Nikon D40, D60, Olympus E510? PLEASE help me choose a DSLR.

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras & Equipment' started by WDWfreak07, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. WDWfreak07

    WDWfreak07 Member

    Thanks fro the advice. I dont mind carrying it at all, its just that I also want to be able to take it other places too.

    I just feel that I will not take a DSLR as much places as a compact point and shoot.

    I just want to be able to take the pictures I see here and other WDW forums, that is my main thing. I am not really considering a job or anything long term in photography but think it may be cool to get a little more into it. The Casio I mentioned may not have the versatility but it does have a full manual mode where I can adjust everything and the pictures side by side are VERY similiar.

    I just want to be able to take it to more places and I know I can with a point and shoot rather than a DSLR.

    Do you take a DSLR everywhere or a different point and shoot?

    Thanks for all the advice.
  2. mSummers

    mSummers Member

    Gary hit the nail on the head about the dslr giving you room the most flexibility and room to improve.

    Going back to my earlier point about pixel density and image quality, dslr's are in the 1 to 4MP/cm2 range. Compacts jump up to the 20 to 35MP/cm2 range. That's not a problem if you are shooting at very low ISO settings in full sunlight, but as soon as you have to crank up the ISO, the image quality will fall quickly.

    If you don't like carrying bags around at Disney, its possible to carry the camera with only one lens and leave the bag in the room. Then it just becomes a matter of finding the right strap for you. Gary recommended the Optech straps. Another option is something like the Rapid R Strap from There are a couple of things I don't like about the Rapid R Strap (how it connects to the camera) but the concept is good.

    Again, the bottom line is, you have the pick the right camera for you.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  3. mSummers

    mSummers Member

    I take my DSLR everywhere.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  4. WDWfreak07

    WDWfreak07 Member

    OK guys thanks sooooo much!

    I am going to ask for the Canon Rebel XS for Christmas and then hopefully I can still get a few accessories for it. Although I really like the Casio EX-Z750 I still am a bit unsure. Do you guys bring DSLRs on rides or leave them in a locker?

    I like the Canon Rebel XSI more but it is just too much money at the moment. I read that the XS is ALOT slower than the XSI does anyone know about that?

    Also, is the XS (or XSI) good for me from what I've said about myself?

    And, sorry just one more thing, do you guys also have point and shoots you use at Disney?

    Thanks for all the advice.
  5. mSummers

    mSummers Member

    I have taken my camera on most of the rides. The only two I don't think I have taken a camera on are Splash Mountain and Kali River Rapids. My mom doesn't ride either of those, so she holds all the camera's for us. So, no, I've never rented a locker for my camera, but I do rent one for my tripod when I bring it.

    I'm a Nikon shooter, so I'll have to defer to the Canon guys on the camera specific stuff.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  6. WDWfreak07

    WDWfreak07 Member

    OK. Thanks for all the advice.

    Now I guess it is all up to me whether to go with the point and shoot or the compact manual mode casio.

    I still really dont know its alot pros and cons. They both take amazing pictures, same modes, but the DSLR ir much bigger and I do not know because as of now I am not that into photography but want to be.

    I cannot see myself using the DSLR outside of WDW, other than at places like Washington DC and stuff, so I do not know what to get.

    Have any more advice?
  7. WDWfreak07

    WDWfreak07 Member

    OK I actaully think I may go with the point and shoot camera.

    I figured that I am going to go with a compact that is well obviously, compact, and takes good pictures and has a full manual mode. I will see how the pictures come out and then after our next WDW trip I will again look at the DSLR options available to me and by then have more $ and be able to get a DSLR.

    Does this sound like a good idea? Or just get the DSLR now? I just dont know if I would really get much use out of it before WDW because of its sheer size.

  8. zackiedawg

    zackiedawg Member Staff Member

    It sounds like you're pretty torn on what you need vs what you want - and the pressure is always to go with the tool that will give you the most room to grow. But sometimes, you do have to seriously weigh how much you actually intend to grow, and how much the shortcomings of a particular system will actually affect you. Having read through this whole thread and all of the recommendations, the common theme (no surprise as we are camera enthusiasts!) is that going with a DSLR is basically the only reasonable choice. Whether you go with Canon or Nikon, as 75% of all people do whether for genuine reasons like preferred ergonomics or features, or forced reasons like peer pressure or brand snobbery...or one of the alternative smaller brands like Olympus (or the not-yet-mentioned Pentax & Sony) can't really go wrong, and will end up with a camera that will easily be capable of shooting all of the photo examples you posted. Whether one is slightly better than another when viewing a 50-pixel-wide segment of the photo at 200% and looking for blemishes the size of an ant...well, that just doesn't really matter for 99% of most people's needs - they're all good, so don't worry so much about that.

