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Should I finally retire my trusty old SLR?

 
 
Scott W
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      07-22-2007
GoFlatty wrote:
> I travel regularly and have up until last year been very content with
> my trusty old Nikon F50 (with tamron 28-200 lens or Nikon 70-300
> lens). Earlier this year I bought a Canon PowerShot A640 which I'm
> very pleased with. I do scan prints from my SLR for posting etc. but I
> don't think the final digital quality is as good as those from the
> Powershot. My wife and I will be doing the Country Roads of B, S & A
> shortly and I'm in somewhat of a dilemma. Should I just go with the
> Powershot, take both of my cameras or do as someone said recently -
> invest in a new Nikon digital body for use with my lens. Any advice???
> Cheers!
>

Get a Nikon DSLR, you will love it. In fact get two, one for you and
one for your wife. My wife and I each have a Canon DSLR body and then
we share the lenses, works great.

Scott

 
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Stewy
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      07-22-2007
In article <(E-Mail Removed). com>,
GoFlatty <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I travel regularly and have up until last year been very content with
> my trusty old Nikon F50 (with tamron 28-200 lens or Nikon 70-300
> lens). Earlier this year I bought a Canon PowerShot A640 which I'm
> very pleased with. I do scan prints from my SLR for posting etc. but I
> don't think the final digital quality is as good as those from the
> Powershot. My wife and I will be doing the Country Roads of B, S & A
> shortly and I'm in somewhat of a dilemma. Should I just go with the
> Powershot, take both of my cameras or do as someone said recently -
> invest in a new Nikon digital body for use with my lens. Any advice???
> Cheers!


I'd think carefully if I were you.

Film is rather expensive and so you tend to make every shot count. Many
snappers (sorry, photographers!) buy a whiz bang digital SLR then
proceed to fire off 20,000 pictures a year machine-gun fashion at
anything and everything that moves then have the gall to boast about it.
99% of what they take is never viewed a 2nd time, but of course is duly
backed up on CDRs.

Stick with the Powershot until you find it's limitations to be
unacceptable.

I'm sure the weight and bulk difference between the F50 and the
Powershot has made you more likely to pick up a camera for short or long
trips away from home.
 
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ASAAR
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      07-22-2007
On Sun, 22 Jul 2007 17:27:56 +0900, Stewy stewed:

> Film is rather expensive and so you tend to make every shot count. Many
> snappers (sorry, photographers!) buy a whiz bang digital SLR then
> proceed to fire off 20,000 pictures a year machine-gun fashion at
> anything and everything that moves then have the gall to boast about it.
> 99% of what they take is never viewed a 2nd time, but of course is duly
> backed up on CDRs.


Hey, you're pretty good at making up imaginary straw men. Do you
actually know any like that? I don't.


> Stick with the Powershot until you find it's limitations to be
> unacceptable.


It should take only a few minutes using a DSLR (virtually *any*
DSLR) to discover Powershot limitations that are unacceptable. I
still like my Powershot very much, but use it only where its
limitations won't get in the way of getting the shots that I want.
For those that have never used DSLRs, if your advice influences them
to avoid getting and using one, you will have done them a great
disservice.

 
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David J Taylor
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      07-22-2007
GoFlatty wrote:
> I travel regularly and have up until last year been very content with
> my trusty old Nikon F50 (with tamron 28-200 lens or Nikon 70-300
> lens). Earlier this year I bought a Canon PowerShot A640 which I'm
> very pleased with. I do scan prints from my SLR for posting etc. but I
> don't think the final digital quality is as good as those from the
> Powershot. My wife and I will be doing the Country Roads of B, S & A
> shortly and I'm in somewhat of a dilemma. Should I just go with the
> Powershot, take both of my cameras or do as someone said recently -
> invest in a new Nikon digital body for use with my lens. Any advice???
> Cheers!


The A640 is an excellent camera, and so lightweight and easy to carry
around. Good results as well. However, it lacks at the wide-angle end
(only going as wide as 35mm), and it has less zoom range than you enjoy
with your 200mm and 300mm lenses.

However, if you get a Nikon DSLR the effective focal length of the lenses
is multiplied by 1.5, so your 28mm becomes 42mm "field of view", and
doesn't help get wider-angle shots than the A640. The lenses do, of
course, help at the telephoto end, but you can now get lighter-weight
lenses and image-stabilisation (which Nikon calls VR), so you might look
at the Nikon D40 or D40X body, with the kit 18 - 55mm lens, and the 55 -
200mm VR lens. This provides a coverage equivalent to 27 - 300mm lenses.
Nikon also offer an 18 - 200mm VR zoom, which is an ideal single
walk-round lens, but it's not cheap. The DSLR responds more quickly,
which may be important for shots of animals or children.

