Should you buy a DSLR or Compact / Superzoom camera

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Should you buy a DSLR or Compact / Superzoom camera

Postby Gordon Laing » Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:15 am

Hello everyone!

One of the first decisions for anyone buying a new camera is whether to go for a DSLR or a compact. It's a choice which may not be as obvious as you think.

Since this is one of the most commonly asked questions at Cameralabs, we've provided a short article for anyone wondering which type of camera to go for. By posing a number of questions it highlights the major pros and cons of both DSLRs and non-DSLRs to help you decide which is best for your style of photography.

So if you're buying a new camera and wondering whether to go for a DSLR or not, please read this guide first!

Should you buy a DSLR or a compact?

If anyone has anything further to add to help new buyers, please feel free to reply to this post!

Gordon Laing, Editor
www.cameralabs.com
Last edited by Gordon Laing on Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Thomas » Fri Jul 27, 2007 6:26 am

Very good article. Sums up many points quite nicely.
But to be honest: that mayn questions might again confuse the reader. To be brutally honest I think the single most important question/trade-off is:
Top image quality vs. small size&lower cost.

And as everybody knows (Ed.: really?): You can make brilliant photos with cheap gear!
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Postby TelexStar » Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:15 am

I think it's a great article. I don't think the amount of questions is confusing - people aren't all dummies! If you're in the market and even considering a DSLR then you want all the information you can get.

Great job Gordon.
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Postby SpartanWarrior » Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:55 am

Yes i agree very good article Gordon,, but you state that IQ on a dslr is only in low light, i on the other hand will say even i bright daylight the IQ from a dslr is far greater, i bought the Fuji S6500fd because of the reviews that said dslr IQ and i thought oh well why not then when i compared it to my dslr in daylight outside the 400D was far better at everything, i ended up selling the fuji in 1 week and lost 100 euro;)
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Postby Thomas » Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:59 pm

SpartanWarrior, you're absolutely right.
When I were Gordon, I would have placed that question on top and would not have limited it to "very low light"-situations.
DSLRs deliver the highest IQ for the highest price and the largest bulk. Period!!
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Postby HyghOnRyce » Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:26 am

that is nice to hear that DSLR have live view
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Postby Gordon Laing » Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:54 am

Only some DSLRs have Live View right now, but I bet we'll see many more in the future. It will probably become the norm...
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Postby 1M0H » Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:07 pm

I think a lot of people are aware of buying a DSLR because live view is missing.
Now Canon, Olympus etc. found a way to sell this expensive stuff to these curious people ;)
Personally I even wait for a dslr with live view which isn´t so expensive than the EOS 40d for example. Let´s see the successor of the Nikon D80 ;)
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Postby Robinhood » Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:25 pm

Great Article,

I only have Compacts at pres, but intend to up grade Feb / March time. My point is this,

1) Snapping with copmact is great, take it out of pocket - point and shoot - reasonable result - but, shutter lag, low light, and not being able to slip down to 3.5 to take the back ground out is frustrating!!

2) Get the pictures back - quick down load - most of my pictures are dark, I have played about with settings etc, but still get the problem over again I have come to conclusion that there is not enough light getting into that little opening called a lens - this is very frustrating!!

I will be going DSLR - 1 last point,

The price of film cameras is now rock bottom, we all go from one to the other - DSLR and all of a sudden the price of film cameras comes crashing down!!

What is the real price of a digi DSLR masterpiece, me thinks we are being conned

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Postby Gordon Laing » Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:28 pm

Mark, are you saying that DSLRs are overpriced compared to film SLRs? Well there's certainly a LOT more technology in a DSLR. There's the sensor, the processor, the buffer and processing memory, the screen and some specific connectivity for cards and USB cables just for starters.

They will of course drop in price over time, but the margins today are actually very low, especially on the entry-level models. Many are being sold in the hopes you'll then buy lenses, or upgrade to a better model from the same manufacturer in the future.
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Postby Robinhood » Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:54 pm

Hi Gordon,

Basically- yes!!

I accept that there is alot more kit in the DSLR, but when there was no alternative to a film camera the price was well up there, just as DSLR'S are now. I paid £350 plus for my Canon AE1 Prog and lens years ago. So SLR'S become less fasionable sales fall because everyone goes DSLR - down comes the price. Not strong economics.

Co-incidence or economics?

I am not suggesting either way just asking the question, or put it another way, a more adventurous system than digi comes out, we all migrate to the new ways, as we have done, with DSLR. What price would the old digi stuff be marketed at?

I don't know, just asking the question

Regards

Mark
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Postby Gordon Laing » Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:55 pm

I think that perhaps film SLRs were overpriced...
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DSLR Margins

Postby River Rat » Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:16 pm

I teach cost accounting at the college level It has made me much more aware of, well, how manufacturers price their wares. Since the Oly 510 was introduced the two kit lens model has dropped from like $ 899 USD to $650!
As with any electronic item like computers, the component cost comes down over time (laptops today under $1,000 used to be over #$2,000) but the Oly 510 has only been out a year. What markup did OLY have in the camer at 899, what markup for Oly, much less for the retailer, is there now at $650 USD? I would say not much markup for Oly or the retailer. Nikon D40x and Canon XTi kits with two lenses
are stacked five feet high at our Costco for $799-850 USD. Gordon
has to be correct in that Nikon Canon Oly have forgone markup on the entry level D 40.x. XTi, 410 510 in the hopes that it will stimulate lens sales. And now Canon and Oly are offering lens rebates, I even got a large newsppaer insert just about Canon rebates, who would have thought a DSLR, especially the ones over $1,000, would be a mainstream item to the point of competing with the dept store Sunday newspaper inserts?
Gordon I must say I have learned more about digital camers in general watching your videos than in all the manuals and mags I have read. And frankly I got out my first Oly 2100 UZ and am amazed at its features, including anti shake, something my SP 500 UZ does not have. And it takes great pictures! I don't seem to have a low light problem but shutter lag is oh so obvious esp when posing folks in front of the camera.
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Postby Gordon Laing » Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:29 pm

Thanks River Rat... I suspect Olympus might now be making a loss - or very little profit - on the E-510 bundles - to stimulate sales and adoption of their system. After all, if you buy into a system, you're not just likely to buy lenses for it, but also upgrade the body too.

So that first DSLR sale is a crucial one for manufacturers who are hoping for a long-term commitment.
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Postby Gregory.Rotter » Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:51 pm

Gordon Laing wrote:Only some DSLRs have Live View right now, but I bet we'll see many more in the future. It will probably become the norm...


yeah, i mean we thought the dials on the thumb and finger section on the D80 were great, now all new canon DSLR's from the 40D on, have them. Or is that just me being out the loop?
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