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  1. #1
    Viktory101 Guest

    DSLR or Canon S2

    I have been researching cameras for several weeks now. This forum is one of the best I've seen! I would appreciate any insight you can give to my over stressed brain on this topic.

    Overview: Currently have a Canon A80 which I dropped and now have to purchase a new camera. I am a serious novice when it comes to cameras - I only used the auto features in the A80. But, My husband is recommending I take lessons (which was not an option before) and get a DSLR because even though I never took advantage of the manual features - we love taking pictures! Although I love the idea of lessons and this new hobby, I'm not certain I could justify the extra expense. (I mean - what if...) It seems like going from a point and shoot novice mentality to "pro" with a great jump in price by the time you get all the accessories of a DSLR. So, I'm wondering if the Canon S2 would be a more logical alternative. The other major consideration besides price is possibility of weatherproofing. We do a lot of kayaking; swimming and water sports and love to take pictures in that arena. Some say have 2 different cameras - but goodness, that is a REAL stretch financially for a novice. I guess my biggest concern is if I save the few hundred dollars and get the S2 - and this hobby takes off, will I regret not having spent the extra money?

    Ok, now that I've rambled, I'll try to be concise and answer the required questions:

    Budget

    * What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible. $500. - $700. including lens if DSLR
    Size

    * What size camera are you looking for? Or does size not matter at all to you?
    Not overly critical - but on overall I'd say the more compact the better

    Features

    How many megapixels will suffice for you? - 5mp

    * What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x, Other - Specify) -- Preferable HIGH zoom with a minimum 8-10x (I do know I tend to crop a lot of pictures! -- Unless this will go away with improved learning curve...)

    * How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10)
    10 being highest? an 8

    Do you care for manual controls? - Never used them, but love the idea of learning.

    General Usage

    * What will you generally use the camera for? - Animals (another reason for zoom); Scenery--Landscapes, flowers; people--family shots and a bit of action. (Boys are in soccer) I guess I need to say "all - purpose"

    * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?
    Probably no larger than 5x7

    Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos? yes

    Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos? yes

    Miscellaneous

    Are there particular brands you like or hate? I seem to gravitate towards Canon or Nikon

    Are there particular models you already have in mind? Nikon D50 or the Canon S2

    (If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD)
    Weatherproof - Even as an accessory purchase at a later time if available.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    752
    I bought a Sony H1 (same class as Canon S2) in early October, and just recently got the D50.

    I think that even if you get the S2 now, you'll have use for it later, as it costs a lot of money to get the same focal lengths and apertures on a DSLR that an ultrazoom can cover.

    For example:

    Sony H1 - 36mm to 432mm f2.8-3.7

    Nikon D50 -
    Nikon 24-85mm f2.8-4 lens (~$600)
    Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6 (~$1,400)

    Kind of an extreme example, but you get the idea. It can add up quick, depending on what you shoot.

    You can get cheaper lenses like a 70-300 ($100-$300, depending on lens), but only get good results in good lighting. Low light shooting with an ultrazoom can be quite painful!

    Overall, you're paying for the flexibility and speed (lots of speed!) a DSLR can provide over an ultrazoom P&S.
    Jason
    http://www.jmodzikphoto.com
    Save $5 on Zenfolio using RKS-T9C-M8G
    Flickr
    D200 - Tokina 12-24 - Sigma 30/1.4 - 50/1.8 - 55/3.5 Ai Micro w/PK-13 - 70-300 VR - SB-600 - Gitzo GT2530 + Markins M10

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    6,590
    Well... not only money is the difference, also you will have to start looking though the camera while taking photos, no LCD preview on a DSLR. Size and weight... an issue when you are traveling. You don't tuck a DSLR away in a pocket like you can tuck an S2 IS away.
    For a single lens with a big focal range, you will have to look at the Sigma 18-200 lens, that is about 27-300mm range on a Nikon D50 and about 28-320mm range on a Canon EOS 350D/XT.
    To get the best out of a DSLR it is better to have a few lenses that do not span the whole range, because to produce a lens like that for under 400$ you have to cut corners... and a lens with that range is a bundle of compromises anyway.

    So, if you want to have quality lenses you would probably spend a bit more. Cameras like the D50, 350D can stand some rain... but are not weather proof. To get a weatherproof DSLR camera you will be spending over 2500$ with just a very simple setup...

