High end P&S or Low end D-SLR

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dmedhora, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. dmedhora

    dmedhora Guest


    Please forgive this dual post but because of the nature of the question
    I need to get
    varied opinions again, please. I am quite stumped now having read two
    exactly opposite
    reviews for a high end P&S. That is confusing isn't it especially if
    you don't know anything
    about digital photography. I'm purely a film SLR person who nows wants
    to go electronic.

    So how exactly is a low end d-slr better than a high end p&s ?

    I specifically only need to print out photos in 5x7 print sizes. Thats
    all. Is the photo quality
    of a high end P&S still worse than a low end D-SLR for that? If I were
    to take a picture on auto mode using both types of cameras at the same
    time or the same wide angle, Fstop and
    shutter speed on both cameras and click ( you know what I mean ), then
    what would be
    the difference in a 5x7 print ?

    I ask this because I'm really confused ( as you can make out :)

    DSLR owners:- Why is a HE P&S like the Fujifilm S9000 not better than
    even the
    cheapest DSLR ? Look at its features! The only problems I see are lack
    of IS and
    more noise. - But thats only if you don't use a high shutter speed for
    the former and need
    prints bigger than 5x7, for the latter. Am I right?

    P&S owners:- If you know about SLRs and/or have owned one then why go
    for a
    high end P&S ? Have they caught up by now? If you were to raise shutter
    speeds for the
    same ISO 100 would that not make up for lack of IS on an SLR?

    I mean if I can get a HE P&S that has:-
    an optical viewfinder, manual, shutter and aperture priority, a good
    zoom with wide angle,
    ability to take good pictures ( as per claims I've read ) in lowlight
    etc etc then where can
    I go wrong? If I just want to take max 5x7 digiprints ? :)

    Thanks plenty.
    dmedhora, Mar 29, 2006
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  2. dmedhora

    Scott W Guest

    If all you want to do is make 5 x 7 prints and you will only be
    shooting in bright light and you will not me doing a lot of adjustments
    to the image then a P&S camera will give you image that are plenty good
    enough. But that is not the only reason to use a DSLR, there is also
    the shutter lag, which is very small with a DSLR. Before deciding on
    one or the other you should try both.

    Also the DSLR is more expandable as you can get new lenses for it, this
    is both good and bad.

    Scott W, Mar 29, 2006
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  3. dmedhora

    Alfred Molon Guest

    Actually the camera is not so important, what matters is the

    In any case up 5x7 even a P&S can take high quality photographs. DSLRs
    are more flexible, because you can change the lenses, and yes noise
    levels are lower, but there are P&S cameras with noise levels low enough
    and good lenses.
    Alfred Molon, Mar 29, 2006
  4. dmedhora

    Eatmorepies Guest

    I'm purely a film SLR person who nows wants
    Why are you using a film SLR? Did a P&S film camera not do the business? If
    so a digital P&S won't as they suffer worse shutter lag.

    They respond to a press of the shutter button much faster.
    Thay can take a range of lenses should the need arise.
    They generally have less noise.
    A bigger range of ISO.
    Nothing. Why do you use a film SLR if all you want are 5x7 pictures? I
    wouldn't be able to tell the difference between my Canon G5 and my Canon
    350D at 5x7 (uncropped). There is a world of difference in their use. I
    hardly ever use the G5 now.

    You sound as if you need a 4 or 5 Mpixel compact. BUT you are currently
    using a film SLR - dropping to a point, wait and shoot will disappoint.

    Eatmorepies, Mar 29, 2006
  5. For 5x7 prints, you don't need a D-SLR for the additional resolution.
    So the question is whether you can live with:
    - the limited zoom range of a P&S
    - The limited light range of a P&S (in terms of usable ISO)

    #1 can be addressed by going for one of the zuperzoom p&s' available
    (Canon S2 IS, Sony DSC-H1 or Panasonic FZs) with IS. These will cost a
    fraction of the same capability in D-SLR with lenses, with similar
    results (at 5x7)

    #2 you will have to answer for yourself. Can you live with ISO 50 and

    Personally, I have the Canon S2 IS and have been extremely satisfied
    with it.

