31 total posts
I use a dSLR, a Canon 60D, and one of those oversized point and shoots, an Olympus XZ-1. I've been using dSLR's for about 3 years, and finally decided to take a photography class at my old university. Wow, was I misusing the cameras I've had by using them in Auto mode and with the included lenses - taking pictures in RAW format and manual mode greatly opens the doors, not to mention that an L-series lens really helps also.
I'm not ready to purchase a full frame dSLR yet, need more time and training (and money), but I am looking forward to getting the new Sony A77 in the fall, and a Carl Zeiss 24-70mm lens. I love the Canon 60D, and it is the first dSLR I've taken full advantage of; but love the concept Sony has introduced from a technology perspective on the A55, A35, and upcoming A77.
I didn't want to have to take a course--that's why I have stuck with my Nikon L120. It will take a while to learn all of is options as it is. Plus, I don't need anymore expensive hobbies (I had a list of things I wanted to do when I retired--and I have had to pare it back and concentrate on a few--and phtography is not one of them!)
Before you think about investing in a dSLR, you might want to get to know the people at your local camera shop. They might have suggestions, and be able to steer you to a good used dSLR.
In the past, I used both Nikon and Canon DSLR capturing photos. For the past few months, I've moved to Leica M9 range finder. It's more comfortable to shoot anyone and anything and carry around. No need to shoot any photograph in a hurry anymore. Nevertheless, I do shoot Nikon DSLR once in a while.
SLR - Been There Done That
I used a film SLR (Minolta) for years until 2003 when I converted to digital. I lugged that big old camera everyhere -- vacations, camping trips and took some really great photos. I loved the match needle aperature setting and split image focusing and was quite fast. What I miss most about it is that there was no delay when pressing the shutter. Now I use a Sony W-90 which works really well. It won't set aperature and focus separately but usually I can cope by just selecting something the right distance away and with the right lighting before locking by pressing the shutter halfway. But what is really great is the size. I carry it everywhere with me in my pocket so I am always "armed" with my camera. I love that I can take short video clips. I used to carry that SLR around and a Sony camcorder. No one wants to watch even 30 minutes of vacation video let alone 10 hours but the short clips inserted in a slideshow of still hold their attention. The only thing I really miss about the SLR is the 200mm telephoto lens for wildlife shots. If I were going on another African safari, I'd take a DSLR with a telephoto.
I use a Casio EX-V7 Exilim
I like the digital point and shoot, since it is relatively small and fits into my pocket and takes fairly good photos and also high quality video. It has a docking station that is connected to computer via USB. When I am finished taking pictures, I can plug the camera into the docking station and import my photos with Picasa. It is the best of all worlds. With Picasa, it is easy to keep track of all of my digital pictures from 2001 to 2011. There are thousands of them, and it usually pretty easy to find any picture that I want. This camera was in the $200 category when I bought it several years ago. You can get an excellent point and shoot for $100 to $300 today. Determine what features that you really want, and try out the camera and pre-read the owners manual which you can download from the Internet and see if the things that you want are contained in the camera. If you are only going to have one digital camera, you will likely be better off to seriously consider the cameras in the range of $200 to $300.
The camera is only a tool to capture your vision
I teach digital photography and show my students great photos that have been taken with everything from 4.1mp point-and-shoots all the way up to $34,000 Hasselblads. We discuss what makes each photo special and I emphasize that the camera was only about 10% of the end result. I personally use a superzoom (that goes from wide angle to over 500mm telephoto without changing lenses) because it's light and produces sharp pictures.
Every camera has its pros and cons: price, weight, ease of use, etc., but the single biggest difference is the user's ability to "see" a good picture. I always recommend that beginners take a course in art composition and lighting because those are the biggest difference between good and great. I'll put my friend with her $250 camera up against almost any ordinary photographer with a $5,000 Canon or Nikon setup.
BTW, my superzoom will do 95% of what I want it to do -- the other 5% would cost me around another $1,000.
Very well put
And you did it a lot more succinctly that I would have. Good job.
I have been shooting pictures since I was a short person (for over 60 years now -- developing them also for many years) and one of the first things my father taught me was that composition makes the difference between a snapshot and a photograph.
I agree -- as long as the tool (camera) is adequate, excellent photographs can be made.
Of course, you have to use it correctly. A friend that had a fairly nice 8 MP camera dumbed it down to the equivalehnt of about 0.3 MP so he could get more pictures on his chip. He then wondered why they all turned out soft and a bit fuzzy when he enlarged them.
The photographer is the key.
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Why the expense
With all the money and lenses I have in my film SLR that I would like to convert if I ever did go with a dSLR. My digital point and shoot does fairly well as the Cannon was at the top of that line many years back. I bought it just to replace my old Poloroid used for my hobby job. At least the heat in the cab did not effect it and it has a decent optical zoom. Wish it had more for the micro side for the flowers and insects. My wife grabs it whenever we go somewhere so she can take of subjects she likes even though she has her own digital point and shoot.
Good enough for my photo needs
I use a Brownie Box camera. And I develope the film in my dark room.