    Now, here's where I go off the grid (you know I'm already a renegade on these boards, since my DSLR is a Sony...the only one on tmip!). I truly think that a very good P&S camera would be the perfect camera choice for most budding photographers who don't have high skill levels and are looking to learn. In fact, I think alot of people who bought DSLRs would have been better served with a high-end P&S camera...though they'd never admit it. And there are photos out there taken with high-end P&S cameras that win photo contests, are sold for profit at art shows, and even get published in major magazines. Here's the thing: a good P&S has alot of traits that an entry-level DSLR doesn't have without spending thousands of dollars for lenses. I know because until 6 months ago, I shot with a P&S camera for several years, learned quite literally everything I know about photography with it, and even made a profit from my photos enough to BUY my DSLR and lenses. I started with digital photography as a noob - I didn't know what an aperture was or what ISO was. My camera for the last 2 1/2 years before my DSLR was a Sony H5, an ultra-zoom camera. I think this category of camera is marvelous - the perfect learning tool and all-round flexible camera. Brand doesn't much matter - Canon, Sony, Nikon, Fuji, Casio, Panasonic - all have very nice ultra-zooms. First off, look at the controls - you've got full auto, Program mode, Shutter and aperture priority, and manual modes. So you've got room to grow as you learn how to control the camera. They come with viewfinders...but they're electronic - which does allow you to see the actual changes on screen as you adjust the aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, etc - so you see when you've got the settings right, and understand how each change in settings affects your shot. Or you can use the bigger LCD. Most of them have a lens range equivalent to anywhere from 28mm to over 500mm...yet can fit in the palm of your hand and weigh 1/4 what an entry-level DSLR body alone does. To get that range in a DSLR, you're spending well over $2, matter what brand you buy. Most of them have a maximum aperture of F2.8 as the baseline...and no more than 4.5 or so at full tele. Most cheaper DSLR lenses start at F3.5-4.5...and anything with 300mm or more is going to be much less sensitive, like F6.5 or so. Unless, of course, you want to whip out the serious debit cards and spend high-4-figures for an F2.8 300mm lens. In good light, the best ultra-zooms have nearly identical focus speeds, shutter delays, and half-press/full-press delay as entry level DSLRs...they can be slower in low light, but not much...and still manage to achieve focus. They are a little slower in continuous shooting modes.

    So, an ultrazoom can give you a moderately wide to ultra-telephoto lens, with good sensitivity of F2.8-3.7, in a superlight and small package...and the whole thing will usually cost under $500...often much less. And other than pixel-peeping obsessed folks blowing photos up to sizes far beyond what anyone will ever view or print a photo at, noone would be able to tell the difference in the quality of daylight shots or slow shutter shots at lower ISOs. Unless you need to print 4-foot by 5-foot photos! And while a DSLR does indeed shoot more cleanly at high ISOs, and perform better overall in low light focusing...what percentage of your photos are going to be high-ISO shots? Do you shoot a ton of action sports in dim stadiums that require high shutter speeds, or like to do hand-held nighttime snapshots? OK, then high ISO performance will be very important. If you're just a person looking to take nice vacation photos, some nice hobby photos like wildlife or landscapes, and want room to grow and expand your knowledge with photography to discover if it is something you want to pursue beyond what the normal folks do - where it becomes 'enthusiasm' and you're truly hooked on photography like the rest of us here...then a good ultra-zoom P&S will give you years of great shots, plenty of room to grow as a photographer, and if you find yourself someday bumping into the limitations of the camera, then that means you've become a pretty good photographer and have become a true enthusiast...and you can start hunting for the DSLR system you want the most.

    That's what I did. After lots of fun, lots of learning, lots of success, and a little side business with my ultra-zoom, I finally after almost 3 years found myself wanting to push into the very few areas where the P&S couldn't go - and I was willing to spend money to get there. I wanted to pursue wildlife photography more avidly, which would require better continuous shooting modes and quick focusing for shooting animals and birds in motion. I wanted to play with hand-held candids and night shots at high ISO. I wanted to expand my lens range to super-wide, and big-time tele. It was time for me to make the move...and I was willing to accept the compromises - more weight, more bulk, and lots of money.

