: Getting into photography (camera advice, training, programs etc.)


Adrian.
Mar 30th, 2011, 11:01 PM
Hello All,

My girlfriend and I have decided to make an investment into a nice camera. We are the average $200 P&S crowd. We are looking to spend between $500-600 all in.

We have absolutely no training in photography, so something that comes with automatic features as well as some manual features would be nice.

Most of the images would be outdoors. We like hiking, camping, canoeing/kayaking, snowboarding etc. It probably wouldn't be realistic to be able to take it everywhere, but that is a consideration of ours.

Also, would purchasing a camera like this come with any necessary additional purchases (tripods, SD cards, batteries, programmes like Aperture or Lightroom)?

I look forward to everyones advice!

Cheers :)

Joker Eh
Mar 30th, 2011, 11:57 PM
First I am Nikon user but the same would apply to Canon.

Even at that price range you are going to be limited. That price might just get you the body like a Nikon 3100. But for say $650 you can get a Nikon D3100 with 18-55VR lens. Canon has the same package types, so check for prices. But you still need SD cards and plus taxes. You will want a bag.

Now that is all new. Another option is used. An awesome beginner camera and what I started out with is a Nikon D50. I sold mine last year with 2 lens, sd cards, monopod, books for $350. Check Kijiji you can find some that are in perfect condition and will give you allot more value. These beginner DSLR cameras do not hold their value so shop around and buy locally where you can go inspect it and look for scratches on the lens.

As for software, if you are going to shoot in RAW format then go for Aperture or Lightroom/Photoshop CS5, Aperture does everything that Lightroom and Photoshop CS5 does combined. If you are not shooting in RAW then maybe something a little cheaper like Photoshop Elements, but even Aperture now is in Mac App Store is only $79, much cheaper than what I paid for it.

mguertin
Mar 31st, 2011, 12:24 AM
If you're lookin at a budget of $500-600 for everything you need I honestly wouldn't go DSLR. Also given the type of stuff you want to use it for I'd go for a smaller form factor camera. I don't have great advice to give as to which ones are currently hot in your price range. Something to take note of though, you'll probably get better images from an "ok" body with a good lens on it (whether it's a removable lens or not) than you would with a great camera body and a cheap lens.

Make sure that you budget for a bag for sure, a couple SD cards and if you're going to be taking a large amount of shots on those kinds of trips a spare battery :)

Lastly, if you're not planning on doing a ton of post processing on the images I wouldn't bother shooting in RAW format, high quality jpegs out of most cameras these days will keep you happy and there are lots of options for photo editing with jpegs. If you're planning on doing more serious things with the shots then RAW is the way to go, but if you're a P&S type user now I wouldn't worry about that yet. You probably just want to get a better quality camera with a good sensor and lens and you'll get great shots.

Adrian.
Mar 31st, 2011, 12:49 AM
WE aren't looking for the pro level cameras with removable lenses. We were looking at the bigger bodied digital cameras with high optical zooms on them.

Sorry for the confusion..

Oakbridge
Mar 31st, 2011, 01:40 AM
WE aren't looking for the pro level cameras with removable lenses. We were looking at the bigger bodied digital cameras with high optical zooms on them.

Sorry for the confusion..
You might want to rethink that. I don't consider a Nikon D40 or the current D3100 to be Pro Level cameras. These are the entry level versions of the consumer line of Digital SLR cameras. Many people buy them with one lens (typically a wide angle to short telephoto zoom) and never change the lens.

The problem with most bigger bodied digital cameras is the size of the sensor, and size matters as explained here (http://www.digicamhelp.com/camera-features/camera-parts/sensor-size/). In many cases, in order to get the higher optical zooms, they put a smaller sensor in the camera. Any lens will produce a higher 'telephoto' ratio with a smaller sensor. If you are familiar with 35 mm film cameras, most of today's DSLR cameras use an image sensor that is a 1.5 crop factor. Meaning that a typical 'standard' 50 mm lens on a 35 mm film camera becomes a 75 mm equivalent on a typical DSLR. A 200 mm becomes a 300 mm equivalent, etc.

The size of the sensor affects how big each pixel will be, the bigger the pixel, the better a job it does of handling the light coming into it. Less digital 'noise' from a bigger sensor, resulting in a sharper, cleaner image.

