high end P&S or low end DSLR?


Jul 14, 2005
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Singapore
#1
My son (sec 3 student) is using P5100 with SB400 and he's happy with it. However, when he mingled with his schoolmates, some of them are using DSLR. Now he is asking me to consider upgrading it to a DSLR. One of his obstacle is the zoom range - when he borrow my D70s with 18-200mm, he got the flexibility. On the other side, he also complain about the weight and size.

I was trying to offer him the newer P7000, but he did his research and found the D3100. But, we can't save some cost because nobody sell D3100 body only. There will be a waste on the kit lens, since he will not use it at all ( he love my 18-200mm lens :) ...

Please help me with some consideration points for my son.

Thanks,
Riyanto
 

luna_sea83

Senior Member
Jul 17, 2005
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#2
If DSLR weight is a major consideration for him, then do just consider the D3100 kit although it comes with the 18-55 but is much lighter then the 18-200.

Change lenses whenever he feels like it.
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#4
Do you have other lenses besides the 18-200? If not, it also doesn't make sense to me if you buy d3100 body only for your son. Then you'll have 2 bodies and 1 lens.

Why does your son feel like 18-200 is so wonderful? If he really uses the full zoom range then i'd agree it's useful, but otherwise 18-55 and 55-200 seems a good combo as well :)
 

MRSAMO

New Member
Nov 17, 2008
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#5
Do you have other lenses besides the 18-200? If not, it also doesn't make sense to me if you buy d3100 body only for your son. Then you'll have 2 bodies and 1 lens.

Why does your son feel like 18-200 is so wonderful? If he really uses the full zoom range then i'd agree it's useful, but otherwise 18-55 and 55-200 seems a good combo as well :)
18-200mm is very convenient with it's long reach that's why he loves it, kids don't want to mess about with too many things.

You can try looking for a second hand D3100 if he really wants that model, though I would check on other models like the D40, D5000 or even the D7000. I heard the D3000/D3100 was Nikon's worst ever DSLR (according to Ken Rockwell).
 

brapodam

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Jun 12, 2009
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#6
18-200mm is very convenient with it's long reach that's why he loves it, kids don't want to mess about with too many things.

You can try looking for a second hand D3100 if he really wants that model, though I would check on other models like the D40, D5000 or even the D7000. I heard the D3000/D3100 was Nikon's worst ever DSLR (according to Ken Rockwell).
Not the D3100. I know he said the D3000 was horrible, but definitely not the D3100.
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#7
MRSAMO said:
18-200mm is very convenient with it's long reach that's why he loves it, kids don't want to mess about with too many things.

You can try looking for a second hand D3100 if he really wants that model, though I would check on other models like the D40, D5000 or even the D7000. I heard the D3000/D3100 was Nikon's worst ever DSLR (according to Ken Rockwell).
I don't deny that 18-200 is very versatile :)
At first I thought TS only had 18-200, hence suggested to get the d3100 with 18-55 or something (cheaper). But from other threads, I think TS has more lenses. So all's swell! D3100 not that bad la. For most newbies I think it's more than enough. I don't like the small size that's all :)
 

tehzeh

New Member
Aug 7, 2009
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#8
If he's not intending to buy more lenses, just get a high end PnS.... I rather get a PnS with a f2.0 lens than to get a DSLR and stuck with a kit lens. I am not saying that kit lenses suck but it isn't worth the extra premium.
 

MRSAMO

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Nov 17, 2008
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#9
Yeah I was looking for the lightest DSLR when I first bought my first one, so actually started shopping for Pentax at the time (I could have been a Pentax user). But Nikon came out with the D50 and it felt right. The 18-55mm lens was absolutely amazing and the weight was reasonable. Now compared to my 7D it's like using a PnS with the 50mm.

Speaking of weight, what are the lightest Nikon DSLRs you can buy right now?
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#10
tehzeh said:
If he's not intending to buy more lenses, just get a high end PnS.... I rather get a PnS with a f2.0 lens than to get a DSLR and stuck with a kit lens. I am not saying that kit lenses suck but it isn't worth the extra premium.
Just curious why you think that way.
Would the performance of a PnS w f/2.0 lens be better than DSLR w kit lens?
I tend to feel the other way.
Have done unscientific comparisons between D90 + kit lens and Lumix LX3, and the results (to me) are clear enough.
 

ZerocoolAstra

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Mar 13, 2008
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#11
MRSAMO said:
Yeah I was looking for the lightest DSLR when I first bought my first one, so actually started shopping for Pentax at the time (I could have been a Pentax user). But Nikon came out with the D50 and it felt right. The 18-55mm lens was absolutely amazing and the weight was reasonable. Now compared to my 7D it's like using a PnS with the 50mm.

Speaking of weight, what are the lightest Nikon DSLRs you can buy right now?
I suppose d3100 is the lightest on the market now. Should even be lighter than D50 :)
 

Nov 15, 2009
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#12
Weight from D70 largely comes from the AF motor. No doubt D3100 would be lighter since there's no AF motor, but will your collection of lenses allow your son's D3100 to benefit with AF, since you have a D70?

