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 Post subject: DSLR Dreaming
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 2:53 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:41 pm
Posts: 372
I don't know quite where to put this - since I own a Fuji, it goes here initially.

The problem that I have is that I would at some stage like to get a DSLR, but the price performance issue seems not to justify any move yet. The reason for this has to do with comparative performance issues between my S6500fd and DSLRs.

Basically, the DSLR files from cameras I've tested seem generally to be better, and, in the case of Canon, quite a bit better. The Fuji files are highly processed, though they work very well in the printer, and generally come out the way I want them (in terms of definition) with very little or no extra work in Photoshop.

So what does the S6500 have going for it at only 6mp and a small sensor? I was taking some photos of whales from the shore last week with the lens set at 300mm (35mm equivalent). Because it was a showery day I set the ISO at 200 to obtain a shutter speed of 1/1000 at f4.9, with the usual two thirds of a stop underexposure. The S6500's pretty good at this ISO speed. Because of the focus lag I used manual focus and pressed the button that set focus (the Fuji has a single autofocus in manual focus mode). This meant that any press of the shutter button almost instantaneously took a shot (the Fuji has minimal delay on pressing the shutter when not in AF mode).

The shots turned out extremely well. The lens is very sharp at f4.9, no noticeable vignetting, negligible distortion, and no chromatic aberration on a showery day. I think that a DSLR with telephoto would have done well too, but not a great deal better, as consumer-quality telephotos often require stopping down two stops (to f11), at which stage the ISO would be at least 800 to achieve the same shutter speed.

But the Fuji has other advantages. It's light and has a very broad zoom range. Broad range DSLR lenses are often compromised for quality in one or two significant areas (eg edge definition, contrast, distortion, vignetting). And, after having a bagful of MF Minoltas and lenses I'm really enjoying the "lighter" side of photography.

Direct comparisons I've done between the Fuji and DSLRs (Canon 400D, Nikon D80, D50 and D40x, Pentax K10D, istDL) show better DSLR file structure, but some optical compromising so that the Fuji often prints better at A4, and as well at A3, but doesn't look so good at 100% on screen (though often not a lot worse).

Otherwise, the Fuji has a poor EVF (they scrimped too much on this), poor burst mode (something that I don't use much) and a compressed tonal range.

However, on the tests I've made, and for my photography I don't see a compelling reason to move to a DSLR yet, though the 12mp models will probably have something to offer - though the Fuji's 12mp RAW mode looks very good (but interpolated, after a fashion).

I would be grateful for views and opinions, and how DSLR output can be treated to maximum advantage.

Nikon DSLRs, film cameras from Leica to Linhof

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 5:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9978
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Hi Hilary, interesting post, and I think you've answered some of your own questions. If you've used a DSLR and or had a chance to examine the files, then you know what you'd be getting - and losing - if you made the switch.

It's always a compromise. I wish every DSLR came with a cheap, light and decent quality 18x zoom, and I wish all super-zooms had big sensors and quick response, but sadly that's not the case!

So in the absence of a perfect all-round camera, we all have to weigh up which features are most important and make the choice.

Not sure if you've already seen it, but this earlier article may help: ... DSLR.shtml


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 6:12 pm 
In my opinion, the S6000 (6500) is as good as you're going to get aside from an SLR. The aspects of my S6000 that really hurt compared to my Sony A100 and A700 are the continuous speed, shot to shot times, and lack of Image Stabilization. The S6000's 28-300 lens is extremely sharp, especially compared to kit and lower cost SLR lenses. If continuous speed isn't critical then the S6000 would be a great option for you. I also hate the bad EVF but you get live view which you don't get (or get comparatively poor versions of) on an SLR. Add to that is the fact that the S6000 is sooo much cheaper than even an SLR with 2 lenses that will give you the same range.

I used my S6000 for a long time and it ended up being a starter to the SLR world for me. Still use it and have no regrets. You mentioned not liking Fuji's processing, do you shoot much RAW with it? ACR does a much better job with the RAW files compared to the Fuji program that came with the camera. Maybe that would help improve things?

 Post subject: Super zoom vs DSLR
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:02 am 

I am coming to the same conclusion at least for now. In a perfect would I would have waited had I known for the Oly SP 550-60 but I have an SP 500, pretty much the same. And the software is [pretty much the same as for the DSLR. Lighter for sure and for taking photo shots probably about as good for me. Like yourself, I am ejoying the lighter side of photography

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