SLR vs SLR-like: WHAT SHOULD I BUY?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by max_baklayan, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. i am planning to buy a camera; however i am not fluent with the photographers
    language, YET. i was thinking to buy me a SLR-like camera - more presicely te
    FUJI FINEPIX S100FS. however a friend of mine told me that this camera will
    become obsolete like all other slr-like pretty soon. so he recomended me to buy
    the CANON EOS 450D OR THE EOS 400D. as much as i understand DSLR's are much
    better also given the fact that I REALLY LIKE LOW LIGHT INDOOR IMAGES. the
    question is WHAT IS THE TRADE OFF......the SLRs are bulky but potent the slr-
    like is less bulky - but is it really that much inferior, especially the fuji
    s100fs.
    i would appreciate all comments and help.
    thanx Max
     
  2. Max,

    Your friend is correct - ALL cameras are obsolete shortly after their introduction. If you wait for the next best model you'll never get there.


    Your question is very difficult for anyone but you to answer because much depends on how you are going to use the camera and the final resulting images. Basically, when you purchase a (D)SLR body you are buying into a camera system - as you grow in your photography skills and needs the system is expandable to meet your needs.

    Many beginners will start with a point and shoot camera and find they like photography and want to learn more. At that point they usually move up to a (D)SLR system. Others will never find the need for more that a basic P/S camera.

    I know this does not help but you may just have to "jump in" and try for yourself.

    This site may help in comparing different cameras:

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Fujifilm/
     
  3. Max. it all depends how serious you want to be with your photography. I know many folks who are very happy with their DSLR-like cameras and never wish for anything more. They typically are the snap-shot users who take pictures of their kids, pets and the occasional vacation shots.

    If you want to be more creative and really get into photography, then there is no alternative to a real DSLR.

    I do not agree with your friend's point that "only" DSLR-like cameras will become obsolete quickly. Look at the DSLR sucessions so far - a new model every 24 months, almost like clock work. That does not mean that you have to upgrade all the time - true for all kinds of cameras, incl. DSLRs.
     
  4. Just get the SLR. Nikon's D40(x) and Canon's Rebels will yield you good photos, they're reasonably priced (less than the 400D or the Fuji), and pretty lightweight. Moreover, if you see yourself growing as a photographer, you're less likely to outgrow the SLR, at least in the short-term. I don't do a whole lot of low-light with my Nikon, but what I've done in that capacity has been good. To a degree, all of our D-SLR's are going to become obsolete; in fact, many are probably obsolete when you open the box! Resolution, features, improved high-ISO on and on are going to get better as time goes on, and technology progresses. In any case, if you're happy with the results you're getting from your camera, regardless of it's age, someone else's idea of "obsolete" won't be an issue. Hope this helps. Tim
     
  5. If you are going to buy a relatively large camera camera, why settle for one with a small sensor? Either go for a small pocket camera and have the convenience of small size and light weight or go with one of the smaller DSLR's. With the the DSLR, they are more responsive, have better high ISO IQ, have great flexibility with multiple lens selection. Bear in mind that the DSLR with one or two quality lens are substantially more expensive than a DSLR-like camera.

    Howard
     
  6. The s100fs does look to be a decent camera for an "SLR-like" camera. I have to say though that if image quality (especially in low light situations) is your main concern, definitely go with an SLR. One thing to remember is the sensor size - bigger is better. The s100fs' sensor is only 8.80mm by 6.60mm in size while a typical SLR sensor is 22.2mm by 14.8mm in size. These large sensors produce a much cleaner image and are much more effective in poorly lit scenarios. Canon (with their CMOS sensors) is known for their high ISO shooting ability and is a great way to go. Another thing to remember is that with increased MP count, pixel effectiveness and sensitivity goes down. I have noticed that my 10mp XTi actually does worse in low light than my friends 8mp 20D. Both of these cameras are going for around $500usd on the used market and the 20D seems to be the better performer, all be it with a few less features. I personally would not buy the 12mp XSi as you can buy a camera that (in theory) performs likely as good or better for less money.
    <P>Trade off:
    <P>SLR-like Digicam pros: It does more with a single lens than most SLR lenses do. It is more compact.
    <P>Cons: Image quality isnt that great, especially in low light. Little or no lens options so no room to grow or improve.
    <P>SLR Pros: Great image quality, especially in low light or at high ISO. Canon has over 50 EF and EF-S lenses to choose from. Image quality. Holds value longer. Image quality. And the biggest thing for me, image quality.
    <P>Cons. They are expensive, especially when considering lenses. They are also bulky, some more than others. The XTi is very small and light next to the 20D, but both are big and heavy next to most digicams.
    <P> Hope this could be of some help. I moved from my SLR-like SOny DSC-H1 a few years ago to a Canon XTi and have never looked back. In fact, I gave my Sony to a friend who couldnt afford a camera and I dont miss it a bit.
     
