New DSLR or just invest in photoshop?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by court, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. court macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2005
    I just made the decision (because of size of camera) to get the Canon Powershot SD750 and it takes awesome pictures. Now I am seeing all these flickr accounts with these dslr cameras and wondering if I made the wrong choice. BUT...I'm starting to think that maybe a lesson in photoshop could get me the effects I'm looking for so I'm able to keep my small camera. Am I right in thinking this??

    I have learned to fix the noise/saturation/highlights in my pictures in iphoto and have gotten pretty crafty with it so that is what assured me maybe I dont' NEED a dslr.

    Your thoughts?
  2. cutsman macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2006
    I think you have to ask yourself if you're willing to invest the time and money into delving deeper into photography in order to really truly start making use of the advantages of a DSLR.

    It sounds to me that portability is important to you, and I think you have to really decide whether you'd be willing to sacrifice portability and carry around a DSLR with you. All advantages of a DSLR will be negated if you're out and it's sitting at home because you didn't want to carry it around with you all day long.

    I personally just got into photography a few months ago and quickly learned that although DSLR's inherently have better image quality, it's still the photographer that ultimately takes the photo and decides on the subject, exposure, composition, etc. You likely won't be producing amazing photos (presumably like the ones you've seen that you really liked) simply by using a DSLR. You will need to gain a firm understanding of the fundamentals of photography and have some experience in order to see what really work and doesnt work for you.

    Photoshop is an amazing program that will do some amazing things, but it really isn't a substitute for a good camera. If you're interested in getting more serious about photography and are willing to take the time to practice and learn, I would say a DSLR would be a GREAT investment! On the other hand, if you realistically can't see yourself lugging around a DSLR all day then I don't think it's for you. In either case, what would probably help your photos the most is not photoshop or a new camera, but perhaps some literature to better understand photography. An often recommended book is Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson; it would be a great starting point.
  3. court thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2005
    Thanks cutsman. I think you're right about a lot of the stuff you said. I'm basically wanting to take awesome pictures of my daughter and family. I think I might regret getting a bulky camera. My Canon takes awesome clear pictures so I guess I was asking if I could maybe do some of the blurring of backgrounds and color tricks with a program. I'm going to toy around with adobe photoshop lightroom and see what I can do.

    I'm a Mom so I don't have the time to learn in depth about the dslr and from reading...I agree...why get a slr camera if you're only going to use it in auto mode??? Thanks!
  4. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    At one point, I carred with me a "photo adventure" backpack with about 10,000 dollars worth of DSLR gear. I would wander around America looking for things to take pictures of. I acquired a huge library of photos.

    Now, I have a Canon 750SD. The DSLR was great for doing art, but I found that when I wanted a picture of my kids, or stuff at Seaworld, or just anything, I was tired of the DSLR and it's size and demands.

    so now, I have the same camera as you and I carry it in my pocket. I no longer do "art", but I take alot more of my family and our trips.
  5. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    I'd suggest a short one week class on photography--because if you have the time to tinker with your photos this much, you have the time for a class.

    I admit I'm biased--I shoot to keep, largely because I know more about how to use a camera than photoshop.
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    In all my years I've never really lugged around my dSLR, SLRs, or any other larger-sized camera. However, I have always found a good reason to always have a camera so I did...and will continue once repaired, to carry around a simple point and shoot. I believe point and shoot cameras are capable of good, keep-worthy, sellable, photos. You would be amazed at the equipment people have used to take some of the most notable photographs.

    I see nothing wrong with carrying around a camera, but for me it gets too cumbersome and I wind up wanting to leave it in the car. On the flip side, I know a photojournalist who keeps her newspaper-supplied gear in her car. It's not her gear, but she is under contract to have it with her at all times. Clearly the benefit of that is great, but for people like you and me, carrying around something more portable like a point and shoot isn't a bad idea. There's always something I see that is picture worthy.

    I never found photoshop to be a replacement for a decent camera. That is the so-called purist in me talking. I believe in shooting the image you want, not the image you think you can fix on the computer. Coming from a large format background that counts when one photo is roughly $4-$7 per click. (film).
  7. M@lew macrumors 68000


    Nov 18, 2006
    Melbourne, Australia
    If you are already happy with the camera you have, I would go for photoshop. That is if you need it though. There are some cheaper alternatives depending on what you want to do.
  8. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    For what you're likely wanting, you don't even need Photoshop. Photoshop Elements will do what you need, unless you plan to turn professional and do work for printed adverts, in which case you'll also need the SLR.

    Save your money on both and buy accessories. onOne Software has some plug-ins for Photoshop Elements, for instance.
  9. apearlman macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2007
    Red Hook, NY
    Your original post didn't specify what "effects" you're looking for, but I now see you're talking about depth of field control (and possibly other things).

    Masking a subject and blurring a background is time-consuming (in my experience) and never looks as good as an image that comes out of the camera that way. I'd suggest, if you're doing this more than occasionally, then it's time to obtain and learn how to use an SLR. In the long run, you'll spend less time and be more pleased with the results.

    If you're worried about bulkiness, do what I did: borrow (or rent, or buy a used) SLR for a week and carry it around just like your compact camera. Are you having fun, or is it a burden?

    Ultimately, you might find yourself (like me) finding uses for two different cameras.


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