go with Canon over Olympus.


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10/13/2005 1:30:54 PM

 
Julie Gamicchia
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/14/2005
  Thanks Forrest...I tried to tell all of that to my husband...(he would not listen)we have decided to go with the Olympus...because of price etc... I hope that I will not regret it... I have a feeling that I will...but once I make enough money on my own (my husband works full time, I do the photography thing part-time) then I will buy what I want. I really appreciate all of your help! :) Julie


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10/13/2005 1:41:21 PM

 
Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  The eVOLT will turn out fine images I am sure.
I will say this; I am convinced in my mind that the camera contributes about 10% to the artistic value of a photo.
I have seen some point and shoot photos that are award winning!

This is probably a subject that deserves a thread of it's own, but still; I believe firmly that the photo starts not in exposure, meter modes or even focus, but in one's mind.
The camera, in only my opinion is simply an extension that will hopefully capture what the mind sees.

I know that Tiger Woods would kick my butt all over the golf course if all he had to use was a cheap 100 dollar set of clubs. LOL

The eVOLT will be fine.
You will never hear me argue which camera is better..way too much ground and definitions to cover. :)
To me, the best camera is the one you currently have and are happy with.

Happy Shooting Julie,

Pete


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10/13/2005 8:31:34 PM

 
John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  I agree with Pete... the Olympus e300 is a fine camera and there isn't an image that you could capture on a Canon that you can't capture on it. So, don't worry about your camera. It will not be a limiting factor.

I can guarantee you that up to 8x10 size, there's not a dime's worth of difference when it comes to image quality between the major 6 to 8 MP cameras given equivalent quality lenses. But you WILL see a major improvement over your 8700 (which is one of the best of the digicams).

Good luck with your new camera.


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10/14/2005 4:05:33 AM

 
Julie Gamicchia
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/14/2005
  Pete and John,
Thank you so much I feel a lot better now. I have had this bad feeling in the pit of my stomach since last night thinking what If this camera is not good enough. I was also thinking exactly what you said Pete, I have seen some amazing photos taken with just with point and shoot cameras..it takes more than a great camera to make a great image! Thank you again, I am supposed to be recieving my camera today. Hopefully I will get a chance to take some pics and upload them..I will try to keep you posted. Take care. Julie


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10/14/2005 5:35:58 AM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  the Evolt has some drawbacks but they do have some nice lens options and they have the auto cleaning sensor. I was looking into the Evolt before I got my rebel xt, I thought I read somewhere that Olympus was getting out of the DSLR game...? anyone else hear this? could have been a rumor. Im sure the Evolt will be fine for you...dont sweat it. Most people just go with the popular camera so's to be with the "in" crowd anyway.. good to go against the grain once in awhile!
Good luck with your new Camera!
Craig-


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10/14/2005 9:48:45 AM

 
Jay A. Grantham
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2005
  Well, they just came out with the E500 (or coming soon) so possibly you were thinking of Kodak getting out of the DSLR game? At least I think I read that.. I could, too be mistaken.

--jay


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10/14/2005 10:07:54 AM

 
Forrest C. Wilkinson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/15/2005
  Kodak got into the dSLR world by mistake anyhow, it was just Canon that teamed up with them for a time.

To the Olympus camera, I did not mean to demean the Olympus camera, and no doubt you will get good pictures with it. Also there is no doubt that a good photographer can take good pictures with many different cameras. You will not be disappointed, nor should you feel bad.

All I was saying is that the lens quality on Canon cameras is higher, given the high price as well. That's all. And I don't think that anyone buys a camera to go with a trend, or to be popular, no offense. I bought Canon because I had already invested in Canon equipment and I knew that the quality of Canon L series lenses was the top quality of all the equipment I had used, with respect to some of Leica's products (including Nikon, Olympus, and Kodak). Please don't take anything in a bad way, the E300 is a good camera.


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10/14/2005 1:31:46 PM

 
Julie Gamicchia
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/14/2005
  Thank you everyone. Forrest I really wanted the Canon..for a really long time now..but my husband really pushed for me to get the Olympus. I got it yesterday. I cannot believe how fast it is compared to my 8700. I actually used it today in a "photo shoot". I can't wait to see how the pics look when I print them. The only thing I don't like so far is that macro mode is separate from manual mode and it looks the the aperture is fixed at f4.0 in macro mode. Maybe I need to play around with it a little more I could be wrong...amatuer. Hopefully I will get some pics uploaded before the weekend is over. Thanks again! Julie


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10/15/2005 8:58:41 AM

 
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