I think I finally understand why dSLRs sell to moms

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Battou, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think I finally figured out why it is that dSLRs are actually beingt bough by people who will only use it for birthday party snapshooting. That reason is the shitty auto focus of the modern compact point and shoot.

    I was attending a family get together with my GF's family on Christmas, being the gear head I am I carted with me four 35mm SLRs, several lenses and a couple flashes and I also had my GF bring out her 35mm SLR. As it turned out the only people to get any pictures from the event where me and my GF. Everyone else who pulled out their camera...(well everyone else, I should say) was unable to opperate their cameras. This was not one camera or manufacturer, Fujifilm, Olyimpus, Kodak and a couple I did not recognize all failed saying the same thing, "Insufficient light", the things would not focus.

    Now before this turns into a BS "gear maters" discussion I want to say that Kate was using her AE-1 with my 155A speed light at 1/125 and I used on several ocations my EF with no flash at 1/30 and 1/60. My 35mm Yashica P&S will AF in those lighting conditions.

    Why is it that modern P&S AF can not? Is it that AF is the first casualty in cost cutting, or is it a ploy to get people to buy the more expencive equipment?
     
  2. ATXshots

    ATXshots TPF Noob!

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    My p&s takes forever to focus. Most often I end up just taking the photo anyways.
     
  3. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Well I am guessing we are talking about the lower priced spectrum in P&S cameras. Although I don't have one myself (do have a bridge / prosumer), I have used a couple in the middle price ranges and was quite suprised by them. I nearly bought one as a pocket camera. I bought my parents a Nikon coolpix several years ago for christmas and it was a decent camera for $350. Of course I picked one that had the best features for the price range I was willing to spend.
     
  4. ATXshots

    ATXshots TPF Noob!

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    My camera wasn't that inexpensive (what do you consider inexpensive?). I have a Pentax Optio, think I paid close to $300. But I knew (know) nothing about cameras when I bought it.

    Actually, this brings up a question I had...do cameras go bad? My camera is a few years old, and I'm wondering if the focusing problem has anything to do with the age of the camera. Or maybe I just didn't notice before because I wasn't paying attention.
     
  5. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A couple of the ones I did not bother to look at enough to recognize where in fact pocket shooters, and those did not suprize me but the ones I mentioned where mid range point and shoots, not high end superzooms but not the cheapoes either. Never the less all of them lacked manual focus options. Being restricted to manual focus in true low light...well that is basics, but I can't for the life of me understand why my twenty year old P&S AF would out preform one that is less than a year old as far as required light goes.

    AF moters can go, yes, anything electronic can go south and give out just as anything mechanical can get worn out. As for a mere couple of years, I think that would be unlikely unless you put it through heavy ( and I mean heavy) use. My Kodak C-series is nearly three years old and I have abused it badly and it still AF's as fast as it did the day I bought it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2008
  6. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Even with these P&S cameras, there is still a technique to taking the picture. I have yet to see anyone ever take a snap with a P&S camera who focuses with half-shutter button push like you are suppose to. Everyone I see snaps down on the shutter fully. This not only makes it more difficult for the camera to be focusing, but also introduces camera shake to the image because most usage of these cameras are indoors in poor light for birthday parties and the like.

    That's what I think the main problem is. My wife can't take a good looking snap with my camera for the life of her even though I have repeated over and over and over again that she has to press the shutter halfway to let it focus, then press it fully. She snaps her finger down every time no matter what I say. I think this is what the majority of everyone does.
     
  7. ATXshots

    ATXshots TPF Noob!

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    I do ;) thats what I was talking about...it takes forever to 'focus' when I push the shutter half way. I have to keep zooming in and out to get it to focus.
     
  8. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree with mrodgers. It never ceases to amaze me when I see people just slam the shutter button down. I see this at the Grand Canyon alot.
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Beyond better AF people, particularly people photographing children, like cameras that shoot when the shutter button is pressed. They also like ISO 400+ that doesn't look like crap. These are the reasons most of the moms I know with DSLRs have them. Most would be content with a point-n-shoot if the camera took the pic when they wanted it too, and if ISO 400+ looked halfway decent.

    I've never had a problem getting a digital point-n-shoot to focus. Heck, I wish I could get some out of focus backgrounds, but the format and focal lengths are so small that lots of DOF is a given even at f/2.8. I think the folks above are right. People don't bother to read the manual, and then they don't know how to operate the camera, so they slam down on the shutter button in frustration, and even with fancy IS they get camera shake.

