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 Post subject: DSLR - Choosing A Camera
PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:19 am 
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I have not use a DSLR and all my pictures came from my Olympus C750, Canon Powershot 1000 & 650. They serve me well till my kids started to demand for DSLR. Checking out the models at the recent Photofest at Gurney Plaza here left me with more doubts then answers.

Looking around the booths I found the Nikon D90 and Canon 550D interesting. These are entry level DSLR with lots of features built-in. Comparing the pictures of both cameras (indoor no flash) they are about the same quality when viewed on board its LCD screen.

This brings up an interesting issue. Should I bring along my Notebook when shopping for a digital camera? Quality of pictures should be compared using the NB screen or in Print? Most users never printout their photos hence should we gives priority to Electronics display quality over Print? With Photoshop technology so advance today... do we need a DSLR for family use?

For the price of a DSLR I would expect its performance to exceed my compact by leaps and bounds. I don't see this to be true. In the Nikon D300.. model I do see a significant improvement over my compact especially in low light conditions. But, at RM5K for the body alone it is too much to pay. I think I'll wait for the Nikon D90 replacement model before deciding...

Anyone care to share your experience on choosing a DSLR?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:52 am 
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HI Bro MoeyHC,

For most people, the choice between models or brands is based on budget and the existing accessories you have. If you are a Canon man, you are stuck as one or if you are a Nikon man, you are also stuck as one unless you are prepared to buy a whole new set of accessories (especially lenses).

It is a good idea to bring your lappy to do the comparison as the camera LCD screen is too small to make the comparison and the contrast and brightness are configured by the manufacturer. With your lappy, you can compare apple with apple.

To compare objectively between a point-and-shoot (PNS) and a DSLR, you need to know what your PNS cannot do which the DSLR can and then look for such difference. For example most PBS do not have a real diaphragm so photos tend to be sharp from the foreground to infinity. With DSLRs you can play with depth of field and can see what is Bokeh. So if you are comparing sharpness, you may tend to think the PNS is even better than the DSLR.

Another PNS weakness is shutter delay. You can compare movements like a badminton player executing a jumping smash. Try shooting at the same moment of stroke execution, the camera that captures the racket at a lower position of the stroke has a longer shutter delay for example. At a place like Gurney Plaza where there is nobody playing badminton, you can set up to shoot the moving bubble elevator for comparison. You will need a tripod and shoot when you see the elevator touch a certain point of the view finder (e.g either the top edge or bottom edge).

Compare the edges or corners of the photos for lens aberrations or vignetting (darkened corners). This give you an idea between the quality of lenses.

Another measure of lens performance is shoot a narrow doorway at the widest aperture (with the PNS reduce the ISO sensitivity) and look for barrel distortion. When there is barrel distortion, the door post will not appear parallel but curved outwards (convex). PNS lenses tend to exhibit more barrel distortion.

Many, many more areas that you need to research on and understand the features of both cameras.

Hope this helps.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:53 am 
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Hi Moey, last time I went shopping for a camera, I brought my 9" LCD Photo Frame that runs on batteries ( 4 hour life ). http://www.jcmatthew.com/products/hdmp/PMP890.html Small and easy to carry and zero boot up time.

Sometime these same photo shops have one. Take a photo, remove the SD card and slot it into the Photo frame. If camera has CF card, then bring a card reader and plug into USB port of photo frame. :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:56 am 
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Hi Bro SB,

A digital photo frame is a good idea and less cumbersome than a lappy. :good:

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:15 pm 
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Dear Bro Jason/SB,

Thank you for the tips. I'm basically a film man.... I still set my compact to M and adjust my own Aperture/Shuttle speed/ISO to experiment. I have gotten away from serious photography where I spend days trying to shoot a subject or waiting for the perfect outdoors condition for a photo shoot. Today I use a camera to take pictures of where I went to keep as remembrance. A decent camera with enough field of depth and sharpness is all I ask for (Lens quality).

I believe a good picture is 80% Human, 10% environment & the remaining LUCK. With digital... you can redo it over and over again after a preview... how I missed this feature in my younger days... the money I save can be very substantial. Will keep in mind the suggestions given and continue my hunt for the "Perfect" DSLR within my budget.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:20 pm 
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moeyHC wrote:
I believe a good picture is 80% Human, 10% environment & the remaining LUCK. With digital... you can redo it over and over again after a preview... how I missed this feature in my younger days... the money I save can be very substantial. Will keep in mind the suggestions given and continue my hunt for the "Perfect" DSLR within my budget.


bro moey, digital photography for most of us is a fun hobby which should be enjoyed. as such look for equipment which you think you would have lotsa fun with. as an example, i've been lugging around canon 450d + 2 lenses in a lowepro sligshot on my trips ... until i discovered the new sony nex5 with its 18-55 kit lens. now that's a fun camera to carry (~480g all-in) and use. i have no regrets retiring my dlsr. so the key is the fun factor, and leave the technicalities/perfectness aside. it'd bog you down or make you wait forever. :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:11 pm 
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Bro Moey, something to read about buying a DSLR vs Prosumer camera as extracted from dpreview.com.

