Forums » SimHQ Community » Event Photography & Video » Need some help deciding DSLR vs Point and Shoot Active Topics You are not logged in. [Log In] [Register User]
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
Hop to:
#3499717 - 01/20/12 05:26 PM Need some help deciding DSLR vs Point and Shoot
malibu43 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/28/07
Posts: 2004
Loc: Belmont, CA
Hi folks,

I should start by saying I’m not a “photography person”, and neither (right now) is my wife.

Since our son was born in June, she’s been taking pictures by the dozens each day. She has a Canon Power Shot (not sure which one, exactly) that is I think maybe 3 years old (maybe older, it’s pretty beat up…). We had some professional photos taken a few months ago, and obviously they look a lot better than what we get with our old point and shoot. Both of our parents recently got new point and shoot’s, and she’s also noticed that the picture quality from them is better as well, just because the cameras are newer with better technology.

Her birthday is coming up and she mentioned she wants a new camera. One of her friends came by with a Canon EOS, and she mentioned she might be interested in that style of camera instead of a smaller point and shoot. So, I went to Best Buy and started looking at point and shoots and DSLR’s. I was thoroughly confused. However, the guy there took 45 minutes to give me a pretty thorough and relatively technical explanation of the differences between the two types of cameras (image sensor size, lenses, etc...). I also talked to a friend who know a little about photography and cameras, and then used the internet to fill the gaps and supplement anything I may have missed.

The point is that at this point, I have a pretty good understanding of the differences between point and shoot and DSLR. As far as picture quality, customization, and “room to grow” go, the DSLR is obviously better. The point and shoots win out in terms of size and simplicity of use. Even the point and shoots that we're looking at are the bigger ones, so either way we’re not really looking for something that can easily fit in a pocket and be taken out to bars on a Saturday night (we have phones that can serve that purpose now). We (or at least I) are leaning toward a DSLR. It sounds like fun. After shopping around, we’re specifically looking at the Canon EOS Rebel T2i. For comparison, the point and shoot she’s looked at is the Power Shot SX40.

What I’m trying to figure out is if the DSLR will be “convenient” enough for what she wants to do. If she just picks the DSLR camera up to grab a candid shot and uses the “auto” setting, will we still get a better picture than with the Point and Shoot on auto setting? Or are we wasting the nicer features of the nicer camera? Does she need to learn how to manually adjust settings on the DSLR to get better picture quality?

Another thing she’s interested in is the ability to take multiple shots at a time. The T2i claims 3.7 fps, but is that in “auto” mode (ie – will she be able to use that feature on the fly)? The PS SX40, on the other hand, claims 8 fps. 8 fps seems like overkill to me, but this isn’t really my area of expertise, either.

What do you guys think?

PS – We both know that a Point and Shoot will serve our “needs” in this case. But it’s her birthday and I’m all for including some “wants” as well. I just need to make sure a DSLR will meet our “wants”.


Edited by malibu43 (01/20/12 05:28 PM)
_________________________
HP Pavillion Dv6t Quad Edition, Win7 (64), i7 2.0ghz (2.9ghz w/ Turbo Boost), 1GB Radeon HD6770M, 6GB RAM, 640GB HD, TrackIR 4, Saitek AV8R

Currently Installed:
Rise of Flight
IL-2 HSFX 7.0
FSX Acceleration
Strike Fighters 2
DCS / Flaming Cliffs 3
Mechwarrior Online

Top
#3499720 - 01/20/12 05:32 PM Re: Need some help deciding DSLR vs Point and Shoot [Re: malibu43]
Arthonon Offline
Hotshot

Registered: 09/28/04
Posts: 7384
Loc: California
It's tough to give advice because I don't really know what you want, but one thing I will mention is that the DSLR will almost always focus and react more quickly, so for a moving subject, like maybe the 2 year old your child will be in a couple of years, you're going to be more likely to get a focused shot of them with a DSLR that has them in frame, etc.

My guess is that the T2i will not do the 3.7fps in auto mode, but there is probably a sport mode (represented by an icon of a person running) that will basically be auto but with focus tracking and continuous shooting activated.