If you are taking a lot of indoor, lower-light-level shots, the DSLR can
be run at ISO 800 - 1600 while showing much less noise (grain) than the
A640. If most of your shots are outdoors, the A640 may suffice. The
other thing which the A640 can do (and no DSLR so far) is to make short
movies. Have you tried the movie mode yet? I find that a short 5 - 15s
movie can add a lot to capturing the atmosphere of a place, whilst also
using the stills for the bulk of the shots.

So I'm thinking that if you did go DSLR you might want new lenses as well,
making the whole package more expensive. But if telephoto is your thing,
it would be a good choice.

Cheers,
David


 
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David J Taylor
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      07-22-2007
ASAAR wrote:
[]
> It should take only a few minutes using a DSLR (virtually *any*
> DSLR) to discover Powershot limitations that are unacceptable.

[]

What limitations are unacceptable to you?

David


 
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ASAAR
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      07-22-2007
On Sun, 22 Jul 2007 09:06:06 GMT, David J Taylor wrote:

>> It should take only a few minutes using a DSLR (virtually *any*
>> DSLR) to discover Powershot limitations that are unacceptable.

> []
>
> What limitations are unacceptable to you?


You can't think of any, or do you just automatically avoid using
your P&S for shots it doesn't do particularly well? One big one is
focusing accuracy. Some shots I took last month of small flowers
with the P&S has excellent detail, but a good number of them were
focused on the wrong things. Shots with stems and leaves quite
sharp, but the intended flower out of focus, the bee on it rendered
as bokeh. In contrast, the only problem I had with the DSLR several
days ago capturing bumblebees on flowers was getting the right part
of the bee in focus due to shallow DOF when I chose to use large
apertures. That was easily solved (if the AF didn't get exactly
what I wanted) by moving the camera a fraction of an inch while
prefocused. The effect was *very* clearly seen in the viewfinder.
Another benefit of the DSLR was that it was able to use faster
shutter speeds than the P&S cameras, stopping the movement of
flowers in windy conditions that would have produced unacceptable
blurs with the P&S cameras.

Another type of shot that the P&S's didn't manage as well were
those of skittish small birds on a lawn, never staying put for more
than 2 or 3 seconds before quickly running to new positions several
feet away. The cameras just weren't quick enough to get more than a
small fraction of the shots with the bird still in the frame. The
DSLR used for similar shots had a much higher fraction of keepers.

Two years ago I ended up with some horrendously focused pictures
of squirrels. The manual mentioned several things that the camera
would have trouble focusing upon. Fur was one of them*. I haven't
tried squirrel shots yet with the D50, but I'm sure it will succeed
where the P&S failed.

There are many types of shots that P&S cameras handle very well,
but it's undeniable that some types of shots are a little beyond
their capabilities. And I didn't even mention the nemesis of most
P&S cameras, handheld high ISO low light shots.


* This was actually mentioned in the Fuji manual, not the Powershot
manual. But both have similar focusing limitations. The A620
manual says this :

> It may be difficult to focus on the following types of subjects.
> • Subjects with extremely low contrast to the surroundings.
> • Scenes with a mixture of near and far subjects.
> • Subjects with extremely bright objects at the center of the composition.
> • Subjects that are moving quickly.
> • Subjects through glass: Try to shoot as close to the glass as possible to
> reduce the chances of light reflecting back off the glass.


 
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David J Taylor
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      07-22-2007
ASAAR wrote:
> On Sun, 22 Jul 2007 09:06:06 GMT, David J Taylor wrote:
>
>>> It should take only a few minutes using a DSLR (virtually *any*
>>> DSLR) to discover Powershot limitations that are unacceptable.

>> []
>>
>> What limitations are unacceptable to you?

>
> You can't think of any, or do you just automatically avoid using
> your P&S for shots it doesn't do particularly well?


Thanks for your answer. I was genuinely interested to know where someone
who has used both types of camera felt the strengths and weaknesses were
for their own photography. I haven't had both DSLR and small-sensor
cameras in my bag at the same time, or attempted to any side-by-side
comparisons. I have seen the gains of the DSLR in low-light conditions,
but equally I have found small-sensor cameras respond fast enough for many
of the subjects I take (Formula 1 motor racing cars yes, but no children
or animals).

Cheers,
David


 
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Robert Coe
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      07-22-2007
On Sun, 22 Jul 2007 10:56:07 GMT, "David J Taylor"
<(E-Mail Removed)-this-part.nor-this-bit.co.uk> wrote:
: ASAAR wrote:
: > On Sun, 22 Jul 2007 09:06:06 GMT, David J Taylor wrote:
: >
: >>> It should take only a few minutes using a DSLR (virtually *any*
: >>> DSLR) to discover Powershot limitations that are unacceptable.
: >> []
: >>
: >> What limitations are unacceptable to you?
: >
: > You can't think of any, or do you just automatically avoid using
: > your P&S for shots it doesn't do particularly well?
:
: Thanks for your answer. I was genuinely interested to know where someone
: who has used both types of camera felt the strengths and weaknesses were
: for their own photography. I haven't had both DSLR and small-sensor
: cameras in my bag at the same time, or attempted to any side-by-side
: comparisons. I have seen the gains of the DSLR in low-light conditions,
: but equally I have found small-sensor cameras respond fast enough for many
: of the subjects I take (Formula 1 motor racing cars yes, but no children
: or animals).

