How to Practically proove dSLRs are better against P/S?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dingdongbubble, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. dingdongbubble macrumors 6502a

    Jun 1, 2007

    I bought a Pentax K100D some time back and I like it and it works good. Now my dad isnt at all pleased with it. He isnt a photographer kinda person so he doesnt understand whats so great with the dSLR. He thinks the results are the same as any P/S. So he ordered a Canon IXUS 860IS. Now before it gets here, I want to be prepared to show him how my Pentax can totally own the Canon. Would you please suggest some easy to demonstrate (and easy to understand for him) methods to show him that the dSLR is in fact better than the P/S?

    Secondly do you think the Pentax's ISO 3200 is going to be better than the highest ISO of the IXUS he ordered?

  2. disdat macrumors regular


    Jul 21, 2005
    New England USA
    dSLRs are not for everyone. They are big and bulky, while a P&S is small enough to fit into your pocket and easy to use without much thinking.

    If he isn't into photography so much, then let him be happy with the P&S. At least he will be out taking photos.

    Sorry if I didn't answer your question.
  3. yeroen macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2007
    Cambridge, MA
    Put a fast 50 on your Pentax and let him marvel at the sharpness, let him look through the expansive viewfinder, take some portraits with shallow DOF and creamy bokeh, shoot some moving targets, some low light shots at higher ISO, etc. Based on IQ, there isn't a category where he'll be able to argue convincingly in favor of the P/S.
  4. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    Bay Area
    At this point, it all has to do with the person behind the camera.

    Based on your post, I'm going to guess you're not exactly a pro (or even an experienced amateur, if you're trying to convince your pappy that your Christmas present was worth it...)

    A digital SLR doesn't make you magically better. In some circumstances (incorrect shutter speed, overexposure, other misuse due to lack of knowledge), a point and shoot with fully automatic settings can produce a better shot.
  5. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    Size and weight are an important factor. I have a Nikon D40x, but I have been wanting to buy a P&S to take with friends and so.

    As for how to demonstrate that a dSLR is better:

    1- Throw a small ball into the air (rather fast) and ask him to take a photo of it. He'll have a hard time getting a good photo, if he gets one at all. And if you want to add an extra, ask him to have the camera tuned off. (So he'll have to turn the camera on and take the photo).

    2- Ask him to take a portrait photography where the backgrounds is completely blurred.:)

    3- Photos in low light.

    4- Make a large print of a photo.

    5- HDR photography.

    6- Continuous shooting.

    So there are many HUGE differences between dSLR and P&S, but if you don't enjoy composing the photo, then maybe your dad is better with a P&S. After all, for the casual photo of a birthday where you'll only print the photo in 4x6", P&S cameras are perfect.
  6. M@lew macrumors 68000


    Nov 18, 2006
    Melbourne, Australia
    And yes there will be far less noise on the Pentax than the Canon.
  7. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    Erm... sounds like you need to challenge your dad to a bout of arm-wrestling, then maybe go out and shoot some photos. Comparing a P&S and DSLR is like comparing apples and oranges. And, as already pointed out, the main difference in the quality of the pix will be the person pressing the shutter... :)
  8. unknown87 macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2007
    In some situations and circumstances, a P/S may well be 'better' (I challenge you to define that anyway...) than a DSLR, it just depends on what the user requires.
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    People here understand what type of answer you need, but I don't think they've all given it to you.

    You're going to get better dynamic range in your images, and have less shutter lag (ie: time between pressing the shutter, and the photo to be taken), You'll have focus points that are more accurate. You'll have less noise beyond ISO 400 (or maybe even ISO 200). You'll have less depth of field, and more control over the blurriness of your background (depth of field).

    There's a lot of things you can say, but to show these differences will be a bit more difficult. If you have snow in your area, or at least a clear sunny sky, take a photo on auto mode. You'll likely get a slightly washed out sky in both photos. However, your DSLR will hopefully produce a better result with a less washed out sky. If you shoot in RAW, you'll be much more able to fix that sky than him. He simply doesn't have as much extra info in his file to recover. Your camera is taking in more light photos.