  7. 1.) If image quality is important, (physical) sensor size is everything!
    2.) All dSLRs have a sensor much larger than digicams or "SLR-like cameras". (There a few exceptions with high-priced, specialized cameras like the Sigma DP1.)
    3.) If low-light capabilities are important, nothing beats a large-sensor camera for high-ISO noise control.
    4.) A further advantage is the option to use fast primes lenses, which work on most dSLRs (but not all -- I'm looking at you, Nikon!). No digicam has a maximum aperture larger than f/2 (and even that's are rare case). Compare this to the various f/1.4 primes available in many focal lengths for the major brands.
    5.) But if you are looking for an excellent one-lens solution with many great features, get a high-end digicam instead. Getting most the features a Canon PowerShot G9 offers is VERY expensive if you choose a dSLR instead, but the G9 will always have the smaller sensor and no interchangeable lens (to say nothing about the cumbersome, menu-driven user-interface).
    Addendum: Stay away from the entry-level gear (D40, the Rebels etc.). On these cameras corners were cut to make them as inexpensive as possible, the trade-off are nightmarish ergonomics, toyish build quality and some annoying limitations (e.g., no primes autofocus on the D40).
     
  8. HI Max. I won't repeat what's already been said, but just want to emphasize that the big trade offs between a DSLR and a "compact" digicam (like the Fuji S100FS) are: image quality, speed, cost, and convenience. For what it's worth, I use the Fuji S9100. For images in good available light, it is quite satisfactory. As you approach low light and go above ISO 400, the image quality deteriorates so that anything above about a 5x7 inch print is not pleasant. However, the Fuji s100FS is supposed to be much better, due to the larger CMOS sensor, new lens, and better image processing engine. This remains to be seen, but the specs look enticing! Plus, when others recommend a DSLR, (and I do too, for the best image quality), they forget that you cannot get the same focal length coverage that the Fujinon 28-400 mm provides, not to mention the portability, film simulation modes, movie mode, tilting display, etc. I am the first to admit that the DSLR (especially the Nikon D300) yields the best image quality for under $2000, but again, that's just the body, no lenses! That's why I'm investigating the Fuji s100FS "bridge' camera, while I save my pennies. My advice: wait for the formal reviews of the Fuji s100FS...surely one of the best "compact" digicams on the market!
    And lastly, I don't like the word "obsolescence", because as others have stated, if your camera takes pleasing images today, its quality will always be as good, despite the march of technology. Besides, I think that we may be at a point of diminishing returns when it comes to digital imaging (at least the DSLR). Does the average person really need 12 megapixels anyway, when you can enlarge a good quality 8 or 10 megapixel image to 30 x 40 inches with good quality.
    Good luck to you!
    Steve
     
  9. there is quite a bit of sound advice above
    consider a second hand SLR (you won't pay for the obsolescence) a good condition used (say) Canon 10D will take images nearly as good as the current model cameras. You can try it and learn from it, perhaps selling it (I'll not be selling mine anytime soon) to upgrade for next to no loss.
    The "slr-like" copies have tiny sensors, so getting 6, 8 or even 10 megapixels from them is like ordering a small pizza and having it sliced into 12 and thinking you're getting as much pizza as a family size.
    I've got some thoughts in more detail on this subject on my web site, if you're interested have a quick read of that (its not highly technical)
    HTH
     
  10. You can be creative with any kind of camera. Creativity comes from inside you, not the camera. In my experience the pro-sumer camera is more useful than the supposedly versatile DSLR which is only that with a whole lot of accessories.