    Good luck!

    Moro Grubb of Little Delving, Mar 29, 2006
  6. The high-end non-interchangeable-lens digital cameras are a far cry
    from what I think of as a "P&S". The name "ZLR" doesn't seem to be
    catching on, and that really overspecifies some aspects anyway. But a
    camera with 10:1 zoom and image stabilization and macro focusing isn't
    anything like any film P&S *I've* ever seen.

    In fact that's one of the big changes. Before, people who wanted
    anything beyond the minimum *had to* move up to a film SLR. These
    days, you can go far beyond one fixed lens without making the DSLR
    Look at the numbers for cameras like the Fuji F11 or even the Canon
    A610, though -- not too shabby.
    And very useful it is, for me. *I* own lenses from 12mm to 500mm for
    my SLRs. But in years past, lots of people owned nothing wider than
    28mm and nothing longer than 200mm -- and that's well within the 10:1
    range of the superzoom cameras (though the actual ones don't go to
    28mm equiv. that often, sadly). As I say, things have changed.
    That is, image noise (they make *more* real physical sound noise).
    And this is important to me, yes.
    Yes, and that's also important to me. But I've realized over the
    years that I do a wider range of types of photography, and invest more
    effort (and money, sigh) into it, than an awful lot of people. (Not I
    didn't say anything about whether my photos are actually any good,
    which, sigh, is the important point).
    David Dyer-Bennet, Mar 29, 2006
  7. dmedhora

    U-Know-Who Guest

    I own this one and although I own a 350D with about 5 lenses, if I don't
    want to drag the Canon out this one takes very nice photos. I've owned a
    Fuji S5100, an Olympus SP500-UZ, and this one blows both of them away.

    U-Know-Who, Mar 30, 2006
  8. dmedhora

    kctan Guest

    I've a Canon G6 and 10D. There are some degree of differences in image
    quality (noise level and artifact) when view at actual pixels level and when
    resample to a larger print's size. In my case, even at 8 x 10" print's size
    does not show any difference between the twos visually. I use the G6 for
    traveling during my vacation and 10D for more serious photographic task. But
    honestly, I prefer high-end P&S to low-end DSLR when print's size is not
    more than 8 x 10".
    kctan, Mar 30, 2006
  9. dmedhora

    Stewy Guest


    Versatility is probably the keyword.

    However, many folk don't like portering a body, 2 lenses and a host of
    other gadgets on a trip when they wish to carry a camera. The compact
    35mm camera was ideal for happy snappers. And it's not the equipment
    that makes a good picture.

    What do you want to do? Have a bagful of gadgets for that
    once-in-a-blue-moon picture or a smaller camera that is unobtrusive but
    is still able to take good photos?
    Stewy, Mar 30, 2006
  10. dmedhora

    Paul Rubin Guest

    A DSLR handles like the film slr's you're use to. A digital p&s is
    sort of a weird cross between a film p&s and a camcorder. For
    technical and cost reasons they are often (with some exceptions)
    extremely sluggish compared to film p&s cameras. There's typically a
    1 second delay between pressing the shutter button and the camera
    actually taking the picture. They are starting to get better but this
    is most noticible difference.

    Other issues: P&S's (having much less sensor area collecting light)
    have much less "film speed" for a given noise level. A dslr can shoot
    pretty cleanly at ISO 1600 while P&S's are usually fairly noisy
    (grainy) at 400. Also, few P&S's have external bounce flash

    Aside from this, digital P&S's are very handy, often pocketable while
    dslr's are usually larger than compact film slr's. Dslr's are usually
    quite cumbersome, even the "small" ones like the Rebel XT.

