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10 Reasons To Buy a DSLR

kdawson posted more than 8 years ago | from the through-the-lens dept.


Kurtis writes, "If you're planning on getting a digital camera for yourself this holiday season, here's 10 reasons why you should choose a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera instead of a point-'n'-shoot. DSLR cameras are obviously not perfect for everyone. This article also has a couple of small blurbs about who shouldn't buy a DSLR, and a few things that could be deemed negative aspects of DSLR cameras."

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Go Digital SLR! (5, Informative)

BWJones (18351) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760281)

I can't agree with this article more. Since moving from film to digital SLRs my photography has really grown because shooting digital blows away all of the risk and gives you much more creative freedom when it comes to experimental exposures such as low light photography, action photography and more. I find myself taking far more pictures and experimenting more with digital and then simply throwing away the bad experiments than I did with film because of the costs associated with film. The other thing about Digital SLRs is that in addition to the higher quality optics, the actual imaging sensors on the CCD are physically larger leading to much higher quality images than are possible with point and shoots that may possess higher megapixel counts, but have smaller physical sensor sizes.

If you are going to make the move to a digital SLR, I also highly recommend the Canon 20d/30d cameras as a good system to begin exploring a variety of different photographic styles from outdoors to action to macro and still life. You really cannot go wrong with some of the other manufacturers like Nikon with their D70/D80 and Sony, but Canon, like Apple tends to build the entire widget from the glass to the camera to the imaging chips. Additionally, I tend to like the color representation from the Canon Digic imaging chips. If you are planning on shooting less outdoor work or in less rigorous environments, I'd suggest introducing yourself to digital SLRs with the lower end Rebel (or Nikon D50) series which is still pretty nice hardware, just not as ruggedly built. (I've also heard rumors that Nikon is going to introduce a new lower cost D40).

For a sample of some of the images possible with the Canon 20d/30d, almost all of the images on my blog [utah.edu] that were taken by me have been captured with the Canon 20d and associated hardware. I also have a Canon hardware list at the top of my FAQ here [utah.edu] that may be helpful for those that are interested in some of the lens options.

The negatives that the author of the linked article writes about are also true. Hauling around all of your camera gear to various spots on the globe does get a bit harder with more (and heavier) gear. I just got back from a trip to Argentina at the foot of the Andes (pics to be posted tomorrow morning) and it does take a bit more effort to pack everything you need to take with you. The gear addiction and associated costs do not stop at the camera body and lenses either. You will find yourself buying tripods, monopods, backpacks, filters, flashes, books, more books etc...etc...etc....

Re:Go Digital SLR! (4, Informative)

sterno (16320) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760353)

Agreed. I just upgraded from a Sony point and shoot digital to the Pentax K100D and have been totally thrilled. The Pentax is in the same realm as the entry level Nikon and Canon DSLR's but also has image stabilization incorporated into the CCD making low light photos better. Totally pleased with it so far.

The one caveat on the Pentax is finding good lenses for it is a bit more difficult. While you can use pretty much any lens ever made for a Pentax camera, I found that the selection of modern lenses for the canons and nikons is a bigger. Having said that, the lens it comes with is a good all purpose lense and I picked up a 50-200mm zoom that works really well.

Re:Go Digital SLR! (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760403)

The Canon Digital Rebel XTi [bhphotovideo.com] kind of makes even looking at the 30D pointless unless you just like how it feels in your hand better. That is the camera I would recommend to newcomers on the DSLR scene.

Re:Go Digital SLR! (4, Interesting)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760493)

Yes. I've been using film SLRs since the 1970s, and have burned through endless miles of film and paper. I became relatively conservative in my shooting because - never mind the cost - the sheer nuisance of getting the stuff processed was a hinderance (even if I let someone else digitize the negs). Yes, shooting film makes you a more thoughtful photographer. But...

Switching to a DSLR (in my case a Nikon D200) has completely altered my approach, entirely for the better. I'm still thoughtful about what I'm doing, but I experiment a lot more, and can adapt what I'm doing, based on the results, while my subject is still right in front me. I shoot gigabytes at a time and then trash the majority of it. The 6 fps and huge cache on the camera allow me to capture lots of things that a normal digicam or (not-insane) film SLR would never help me get, and I'm way ahead in productivity.

The added bonuses (like, Nikon's essentially miraculous, built-in remote strobe control stuff) still have me actually smiling everytime I contemplate a shoot.

But this stuff is NOT for the casual photographer - the digicams are just too good, and too reasonably priced, and too easy to use. A big ol' DSLR is not the right companion on a romantic hike or trip to a favorite restaurant. But I'm so happy to be able to put my collection of Nikon lenses to work on a new camera body, and to shoot stuff I simply never would have managed before. Seriously thinking about a D80 as a backup body (I tend to bang around in the field a lot).

Re:Go Digital SLR! (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760657)

I got a D200 and D80, love 'em both.
I still shoot film though, at least when the image counts. I can still peg a digital Vs film print pretty quickly and the rigidity of the CMOS/CCD sensors used in digital bugs me.


Why I switched from SLR (3, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760545)

I'll make a glaring assumption that we can take the Digital part of the equation. In other words, the comparison between a DSLR and DPAS (digital point and shoot) is about the same as between a 35mm SLR and PAS.

Since my teen years, I've had an SLR. For my wife's 30th bday I bought her a reasonable quality (Pentax) weatherproof aoto load auto focus auto flash PAS. Of course I turned my nose down and continued to use my SLR with clunky lenses and flash etc. So, often, my camera stayed at home in the closet while hers was handy in a pocket, handbag etc. I still have the SLR but I have not used it for over 8 years now.

About 4 years ago we decides digital was worth it. Got a Canon PAS + Zoom. It does a great job and is always handy. A DSLR would just get left behind.

The only time you want a DSLR is if you want to take professional pics. Professionals only account for a few % of the camera toting population.

Re:Go Digital SLR! (3, Insightful)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760573)

For some people DSLR is definitely the right way to go ... but certainly not for the vast majority of people as the article would like us to believe. A $200 digital camera is quite an investment for most users, and the learning curve on these simple devices is quite steep for your average non-techie. But these $200 point-n-shoot cameras supply everything your average mom or dad want, while providing rather decent video and ample 'advanced' shooting modes.

Compare the point-n-shoot with what you consider an entry level camera (the Canon 20D) and we're looking at 2 completely different users. This $1000+ camera (after lenses, accessories, etc.) is far from simple to use, is less forgiving in automatic/autofocus mode, doesn't offer video, and could never fit in a pocket (or in most cases not even a backpack). It doesn't meet the needs of your average user ... who admittedly is not interested in taking professional level pictures (which yours appear to be, very nice BTW).

I have met so many average users who get sweeped into the marketing hype around DSLRs and then are highly disappointed. In the end, they often end up taking their point-n-shoot everywhere, while using the DSLR on a tripod for Christmas pictures. Hardly an effective use of $1000.

