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View Full Version : DSLR or P&S (specifically: D50 or CP8800)



Quorthon
09-16-2005, 03:40 AM
Hi all,

Been reading this helpful forum for a while and I'm sure I can get some good advice. I currently own the Nikon Coolpix 4500 and I love it. However, I want to take the level of my pictures up a notch, namely, getting closer-to-film quality, more 'realistic' views.

It comes down to either going DSLR - D50, or upgrading to a newer Point&Shoot cam, such as the 8800. I have read DPReviews and other sources (such as http://www.e-fotografija.com/artman/publish/article_738.shtml), but would like to get some more specific answers for my needs.

I would appreciate hearing any thoughts or personal experience with any of the above mentioned, as this currently seems like a tough choice... I am of course not a professional photographer. I have some knowledge of Aperture, Shutter, ISO etc', and willing to learn some more. My main targets are my lovely little 1.5 year old, some outdoor pics, trips etc', and some nature photography. Here's what I gathered until now:

Points in favor of DSLR:
- Important: Bottom line - Final quality is probably unmatched from what I understand so far.
- Lens upgrade possibility (will the 18-55 kit lens give me what Im looking for in DSLR quality?..).
- Easier manual focus (is this true?..)
- Im just crazy for the narrow DOF effect - object in focus - background and foreground blurry. Is this much better achieved with DSLR vs. P&S?
- Quick shutter response time. Is there a big difference between D50 and CP8800?

Points against DSLR:
- I dont know HOW professional and acquainted with the various exposure settings one has to be to get decent results. Not 'Magazine-cover' reult, just better than my current CP4500 results...
- I dont have lots of time for tedious Photoshop processing. Just applying UnsharpMask and some leveling is OK, but spending 15+ minutes on each picture is unrealistic for me IMHO. Do you think I can get decent results by simply boosting up the inner-sharpening of the camera and easily applying some softer personal touches on PS?
I would also prefer shooting JPEG and keeping filesize around 1-1.5 MB and not gonig RAW (only for special occassions...) for keeping the data amount under control.... 200GB harddisk is just not enough anymore... :)

Points in favor of Coolpix 8800:
- Sharper and more saturated pics straight off the camera
- Vibration Reduction system
- See the scene realtime through LCD

Finally and generally - If anyone has any input on Nikon vs Canon, (or CCD vs CMOS) I would like to hear opinions. how they differ from one another (dynamic range, color, etc'..) I was thinking about the D50 vs EOS350D at the beginning but decided that if I go DSLR it will probably be the D50.

Any thoughts would be appreciated,

Thanx in advance,
Or Dubnov-Raz

D70FAN
09-16-2005, 07:44 AM
Hi all,

Been reading this helpful forum for a while and I'm sure I can get some good advice. I currently own the Nikon Coolpix 4500 and I love it. However, I want to take the level of my pictures up a notch, namely, getting closer-to-film quality, more 'realistic' views.

It comes down to either going DSLR - D50, or upgrading to a newer Point&Shoot cam, such as the 8800. I have read DPReviews and other sources (such as http://www.e-fotografija.com/artman/publish/article_738.shtml), but would like to get some more specific answers for my needs.

I would appreciate hearing any thoughts or personal experience with any of the above mentioned, as this currently seems like a tough choice... I am of course not a professional photographer. I have some knowledge of Aperture, Shutter, ISO etc', and willing to learn some more. My main targets are my lovely little 1.5 year old, some outdoor pics, trips etc', and some nature photography. Here's what I gathered until now:

Points in favor of DSLR:
- Important: Bottom line - Final quality is probably unmatched from what I understand so far.
- Lens upgrade possibility (will the 18-55 kit lens give me what Im looking for in DSLR quality?..).
- Easier manual focus (is this true?..)
- Im just crazy for the narrow DOF effect - object in focus - background and foreground blurry. Is this much better achieved with DSLR vs. P&S?
- Quick shutter response time. Is there a big difference between D50 and CP8800?

