newbie thinking of getting a SLR


TPF Noob!
Jul 22, 2013
Reaction score
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I currently have a Nikon, but have been having problems with it lately. Not focusing, everything looks over-exposed, etc. It's VERY frustrating. Rather than pay for repairs, I'm thinking of upgrading to a SLR. The camera that I've been thinking of getting is the Canon SL1:

Canon EOS Rebel SL1 18.0MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with 1855mm Lens - Best Buy sl1&cp=1&lp=1

It has all the features that I'd like, but a lighter more compact body. I take pictures of my kids, mostly .... so a huge, bulky camera wouldn't be very practical.

So my question is this: my Nikon (point and shoot) has a 26x digital zoom. What kind of lens would I need to get with an SLR to get the kind of zoom that I'm used to? A lot of my photos are of the kids playing sports, etc. Situations where I just can't get close enough without a pretty good zoom.

This is the camera I currently have: Nikon Coolpix P100 10 MP Digital Camera with 26x Optical Vibration Reduction (VR) Zoom and 3-Inch LCD (Black): Camera & Photo

Best Buy has a bundle deal on the Canon...I just don't know if those are the right lenses for me:
Canon Rebel SL1 DSLR Camera, 18-55mm & 75-300mm Lenses, Bag &16GB Memory Card sl1&lp=3&cp=1

Thanks!! :D
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
PS - on my Nikon, is says on the lens "4.6-120mm 1:2.8-5.0" .... if that's helpful.

I'm very new at all this, so it's like reading another language...I don't understand it.
Photographer knowledge and skill have a lot to do with the quality of photographs any camera can produce.

Inexpensive Point & Shoot (P&S) cameras usually have the smallest image sensors, and lenses that aren't made using high quality lens elements. Many P&S lens elements are made from plastic instead of glass, becuase that costs less. Smaller image sensors also cost less.
Digital Camera Sensor Sizes: How it Influences Your Photography

Quality camera lenses use high grade glass. Coatings the promote the transmission of light and specialized types of glass that minimize optical aberrations also are found in high quality camera lenses. To keep the price down, P&S cameras don't have high quality lenses. Camera Lens Quality: MTF, Resolution & Contrast

Your lens numbers mean the lens can be zoomed from a wide angle focal length of 4.6 mm to a telephoto focal length of 120 mm. In fact those are likely 35 mm equivalent focal lengths - Understanding Camera Lenses

The 1:2.8-5.0 refers to the lens aperture. You can substitute f/ for the 1:. So another way of stating 1:2.8-5.0 is f/2.8-5.0
Your zoom lens has a variable maximum aperture. At the 4.6 mm focal length, the maximum (widest) lens aperture is f/2.8.
As the lens is zoomed towards the 120 mm focal length, the maximum aperture progressively changes until it is f/5.0 somewhat before 120 mm is reached.
Stated another way f/2.8 is only available at or near the 4.6 mm focal length, and at the 120 mm focal length the maximum aperture is limited to f/5.0.

As with focal length. the lems apertures stated are likely 35 mm equivalent.
Based on the link you provided, the Nikon P100 focal length range is 26mm - 678mm (35mm format equivalent Field of View). If you plan to get a Canon DSLR, you will need to get a lens that has a focal length range of 16mm - 400mm (35mm field of view equivalent will be 26mm - 640mm ).

But nobody make such a lens. The closest you can get is Tamron 18mm-270mm which is around 29mm - 432mm (35mm equivalent Field of View). In other words, you will not be able to find a single lens that is as wide as your P100 nor as long as your P100 at the telephoto end.

But lens manufacturers do make lenses that are wider and longer, but just not in the same lens.

The Bestbuy bundle you mentioned are the kit lens that often packaged with the camera. If I were you, I will just get the 18-55mm lens to start with and then get a telephoto lens later once you know more. If you really really need to get the telephoto lens with the camera and your budget is kind of tight, I will suggest take a look at the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS. (The price of this lens fluctuate from low $150 to $299 depends on promotion) Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras: CANON: Camera & Photo
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
If you want a superzoom camera, get a superzoom camera.

You can't buy a different kind of camera and just assume everything is the same. Its not. The laws of optics cant be cheated. Superzooms like the one you used require very complex optics that would be prohibitevly heavy on a camera with a large sensor, such as a DSLR.

The most absurd zooms I've seen for DSLRs was 16x (Nikon AF-S 18-300mm f3.5-5.6 VR DX). Apparently the image quality of that one is tolerable, as is the weight and size. But its also extremely expensive (a bit less than 1000€/$) and of course its quite dark.

Personally I'm strongly against using such optics.

If you get an expensive camera with a huge sensor, dont by buying huge bulky heavy expensive superzooms that just kill the possible improved image quality potential of the sensor through bad optics.

The highest quality is usually from prime lenses (fixed focal length). These lense are also very bright (f1.2-f2) near the "normal" focal length. High quality zooms are darker (f2.8-5.6), offer about 3x range (but what exactly really depends upon factors like the range in question, for example the famous Nikon wide zoom 14-24mm is less than 2x, while the shiny new telezoom AF-S 80-400mm f4.5-5.6 VR offers a whooping 5x).

One of the advantages of large sensors is their tolerance to higher speeds, i.e. higher ISO values. With a dark lens such as a superzoom that advantage is killed by the optics.

PS - on my Nikon, is says on the lens "4.6-120mm 1:2.8-5.0" .... if that's helpful.
Thats completely meaningless as long as one doesnt also know the sensor size. Only if one knows the sensor size one can compute the 35mm equivalent.

Most reactions

New Topics