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Thread: Should I start with a DSLR?

  1. #1

    Default Should I start with a DSLR?

    Hi everyone I'm thinking of getting my first digital camera. Previously I only use a SLR camera (Nikon F55) which I bought for my photojourn module back in school. So in a sense I have some basic knowledge of SLR photography, but the thing is I seldom shoot using that camera as it's troublesome to take out for casual shoots, plus the additional costs of developing prints. However I love being able to shoot on positives and BnW film, which I did when I have a chance to travel overseas. Sad to say, my F55 is gathering dust nowadays. Plus I didn't really take good care of it (I didn't keep it in a dry cabinet, just inside its carrying case).

    Now I'm wondering should I move on to a DSLR. One thing is I want to be able to have control over the exposure and shutter settings etc. Just too used to it, such that when using point-and-shoot cameras I'll feel some form of frustration when I try to adjust some settings but discover I can't. I like being able to work with the lens, creating different depth of fields with the focusing etc, which is something that will be lacking in a point-and-shoot camera too.

    However I am afraid that the money I spent on a DSLR will be wasted, like the path of my F55. On the other hand, with the ease of image transfer on a DSLR and numerous shots without fear of wastage, I might be more inclined to make use of my DSLR.

    Lenses of a SLR camera is another big problem. They are so freaking expensive. The stock lenses are pretty slow, and not that wide nor telephoto. To really make full use of my DSLR, it is better to invest in lenses and flash. (additional costs)

    An SLR camera isn't that portable either. No one will lug it around on a casual outing, and many candid moments may be lost. That is where a point-and-shoot camera will function well. Just fire away and capture the moments.

    Sigh... I've been rambling so long.. So to all kind souls over there: what would you do?
    What recommendations will you offer me, if a point-and-shoot camera is better suited for my current needs?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Should I start on a DSLR?

    if u dont want weight, buy a sony f828

  3. #3

    Default Re: Should I start on a DSLR?

    well judging from ya prob...u can try wat we call prosumers...user111 has mentioned one...

    there are lotsa others man... do look them up

    cheers..

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Should I start on a DSLR?

    For prosumers camera I suggest Canon S2 IS about S$800+ or Panasonic FZ30 about S$1000+...
    Check it out...
    TO SEE, TO FEEL, TO PHOTOGRAPH.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Should I start with a DSLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by boreboor
    Hi everyone I'm thinking of getting my first digital camera. Previously I only use a SLR camera (Nikon F55) which I bought for my photojourn module back in school. So in a sense I have some basic knowledge of SLR photography, but the thing is I seldom shoot using that camera as it's troublesome to take out for casual shoots, plus the additional costs of developing prints. However I love being able to shoot on positives and BnW film, which I did when I have a chance to travel overseas. Sad to say, my F55 is gathering dust nowadays. Plus I didn't really take good care of it (I didn't keep it in a dry cabinet, just inside its carrying case).


    What recommendations will you offer me, if a point-and-shoot camera is better suited for my current needs?
    Get a fuji f11 or canon a610/620 and do bring it out for casual shoots. Both should have enough manual controls to get good casual shots.

    Happy shooting!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Should I start with a DSLR?

    Prosumer is the way to go if you wan to have some manual control but not sure if dSLR is the way to go. For canon products, the S2 is quite a good one to start with. If you want something more, you might want to consider the pro1, which is optically excellent.
    But if you wan something even smaller and easier to carry around, the A series should be fine too.
    One thing to note is that a dSLR is not going to be significantly easier to carry around for a casual shoot too. With your bolds on the " troublesome to take out for casual shoots", i think a super slim p&s would be a better choice. You can choose from a wide range of brands, panasonic, casio etc. End of the day, i think you would bring out the super slim p&s more often than a bulkier prosumer or a dSLR and might be more satisfy with a p&s, unless, you repriorities and place "troublesome to take out for casual shoots" way down the list.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Should I start with a DSLR?

    Would consider Canon A520, A620 etc....

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Should I start with a DSLR?

    I think in your case, you could go for a compact or prosumer (although prosumer can be bulky to some)

    I used to have the Coolpix 5700 with 8x zoom and some manual control, but find the focusing too slow. That's why I got the D50. Don't know about the other compacts and prosumers, but my brother-in-law is using a Nikon compact, and the focusing is much slower compared to my D50.

    I do carry my D50 whenever I go out. It may be more of a hassle to carry around, but I think it's worth it for the photos I get to take.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Should I start with a DSLR?

    Hmm... now i'm looking at the Sony H1. Seems pretty good enuf for my needs. And it's not too big that I can't stuff into my bag. But seems like everywhere also out of stock

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Should I start with a DSLR?

    As suggested, prosumers might fit the bill for you. It really depends on what kinds of photography you'd like to get into, and how serious you are about your hobby. These days, even some cheaper point and shoots will give some degree of control over shutter speed and aperture. Those higher on the list will have manual focus as well.

    The Sony H1 is definitely attractive, and my eyes widened too, when I first saw this being advertised. But it isn't cheap. At that price level, you could jump into a basic DSLR kit. If I remember correctly, it may only zoom out to 120mm or so, which may still be too short for you. Noise levels are also higher than what you'd expect to see on DSLRs.

    To get nicer effects by playing with depth of field, you'd probably need to step into the realm of DSLRs. The lenses even on prosumer cameras might be too short to give you the blur effects that make a subject pop out from the surroundings.

    Also, the lenses on prosumers are also too wide for some...they may have an effective focal length of around 35mm. Models such as the Canon PowerShot Pro1 and the Canon PowerShot S80 will go down to 28mm, but even that might not be wide enough.

    DSLRs are heavier, but if you go for the smaller ones on the market, such as the tiny (and maybe almost too tiny) Canon EOS 350D, or the Pentax *ist D (no experience with this) it'd be easier to lug around. If you aren't a pixel peeper and don't demand extremely high quality pictures with high pixel to pixel sharpness, then slap on one of those all-in-one lenses (eg. Sigma or Tamron 18-200mm) to give an effective focal length of 29-320mm which will cover all your shooting needs.

    At the end of the day, it might be financially wise to think long-term. The flexibility of digital may well make you obsessed with the hobby. With a DSLR, you can expand your package to include the lenses you need as time goes by. Start with the kit lens, and add on a telephoto zoom and wide-angle zoom sometime down the track. Initially I also had the same complain that the kit lens was slow and sometimes limiting in low-light situations, but the key is holding the camera steady when shooting. Nowadays I practically shoot at f/8 during the day, opening up the aperture only at night for handheld shooting.

    Personally, I've had great fun with a standard zoom and a telephoto zoom...and no flash unit.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Should I start with a DSLR?

    You can go for 2nd hand DSLR and try it out yourself .. since you are still uncertain that whether u are serious into photography ..
    AMPA * WPPI * J team

  12. #12

    Default Re: Should I start with a DSLR?

    I mostly shoot at ISO 400 & 800, seldom use speed below 200. The quality of prosumer & compact cam at such settings is a main concern I think..

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Should I start with a DSLR?

    prosumers and compacts due to their small sensors give very bad noise at iso400 and above.

    [stock lenses r pretty slow]
    i wont be so sure about that. wat did u mean by slow, apature or af? these stock lenses will yield either equal or better images then prosumers.

    [not that wide nor telephoto]
    most prosumers start at 35mm. usually stock lenses start at 18mm, after the crop factor thats 27mm, still wider then ur prosumer. nikon's having a promotion now, buy a d50 and be entitled to get the afs55-200 at $199, very cheap already relatively.

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