    If like me you rarely shoot in low light levels then you are unlikely have need of the DSLR with its larger sensor which permits you to use higher ISO. When I take a shot in low light the subject always permits me to make a longer exposure with the camera adequately supported so I never shoot at other than 100ISO, like I did with film.

    The SLR-Like or Pro-sumer gives you more operating bang for your buck.

    Buying a DSLR is like buying a boat ... which is a hole in the ocean to pour money into [ I currently own a 26ft yacht :) ] Which is a minor reason why I value my pro-sumer .. Panasonic FZ50 which approaches the size and weight of a DSLR so I'm not looking for compactness.

    As important as the camera and learning to use it is the purchase of a good editing programme becuase you should consider the camera and editor as complimentary tools in the production of the final article. What you learn to do in editing can have a strong influence on how you make the exposure in the first place.

    I have both pro-sumer and DSLR and 99% of what I do is done with the former becuase it is a nicer camera to work with. To me the DSLR is a specialist camera for ultra close work and low light ... both of which I rarely have the inclination to do ... so the DSLR just sits in its case almost 7/24 :) If my pro-sumer is in the car and I want to take a shot at home I likely would use the DSLR to save walking out to the car.

    I well believe that the pro-sumer type of camera may become obselete and may not be made in the future .. but that will not be becuase it is a poor design, poor functionality etc but rather becuase of the marketing campaigns of Canon/Nikon etc. Just as Sony's superb Beta system for video fell foul of the VHS format which is/was just plain crap except for the amateur who shot and then showed without editing their camera footage. Beta becoming the profesional medium until surpassed by digital.
     
  11. First of all i would like to THANK YOU ALL, i did not believe that so many people will comment on my topic, so soon!THANX

    However, i am still confised.

    The Canon - eos450d XSI, which is priced currently on EBAY for $1000 comes with almost no kit and what is worst with one lense: the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS.

    The Canon - eos400d XTI, is priced at around $900 on EBAY. It comes with a wide angle and a telephoto lens. Additionally in the pack there are: Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens; Tamron 75-300mm F/4-5.6 LD AF; Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II However this camera does not have the antidust system of the XSI, which i think is important. Furthermore I am not fluent with the photographers language, YET, so i really do not know are those lences any good. for example there are similar lences, which go for +$800 and even more - you know!

    SO BASICALLY SHOULD I BUY THE XTI or THE XSI. SHOULD I WAIT A FEW MONTHS TILL THEY INTRODUCE THE KITS INTO THE XSI, or is it pointless to wait because following this logic i will never buy me a camera? is the ANTIDUST as important as i consider it to be? also should i look into other brands as Nikon?

    thanx Max
     
  12. JC:
    its refreshing to see someone else (apart from me) arguing the case for prosumer digital cameras. If you read my link you'll see that I also argue the case for prosumers.
    Sadly though I think that the kamera zaibatsu are "short changing" us all on this front, putting increasingly smaller sensors into these cameras while dividing that sensor into more pixels. I continue to use a coolpix 5000 from 2003 which has (by modern standards) a larger sensor in it. The common size seems to be something about 7.2 x 5.3mm (which is the 1/1.8 sensor also in the Panasonic you mentioned). I personally think that the smallest useful size would be the 2/3 (or 8.8 x 6.6mm) and then I do not think it is beneficial to try to get more than 5 megapixels from such a small sensor. Looking at the area of these relatively, you can see what I mean.
    [​IMG]
    The typical sensor on a DSLR has so much advantage technically. So while I do agree that there are many advantages to the prosumer:
    • compactness and transportablity
    • comes with a versatile lens
    • often has outstanding macro lens
    • live view
    • swivel screen
    • often quiet operation
    only a few come with decent sensors and its getting rarer. So that's why I don't normally recommend them any more. Once upon a time photographers were keenly aware of the size of their image capture area (once called film formats), but now most seem to be more involved in what program modes a camera has.
    While the camera will not substitute for the photographers creative talents, and a good photographer can take a good picture with any camera, I do not feel that this should translate to arguing that we should have a technically inferior camera.
     
  13. Max

    use the search facility of this server to search. The questions you asked in your last post are asked by many many others. You will find no better answers than have already been given there (often by the same people answering here).

