New Digital SLR… Which One?

Isn’t it cool how in the space of a couple of days you can drastically change your requirements, and convince yourself you need something new and bigger? 🙂

Here’s what happened…

I’ve got this review for the wsg coming up soon and I want good photos. Currently I’ve got an old, Pentax Optio s5i, with the casing selotaped together – I’ve lost the tiny little screws. Outside in good light it takes an ok picture, but that’s it, ok. I doesn’t do a good job of people, for example. Give it a slight challange with the lighting conditions and it sucks.

Some of my friends have got similar cameras, in terms of size and price, but newer. And they’re better. Not like a major leap, but good enough to make me think about replacing my camera. I want good photos. So I started to look around.

My new camera?

Before long, I came across a group of compact cameras targeted at the enthusiast, like the Canon PowerShot G10 and the Panasonic Lumix LX3. These cameras were attractive for a few reasons. Mainly, they’re gonna give me better photos than the camera I’ve got now. They offer more manual control, if you want it, which should help you to get the photo you want. They’re still fairly small, especially the Panasonic, so I wouldn’t need a backpack. They’re within budget. I think they look pretty cool 🙂

But I started thinking about it some more. And I asked friends who know a lot more about this stuff than I do (you know who you are, thanks!). And I re-assessed my criteria.

  • I want good pictures, that’s most important. Not every picture I take needs to be great (I’ll still have my old camera), but I want the option to get a better shot
  • I want to be able to take pictures in burst mode
  • I want fast response to shoot snowboarders, perhaps close up, with good results*

* especially in the UK… I’ll talk more about that requirement at some point in the future…

Yes, these higher-end compacts will take a good photo, but if I’m trading off ultimate quality for camera size, and therefore mobility on the mountain, I’m probably just pointing and clicking. I think perhaps, there are other, cheaper, more basic compacts that will do just as well in this role.

But the clincher is this: these higher-end compacts won’t get me near to the results of an SLR. So for those times that I do want to take the time/effort/size and mobility hit, I’ll get better photos with an SLR. That’s obvious, right? 😉

So I’ve decided to go for an entry level SLR. Besides, it’s my birthday soon and I’m thinking a little self-present will go down well. But which one?

My gut instinct is the Nikon, I don’t know why, it just is. I think the Canon is the most expensive, whilst the Sony is temptingly cheap. I guess I like the flexibility of an SLR. It’s not a huge investment if I don’t do much with it. But if I want to, I can add extra capabilities with different lenses. It’s exciting.

I’m gonna need a couple of extras; some kind of case in the least. I’ll probably get the smallest case I can find, to make it comfortable in my back pack. But I hear that Lowepro do a range of SlingShot bags that are worth a look.

Obviously I want to get this sorted before I go away, and it would be nice to have at least a couple of days to play around with it…

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