Decided to start my learning curve..

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New Member
Mar 14, 2002
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Hi, wondering any expert can give me a few pointers?

I picked up photography very long ago using a Nikon FE manual camera. But not very in depth as I stop half way due to studies..Since the camera is no longer in use(spoilt)...i bought a entry level digital camera - Canon A40 to participate in this digital photography hobby. No doubt this is a great camera, if you know how to control and use it..Now the passion to use a SLR is getting stronger..thus I have decided to put my hands on SLR camera again..

My delimma is, what sort of camera should I choose? Digital SLR or SLR?

My starting budget for a this learning curve is about 2-3k or more (if i choose Digital SLR)...but i am afraid digital SLR is too good for me..or should i go for SLR instead? What are the models to recommend?

Please advise me on which are the cameras to choose? And what points should I consider...


New Member
Jul 28, 2002
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DSLR will cost much more than 2k. Yes the camera will cost ard the high 2ks. But lenses, and accesories like memory,tripod, bag. These All stack up. And u are sure to spend ard 3-5K for a basic setup.

The question is, what is your budget? What kind of expense do u want to spend. A long term expense like the film and dev cost. Or a short but massive amount for 1 time?

After that u'll have to see how well u can handle the camera. DSLRs have a difficult learning curve. Will u use it long enuff?

SLRs have a learning curve too, but can u deal with the shot first, dev later and see results? It can be quite stressful to spend dev on a roll of film and see them go wrong when u start out.

I'm not pointing u to get any camera. I think u should understand the situation and make your own decision. Maybe the others have better advise?


Senior Member
Nov 26, 2002
West side of S'pore
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Hi vonderbie,

I was facing exactly the same dilemna as you some weeks back (as I suspect, so have many). The perennial question so many others have faced on their path to an upgrade....which to buy...DSLR or SLR?

My first cam was also an A40...a very good camera but due to its certain limitations, after a short while I upgraded to a G3. A big step-up and a huge jump in image quality and more feature-packed but still, as a prosumer cam, it lacked the valuable features of an SLR/DSLR i.e. fast focusing speed, interchangeable lenses, TTL capability....the solidity, look and feel of a 'real' camera body. The temptation (and indecision) became too much to bear and finally I relented, made up my mind, and just about a week ago, became the owner of a 2nd hand EOS 30 film SLR. :D

IMO, budget plays an important role in ur decision to get an SLR or a DSLR. Lets look at DSLRs first (cost aspect only). As shidenx had pointed out, purchasing a DSLR, even 2nd hand ones, is quite a hefty investment, and personally for me, it was a big deterrent. Lets take ur budget, 2-3k....for e.g maybe a brand new DSLR (lets say 10D) would already cost about $26xx. And this is just for the body only. U would be left only $300 odd to play wif. Assuming that u dun have any lenses to start wif, its probably enuff to get u a 50mm f/1.8 ($150), and maybe a bag and some accesories. U would definitely exceed ur budget by another 1 k or so to get some decent lenses (2nd hand or brand new), let alone the accessories. IMO, u would need at least 4-6 k to get a decent setup for a DSLR.

Film SLR bodies, on the other hand, are very much cheaper. An entry-level body (e.g EOS 300, Nikon F55) would cost only abt $500 or so and usually come as a kit or bundled wif other items e.g standard zoom lens (usually inferior quality), dry box, carrying case etc. Mid-range SLRs usually cost abt 2-300 more...$700-$800+ and are generally better built than the entry-level ones (plastic/metal hybrid body, metal lens mount, more features).

As to whether DSLR's are "too good for you", its not a matter of whether DSLRs are better than SLRs or vice versa. Each is built for its own purpose, although definitely DSLRs are more technology and feature packed than ur normal film body. Also, with DSLR's, as shidenx pointed out, there is a steeper learning curve involved...there's various issues like White Balance, image post-processing, setting up a logical workflow etc. that u need to be accustomed with.

Finally, and probably most importantly, u need to look at ur own needs first before deciding. Do u prefer to work with digital images on the PC, or simply enjoy the clarity and rich colour of slides? Do u enjoy the immediacy of previewing an image just after it has been taken? Or the eager anticipation that comes with processing that roll of negatives? In short, film and digital both has its advantages and disadvantages...just search thru the forums and u will find endless arguments on the merits/disadvantages of both. Just consider ur choices, and dun forget to go down to the store to try out the cameras of your choice, before making ur final decision.

DSLRs: recommended systems - Canon EOS D60 (2nd hand ~$2,000), 10D (~$2670), Nikon D100 (~$28xx)

SLRs: recommended systems - Canon EOS 300 (~$500+), EOS 30 (~$700-$750), Nikon F75 (~$650?), Nikon F80 (~$750+?)


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