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Author Topic: DSLR vs. a good super zoom  (Read 3042 times)

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Offline BlackLab

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DSLR vs. a good super zoom
« on: January 17, 2011, 03:02:31 PM »
as far as cameras go, I have always just used  a point n' shoot (have a ZS3 now) but finally want to get a better camera

wondering if any entry level DSLR like a Nikon D3100 or Canon Rebel T1i  is worth the price vs a Superzoom such as a Canon SX30 IS

ideally I'd like it to be a good camera first and as a bonus can do video as well - though not for concerts

Offline phanophish

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Re: DSLR vs. a good super zoom
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2011, 03:12:49 PM »
Night and day.  Think of it as the difference between a R-9 with built in mics compared to a dedicated pre and some quality external mics.  All of the same benefits and drawbacks.  You have more to carry around and may not get the DSLR in to shows, but the improvement in quality & control is massive.  I have both and use both depending on the results I want.
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Offline BlackLab

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Re: DSLR vs. a good super zoom
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2011, 06:29:25 PM »
thanks for your input. Commin sense says for double the price - you should be getting  a much better camera but never having had an SLR, I
don;t know what I am missing I guess

Offline phanophish

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Re: DSLR vs. a good super zoom
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 09:00:03 PM »
thanks for your input. Commin sense says for double the price - you should be getting  a much better camera but never having had an SLR, I
don;t know what I am missing I guess

The big difference is the quality of optics and sensor performance in Low light that is simply not available on the P&S.  But as you mentioned you pay for that quality, and often DSLRs are not permitted at shows, while you can almost always get a P&S in to shows.

Short article/podcast on sensor size.
http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/18/what-sensor-size-means-why-it-matters/

A decent overview of sensor size..
http://gizmodo.com/383170/giz-explains-digital-camera-image-sensors

If you want to nerd out...
http://www.clarkvision.com/articles/does.pixel.size.matter/

The bottom line is larger sensors perform better.  There has actually been a trend on large sensors to actually scale back the megapixel race in favor of improving the performance of the megapixels that are there.  The chief drawbacks to large sensors is the cost, both of the sensor and the lens for the larger sensor.  The larger the chip the more expensive it become to manufacture, this is partly why DSLRs cost more that P&S cameras and why full frame (Canon 5d/Nikon D700) and Medium format digital (Hasselblad etc) bodies are so much more expensive.  In addition to the sensor manufacturing costs, larger sensors also require larger optics to allow light to strike all of their larger surface area.  This means larger, more difficult to grind hunks of glass and once again higher costs. 

this is why there is no perfect camera, they are all a compromise between cost, image quality and size/portability.

Just as an example....

What I consider a "good" P&S shot.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7


Comprable Venue but taken with a DSLR...
Nikon D300/Nikon 70-200.2.8 VR I



« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 09:02:38 PM by phanophish »
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Photo:  Nikon D300, D200, 35mm f/1.8,  50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.8, Nikon 17-55 f/2.8, Sigma 18-50/2.8 Macro, 18-70 f/4.5-5.6, 24-120 f/3.5-5.6 VR, Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6, Nikon 70-200 f/2.8VR, SB-800

Jake: What's this?
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Elwood: The what?
Jake: The Cadillac we used to have. The Blues Mobile!
Elwood: I traded it.
Jake: You traded the Blues Mobile for this?
Elwood: No. For a microphone.
Jake: A microphone? Okay I can see that.

Offline BlackLab

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Re: DSLR vs. a good super zoom
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2011, 09:07:38 PM »
pretty visible difference

Ok - now to decide on a Nikon 3100 vs a Canon Rebel T1i LOL

Offline sparkey

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Re: DSLR vs. a good super zoom
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2011, 01:38:02 PM »
Jeff Austin rockin' the Old Style shirt.  That beer was king in Chicago before Budweiser took over in the 80's.

Offline Sockan

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Re: DSLR vs. a good super zoom
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2011, 04:39:43 PM »
pretty visible difference

Ok - now to decide on a Nikon 3100 vs a Canon Rebel T1i LOL

Go to a store and try them out. If the buttons is in the right place and you understand the settings logic, then that camera is your best choice. The sensors and performance is similar, so the most important choice is the lens(es).
Don't forget that there is 3:rd party lenses from Sigma, Tokina and Tamron that is sometimes just as good, but with a much lower price.
Some lens tests here: http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/overview
Some tests or user opinions here: http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/
There are a lot of other places with tests like dpreview.com where you can read about cameras, but go to a store and hold it in your hands before buying.
Good luck.

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Offline guysonic

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Re: DSLR vs. a good super zoom
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2011, 09:49:04 PM »
I own and posted examples of both Lumix ZS3/FZ100 models shooting video with stereo-surround audio in various high-to-low light conditions on my www.sonicstudios.com/videomic.htm page.  This year, many more makes of "super-zoom" models going to appear with some having unlimited video shoot time ability, and some with external stereo sound input jacks.   Unfortunately, as yet all these lack manual audio level control feature working ONLY in limited Auto level mode (ALC).
"mics? I no got no mics!  Besides, I no have to show you no stink'n mics!" stxxlth taper's disclaimer

DSM HRTF STEREO-SURROUND RECORDING SYSTEMS WEBSITE: http://www.sonicstudios.com

 

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