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Compact or D-slr ?

Bloggs 6 313 England
3 Dec 2011 6:23PM
I'm new to photography i have done the everyday stuff with family holiday's etc but i'v never taken a camera out to try to be really creative. I currently have a compact ( Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS510 ) and it's fine for everyday use but i have caught the photography bug now and i'd like to upgrade, but to what i don't know ?

I have looked at some D-slr's and the Nikon 3100 is one that looks like a good buy, but having gone to a store and now seen it and held it i'm not sure it maybe more than i can handle ? So my question is should i take the plunge and go for a D-slr 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 aswell.

It's a real mine field with camera's and one thing i do like about the D-slr,s is that i could upgrade with better len's as i go on which appeals to my way of thinking. I'm sure other people must have struggled with this problem any comments would be welcome.

Many thanks for your time Sam

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depends a lot on your budget and what you want to photograph if you want to spend under 250 look for a good compact 250 - 400 one of the new csc such as pen nex ect 400 -800 will get you a good entry level dslr such as nikon canon sony maybe a twin lens outfit
Bloggs 6 313 England
3 Dec 2011 7:33PM
Thanks for this i forgot to say my budget, it's about the 400 mark and that was why i was looking at the Nikon. But there are so many different models and makes it's a nightmare and i really don't want to regret getting the wrong one. cheers again Grin
rambler Plus
9 964 17 England
3 Dec 2011 7:51PM
Like most people you will probably end up with both, a DSLR is superior to a compact but the compact is easier to carry about, especially if you venture abroad. If you fancy street photography then the compact helps you keep a low profile too.

I have the Canon G12 and that is fantastic for putting in your pocket, it shoots RAW images so you have lots of scope for adjusting the pics on your computer. The fold out screen is also a real bonus for candid portraits and odd angles. It also has most of the settings of the SLR so it is a good transition from the cheaper compacts.

Consider too that purchasing an SLR also means purchasing some sort of camera bag and the more lenses you get the bigger the bag you need.

All that considered I still love an SLR for the versatility of interchangeable lenses and higher quality images.

Examine what your needs are, look at all the new stuff available and try to match the two. Also remember that a lot of very good second hand stuff is available that will help you stretch your budget. Like the rest of us you will always hanker after the latest and best equipment but ultimately it has to be a balance between affordability and practicality.

StrayCat 14 19.1k 3 Canada
3 Dec 2011 7:53PM
Sam, you will eventually want a DSLR, believe me, and anything other than that in the interim wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, but it may be more expensive in the long run. If you've don any serious research, you will have realised that the top quality lenses are very expensive, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to find very good affordable consumer, and prosumer kit.

If it were me, I would look for a used medium level body, and a couple of kit lenses to start. The Nikon 18-55mm VR and 55-200mm VR lenses are highly rated and give great results for the price. Canon, Pentax and Sony are right their with Nikon for quality. Another combination would be a Nikon body and the Nikon 18-200mm VR, it's compact, and very popular because of its range and excellent quality.

I would recommend going to kenrockwell.com and reading his reviews and comments on Nikon equipment.
Bloggs 6 313 England
3 Dec 2011 8:13PM
I can't help thinking that in order to really get into photography i'm going to be looking at a D-slr. They do offer more and are more adaptable in terms of what i want to do which is explore all aspects of photography. I think your both right that i will want both in the long term. Thanks for taking the time guys it's much appreciated.
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2011 8:42PM
A very good compromise is the compacts systems camera (CSC) such as Panasonic or Samsung or Sony NEX. They are small enough that you will not think twice about taking them out with you and they give excellent quality - and even if you do buy a DSLR later you will still want the CSC for a back-up.
ianrobinson Plus
8 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2011 9:05PM
Personally I learnt more on a dslr than i ever did with a compact none changeable lens type camera.
Sounds to me like you need a dslr and a good all rounder would be the canon 7d, I have learnt pretty much everything i know now on this superb camera, it will do great landscapes when you attach a sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens to it.
It also does stunning wildlife and portraits too.
I highly recommend the 7d and sigma 10-20mm lens as a partnership for Landscapes/seascapes.

Not cheap but then none of the best gear is, and i always buy the best i can even if i have to save for a year for it, it makes sense buying great quality as it will be great quality for years to come and give you great pleasure.
look at the images i have done on my portfolio and you'll see

hope this helps

min 7 522 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2011 10:41PM
Bloggs 6 313 England
3 Dec 2011 11:15PM
Thanks Maggie .... just had a quick look but i will take a closer look tomorrow.
3 Dec 2011 11:36PM
Hi Sam
Take the leap you won't regret it. With a bit of practice you will soon get the hang of a dslr. You will learn quicker than you think. I brought a 3100 last Christmas and its a great way to start.
Don't take it too seriously
I agree with straycat and kenrockwell.com has a good review on the d3100
If you do go for 3100 send me a message and I'll let you know the settings I use on it.
also look at pentax kr
Bloggs 6 313 England
4 Dec 2011 9:52AM
Thx JB Pete Mike Ian .... I am going to keep looking into this, i have been looking at all your pictures and seeing you guys use so it all helps me decide what i want. At this time i'm swaying to the 3100 but the Pentax Kr looks a very good buy at the price and i'm pretty sure the price of these camera,s will come down even more after xmas which is when i intend buy. I have worked in retail for years and prices almost always drop after the xmas rush. Argos are doing the 3100 at 399 right now but i wouldn't mind betting there will be a bigger saving in January. Either way i am going to monitor all these cameras and see what happens ? At the end of the day i can't help thinking i will be happy with the results of any of these cameras because it's not just the camera but also the person behind the camera that takes the picture !!! thanks again everyone i'll let you know what i do as soon as i decide. Grin
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
4 Dec 2011 1:53PM

Quote:A very good compromise is the compacts systems camera (CSC) such as Panasonic or Samsung or Sony NEX. They are small enough that you will not think twice about taking them out with you and they give excellent quality - and even if you do buy a DSLR later you will still want the CSC for a back-up

You can`t really go wrong with CSC, since picking up a G2 in the summer I have not used my dslr`s at all. There compact size and the vast number of lens adapters and legacy lenses on the market makes these a no brainer and some of these are well within your budget.





Olympus Pen EPL1 twin lens kit


Compacts, I use a Fuji X10, but there are cheaper alternatives like the LX5, XZ-1 and a few decent offerings from Canon and Nikon.

But what ever you end up getting be it DSLR, CSC or Compact there will always be a compromise somewhere Smile
Bloggs 6 313 England
4 Dec 2011 6:31PM
Thanks for this Paul i,m going to look at the cameras above and also look them up on youtube to get as much feed back as i can. Thanks for taking the time to help .

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