    I've not heard dust control systems to be effective. Dust is not such a big issue in reality. If you are not careful you can easilly end up like that TV detective called Monk

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monk_(TV_series)

    it really is over blown in the main. But anyway, I still suggest you try a good used 10D, and perhaps the Tokina would make a good lens for it. Try reading this http://www.photo.net/equipment/tokina/12-24-f4/

    good luck
     
  14. "The Canon - eos450d XSI, which is priced currently on EBAY for $1000 comes with almost no kit and what is worst with one lense: the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS."

    Based on reviews that lens is actually quite good and has IS. It is not the same as the old kit lens.

    "The Canon - eos400d XTI, is priced at around $900 on EBAY. It comes with a wide angle and a telephoto lens. Additionally in the pack there are: Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens; Tamron 75-300mm F/4-5.6 LD AF; Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II"

    *Old kit lens* and Tamron and 50/1.8 are the cheapest lenses you can find. Of these the 50mm is actually good.

    I'd definitely go with newer XSi.

    "However this camera does not have the antidust system of the XSI, which i think is important."

    Why do you think it's important? XTi too has a dust removal system. Perhaps XSi's is better but I wouldn't worry about that.

    "Furthermore I am not fluent with the photographers language, YET, so i really do not know are those lences any good. for example there are similar lences, which go for +$800 and even more - you know!"

    Which should tell you that they are similar only in focal length which tells you nothing about build and optical quality.

    Photozone.de has many Canon lens reviews. Don't get too tangled in the techical stuff. Just read the comments / verdict and see example photos.
     
  15. If you really want to do handheld low light shooting (even standard house lighting is pretty low light) forget the point and shoots and slr-likes. They're totally useless compared to a dSLR.

    I suggest you buy just the XSi kit with the IS lens. Practise a while, read about photography and then you'll know better what you need. Buying many lenses without knowing basically anything about their qualities is not something I'd recommend.
     
  16. The Canon - eos450d XSI, which is priced currently on EBAY for $1000 comes with almost no kit and what is worst with one lense: the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS.
    For someone who has no experience and is no photographer you sure have a high opinion of yourself. The EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is optically a noticeable improvemet over the older kit lens, which already is surprisingly good. It may have its drawbacks, but the addition of IS overcomes the worst (slow aperture) and makes it a very versatile lens that even has decent low-light capabilities.

    The Canon - eos400d XTI, is priced at around $900 on EBAY. It comes with a wide angle and a telephoto lens. Additionally in the pack there are: Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens; Tamron 75-300mm F/4-5.6 LD AF; Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II [...] Furthermore I am not fluent with the photographers language, YET, so i really do not know are those lences any good. for example there are similar lences, which go for +$800 and even more - you know!
    So you admit having no idea what you are talking about. The older kit lens (Mk. II) is pretty decent, but by all means I would get the new IS version. The EF 50mm f/1.8 is a great lens and suited for portraiture and some low-light situations (it's still rather long on a crop-factor body and shake-free handholding is not easy at speeds below 1/100 sec). The Tamron is your typical, low-end consumer telephoto zoom. Nice in good light, but rather frustrating in less than perfect situations. So except for the prime the other two lenses are not suited for low-light work. And expensive glass is (usually) not a rip-off -- you get what you pay for!

    However this camera does not have the antidust system of the XSI, which i think is important. [...] is the ANTIDUST as important as i consider it to be?
    There you go again! The antidust feature is nice to have, but it is not the bee's knee, so to speak. You still have to be careful changing lenses and you still will get dust specs on the sensor that the antidust system will not remove. I use an older camera without any antidust feature and just clean the sensor every few month with a hand blower bulb (without touching the sensor, of course), which works perfectly.

    SO BASICALLY SHOULD I BUY THE XTI or THE XSI. SHOULD I WAIT A FEW MONTHS TILL THEY INTRODUCE THE KITS INTO THE XSI, or is it pointless to wait because following this logic i will never buy me a camera?
    Well, I'd rather take an used 20/30D/40D than a new Rebel (300-450D), simply because the better user interface is much more enjoyable to work with (and except for the 40D these cameras are pretty inexpensive nowadays). Changing important settings (like flash exposure compensation) on the entry-level bodies is slow and inconvenient, because you have to remove the camera from your eye to wade through the menus. Check out both camera types in a store and note the differences.

    also should i look into other brands as Nikon?
    As I said before, Nikon has crippled their entry-level dSLRs so they won't autofocus with regular AF-Nikkors, which includes virtually all prime lenses (which you need for low-light work). Other inexpensive and feature-rich cameras are Pentax' K10D and K20D, which definitively are worth looking into if you want an inexpensive and powerful dSLR.
     
