Older Digital SLR or Newer Point and Shoot?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Chasb, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. Chasb macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2007
    Time to replace my older P & S with something newer. Photography for me is pretty basic - road trips, special occasions, and the occasional "I feel artistic" moments. After shooting, I download the images and tweek them in Photoshop/Actions then share and store them. I was about to purchase a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 or a Canon Powershot, but came across a heavily discounted Canon EOS Digital Rebel (6.1mp) I believe this camera is about 4 or 5 years old. Silver body, 55mm lens/media card/cables and such. My question: Is the technology that is built into the newest P & S comparable or better to the older digital SLR or is the dSLR still the way to go? All three fall into the same price range for me. Thanks
  2. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    If you are happy with the performance of a PnS, I would stick with it. DSLR is much bigger and heavier and you will find that you won't have it with you as often. If you are annoyed by shutter lag and want better low light performance, DSLR is worth a look. If you just want control over your camera, buy a canon and download the hacked firmware for it, it gives you all the controls you get on a DSLR. Megapixels don't matter unless you are printing larger than 8x10 or cropping the pics a lot.
  3. Chasb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2007

    Thanks Jampat! I wasn't aware that there were firmware hacks for the Canon. Googled it. Sweet add-on features for a P&S. Thanks again!
  4. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    i don't believe the firmware hacks have anything to do with manual controls, just RAW capability...

    the lowest of the SLRs are still better than the best of the point-&-shoots in handling and image quality. no SLR is as portable as a point-&-shoot, though.

    based on how you use your camera, i think a point-&-shoot is the better option.
  5. Dip The Dip macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2009
    DSLR's all the way. I believe you may have spotted a Canon 300D.
    By the sounds of things you its a good place to start. If you feel as though you want to get creative, its very easy to do so. Even with the standard lens.

    I suggest getting the 450D in your hands, see how you feel with it. Do the same with the Nikon D40. There both roughly the same size of the 300. Then you could go down the model range as bodies don't change much in size and shape. Mainly Weight and specs.
  6. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    the 300D is not the same size as a 450D. it's closer to the size of a 20D.
  7. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Based on what you have described I would be inclined to suggest you stick with the P&S. You don't seem to have described any true need for a DSLR. The reaons to go with a DSLR would be:
    - P&S zoom is too limited
    - P&S wideangle is too narrow
    - P&S low light performance is too weak
    - P&S camera is just too small & light weight :)

    Both of my parents are in their mid 60s, they both have the same Canon P&S (Ixis?) and both are very happy.

    My dad uses his to take photos when doing insurance inspections and he doesn't need 16megapixel images of fire hydrants, sprinkler heads etc :), he also takes basic photos when on vacation.

    My mother loves the compact size as she can put it in her pocket and take photos at preschool & also of the grand children at home, the P&S is less obvious to the kids so she can get more natural shots as the kids arent all posing. She also enjoys taking it on the holidays so she can get the photos stuff she wants that my father ignores :)

    Complaints? The only one I have heard is that my mother wants a better zoom for the holiday photos (scenic), but knows she does not want to lug around a bag to hold something like a 40D and also knows that the cost of the equipment will not provide her with enough reward.

    If you were to go with a DSLR, I would be concerned that in the price range you are working the lenses aren't exactly amazing, other than maybe on the telephoto range you might not find any benefit and although we try keep away from megapixel comparisons the 6.1MP Canon probably isn't all that desirable. Maybe moving up to a Canon 30D in the 8s might be more rewarding as the quality would improve.

    Finally, when it comes down to it. Ask yourself one question. If I have a DSLR, am I really going to use it as much as I would a P&S?

    You have more weight, bulk, etc to carry around, do you think you will take the DSLR to every event you go to like you would a P&S, sometimes a smaller more subtle camera can get you further as people (subjects) aren't afraid of them like they might be when you whip out the DSLR :)
  8. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    a 2MP difference is insignificant. the 20/30D are better cameras due to better sensor technology and handling, not 2MP.
  9. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    But a 30D vs a basic Rebel should also see decent improvements as well.
  10. macjonny1 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2006
    Get the P&S
    You lack even the most basic understanding of what DLSRs can do differently. It is like asking whether you should get a Prius or a Suburban and not knowing where you will be driving.
  11. Chasb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2007
    My question was simple: Older technology vs newer technology?

    You said, "Get the P&S" Thanks for sharing. BTW, the rest of your reply was unnecessary and not warranted.
  12. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    having owned several SLRs and P&S's ( 20D and 30D, EOS-3, EOS 1V, I have a G9 now), I can tell you that coming from an SLR, I miss the complete control over every aspect of the camera. While the G9 is a mighty camera, the sensor is very small (and has too many MPs for the sensor, imho) and doesnt have the kind of dynamic range i could get with a 30D + 24-105L lens, for example.

    With that being said, the G9 does shoot RAW (that seems not to be a priority for the OP, as you say you just upload images to share). Honestly I would go with a P&S. Get the Lumix, it is a great looking camera and play around with it. If it really sparks your interest, you could get a 20D body with low actuations for like $300-$400. The 20D and 30D really are the same camera. You get a bigger/sharper screen with the 30D and spot metering, but that is about it.

    Plus with a DSLR, you will need to buy glass. Also, I think that you would get better results with a 20D/30D/XTI + great glass versus a 50D w/kit lens.

    head over to fredmiranda.com for more info. Very informative site:)
  13. dinostars macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2007
    Depending on what type of PnS you get, the "older technology" will probably still take better pictures.
  14. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    - How much is the Rebel?
    - Is it new/refurbished/used?
    - Are you buying from a brick and mortar store?
    - Is the store reputable?
    - Are all the accessories there, including battery and charger?
    - Do you get some warranty? Is it gray market?
  15. iindigo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 22, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    I'm no expert in the field of photography and don't even own the cameras myself, but something I've noticed is that in all the photos taken with a P&S that I've seen, even if the camera was the vaunted LX3, have noise problems and blurred details when viewed at 100% to a point that is much worse than even the oldest of the currently selling DSLRs (like the D40).

    DSLR photos, even when produced by an "old" low-end camera, are miles better than anything a P&S is capable of. In most decently-lit shots, no noise is apparent at all and everything is much more nicely detailed.
  16. ifoner macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    The answer is not that simple. Some aspects of the technology of a newer PnS may beat an older DSLR. These would be along the lines of portability and ease of use, the addition of video, better autofocus - face detection, image stabilization, etc.

    However, where they fall down is the digital sensor technology and lenses, which have the biggest impact on image quality. The larger the sensor (physically) the better.

    If you use the PnS in it's best scenario, which is good light, and shoot the highest quality JPEG or RAW (although most don't support RAW), the quality can be just fine. (up to a certain print size)

    OTOH, if you find yourself in low light the technology breaks down. Even many DSLR's don't do well at ISO's above 400, but they beat any PnS.

  17. Chasb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2007

    The digital Rebel is used (4-5 years old). He's thinking $200.00 for body/55mm lens/card/xtra battery/charger/cables. Now, I'm considering the Nikon D40 promo from Best Buy with 18-55 and 55-200mm lens plus camera bag for $579.00
  18. John.B macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    You forgot the most important one:
    - P&S shutter lag ;)

    To the OP, you'll find that a lot of SLR types also carry a small P&S camera for those moments where an SLR is overkill or is too large to lug around or when a quick snapshot is all that's needed.

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