    Feel free to browse my galleries - a majority of the shots were taken with my H5...everything from night shots to action shots to wildlife to landscapes to Disney. Shots taken since June are mostly with the DSLR. I don't feel like my H5 shots are really any different or worse than what I can do with the DSLR - I can just now shoot more types of shots. In other words, I can do the same things just as well as before, and a few things better:

    As for the points that have been mentioned on picking a DSLR system - I went with Sony for several reasons mentioned above on the Olympus. 1. I wanted in-body stabilization, as it allows the purchase of cheaper lenses that don't have to have built-in stabilization, and moreover, gives you stabilization on all of your lenses - even the ones that don't have stabilization available in-lens with the other brands (like wide lenses, low light primes, etc). 2. I liked their live view system - it is very easy to switch back and forth from, and is the only one that suffers no slowdowns in performance or focus speed when in use. 3. I liked the cheap backlog of available Minolta lenses that will work with the camera - all autofocus, and all stabilized. 4. I liked the camera's ergonomics - it feels good in my hand and has all the bells and whistles I like. 5. The price was right, and I've had great experience with the brand in other cameras. I wouldn't have hesitated to go with Canon, Nikon, Olympus, or Pentax...I don't honestly believe any entry-level camera is significantly better than another. Each may have a feature here, or a slight advantage there, but taking everything into consideration, they're all just fine.

    There! That's my contribution to the thread. Right now, Tim is thinking 'Ah ha! I knew he'd come in with his P&S spiel!' And most of the Canon and Nikon guys are rolling their collective eyes and sighing. :) Yep...even as a DSLR user (If Sony folks are allowed to be called that), I still believe that many people can be happily served in all of their photographic needs and for a lot less money and grief with a nice P&S! Not everyone needs to print posters, works for Nat'l Geo, or strives to be Galen Rowell or open a gallery. Some folks want an easy, convenient, but capable camera to help them take good photos and give them a little room to learn...and will share them onscreen or in small to moderate prints with family and friends.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  9. gary

    gary Member

    mr zackiedawg, that's a lucid intelligent well thought out objection, overuled, (my cousin vinny)

    in all seriousness zackie does make some excellent points for the point and shoot BUT, i think you still need to think this over some more, and why do i say this, one very telling comment in one of your replies

    "I cannot see myself using the DSLR outside of WDW, other than at places like Washington DC and stuff,"

    well that's an interesting statement in it's own right, as a long time visitor to the world's largest free amusement park, i can tell you that you would be seriously handicapped in dc without a dslr, yes you can get some great street, the national mall, arlington shots etc. but so much of the museums and attractions of dc are inside and really require the flexibility of a dslr, so it sounds to me like you might really have room in your heart for a dslr

    my mom is using my old canon d30, a dinosaur in todays digital world, but she has not bumped up against it's ceiling yet, and at age 74 if she does, well i'll just give her my xsi and get a new back up body

    and fwiw, the xt is a great place to start, speed of functioning is not important right now to your learning, not unless you plan on motorsports and have not mentioned that, and by the way, that is a small body, ask tim and i about a 5d/24-105 around our necks all day for 16 hours at mousefest, ( sleep, it's overated, i'll sleep on the plane home)

    it is really good though that you are looking this over so thouroughly and seeking many opinions of the experienced, many your age do not, as my neice buys a camera that has to be pink, and she's 25, a college grad and ought to be able to take some advice better, although because it was available in pink she did get a real good canon point n shoot, but for her size and pure portability were more important than anything else, she did take my offer of use of a tripod to heart and my velbon luxi f is currently taking an extended hawiaan vacation
  10. gary

    gary Member

    oh and as far as taking the camera on the rides, even kali river rapids has that center well for belongings, just always make sure to bring a couple of the largest ziplock bags or plastic grocery bags along, these should always be in the bag anyway, no matter where you are

    and because i want the flexibility and am comfortable with the camera riding near my hip( years of carrying a weapon for work) i haven't taken a point and shoo to disney in a very long time
  11. WDWfreak07

    WDWfreak07 Member

    Thanks for all the help! I truly mean it, it really helped me decide.

    This Christmas, after a long talk with my parents, I am going to get a high end point and shoot that has mnaual controls to ease me more into photography and save money.

    Then after a few months and a couple trips I, if Iwant to venture more into photography, I will bump up to the DSLR.

    My parents think this is a good option and so do I as I will be able to learn without having to lug around a big camera for the moment

    Thanks for all the help!