Another thing to remember is that a higher zoom has the potential for increased camera shake. One thing that I've noticed is that with some of these point and shoot cameras with a high zoom, it is next to impossible to find a way to hold the camera steady. They are too small to comfortably fit in my hands in a way that I can keep the camera still.

FeXL
Mar 31st, 2011, 07:29 AM
As far as training is concerned, you may want to look at joining your local camera club. Lots of knowledge, a willingness to share. There are also many online resources (search Fred Miranda, dpreview & Photography On the Net [POTN], a few we go to regularly. The latter is more Canon-centric but there is also Nikonians, dedicated to Nikons.) If a good, old-fashioned book is to your liking, try the library. You may also have a local camera store that will host low priced or free how-to events in the evenings & on weekends in the hopes of drawing you in to purchase their wares.

Adrian.
Mar 31st, 2011, 08:32 AM
Thanks everyone!

So I am not looking for something like this:

Nikon COOLPIX 12.1MP Digital Camera (P500) - Black : Extended Zoom - Future Shop (http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/nikon-nikon-coolpix-12-1mp-digital-camera-p500-black-p500-black/10164837.aspx?path=029dfa9a5feaa185b97ef9a8111cd2e 1en02)

Adrian.
Mar 31st, 2011, 09:14 AM
We are really liking this camera. We want to stay out of the SLR arena because we don't want to make the money and time investment. We travel alot, so portability is huge.

Is this a good buy, or is there something else we should look at:

Canon PowerShot 14.1MP Digital Camera (SX30) : Extended Zoom - Future Shop (http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/canon-canon-powershot-14-1mp-digital-camera-sx30-sx30/10156032.aspx?path=c4695556b48b7b19f36f6140ddfdffa 4en02)

Oakbridge
Mar 31st, 2011, 10:19 AM
Both look pretty decent, but avoid Future Shop if possible. Try to deal with Vistek or Henrys. Vistek (http://www.vistek.ca/store/DigitalCameras/254907/nikon-coolpix-p500-black.aspx) has the Coolpix on right now $50 cheaper than Future Shop.

And you can actually talk to someone that knows photography.

FeXL
Mar 31st, 2011, 10:29 AM
And you can actually talk to someone that knows photography.

A FS salesman carrying an iPhone with a built-in camera isn't a photographer? WTF?

eMacMan
Mar 31st, 2011, 11:07 AM
Personally I like the point and shoot cameras. They are more than adequate for most needs and are a whole lot easier to carry around and less intrusive to boot. Almost any version being made today will easily print a good quality 8x10. Ignore the Megapixel count. They generally capture at 2 or 3 MP and everything bigger is interpolated from that.

Canon, Fuji, Panasonic and Nikon all make reasonably portable cameras with extreme zoom ranges. Check the various reviews on cameras that catch your attention as good image stabilization is very important with long zoom lenses. Note using very high ISOs to achieve faster shutter speeds is no substitute for good image stabilization.

I really like my Kodak Z915/10:1 zoom but it does require more colour tweaking than some of the others mentioned. If you are just getting started then it probably is not the camera you are looking for. For me the rock solid image stabilization, extremely fast shutter response, comfortable size & shape, non slippery finish, and good layout of user controls more than offset having to tweak my images a bit.

As to a starting place I would go back 50 years. Do lots of shooting close to home, that way if you do not like the results it is easy to try again. Take advantage of the modern era and review the images on your computer as soon as humanly possible, that way you remember what you did and can go back the next day and try again if you think you can improve it. When you are evaluating your images, convert a copy to black and white. This will remove the distraction of all the pretty colours and allow you to concentrate on the things that make or break an image. Things like lighting, shapes, perspective.... When you start getting images that look really good in B & W you are well on your way.

A final thought here. When you are starting out a lot of your images will be garbage. Do yourself and others a favour: Delete them. Again an advantage of doing your practicing close to home, you do not have to travel hundreds or thousands of miles for a redo.

kps
Mar 31st, 2011, 11:49 AM
Your title is misleading. Sound to me like you not into photography, you're into making memories.

Here's what I would do. Go into a real photography store and say: "get 4 of the best P&S cameras you got". Try them for size, heft and feel...then compare features of the one that feels the best to you.

Features to consider:

-real optical zoom...try it in the store.
-fast lens...like f2.8
-hot shoe flash adapter
-best sensor for price range
-image stabilization
- 1080p video (optional)
-8-12mpixels...more is not always better.
-full manual mode
-fast shutter ...no lag or little lag (buffer)

Buy it, use it. Shoot lots of pictures. Keep your memories and enjoy.

