David Berkowitz wrote:
I hope I am not mixing terms, but when I wrote "very sharp pictures", it was image quality to which I was referring.
Wouldn't an 8 mega pixel in a super soom deliver as good a picture quality as a dslr with the same pixel count? Aren't the lenses on the better quality compacts at least very good?
I note that some of the older cameras, such as the Canon S3 IS and XT generally get better praise for picture quality than the newer versions. Why would that be? Although to be fair, I haven't read all the reviews on this forum, but this seems to be the case on at least two others.
I have looked at the D40, but I was hoping to get one lens to cover my shooting, looking at the 18-200, but there isn't one for that model. In order to utilize such a wide range, I need to move up to the D80.
A few weeks ago, I've posted a review
of a nice compact, the Canon Ixus 75. You can see there a comparison on noise levels between that camera and a Nikon D40.
Simply put, my Nikon D40 (6 mega pixels) delivers much better images than my Canon Ixus 75 (7 mega pixels). That's both in terms of noise level and quality. Noise levels are higher on compacts, because they have smaller sensors. The smaller the sensor, the higher the noise. A DSLR has the advantage of having a bigger sensor.
A typical DSLR zoom lens has over a dozen elements (the actual "lenses"). These elements obviously have a bigger diameter than those on a compact. So, better image quality. High end zoom lenses have elements that are made of special materials, that give them even better quality, or are used to correct what little aberrations there are. And you can change the lens on a DSLR, if you want to, to fit a particular purpose (portrait, macro, telephoto, etc).
One problem you will notice on a compact and not on a DSLR - or at least to a much lesser degree - is chromatic aberration
Then there is the issue of depth of field. With a compact, you're stuck at having a very wide depth of field
You mention not being able to use the D40 and the VR 18-200
together? I have that setting and use it without any problems.
I find one disadvantage on my D40, though. And that's that when I go out to take a few pictures to an interesting location, tourists keep asking me to take a picture of them with their compacts. People assume someone with a DSLR "knows what he's doing".