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rlr718's avatar

Should I upgrade to a D-SLR?

Asked by rlr718 (18points) August 11th, 2009

I currently have a Sony Cybershot H7 which while it is not an SLR it is an advanced camera. I want to further my photography hobby, but at the same time don’t feel I have used the H7 to its limit. I am not sure just how much more advanced an SLR is over an advanced point and shoot. I’ve been eyeing the Sony Alpha line.

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15 Answers

theichibun's avatar

Don’t upgrade the camera until you feel like you’ve outgrown the one you have. Or at least not until you feel like you’ll use the DSLR to it’s full abilities.

There’s no reason to spend the money if you’re not going to be taking advantage of it.

wenn's avatar

i would say upgrade when you feel ready, and will actually pursue it in a way that will make your money spent worth while.

quasi's avatar

The main thing is interchangable lenses.. if you need a better or different lense than a d-slr is really the only option. You probably know this already

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

If you’re serious about photography beyond just taking pictures of your friends, get an SLR.

tramnineteen's avatar

I strongly urge you against the Sony Alpha line of D-SLR’s. I used to work in a camera store and taught camera classes. As @quasi said the DSLR’s main benefit will be interchangeable lenses. These lenses must have the correct mount for the band SLR you buy. Sony has it’s own mount which will severally limit your choice of lenses. I suggest Canon or Nikon. There are many many lenses for both these brands (manufactured by Nikon/Canon or many 3rd parties) and their camera are in my opinion far superior to Sony’s. They have far more experience in the area than does Sony.

As far as whether or not to go for an SLR or not, it won’t be worth it if all you get is another small aperture lens. Wait till you can plunk down for a lens that can open up to f4 or bigger throughout it’s zoom range. (smaller number = bigger aperture)

martijn86's avatar

An H7 type camera is the best thing out there for a hobbyist. Really it performs great, is just as customizable as an SLR but you can be more free and creative because of the compact design. And trust me.. you will bring an H7 to virtually anything (vacations/concerts/day-trips) an SLR wouln’d be in place there.

I use a DSLR professionally but use a compact for everything outside my job/hobby.

robmandu's avatar

I have a Nikon dSLR and a recently acquired Canon point-and-shoot.

The Canon is phenomenal. I cannot state how happy we’ve been with it. Other than doing some fancy lens work with the dSLR, the Canon has become our go-to camera for capturing family moments.

Point is, go for the SLR if you need the features unique to the package. But if you’ve got a point-and-shoot that gets the job done, then consider saving your money.

dynamicduo's avatar

It’s a pretty huge jump from point and shoot to a DSLR. I would advise you master your current camera completely and gaining as much photography knowledge and practice (things like using the histogram, etc) before taking that next step. It’s such a big step in fact that even though I am a photographer who has had access to a gorgeous Nikon D70s for three years, I have barely scratched the surface of its capabilities. I currently own a Canon Powershot SD1100IX which is a somewhat advanced point and shoot with tons of features, and I am so satisfied with its results that I doubt I will purchase a DSLR for at least another 5 years.

robmandu's avatar

@dynamicduo, I’ve got the SD1100 IS. We probably own nearly a dozen various Nikon cameras… but that little gem has likely converted us to Canon altogether!

willbrawn's avatar

The big difference in a SLR is that you can switch lenses and get different focal lengths and the fact that you get a larger sensor. SLR’s gather more light therefore getting a better picture. If all your doing is posting images online I’d stick with a point and shoot. If you eventually want to further your hobby by photographing sports, portraits, or wildlife i’d get a SLR and a specific lens to capture your event.

Oh and I would also recommend Canon. They have amazing glass. The L line of lenses are the best out there. They also cost a pretty penny. A good camera to look at would be the Canon Rebel T1i. It’s the first Canon rebel to shoot video as well. It’s snazy.

robmandu's avatar

Just be careful what you go for.

When you buy into an SLR brand, you’re pretty much hitching your wagon to their star for life. You’ll drop many hundreds of dollars on the camera body and likely thousands on lenses over time. Lenses are not cross-brand compatible, so chances are you’ll stay with the first brand you bought forever. Or just throw away (or eBay) all of that investment to start over from scratch.

And even then, research exactly what it is that you’re buying. There’s tricky stuff going on in the marketing department and the real specs you should be paying attention to are not being called out. Megapixel count, for example, is a terrible indicator of performance and quality.

Consider the Nikon D60 for example. It replaces the D40x. The D40x came out right on the heels of the D40. All three use a sensor with identical physical dimensions… but the newer versions cram additional pixels onto the sensor itself (6MP for the D40 vs. 10MP for the D40x and D60).

That’s important to note because more pixels on the same size sensor means less light is available for each pixel and that yields more noise and poorer performance overall.

Point is, getting into a dSLR is serious business and a serious investment. Be ready to learn a lot and spend even more.

willbrawn's avatar

@robmandu is wise, listen to him

sweetteaindahouse's avatar

I recently got a DSLR(last Christmas). I love out the pictures look, but it is a bit of a hassle to have to carry it around everywhere. I don’t have a point and shoot so that will be the next thing I will look for. It really depends on what you are planning on doing with it and if you think you need it.

Brahmaviharas's avatar

I would say, “Don’t upgrade.” I regret all the money I spent on cameras and lenses when I made the jump to a DSLR. IMO, picture quality isn’t much affected (good photos are more about light and composition), and the more options the DSLR gives you—faster shutter speeds, better ISO, etc.—rarely came in handy for me. OTOH, if someone else is buying it as a gift for you or something, go for it!

Tearofdeception's avatar

If you want my honest opinion, if you want to make money off photography, upgrade. It’s an investment, I recently dropped 3000$ to upgrade some equipment. It’s addictive, you always want another lens, another flashgun, another umbrella of softbox… but it’s totally worth it. @sweetteaindahouse : I always have a point&shoot with me for traveling, or my Nikon D40 which is lightweight with my SB200 flash which I can still bounce and still delivers very crisp images. I use a Nikon D200 for shoots, wedding and events, which I adore. If you want to continue and have that possibility to expand, upgrade… Sony cameras are good, considering they bought Minolta. For their DSLR format cameras, I would wait a bit before getting a Sony.. I would rather trust Nikon, which has a very broad selection of lens and Canon. I find that Canon equipment is slightly more expensive than Nikon, but the Canon sensors are very efficient as well. My other suggestion, go in a camera store (not best-buy, a real photography store) and check the models. Check your budget, and TRY both brands. The “feel” the camera will give you is very important. If you don’t like the way it feels in your hands, you won’t enjoy shooting with it.

If you want to have good websites for reviews for DSLRs, try and my personal favorite, Photography is all about learning, feeling and seeing. I saw photographers with 8000$ cameras that had poor image composition, poor lighting… It’s not the camera that makes the photographer.. so keep that in mind.

Cheers, and good luck!

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