Re:Go Digital SLR! (2, Insightful)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760623)

"but Canon, like Apple tends to build the entire widget from the glass to the camera to the imaging chips"

Apple builds intel processors? To me, apple always says less versatility - not more. You should maybe tone down the fanboism lest people get the wrong idea.

One more negative, one BIG positive (4, Insightful)

jeskandarian (408609) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760779)

My D70 with a powerful Nikon flash on top takes kick ass pictures where a point-n-shoot just can't throw enuff light. Hot chick waaay across the room? No problem. The flash will throw enuff light and the camera will make it look like Ansel Adams took it. Right up in someone's grill? No prob. DSLRs handle the flash and won't have any bright spots. Essentially, it doesn't matter if you're totally clueless on how to use it you just get killer results.

Problem is that at any kind of event, as soon as you walk in with an SLR with a flash, you always get "Oh, the photographer is here" comments. You just can't be discrete toting one of those things around.

But, drunk girls at 3 frames per second never fails to yield interesting results. The 'model instinct' naturally comes out and nasty sh$t starts to happen....

Re:Go Digital SLR! (1)

Mal-2 (675116) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760793)

If you were shooting film on a SLR before, didn't you already have the tripod, backpack, filters (maybe the wrong size, maybe not), and books, and maybe the flash as well? Those film SLR lenses will also serve well (after factoring in the +60% or so magnification factor) on the DSLR, though you are going to need specialized DSLR wide-angle lenses.

Personally I would like to get a digital back for my old manual-focus Canon A-1, but there aren't enough of us out there to get a product made. I prefer manual focus for the same reason I prefer a manual transmission -- it makes me pay attention to what I am doing. I will admit to using aperture-priority AE most of the time (or shutter-priority if stopping motion is critical), though I will go to full manual or force x-comp if the situation requires it.

However, if I were to go with Nikon (or Pentax or other K-mount), I could shoot with manual focus glass if I so chose. Yes you can manually focus AF lenses, but it is just not the same thing. Plus I can grab old pawn shop lenses and do strange things to them (like opening the lens barrel and mounting one or more elements backward, or taking elements out). Of course just about any SLR, digital or otherwise, can mount Lensbabies [lensbabies.com] .


Re:Go Digital SLR! (1)

BWJones (18351) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760891)

If you were shooting film on a SLR before, didn't you already have the tripod, backpack, filters (maybe the wrong size, maybe not), and books, and maybe the flash as well?

I had to sell off all my 35mm gear for tuition money when I was an undergraduate. And even though I had one of the first digital cameras made for consumers, the Apple Quicktake 100, its not been until the last couple of years though that I've been getting back into photography seriously.

Those film SLR lenses will also serve well (after factoring in the +60% or so magnification factor) on the DSLR, though you are going to need specialized DSLR wide-angle lenses.

There are a number of other technological advances such as Image Stabilization that make the new lenses worthwhile. Also ultrasonic auto-focus really helps with the fast motion stuff.

Personally I would like to get a digital back for my old manual-focus Canon A-1

I loved the A-1. Mine went with me to a lot of places including the cargoholds of aircraft, the desert, mountain peaks etc...etc...etc... It was an awesome camera and I was sorry to have to sell it.

Re:Go Digital SLR! (5, Informative)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760941)

"You really cannot go wrong with some of the other manufacturers like Nikon with their D70/D80 and Sony, but Canon, like Apple tends to build the entire widget from the glass to the camera to the imaging chips."

Apple makes the entire widget? That's new news. Canon is like Apple in that it has a rabid fan base, but (like Apple) its products aren't as differentiated as they would have you believe. Canon had a head start on sensor technology because it developed its sensors in-house and had the funding to do it. Nikon was nearly bankrupt at the start of the digital SLR revolution and couldn't fund development on its own. Canon's digital technology lead has largely evaporated though they certainly don't take a back seat to anybody.

"Additionally, I tend to like the color representation from the Canon Digic imaging chips."

Digic is the branding of Canon's image processing processor, not it's imaging chips. Color superiority is another aspect of the Canon lore in spite of the fact that, properly calibrated, color rendition between current SLR's is not that great. Superior color quality is something more generally attributed to Canon's L lenses although I feel that's also overblown.

Anyone interested in investing in a DSLR needs to realize that they are investing in a system and, over time, will tie up more money in lenses than digital camera bodies. Since lens families actually differ more that the DSLR's themselves at this point, it would behoove new buyers to consider how they intend to use their systems and read up on the various brands at serious photography sites. The choice between Canon and Nikon (or any other brand) is more properly made by understanding the system rather than considering comparisions to Apple or dubious statements about color rendition.

Re:Go Digital SLR! (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760971)

Great to see a blog with nice pictures! Good job on all of them.

Make sure you get a lens with a small focal length (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16760283)

so you can get an up close and personal shot of this MOTHERFUCKING FIRST POST BITCHES

Bummer (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760297)

I wish I'd waited until I could get a SDK for my camera. Turn off all that useless programming I don't want and set it up to behave the way I need it. Nikon D70s takes nice pictures, but sucks for Astro or Low light photos.

Re:Bummer (1)

BWJones (18351) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760327)

You can shoot RAW you know...... That way you get the image without all of the processing that goes on in the camera leaving you free to experiment.

10 reasons NOT to buy a DSLR (3, Interesting)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760301)

1 - price
2 - price
3 - price
4 - price
5 - price
6 - price
7 - price
8 - size
9 - power requirements
10 - no Kodachrome or T-max 3200

Don't get me wrong: I'd love to have a DSLR (especially one compatible with my old K-mount SLR lenses), but so far, the reasons not to buy one have out weighed the reasons to buy one. I'm sticking to my compact battery-sipping 35mm SLR and my "prosumer" non-SLR digital for now.

Re:10 reasons NOT to buy a DSLR (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16760371)

11 - lower dynamic range than any film camera
12 - no really wide-angle optics (of quality, anyway...)
13 - you can't change to "better film" - need to change to a better camera body when you need better.

Love my D70 anyway.

Re:10 reasons NOT to buy a DSLR (3, Interesting)

dotgain (630123) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760529)

All true.
I thought I'd never end up going digital, but I can't find any good 35mm labs here any more. It's pretty depressing spending minutes sometimes setting up exposures, apertures, etc., only to see JPEG artifacts on the prints.

Took them back to the lab, yelled "WTF", and while he agreed there were noticable artifacts on the images, they were 'good enough for most people' because nobody before me had noticed.

For me, while digital has lowered the price plenty, it's also lowered the bar.

Re:10 reasons NOT to buy a DSLR (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 8 years ago | (#16761031)

Maybe I'm missing something, but if you have a DSLR, why are you shooting to JPEG?