Another consideration I didn't see mentioned might be video. The DSLR will probably do video, but it is not good at focusing. The P&S camera would probably be easier to use for video, so if that's important, it might be a factor to consider.
_________________________
Ken Cartwright

No single drop of rain feels it is responsible for the flood.

http://www.techflyer.net


Top
#3499753 - 01/20/12 06:02 PM Re: Need some help deciding DSLR vs Point and Shoot [Re: malibu43]
MajorMagee Offline
Member

Registered: 03/16/06
Posts: 1464
Loc: Dayton, OH
If you're looking for more functionality and growth options than a P&S without the heft of a DSLR you should take a look at the mirror-less cameras. You still get something pocket-able, but with interchangeable lenses, and better performance. (Sony, Nikon, Panasonic, and Olympus all have something to offer for this in between range)
_________________________
Service To The Line,
On The Line,
On Time

US Army Ordnance Corps.

Top
#3500350 - 01/21/12 12:56 PM Re: Need some help deciding DSLR vs Point and Shoot [Re: malibu43]
Gopher Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 3891
Loc: Midlands
The problem with both DSLRs and mirror-less cameras is that 400 bucks will only get you a fraction (in terms of zoom) of capability - and the cost will only increase in time. On the other hand, you gain a lot in places that you never really thought about - principally, autofocus, responsiveness (shutter lag), shot buffers - not just IQ.

My advice is that if you're not interested or not looking to get into aviation, racing, or wildlife photography (or really anything that involves tracking stuff that's mildly far away), stick with a new bridge camera. If you want to do *any* of these with a reasonable chance of success, I'd recommend the dSLR route, with one caveat - you'll be spending about $1100 to get there. My rather long reasoning is below.

Click to reveal..

I'm guessing that you do want room to grow and wouldn't mind doing aviation/racing photography if you had the opportunity. The problem here is that for a few hundred bucks, you'll get a basic Canon camera and a standard kit lens which is great for portraiture, but not very useful for long-distance tracking because it doesn't zoom in far enough - for that, you'll need to buy another lens, which I would hazard a guess would be something like this (disclaimer: I'm a Nikon shooter, so I don't know the Canon range that well). So, if you go down the dSLR route, understand this limitation.

At this point, you might think that, okay, the SX40 can cover that, as it has a ludicrous zoom range and can shoot stupidly fast. Sadly, the problem here is that bridge cameras typically have slow autofocus - so you'll have 8fps of out-of-focus shots, or it will fail to focus at all and therefore not "fire" in the first place. Shooting long range static objects, no problem, as you have time. Something flying or moving at any speed, forget it. On the flip side, you'll only pay your $400 once.

dSLR:
+ It can shoot well in low light
+ It can competently do tracking shots
+ Fast AF
+ Much more flexible
- $600 is only the beginning
- Takes time to learn - and you WILL want to learn to get the best out of it.

SX40:
+ $400 once and only once
+ Learning curve will be much nicer
+ Will have the full focal length (zoom) range right off the bat
- Shooting anything requiring tracking will be a royal pain
- You don't get as good IQ.

I haven't said anything about mirrorless as I haven't any experience with any of them. From what I've read, they occupy a middle ground between the two. They are only a little less expensive than a proper dSLR kit though, so personally I'm not convinced on cost grounds. That and I already have a setup that I like...


Arthonon's comments on video is, for you, something to think about. dSLR video implementation is a bit haphazard, whereas on bridge cameras, it has been around for a lot longer, and therefore "easier to use".

Top
#3500398 - 01/21/12 02:19 PM Re: Need some help deciding DSLR vs Point and Shoot [Re: malibu43]
Lieste Online   sigh
Member

Registered: 10/07/08
Posts: 1849
Be careful about 2/3 cameras - while these may have improved since I bought the first generation this suffered rather badly from noise. This is fairly easily 'corrected' in photoshop - at least getting rid of the multi-coloured 'digital camera' noise, and replacing it with a more 'averaged' colour and retaining the detail in the luminance channel. (My method for a quick'n'dirty fix was to duplicate the image twice, and set one to colour blending with a gaussian blur (to average the colour information) and the other to soft light blending with the high-pass filter to retain valid data for edges and detail, while minimising the effect of the noise.