Oakbridge
Mar 31st, 2011, 12:14 PM
Personally I like the point and shoot cameras. They are more than adequate for most needs and are a whole lot easier to carry around and less intrusive to boot. Almost any version being made today will easily print a good quality 8x10. Ignore the Megapixel count. They generally capture at 2 or 3 MP and everything bigger is interpolated from that.

Canon, Fuji, Panasonic and Nikon all make reasonably portable cameras with extreme zoom ranges. Check the various reviews on cameras that catch your attention as good image stabilization is very important with long zoom lenses. Note using very high ISOs to achieve faster shutter speeds is no substitute for good image stabilization.

I really like my Kodak Z915/10:1 zoom but it does require more colour tweaking than some of the others mentioned. If you are just getting started then it probably is not the camera you are looking for. For me the rock solid image stabilization, extremely fast shutter response, comfortable size & shape, non slippery finish, and good layout of user controls more than offset having to tweak my images a bit.

As to a starting place I would go back 50 years. Do lots of shooting close to home, that way if you do not like the results it is easy to try again. Take advantage of the modern era and review the images on your computer as soon as humanly possible, that way you remember what you did and can go back the next day and try again if you think you can improve it. When you are evaluating your images, convert a copy to black and white. This will remove the distraction of all the pretty colours and allow you to concentrate on the things that make or break an image. Things like lighting, shapes, perspective.... When you start getting images that look really good in B & W you are well on your way.

A final thought here. When you are starting out a lot of your images will be garbage. Do yourself and others a favour: Delete them. Again an advantage of doing your practicing close to home, you do not have to travel hundreds or thousands of miles for a redo.
Very good information except for the past part. I don't delete anything. One of the beauties of something like iPhoto is that you can rate your shots, then create a Smart Album to only show your 'good' shots. That's what my Apple TV uses as a screen saver.

The benefit of keeping old shots in today's digital world is the information you can get from the garbage pictures. Meta data is stored for each picture. Standard stuff such as date, time, location (for cameras with built-in GPS or if you add it later using Locations).

But we also see other information. ISO setting, f-stop, shutter speed, exposure compensation, what flash settings (if any), white balance and focusing setup. I'm seeing some of this information in pictures I shot with an HP Point & Shoot back in 1997.

Being able to see what the settings were for something that didn't work out, can help you the next time you want to shoot something similar. Also very important learning tools for a beginning photographer.

Disk drive space is so cheap that it doesn't make sense to shoot on anything less than the best quality setting for your camera, and to keep all of the goofs.

Then when you become a famous photographer, you'll have a goof reel to show during the closing credits.

eMacMan
Mar 31st, 2011, 12:39 PM
Very good information except for the past part. I don't delete anything. One of the beauties of something like iPhoto is that you can rate your shots, then create a Smart Album to only show your 'good' shots. That's what my Apple TV uses as a screen saver.

The benefit of keeping old shots in today's digital world is the information you can get from the garbage pictures. Meta data is stored for each picture. Standard stuff such as date, time, location (for cameras with built-in GPS or if you add it later using Locations).

But we also see other information. ISO setting, f-stop, shutter speed, exposure compensation, what flash settings (if any), white balance and focusing setup. I'm seeing some of this information in pictures I shot with an HP Point & Shoot back in 1997.

Being able to see what the settings were for something that didn't work out, can help you the next time you want to shoot something similar. Also very important learning tools for a beginning photographer.

Disk drive space is so cheap that it doesn't make sense to shoot on anything less than the best quality setting for your camera, and to keep all of the goofs.

Then when you become a famous photographer, you'll have a goof reel to show during the closing credits.

We disagree on that one but hey that's what forums are all about. At the very least do your friends and family the courtesy of not showing them images you know to be garbage.

FWIW I shoot all of my images on my Olympus WP at 2, 3 or 5MP the quality is every bit as good if I interpolate these up to 8 or 12 MP in PhotoShop as letting the camera do it. 2MP images interpolate to a very crisp 8MP image which leads me to believe that the image is indeed captured at 2MP. Images supposedly captured at 8MP overall are better than those captured at 12MP but no better than those interpolated from 2MP to 8MP. I always use the best quality compression settings no matter what camera or what resolution I use.