Or do the producers take uncompressed and then convert?

Again, I could be missing something...

Re:10 reasons NOT to buy a DSLR (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760459)

I'd like to refute points 8 and 9. My Rebel XT is just as small as any film SLR. The Battery lasts for several days of continuous shooting which is better then most point and shoots can say for themselves. Yes, a film SLR may last longer but what about having to change the stupid film every 20-30 shots?

11th reason (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760485)

11. You can't just point and shoot.

My brother has both, I got him a cheap point & shoot for £50 (post xmas, great time to buy), being a photo snob he later got himself an £N00 DSLR. Guess which gets by far most use. The point&shoot is tiny so its always there.

BTW, THE most important aspect of a digital camera is... battery life. There are loads of cameras with decent lenses, millions of pixels yada yada yada but they never tell you the battery is only going to last 20 minutes.


D40 (5, Insightful)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760707)

In answer to 1 through 8, wait a week. Rumor has it that Nikkon's about to anounce the D40 (leaked images all over - check out dpreview.com [dpreview.com] ).

By dropping the sensor resolution way down and ditching the bells and whistles you wouldn't find in similarly priced compacts either, they're looking at launching the first sub $500 DSLR.

For digital compact users who think DSLRs are too expensive - it's no around the price of a decent digital compact, no more.

For film SLR users who think DSLRs are too expensive, it's down to a few dozen rolls of film price difference and far less than the cost of a single great lens. Shoot clear of about a thousand shots, you'll save money with a DSLR.

As for power consumption, I'm not sure what's holding you back?

Batteries are rechargable so there's no real cost.

They last a reasonable length of time. A battery grip like the "big ED" holds a pair of batteries so it's down to one change every couple of hours.

Changing batteries is no more painful than changing film. If you shoot at any kind of speed you'll have to change rolls of film far more frequently than you'll have to change batteries. If you don't shoot that fast, your camera will go to idle mode and you'll get many hours of use out of a single battery.

Finally, yes, great film is still great. But, aside from its price, there are two main arguments against it:

1) No instant feedback. Say you're using ISO 3200 film to capture fast falling water droplets. Until you develop the film, you've no idea if you actually caught the instant. With digital, the proof's right there for review. It kind of sucks to finally develop film only to realize you didn't catch what you thought you did and have no way to practically recreate the shoot.

2) OK, you've loaded your camera with ISO 3200 film for a specific shot. The building rumbles, a plane has crashed outside. You spend the next couple of minutes trying to wind your film through, get it out without ruining your existing shots, searching for the ISO 200 that you didn't think to bring with you anyway. By the time you're ready to shoot, the drama of the once in a lifetime shot has long since past. Your buddy with a DSLR slides the dial to ISO 200, steps outside and gets the award winning shot. Sure, planes crashing are extreme examples - but life's filled with amazing unexpected moments that DSLRs let you get whilst changing film will miss many of them.

The world's moved on. Those arguments were fair enough for the first couple of generations of DSLRs. Honestly, it's now reached the point where it's like saying, "Steam gives better torque than internal combustion engines. I'm not going to buy one of those new fangled cars when my stanley steamer car works just fine." If you're determined to reinforce your preconceptions, you can probably just about find justification - but the rest of the world's moved on and for good reason.

Re:10 reasons NOT to buy a DSLR (2, Insightful)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760773)

But from the article: Price: DSLR cameras are practically affordable nowadays. The big two (Canon and Nikon) currently offer DSLRs for as low as $500-$600. I challenge you to find a good non-DSLR camera for under $600. Oh wait. Just about every non-DSLR camera is under $600. Nevermind.

Re:10 reasons NOT to buy a DSLR (1)

cloudofstrife (887438) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760873)

Actually, the Pentax *istDL is compatible with the K-mount. I own one, and an old Pentax lens from the 70s does work if you change one setting. A good part of the reason that I got the *istDL was because it could use some older lenses that I own. The *ist DL is fairly cheap for a DSLR (I got mine for around $450 without lenses on Amazon), has 6 megapixels, and apparently a really good battery life.

Re:10 reasons NOT to buy a DSLR (1)

furchin (240685) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760927)

I agree about the price and size, but power?! I get 2,000 shots out of my D70's battery between charges. Yes, that's two thousand. Show me a digicam that can come even close. Shoot, show me a digicam which can get over 500 between charges.

Tags are interesting (3, Insightful)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760323)

This is all well and good, but can someone please tell me who the paranoid is that keeps tagging everything with 'itsatrap'?

Re:Tags are interesting (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16760391)

It's not paranoia, it's a doofishness. It started with various MS-related stories (more or less reasonably) getting tagged that way; now someone thinks it's funny if they all are.


Re:Tags are interesting (3, Insightful)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760449)

Hm. Maybe /. should have a user option to filter out tags. I'd get rid of 'itsatrap', 'fud', and 'notfud', which all seem to get tagged onto everything.

Re:Tags are interesting (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760631)

It's not paranoia, it's a doofishness. It started with various MS-related stories (more or less reasonably) getting tagged that way; now someone thinks it's funny if they all are.

So, in other words, in Soviet Russia, itsatrap tags YOU!

They forgot to use collaborative filtering (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760603)

So you get the average tags rather than the tags of people who have previously tagged things similarly. Just consider it tag pollution, it'll be included in the kyoto protocol, meaning you're stuffed if you live in the US.


Re:Tags are interesting (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760715)

You had to expect morons would take advantage of the system once they found something that made them giggle.

Re:Tags are interesting (0, Offtopic)

itsatraptroll (1024307) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760875)

justbecauseithinkeveryoneisouttogetmedoesntmeantha ttheyarent

Another reason not to get one. (2, Insightful)

Kufat (563166) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760349)

DSLRs can't shoot video clips, because of the way they take pictures. (Regular digital cameras, meanwhile, are finally able to shoot some relatively decent video without being limited to a few seconds.)

Re:Another reason not to get one. (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760405)

DSLRs could shoot video if they wanted to. What they couldn't let you do would be to look through the viewfinder while you're taping video, because the mirror would be in the wrong place for that. However, since they seem to all have screens on them, that's pretty much a non-issue. The real issue is that they don't even set them up to do video; they're designed to shoot stills exclusively. Even if they wanted to do video, they couldn't sample a 10MP sensor at 30 FPS and actually do something with the image data, so they'd have to read a subset of the pixels or something. This would of course produce a shit image without processing, which would take more CPU... It makes much more sense to just drop $500 on a cheapie MiniDV camcorder, you can get one with A/V passthrough for that even that can behave like a DV Bridge and convert analog video to DV or vice versa in realtime. Makes a nice gadget, and just a few years ago Sony used to sell a stereo component-sized unit that did the same thing for $500 :) (I have a DV Bridge, which sold for $200 I think.)