    Bokeh? No problem. Even your kit lens will produce a better bokeh than his camera, or at least a more blurred background.

    Your low light, low noise photos will be easy to prove.

    I don't know. There are so many things you can do. ;)
  10. juanm macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2006
    Fury 161
    P&S you cannot:
    - Have wide opening lenses. They're only good for snapshots
    - Have off camera flashes.
    - Small sensor = more noise in less than ideal conditions.
    - They don't have room to put buttons for every function: you have to go through menus.
    - Too slow.
  11. jerryrock macrumors 6502


    Sep 11, 2007
    Amsterdam, NY
  12. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Monterey CA
    The difference is not so much is one 4x6 photo better than another 4x6. It is speed and ease of use and that starts out with having an actual viewfinder rather than a glared-out screen.

    Still, a lot of people would rather go with the small size and hate the very idea of a visible camera, extra lenses and all that.
  13. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    I disagree that dslrs have to be better in any case. People will give you technical arguments, say that the image quality is better, that you have more technical possibilities, etc.

    But sometimes none of that matters.
    (1) Dslrs are big and heavy. Women can put small P&S in their purses, guys can cram it into their pockets.
    (2) Dslrs are complicated. Big time. My D80 with flash scares the **** out of most of my friends. Most people just want to be able to switch the camera on and off, zoom, press the shutter release and view their pics. They don't want to concern themselves with things like ISO, noise and aperture. You have to change lenses, put on a flash, set the ISO and whatnot with a dslr.
    (3) Dslrs are expensive. I'm seriously considering buying a P&S for my mountain bike and skiing trips. I've crashed twice (both times, my dlsr survived, but this still makes me feel queazy). It takes a lot more time to whip out my D80 than a small P&S.
    (4) Crappy photographers take crappy pictures with their expensive gear. It's about composition and not so much about image quality.

    Disclaimer: I have owned slrs for the last 11 years (- 6 months of darkness with my first digital P&S to bridge the gap). I would never consider replacing my dslr equipment with a P&S.
  14. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    It's very simple: noise.

    Get any modern dSLR and shoot a low-light scene at ISO1600 (or even ISO 800). Then do the same with a modern P&S. The difference in noise will be immediately obvious.

    P&S camera are great for a large proportion of the population; they can acheive what they want with the P&S.

    There are, of course, other advantages to a dSLR, but for me, (relative) lack of noise at high ISO is one of the biggest.
  15. jtblueberry macrumors regular

    Dec 20, 2007
    Pismo Beach, CA
    Take some night time images with some bright lights...maybe overlooking a city. Use ISO800 on both cameras. Compare noise, sharpness, detail, and dynamic range. Also action images should show a difference...he may have a hard time even getting his camera to take the shot when he wants. Get some prints blown up big to really see a differenence. Your camera will have better image quality in these situations.
    With that said, keep in mind this is like comparing apples and oranges. These cameras aren't really made for the same purposes. If you don't print anything, I think I'd rather have his camera.
  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    First off neither camera is better. A camera is either matched to your needs or not. For your dad an SLR would be a useless wast of money because he'd never use it.

    Secondly, You dad may be right. I've not seen your work. Perhaps it is only as good as what you could have done with a P&S. I don't know.