Within reason ignore the image size in megapixels - the increase in resolution generally comes with an increase in noise, and the resulting images may merely be larger with no significant additional information compared to a more modest sensor. A better test is to use the camera in low light and examine the resulting image (a cupboard in the camera shop, or a bag will do as well as anything, but borrowing a similar camera (from a friend or an obliging shop - some do & some don't do loans to prospective customers) and making a wide range of test shots will give you the best idea.

Top
#3500851 - 01/22/12 07:36 AM Re: Need some help deciding DSLR vs Point and Shoot [Re: malibu43]
storm rider Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 43
Originally Posted By: malibu43
Hi folks,

I should start by saying I’m not a “photography person”, and neither (right now) is my wife.

Since our son was born in June, she’s been taking pictures by the dozens each day. She has a Canon Power Shot (not sure which one, exactly) that is I think maybe 3 years old (maybe older, it’s pretty beat up…). We had some professional photos taken a few months ago, and obviously they look a lot better than what we get with our old point and shoot. Both of our parents recently got new point and shoot’s, and she’s also noticed that the picture quality from them is better as well, just because the cameras are newer with better technology.

Her birthday is coming up and she mentioned she wants a new camera. One of her friends came by with a Canon EOS, and she mentioned she might be interested in that style of camera instead of a smaller point and shoot. So, I went to Best Buy and started looking at point and shoots and DSLR’s. I was thoroughly confused. However, the guy there took 45 minutes to give me a pretty thorough and relatively technical explanation of the differences between the two types of cameras (image sensor size, lenses, etc...). I also talked to a friend who know a little about photography and cameras, and then used the internet to fill the gaps and supplement anything I may have missed.

The point is that at this point, I have a pretty good understanding of the differences between point and shoot and DSLR. As far as picture quality, customization, and “room to grow” go, the DSLR is obviously better. The point and shoots win out in terms of size and simplicity of use. Even the point and shoots that we're looking at are the bigger ones, so either way we’re not really looking for something that can easily fit in a pocket and be taken out to bars on a Saturday night (we have phones that can serve that purpose now). We (or at least I) are leaning toward a DSLR. It sounds like fun. After shopping around, we’re specifically looking at the Canon EOS Rebel T2i. For comparison, the point and shoot she’s looked at is the Power Shot SX40.

What I’m trying to figure out is if the DSLR will be “convenient” enough for what she wants to do. If she just picks the DSLR camera up to grab a candid shot and uses the “auto” setting, will we still get a better picture than with the Point and Shoot on auto setting? Or are we wasting the nicer features of the nicer camera? Does she need to learn how to manually adjust settings on the DSLR to get better picture quality?

Another thing she’s interested in is the ability to take multiple shots at a time. The T2i claims 3.7 fps, but is that in “auto” mode (ie – will she be able to use that feature on the fly)? The PS SX40, on the other hand, claims 8 fps. 8 fps seems like overkill to me, but this isn’t really my area of expertise, either.

What do you guys think?

PS – We both know that a Point and Shoot will serve our “needs” in this case. But it’s her birthday and I’m all for including some “wants” as well. I just need to make sure a DSLR will meet our “wants”.


I'd say, get a DSLR. Either Canon or Nikon. Get a canon or nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 and the worst thing that can happen is you and wife to fall in love with photography! Get also Adobe Lightroom which in my opinion is the best program around.

With a point & shoot you'll always be wanting this something more.

Cheers

Top
#3501115 - 01/22/12 03:50 PM Re: Need some help deciding DSLR vs Point and Shoot [Re: malibu43]
MajorMagee Offline
Member

Registered: 03/16/06
Posts: 1464
Loc: Dayton, OH
Don't be put off by the idea that the new mirror-less offerings are inadequate to the task of capturing children.

Micro Four Thirds Photo Examples

_________________________
Service To The Line,
On The Line,
On Time

US Army Ordnance Corps.

Top
#3501781 - 01/23/12 01:51 PM Re: Need some help deciding DSLR vs Point and Shoot [Re: malibu43]
Top Gun Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/07/01
Posts: 17321
Loc: Roch-Vegas NH
If she's already taking that many photo's of the kids now of an infant that can barely move, she'll love having a DSLR once they're older. I use mine for boys who are 8 & 10 now but have been shooting their sports since they were small. My kids love going through my scrap books too.