Re:Another reason not to get one. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16760533)

it makes much more sense to just drop $500 on a cheapie MiniDV camcorder [and another $600+ on a DSLR..]
I think what the grand-parent post was implying is that, for $200-300, you can get a reasonable camera that takes reasonable video (all things be relative, here.)

Re:Another reason not to get one. (1)

vruba (652537) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760553)

I've heard that the dyes used on the higher-quality DSLR sensors tend to fade slightly in strong light, so video would degrade the color quality over time. A five-minute video in strong sunlight might let as much light fall on the sensor as thousands of still frames (assuming there was no shutter action -i.e., the light is continuous and chopped into video frames internally). I haven't been able to verify this, though.

Re:Another reason not to get one. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760651)

I guess it's a possibility, but the DSLRs do typically allow long exposures and such.

One thing I found amusing on one of the new cameras (the Nikon maybe?) was that it supported multiple exposures. Why the hell would I want to do that on the camera when I can do it in photoshop? I mean, I understand the idea of doing it in film, that's very different to me...

Re:Another reason not to get one. (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760973)

I was confused by this at first as well, but after reading some about HDR [wikipedia.org] photography it makes more sense. Basically, the image sensor in the camera has a finite range of intensities it can capture (just like with film). So, if you have a scene with a wide range of light intensities, the camera can only physically capture a limited portion of those intensities in a given exposure. Yes, you can use photoshop to lighten and darken various parts of the whole image, but if you underexpose a part of the picture, the detail there is lost - no amount of tweaking in photoshop will reveal it, because it wasn't recorded even in the raw sensor data. Same with over-exposed pictures (or portions thereof). Of course, the "multiple exposure" setting (or exposure bracketing) on most cameras doesn't really cover a wide enough range to be useful, but there is a physical limitation that they are attempting to overcome.

Of course, unless you are doing HDR photography, you should be able to just look at the preview and have a pretty good idea of whether you under-exposed or over-exposed the image and take a new one if necessary, so yeah, the setting is sort of redundant - but better to have the option than not, I suppose.

Separate Shutters, Translucent Mirrors (1)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760919)

The simple solution, as you say, is to lock the shutter up and then capture from the sensor just as a compact does (using a subset of pixels for bandwidth reasons).

There's another interesting technique that's been discussed - using a translucent mirror/prism that's locked in position with a separate shutter behind it. By doing so, x% of the light can be sent up to the eye piece while the other y% can be sent to the sensor.

If you then pull this out of the way and use the old method for stills, you still get the light sensitivity of a traditional DSLR design but gain the ability to do through the lens monitoring of video as well.

No idea if anyone's put this in to use yet or not. I remember reading about it a couple of years ago on various photography forums.

Re:Another reason not to get one. (1)

Phanatic1a (413374) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760885)

If you want to shoot movies, why wouldn't you buy a video camera?

This is like saying "Don't buy screwdrivers because they don't drive nails very well."


Best reason not to buy a DSLR: (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760351)

It will cost you at least $1000 to get a unit with decent dust-prevention equipment, maybe as much as $1200. That will get you a sexy 10MP DSLR, but I know that if I had that kind of money, I'd have more important places to spend it.

I recently looked at some Digital SLRs, and if anyone is considering buying a current-generation one for personal use, I'd say buy the cheap one (the Canon.) This is the third generation and they finally added a dust removal technology (to remove dust from the image sensor) ... and it's $200 cheaper than the competion.

Re:Best reason not to buy a DSLR: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16760601)

Get a life. You don't need dust removal technology. When's the last time *anyone* has complained about dust on their digital sensor? NEVER.

You're probably the kind of person that would upgrade from a 10MP camera to a 12MP camera just b/c 12 > 10.

Re:Best reason not to buy a DSLR: (5, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760703)

Get a life. You don't need dust removal technology. When's the last time *anyone* has complained about dust on their digital sensor? NEVER.

Actually, basically everyone with a DSLR without dust removal has complained about this. See, in a normal camera you have hardly any moving parts. An SLR has a huge shutter, a moving mirror, and most importantly, a removable lens. This all adds up to many many opportunities for dust to land on the sensor. You cannot safely clean the sensor if the dust does not blow off with gentle air, and many people have sent their cameras in for cleaning many times. This has definitely been a big deal among the DSLR crowd, which is why every DSLR camera in this generation has dust removal.

If I'm spending a thousand-plus dollars on a 10MP camera, I don't want to deal with dust issues. Some of the current-generation cameras go so far as to not only provide a vibrating dust removal scheme, but they also have software dust removal built into the camera - you point it at a solid wash of color (like a well-lit white wall) and it will identify dust spots and store them for later reference, automatically removing their influence (to some degree) from the images.

In other words - and this is becoming my mantra on slashdot lately - You don't know what you're talking about.

Re:Best reason not to buy a DSLR: (1)

ChrisA90278 (905188) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760681)

Sounds like you have had some serious problems with dust in the past. I'm just starting with DSLR and after 3,500 images I've not run into a dust problem yet. It may depend on where you shoot and how carfull you are when you change lenses. It's just not the issue some people think it is. The CCD is only exposed when the shutter is open and of course you would have a lens on the camera when the shutter is open.

I'd say the ONLY reason not to buy one (other then lack of funds, or no interrest in photography) is that you don't want to cary such a large camera

Re:Best reason not to buy a DSLR: (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760757)

The inside of the camera creates its own dust. I've talked to numerous photographers who have bitched about this very issue. Canon is the latest arrival in this category, even. It only takes one spot of dust to piss me off, since you can't clean the sensor yourself. I don't want to be sending my camera in to the manufacturer for cleaning at $200 per visit, even if I only have to do it once in my lifetime. Besides, one of the joys of not having film is the ability to safely make a lens change any time, and on my budget there's no way I'm buying more than one, so I suspect I'll be making relatively frequent lens changes... if I can ever scrape up $500. You can get a perfectly servicable used film-SLR for like $150 or something :P

Re:Best reason not to buy a DSLR: (1)

CameronGary (8441) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760823)

You can actually clean the sensor yourself. There are one-time use cleaning pads called Pec Pads, or reusable cloths. You do have to gentle and careful, but it is possible.

You need both (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760361)

Until lenses improve on cell phone cameras, you need both types of digicam if you are into photography. You need a pocket sized camera... no one would ever take an SLR camera on a serious hike, out to a bar, mountain biking, skiing, etc. On the other hand, only an SLR will give you the flexibility to express your artistic side.

It is better to have some slightly less snazzy snapshots of you and your friends with a compact camera then to miss out on photographing the occasion altogether because the camera is too big to lug around.

Re:You need both (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16760561)

Yeah, but what 'Point and Shoot' cameras are people recommending this holiday season? The typical price range for gift cameras is around $250.

Any ideas? I need one for someone that is taking pictures/portraits of 'everyday life' as you describe it (at a bar, on a hike, snowboarding, etc.).

