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i am going from a life time of dslr to more compact, nothing like dragging 20 kg of gear on a plane,i am leaning to the Nikon1 or the leica dlux5. if you want the best then forget dslr and look at something like a H4.
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For me, one of the most important factors choosing a DSLR was how it felt in my hands. When I decided to buy my first DSLR, I spent a long time researching different cameras on internet review sites, and decided that a Canon 550 was probably the best option. I was planning on ordering one. Then, I was passing a photography store I decided to go in and just try one to see what it was like. Turns out - I hated it! I found the position of the wheels and buttons difficult to use and it felt cheap and plasticky. Same with the Nikon 3100. I understand some people love them, but I realised quickly that they weren't for me. I ended up buying a D80 second hand for about the same price, and I really haven't regretted it as I get along with it much more. So, my first suggestion is, go to s camera store and spend time with whatever camera it is you want to buy (this goes for compacts, too).
That said, from "So my question is should i take the plunge and go for a DSLR or should i maybe hold back and go for a higher standard compact ? I have found the zoom on my compact very restrictive and also i would like a wider angle also. I want to get out and do more landscapes but i also like the idea of doing other work as well", I'm not entirely sure a DSLR is right for you.
Think carefully first. To get the mulch-functionality you are looking for (wide angle, zoom, 'other work') you will probably need either several lenses, or one massive lens like an 18-200. This means the camera you carry will be very bulky and a burden when, especially when doing something active (walking, cycling, day trips etc). Your camera body, lenses and equipment could weigh several kilograms, and you may end up changing lenses every 30 seconds. A good compact camera, though, can do all these things, plus some basic macro focus work and some other nifty stuff, and still fit in your pocket and does it all without needing to change anything around. Also, you can't leave your DSLR on the beach whilst you go swim, because its worth too much. You have to look after it all the time, and with something that big and expensive, that can be tiresome.
DSLR's, in my opinion, are actually more of a burden when it comes to performing multiple functions, because every extra thing you want your camera to do will set you back a tonne of money and add several pounds to your camera bag. If you ask me, a better reason to switch to DSLR is because you are getting in to photography and want more chance for manual control, and more chance to specialize in one area of photography (e.g. you want to do some good portraiture work, so you want a decent lens with a shallow DOF, and an off camera flash).
Thanks Chaps .... more to consider but i am keeping my options open ? I have been into a store and handled the 3100 and having given it some thought it is a bulky item on it's own without other lenses etc ? Also someone just starting out in this field i do wonder if maybe the difference between a DSLR or a high end compact would make that much difference to myself to start with ? also if i did take to photography big time i would want a DSLR anyway in time ? So maybe a compact might be a better place to start ? More homework and pondering i think !!! but your comments are helping me decide thankyou for your efforts.
I wish I could find the gallery but one person on this site has some stunning pictures (Singapore?) all taken with a bridge camera. It is all about 'seeing' the shot and going for it.
Pentax Kr with the 18-55mm kit lens is a cracking deal and is extremely well regarded considering it's an entry-level DSLR. The Kit lens is superb too. Not only that, the lens mount is capable of taking a whole load of old lenses without the need for an adapter. and the Kr's ability at low-light is much better than my Canon 7d I had (and it cost 3 times as much).
Go for Pentax, you wont regret it
Also someone just starting out in this field i do wonder if maybe the difference between a DSLR or a high end compact would make that much difference to myself to start with ?
No, it would make barely any difference. In most situations, a good compact will take just as high quality images as an entry level DSLR. You don't get the same creative control, but in terms of image quality you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference. Look at this recent article which compares the iphone 4 (which isn't nearly as good as a Canon G12 compact) to several thousand pound DSLR system well above the kind of spec that you are looking at.
also if i did take to photography big time i would want a DSLR anyway in time ?
Yes, you probably would. But why not get a compact, as you obviously aren't into photography yet, and it may never happen. If you do get into photography, you're still going to need a high quality compact for everyday use anyway.
I still say, get a DSLR when you know why you need one. This will help you choose the right DSLR and lens combination
Quote: If you ask me, a better reason to switch to DSLR is because you are getting in to photography and want more chance for manual control, and more chance to specialize in one area of photography (e.g. you want to do some good portraiture work, so you want a decent lens with a shallow DOF, and an off camera flash)
Just about all a decent compact will lack is very shallow depth of field and for most portraits this would not be needed anyway.
Here`s one I took testing out the Fuji X10, its nothing fancy or particularly creative.
Any compact with a flash shoe will do and another plus is that flash will usually sync at all shutter speeds having no mirror.
Looking back on my own experience, I would get a DSLR now. The camera body isn't near as important as the lenses you get, and neither has to be especially expensive.
With a compact, you will be inclined to set it on auto and never learn the basics of exposure.
the Pentax K-R seems to be a great deal at present, but they have just been bought by Ricoh. So I'd be unsure about the long term lens investment.
Do you only want stills, no video?
Budget in a tripod too.
2nd hand is a great place to start, but as said, go feel some cameras.
A dSLR won't make you a better photographer but will give you a better chance to learn to be one. And it will get you fit carrying all the extra bits.
I,d also suggest a Sony Nex5 as the specs look great.
Pete ... I was looking at the top ten cameras here on the review section. I think the Pentax made it to number 5 !!! and the price is good also, plus the rating was very good so yes it's in the running. Thanks and i will be looking again at the pentax.
FT ... It's going to be tough choosing between the compact and Dslr ? But the more i think about it the more i feel i will be getting one of each in the long run. But which one to start of with i haven't yet decided but thankyou again for your comments.
Paul .... Funny i spent a big chunk of lastnight lokking at reviews for the Fuji X10 and they love it on the sites. It's very popular with everyone and i will again be keeping it in my thoughts when i come to purchase.
Thanks guys for this and i think it's coming down to three options . D3100 / pentax kr / Fuji X10 !!!! i'll let you know when i do thanks Re Sam
Cheers Jack .... Yes i looked at the Sony but i think the price was abit to much also the fuji seemed a better buy. Again the Pentax seems popular and second hand is a good idea ! ..... i will have a look around thanks Re Sam
Good luck Bloggs. I think whatever you get, you'll be pleased with and you'll grow as a photographer with it. My choice of Pentax is personal putrely because Pentax was my first DSLR make. I've also got the Fuji X100 which i enjoy usng ebcause i can stick it inmy coat pocket and get great image quality.
you'll have to do what lots of others end up doing; buying and selling kit over the following years, trying makes and setups out, and then eventually settling down to a system to prefer. Theres such a great choice out there both in compact, M4/3 and mirrorless APS-C and DSLRs that it'll give you a helluva bad head just getting yer mind around it.
Definately take heed of the reviews in forums such as this one.
Hi Pete .... I got a Pentax Kr last week and i'm thrilled to bits with it. Using it on the auto settings is easy but i'm keen to learn how to use it manually but i know that will take alot of time. Thanks again Pete i'll be posting the results i get !!!!
Try using it on Aperture Priority for a start. Learn how you can be creative with DOF, which is much easier to control with a DSLR.
cheers Stray ... i will do as you say , i have been snapping anything and trying to get to grips with it all . ty again .
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