Cameras forum

General discussion

will I be an auto-mode only DSLR user?

by fivepointedstar / February 14, 2010 4:55 AM PST

I've been camera shopping for months and I just can't decide what to get. Money is very much an issue, so I'm agonizing over the decision. I'm inclined to get a DSLR (probably the Nikon D3000) but I worry that I'm going to become one of those people who uses this powerful, multi-feature camera in auto-mode only. And then, I'd regret spending big bucks on something so bulky.

My second choice would probably be the Lumix FZ35, and though Cnet likes it, they sound pretty negative on everything in the megazoom category (though I'm not really sure why). If I'm not going with the DSLR I at least want aperture priority and shutter priority modes.

I guess I'm just really wishing that there was some quiz I could take somewhere that would help me predict what kind of user I'm going to be.

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why the DSLR

The reason to choose a DSLR is to have choice in the settings, controls, and lens to use for each situation. Really, if you can't take a great photo with a point and shoot then a DSLR won't change a thing.

You also say that budget is an issue, which would knock out the DSLR. If you're looking at a superzoom camera, like the FZ35, then you will probably want some ability to zoom in closer. To get close to the same telephoto reach of the FZ35 you'd need to buy 300mm lens. This would be the 70-300mm VR lens to go along with the kit lens. That would add $600 onto what you just spent on the camera and kit lens. It's an expensive hobby and you also have to ask yourself if you're willing to lug around a big camera everywhere.

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because I want manual controls
by fivepointedstar / February 14, 2010 3:24 PM PST
In reply to: why the DSLR

Thanks for the reply. I suppose I've been thinking DSLR because I want to take the beautiful photographs that you can get by adjusting the aperture and shutter speed manually. I've also been realizing more and more that different lenses for different situations is also important. I want to be able to create those beautiful shallow depth of field photos and get great wide angle shots. Now, how often I'll actually make the effort to customize my photographs is my biggest question.

I'm actually not too concerned about having a giant zoom. The issue is more that I want manual control over the camera and that only seems to come with DSLR's and megazooms -- unless there is something else out there I'm missing.

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In fact,
by jump1127 / February 14, 2010 4:17 PM PST

the only burden for owning a DSLR camera, is the space & weight of equipment you'll be carried. DSLR camera will reveal its power when you know what to shoot for. For instance, the details under the dim light condition, depth of field showing more picture dimension, showing movement within the picture, more lense filter and flashes combination for any better outcome. More specific ? You have to take it seriously for what you spend for. Otherwise, purchase a P&S camera is more realistic.

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back to the drawing board
by fivepointedstar / February 15, 2010 7:03 AM PST
In reply to: In fact,

Okay, after reading some posts on here I'm reconsidering. Maybe it's true that I don't need the DSLR and maybe I'm limiting myself too much.

So maybe I'll just throw it out there. You've got about $300-$400 to spend and want SOME manual controls -- what camera do you get?

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DSLR on Auto.
by christy / February 15, 2010 11:07 AM PST

I think you can get far better shots with an entry point DSLR on auto than you can get with a P&S [especilly in low light situation. Then you can experiment with all those controls the DSLR has to offer.


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Not really
by kalel33-20416052469708587370302374692233 / February 15, 2010 11:20 AM PST
In reply to: DSLR on Auto.

At 55mm with a kit lens you are looking at an F5.6 aperture, but around an f4 with a Canon G11 or S90. That's one stop difference between the two, so while the G11 or S90 can shoot at ISO 800 you'd need the DSLR to go to ISO 1600, for the same exposure. The new Exmor-R sensors do very well at ISO 800 and very usable ISO 1600, so it's not the "far better shots" for indoors as it would have been a couple of years ago.

Yes you can buy a larger aperture lens for indoor, but that kicks up the investment more and more.

Also, I'd be lost without a decent point and shoot. I don't want to lug my DSLR around everywhere I go. Most of the time, the point and shoot fits my needs and I can always fall back on the DSLR that I invested heavy funds in.

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Camera choice
by hjfok / February 16, 2010 2:59 AM PST

If you really want to learn about photography and expand your skill and scope, then an entry level D-SLR is a very capable and fun tool to help you grow and learn. When you discover a new limitation of your lens, you can always add a new lens and push your photography to the next level.

A megazoom or advanced compact will give you most of what you need, but there is a limit on how much and how far you can go. You will have a tough time with low light photography, portraits with great bokeh effect, extreme macros, etc. Low light actions will be out of question for most megazooms and compacts.

But you still need to read and learn, practice and experiment a lot, to grow your photography skills. Don't just rely on your camera to take your photos. You are in control of the camera, not the vice versa.

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Check out these two cameras
by Tufenuf / February 16, 2010 7:04 AM PST
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