In your scenario, a second hand D3100 seems the optimal choice.
 

xbsolut

New Member
Jul 21, 2008
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#13
if weight is a main factor then go for D3100..
but y limit yourself with the weight? how about e capability and controls??

would seriously consider D90 if ur son is really into photography..(look at it in long term)
 

brapodam

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Jun 12, 2009
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#14
if weight is a main factor then go for D3100..
but y limit yourself with the weight? how about e capability and controls??

would seriously consider D90 if ur son is really into photography..(look at it in long term)
Not to mention a significantly more comfortable grip. After all a camera is for you to hold and shoot (unless you shoot on the tripod most of the time) and it should feel comfortable.
 

baggiolee

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Dec 7, 2006
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#15
i believe if he likes photography...even if he buys a high end PNS now, sooner or later he'll own a DSLR. so why not let him get a DSLR now so he can develop his skills earlier?
 

#16
I wonder how many people in this forum is actually satisfied with 1 lens in the beginning. We "evolved" after trying a lot of different lenses before we can safely say I think I only need a 17-35 or a 50mm etc most of the time. I am sure your son will not stay with a 18-200mm if he really is into photography in the future. And a d3100 is a great body to start with but limited by its lack of AF mechanism in the body. If you can convince him that a larger camera shows that he is a pro (not true at all hahaha), a D90 would be a better investment. Will have a larger range of cheaper AF-d lenses to choose from then. Else a D3100 will do fine anyway, just sell it off if he decides to upgrade. :) And by the way, the kit lens is actually a very good lens, because its been packaged as a kit lens, most perceive it to be an inferior lens.
Not being too far off in terms of age from your son (only 2.5 times older hahaha) P7000 is definitely out, the rebellious teen will either get what he wants or compensated with something better like a d7000!
 

tehzeh

New Member
Aug 7, 2009
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#17
Just curious why you think that way.
Would the performance of a PnS w f/2.0 lens be better than DSLR w kit lens?
I tend to feel the other way.
Have done unscientific comparisons between D90 + kit lens and Lumix LX3, and the results (to me) are clear enough.
Nah it's nothing scientific, just something really subjective. I have friends who got an olympus something something with the kit lens and they couldn't "feel" the difference between this and the normal PnS they have used.... camera shake still persists.... etc etc.

Performance is pretty broad and if the D90 with kit lens costs me around 1.4k and I am not even going to buy any new lenses, I would seriously use the 1.4k to just get a PnS with some strobe lights.

If getting a D90 would discourage a newbie from bringing the camera out, what is the point of having greater performance than a small pocketable PnS?

I have tried the S95 and G12 and I felt that those are really awesome PnS. They give their users the blurred bg they have always associated DSLRs with and it is just enough for people who do not want to spend money on lenses.

Many people get DSLRs for the sake of getting one big black camera in the hands and there are just so many cheaper alternatives out there for them to get that kind of quality.

IMO.
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#18
tehzeh said:
Nah it's nothing scientific, just something really subjective. I have friends who got an olympus something something with the kit lens and they couldn't "feel" the difference between this and the normal PnS they have used.... camera shake still persists.... etc etc.

Performance is pretty broad and if the D90 with kit lens costs me around 1.4k and I am not even going to buy any new lenses, I would seriously use the 1.4k to just get a PnS with some strobe lights.

If getting a D90 would discourage a newbie from bringing the camera out, what is the point of having greater performance than a small pocketable PnS?

I have tried the S95 and G12 and I felt that those are really awesome PnS. They give their users the blurred bg they have always associated DSLRs with and it is just enough for people who do not want to spend money on lenses.

Many people get DSLRs for the sake of getting one big black camera in the hands and there are just so many cheaper alternatives out there for them to get that kind of quality.

IMO.
Yeah thanks for clarifying. I do get what you mean :)
I still prefer my DSLR but I understand it's not to everyone's taste. PnS makes more sense for a number of people.
 

Elessar

New Member
Apr 18, 2007
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#19
My son (sec 3 student) is using P5100 with SB400 and he's happy with it. However, when he mingled with his schoolmates, some of them are using DSLR. Now he is asking me to consider upgrading it to a DSLR. One of his obstacle is the zoom range - when he borrow my D70s with 18-200mm, he got the flexibility. On the other side, he also complain about the weight and size.

Thanks,
Riyanto
ah. he was happy with his camera until he started comparing with his friends......that sounds familiar.....
let's hope his friends don't start showing up with leicas and hasselblads........;)

Seriously, if he doesn't like the size and weight of a dslr, even if you give him a D3100 paired with a 18-200mm, I suspect sooner or later he'll leave it at home as he'll find it too cumbersome.

I think the issue here is he wants to keep up/fit in with his friends, not because his photographic pursuits have hit a plateau/limit with the P5100.

Anyway it's your money. At most if he gets bored with it you can still sell off the D3100 or D70s.
 

CT 3833

New Member
Sep 23, 2006
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#20
TS,
if your son is concerned with the weight and size of a camera, then P&S is the way to go. If he intend to pursue his interest in photography, then DSLR is the way to go. Only he himself knows best what he want. If he does not shoot alot but he is just buying to relieve the peer pressure of his classmates, then do nothing as such pressure is always there from time to time.

If you intend to buy a DSLR, whether D3100 or not, you still need to buy a lens, you can't be possibly owning two DSLRs at home with only one lens. So if you decide to buy him a D3100 or whaterver DSLR, you still need to buy another lens or a kit lens. Unless you have other lens at home in addition to the 18-200mm.

If you buy a P&S, the P&S is likely not going to sell for any value after two years or so, but if you buy a D3100 with lens, you can sell them as bundle, or separately, depending on what you want to keep in future.

My suggestion is to buy him a new cam, give him your 18-200mm, buy yourself a new lens. End up both of you will be very happy.
 

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