Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Should you buy a DSLR or a Compact?

"Should you buy a DSLR or a Compact?", a guide at


Anonymous said...

I think the answer is yes.

Alex said...

Hmm, interesting. I agree with ttl.

Surprisingly I think my answer is DSLR for home use and superzoom for field use.

Typically the photos I take at home are of subject no more than an inch or two tall filling the whole frame (28mm wargaming figurines and Lego Minifigures in diaramas).

This close up work renders the built in flash useless. However with the white balance functions of a compact I can use desk lamps (halogen angle-poise or gooseneck) as "studio lighting" and get pretty good images.

A lot of compact digitals have a mount for telephoto and wide angle converters. This mount can be used for mounting filters and close up attachments. At this point though not having manual focus becomes a problem, especially if you can't turn of the range finder and use purely optical TTL focus mechanisms.

Hmm, it seems then that I do not need my DSLR. I just need a superzoom with a mount and the right options menu.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

You should try Helicon Focus software to get great depth of field.

Alex said...

Wow, a photo stitch program for depth of field, rather than panoramas.

Looks like the sort of tool I need, I can stop trying to use my split field close up lens.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

It's pretty amazing.
I recommend using a smallish aperture anyway.

Look at:


Alex said...

I'm not sure how real the aperture is on a Kodak DX7440 compact zoom camera.

One other observation, to focus at different depths I'd need to move the camera to use the focus lock to lock onto something else. So does Helicon Focus manage with slightly different POV, or do I need to be fixed on a solid tripod?

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

You need a tripod, I've tried without.

Also I'm pretty sure you'll need a camera with manual focus on the lens. The focus intervals need to be pretty small.

Alex said...

So, I'm leaning toward a Nikon D40, I can't see a compelling reason for the extra $200 for D80.

Or should I be looking at Cannon?

I still have to pick up and hold one of these puppies.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I think this month Nikon is the better bet at the lower end.