Even if you just go entry level DSLR it's better than a P&S, maybe pick up a photography course for Cmas or anniversary as well thumbsup
_________________________
XboxLive Tag: DOBrienTG1969

Dave O'Brien,
Top Gun Photography
Nikon D200 & D7100
Nikkor 70-200VR AF-s F/2.8
Sigma 50-500 & 17-50 F2.8

Top
#3501787 - 01/23/12 01:56 PM Re: Need some help deciding DSLR vs Point and Shoot [Re: malibu43]
speedbump Offline
Hotshot

Registered: 11/23/05
Posts: 6562
Loc: Edgewood TX
I had a micro four thirds cam. The Panasonic G1. It was a great little cam. If that's what you are interested in, one of the best ones for the money is the Panny G3. In fairly good light it takes great images. The contrast focus is the only real downside to the mirrorless cams IMHO. I got a Sony A77 a few months back and I love it. The Tamron 200-500 comes in handy too.

_________________________
ASRock.Z97.Extreme4.1150 i5-4690K @ 4.2Ghz 42 multiplier
COOLER MASTER Hyper.212.EVO, Antec.EW.PSU.EA750.750W
PNY 16Gb DDR3 1333
One Samsung 840 250GB SSD, Three 2Tb Seagates
ASUS GTX-760 2Gb DCU OC Overclocked to within an inch of it's life
Lite-On 24X DVD burner, LG 12X Blu-Ray burner
COOLER MASTER Storm Scout stuffed with fans
Win 7 Pro 64
www.razzledazzleart.com

http://texascbx.blogspot.com/





Top
#3501998 - 01/23/12 05:50 PM Re: Need some help deciding DSLR vs Point and Shoot [Re: speedbump]
malibu43 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/28/07
Posts: 2004
Loc: Belmont, CA
Guys - thanks for all the feedback. I'm still leaning toward DSLR, but we're still undecided. I think we're going to go back to Best Buy and ask about the autofocus speed and max FPS of the two specific cameras we're looking at. Hopefully that will help clear it up for us...

Originally Posted By: speedbump
I had a micro four thirds cam. The Panasonic G1. It was a great little cam. If that's what you are interested in, one of the best ones for the money is the Panny G3. In fairly good light it takes great images. The contrast focus is the only real downside to the mirrorless cams IMHO. I got a Sony A77 a few months back and I love it. The Tamron 200-500 comes in handy too.

...


I didn't understand any of that... biggrin


Edited by malibu43 (01/23/12 05:50 PM)
_________________________
HP Pavillion Dv6t Quad Edition, Win7 (64), i7 2.0ghz (2.9ghz w/ Turbo Boost), 1GB Radeon HD6770M, 6GB RAM, 640GB HD, TrackIR 4, Saitek AV8R

Currently Installed:
Rise of Flight
IL-2 HSFX 7.0
FSX Acceleration
Strike Fighters 2
DCS / Flaming Cliffs 3
Mechwarrior Online

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
Hop to:

Moderator:  RacerGT 
 
Quick Search
Recent Articles
Support SimHQ
.
Social


Recent Topics
Lugansk aviation museum
by KraziKanuK
Yesterday at 05:12 PM
RS_Colonel_131st ... Did you ever pay that Fire Dept + Elevator bill?
by Cold_Gambler
Yesterday at 04:42 PM
Pick up anything this Black Friday?
by saghen
Yesterday at 02:39 PM
Ever wondered where your party goes when traveling on a horse in Dragon Age Inquisition?
by Desert Eagle
Yesterday at 02:01 PM
OMG ITS HERE ITS HERE
by Moses
Yesterday at 10:55 AM
Speaking of live music
by Ajay
Yesterday at 06:43 AM
A Ferguson story
by KraziKanuK
Yesterday at 05:57 AM
Browser Hell - I'm starting to hate Mozilla AND Google
by RSColonel_131st
Yesterday at 05:23 AM
New firearm incoming
by Corktip 14
Yesterday at 04:48 AM
So we had our biggest hail storm in ten years yesterday afternoon
by Ajay
Yesterday at 04:33 AM
 

Forum Use Agreement | Privacy Statement
Copyright 1997-2014, SimHQ Inc. All Rights Reserved.