Link : http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read. ... e=33797539

To summarize, buy to your needs and expectations, not to what others say and expect :thumbsup:

I bought a prosumer camera, a Panasonic Lumix LX3 and to date am perfectly happy with its performance which meets my needs and see no need to upgrade to DSLR.


Learnt a wee bit about photography as part of college, and worked with analogue SLRs, and developed my own thrills, which naturally attracted me to photography. I blindly went in for a dSLR, thinking it as a natural progression for any amateur enthusiast. I went in for an EOS 400D, and over the course of the past two and a half years, I realised that I would have been much better off with a prosumer camera, such as the SX20IS. I have listed the reasons here:

-Lenses are a heavy investment, and the default lense can almost shoot nothing. For any outing, you need to carry at least two lenses, and it irritating to switch. The functionality of a zoom lense of a prosumer camera is much better than that of a dSLR. Macros, portraits, and landscapes - all of these show up as the same on websites or photography forums whether you are shooting from a dSLR or a Prosumer cam.

-The bulk of the camera makes it inconvenient. You have to factor that in while travelling, taking up space. I do a lot of trekking, and we have to closely watch the weight. A prosumer offers a considerably weight advantage compared to the lenses and accesories of a dSLR. Although the newer dSLRs are lighter, there is still the bulk factor.

-Although I have stressed my dSLR by shooting in the rains, and using strange angles, I find that people with prosumers and point and shoots can shoot with one hand, put their cameras out of a vehicle, take it close to the water surface in a boat or otherwise afford more room for experimentation. It is easier to "shoot from the hip" and still get good shots.

-While on a trek, you often have to shift rapidly from a macro shot to a long-range zoom shot. For example, if you are photographing a bug, and you spot a bird on a nearby tree, the person with a point and shoot or a prosumer cam is much more likely to make the transition in time to get the shot.

-In social situations, you don't want to look like you are building a portfolio, but are taking candid shots for yourself. A dSLR kills the mood, but a prosumer just takes good photos without making you stand out or awkwardly fiddle around with the controls.

-You can actually learn a lot more about photography if you are using a prosumer camera, because if you are willing to take the time to understand the easy to use settings, you can apply the same knowledge while taking your shots. Prosumers also allow you to tweak almost as much as a dSLR.

-Combine the advantages of digital touch up, how much of a photo depends on the setting and the subject, and the ultra-high image quality actually plays a small role in the overall impact of the image. We hardly print out images on A4 size paper, so why run after the megapixels? Better quality and more lense elements for the expert maybe, but the Prosumers are not far behind.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:45 am 
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Thanks bro niam,

You are right to point out the enjoyment aspect of photography. Just like fishing I don't mind the Sun/Rain and the never arrived Birds... but, I still look forward to tomorrow for a better outing... Those were the days.

Walking around taking landscape shots in the day can be accomplished with any decent compact. Today's compact do pack a punch in terms of performance. What it can't do in the field can still be 'corrected' on the PC... so it doesn't matter much about skill or extreme lens quality. It is 40% shots.... 60% 'Photoshot'... Glad you found a new love in your Sony nex5.... Cheers!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:01 pm 
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Bro Moey, here are some prices as published during Comex IT show Singapore 2010 which is going on till Sunday


Attachments:
Comex-2010 DSLR Camcorder Canon.jpg
Comex-2010 DSLR Camcorder Canon.jpg [ 86.81 KiB | Viewed 2152 times ]
Comex-2010 DSLR Camcorder Nikon.jpg
Comex-2010 DSLR Camcorder Nikon.jpg [ 71.84 KiB | Viewed 2152 times ]
Comex-2010 DSLR Camcorder Olympus.jpg
Comex-2010 DSLR Camcorder Olympus.jpg [ 93.87 KiB | Viewed 2152 times ]
Comex-2010 DSLR Camcorder Samsung.jpg
Comex-2010 DSLR Camcorder Samsung.jpg [ 61.46 KiB | Viewed 2152 times ]
Comex-2010 DSLR Camcorder Sony.jpg
Comex-2010 DSLR Camcorder Sony.jpg [ 70.63 KiB | Viewed 2152 times ]
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:03 pm 
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Thanks Bro SB,

Singapore prices very expensive... I can get the D300s body for RM4999.00 while it is offered at S$2488.00 at the show.... EOS 550D is S$1788.00 vs RM3688.00... :thumbsdown: If you need to buy one please come to Penang... :D

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