Re:You need both (1)

Repugnant_Shit (263651) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760791)

You're right, no one takes them hiking. I wonder how all those nature photographers do it? Probably with a camera phone.

Re:You need both (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760819)

>You're right, no one takes them hiking.

I hiked all over Oregon and Washington last summer with my Canon 20D, 2 "L" lenses, and a carbon fibre tripod.
I would love to do it again.

Re:You need both (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 8 years ago | (#16761029)

Yes, consider the "no one" part of that a typo. My point was just that you need a camera for when you are having fun without actually being on a photo shoot.

Re:You need both (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760817)

no one would ever take an SLR camera on a serious hike, out to a bar, mountain biking, skiing, etc.

really? I guess I am no-one then. because not only do I carry one of my Fuji S2 DSLR's on hikes on boats, even when I go skiing... But I have also carried a Canon XL1 $4500.00 video camera with a $1000.00 lens on it while riding backwards on a snomobile careening down a ski slope filming.. Oh, the camera also had $2500.00 worth of wireless audio recievers on it as well. No I am not a pro, yes this is my personal gear. No I am not rich. (32,000 a year US income level, my hobby pays for my gear)

every fantastic and incredible photo you see online and in magazines is taken by these nobody's with their DSLR that makes mine look like a cheap point and shoot when they went backpacking, hiking, skiing and skydiving.

Noone will do this? Yes, people who are not photographers will not risk their expensive camer they never take outside. But then I suggest non photographers to not buy a DSLR... they are too complex for the typical person and too expensive for those that do not understand advanced photography.

Re:You need both (1)

Phanatic1a (413374) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760821)

no one would ever take an SLR camera on a serious hike, out to a bar, mountain biking, skiing, etc.

Jesus, of course they would. What, you think Ansel Adams had some mutant teleport power that he used to just *poof* himself into position to take his shots? No, he had to *hike* out to those locations, and he did it with a lot more than an SLR, he was hauling along oodles of medium and large-format stuff. People take photos up on Everest, and they don't do it with point-and-shoots.

It is better to have some slightly less snazzy snapshots of you and your friends with a compact camera then to miss out on photographing the occasion altogether because the camera is too big to lug around.

There's a difference between snapshots and serious photography. And that's not, of course, to say that you can't produce good product with a P&S, it's more about the photographer than the tools. But the notion that SLRs are too big and bulky to take on a hike (where you've got, you know, a backpack) is silly.

(Obligatory bar photos) [flickr.com]

Re:You need both (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760935)

A hike was just an example. I know some serious hikers... they buy light shoes to save a few ounces. They snap their stupid toothbrush in half to save the space. There is probably no room in their pack for a large P&S, let alone an SLR. Of course a more casual hiker or more dedicated photographer can find a way to get a camera up there... it was just an example :)

Re:You need both (1)

ChrisA90278 (905188) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760849)

Don't say "no one". Some people only go up mountains or onto the ski slope so they can capture the images they see there. I'm into underwater photography right now but I've hauled medium format systems and big tripods up moutians just for the shot.

The difference between a "photographer" and some one who just ownes a camera is the photographer thinks of the activity as "making images" and he just happens to be on a hike because that is how you get to the wildflowers or whatever his subject is. While the hiker hikes and just happens to also cary a camera.

The SLR is best used by the photographer.

Yes, I can think of one person who shoots mostly in bars with a 10.5mm or 12-24mm lens on a Nikon DSLR.

I agree about the need to more then one kind of camera.

Re:You need both (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 8 years ago | (#16761007)

Heck I don't want to take even a basic digital camera hiking, mountain biking, skiing, or anywhere else after I lost my old 3 MP Olympus canoing (water level was to low for several parts of the trip and we managed to tip it... twice due to rocks)... Someone is probably happy at a 'free' camera if anyone ever found the water proof bag it was in...

That said I know people take their Pro cameras everywhere and anywhere... It's all a matter of how important such things are to them and how much they want a picture of 'X'...

I don't quite agree (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16760411)

linux is dead linux is dead linux is dead linux is dead linux is dead



Please, don't tag this "itsatrap" (2)

setirw (854029) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760427)

It's irrelevant, and it's not funny. I've been tagging similarly mistagged articles with "shutupwithitsatrap," and "!itsatrap."

The tag was already overused when it was remotely relevant, but today's usage is idiotic.

And yes, I acknowledge that this will be modded off-topic. I have some karma to spare.

Don't listen to parent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16760605)


A fairly pointless article (2, Informative)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760441)

When the article contains remarks like this:

Most digicams are plastic, plastic, and more plastic. They feel flimsy and they're not all that hard to break. DSLRs are built to much higher standards

then you can tell that it is not particularly helpful at all. A great many 'digicams' are very nicely constructed. For example, the rather lovely Lumix [panasonic.com] range from Panasonic/Leica, one of which I am lucky enough to own, are extremely well constructed and are largely made from metals and special composites which do not feel 'plastic' in the least. They also have excellent ergonomics and performance. Many smaller cameras are also very nicely constructed, often from metal - the Canon Ixus [canon.com.au] range comes to mind.

I agree that DSLRs are nice, and I plan to acquire one myself. But it is not helpful to publish a list of 'reasons' which are little more than vague assertions that A is better than B, without taking into account either reality, or the very valid reasons why B might be preferable for many people.

Re:A fairly pointless article (1)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760843)

>> Most digicams...

the rather lovely Lumix range from Panasonic/Leica, one of which I am lucky enough to own

Leica have always been a quality based brand for the minority who appreciate them. They are not however, even close to common.

The statement remains true that, for the majority of consumer compact digital cameras, construction is generally cheap plastic that's liable to break if dropped or at least have zoom mechanisms lose alignment.

It is true to say, "Most people are not that well educated in advanced physics." Retorting with, "When you say something like that, you can tell you don't know what you're talking about. Newton, Einstein, Liebnitz... See, I've named three already. I could name another twenty great physicists if you want!" really doesn't prove anything. A few rare exceptions don't disprove an otherwise true generality.

You're very lucky to own a Leica. You probably paid more than many entry level DSLR owners did too. Just because it's a wonderful exception, that doesn't lift all other far cheaper digicams up to its standard.

SLR and make sure it is a CCD (1)

zoftie (195518) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760445)

CCD has better range and colors, then that of CMOS. Though top end of Canon's offering matches Nikon's.

1. Quality of images.
2. Better control of parameters
3. Choice of lenses for the variety of situations.
4. Speed - often point and shoots take a while to recylce the flash.
5. Ability to use professional flash.
6. Women like to pose for DSLR then to teensy point and shoot.
7. Batteries last longer, usually.
8. Speed of focus, at least on nikons it is excellent, so you don't loose the moment.
9. ...
10. ...

What? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760617)

Tell that to my Nikon D2x - it uses a CMOS sensor and does very well, thank you. The D200 (and D80/D70/D50) use a CCD sensor. Ask the Nikon engineers why. If you are obsessively technoid, you can come up with reasons for using one or the other but you end up in a Ford / Chevy argument. The latest offerings from Nikon and Canon (and pretty much everybody else) are typically more capable than the photographer.

You seem to be confuse the image sensor type (CCD vs CMOS) with the mirror / lens arrangement (SLR vs. "digicam").

Number one reason not to go DSLR (4, Insightful)

bhmit1 (2270) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760463)


I love my Nikon D70 (especially since I used hotel points to buy it), but for every shot I get that others don't have a chance because of shutter speed or ability to use another lens, there's one that I missed because I didn't consider lugging out my camera bag for some event. With compact cameras being as small as ipods these days, I'd recommend that you start with one of those first, and when you want to take it to the next level, get a second camera as a dslr.

Re:Number one reason not to go DSLR (0, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760531)

I love my Nikon D70 (especially since I used hotel points to buy it), but for every shot I get that others don't have a chance because of shutter speed or ability to use another lens, there's one that I missed because I didn't consider lugging out my camera bag for some event.

I don't get it. You're saying that your inability to bring your equipment is somehow your digital camera's fault?

Re:Number one reason not to go DSLR (1)

imaginaryelf (862886) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760785)

I agree with the OP. You bet it's the camera's fault.

Heck, if size weren't an issue, I'd walk around with a View Camera.

Bottom line: the more convenient it is to carry a camera, the more likely you are to use it, and camera size inversely relates to convenience.

Re:Number one reason not to go DSLR (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760801)

I don't get it. You're saying that your inability to bring your equipment is somehow your digital camera's fault?

I think his point is that his D70 with a half-decent lens on it means he's carrying a fairly large item. You're either going to want a shoulder bag for it, or a belt-hanging, nose-down style holster. Some social occasions just aren't a good fit for that sort of thing, or you just don't want the payload along when you're, say, dancing or something. One of each flavor camera is really the thing, I think.

Re:Number one reason not to go DSLR (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760615)

With compact cameras being as small as ipods these days, I'd recommend that you start with one of those first, and when you want to take it to the next level, get a second camera as a dslr.

Yeah, sorta. Guess it depends on your camera heritage, as it were. People who've been shooting a film SLR already have the size thing ironed out, and will be in the best position to leverage all of the fantastic stuff that a modern DSLR can do for them. Once you've experienced a camera like a recent Nikon DSLR, the specific features, menu navigation, etc., will help you to evaluate the compact cameras all the better.

Of course, if youre entirely new to this, it's possible that going the other route will make more sense. Just depends on how serious you are about a specific flavor of photography. For normal social stuff, the compact units are almost impossible to beat, that's for sure.

I await the first wifi DSLR... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16760537)

With the Wireless IXUS the shot can be set up with a nearby notebook screen as viewfinder, with the picture taken straight into Photoshop, from some distance away, no camera shake, fiddly buttons, 'disturbed' subject or memory cards needed. Cool if you only want 5 megapixels, and have the ten minutes spare to boot up the PC and launch photoshop...
Incidentally, no other camera has the wi-fi features of the wireless IXUS.

Snapshots = Tiny camera (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760557)

In college, my high school girlfriend went to Miami (Florida) and I went to a school in Dallas TX; we spent all the breaks together, and other than that we didn't see eachother. Since this time was special to us, we took a lot of pictures. She owned a Casio Exlim camera basically a point and shoot the size of a credit card x 1cm thick, I a Canon Powershot A80 - about as big as three decks of playing cards stacked together. After the first day, the Powershot got left behind, and we ended up taking over a thousand pictures (many retakes) over the course of the week.
Now, if you're shooting a wedding, prom, or family reunion pictures, something many people will see, or will go in a frame on display, I'd definately bring out the Powershot, or consider getting a DSLR.
But the fact of the matter is that BIG Digicams don't go to the bar, to the beach (unless your girlfriend's friends are really hot), skiing, etc. Too expensive, too BIG, too fragile. A two year old $200 point and shoot is ok to risk for these sorts of things. Being smaller, you can talk your girlfriend in to sticking it in her tiny ass purse/clutch, or stick it in your pocket at a bar/club if she doesn't bring her purse. Good luck talking her in to carrying around your DSLR with 80-300mm zoom lens. Yeah, the DSLR takes fucking fantastic pics, even on auto mode, but what are the chances you're actually going to bring it with you everywhere?
My recomendation, buy the cheaper model DSLR from canon for your artsy shit, and spend what you just saved on a 3MP point and shoot with a rechargeable battery and docking station (that charges it)... my Reccomendation is last year's Casio Exlim... My girlfriend has over 10,000 photos on her current 4MP model, and another 8,000 on her previous 3MP model... very durable.
No, I don't work for Casio. The Canon Powershot A320-ish series is pretty good too.

Re:Snapshots = Tiny camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16760747)

No... read the article, DSLR's are more rugged than point-n-shoot.

Wrong discussion forum, sir. (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760879)

Much of your analysis is predicated on the existence of girlfriends, sometimes with hot friends. I'm afraid we'll have to take that bit of erroneous input into account as we mod your comment. Now, if you'd care to re-post your comment, substituting "mom" for "girlfriend," we'll all have a better baseline with which to work.

J@ck0ff Festival (-1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760569)

That drive me crazy about digital photography enthusiasts:

Superior Sensors: DSLRs typically use a sensor that is approximately the same dimensions as an APS film negative (22.7 x 15.1 mm). In contrast, the 2/3" sensor size of an 8 Megapixel digicam is dramatically smaller, about the size of the tip of your pinky (8.8 x 6.6 mm). The larger sensor translates directly to higher image quality in terms of detail, color depth, and dynamic range.
In most instances, no one will notice the difference. What's the line resolution on the average Fujistu photo processor that prints digital to photo paper? What file formats do they print from again?

Less Noise: This is at least in part a result of the larger sensor size mentioned above, however it is significant enough to warrant getting its very own bullet point. With your typical digicam, you will get noticeable noise which is detrimental to image quality at pretty much anything above the lowest possible ISO setting. Contrast that with your typical modern DSLR, where you can actually make acceptable prints even at some of the highest ISO settings.

Noise shmoize. No one will notice.

Please, enjoy your new toys but don't try to justify them for technical reasons to your SO. You just want one and that's fine.

Re:J@ck0ff Festival (1)

serbanp (139486) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760673)

Noise shmoize. No one will notice.

Don't be stupid. Noise matters a lot if shooting in less than perfect illumination conditions. There's nothing more annoying than blacks with blue spots on them or green-dotted skin.