  17. Get a 20D. ;) Best current bang for the buck.
     
  18. Hi Max. Before responding I took the time to look up the detailed specs on the Fuji S100FS. With 11.1mp (effective)and aperture from f2.8-f11 (wide) and f5.3-f11 (telephoto) it will be fairly fast in low light and versatile for an advanced consumer camera. The sensor size issue has been addressed many times in this thread. Remember though that an 8mp DSLR (or possibly a 6.31mp) will give you better image quality and less noise. If you really like LOW LIGHT INDOOR IMAGES (without flash)a faster lens like a 50mm f1.4 or f1.8 can be purchased for a DSLR. In the short term the Fuji will give you the range of a few DSLR lenses but a dslr will offer more room for growth. Get a scratch on that Fuji lens and you'll wish you could change it easily. In the price range you are looking at there are several affordable DSLR options: Olympus E-410 and E-510, Pentax K100D Super, Nikon D40 and even the Canon Digital Rebel XT or XTi. Visit your camera store and try a few. If you plan on not making prints larger than 11" X 14" a 6.1mp DSLR will be fine. How the camera feels, the ease of use and AF performance will drive your decision. Just because the specs look great - doesn't mean that real world performance will be great too. Good luck.
     
  19. Max, I think the Fuji sounds like an intriguing camera. Not to dispute the many points for the DSLR, I have high regard for the innovative abilities of Fujifilm.

    Ironically though I think because the DSLR does offer lens options and less workarounds to get certain types of images, they are somewhat better for someone who is starting to get serious about photography but hasn't defined any certain approach, whereas a photographer who knows specifically what they're after and the nature of the tools they're using can apply something like a small sensor digicam to great effect. To have too many limitations from the get go may or may not be a good thing.

    At least that's one way of looking at it. OTOH, the lens in the S100F is going to give incredible range, and may even be better than some kit lenses (it all depends on which kit lenses). Remember good lenses for DSLRs are expensive, and you'll need more that one to cover the S100Fs focal range.

    But because you say you like indoor low light images I'll agree with the majority here that you'll likely be happiest with a DSLR.
     
  20. This may be different than others. Assuming you are not tied to a system at present.

    A. Internal Image Stabilization (IS) that way you can use older manual lenses and prime lenses that don't have IS. This makes low light available light easier if your camera has very good iso 1600 image quality. Its also cheaper than having to buy each lens with lens based IS, and you can by older manual and primes lenses that have no IS.

    B. Good VF, if you are going to buy the best manual focus lenses and use them in low light its good to have a good bright vf that has ability to focus in low light.

    C. If you are going outside a lot good weather sealing and sensor cleaning in the camera.

    D. AF that at least give focus confirmation with manual lenses.

    e. Low shutter delay, and resonable write speeds.

    g. Pentax and Sony have some new cameras with these features. I favor the Pentax since there are lots of good older lenses Pentax and third party used arround.
     
  21. OK i may be answering this way to late but....

    As some one who uses the S100 i can tell you this....It is a great camera. it does everything i ask it to do and more. the lens is great the size and weight is perfect the live view and the swivel screen are a great help. I have done everything from product shots to model portfolios with that camera. Yes a DSLR is versatile and it changing the lens is a big help and it does react better i low light but a DSLR has one drawback you can dirt and hairs in the body of the camera easily and it is a serious pain in the ass to get it all out and it is also very expensive in the long run. If you are planning to be a pro or semi pro or a prosumer photographer you should start out with a great camera like the s100. take a few thousand pics and then decide if you should buy a whole new camera system (DSLR body and a few lenses) or stay with a camera like the s100. It is not about the camera but the photographer. If you have the skills then you can take grate pictures on a any camera or even a cell phone.
     

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