Digital Camera


TPF Noob!
Aug 14, 2003
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Late last year I bought a Canon Powershot S30. Previously I'd take maybe 20 photos in my life but with a digital camera I just kept shooting and realised I really enjoyed photography. Now I'd like to get a camera that lets me do a bit more. At the moment most of my photos have been of friends and family but I'm planning on doing a lot of travel in the next few years so I'll probably start taking a lot photos of buildings and landscapes.

I'd like some advice on whether I should get a digital SLR or one of the better compact cameras. I've done a fair bit of research into it but not really knowing a lot about photography, and knowing no one who knows anything about photography I don't know which to pick.

The Minolta Dimage 7Hi and the Nikon 5700 both look like good cameras. They both have large zooms, use compact flash cards, have a good number of megapixels and full manual control. The Minolta seems to have slightly better manual controls and can have filters attached directly to it. The Nikon is a bit cheaper (5-10%), has a slight longer zoom (8 compared to 7) and is supposed to have better battery life which could be important when travelling.

On the other hand I could get a digital SLR. I could get one of the cheaper ones such as the Canon 10D, the Fuji S2 Pro, Nikon D100 or the Sigma SD9. An SLR would cost twice as much as the non-SLRs as well as the cost of lens so it would probably end up about three times the cost. However an SLR would obviously provide a lot more options as to what I could do with it.

I'd like to get a camera that will last me for at least a few years before needing to upgrade. I can afford the extra cost of the SLRs buy working a few months more before taking my trip however if its unlikely I'll use any of the extras of a SLR I'd go with a cheaper camera.

Thanks for any advice you can provide. I'm sure I'll have more questions before I buy a camera and will have thousands more once I start taking photos with my new camera.

I can't really help because I'm anti-digital, so I know nothing about it, but I have a question... when you say the zoom is 8 instead of 7, does that mean that they both have digital zooms instead of optical zooms? I've always heard that one should avoid digital zooms.
gotta start somewhere... personally, I enjoy the advantages of a SLR - interchangeable lenses, speed, quality, WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) viewfinder etc.

BUT it's lots of stuff to haul around.
My 10D with a zoom lens weighs about 3-4 pounds (depending on the lens) Sometime I just wanna carry something really compact.

A digital SLR with some lenses is a huge investment, depending on the lens(es) you start at about $2,000. The 10D will be "outdated" (think new generation) in max. 2 yrs. The lenses will be still "good" if you go with the same manufacturer.

My wife for example uses my old Olympus 2500L, a great Camera with a very good image quality (it was the first compact digital SLR!).

My key to change to a full-size SLR (I also considered the Sigma SD9) was the better image quality and the interchangeable lenses, coz I want to do more "serious" business related stuff (I do web/design/prepress stuff)
Otherwise ur good to go with one of the better (manual control, optical zoom) compact cameras. Hope this helps...
I too almost bought the sigma but went with the 10d for a few reason (both great camera however.) But just like doxx said a digital slr has a larger price tag to start then you still have lenses to buy, but on the other had, you have lenses to buy :)

I am not sure that the 10d will be out of date in 2 years though. Yes, there will be much better cameras, and the mp count will not be as high, but at the same time you need to look at what the camera is being used for. If the prints I make now look great, in 5 years they will still look great. Im not sure that I will need a 20mp camera making 50x50inch print (hmmm maybe I will :) ) but if it still does what I need it to do.... in my book, its not out of date.

Things always get bigger faster, and cheaper... to a point, then it has to stop.... or does it.....
if you are going to go with a prosumer camera... wait until november and get yourself a sony f828... it looks like its gonna be great.

or... drop the cash and get a 10d

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