Re:J@ck0ff Festival (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16760959)

You can just smooth the image to reduce noise. This effectively reduces the resolution, but considering that cameras are 3+ megapixels nowadays you'll still have a very nice picture. Not professional quality, but you're looking at the picture, not selling it.

Dugged (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16760583)

This was interesting last week when I read it on Digg.

Viewfinder (2, Informative)

stereoroid (234317) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760593)

Of the points raised in the article, I found the viewfinder the most convincing reason to get a DSLR. Live preview on a screen is not a replacement, especially in the dark, when a screen can kill your night vision. It's also very quick once you get used to it, and I've found the difference is particularly apparent with long lenses. Be aware, though, that not all DSLRs are equal in this respect: so far, of the established makers, Canon have been poor, Nikon average, and Pentax have really emphasised a good, bright viewfinder in their mainstream DSLRs. That may change, of course - the new Nikons are catching up.

Another key point is that you're not just buying a camera, you're buying in to a system, so the lens range needs to be taken in to account, in the long term. You're not going to be happy with the "kit lens" for very long.

My reason not to buy a DSLR camera (1)

yali (209015) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760643)

I wouldn't actually use it.

Seriously, I'm normally a gadget freak. I love anything I can tinker with, especially if it appeals to my creative side. But I somehow managed to call up enough restraint a few years ago to get the tiniest decent-quality camera I could find (a Minolta Dimage Xt, just a little larger than an Altoids tin), and I couldn't be happier. When I'm at a party, family event, wandering a random city on vacation, etc. I can just stick it in a shirt pocket, enjoy myself, and pull it out to take snapshots whenever I feel like it. I don't have to lug around a huge bulky camera in a huge bulky bag, which would be such an annoyance that I'd probably end up leaving it at home (or setting it down somewhere after taking a couple of posed shots and not touching the damn thing all night).

Is my tiny auto camera perfect? Of course not. It takes pretty decent quality pictures, but it's not pro quality, and the shutter lag is annoying. But realistically, a camera that takes a bazillion vivid megapixels with no lag isn't going to do me any good if I don't have it handy when something funny, surprising, or interesting happens.

Problem... (2, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760647)

the lens that comes with most DSLR's is utter crap. the Rebel comes with a lens that makes the point and shoots look bad, but it is complete crap compared to a $250.00 Prime lens.

Granted, the most expensive DSLR is cheap compared to a good lens, and that trap can bleed you dry on your new hobby.

But, if you get a DSLR I strongly reccomend that you get a 60mm prime (I reccomend a 1.8 or faster but most people cringe at a $600.00 or more lens) and see what your DSLR camera can really do.

Re:Problem... (1)

Repugnant_Shit (263651) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760845)

Amen. Once I upgraded to a much better lens (from the EF-S 18-55 to a 18-50 f/2.8) my picture quality went up. But it's like everything else - the good stuff costs money. I'm dropping a $1000+ for a better telephoto because the budget $300 promaster just doesn't cut it.

Re:Problem... (1)

ChrisA90278 (905188) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760991)

You are right to say "look at the lens". but not all "kit lenses are crap. For example the Nikon 18-55mm is quite good. The one that comes with the canon Rebel has th same specs is poor. Like anything else read the reviews and look at the total system.

Re:Problem... (1)

tinrobot (314936) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760999)

Ummm... $600 for a 60mm prime?

I just bought a Nikon 50mmm f1.8 prime for about $100.

DSLR is for the 1%'ers (1)

mgemmons (972332) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760671)

For the vast majority of us not only is a DSLR overkill, but it will actually result in less pictures being taken because of an unwillingness to lug it around. If you primarily take pictures for vacations, picnics and such then you will likely be more bothered by a DSLR than you will be enamored by its superior picture quality or manual adjustments. Don't buy into the hype: DSLRs are great technology but only useful for the one-percenters who consider themselves photographers and not picture takers.

Re:DSLR is for the 1%'ers (1)

Repugnant_Shit (263651) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760895)

Exactly. For most of my friends, a P&S works great. I have one too, for when we go out to bars or taking quick jaunts. But on vacation, it's time to lug the camera bag around. I have only ever regretted NOT having the SLR with me - there'll be a beautiful sunset, but the P&S can't capture it. Or I'll see some far-off wildlife, and not be able to zoom in enough. About the only place I won't take the SLR is to a concert, because I'm afraid it'll get destroyed.

And the one time I did take it to a show, my pictures were a thousand better than my friends', because of the control and capabilities. So they're not for everyone, but sometimes you need them.

Re:DSLR is for the 1%'ers (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760981)

DSLRs are great technology but only useful for the one-percenters who consider themselves photographers and not picture takers

I'd say there are a few other flavors of folks. Mostly, it's non-photographers who still have a pressing need for either speed or special glass. For example: someone whose kid is a very busy athlete will probably really appreciate the ability to use a quality long lens with serious stabilization - and will definitely appreciate being able to shoot several frames per second. Likewise, someone like an interior designer or landscape architect would really like being able to mount a lower-distortion, higher-quality $500 wide-angle lens. These folks don't have to be even serious amateur photographers to really benefit from what the higher-end equipment can do for them.

Single lens .... (-1, Offtopic)

foobsr (693224) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760693)

Camera obscura.

/. is getting ridiculous.


Re:Single lens .... (0, Offtopic)

foobsr (693224) | more than 8 years ago | (#16761023)

Score:2, Offtopic



The real reason (2, Informative)

3.14159265 (644043) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760781)

Superior optics. Period. Everything else is a nice to have, e.g. take 1000+ fotos with a single battery (without flash)
Got a Nikon D70, absolutely astonishing pictures, even though they say it's not the camera, but the person behind it... :)

You're all a bunch of photo taking suckers! (0, Flamebait)

Asrynachs (1000570) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760797)

Man oh man did the camera makers ever see you suckers coming.
Lemme tell you a little something about how cameras actually work. The technology for digital cameras hasn't changed since 1994 when they were initially invented. Every year they release new versions of the same old unchanged technology except they add little bits of window dressing on it to make you THINK you're actually buying a new camera. Here's a good indicator of how to tell you're being ripped off. The most expensive cameras are the bulkiest. This is because the camera makers know that stupid people think that bigger means better. EVEN THOUGH humans can create things like flash drives the size of sticks of gum that hold 4 gigs worth of information, a $2000 camera is roughly the size of your head. Tell me how that even works. Also unbeknownst to most people, digital cameras operate on the same principles as cheese. That is to say there's no solid government regulation requiring the information they state on the package to be accurate. So when you buy a 6 megapixel camera you're actually buying a 1 megapixel camera, even though the box states it's a genuine 6 megapixel camera.