    It may not mater beacause you can't convince him. For the types of shots he wants to take his P&S will do as well as an SLR, one's as good as the other. But what the SLR does is allows you to take other kinds of pictures. The P&S basically allows you to take snapshots of scenery and posed shots of people who stand still and look at the camera while you take the picture. These are the only kind of shots most people ever want

    You can show off an SLR by doing things the P&S can't like sports and off camera flash or macro photography or low light shots with an f/1.4 lens and 1600 ISO. Basically the SLR can take a wider range of subjects. But then most non-photographers would never want to do this. What you need is an attractive portfolio of work that could not be done with a P&S. Without this portfolio of work to show, your dad wins

    Don't try a "test" where you shoot the same image with both cameras. That will favor the P&S over the SLR because you will only pick test shots the P&S can do. The shots will look very much alike in small prints. No, the way to show off the SLR is to compare portfolios

    But always remember it is the photographer, not the camera. If you really want to "show off" buy a Holga for about $25. It's a horrible plastic toy camera but it is popular with many fine art photographers who can do really great work using it.
  17. Ish macrumors 68020


    Nov 30, 2004
    You don't really want to spoil his pleasure with his new camera do you? You know yours is better; he's happy with what he's ordered. Everyone has what they want. Just admire the pictures he takes and make him happy. If he says something admiring about one of his pictures you can say, with a twinkle in your eye, "Almost as good as mine can do!". :)
  18. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    Any time I need to show the utter sweetness of my SLR, I turn down the lights and strap on my 50/1.4, then offer a shot-for-shot shoot-out with the friend's P&S.

    Needless to say, they see the light (no pun intended) pretty quickly.
  19. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Why even argue the point?

    DSLR's are bulky and expensive compared to a P&S.

    P&S cameras are easier to use than DSLR's

    Both have their place, and both have places the other shouldn't go.

    Would I use a P&S in a studio setting? No!

    Would I toss a DSLR over my shoulder, hop in a motocross bike and go flying off into the woods? No! ( I did once and a lens was internally damaged :eek: )

    I own both types, though I have 2 DSLR's and only one P&S.

    I ride a motorcycle darn near all the time. I carry a camera ALL the time. Unless I take time to prepare the bike for carrying the DSLR, I carry the P&S. It should be noted that I had one lens fail, and that was the lens I carried with my DSLR on the bike. ( I suspect vibration caused failure )

    My P&S is ... Waterproof, Shockproof, Crushproof, Freezeproof in other words motorcycle proof! ( Olympus 770SW )

    Now I know I won't get the quality of shot with a P&S that a DSLR will give me, that is a no brainer.
  20. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Depends on what you mean by "better". A DSLR has better technology than a P&S, but that doesn't nessarily make is a better photo taking device. It all depends on the user behind the technology. Take race cars for example. No one will disagree that Audi R8 is better racing technology than Audi A7, but I bet you if you were to take both cars around Nuremberg with Jane Doe in the former and Danica Patrick in the latter, the latter would own the former in track time.
  21. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

    Jan 17, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    Amen. Why give your dad a hard time? Let him enjoy his Canon. Besides, having a pocket camera like the Elph is nice - one is more likely to have it with you more of the time and if that's what he wants, why hassle him? Besides, he'll win in a match up when it comes to seeing how DSLRs do against his color movies taken with something a little larger than a deck of cards.
  22. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Mar 18, 2006
    I use a DSLR (Canon 30D) but I also use a P&S (Panasonic TZ3). I use the TZ3 because, on occasions, I don't want to have to lug the 30D around. Obviously, the P&S has its limitations but it's pocketable, got a superb lens and its images, at reasonable enlargement, compare very well with the DSLR. It's not a case of one being better than the other - more like "horses for courses".

    It seems to me that the Canon P&S more than fulfills your father's requirements. So why try to prove him wrong?

    Or are you trying to prove something to yourself??! :rolleyes:
  23. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    M....Holgas....I shoot with a 1Ds Mark III, a D3, a 5D (all for different needs) and I STILL love to go out and shoot with a holga. Theyre wonderfully odd.
  24. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    Who says dSLRs are better? Depends on the appllication.

    I would never drag a D300 into a club or restaurant on a casual occasion. I DO take a Canon P&S though...

    +1 for the Canon P&S
  25. Eauboy macrumors regular


    Jan 28, 2008
    Washington, DC

    Both of you hold your cameras, powered off.

    Have an impartial third party (mom?) count down from ten to one.

    At the count of one, each of you changes lenses.

    Fastest time wins.

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