dSLR vs point and shoot

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by wdh, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. wdh

    wdh Guest

    I have been using a Fuji F10 (and two prior point and shoots), and
    have just gotten a Nikon D50 with the 18 - 70 mm lens (and also Tokina
    12-20). Most of the "serious" pictures I take are landscapes or
    architectural on trips where pictures are taken rapidly without a lot
    of time for setup or use of a tripod. I am capable at post processing
    with ps and 3rd party sharpening and noise reduction software. I do
    not print larger than 8x10. After comparing the two cameras, I am
    questioning the advantages of a dSLR in this setting. I would
    appreciate input from more experienced users.

    I compared the two outdoors in sunlight, shade, and harsh contrasts.
    I set both at ISO 200 and shot at either 35 or 105 35 mm equivalent.
    Both are 6 mp. I reviewd both side by side at "actual pixels" size
    (on the monitor, not printed).

    Color, saturation, dynamic range were equivalent. Noise wasn't an
    issue in these shots. The Fuji had more chromatic aberration. The
    D50 was slightly sharper at the point of focus but the inherently
    greater depth of field of the smaller sensor p&s made the total
    picture sharper in the Fuji. I prefer high DOF for what I do and even
    with higher f stops in the dSLR, I didn't match it without hitting
    camera shake limiting shutter speeds.

    The main advantages I saw to the dSLR were absence of shutter lag and
    the wider angle of the zoom at the wide end.

    Certainly, the SLR wins, but by a much smaller margin than I would
    have guessed and not in most shots. Is this worth travelling with the
    bigger bulk of the SLR? (A personal judgement I understand) Or do I
    just need to get better with SLR photography? Is versatility the
    greatest advantage of an SLR rather than better image?

    Thanks for your opinions, and thanks for helping a newbie.

    Delete "abc" to reply by email.
    wdh, Apr 16, 2006
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  2. I upgraded from the F10 to the D70s recently and the thing I like is
    shooting in RAW which means I have much better control over the final result
    (using nikon capture 4) compared with the jpeg output from the F10.

    Another thing to remember is that the 18-70mm lens will not produce the best
    results at each end, and I prefer the shots I have done at the 24-50mm range
    in terms of quality.
    Adrian Boliston, Apr 16, 2006
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  3. wdh

    ASAAR Guest

    The Fuji F10 and the Nikon D50 are both "real" cameras. A real
    attempt to explain this would be wasted on you. That's P&S by the
    way, or does POS accurately describe how you view most things?
    ASAAR, Apr 16, 2006
  4. wdh

    Jem Raid Guest

    Jem Raid, Apr 16, 2006
  5. wdh

    Skip M Guest

    I feel these sort of questions are related to the old adage, "If you have to
    ask how much it costs, you can't afford it." If you have to ask if an SLR
    type camera gives you any advantage over a point and shoot, or if those
    advantages are any more than minimal, then an SLR type camera is probably
    not for you. If the things that a DSLR will do for you, like increased lens
    selection, flexibility, low noise at high Isis aren't important, then you
    don't need them. Especially if you value low weight, small size or
    simplicity more.
    Skip M, Apr 17, 2006

  6. Generally a DSLR gives access to a huge choice of lenses and equipment
    to master different photographic tasks. I have been happy for years with my
    point and shoots and I am happy now with my Canon 5D DSLR. By the way
    I am still using *all* my cams as each is a specialist (size of body, image
    file size, speed etc.).

    Andreas Thaler, Apr 17, 2006
  7. wdh

    Pentax Fan Guest

    FWIW, I've got a Pentax *ist D (the original & best), a couple of thousand
    pounds worth of lenses (including a Limited), external flash, plus a drawful
    of accessories such as cable release, macro bellow, etc, etc.

    I get some reasonable shots. However, my daughter and her husband returned
    from holiday with photo's snapped with a £70 Vivitar 4mp P&S - and, you know
    what? - their pictures were good, not 'A1', but very good.

    As I looked at them I found myself wondering why I'm pissing about with a
    Domke full of lenses that only give me a bit better performance than a small
    camera that they carry in their coat pocket.

    If you want my honest opinion, half of this dlsr craze is down to snobbery
    and the desire to be flattered by technology - I'd lay odds that 99% of
    owners could get all the quality they need from a small P&S costing a
    fraction of the price.
    Pentax Fan, Apr 17, 2006
  8. wdh

    wdh Guest

    Thanks, good points. The one thing I'll take issue with is that I
    find the noise levels at high ISO's unacceptable in the dSLR as well
    despite theoretical advantage. The one advantage I see is that RAW
    files seem to me easier to deal with for noise reduction than post
    processing with photoshop or Noise Ninja.

