30 April 2010

Camera S.O.S

When I first made the transition from film to digital, we got a Sony Cybershot. It had served us well for a couple of years until we decided to upgrade to a newer model. I got a Cybershot again, mainly because I’m used to the functions and it’s so convenient to simply slip in the memory card into my Sony VAIO notebook, without having to have a card reader.

Now that that second Cybershot is on its last legs –zoom not working, cannot access menu to adjust settings, etc., –it’s time for a new one.

The questions are --
    1. Do I go with a point-and-shoot again or do I buy a DSLR this time?
    2. If I go for a DSLR, which brand should I get –Sony, Canon, or Nikon, –and what model?

While I am dying to get a DSLR and have more control over the photos that I take, I balk at the size. I am so used to just stuffing my point-and-shoot in my pocket whenever I’d go out. I won’t be able to do that with a DSLR. I think that is the main advantage of a point-and-shoot.  I do, on the other hand, want better control over my shots and a DSLR would address this need.

We did a little recon at the Sony store last week. The salesperson that I spoke to was very helpful in answering my questions. At the end of our 30+ minutes there, I’d more or less come away knowing that if I should decide to get another point-and-shoot, I’ll get the Sony DSC-HX5V, which is the closest they have to a cross between a point-and-shoot and a DSLR (more point-and-shoot, really). Not as stylish as their other models, but its functions and features are more geared towards (slightly) more advanced users.


While Sony is not exactly top-of-mind when it comes to DSLR, their Sony A550 seems to get good user ratings. Two of our friends have this and are pretty happy with it.

Sony Alpha A550

That said, other people that I’ve spoken with who are photography enthusiasts or professional photographers, seem to prefer either a Canon or a Nikon instead. When I took a photography class way back in university, I was using my dad’s Canon SLR. Apparently the lenses from that old SLR would work with a Canon DSLR as well. So there’s that going for Canon.

Canon EOS 1000D

There seems to be quite a number of people who are diehard Nikon fans, too. An entry level Nikon would be their Nikon D3000. I am not too enthusiastic about what I’ve read from online reviews about this model so far, though.


Ideally, I should get both a point-and-shoot AND a DSLR, but at this stage, I’m thinking of getting only one or the other.

I would love to hear from all of you who are into photography –whether amateur or professional.

What do you think? What camera (brand/model) do you use and what do you like about it? If you could upgrade or get another one, would you stick to the same brand/model or get a different one? How come?

Thanks in advance for your sharing your thoughts.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Image credits –: Sony HX5V -Sonyinsider; the rest from Cnet Australia.


Melanie said...

I have a Canon Power Shot A470 that I keep in my purse. You just never know when something worth photographing might pop up. I also have a Canon EOS Digital Rebel xSi which isn't as convenient as my point & shoot but I love the photos that it takes. The P&S is definitely a lot easier and especially with taking photos of little ones. But that is just my opinion. =)

Kendra @ Domestic Princess in Training said...

Ha! I will say this is a loaded question. Some photographers can be quite snobbish about their camera of choice. When arguing Canon or Nikon you would think you asked them what political party they belong to and why!
I have a decent point and shoot camera and thought I would still use it for every day pics…you know the random moment that you want to capture; boy was I wrong! The difference in the quality of the pic between the point and shoot and my DSLR and HUGE. I just don’t think I would be happy with the quality of pictures of my point and shoot camera after seeing what a DSLR can do. If I’m going to an event that I think I might want to snap a pic I take my DSLR along! I’m still learning and was told that the Olympus E-420 was a wonderful camera to do so on which is why I purchased it. This best part is that it’s one of the smaller DSLR’s but still delivers quality pics as one of the more pricy cameras and it fits in my purse. Eventually I hope to become a Canon user but for now I’m more than happy with my Olympus DSLR!

Happy camera shopping and thank you for your kind comment on my pictures!

Kendra "Domestic Princess in Training"

Here's a link to a live video review of the camera I use :

You might want to visit youtube and do a search for a review on the camera you're thiking about buying. It helped me make my decision. :O)

Nezzy said...

Hey, I'm just blown away that you get the great pics ya take with a point and shoot. Maybe there's hope for me yet! Have fun shopping!

God bless and have a terrific Thursday!!!

*Jess* said...

You know, I was worried about the whole size of the DSLR thing too. But honestly, you get used to it. I use my DSLR out and about more than I ever did with my powershot! People are used to seeing it around my neck all the time now :)

I, too, had an old SLR Canon film camera. I love that you can use the same lenses. That is the no. one reason I went with Canon instead of Nikon.

Anita said...

