Do I need a DSLR?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by I AM THE MAN, May 29, 2011.

  1. I AM THE MAN macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2011
    Hi Everyone. I am wondering, which camera to purchase. At the moment, I use a Nikon Coolpix L110, and I will be using the future DSLR for Video Recording and Photography. I am leaning towards the T2i, so what are your opinions? Thanks!
  2. mackmgg macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2007
    I use a T2i and it's great! If you're going to get it, I'd recommend checking out B&H Photo. They have some great deals
  3. macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2010
    Littleton, CO
    While I shoot Nikon and I am partial to the brand, if you think video will be a major part of your use...go with Canon. Nikons still images are second to none but the video is lacking. The T2i or T3i is far better for video. However, the high ISO of the D5100 for still shots will win every time.

    So, video vs. stills. Which do you want better quality? Also keep in mind the glass you put in front of it has a MAJOR role in image quality. Neither camera will be great with crap lenses.

    I'd take a lesser camera with amazing lenses over an amazing camera with crap lenses any day.
  4. I AM THE MAN thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2011
    Good point. Thanks for your answer!
  5. Maddix macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2011
    Canons have a more distinct color pallet than other brands. Some call it "the Canon look". Having had both Nikon and Canon DSLR's, I think Canon pics have more of a plastic look.
  6. johnnj macrumors 6502a

    Dec 11, 2008
    Not here
    Canon has so many consumer DSLRs! How can anyone keep them straight? I get the 1D series and the 5D of course, but the rest seem like a miasma of similar model numbers and cameras that all look alike.

    How is someone who's just starting out or the popular "I'm getting one for my girlfriend" supposed to navigate that (without asking here, of course)?
  7. I AM THE MAN thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2011
    Do I need a DSLR?

    Hello everyone. Im trying to begin Photography as a hobby, and I AM VERY CONFUSED. Im thinking of buying a DSLR (actually already purchased the T3 and returned it) and now, I am finally becoming serious on whether to purchase a DSLR or not to. I currently have a Nikon Coolpix L110 (P&S)-is that good enough for me right now, or should I just buy a DSLR?

    Do I even need a DSLR?

    If I do purchase one, I am thinking of either the T1i, T2i, or T3i...I am very confused, and I need all the help I can get. Thanks in advance.
  8. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
  9. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    The general rule is if you need to ask, then you don't.

    An even more general rule, the only camera you need to have to get into photography is one that can take pictures. Unless you know specifically WHY or What features you want from a DSLR, it's not necessary.

    If you're happy with the L110, then keep shooting and work on technique and composition.
  10. cupcakes2000, May 29, 2011
    Last edited: May 29, 2011

    cupcakes2000 macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2010
    Yeah you do!!

    Get one, get a 50mm 1.8 lens, read books, practice loads, shoot only in manual.

    Learn about exposure (shutter speed, aperture and iso) and learn how to understand light. Learn how to use your light meter to bring your vision to life. Its not about snapshots, it's about recreating what you see. Realising what spot metering was changed my photographic life.
    Read Understanding Exposure. Bryan someone or other.

    Look at the strobist blog for new directions. Off camera flash opens so many doors.

    Learn about film cameras! Read Ansel Adams. Buy an old cheap EOS film camera (if you stick with Canon, some of your lenses will work on both). Learn how to shoot without chimping. It will soon make you a better photographer when you only have 24 exposures and you have to 'know' they're correctly exposed!!

    It so exciting and when you start you can't stop. If you're thinking about it then you obviously want one. There's no 'general rule' really. If you love your point and shoot, but wish to experiment further, a dslr is the right choice. Whilst it's very true that it's not the camera that makes the photographer, a p&s is very limiting for creativeness.

    I've seen from some of your other posts recently that you're on the fence with some decisions.

    Get one. Learn how to use it. Get critisism. Get better. Maybe then you can think about being famous. ;)
  11. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Many great photographers never had access to a DSLR, Ansel Adams...
  12. cupcakes2000 macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2010
    Very true. OP can have access to one though. So why not?
  13. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Sure the OP can buy whatever they want. Point is a DLSR does not a good photographer make, but a good photographer can do magic with a DLSR.

    Might want to start with a much cheaper but just a flexible micro-4/3rds camera. Even a decent P&S like the Canon S95 or Lumix (~$400) can offer decent quality photos on a budget.
  14. cupcakes2000 macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2010
    True statement.

    If I was you (and I was once) I would buy a dslr.