    Delete "abc" to reply by email.
    wdh, Apr 17, 2006
  9. wdh

    Bill Funk Guest

    Maybe you're confusing the *technical* quality of the images with the
    ability of the user to use the equipment?
    Certainly, many P&S cameras can come very close to, if not exceed, the
    'pixel peeping' quality of entry level DSLRs.
    But that doesn't mean that DSLRs are in the same class as P&S cameras;
    instead, it points out that equipment doesn't make the image, the
    photographer does.
    Trying to compare P&S cameras with entry level DSLRs on strictly an
    'end result' basis entirely misses the point: DSLRs offer much more
    choices to the user. Those who can't see that are probably better off
    using P&S cameras, because the extra versatility of the DSLR would be
    wasted. There's nothing wrong with sticking with what works for you,
    but trying to say anything else is somehow "less" or only used because
    of "snobbery" is just an attempt to justify your own lack of skills.
    Bill Funk, Apr 17, 2006
  10. wdh

    Skip M Guest

    Part of it, too, is public image. If I showed up at a wedding packing an
    Oly 8080, the clients wouldn't think I was serious about what I was doing.
    Not to say I don't get better images with my 5D than I could with an 8080
    (their certainly better than I got the few times I used our old E-10) but
    how discernable that difference is at 4x6" is debatable. Truth will out,
    however, when they order that 20x30" print.
    I actually went to a wedding rehearsal with my Casio EX-Z50 to take site
    photos, the bride's father was visibly shaken when he though _that_ was what
    I was going to shoot his daughter's wedding with. Last time I ever made
    that mistake...I always take along the 20D or 5D for that, now.
    Skip M, Apr 17, 2006
  11. That was the advantage of the E-10/E-20; they looked like serious cameras
    even though they were just tiny-sensor P&S dcams under the hood. Sheep in
    wolf's clothing.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Apr 17, 2006
  12. wdh

    ASAAR Guest

    Not again? I'm so tired of looking at that bloody URL. Spare us!

    <g> Interesting article, thanks for the link. About a year ago I
    read of another photographer that worked in a hot, dusty, dangerous
    environment in the middle east, also packing several P&S (Canon G
    series Powershots) instead of his usual DSLRs. Other than when
    discussing pocketable subminiature cameras, reviews rarely if ever,
    consider advantages that cameras can have solely based on small size
    and weight. Besides being far more portable, small cameras make the
    photographers much less conspicuous, sometimes almost invisible.
    ASAAR, Apr 17, 2006
  13. wdh

    Pentax Fan Guest

    Actually, I agree with the above 100% - people are hugely influenced by
    their perception of what a Professional *should* be using, no doubt about

    My own feeling is that many (most?) of the current consumer-dslr's are
    merely P&S cameras with detachable lenses - what else are those increasingly
    ubiquitous 'scene modes' for? - but they *look* the part, and for many
    people, that's all that matters.

    Surely, the only reason that manufacturers are jumping on the dslr bandwagon
    is the fact that they hope to boost profits by selling lots of plastic
    'consumer lenses' to go with their 'consumer cameras'?
    Pentax Fan, Apr 17, 2006
  14. wdh

    Bill Funk Guest

    I thought that was what I said. :)
    Use the tool that best does the job.
    But don't knock tools that do a job you don't want to do.
    Bill Funk, Apr 17, 2006
  15. wdh

    Prometheus Guest

    All to true, and not only for cameras.
    Yar, seen that too.
    Haven't seen that, but I have meet people who...
    I don't carry 25lbs of photographic kit around any time, but I do take
    the (d)SLR and a couple of lenses so that I can capture the photograph
    when I see it; there's no point saying to myself "I'll come back and
    photograph it", the scene might not repeat, I might not be able to
    afford the return for a while, the boss might want to go somewhere else,
    Yes, I enjoy letting the photograph enter my camera.
    A real camera has Waterhouse stops, a cloth to cover the lens and wet
    plates. More importantly, a 'real camera' is one which lets me control
    the photograph, not a programmer.
    Prometheus, Apr 17, 2006
  16. Since going along the dslr/RAW route I find that half the fun is cherry
    picking the best shots and spending time customising the RAW settings to get
    the photos looking their best. At the moment I might take 300 shots and
    only pick 15 for post processing.
    Adrian Boliston, Apr 17, 2006
  17. wdh

    Bill Funk Guest

    How could it help but look better?
    Bill Funk, Apr 17, 2006
  18. wdh

    Bill Funk Guest

    I meant, how could a monitor that *works* not look better than one
    that *doesn't* work?
    Bill Funk, Apr 17, 2006
  19. wdh

    Prometheus Guest

    Now that I like!
    Prometheus, Apr 18, 2006
  20. wdh

    Chris Luck Guest

    Not to mention (E900) the woeful manual focus.

    Chris Luck

    *** ***
    Chris Luck, Apr 18, 2006
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