Points against DSLR:
- I dont know HOW professional and acquainted with the various exposure settings one has to be to get decent results. Not 'Magazine-cover' reult, just better than my current CP4500 results...
- I dont have lots of time for tedious Photoshop processing. Just applying UnsharpMask and some leveling is OK, but spending 15+ minutes on each picture is unrealistic for me IMHO. Do you think I can get decent results by simply boosting up the inner-sharpening of the camera and easily applying some softer personal touches on PS?
I would also prefer shooting JPEG and keeping filesize around 1-1.5 MB and not gonig RAW (only for special occassions...) for keeping the data amount under control.... 200GB harddisk is just not enough anymore... :)

Points in favor of Coolpix 8800:
- Sharper and more saturated pics straight off the camera
- Vibration Reduction system
- See the scene realtime through LCD

Finally and generally - If anyone has any input on Nikon vs Canon, (or CCD vs CMOS) I would like to hear opinions. how they differ from one another (dynamic range, color, etc'..) I was thinking about the D50 vs EOS350D at the beginning but decided that if I go DSLR it will probably be the D50.

Any thoughts would be appreciated,

Thanx in advance,
Or Dubnov-Raz

There is no comparison. If you want to take your photography to the next level, leave the all-in-ones behind. Just the speed and handling alone are night and day.

If you want sharpening and higher saturation just set it up in the camera. The D50 is designed for first time users, so you can pretty much leave it in auto or program mode to get your feet wet. 90% of the time I stay in aperture priority mode. Occasionally going to shutter priority in goofy light, and manual for effects.

Actually doesn't matter which dSLR you choose, with the exception of low cost image stabilization, they all are head and antlers above an all-in-one.

Quorthon
09-16-2005, 01:25 PM
Thanx George, for your thoughts.

Glad to hear what you had to say... I'm not planning on using Auto too much (maybe only in the beginning just to get the hang of things...) But was also thinking of mostly going Aperture priority, since as I mentioned, I just love that narrow DOF effect, and I think looking at what you want from a picture in Aperture terms is a convenient and interesting way.

FWIW - this may sound silly like 'duuuhhh...' and I dont know how much this is obvious (as I said I am a DSLR newbie...) but regarding what you said about 'going to shutter priority in goofy light' I remember reading somewhere about going Aperture priority with Auto ISO. then you can stay AP and if need more light, the ISO will compensate instead of longer shutter. If the D50 has as low noise as I read, it should be useful. Again, sorry if this is too obvious, I dont dare thinking any of you guys needs help from me.... just a thought.

Thanx again for your help!

Or Dubnov-Raz

D70FAN
09-16-2005, 04:13 PM
Thanx George, for your thoughts.

Glad to hear what you had to say... I'm not planning on using Auto too much (maybe only in the beginning just to get the hang of things...) But was also thinking of mostly going Aperture priority, since as I mentioned, I just love that narrow DOF effect, and I think looking at what you want from a picture in Aperture terms is a convenient and interesting way.

FWIW - this may sound silly like 'duuuhhh...' and I dont know how much this is obvious (as I said I am a DSLR newbie...) but regarding what you said about 'going to shutter priority in goofy light' I remember reading somewhere about going Aperture priority with Auto ISO. then you can stay AP and if need more light, the ISO will compensate instead of longer shutter. If the D50 has as low noise as I read, it should be useful. Again, sorry if this is too obvious, I dont dare thinking any of you guys needs help from me.... just a thought.

Thanx again for your help!

Or Dubnov-Raz

Nope, not silly... There are a ton of new users who can use the information . I really don't like setting the ISO too much past 1000-1250, especially for prints. And find that I can usually get the shutter speed I want without going to 1600. I'm not too crazy about leaving the camera in auto ISO, as most cameras have a tendancy to jump to maximum ISO too quickly.

But yes, auto ISO is one way of controlling shutter speed as is the exposure setting (i.e. under-exposing slightly which can be recovered later in Photoshop or NC4) .

So by goofing around with all of the "light valves" (aperture, exposure, ISO), you can usually find a shutter speed that works. Being able to quickly manipulate these settings is one of the many advantages to a dSLR. Quickly being the key word.