And when I was a kid (60+ years ago), I used a pinhole camera and got some good pictures. I think the cameras today have surpassed the capabilities of the old pinhole camera (and possibly even your Brownie) and it is kind of nice not to have to close up in a darkroom and mess around with the chemistry.
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Way back when I was in the Army, I used the photo hobby shop when stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
I learned to develop film and use an enlarger.
I spent a lot of time in that darkroom and enjoyed every moment.
Now I use digital cameras and Adobe Photoshop Elements.
That is just as enjoyable as the darkroom.
Give it a try ... you will adapt quickly.
SLR or NOT -- NOT
I just bought a little Nikon L120 (on sale) that is quite a step up from my little old Vivitar point and shoot that focused accurately only 50% of the time. I decided not to get a DSLR because I did not want an additional expensive hobby, nor do I have the patience to become proficient at yet another technical skill. At the same time I did want a camera that would take very close shots and had a telephoto lens. The L120 has a 20X zoom and there is another model with a 36X zoom but I wanted to stay within my budget. By the time I bought lithium batteries (it only comes with alkaline), a case and a memory card it topped out at $300 I just used it for the first time yesterday and am VERY pleased. I also weighted the issue of batteries vs a camera that I could plug in and re-charge and realized that carrying a couple of extra batteries solves the problem of getting a low battery reading whem I want to continue taking pictures.
Point & Shoot w/Big Zoom
I use a Canon PowerShot SX20IS with 12.1MP, 20x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom, & 2.5-inch Articulating LCD. It has all the features I can think of, shoots excellent pictures from macro to 20x zoom, built in automatic flash, plus a hot shoe, It has a burst mode, can bracket exposures when I decide to try HDR photography, and can shoot 720p videos with stereo sound. It's compact, easy to carry and I don't need to change lenses. All my photography needs (and skills) are well inside the envelope of this camera. And the camera plus bag cost under $400.00.
My favorite is DSLR but I also use a Digital point and shoot
My DSLR is a Nikon D200 and my point an shoot is a Nikon S8000. Both can produce excellent pictures. The largest issue in photography is the skill of the photographer. My cameras are both over 10 Mega-pixels which is more than adequate for most things. Would I like a 50 Mega-pixel Hassleblad -- sure -- but not enough to buy it. With it, someone that is good enough could rival the photography of Ansel Adams in color. I like the DSLR when I can use it. It gives me control -- in basic terms it suggests a lens and shutter speed and then allows me to easily adjust either one if I choose. It also allows automatic bracketing and many other thngs. It is also fast -- its response when I push the shutter is so quick that is seems instantaneous. It and the lenses are also big in size. It will not fit in yoiur shirt pocket. If I am going to someplace expressly to take pictures, like a trip to the Arboretum, it is the camera of choice. If I have no particular photography plans and am just going for a stroll, I drop the S8000 in my pocket or fasten its small case on my belt. If I am lucky enough to get a goood view, I can get some excellent pictures with it. It does not do bracketing, or allow much adjustment of its exposure. It is not as fast as the DSLR -- neither in time to take a picture (but the lag time is not really noticable) nor in low light abilty, but it can take some very nice pictures. I took a vacation last year and deliberately took it as my only camera. The freedom from bulk was nice and I got some some terrific pictures -- I was not disappointed at all. This year, my wife suggested that I may want to take both cameras on our vacation (and I will). As I said earlier, there are some things the DSLR does better. The real key to taking good pictures is the photographer. Recognition of a photo-op and composition is everything. If you have an adequate tool (camera) you can get excellent pictures. The message is adequate, not necessarily the best. Very few people could improve their photography with a 50MP Hassleblad, and conversely most people would be unhappy with a 0.3 MP camera which was the norm only a few years ago.
Good luck everyone with your photographic endeavors.
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The best camera is the one you have with you. I used to carry an SLR, now I use a good point and shoot. It's with me every day. A friend just bought a Canon 60D, half the editing features built in are a waste, since he will do most on his PC. Still he's happy with it.
LOL- and by the time you got it focused, you probably missed a lot of good shots. Thats why I got a digital point and shoot--plus I will go absolutely insane if I have to learn yet another techological skill.
Focused? My DSLR focuses in about 2/5 second. That is quicker than probably 99.99999% of the point and shoots. if not all. The lag is not even noticable. Laugh away. I can take three pictures ahile you are trying to get one.
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Thanks for convincing me that I did the right thing when I went from my little old point and shoot to a Nikon L120 digital point and shoot. (When I am dead and gone someone will dump all of the phtots anyhow! LOL!)
Agreed-but for this person there is an art in both the process and finished product. Wonderful to have a single minded passion--and to do it well.
Canon Powershot A570IS
This camera allows me to shoot on full auto all the way up to full manual which is great!
I use my Nikon Coolpix S630 primarily to illustrate the technical documents I write. It doesn't fit in my pocket, but it comes with a handy carrying case that slips on my belt. Image resolution and sensitivity are excellent for my purposes (I don't like to use flash because it's too easy to white out those shiny metal components). As an Air Force photojournalist in my youth, my camera of choice was a twin-lens reflex camera (Minolta Autocord), although I also used a Canon SLR. Life is so much simpler with a quality point-and-shoot when straightforward communication and functionality are your primary concerns.