    Oh, and beyond that they buy DSLRs for the same reasons everyone else does: big, expensive cameras are cooler.
     
  10. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Another similar question to be asked is, why do people buy sports cars, yet buy them with an automatic transmission. On top of that, they drive them around at sub-limit speeds. Why do people buy big 4x4 trucks and SUVs, yet never leave the pavement or drive themselves and only themselves back and forth to work every day.

    It really does not matter why someone would buy a dSLR instead of a P&S. The fact is, no matter how you use a particular camera, a dSLR camera is going to have a better quality outcome than a P&S. If a hobbyist or professional photographer uses a P&S and a dSLR camera for the same shot, the dSLR shot will be better. If a soccer mom uses a P&S and a dSLR camera for snaps of her kids, the dSLR will come out better. Why does it matter that moms are buying dSLRs? No matter what mode you put the cameras in, if using the same mode (auto, manual, Tv, Av, or whatever), the dSLR camera will produce a better image.

    This is a different topic than the "camera doesn't matter" topic. There you are comparing a photographer with a P&S to a snapshooter with a dSLR. Here, you are comparing the same person taking the same shots with the cameras in the same mode. The dSLR will come out on top every time. It doesn't matter what the subject is or how the equipment is being used, the comparison is with the quality of the final product because the product will be shot in the same manner.
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    We're on the same page and I believe that the other thread is basically the same, in the end.

    It irks me to see people think that the same person can get equal results on a P&S and a high end dSLR. I feel sorry for the poor snapshooter who follows the legions of misguided KR fans and are not much more than lemmings in their desire to justify something to themselves that is just simply not true.

    We all know that an experienced photographer can grab a P&S and get better results than someone who's just picked up a Nikon D3 in auto mode but is clueless becuase they can compose and know about light and what not. But that same cluless person is going to make the same crappy pictures on ANY camera, not just becuase it is a P&S, high end dSLR or even an Etch-a-Sketch!

    At the start, we were *all* clueless, but we all learned! Where does that leave the learned knowledgeable photographer with the P&S suddenly? Up crap creek without a paddle, that's where! :lol:

    This scenario exists much less today. Today, the learning curve is not decades, like it was in the days of film, where you had to wait and process before seeing your results and could learn from them, where you were limited not to the thousands of pics you can take in a day vs the hundreds you could take in a day and had to wait several more days for before being able to see the fruits of your studies. Today you have millions of books and the internet that holds VAST information and you get to see your results IMMEDIATELY... and that learning curve is reduced from decades to months, if you are *very* serious about it.

    An earnest student of photography today can lower that time frame drastically. I look at myself and see someone that has been around cameras all their life, but only really been an avid student of photography for under 2 years, and I place my knowledge at above the same level as my father had after 10 perhaps even 20 years of shooting. Back then, it was all about experience, but today, its not the same anymore... that said, since it is SO EASY to gain and use this knowledge, I do not think that the topic of this thread is as valid a thing to say today anymore, becuase though it may be true at first... in 3 months or less, enough can be easily learned that the tables are turned and no amount of expertise will help that poor person with the P&S against the "3-month newbie" with a dSLR.

    Here is the joke in the whole discussion... we are not even talking about any great meaningful levels of knowledge or competence in photography, nor any great levels of skill. Just because a newbie with a dSLR can now officially outshoot the capabilities of a P&S, this doesn't mean very much over all in the grand scheme of things... because now, at this level, this is where it all *really* just starts.

    Now one has the tools to at least learn the more intricate aspects of photography and can sincerely start to grow as a photographer, again as long as that desire is in earnest. This is the time to enjoy and learn photography and really start pushing personal limits, because this is where the fun really is! ;)
     
  12. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That is where the difference is. In the photography hobby sense you can say the pictures are going to be the same crappy pictures. But in the my-kid's-birthday-party snapshot memory sense, they are going to get better pictures even using auto mode simply because any dSLR, beginner or high end, is going to have a better result. The flash is going to be more powerful, the fact that ISO 200 or above is garbage on a P&S where a dSLR will still have acceptable noise at much higher ISO, the focus is going to be much faster, the low light of birthday parties much better, and the overall image sharpness much better. For a snapshooter and capture of memories, a dSLR is going to produce a better result of image quality regardless of artistic quality.
     

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