High end compact ... or DSLR ?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Zwaf2, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. Zwaf2

    Zwaf2 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hi,

    For a few weeks I've been looking for a new camera. We (our family) have been using a point and shoot for about 3 years now but it lacks stabilizer/has low iso/ugly quality/flash goes off at random like when you plug it in your pc/ etc :D
    Anyway.. I've become interested in photography and like to make pictures of just about everything... nature, people, indoors/outdoors. The problem with my latest camera was that its maximum ISO of 200 and no stabilizer caused all pictures (taken without a flash) after 6pm to be blurry :meh:

    Now.. I'm looking for a new camera. The problem is that I'm not a professional photographer. I know a bit when it comes down to exposure, aperture. I like features such as a variable depth of field and bulb mode (longer/manual exposure). And I want to be in control of my camera (exposure, focus). The logical conclusion as this point would be ... right.. a DSLR.

    But... the camera I'm looking for still has to have an option to take video and have a viewfinder LCD (so I can see what I'm taking a picture off). Don't really need RAW mode since I prefer pictures to be delivered to me ready and processed. I do use photoshop a lot but thats mainly to achieve effects such as DOF or counter-motion-blurring :p.

    My budget is < $500 and I'm situated in Europe.
    I've already taken a look at the Canon Powershot G7/G9 (as an high end compact). I really like this camera since it has a lot of advanced function. I havent quite worked out yet whether I can do DOF (with a different lens or anything) or if it has some sort of Bulb (or manual exposure of 1-15sec).
    I've also looked at the Eos350D (or digital rebel XT). This camera obviously has features like bulb and but lacks the lcd view and video mode. Also, I guess my family wants to able to use the camera as well.. although not that much.

    So I was wondering whether there is any camera that sqeezes in between them. Offering (a bit of) both functionalities. Or will there be one available very soon?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Mullen

    Mullen TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Messages:
    457
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Westville, OK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    D-SLRs are dedicated to taking pictures, so I wouldn't expect a video mode anytime soon. If you need the video, a high-end P&S is probably what you're looking for. Of course getting a P&S is going to limit you later on as you won't have the flexibility of a D-SLR.

    On the other hand, I took some fairly decent photos with a S3 IS before I upgraded to a D-SLR.

    I think your question is: Do you need the video option?

    Edit: I'll should also add that the LCD view (Live View) is only available with some mid-level D-SLRs, probably above your $500 budget.
     
  3. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    587
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    London
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hey there. I think this is going to cause you a bit of a problem:

    If you want a workhorse camera that gets out of your way when making images and lets you have full control over exposure, then you are right, a DSLR is really the only way to go. Live view is not "that" much of a problem, since most new DSLRs come with it, but not in the budget you've mentioned. 500USD is 250GBP... that won't get you very far in DSLR terms. Your family will be able to use a DSLR no doubt even if they know nothing about exposure, just stick it on auto for them.

    The way I see it you have two options, depending on how seriously you want to take our photography. Firstly, if you are serious about your photography and want to take it to the next level, if you like, then buying into a DSLR system is the only way to go. Keep in mind that this is a long-term financial commitment, you won't just get away with buying a kit lens DSLR and a memory card because you'll feel the limitations soon enough. You'll sacrifice video ability. You will also have to up your budget.

    The second option is a high end compact, such as the Canon G9 you mentioned. You'll get video ability and a great family cam, but you'll lose interchangable lenses and the ability to use filter systems, and many other things important to a serious photographer.

    Like I said, depending on how serious you want to be with your photography, you'll buy into a DSLR system or go high-end compact (which there is nothing wrong with). I don't really see a compromise between a serious camera for photographers that also takes videos...

    Just out of curiosity, why do you insist on Live View over an optical viewfinder? I've found that in 99% of cases a finder is much more useful, and LV is only really useful for very low or high level tripod work.

    Good luck in finding a camera.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,087
    Likes Received:
    3,756
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    If you are after features like bulb mode I think DSLR is your only rout - that or a really good bridge camera (like a DSLR in features and controls, but no interchangable lens - a good point and shoot and many also come with video. They tend not to have the same high Megapixel count as a DSLR but they do have good quality results.)

    I think the important thing to note about a DSLR is that you a not just getting a camera - you are getting a system that comes with many (often expensive) extras. To get the best out of a DSLR and to also be able to shoot a wider range of shots well you have to start investing in lenses - and many a time you can end up spending more on the lens than on the camera itself. This is something to bare in mind as whilst you can get good work out of a DSLR and its kit lens its going to be more limiting than if you were to go for an equal priced bridge camera - but then again spend the money on a DLSR and lenses and you will beat the bridge camera into the dust with what you can get - it all depends what your priorities are for getting the camera

    As for liveview mode bare this in mind - the viewfinder of a DSLR is a mirror based one, which means you directly see what your lens (and thus sensor) will be seeing - its not like a point and shoot which is just a little hole in the top of the camera. Further I find that with a DSLR the weight of them with a lens on makes them feel uncontrolable when held out at arms length as you would use to view on liveview - using the viewfinder adds stability to the camera setup and helps get more sharp results.
    In addition the canon DSLRs and nikon DSLRs do not come with stabalization built into the bodies - you have to get it built into the lens. This adds cost to the price of a lens as its more technical to include it - the trade off is that in lens stabalization is (reportedly) more accurate than in camera stabalization. For the lenses look for IS (for canon) or VR (I think for nikon) in the lens name to get the feature.
    If this is very important to you and you don't have a fortune to spend on kit, whilst also deciding to go for a DSLR then look at the olumpus line which have in body stabalization

    edit - Pm63 - she is spending in European dollars not US ones ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2008
  5. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    14,491
    Likes Received:
    206
    Location:
    Europe 67.51°N
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    to reduce costs there is always the possibility to buy outside Europe. Some members do have good experience with this. But be aware of scams.