NOTE: DSLRs which have sensors with about 8 times the area of a typical point and shoot should be carefully tested to see which resolution produces the best image. In most cases I would expect it to be at or near the maximum resolution with a DSLR.

krs
Mar 31st, 2011, 01:18 PM
I'm looking for a camera at one level above the point-and-shoot as well, but more in the $250 range.

One resource I find very useful is 'testfreaks'
Gives one a good cross-section of reviews and comments both by so called experts and users.
Also lets one quickly determine the weak points of each camera so one can decide if that is an issue.
Nikon COOLPIX P500 Reviews (http://www.testfreaks.com/digitalcameras/nikon-coolpix-p500)
Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Reviews (http://www.testfreaks.com/digitalcameras/canon-powershot-sx30-is/)

At my price range I have focused in on this one:
Canon PowerShot SX130 IS Reviews (http://www.testfreaks.com/digitalcameras/canon-powershot-sx130-is/)

krs
Mar 31st, 2011, 01:31 PM
FWIW I shoot all of my images on my Olympus WP at 2, 3 or 5MP the quality is every bit as good if I interpolate these up to 8 or 12 MP in PhotoShop as letting the camera do it. 2MP images interpolate to a very crisp 8MP image which leads me to believe that the image is indeed captured at 2MP. Images supposedly captured at 8MP overall are better than those captured at 12MP but no better than those interpolated from 2MP to 8MP. I always use the best quality compression settings no matter what camera or what resolution I use.


I'm confused.......

What is being advertised doesn't correspond to your comments above.
The Nikon P500 mentioned earlier in this thread is advertised as
"Total pixels: 12.39 MP"

When I check what they mean by "Total Pixels" I get this:
</0115>Total Pixels

Measured in megapixels (millions of pixels), the number of light-sensitive cells on the sensor. The higher the number of megapixels, the higher the resolution of the final image.

This very cleary states that there are 12,39 million light sensitive cells on the sensor - nothing about 2 or 3 million and the software interpolates up to the 12 million number.

Is this blatantly false advertising?
Or are there actually 12 million pixels on the sensor?
What gives????

mguertin
Mar 31st, 2011, 01:37 PM
I'm looking for a camera at one level above the point-and-shoot as well, but more in the $250 range.

One resource I find very useful is 'testfreaks'
Gives one a good cross-section of reviews and comments both by so called experts and users.
Also lets one quickly determine the weak points of each camera so one can decide if that is an issue.
Nikon COOLPIX P500 Reviews (http://www.testfreaks.com/digitalcameras/nikon-coolpix-p500)
Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Reviews (http://www.testfreaks.com/digitalcameras/canon-powershot-sx30-is/)

At my price range I have focused in on this one:
Canon PowerShot SX130 IS Reviews (http://www.testfreaks.com/digitalcameras/canon-powershot-sx130-is/)

testfreaks is not much more than a content farm. Don't take all the information there at face value, it's all just randomly pulled in from all over the place, often times out of context and you can pretty much guarantee that there's no "experts" involved in it's process. It might point you to other places that talk about the gear but I'd take their ratings with a grain of salt.

Adrian.
Mar 31st, 2011, 09:26 PM
We have done lots of research and we think that the Canon Rebel T3 is a good option for us. It is only $150 above our price range. It has automatic features as well as lots of manual stuff.

Can this be agreed upon as a good beginner camera for us?

kps
Mar 31st, 2011, 11:21 PM
The T3 is a great entry level dSLR. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to take their photography to the next level...but earlier you said you didn't want interchangeable lenses. Not that it matters that much, but the advice we gave was based on that prerequisite.

Keep this in mind. This camera comes with a crappy "kit" lens and it's not especially portable or water resistant to be taken snowboarding, canoeing or kayaking without some serious protection. So, if you're going to leave it behind because you worry about damaging it during your activities ---you bought the wrong one.

krs
Apr 1st, 2011, 12:01 AM
testfreaks is not much more than a content farm.

That's exactly what I like about it and that's what I said in my post:

Gives one a good cross-section of reviews and comments both by so called experts and users.

They don't review or evaluate or rate anything - they just collect the information that's on the net.
Makes it a lot easier to find the various reviews and evaluate what people had to say about a product than spending time to search for all these reviews myself.

Adrian.
Apr 1st, 2011, 08:53 AM
The T3 is a great entry level dSLR. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to take their photography to the next level...but earlier you said you didn't want interchangeable lenses. Not that it matters that much, but the advice we gave was based on that prerequisite.

