Which Way Should I Go?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by IscariotJ, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. IscariotJ macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I'm just getting into cameras a bit more "seriously", so I've been looking for something better than my point and click. I'd avoided looking at the SLR's, as I think they would be wasted on me, not to mention the cost. So I'd sorta settled on the upgraded model of the - don't laugh - Fuji S9500 ( S9100 in the US? ) when they come available. I'd read a review on dpreview and it seemed to do quite well. However, several people who know more about cameras have rubbished it, saying that it's nothing more than an SLR wannabe, and that I should spend the extra and get a real SLR.

    I could probably stretch to one of the new Canon 400D's with a lens kit ( http://www.bestcameras.co.uk/shop/a...e_Canon_Eos_400d___18_55_Canon_lens_1271.html ), but apparently that lens is underpowered, and not worth having, so I'm sorta stuck.

    I want something better than a point and click, but I can't afford to spend £500 buying the Canon and nearly £200 for a new lens. Has anyone had experience of the S9500 and/or the Canon with the lens?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #2
    There are other options other than the Fuji, although I'm sure it's a fine choice. Panasonic, Olympus, and even Samsung nicer "large" point-and-shoot cameras with decent lenses. The Canon G6 is quite good as well (although the G7 was announced), as is the S3 IS.
     
  3. IscariotJ thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Fuji was only something that I'd looked at, as I was more used to their range. I'm open to options, though. I've just had a quick look, both of the Canon's look quite.
     
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #4
    The kit lens is not terrible, it's just that most of Canon's other lenses are that much better!

    See my post with an examples zip here (you might need to scroll a couple of posts down). The first 2 are with the kit lens.
     
  5. IscariotJ thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Those pictures are superb. This might sound obvious, but is the difference in colour between the stone bridge image and the wooden walkway image due to the different lens, or to the conditions they were taken in? The former seems to be more muted, for want of a better word.
     
  6. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #6
    I'm not sure! I'm a bit of a DSLT noob too. I think it's partially the lens, partially the conditions (they were taken on different days and it was a bit brighter for the second one) and partially due to me learning how to use the camera.

    In general I would say they EF-S 17-85 lens is bit sharper and gives slightly better colour, but the kit lens is easily good enough to start with.
     
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #7
    Take the price of a DSLR body, and double it. That's what you're going to need to get what you want out of the camera. If you can't afford it, the lenses on the "advanced hobbyist" cameras such as the Canon S3 IS is actually VERY good. It's likely even better than the 18-55 mm kit lens from Canon. :p You can pretty much say the same thing about the more advanced Panasonics, Nikon, Olympus, and others, so don't underestimate their capabilities.

    However, you don't buy a DSLR with a kit and just keep it at that. You would get more lens flexibility and likely quality from a very good point and shoot. ;)

    I'm not trying to discourage you from getting a DSLR, but I think some people go overboard with their future goals and totally underestimate the power of the advanced point and shoot camera. Photo quality is very good using those cameras. If you need to switch lenses and have many different uses and demands from your camera, and you need different lenses to satisfy these desires, then get a DSLR and build a collection of good lenses. :)
     
  8. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #8
    One camera to consider, if you are looking at the Fuji S9500, is the Sony R1. The lens is incredible, and the camera provides a wealth of features. The biggest drawbacks are the LCD location and the ergonomics (and the price - US retail is $1000). It offers a lot of the benefits that a DSLR with a really nice lens would have, while retaining the all in one functionality (and cost effectiveness) of a P/S
     
  9. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #9
    Whilst I agree with Abstract on pretty much all levles there is another reason to buy a DSLR: RAW. It gives you so many more opertunities that shooting in JPEG (although the examples I posted are JPEG as I am waiting for updates to enable RAW for the 400D in anything other than DPP). All the major manufacturers seem to be removing RAW support from their high end point and shoots which is very annoying. For example previous Canon G series cameras have had RAW, the G7 doesn't :(
     
  10. IscariotJ thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Hmmm, I'm beginning to think that one of the "advanced" point and shoot cameras will be more suitable for me. As nice as the Canon 400D shoots, I don't think that I'll have the cash for one, and the extra lenses. Maybe once I know what I'm doing :eek:

    RAW support is one thing that I have been looking for. It's a shame the G7 doesn't have RAW, as I quite liked the look of it. From what I can tell, the Nikon Coolpix 8800 supports RAW, as does the Fuji S9x00. From what I can tell, the Nikon and Fuji are quite closely matched?
     
  11. islandman macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Did you consider a Canon G7 or S80 (discontinued, but VERY capable/powerful)?
     
  12. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #12
    dpreview should maybe be you're next stop!

    Nikon 8800 Review (This camera seems pretty old: announced September 2004)

    Fuju S9200 Review (9100 too new to have a review yet).

    I own a Fuji F30 point-and-shoot and the one thing that might put me off a Fuji (I almost didn't buy this one) is the xD memory card format. Why not just use SD?
     
  13. IscariotJ thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Just read the dpreview of the S9500. Apparently, it will take CF storage in addition to the xD cards, which have just increased to 2GB.

    Is Nikon likely to announce a successor to the 8800 at Photokina?
     
  14. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #14
    So way not get the Nikon D50? Price is about US$700. A bit less than 700 pounds. You can find a lower price if you hunt around.

    But really, before anyone can give meaningful advice tell us what you are going to do with the camera? Do you have specific types of subjects in mind? Most importently please tell us WHy you don't like your current camera.
    The biggest difference betweent eh SLR and the others is (1) The SLR is part of a larger "system" that can be expanded to fit your needs you can upgrade the body later and add another lens as you see fit (2) The sensor is larger. This means lower noise and different depth of field characteristics. both effecting how the image looks
     
  15. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    #15
    go dslr. buy a canon 400D. if that is a bit too expensive get a canon 350 or a nikon d50. buy some inexpensive lenses (the ~$200 lenses from sigma are not bad!).

    forget about all the high tech talk and shoot pictures.
    80% is the photographer, 20% the equipment (unless you have very special applications like macro).
    then slowly move to better lenses if needed.

    my 2 cents.
     
