cameras, old dslr vs newer compact?

Tommy2

Über Member
Location
Harrogate
I know very little about photography, I have a Samsung pl65 I set it to auto and point it at what I want to photograph.
I would like to learn more about it and get better photos.

is a dslr better than a compact even if it's a bit older and less megapixels?

I was under the impression that megapixels are not the be all and end all of good pics and that the sensor size is more important.

So would a 6.1 megapixel Nikon d70 be better than a 12.1 mega pixel Samsung pl65, or does the age just cancel it out?

Cheers
 

Scoosh

Velocouchiste
Moderator
Location
Edinburgh
This might also be a good place to ask ... ^_^

I've not done much photography in the digital age but I'm pretty sure that the same principles apply as did in the film era. It's all about the controls available to you on the camera - shutter speed, focus, aperture etc. A dslr probably has more options to play with than a compact and has the advantage of being able to change lenses but at a greater cost and probably bigger and maybe heavier.

Very simply put but hope it helps. :smile:
 
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Alex H

Guru
Location
Alnwick
I have a DSLR (Nikon D50) and have recently bought an Olympus compact. What I don't like about the compact is I have to use the LCD screen, which in bright weather is impossible. At least with the Nikon I have the choice of LCD (although I have never used it) or through the lens. If you want to use a compact (and they are a handier size/ weight) I suggest you get one with a viewfinder.
 

ScotiaLass

Guru
Location
Middle Earth
I'd say go for a viewfinder too, whatever you decide on.
Most compacts have manual settings but I don't think they are as good as the manual settings on a DSLR.
If you want to delve into photography further, get a DSLR.
Megapixels isn't the ultimate...a lot depends on what you're doing with the camera too i.e. what type of images you're taking.
Good luck, whatever you decide!
 
I've got a canon compact S100 (non system, ie fixed lens) and am astonished how good it is. Whilst I have no great artistic talent I do understand the need and purpose of manual controls, eg for snowy backgrounds and so on, as auto doesn't cut it - or so I thought. This thing I've only used in muppet mode, and it's totally worked out exposure (eg for snow), colour balance (used underwater in a housing) and even what bit of the picture is the important bit to focus on. A particular appeal of this model was that the wide angle was quite wide - 24mm equivalent - which is particularly important when used diving, and I like wide angles anyway. I think the current model is the S120 which no doubt is improved in various ways. There are now also compact-system cameras, which have interchangeable lenses and all the features, but without the bulky mirror box of an SLR proper. These have come down in price quite a lot, so aren't so much more than the better compacts, but much more versatile. I'd have thought technology was improving so fast, that a modern compact would give a few years old DSLR a run for its money (just a guess though)
 
I wouldn't worry about getting a dslr until you've worked out framing and composition. As with cycling and it not being 'mostly' about the bike, but the rider. Same with photography, a new camera does not make a great photographer.

Check here for some great photos with a friggin iphone...http://www.byjansen.com/iphone/

And here on some pointers on composition...http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/2012/04/12/10-rules-of-photo-composition-and-why-they-work/

Once you've exhausted the limitations of your point and shoot, then look for a new or at least recent dslr. The newer cameras will have better senors, which may include more pixels, but should also include better light sensitivity and ISO range.

This site has some of the best reviews of cameras on the web... http://www.dpreview.com/
 

accountantpete

The Joy of Six - One Pint Left
I know very little about cameras but recent picked up a Sony DSC-F828 from a charity shop.

It dates from 2003/4 per the software, gives great pictures with plenty of options and they still fetch a lot of bids on ebay.
 

ayceejay

Guru
Location
Rural Quebec
As said up thread it depends what you are intending to do with the camera, for instance a reasonable DSLR will recover quicker than the average compact meaning that you can take consecutive frames with less, or no waiting.
 

Dave7

Legendary Member
Location
Cheshire
In short......a new "compact" will not be as good as a reasonable DSLR.
As you say the MPs are not that important (and dependant on the type of photography could be detremental.
The memory card on "compacts" are much smaller than on DSLR and the whole processing system is trying to do the same job when it is just not capable.
You can now get good quality "bridge" cameras that have good viewfinders & very BIG zooms.
I have one of the earlier Canon bridge cameras that I use for my general walk-about photography. But it cant match a DSLR with a decent lense.
I took these yesterday with my DSLR in very poor light.........you just could not get that with a compact.
IMG_1353.JPG
IMG_1373.JPG
 

Chromatic

Legendary Member
Location
Gloucestershire
I wouldn't worry about getting a dslr until you've worked out framing and composition. As with cycling and it not being 'mostly' about the bike, but the rider. Same with photography, a new camera does not make a great photographer.

Check here for some great photos with a friggin iphone...http://www.byjansen.com/iphone/

And here on some pointers on composition...http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/2012/04/12/10-rules-of-photo-composition-and-why-they-work/

Once you've exhausted the limitations of your point and shoot, then look for a new or at least recent dslr. The newer cameras will have better senors, which may include more pixels, but should also include better light sensitivity and ISO range.

This site has some of the best reviews of cameras on the web... http://www.dpreview.com/

Ole to that.
 
In short......a new "compact" will not be as good as a reasonable DSLR.
As you say the MPs are not that important (and dependant on the type of photography could be detremental.
The memory card on "compacts" are much smaller than on DSLR and the whole processing system is trying to do the same job when it is just not capable.
You can now get good quality "bridge" cameras that have good viewfinders & very BIG zooms.
I have one of the earlier Canon bridge cameras that I use for my general walk-about photography. But it cant match a DSLR with a decent lense.
I took these yesterday with my DSLR in very poor light.........you just could not get that with a compact.
View attachment 78130
View attachment 78131
actually the modern compacts, eg the canon S100 can take astonishingly good photos in poor light - I'm talking caving shots just using helmet lights without flash. Things have moved on. I dare say the latest pro model DSLRs are even better still, but even cheapies are amazingly capable these days. Merely being an SLR (ie presence of a mirror) does not make the physics work better -eg some of the system compacts have just as many pixels, on relatively large sensors, and lenses by the big names.
 
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