I would suggest Fuji's DC point and shoot S series with 18x zoom and at least 12 megapx, or more advanced models. I had 3 Fuji cameras in last 12 years; all of them are great, especially one made in Japan. They work better than DSL, because someone does not need change lenses, so no dust, no technical problems. Also, Fuji has wonderful unique, sensors, and if advanced chip, it accepts I would tell "telepathic" commands. Some people told that I am crazy, because theoretically it is not possible that DC' chip would react on brain waves. However, after I worked with my camera about 6 months, it began to perceive my mood and changed color gamma accordingly. For instance, I have pictures of almost black sunset taken 3-5 seconds after normal light gamma, although I did not change filters, and simply pointed and shoot the scene in the same way I did 3-5 seconds before. The only answer I have, it is my own mood change. I wish you enjoyable DC experience.
use best digital just before SLR...
Use "G" series from Cannon..It is as close to an SLR without changing lenses..
Great shots large .jpg...raw... all the settings, yet all the auto settings..takes video as well as great shots.. zoom lense 6 x 16 for close up and distance very adequate red eye an issue if you are using the built in flash...
Have owned three...looking forward to buying the next model.
Digital Point and Shoot
I have a whole slew of perfectly usable cameras, ranging from a 1964 Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic, a pair of Spotmatic II's, a Canon Rebel Ti, Canon EOS-1v (Those are all 35mm film cameras) to an Android phone that can make some VERY NICE images with just the right light, a Canon PowerShot S5 IS and even a Canon EOS-1Ds (Yes, the first generation full frame beast).
I easily use the PowerShot far more than all the others combined, but honestly, I use whichever camera is going to be the right tool for the job. More often than not, the PowerShot is just up to the task. It's quick, easy to use, fast, gets the job done, and of course, it's fun to use!
I use what they call a 'bridge' camera; the Fuji HS10
The HS10 'bridge camera' (and comparable cameras) looks like a dSLR,and has tons of useful things on board including full/partial manual modes, manual zoom ring. It feels like a real SLR. And the lens does 24...720mm (36mm equiv). So all I need is the camera and a polarisation filter ocasionally; no extra lenses.
I made photos with a real 36mm SLR for 30 years, and had a minolta S414 for 7 years. The HS10 is better over the whole line. Shots under very dark circumstances come out very good. OK, I'm sure they won't be as good as with a real dSLR. And a dSLR is often faster. But then, the price of the bridge is at least 3 times lower than a standard dSLR without additional lenses to cover 24...720mm!
I use a modern digital compact
This is a good deal more than a "point and shoot" (what we this side of the Atlantic call "point and press"). I bought it because I'm not much of a photographer and really am only interested in being able to photograph interesting shapes I see around me (plus the occasional holiday snap). So for me, the ability to have a small digital with a 10 x optical zoom, is far more important than vast collections of electronic gadgets which I will never use. My record of interesting shape photos includes such gems as the wooden supports of beach huts on the Essex coast and an ancient coal chute in an old disused harbour. I've also some fabulous shots of shadows cast by the setting sun on a fence post and so on. I spent time before buying the Olympus utterly frustrated in Scotland on holiday when the vagaries of sunlight on hill tops were totally unphotographable because they were too distant.
My wife is a Glass Artist and has recently bought some mid-way expensive kit to allow her to take better photographs of her work than was possible with her otherwise excellent Canon G5. She has had to have both concentrated training and mentoring to be able to achieve her current results in this most difficult of tasks where getting a single "perfect" image can take literally days. For other work she simply uses her Samsung Galaxy S mobile phone camera. We've just been over to Bildwerk Frauenau (a very important Glass and Art centre in Germany). I forgot my camera and never missed it, she didn't take her expensive kit and used her mobile phone camera for her needs on the master class and her other photographic needs.
Incidentally, she's an accomplished alternative photographer using pin-hole camera and cyanotype. When will someone produce a digital sensor that can be fitted into a beer can pin-hole camera to give those wonderful distorted images for direct download?
By this time you will have realised that we use photography for some very *different* purposes than most people...
1 DSLR, 1 digi point&shoot, 1 camera phone
Nikon DSLR (not one of the entry models without focus motor) & 2 lenses bc I hate zooms. an old trusty canon point and shoot. and always a smart phone camera.
With these powers combined I travel the world and take pics of everything.
Poll: What type of camera do you use........
Personally, I use a digital megazoom "bridge" camera for most of my serious pictures, i.e., exhibition or contest pix - I want a DSLR, but right now, I can't afford a better piece of equipment! I haven't used my film cameras more than once since I got my first digital camera - I feel a certain amount of guilt, but, digital is so much easier, especially for color! I know - when I was in the freelance business, I shot and developed more B&W than anything else - I only used color for brochures - most of my work was for newspaper releases, such as bank openings, new house models, etc. I don't use a cell phone for anything serious - I usually carry a compact 6mp P&S just to have a camera with me! This usually serves me quite well in emergencies! :>)
I use a Canon Rebel XSi Digital SLR...love it!
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