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Author Topic: Why NEW DSLR users have a tough time switching from P&S FAQ??  (Read 4205 times)

Mt Spokane Photography

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We occasionally get posts from new users who see all the wonderful professional images posted on the internet and want to improve their work.
 
I think it would be useful if we could list some of the issues and the good things that a person switching from a small sensor P&S to a DSLR should expect.
 
I've bought a number of DSLR's barely used locally by disillusioned photographers who went back to their P&S.  For them it was likely the right decision.  I'm sure we could all expand on this, and perhaps a Admin will make it sticky so new users can take advantage of it, kind of a FAQ for those upgrading from P&S to DSLR or even large sensor P&S like the G1X.
 
Things that new users find disappointing:
 
1.  The main complaint I hear is the pictures are blurry, or not in focus.  The fact is, small sensor cameras usuallly are very easy to focus and have a huge depth of field to hide any focus errors.  This is a big factor that buyers did not realize.
 
2.  The Kit lenses are plenty sharp, but are not suitable for low light photography wothout supplemental light or a steady tripod and long exposure.  New users do not understand the need for external flashes, or wider aperture lenses in low light.
 
3.  Weight and size.  Lets face it, its a pain to carry a big rig and heavy lens or set of lenses with you, and it might just make you a target for thieves.
 
 
 
Benefits of a DSLR:
 
1.  Speed:  By that, I mean that you can usually take photos as fast as you can press the shutter.  Many P&S cameras take about 2 seconds between shots.
 
2.   Shallow depth of field.  This is something that P&S users intrepret as a blurry image, but once you understand it, you can use distance, focal length and aperture to create a 3d look where a subject is in focus and the foreground and background are smoothly blurred.
 
3.  Low light photography using no supplemental lighting.  Sometimes the use of flash or other supplemental lighting is banned, or would ruin a image.  A DSLR with a much larger sensor has better low light capability by increasing the ISO setting.  Its also possible to gain advantage with wider aperture lenses, but you do have to understand how to use that f/1.4 or f/1.2 lens to get depth of field and sharpness by selecting the right lens for the subject distance.
 
The Best Lenses Under $500 for Crop Bodies (EF is fine)
18-55mm IS  - Standard zoom, sharp but limited to good light, and inexpensive construction.
55-250mm IS -   Telephoto zoom, sharp but limited to good light, and inexpensive construction A good buy.
50mm f/1.8  Standard Prime lens, wide aperture good sharpness, inexpensive construction and a good buy for the performance.
50mm f/1.4 - Standard Prime lens,wide aperture good sharpness, better construction.  Performance is not a lot better than the f/1.8
85mm f/1.8 - Short Telephoto Prime Lens Wide aperture and very good sharpness.  Excellent performance for the price.
 
please add more.
 
 
The Best Under $1200 for Crop Bodies:
17-55mm f/2.8  High Quality Standard Zoom with excellent sharpness and the widest aperture found in a zoom.  If you can afford it, get it.
 
lots more to add
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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RLPhoto

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Re: Why NEW DSLR users have a tough time switching from P&S FAQ??
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2013, 03:24:24 PM »
+ 100mm f/2 for sub-500$
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dstppy

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Re: Why NEW DSLR users have a tough time switching from P&S FAQ??
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2013, 09:09:03 AM »
Another vote for 50mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.8.

Spokane, question: when did you start seeing these people?

I ask, because it wasn't before my first Canon IS point-and-shoot before people thought my shots were professional.

I'm one of those people that 'buys up' and is then disappointed, but ultimately gets used to it; my Tamron 24-70 just 'let me down' (I wasn't doing things right) on it's first serious use.  I wanted f2.8 DoF, but my son was running in and out of the field too quickly. All of them that I stopped down to f4.0 looked great. 

You live and you learn; as long as you're willing to learn, you'll be fine.
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Why NEW DSLR users have a tough time switching from P&S FAQ??
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2013, 01:06:09 PM »
Another vote for 50mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.8.

Spokane, question: when did you start seeing these people?

I ask, because it wasn't before my first Canon IS point-and-shoot before people thought my shots were professional.

I'm one of those people that 'buys up' and is then disappointed, but ultimately gets used to it; my Tamron 24-70 just 'let me down' (I wasn't doing things right) on it's first serious use.  I wanted f2.8 DoF, but my son was running in and out of the field too quickly. All of them that I stopped down to f4.0 looked great. 

You live and you learn; as long as you're willing to learn, you'll be fine.

I've purchased dozens of cameras and lenses, probably hundreds, locally from Craigs list or estate sales or garage sales for many years.  I use them a bit, keep the ones I like, and resell the others.  Then if something better comes along, I sell the one it replaces.  I make sure when I buy something that I can resell it without danger of losing money.
 
 
For many of the rebel DSLR's I've bought, a high percentage were from buyers who put them away in a closet after using them a month.  Then, they sell them after another year when they realize that they are never going to use them.  By contrast, That is seldom the case with the XXD or higher cameras.
 
The issue is that some new buyers don't know what to expect from a DSLR, and might use a little help.  Most all of the users here knew what they were getting into, but even so, we see one or two a week asking for help. so I thought it might be nice to have a FAQ for them to read.
 
 
I think your example of stopping down to get more depth of field on a slower focusing beginnner type camera/lens combination could be worked into a lesson learned.  Something like:
 
"Canon Rebel DSLR's are meant for beginner level photographers and do not have a pro level ability to focus sharply on fast or erratically moving subjects like soccer players when used with a wide aperture shallow depth of field lens. 
 
One way to work around this is to close your aperture down to a smaller amount, f/4 or f/5.6.  You will get more depth of field, and find that the camera can better keep up with sharp focus of moving subjects."

wickidwombat

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Re: Why NEW DSLR users have a tough time switching from P&S FAQ??
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2013, 02:22:35 AM »
add the 40mm into the sub $500 lens this is top of the bang for buck chart IMO

Also

I'd like to add two other very common misconceptions people have

1) highest mega pickles is the best - this is often not the easiest thing to explain to newcomers, hell its impossible here (please dont derail this thread with infinite debate over QE and pixel density blah blah)
most common question from wedding guests / participants is how many mega pixels is that camera?
meanwhile i'm holding 2 or 3 different bodies

2) super zooms must be the best because they have the biggest range of numbers quite often newcomers dont understand the concept of aperture at all and therefore dont understand why that tamron 18-270 produces crap images compared to a 24-70 mk2
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Re: Why NEW DSLR users have a tough time switching from P&S FAQ??
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2013, 02:22:35 AM »