    The DSLR of course will have the advantage in possible image quality... but the S2 IS would be a very nice camera to learn with, it does depend on your budget.
    Canon EOS 350D, Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 macro, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC EX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM, Tokina AT-X124 Pro 12-24mm F4, Soligor 1.7x C/D4 DG Teleconvertor, Manfrotto 724B tripod, Canon Powershot S30

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    752
    You could get the Pentax Optio WPi for your watersports photos. It's water-resisitant out of the box and isn't that expensive, so you won't feel too bad if it got damaged, plus it's compact for those kayaking trips
    Jason
    http://www.jmodzikphoto.com
    Save $5 on Zenfolio using RKS-T9C-M8G
    Flickr
    D200 - Tokina 12-24 - Sigma 30/1.4 - 50/1.8 - 55/3.5 Ai Micro w/PK-13 - 70-300 VR - SB-600 - Gitzo GT2530 + Markins M10

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    10
    Well I bought the S2 a good half year ago. Like it very much. Started an amateur course on photography and recently decided to purchase a dSLR. However the S2 won't go away because it is so much more portable than the 350D.

    S2:
    + lighter
    + smaller
    + Image Stabilizer works as a beauty
    + easy to shoot strange angles with the tilting/turning LCD
    + cheaper

    dSLR:
    + better quality pictures
    + higher ISO (however the S2 can compensate some with the Image stabilizer)
    + more creative freedom: with the S2 it is hard to get nice blurry backgrounds; with dSLRs you can get to longer exposure times much more easy by reducing the aperture to f/22 or smaller nice when you want to take photos of waterfalls/fountains, the S2 only gets to f/8 (can be compensated by using an ND filter but it is a work around)
    + more freedom in wide angle lenses (S2 will bring you standard only to 35mm and with the converters to 27/28mm)
    + better preview on focus and useable manual focus (with the S2 manual focus is very tricky because you only have LCD preview)
    - always need to look through the viewfinder

    Basically it depends on what you want.
    Point & Shoot with quite some creative capabilities: S2 type camera
    Full creative capabilities: dSLR

    If you only shoot in automatic or the predefined programs like landscape, portait, then save yourself the money and purchase the S2 or alike. Only when I took the photography course I learned what I was missing on the S2 otherwise it is a very likeable camera that beats every normal compact digital camera in quality and capabilities.

    Regards Remko
    Canon EOS 350D; Kitlens; Sigma DC 18-200; Canon Speedlite 380EX; Canon RC-1 Remote; Filters: UV, C-Polar, Close-up
    Canon PowerShot S2 IS; Canon WC-DC58A Wide Converter; Filters: UV, C-Polar

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    76
    If you are going to take lots of low light photos you can get better ISO on a DLSR. But you are going to pay for it once a good lens is factored in. The S2 has good manual features so you can learn to really use a camera with it. I don't know if you should get a DSLR, but there are definately some advantages to both. You might also want to look at a good mini DSLR like the canon powershot pro1, this is a good camera that is more simular to a DSLR than the S2 which is closer to a P&S. If movie mode is important than the S2 is a better coice.
    Canon S2 IS, Canon A510

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    4,498
    Performance wise, the S2 runs rings around the Pro1...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Derbyshire, UK
    Posts
    2,505
    You might want to have a look at the Fuji 9500 it has good high iso performance but I think it is a bit more expensive than the S2 & no IS. Swings & roundabouts best to have a look & see how they all feel.
    Around every picture there's a corner & round every corner there's a picture
    - the fun's in finding them

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    2

    DSLR or Canon S2

    Neither, Olympus SP500 UZ. It has everything you want. Try the S2 then try the SP 500 UZ. You will buy the Olympus. It is that good and it's you. The DSLR is great but what about dust? And they all collect dust because they have removable lenses unless you're not going to ever change your lens. Check out the Olympus SP500 UZ on the net, it won't take long. Go out and play with both in a camera store.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    6,590
    Dust is not a problem with dslr's. For one, if you take a little bit of care while changing lenses, there is no dust to be dealt with, and also, if there is some dust noticable on the sensor, it is very easily gotten rid of. The many times better image quality compared to cameras like that Olympus really is much more important a factor.
    Canon EOS 350D, Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 macro, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC EX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM, Tokina AT-X124 Pro 12-24mm F4, Soligor 1.7x C/D4 DG Teleconvertor, Manfrotto 724B tripod, Canon Powershot S30

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