Camera Purchasing Advice for a Journalism Student!


TPF Noob!
Sep 16, 2010
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Evanston, IL
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Hi everyone,
I'm new to this forum, and need some advice from wiser souls concerning my next camera purchase. Last year, when I was a freshman j-student, I bought a Nikon D60. I used the camera for the entire school-year, but unfortunately LOST the camera this past summer while studying abroad...

Now I'm going to be a sophomore in college, and I need a replacement camera for my journalism courses. My question, then, is whether I should buy a DSLR again or go for a point-and-shoot camera with DSLR features such as the canon G9 or the newly released coolpix P7000 from Nikon.

What I noticed last year was that having a DSLR gave me an edge over other students who used point-and-shoots for photojournalism assignments, but the size and bulk of my D60 was, oftentimes, inconvenient.

I think carrying around a P7000 would be a lot easier, but do you guys think the difference in photo quality between a high-end compact and an entry-level DSLR would be too great?

Money is not the BIGGEST issue; I have about $1000, more or less, to spend on my replacement camera and/or lens. The main thing that I've been mulling over is which camera would suit my needs better...

So which would you guys choose: a camera like the G9 or a D3000 for a humble re-entry into photography?

Thanks for all the help, and I look forward to improving my photography skills over the course of the new school year! :)
nikon d300 or Canon 40/50d. Fast and rugged, with a solid build. Also consider a Nikon d90 as a cheaper more compact substitute for the d300, since you wanted less bulk
A P&S can give you a decent image. They are practical to have around all the time. The major drawback is their lack of zoom and instant reaction (shutter lag). When doing journalism, specially if its event coverage or something fast moving like a protest, you need a camera that can react quick and get you the angle you need. Which is not a point and shoot.

Many photo journalists carry 2 camera. That is how quickly you need to get that one shot. Someone coming out of a courthouse will net you about 1 full second to get the shot of him clearly before his face is hidden.

If you are doing reports and stories and need more documentary style shots, the P&S can be ok if the lighting is good. If its not, you might struggle.

I thikn that if you want to be serious about journalism, get the right gear. The intended media output is either paper or web, so ultra high quality images aren't needed. Things are a bit more forgiving.

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