You're gettin' there... ;)

Quorthon
09-17-2005, 07:45 AM
Hi George,

thanx for your time.

The words you said regarding leaving the shoot-in-ones behind has been echoing in my head for the last couple of days... Just to put my mind at ease, I would, however, like to know what you think of the new Sony DSC-R1 which has an APS sensor with 10 MP and a very impressive 24-120 (equiv.) Carl Zeiss lens (http://www.dpreview.com/articles/sonydscr1/ ). Of course DSLR is interchangeable lenses, but assuming I would eventually go for either the Nikon kit lense or maybe the better 18-70mm f/3.5-4.6, how would you compare the two systems?..

Thanx,

Or

D70FAN
09-17-2005, 02:21 PM
Hi George,

thanx for your time.

The words you said regarding leaving the shoot-in-ones behind has been echoing in my head for the last couple of days... Just to put my mind at ease, I would, however, like to know what you think of the new Sony DSC-R1 which has an APS sensor with 10 MP and a very impressive 24-120 (equiv.) Carl Zeiss lens (http://www.dpreview.com/articles/sonydscr1/ ). Of course DSLR is interchangeable lenses, but assuming I would eventually go for either the Nikon kit lense or maybe the better 18-70mm f/3.5-4.6, how would you compare the two systems?..

Thanx,

Or

The Sony, is pretty gimicky. At first glance most people (me included) has a tendancy to say wow, a real transitional camera. The sensor is impressive as hell, and it has a decent lens hung on it, but if you go deeper it's really just an 828 updated without movie mode.

If someone were to ask: should I choose the R-1 or a D50 with 18-70 DX?, the R-1 would loose hands down. I don't even need to try the R-1 to know it's not a $1000 dSLR replacement.

Incidentally, I just noticed that I advised using ISO 1000 or 1250, and realized that the D70(s) is the only consumer dSLR offering 1/3 stop ISO settings. Sorry bout' that. Another reason I am a D70 fan. ;)

K1W1
09-17-2005, 05:21 PM
I second everything George has said about the DSLR. I'm a recent convert and there is NO WAY I would go back to a P&S as a main camera.
One thing I haven't seen mentioned is the instant on feature. If you want to capture a fast moving child instant on is terrific, couple that with fast focussing and 2.5 frames / sec and you will never regret leaving the 8800 on the shop shelf.
As far as post processing is concerned you need to do very little if any at al with the D50 unless you simply want to fiddle. The vast majority of shots can be printed direct from the camera if you want and still give very good results.

Quorthon
09-17-2005, 11:28 PM
Thanx for the supporting words, guys... ;)

Not sure yet wether I will get the 18-70 or start easy with the 18-55, but I sure feel the D50 is getting closer and closer... I would prefer the 18-70 mostly for the fine optics, quick autofocus time and easier manual focus override as well as more comfortable focus ring, but I am afraid it will be too heavy for me (weighs twice as much as the 18-55). Another point I heard was the 18-70 has a little more distortion on the wide-field. dunno if that is correct or not. All in all, it isn't THAT expensive, so I might just start small and maybe upgrade in the future.

Thanx again everyone,
Or

K1W1
09-17-2005, 11:40 PM
I'm surprised that you aren't suffering for information overload. I've seen your request on several Nikon related forums around the Internet. :D
I'd buy the 18 -55, use it and find out whether it suits your style of photography. If it doesn't then sell it or trade it on something else.
The important thing is that you should actually get out and get a camera in your hands. You can't take photos with a keyboard and all you will do is further confuse yourself.

Quorthon
09-18-2005, 09:55 AM
Information overload? not even close... ;)
Actually, I've only posted here and at Nikonians.

Of course I am planning on checking the cameras physically (actually I can't wait!), but DSLR availability is pretty low around where I live. So Untill I get to the area where there are more professional shops, I have some time to get my facts straight and my preferences in order, so I can know what I'm looking at and in what direction I'm thinking of going...

Thanx,
Or