Thursday, June 7, 2007

SLR's price-cutting: $250's Canon XT vs. $500's Canon S5; 10 motives to spit upon SLR-like and buy cheap SLR

General photo amateurs' enthusiasm for universal devices such as SLR-like ultra-zoom cameras brings down the demand for Digital SLR cameras. Moreover we can thank SLR mfrs. for creating so many excellent SLR cameras to make a big competition among them. As a result prices for all SLR cameras go down. When I look through today's SLR camera prices I want to buy another Sony A100. Compare:
• Canon EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi is $579;
• Nikon D80 - $727,
• D40 - $409,
• D40x - $528;
• Sony A100 - $554,
• Pentax K100D - $370,
• Pentax K10D - $677;
• Canon EOS350D / Digital rebel XT - $250,26 only!
Holy shit! Why shall we pay $500 for newest PowerShot S5 if there are these excellent devices for low prices! What happened? Nobody wants to buy SLR? Marketing analytics may be greatly wrong that people are not ready to buy those complex cameras for the sake of opportunity to take great pictures. But I think that a serious marketing specialist's mistake is a mighty promotion for SLR-like ultra-zoom cameras. It's great fun for amateur photographer to take easy shoots with super image quality without any problems such as: to pay extra money for accessories, to choose lenses, to learn a huge manual and to use their wit searching for special shooting modes. As a result the majority of photographers show the most interest in Canon PowerShot S5 instead of Canon DigitalRebel XTi or Sony DSC-H9 instead of Sony A100. There is just one snag: a SLR-like manual is as huge and complex as SLR's. And it must be learned too.
However we shouldn’t underestimate digital marketing analytics. Their assumption is easy: some aspiring and ambitious photographers, who have already bought SLR-like camera, can be dissatisfied of its advantages and will buy a SLR. I think that it's a clever step by mfrs. and salespeople but an expensive one for us users to take. Why don’t we spend 5, 6 or7 hundred on a SLR cam right now instead of wasting 5 on paying marketing specialists’ wages buying SLR like?
We will try a different approach then. Let's at one stroke resolve if a SLR-like ultra-zoom satisfies our requirement. So I'll enumerate all SLR camera advantages again. I have begun this talk in my first post: Choosing DSLR camera for travelers: Do we really need it?
1. Big sensor size. The range of pixel size in digital cam advertisements is considerable. But digital compact cameras have substantially smaller sensors offering a similar number of pixels. As a consequence, the pixels are much smaller, which is a key reason for the image quality difference, especially in terms of noise and dynamic range. For example:
• SLR Nikon D70 has 'small' 6.1 megapixels with 23.7 x 15.7 mm sensor size;
• Nikon Coolpix 8800 has 8 megapixels with 2/3" CCD and 8.8 x 6.6 mm sensor size.
• SLR-like Canon PowerShot S5 IS has 8 megapixels with 1/2.5 "5,76mm x 4,29mm sensor size.
What about other SLR:
• Sony A100 has 23.6 x 15.8 mm;
• Canon EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi has 22.2 x 14.8 mm ;
• Nikon D80 has the same as Sony 23.6 x 15.8 mm.
One may assume that the larger sensor translates directly to higher image quality in terms of detail, color depth, and dynamic range without noise.
2. Low noise. Each pixel in the sensor contains one or more light sensitive photodiodes. It converts the incoming light into an electrical signal which is processed into the color value of the pixel in the final image. If the same pixel is exposed several times by the same amount of light, the resulting color values would not be identical but have small statistical variations, called "noise". Noise is the digital equivalent of film grain. To all intents and purposes Digital SLR camera displays less noise as a result of large sensor use. For more information look into my previous post: One more preference of DSLR: low noise.
3. High speed shooting. Modern SLR cameras, like professional or amateur have virtually no lag times. Lag time is the time between you press the shutter release button and the camera actually takes the shot. This delay varies quite a bit between camera models, and used to be the biggest drawback of digital photography. It's very helpful for those who have babies and pets. Look at the post: Digital SLR camera: quick shooting for smart babies for more.
4. Quick start. SLR features by instant startup time in numerous situations at home with your children, in the wild or while traveling. I fancy a crocodile show in admirable Thailand and ask myself: Can this monster eat his trainer's head?