This new Digital hoopla shutter speed nonsense is just a brand new way of taking your money. Just reading the article you can tell the fella writing it has no idea what he's talking about. Things like 'less noise' really means 'more blurry' and customizable shutter speed means 'even more blurry'. And when he lists off the types of people who shouldn't buy the camera he's just being a jerk like all photographers are.
So if you want my advice I'd reccomend you stay away from digital cameras all together and take up drawing. Pencils are cheap and you can add whatever you want to the picture.

Re:You're all a bunch of photo taking suckers! (1)

DiscoLizard (925782) | more than 8 years ago | (#16761013)

I'm guessing/hoping you made this comment tongue-in-cheek.

Less noise does not equal more blurry. Noise is the 'speckles' that you see when you shoot with a higher ISO (which allows you to take photos in lower light without using flash).

Customizable shutter speed means that you can adjust the shutter to a reasonable speed, (generally 1/lens i.e. 1/50 for a 50mm) and then work out which aperture (and consequently depth of field) and ISO ('quality/noisiness' of image) are appropriate. It means you can go for a motion blur (for a large crowd scene in a building for example) or freeze images (most used in sports shots).

As for size of camera; the camera size is limited by the size of the mirror, the sensor, the size of the various lenses which will be attached to it (which are governed by the various laws of optics). Also, when you've got a lens attached that may weigh several pounds, you need a bit of size in order to hold the thing steady. Add to that the fact that the higher-end models are generally made of a magnesium alloy, and you've got a relatively bulky and heavy machine.

dSLRs are fantastic for learning the creative aspects of photography and taking high-quality photos. You can of course get beautiful images with your point-and-shoot, but the level of control that you have is much lower.

I'm not sure I understand your 'cheese arguement', but I will say that you're the first person I've ever seen make a comparison between dairy products and cameras :)

Slightly offtopic but... (-1, Redundant)

dartarrow (930250) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760825)

why is every article tagged itsatrap..?

2 major issues to be careful about SLRs (0)

serbanp (139486) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760833)

1) because it's a SLR, you can't preview the picture you're goint to take. This makes more difficult to color-balance the image on the spot and typically means that you have to take several shots to get the one that looks OK. I know, there are some SLRs that have a secondary preview display, but since it's using a separate sensor, it's not really useful.
2) if you keep swapping the lenses, dust tends to accumulate on the sensor. Things that would not affect a film-based SLR become very annoying with a DSLR. If you expect swapping lenses, get the ones that have self-cleaning sensors (usually using ultrasound shaking).

Apart from these two shortcomings, SLR are much more versatile and create substatially better quality images (mostly due to the better optics).

As one who has a Nikon D70 DSLR... (2, Informative)

rdewalt (13105) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760869)

I have looked at the other models, and right now, I don't see any that have told me "upgrade to me!" other than the "holy crap, 4k!" Nikon D2Xs.

Please, check out http://www.dpreview.com/ [dpreview.com] before you purchase a camera. No, seriously. When I was a salesdroid, I recommended -everyone- check that site at least once before spending $money on camera.

I saw the D80, and I looked at "What does it offer?" well, okay, its 10mp vs 6mp. But thats not enough to make me buy it. The D80 uses SD cards vs the CF/MD cards of the D70. No benefit there. I have $500 in microdrives. The extra resolution is nice, but not -by it self- enough. A 4x6 image only needs a "3mp" area to be displayed at "80% of humans will never discern it from film"

As a former salesman, you need to ask "What is my end result?" if the answer is "To send pics to grandma" Then -ANY- digital camera will do it. DSLR's bring forth the power of film cameras. If you don't need that power, you don't need a DSLR.

I have a half dozen lenses for my camera. But I'm a semi-pro photographer. A situation that inspires me to get a $400 lens, you might not feel the same on.

Go, Decide for yourself. I can lay out ten thousand reasons why I love my rig and gear. The will -NOT- apply to you. Such is art.

Sorry, "pro gear not allowed" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16760925)

Many concerts will let you take pictures but only if you don't have 'pro' gear. A DSLR is usually considered 'pro' and often isn't allowed unless you have a photo pass. Sometimes they will allow real film SLRs as non-pro. The funny thing is, many of the fixed lens cameras have extensive video capabilities that are lacking on most DSLRs.

Arguing probably won't work but bribes might.

One Reason I'm Holding Off (2, Funny)

hahiss (696716) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760929)

I probably won't buy one of these things until the attached cell phone works better. I mean, yeah, the pictures totally rock, but I can't exactly call anyone with them.

Pinhole cameras are more fun! (1)

perbert (241785) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760943)

Instead of a DSLR, you can make a pinhole camera [pinhole.com] out of a toilet paper tube and make even more interesting pictures! Or you can make it out of a shoebox or whatever else you have on hand. The images are often amazing [pinholeday.org] , too.

Switched to Nikon D200 from Nikon N8008 (1)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760961)

SLRs in general are much, much more versatile for tacking pictures than point and shoot. The bit about creative control is definitely true. I loved the N8008 but the film and development cost started to add up. I tend to play around with the various camera settings as a way to learn so I tend to take a lot of pictures of the same scene, etc. The DSLR allows me to do that.

I do disagree with the author on a minor point. Not all DSLRs are built to the same quality. Even within the Nikon family the D80/70/50 and even D100 are somewhat weak when compared to their professional DSLR and even traditional SLRs. Those models lack a metal framework. I suppose for most people that's not an issue but I expect my SLRs, digital or otherwise, to last and really go with me where ever I go. The N8008 did just that. I've used it on my roadtrips, taking pictures at the water falls (pretty water resistant camera). I don't have to baby it and I think I'll get the same from the D200. For the same reason, high quality DSLRs are heavy! The author already mentioned that but let me just point out that I take my point-and-shoot with me on my trips for times when I don't expect to take good pictures or when constantly holding the camera is not an option.

The rule of thumb in regards to Nikon vs Canon, for me at least, is Nikon cameras are more rugged with a strong framework inside and weatherproofing seals. They also tend to be faster with the shutters but Canon, from what I've read, tends to take higher quality pictures. For me, since I run around quite a bit, the choice was obviously Nikon (plus I already had an investment in their lenses that still work with the DSLRs).

Don't Bother (1)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 8 years ago | (#16760997)

The fun of Digital technology is surely the miniaturization and the convenience. To me DSLRs provide neither. I think the less imposing something is, the more you will use it. I have a Camcorder, but I hardly ever use it. It's really not the sort of thing you want to carry around and whip out. You just look a jerk with a Camcorder in your hands. However, since I got my little Sony Cybershot (which also takes great 640x480 Videos), I've been videoing a lot of stuff.

it's not a trap! (yet) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16761021)

i just scrolled through the entire main page, and every single article except this one has "itsatrap" as a tag. maybe it's just that it's election day, but honestly people, are bands liking Guitar hero or Network Computing's reader survey really traps?
it's a funny tag, and i like it, but i fear it may be getting overused

(go ahead and mod it OT, just thought i should say something)
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