    Now all I have to do is decide on a high end point and shoot with manual controls.....ugh....
  12. Scottwdw

    Scottwdw Member

    I read with interest this thread. As I own a dSLR and a point and shoot (though not one you can really set up manually like you are considering), I think you have made the right decision for you to go with a good P&S camera.

    Now, what is your budget? That should narrow down your list. You seem to like the Casios so I would start with those and compare others to them. Look at Canon, Nikon, and Fuji offerings. I always try to narrow stuff like this down to 3 choices. Don't forget you'll need extra batteries or set of batteries (at least one), memory cards (2 or more), a small light tripod (to get those great firework and night shots at WDW and long exposure shots other places. This will help keep you in the low ISO range where these cameras excel.) and a carrying case. Oh, and if you can, I'd add in some good photo software like Elements (PC & Mac), Lightroom (PC & Mac) or Aperture (Mac only).

    Good luck! Keep us updated as to what you get and post lots and lots of photos!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  13. Roger

    Roger Member Staff Member

    I concur Scott.

    While I agree mostly with Justin's post, the biggest problem is that his former main camera seems to be at one of the crests of sensor density in P&S, and almost no manufacturer has a lower megapixel camera out there for better lowlight performance, and lowlight could even mean indoors.

    My wife lost her Powershot at WDW; I replaced it with the closest version still available via retail/overstock - it was the next model in the line, and went from 3.1 to 4.0 megapixels. And the sensor noise went through the roof. I can't stand to look at the noise in any picture above ISO 80/100 - even onscreen.

    With that being said, almost every camera out there now has manual mode ability. Even my wife's Powershot has manual mode. You just have to know to change the settings, and it's not that easy with menu screens, etc. to navigate just to change shutter speed v. aperture.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  14. WDWfreak07

    WDWfreak07 Member

    Thanks again for the advice!

    I have Lightroom, Photoshop, all the editing stuff I will need.

    I didnt know that most compacts have manual modes, but I was looking at compacts that have full manual mode as well as shutter priority mode and aperture prioirty modes too.

    The 3 models I have it down to are:

    -Casio Ex750 This camera has AMAZING reviews and has full manual controls.

    -Canon Powershot S70 has great reviews too, full manual, but a much bulkier than the Casio.

    -Panasonic DMC-LZ10 Has great reviews too, nice size.

    I am leaning more towards either the Panasonic or Casio.

    The Casio has AMAZING reviews and I realllly like it and the exact same for the Panasonic.

    So what do you guys think? Casio or Panasonic? Or Canon?

    Thanks to all as ALWAYS! The help is AMAZING here!
  15. Roger

    Roger Member Staff Member

    Without any other research I would say the Panasonic for the Leica lens. But I'm willing to give the Casio a look/see. But I can't find that model. Do you have a link?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  16. WDWfreak07

    WDWfreak07 Member

    Here are some links:

    Let me know...thanks! Christmas list is due Wednesday! Ahhhh soo little time, :D. ... -z750.html

    Sorry all of these links are reviews, the camera came out a few years ago so I cannot find much more about it other than reviews. Also if you can find another Casio that has the same features that would be EXTREMELY helpful as I cannot find another one but I am sure there is one.

    Thanks! :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  17. Roger

    Roger Member Staff Member

    Yeah, I'm not sure that you'll be able to find one on the market "new" anymore. The average *sales* lifespan of a P&S is less than 18 months now.

    The Casio is intriguing; I would go to a store that had some and try them out first.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  18. WDWfreak07

    WDWfreak07 Member

    Amazon still has some of the Casio's and if not I can go with the EX850 which is the same just the next model up.

    Can you please look at the DMC-LZ10 and tell me what you think of it?

    It does have full manual and shutter/aperture priority modes right, or did I misread?

  19. Scottwdw

    Scottwdw Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  20. Roger

    Roger Member Staff Member

    From the horse's mouth: (their website)

    The DMC-LZ10 Lumix® digital camera gives you a choice of four exposure modes: Program AE (P), Aperture Priority AE (A), Shutter Priority AE (S) and Manual (M). This gives you the flexibility and creative freedom to capture more expressive shots. You can also fine tune the settings in the Scenery, Portrait, Sports and Night Portrait scene modes on the mode dial to better suit the shooting conditions. This makes it easier to capture the exact image you have in mind.

    Anyway, it doesn't seem half-bad. Neither does the SD-880.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014

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