I'm getting another camera this year; I'll have to check back and read more of your comments as they come in.

Alicia said...

I did a post just like this because I was so confused!! It was pretty much half and half, either Canon or Nikon!

Bobily said...

I just got a DSLR. I was hesitant because most are huge - it's hard carrying around a toddler and a huge camera. Which is why I decided on the Panasonic Lumix GF1 with the pancake lens. It's a just a tad bit bigger than a typical P&S because of the small lens. And once you feel comfortable you can start switching lenses. I'm not at that point yet!

Velvet Over Steel said...

Hummm... When I get a new camera it's going to be a Canon Rebel like Jana's. For one, her pictures are amazing and two, I loved my 'film' Canon Rebel. I used it to take 'action' shots of my older boys playing football and running track when they were both in high school. Sorry if I gave you more options to consider. But you asked! :-) Can't wait to see what you get! I already love the pictures you post of your beautiful children!! ~ Coreen

CottageGirl said...

Wow!!! You take great shots with your point and shoot!!

We have a Nikon D90. I've got to tell you ...
I've never had so much fun in my life ... we as far as taking pictures!
We love ours so much, we got one for each of our sons ... they LOVE them, too and have really bypassed my meager skills! Now I learn from them.

I do keep a point and shoot in my purse, just in case.

If you have the cash-ola ... get the SLR. Canon ... Nikon whichever.
We got some good deals that were like a package with several lenses, a case and other stuff.
You can always start with the automatic setting and work from there.
If you like taking pictures, an SLR will make you very, very happy!!!!!!!

Michelle @ Flying Giggles said...

I actually have the Nikon D3000 and I love it, although, I am not a professional or anything.

Ruth said...

I upgraded to a Canon D50 about 3 years ago. Agree with Kendra that the quality between it and a P&&S is incomparable.

I chose a Canon over a Nikon based on:
- price
- perception that the Canon was slightly faster and good for capturing kids who move a lot (can't verify).

I'd say that the decision between the body and the lens is a whole other story. If you buy the kit lens, you may be disappointed with the quality. Agree with Nezzy that you get amazing results with your almost-dead P&S.

I'd say it's worth spending almost as much, if not more, on the lens as on the body. You'll likely need more than one lens. I don't recommend using old Canon lenses - the technology has moved on so quickly and the new ones are sharper, smaller and lighter. You don't have to get a Canon/Nikon lens. The Tamron/Sigma lenses are very good.

You also have a great advantage with a DLSR of shooting in RAW. These images are much more malleable in software such as Photoshop or Lightroom. Of course, this takes time but you can often save an image that would be unsalvageable as a JPEG.

HTH! ; - )

Veronica Lee said...

I'm still hanging on to my Nikon Coolpix!! I know what you mean about the DSLR. It's too conspicous.
Hubby and the kids hate it whenever I fish out my compact in public places so can you imagine how they'll react to a DSLR?

You take awesome pics, buckeroomama and I thought all this while you were using a DSLR!

Have a great weekend!

Jana said...

oooo so this is hard. a) I never get caught up in the Nikon vs Canon stuff...i own both. I like the one on sale at the time. I love the point and shoot capabilities, but I am a control freak so I go with the DSLR. I have a Canon Rebel xs. I have talked 3 people into buying it that absolutely love it too. Its a great beginners DSLR and its still pretty light weight. Really though you have to do whats good for you, if tiny works, do tiny. I dont like having to use lots of lenses so I stick to the one I have (for now).

DSLR and point and shoot cameras can produce great images and artists innovate with what they have. Basically you take great shots and you cant make a "wrong" choice :) cant wait to see what you get!

JennyMac said...

JohnnyMac got me the Nikon Coolpix P90 (Superzoom) for Christmas and it is AWESOME. I have had the best time taking pics and playing around with them in Photoshop. Good luck with camera shopping!

blueviolet said...

I'm so anxious to be reading these comments so I can learn too. I hope to replace my old p&s before long!

Tezzie said...

I can't say enough about the joys of shooting with a DSLR...truly no comparison. My camera is a Pentax K200D, which is an awesome starter DSLR...not that I've actually tried any others, but from what I've read, it offers higher-end features at a beginner's level and price...

I think you'll end up loving whichever camera you choose, regardless of the brand...I think people put too much emphasis on the name, since they all do pretty much the same thing.

You need to choose something you're comfortable with, at the right price, with the possibility to upgrade with lenses and stuff once you start feeling limited with what you have...but that will take a couple of years, at least!

