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  #1  
Old 10-08-2006, 03:32 AM
humanist humanist is offline
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Default DSLR vs Point-and-Shoot: Clarity

Hello all.

Is it true that I will get a nicer picture with a DSLR? I currently use a high end PNS, the 8 megapixel Coolpix 8800VR. However, I've been told that a DLSR would increase my picture quality a lot. I'd not be able to afford a full frame sensor, so we'd be talking D70S, XT or XTI.

Any help would be appreciated.
Josh
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2006, 03:22 PM
AdrianW AdrianW is offline
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Default Re: DSLR vs Point-and-Shoot: Clarity

Depends on what you're expecting, and your technique. However for most people the dSLR will produce better quality images IMO.

Both PNS and dSLR have their strong points though. Some folk find the transition easy, some impossible.

The first big advantage of most PNS is that their small sensors result in massive DOF. Even wide open you can get most shots in focus. Having that DOF wide open means you can use a far faster shutter speed than you would with a dSLR - which in turn means less likelihood of camera shake etc.

The second is that they're usually smaller, lighter and less obtrusive - so you're more likely to carry it - I know people who leave their SLR at home because it's too heavy...

So what are the dSLR advantages?

dSLRs are very quick on the whole - all the ones you've listed are instant on. the shutter lag is very short too, particularly when compared to a P&S.

dSLRs have larger sensors, which means that for a similar pixel count you'll get far less image noise. The XT/350D will produce less noise at ISO1600 than your 8800 will at ISO400.

DOF is a two way sword. The larger sensor means you'll get less with the dSLR at the same aperture - but that means you can isolate things from their backgrounds better. So whether this is a plus or minus depends on your style ;)

Shooting RAW is usually workable with dSLRs as they have larger buffers and better card interfaces. RAW will give you the ability to control far more things about the image yourself, after capture. Setting white balance, and all the sharpening/contrast etc

Compare the reviews of the 8800 and the 350d and make up your own mind. My biggest suggestion is that you try the cameras for yourself. If prints are your goal, take the samples from dpreview and get them printed and compare them with the 8800.

One thing I will warn you about - by default most dSLRs are setup to use less sharpening/contrast/saturation - as that makes it less likely to blow out detail, and better from a post-processing perspective. That can result in images that look lacklustre at first though.
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  #3  
Old 10-09-2006, 04:33 AM
humanist humanist is offline
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Default Re: DSLR vs Point-and-Shoot: Clarity

Thank you for the reply and the links. I do admire what the 1600ISO on the XT can do!

I wanted to ask one question about camera shake. While my 8800 can be wide open and offer decent DOF and thus a decent shutter speed, can I not milk the same from a DSLR via ISO? So while may shoot at only ISO 50 or 100 in my 8800, it seems that I could wander around shooting at ISO 400 or 800 without any real worries. Will this be enough to make up for the DOF issue and allow me to stay at or above 1/60th?

The other question regards IS lenses. If I toss an IS lens into the mix, does the DSLR become the clear winner?

I do really love my 8800... and I probably need a bit more skill before I upgrade. (A quick look at my gallery will show you some nice shots, but nothing remotely close to an advanced photographer) However, the DSLRs are really calling to me!

Again, your help is appreciated!
Josh
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  #4  
Old 10-09-2006, 08:53 PM
AdrianW AdrianW is offline
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Default Re: DSLR vs Point-and-Shoot: Clarity

Using high ISO to compensate for narrow DOF can work, yes. It's not suitable for all occasions though - as noise levels creep upwards in longer exposures, and noise is higher in the shadows anyway, so you have less latitude for exposure correction later should the need arise.

In bright sunlight with a wide angle lens it's fairly irrelevant though - you'll be fine using f/11 @ ISO100 in most cases.

IS definitely helps level things out, yes. I love IS.

One final thing I will warn you about - dSLRs are a money pit for many folk. You'll get the kit lens, decide it's too wide/long - buy a few more lenses. Then a flash. Some better lenses. Another tripod. Some reflectors. Pretty soon you'll be broke, and have a bad back from carrying it all ;)

I can understand the allure of the dSLR, and I think you probably would benefit from one!

I suggest you have a look at the new 400d/XTi - the sensor self cleaning stuff is useful. It's a very good deal IMO.

Have fun, whatever you decide :)
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  #5  
Old 10-10-2006, 12:45 AM
humanist humanist is offline
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Default Re: DSLR vs Point-and-Shoot: Clarity

Thank you!
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  #6  
Old 10-11-2006, 05:59 PM
Emiel_Skyfreak Emiel_Skyfreak is offline
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Default Re: DSLR vs Point-and-Shoot: Clarity

Just a short opinion from me, I'm shooting with a dSLR for two months, and have used a compact a long time (and still use it sometimes)
But shooting with a dSLR, in my opinion, is a lot more fun :) But also a lot (more) to learn. Which doesn't have to mean that's bad.
There are also lot's more options as with a compact camera, but I think things depend on what you want to shoot.
I've listened to the appeal of dSLR's and finally bought one 2 months ago.
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  #7  
Old 10-12-2006, 05:55 AM
Click3 Click3 is offline
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Default Re: DSLR vs Point-and-Shoot: Clarity

Just a comment...I own a D70s ...mainly because I had over year of using Nikon bought a stack of Nikon lenses...the resolution is great but I am not pleased at the digital noise from 400 ISO upward. If you are starting from scratch I would go for Canon...that is after having used one: have noticed the overall final quality is better.
On the other hand I still tend to travel with my Nikon Coolpix 5000 - weight & unobtusive relevant for security reasons in LA, the results and flexibilities incorporated in this camera are Great.
Hope this helps !
Saludos,
Robert
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  #8  
Old 10-12-2006, 11:57 AM
humanist humanist is offline
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Default Re: DSLR vs Point-and-Shoot: Clarity

Thank you! I also own a broken Coolpix 5000.... Since I have the tree extra lenses for it, I've been wondering if its worth the $300 to fix the thing. It probably is... especially since I cannot go wide on my CP8800.
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