5. Creative self-control. With SLR camera you can have complete control over every image you take and don't have to rely on the camera to make choices for you. Of course DSLR has many auto modes but you can deactivate it all for your own creation. For more look at my previous post. Still if you want to make your personal (not Nikon's, Sony's or Canon's) photo it can be your favorite SLR's advantage.
6. Optical viewfinder. SLR's viewfinder shows what the lens will project on the sensor via a mirror and a prism and has therefore no parallax error. When you depress the shutter button, the mirror flips up so the lens can expose the sensor. For some photographers it can be a minus because the LCD on most digital SLRs will only show the image after it is taken and give no live previews. Therefore if you want to have swiveling and rotating LCD screen and think that it allows you to compose such a shot without a problem don't look for a SLR. But you are likely to know that SLR-like or compact sensor make double work. It results in sensor noise and shooting speed. For more look in the post: DSLR camera advantages.
7. Low-light shooting without a flash. High sensitivity of large and low-noise SLR's sensor with using a high aperture ratio lens allows photographer to capture great images at night or low-lighted apartments without a flash. Try to shoot your son against the background of a night exotic city with your compact and test a SLR. What great difference! Where did we lose a fantastic perspective you have been enjoying just a moment ago.
8. Many lenses for all kinds of shooting. This is my favorite opportunity. I wrote some posts about lenses; but it's better to test this SLR feature yourself. There are so many various lenses: wide-angle, fisheye, macro and telephoto; zoom and fix lenses. We enjoy great chance in choosing and buying lenses. And it is easy at first step to buy SLR camera with cheap kit lens and some time later to buy just you really need. For more information look at my posts:
- How to shoot with 10 great Sony Alpha lenses and not to be beaten by salesmen
- Choosing DSLR camera lenses: take a shoot before buying.
9. Excellent ergonomics' body. For a long time DSLR cameras were toolware for professional photographers. So modern devices inherit their best features: higher build quality and comfortable hand grip. Shooting with a SLR is pleasant and untiring as this camera means for long work in any extreme situation and has a strong body and cozy rubberized hand grip.
10. Long life. Inheriting professional settings most modern SLR cameras get potential to make a great many shoots. Additionally they have battery life. You can make 1000 shoots with one battery charge. SLRs are much more reliable than Compacts and SLR-like cameras.
If all of my ten points blether can't inspire you for buying SLR it's not a problem. It's not my objective to call somebody to buy something. This is a problem for advertisement. But I hope that you can think over the propriety of buying a SLR-like camera after reading it. You can find and compare SLR and SLR-like cameras prices in the Net. What about lenses prices: I use $80's 17-80 3,5-5,6 kit, $220's 75-300 Tele (thanks for Sony's anti-shake) and want to buy Sal50 F1.4 for $330 or Sigma 28 F1,4 for $370 for my Sony A100. I think that it's more than enough for good shooting. What about 'big two' Canon and Nikon, there are so many used cheap lenses for thrifty beginners in the market. I think it's not bad for $250's Canon EOS350 Rebel XT.


CoolSam said...

Where did you meet Canon XT for $250?

fototramp said...

Look through the Net, for example Alatest or my Adsense advertisment

Anonymous said...

Yes, SLR' prices have gone down. But lens' prices are still high.

fototramp said...

Yes, it's a trouble. You can turn to cheaper Sigma or used lenses.But don't forget that it's a lottery.

Anonymous said...

There are only two reasons to choose a digital SLR over a compact. The first is if you have used a film SLR extensively and are used to the way it works. No SLR-like camera offers the same manual controls that you can find on a digital SLR. The second reason to get an SLR is if you already own lenses for a film SLR camera. In many cases the manufacturers have made sure that the new digital cameras work with all of their old lenses which is good news if you already own them.

fototramp said...

Look at the post. There are much more reasons to choose a SLR.

Julia said...

The Canon EOS XT is truly the more bang for the buck. I like the feel and the ease of use of this camera and light weight of it is great for me. I have so crispness images for so small money.

stussyking said...

i still cant find 350d for $250.

fototramp said...

To stussuking
The Canon XT was available for $250 (body only) this summer. However, now I can find it only for $380.