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TPF Noob!
Jan 30, 2012
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It all depends on what you want to do with your photography and what your budget is, IMO. The DSLR will give you far greater options than the compact/bridge camera will.
So it doesnt matter if a beginner starts with a dslr or compact?
I started with a Kodak Z812. It served its purpose for a couple years, but I quickly realized the benefits of a DSLR. It took decent pictures, but they could been better. My camera was nice in that it had a manual setting, so I was able to practice that before I got my DSLR.
So it doesnt matter if a beginner starts with a dslr or compact?

As JM said... A DSLR will give you far more creative options, but also will have a steeper learning curve. It's up to you what you want to start out with, but if you're into photography already and want to grow, you'll be moving out of the P&S quite fast.

I jumped on a DSLR when I could afford it. Never owned a P&S camera, so I couldn't give any direction on that.
There are at least three parts to photography: composition, techical control, and lighting. Technical control covers focusing techniques, exposure control, use of different focal lengths, etc., and this is where SLR's shine. Composition can be practiced with any camera. Lighting is mostly camera independent, but is usually the difference between "good" and "great" images. Lighting controls work better with SLR's and DSLR's. So getting a DSLR will allow you much deeper penetration of the photographic field that P&S will.
My vote is for the starter d-slr...more-responsive shutter action is the main advantage. The bridge camera idea seems to have peaked. Now we have mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras as well, and those are another option. As JM said, "it depends". Some of the new mirrorless cameras are very compact and pocketable--and THAT in itself can be a huge benefit to many people. It all kind of depends on your lifestyle, and how much "effort" you want to go through to carry and use the camera...

For example: go to a kid's birthday party...cell phone cameras will outnumber "real cameras" maybe 3 to 1. Heck, I even read a bit last week on a serious,serious photographer's web site that mentioned an exotic location (Galapagos Islands, IMMSMC) where he said that on his most recent trip, iPhones outnumbered cameras like 3 to 1; previously, that location had been serious, hard-core photog-types with big cameras and loads of gear...

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