The operative words are "no children". My wife and I bought Powershots (good
ones: an S50 and a G5) a few years ago. We got them because they were cheaper
than SLRs and, more importantly, small enough that we thought we'd carry them
places where we might not take an SLR. We got some very nice pictures, but
eventually the slow focussing and shutter lag while trying to photograph our
grandchildren nearly drove us both mad. The matched pair of 400Ds we bought
last fall have solved those problems and restored our sanity. And I've just
finished assembling what I consider to be a sensible collection of affordable
lenses(*). We've still got the Powershots, but we don't use them much.

(*): For each camera: Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 (no kit lenses)
To share: Canon 28-105mm f/3.5-4
Sigma 30mm f/1.4
Canon 60mm f/2.8 macro

P.S.: I'm told that more recent Powershots focus faster and have less shutter
lag. But we're not photographic newbies (we both used Nikon film SLRs), and I
think we made the right decision.

Bob
 
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Raphael Bustin
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      07-22-2007
On Sun, 22 Jul 2007 04:57:28 -0400, ASAAR <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>On Sun, 22 Jul 2007 17:27:56 +0900, Stewy stewed:



> It should take only a few minutes using a DSLR (virtually *any*
>DSLR) to discover Powershot limitations that are unacceptable. I
>still like my Powershot very much, but use it only where its
>limitations won't get in the way of getting the shots that I want.
>For those that have never used DSLRs, if your advice influences them
>to avoid getting and using one, you will have done them a great
>disservice.



Horses for courses and all that.

Any way you slice it, an SLR is heavier and larger than a
P&S (say, in the Canon A620 category.)

I do a fair amount of long-distance backcountry hiking,
where every gram counts. For that, it's the A620, not
the SLR.

For a day hike or a simple overnight hike, I'd consider
the SLR. Truth be known, the A620 is nearly 12 oz. and
I've considered downgrading to a camera that's closer
to the 5 oz range.

The other consideration is that the small camera can
be carried in a pouch on a shoulder strap of the pack,
so that it's always accessible. The SLR would be
unwieldy, and would have to be carried either inside
the pack or at the very least in an outside pocket.

FWIW, here's an A620 image taken on the final
descent of my last long hike on the Appalachian
Trail... the view is looking straight down the trail,
toward the Lehigh River in Pennsylvania.

<http://www.terrapinphoto.com/lehigh.jpg>


rafe b
www.terrapinphoto.com
 
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ASAAR
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      07-22-2007
On Sun, 22 Jul 2007 12:48:49 -0400, Raphael Bustin wrote:

>> It should take only a few minutes using a DSLR (virtually *any*
>> DSLR) to discover Powershot limitations that are unacceptable. I
>> still like my Powershot very much, but use it only where its
>> limitations won't get in the way of getting the shots that I want.
>> For those that have never used DSLRs, if your advice influences them
>> to avoid getting and using one, you will have done them a great
>> disservice.

>
>
> Horses for courses and all that.
>
> Any way you slice it, an SLR is heavier and larger than a
> P&S (say, in the Canon A620 category.)
>
> I do a fair amount of long-distance backcountry hiking,
> where every gram counts. For that, it's the A620, not
> the SLR.
>
> For a day hike or a simple overnight hike, I'd consider
> the SLR. Truth be known, the A620 is nearly 12 oz. and
> I've considered downgrading to a camera that's closer
> to the 5 oz range.
>
> The other consideration is that the small camera can
> be carried in a pouch on a shoulder strap of the pack,
> so that it's always accessible. The SLR would be
> unwieldy, and would have to be carried either inside
> the pack or at the very least in an outside pocket.


I completely agree, and in fact my most recent Powershot is the
A620, which goes many places I wouldn't consider bringing my D50.
The D50 was chosen in large part since it was the smallest and
lightest of Nikon's DSLRs still available when the D40 was
introduced. I would have preferred the D40, but I chose the D50 for
its better compatibility with my old, hibernating Nikkor lenses.
The A620, six years more recent than my S10 and S20 Powershots, far
surpasses them in features, image quality, and battery longevity,
yet cost about 1/3 the price. It'll be interesting to see how the
A620 compares with 2012 model Powershots.


> FWIW, here's an A620 image taken on the final
> descent of my last long hike on the Appalachian
> Trail... the view is looking straight down the trail,
> toward the Lehigh River in Pennsylvania.
>
> <http://www.terrapinphoto.com/lehigh.jpg>


Very nice, but can you upload the full, original image? I can't
quite make out the numbers on the auto license plates. <g>

 
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