    I wouldn't buy a high end P&S because they're also large and
    expensive. I'd buy a low end or midrange p&s. It can supplement a
    DSLR if you decide you need a fancier camera.
    Paul Rubin, Mar 30, 2006
  11. Paul Rubin wrote:
    Panasonic FZ5 - $300, 300 grams. Large and expensive?

    David J Taylor, Mar 30, 2006
  12. dmedhora

    Paul Rubin Guest

    Yeah, I'm thinking mostly of the pseudo-slr long-zoom type of p/s.

    A $300 p/s is by definition not high end though. I'd say midrange.
    I might buy a Canon A540 which is about that amount. High end means
    Paul Rubin, Mar 30, 2006
  13. The FZ5 has a 36 - 432mm long zoom - f/2.8 - f/3.3. 326 grams including
    battery and card. High-end in capabilities if not price or weight. <G>

    David J Taylor, Mar 30, 2006
  14. Well, you're talking about 5x7", that makes in civilized units
    errrrr... 13x18cm am I right? ;o)

    Speaking about image quality, there will be very little difference in
    common situation.
    There may be a (slight) edge to the DSLR in lowlight, where the noise
    of the P&S can be visible in some images. Not a big deal, as the loss
    of information that may be revealed by soft noise removal tools
    (NeatImage, NoiseNinja...) will be at worst barely visible in such a
    First, such criterias are not quite easy to meet altogether in a P&S,
    especially if you mean "below 28mm equivalent" for wide-angle. There
    are a few ones with 24mm ability, but none of them with an optical
    If you can live with 28mm only (not too bad already),
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare.asp gives me thge Canon S80 and
    the Olympus C7070. Not much choice, uh?

    Second, if you're used to a film SLR, you may miss a bit of control
    with a P&S : eg all those manual/priority modes are often buried deep
    into special menus or via recessed buttons, and not just via a dial on
    the camera or lens right under your finger as in a (d)SLR... That may
    not always be the case, but you should pay attention to that.
    And you'll also miss the (d)SLR viewfinder (ability to estimate focus
    and DoF, precise framing, etc...). Even if the low/mid-end dSLR
    viewfinders are a bit dimmer and smaller than their film counterparts,
    there is a world of difference with a P&S, definitely.
    nikojorj_jaimepaslapub, Mar 30, 2006
  15. dmedhora

    k-man Guest

    Any camera nowadays, P&S or dSLR can give you 5 X 7 prints. One of my
    favorite 12 X 18's I ever printed came from a little 3.2 MP P&S.
    k-man, Mar 30, 2006
  16. dmedhora

    Bill Funk Guest

    Bill Funk, Mar 30, 2006
  17. dmedhora

    l e o Guest

    not the same class of photo quality.
    l e o, Mar 30, 2006
  18. dmedhora

    J. Clarke Guest

    Would you be kind enough to suggest a $700+ point and shoot and some
    reference indicating that it has significantly better photo quality?
    J. Clarke, Mar 30, 2006
  19. l e o,

    If you had a DSLR with the equivalent capability to the Panasonic FZ5,
    with a similar zoom coverage, it would cost a heck of a lot more than
    $300, so you be rather disappointed if the pictures were not of a higher
    quality, wouldn't you?

    The OP only wants print of 7 x 5 inches, which the Panasonic FZ5 or Canon
    models you mentioned are more than capable of supplying. A DSLR is not

    (If you mean the Canons are in a "different class of photo quality",
    please provide evidence).

    David J Taylor, Mar 31, 2006
  20. dmedhora

    l e o Guest

    Don't feel bad because you're poor. I'd be very happy with a FZ5 if
    that's all I could afford. I am very happy that I graduated from the
    Olympus C3000Z. That's lots of money well spent. I have all sorts of
    cameras and lenses and camcorders so I know what I am missing with a P&S.
    l e o, Mar 31, 2006
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