  16. ThunderLounge macrumors 6502

    ThunderLounge

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    #16
    Something that comes to my mind is if you were to get a higher end point/shoot, how long before you'll be wanting "more"?

    To an extent, camera's are no different than any other electronics or gadgets. Once you get what you think you want, you end up wanting more down the road. This would be something to consider, at least IMO.

    Let's say you get a nice point/shoot, but a year from now you find you're wanting more from it. If you spent let's say 70% of what you would have on an SLR and a nice all around starter lens, then wouldn't you have just delayed the inevitible and spent more in the long run?

    A "pro" to the SLR approach is that if you keep in line with the same manufacturer, the lenses are usually compatible. There are a few cases where they aren't, but those are few and far between. Then down the road you can always pick up another lens, or a new body, and still be able to use the lenses you already have.

    The end choice is going to come down to your situation pretty much. If it's only going to be an occasional use camera for things like family gatherings or a trip to wherever, then a P/S deal might be better overall. However, if you're going to use it pretty frequently and fell that there's even a 40% or 50% chance you'll become more involved with your shooting, then the SLR might be a little steeper initially but will save down the road.
     
  17. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #17
    From the Canon point of view the only thing to watch out for are EF-S lenses. These will not work with full frame cameras (like the 5d). If you are going to upgrade to a full frame camera in future then you might well want to stick to EF lenses.

    That said I'm sure I'll end up with a full-frame body in 5 years or so but I bought an EF-S lens for right now...
     
  18. IscariotJ thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    It's all come around since my daughter was born. I currently have a Fuji A410. It's a 6MP point and shoot, and takes very nice pictures. Part of the reason that I've started look elsewhere, is that I find it very slow from pressing the button to the shot being taken. Trying to capture my offspring on the move is virtually impossible. I've lots of shots of empty spaces :) I've also found that when using the zoom, the quality suffers.

    Using it, however, has given me the bug to be more creative.
     
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #19
    Buy a G6. Probably equal or better optical performance, and it allows for RAW, I think.

    And besides, RAW is useless if you're not going to edit. I know that shooting in RAW sounds like the top dog thing to do, but if you're not editing all your photos, or you're mainly going to be shooting photos with friends, the city, etc, then you're probably perfect or even better off for shooting JPEG.

    And about wanting "more": What if you buy the DSLR camera and find that you don't shoot as often as you think you would? Think about it.......the Nikon D50 (and likely it's successor) along with Canon 400D and 20D will come with an 18-55 mm lens. That's 3x optical zoom. You just paid more for a camera with a 3x optical zoom that doesn't perform as well as the ones on a high end p&s, but with better low light shooting capabilities and the ability to change lenses based on what you want to shoot.

    If you can afford to have the DSLR and a lens you want, then get the DSLR. They're great, and I love mine. ;) However, if 3x optical zoom isn't enough, and yet you can't afford another $300 to $1000 to buy the 1 or 2 lenses that will really make your camera better than a high-end point and shoot, then a 10x optical zoom camera with image stabalization is not a bad option, and like 2x cheaper. Plus it'll give you a great overall lens and good photo quality (except in darkness, where you will get grainier, but usable images).

    Haha, either way, you're going to end up with a pretty sweet camera. ;)

    And that Sony DSC-R1 that nbs2 mentioned is expensive, but the lens on that camera would probably cost you $500 alone if you were to buy it for a DSLR. The optical quality you get from it is off the charts. In every review I've read that includes a lens review, they say there's very almost nothing wrong with it. It is expensive though, and depending on the lenses you would get, you might be better off getting a DSLR.
     
  20. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #20
    OK so it's optical quality and shutter lag. Those are the two worst things with P&S cameras
    Thee are alsothe two best things about an SLR. very fast operation and lens quality as good as you want. So what you are asking is if there is some camera with good optics, fast handling and cheapper than an SLR. I'd say "not really" the lowest price SLRs will be more what you want. Just checked.. B&H Photo has the D50 with lens for $700.00
    The Nikon 18-55mm lens isreally quite good.
     
  21. IscariotJ thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Thanks Guys

    You've all given me stuff to think about. I think that I'm going to try and find a good price on an SLR. As good as the Fuji is, I think that I would probably end up going the SLR route in a year or two, so I may as well buy an SLR now, and purchase the extra lenses as I can afford them. I've seen a D50 with an 18-55 lens for virtually the same price as a S9500 ( there isn't any pricing on the upgraded S9600 yet ).

    Thanks again!
     
  22. ThunderLounge macrumors 6502

    ThunderLounge

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    #22
    I think in the end you'll be happier overall. Going this route allows you to invest in lenses as you can, but at the same time be able to continue using them if you upgrade the body in a couple years. Essentially, this saves you the price of the higer-end point and shoot in the big picture, or at least breaks you even and puts you a leg up on your next purchase.

    Once you get a nice set-up though, you'll most likely find yourself shooting more overall. Of course, you'll shoot a lot when you first get it. New toy's are fun like that.

    Take this morning for example. It was a really foggy morning, and out in the country (or BFE, if you prefer) where I live it was an incredible scene. I was instantly wishing the my current cam was a lot better in lower light situations. But, you get the idea. You'll end up doing one of 3 things.

    1) Go nuts with photography
    2) Use it frequently, but not get too carried away
    3) Use it occasionally, but keep it for a very long time

    Either way, you still come out in a winning situation. ;)
     

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