    In case you travel, you could import from the US yourself, would save you lots of EUR, but only if you do not get caught by customs ;) I recently was screened by customs, all my luggage, at Düsseldorf airport when coming home from the US.

    Second hand is also a good option IMHO. a 30D is not a bad camera just because there is a 40D now.
     
  6. Zwaf2

    Zwaf2 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks for the quick replies!

    Haha both are wrong :lmao:
    I live on the mainland so I pay in Euros, not GBP as in the UK.

    Ehmm I mean the display on the back of the camera where you can see what you will be shooting, that's live view... right?
    Anyway on the display you can actually see what your picture will be like (well.. not in case of a flash and movement) but when you adjust exposure, it also shows in the live view. My family would prefer seeing what the picture will be like on the display.

    Alright.. I see there isnt really an option here.
    If there aint any form of COMBO I prefer going for a high-end point and shoot. But what do you guys think about the G9? I've taken a look at the review on dpreview.com but I was still wondering how much of the mentioned features I can achieve (even though just a little).
    I mean.. can I manually adjust exposure and focus? And what about (cool) Depth of Field(-like effects). I'm pretty much a noob but I know it has to do with changing the F-number to choose what is rendered sharp.
    I dont need functions like 'slide show' or 'upload to xxx' or 'pictbridge' but its quite inevitable I guess :mrgreen:

    We also really need the videomode since our JVC camera got fried a few months ago. Buying 1 camera for shooting pictures and 1 for video could be an option but we prefer to have both in 1. And since we dont really need the video to be supersharp or anything.. well.. you get the point.

    Thanks!
     
  7. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    14,491
    Likes Received:
    206
    Location:
    Europe 67.51°N
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I am not an expert on the G9, but I suppose you can set everything manually. However, getting really shallow DoF requires a wide aperture (small f-stop). The limiting factor on most non-dSLR cameras here is the size of the sensor... the smaller the sensor, the wider the DoF effectively. So if you really want to play with DoF, an SLR camera would be the best choice for you.

    Having both in one is always a very cruel compromise in terms of image quality.
     
  8. Zansho

    Zansho TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Trust me, you won't want live view on a DSLR. It's not very intuitive using a DSLR like a Point and shoot, it just ... is.. awkward. I can shoot a P&S with the "live view" function, but when I shoot with my DSLR's, I prefer the viewfinder, by far.

    Movie mode won't be available on the DSLR's, simply because the shutter in DSLR's are not designed for such features.

    I'd take a serious look at the Canon G9's as they seem to have what you're looking for. Manual mode, auto, good MP size for blowing up images, can use with canon's speedlights, and a host of other things. I got one for my fiancee a while back, and while I don't really use it (I use my 5D and my L glass more), she loves the thing to death.


    One thing to keep in mind. Video cameras are better at doing videos than any P&S. P&S cameras simply won't be able to match the quality a good video camera can. Buy your camera for the primary need, not because "I need it to shoot video." If you want it to mainly take photos, buy the camera for that purpose. You wouldn't take a Volkswagon beetle to a autobahn racetrack and attempt to drive it against cars designed for that track? You CAN drive it on the racetrack, but doesn't mean it's a good idea. Buy your camera for photography, and a video camera for video. Compromising quality is never a good idea, imo.
     
  9. Zwaf2

    Zwaf2 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Yea but I only shoot videos on rare occasions and they mostly get downsized for use on the web anyway so..
    But I still need to have one!

    Ok well.. that means there is no way a point and shoot can achieve background bokeh (yea I just found out about that word) or shallow DOF. I would like to have it though, but alas. Since you said it all had to do with the sensor, a different lens wont help either right?

    The G9 has a shutter speed of 15 to 1/2000th of a sec. The 15s might do for me as a 'bulb mode'. Havent quite found the word 'manual' yet in the same sentence as 'shutter speed' but I'll dig a bit deeper.

    Do any of you have any other recommendations perhaps according to what I mentioned. It doesnt need to be 10MP+ or anything :mrgreen:
    And thanks for everything so far!
     
  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,087
    Likes Received:
    3,756
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
  11. AverageJoe

    AverageJoe TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    918
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I have a G9 and a 40D. I use the G9 when the 40D is too obnxiously big or when I'm traveling light. The G9 has everything you could ever want when it comes to functionality and control over exposure including custom defined modes. It has a wide range of ISO speeds and shutter speeds. Other great features; 2 second self timer for shooting night shots on a supported platform, huge 3" LCD, SOLID BUILD quality, your movie mode (and high res. movie mode 1024) and others I'm forgetting.

    My only gripe with my G9 is it isn't my 40D. I would have liked a wider angle lens but I can add one on (but for a pretty penny).

    Check out cameralabs' review:


    Bottom line:
    I know nothing about Nikon's camera lineup so I can't speak for Nikon, but if you want the best P/S digital for under or around $500 the G9 is it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2014
  12. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,665
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    California, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I dont know why you need a LCD viewfinder and not a optical viewfinder.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

budget dslr vs high end compact

,
entry dslr vs high end compact
,
high end compact or dslr
,
high end compact vs dslr