    You must think your pics are good. It will improve your photography no end. You'll be able to shoot in raw for one thing. You'll never be able to make a decent b&w shot if you cant do that. It's one thing saying Ansell Adams never had the option but it's 2011 and things have changed considerably.
    Take black and white as an example. Even a rubbish camera, a roll of good quality film and darkroom skills you can create magic.
    These days the lower quality / small sensors / no view finder / lossy jpeg compression found on most p&s make that a lot harder. Of course it's possible,
    but why limit yourself?
  15. peepboon macrumors 6502


    Aug 30, 2008
    A cheap way to see if you do enjoy it is to buy an inexpensive old film SLR for about £5-£20 on eBay or a thrift shop. Buy some inexpensive film, shoot on it, get them printed, if you find yourself liking the results and buying more film then you might be interested.

    If you do go down this route, might be worth sticking with it for a little bit to gain valuable knowledge on composition, exposure, etc etc.

    Hope this helps!
  16. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    Shoot with what you have until you find that you are no longer satisfied with the results. Then decide where to go from there.

  17. TheGenerous macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
    I'm an Austronaut
    I used a point-&-shoot for more than a year before getting a micro four thirds. I started to love photography and that's why I justified purchasing a better camera with interchangable lens.

    I hope I can purchase a dslr one day.
  18. Furrybeagle macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2004
    Sure, even in full auto mode a DSLR will give you better pictures than your P&S. But don’t get a DSLR unless you intend to learn how to use it, and (eventually) get at least a lens or two.

    At a minimum read up on things like aperture, shutter speed, and be aware of the different kinds of lenses you can buy. If this stuff sounds too complicated, then don’t bother.

    Also, try checking out this site:
    It lets you mess with the same kinds of controls you’ll find on an SLR.

    As others have said, the camera does not make the photographer. You can do amazing things even with horrible cameras; an SLR will just give you more flexibility.
  19. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    This sounds about right to me. You'll know if/when you need a DSLR, because you won't be able to do without one. Until then... don't fret. Just take pictures and have fun...
  20. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    I wouldn't recommend a dslr unless you want to really learn about photography. The other thing is that dslrs are quite big and many people leave them at home, because they `don't want to take the big camera.' One anecdote from a good friend: he owns a D70, shot quite a few nice vacation pics with it and eventually left it at home more and more often -- especially at gatherings where I was (I'm known as a photography nut amongst my circle of friends). In the end, it just gathered dust for the most part.

    Then he got a Panasonic GF-1 with kit lens and pancake. He takes it almost everywhere and gives him much better IQ than with a compact, but at the same time, it is much smaller than a dslr.

    So how about getting a micro-4/3 camera?
  21. Ish, May 30, 2011
    Last edited: May 30, 2011

    Ish macrumors 68020


    Nov 30, 2004
    I'll second this! If you're at a stage when you think if only you could do such-and-such but you can't with your camera, that's the time to start investigating. Exciting times!

    EDIT: Re OreoCookie above: I'll second this too. A friend of mine swopped his dslr for a Panasonic GH-1, designed like a small dslr, and the quality is excellent. Only you know whether the size will bother you or not.
  22. I AM THE MAN thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2011
    I feel that I am at that stage after I used the T3 for a little bit of time. What DSLR would you recommend a beginner?
  23. cleanup macrumors 68030


    Jun 26, 2005
    Are you saying you're dissatisfied with the T3 already, or the T3 has made you realize that you're dissatisfied with your point-and-shoot?

    "What DSLR would you recommend a beginner" is a huge can of worms. Most photographers hate this question.

    Rule of thumb is that you should purchase:
    a) What you can afford/within your budget
    b) What feels good in your hand in the store

    Go to a legitimate camera store and ask to try out some budget DSLRs. Pick the ones you think feel the best; ie. the buttons and controls feel naturally placed to you; it's a good weight, it's not awkward, etc. Once you have that comfort aspect down pat, figure out what the differences are between them. Generally speaking, at particular price points, all of the major camera manufacturers have competing options that are all technically on the same level. Subtle differences here and there tend to sway people one way or the other, but if you don't understand these differences, you needn't worry about them. And you will NEVER truly understand such subtle differences between camera models until you have actually shot with the cameras and learned about their functionality (and how to use a camera in general) for a substantial period of time. That said, if you want to "play it safe," go with Canon or Nikon, merely because the amount of support and range/availability of lenses and other accessories for them is the largest. Certainly other camera systems/brands can give you perhaps better value, but if you don't necessarily understand the differences between the systems, you could end up biting yourself in the bottom.

    So buy what you can afford, and what feels good. Learn through experience, then worry about nitpicking later.
  24. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    If you are somehow dissatisfied with the T3, but cannot articulate why, then the problem lies not in the gear but in what's behind it (i.e. you).

  25. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008

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