As for the size issue...sure it's bulky...but they're not too heavy. There's something to be said about taking out a non-point and shoot, though; you instantly feel like a photographer, which gives you a certain type of respect from others when out shooting...suddenly, it's ok to crouch down in weird positions/awkward angles to capture the oddest photo subjects, because "ah...look at that camera...that's a serious photographer". Truly. Give it a try! :D

RM @ LMMP said...

Honestly, if you want to go with a Nikon beginner DSLR, I would highly recommend the D40. That sucker is the little camera that can!

Mom of M&Ms said...

I love DSLR but shot SLR for years...And to respond to another commenters comment reagarding camera brand choice being as serious as political party choice, I have to tell you that I am a Die hard Nikon user, but only somwhat resemble teh republican that I am regstered as.LOL. Mikon ot the ends of the earth. a D 90 would be a great entry camera for you. A D 40 is awesome, but the 90 will give ya more pixels!!! Thanks for yoru post on my fix it friday, Love your blog

heather nan photography said...

Point and Shoot... check out the Panasonic/Lumix line, hands down some of the best P&S out there.

No to D3000, yes to the D90. Don't do the D40 or D60, you will run into AF issues on some Nikon lenses. Mainly the 50mm 1.8 which is the best lens for the money ($125!) and it will get you very high quality images.

Get the D90 (don't even start with the kit lenses) + 50mm 1.8 and you will be a very happy girl.

Katherine said...

I use the Canon 400D and honestly, it is brilliant.

The lenses you can get with it are amazzzzing and i don't know...all i know is i am obsessed with it and it's easy to use.

I used a friends Nikon a few months back and i found it very confuising....

Anywho, keep searching around.

If i could update my camera i would stick with Canon but possibly go with the 5D

Calvin Lee said...

Canon S90 is best for point-and-shoot as it has iso rating up to 3200 & aperture F2.0. It takes good pictures in most of the extreme conditions. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzmoB7VJ-Y0

Canon 550D is a good entry level DSLR. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkOB3oE46kY

If you really concern about the camera weight, you'll go for S90 but if you're interested in taking photos you should buy a DSLR. The decision of choosing Canon or Nikon is depends on the majority of your friends using these brands. It is because you can share camera lenses with your friends.

Rachel said...

We were in the same boat! I love the pictures from my DSLR, but miss the portability of the point-and-shoot! The compromise that my husband and I finally reached is that I lug the DSLR around in the car when needed, and he can pack an itty bitty point-and-shoot! :)

You won't be disappointed with your shots if you try a DSLR - your kids only grow up once, and it's worth the amazing pictures.

I shoot with a Canon Rebel and love it. I got a great deal through Costco.com and then bought a portrait lens separately. Best investment ever :) Can't wait to find out what you decide!

Sarah said...

I say go for the DSLR! And a Canon at that :) I shoot with a Rebel xTi and love it. If you want more control over the photos you take, I say go with the DSLR. And I understand what you mean about liking the point-and-shoot for it's size, but I say just carry a bigger bag :) Seriously, I throw my camera into my bag and go. It is pretty much with me at all times since I'm doing a 365 project this year :) But that's just my two cents -- good luck with your decision!!

Aunt LoLo said...

For what it's worth, I use a Canon Rebel DSLR. I love it! I like the clarity, and the control I have over the photos.
I also have a small Canon point and shoot, that I love for its portability...but, honestly, I hardly ever use it anymore. I figure if a picture is worth taking, it's worth bringing the big camera. There's THAT much difference in quality!

Serline said...

My hubby went through the same agonizing "analyses", before getting me the Canon PowerShot S90. At the moment, it is the closest a point-and-shoot gets before going to a Micro Four Thirds or dSLR. With Narelle in tow, this was probably the wisest choice, as I would not have time to properly learn and use a dSLR yet.

FYI the prices for dSLR and some accessories here in Bangkok are very competitive, especially if you do not mind parallel imports. Some lenses are more than a hundred US dollars cheaper than in Singapore or Hong Kong...

Kristi W @ Life at the Chateau Whitman said...

I was going to buy the Nikon 3000 until I shot it. It was no good. I went with Sony. I love my Sony a500! Here's my main reasons for going with Sony:

- auto focus motor in the camera so it works with old lenses
- tons of available old Minolta lenses with awesome glass and super affordable. I have a lens collection that I got for practically pennies and a comparable Canon or Nikon one would cost hundreds or even thousands
- the Sony 500 and 550 has a built-in flash that can act as a trigger/master for other flashes
- best and quickest live view of all the cameras in my price range (faster focusing)
- built in image stabilization

Here's a good comparison article, depending on what you are looking for:

Also I'm happy to answer any Sony questions you might have. :)

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