Keep this in mind. This camera comes with a crappy "kit" lens and it's not especially portable or water resistant to be taken snowboarding, canoeing or kayaking without some serious protection. So, if you're going to leave it behind because you worry about damaging it during your activities ---you bought the wrong one.

The lady at Blacks said that the lens was a good beginner lens and that it was wide angle, so it would shoot landscapes well. The lady has her mind set on one of these DSLRs, so my ability to steer the ship is now forfeited. Would that lens do us well for beginners, or should we be looking to buy another. We would do mostly landscapes (we are into geotourism). The lady said that to do any zooming, we would have to get a telescopic and to do any portraits, we would need a special lens as well. This is what I feared!

The size of the camera is ok with that lens, it isn't that much bigger than the large P&S. It's just having the lug around more lenses that would get heavy, and I am the sherpa in the relationship.

Sorry for the misdirecting this thread. I really appreciate all of your advice. In fact, I told my gf that the decision rested only if I could find a consensus on ehMac. :D

kps
Apr 1st, 2011, 01:18 PM
Consensus on ehMac? That would be a first.;)

You do realise you're now blowing out your original budget...

Fist of all you do not need a "special" lens for the type of portraits you'll be shooting. You do not need pro lenses for your "geotourism" either...not yet, not starting out.

The best camera is the one you take with you, are comfortable with and actually use.

For better information and prices go to Henry's, Vistek, Broadway...etc.

Two kits to consider both come with two lenses:

Nikon 3100 (http://www.vistek.ca/store/DigitalSLRs/252027/nikon-d3100-w-afs-1855mm-vr-afs-55200mm-vr.aspx)

Rebel T3 (http://www.vistek.ca/store/DigitalSLRs/254772/canon-eos-rebel-t3-w-efs-1855mm-ef-75300mm-usm-black.aspx)

These link to Vistek, but Henry's and other of the better camera stores will have similar kits.

Both Nikon and Canon offer a 18mm-200mm lens if you're willing to pay the premium to only have to carry one lens. Both are in the $800 range. This way you cut a deal for body an lens. I have the Nikon 18-200 VR and surprisingly, it's a very sharp lens.

You could also bite the bullet...real hard...and get the T3i or Nikon d7000 with the 18-200. This would be all you need for quite a long time.

Henry's and I think Vistek too offer courses for beginners. You might get that thrown in as well.

Oakbridge
Apr 1st, 2011, 05:29 PM
Consensus on ehMac? That would be a first.;)

You do realise you're now blowing out your original budget...

Fist of all you do not need a "special" lens for the type of portraits you'll be shooting. You do not need pro lenses for your "geotourism" either...not yet, not starting out.

The best camera is the one you take with you, are comfortable with and actually use.

For better information and prices go to Henry's, Vistek, Broadway...etc.

Two kits to consider both come with two lenses:

Nikon 3100 (http://www.vistek.ca/store/DigitalSLRs/252027/nikon-d3100-w-afs-1855mm-vr-afs-55200mm-vr.aspx)

Rebel T3 (http://www.vistek.ca/store/DigitalSLRs/254772/canon-eos-rebel-t3-w-efs-1855mm-ef-75300mm-usm-black.aspx)

These link to Vistek, but Henry's and other of the better camera stores will have similar kits.

Both Nikon and Canon offer a 18mm-200mm lens if you're willing to pay the premium to only have to carry one lens. Both are in the $800 range. This way you cut a deal for body an lens. I have the Nikon 18-200 VR and surprisingly, it's a very sharp lens.

You could also bite the bullet...real hard...and get the T3i or Nikon d7000 with the 18-200. This would be all you need for quite a long time.

Henry's and I think Vistek too offer courses for beginners. You might get that thrown in as well.
I second the recommendation for the 18-200 mm lens from Nikon. I recommended it to my cousin when she was looking to purchase her first 'good' camera and she loves it. I went the two lens route (24-70 DX and 70-300 VR lens) and often I regret it, especially when traveling. It does exceed your original target budget but you'll be very happy with it.

I also agree with talking to someone at either Vistek or Henrys. Unfortunately Black's isn't really a 'camera' store anymore. Sad to see as I worked there part-time in high school and ended up working there as my first full-time job.

I've also attended a couple of the Henry' courses and would recommend them to others.

iMatt
Apr 8th, 2011, 02:52 PM
If you're going to get an SLR after all, forget the specs and the brand, at least at first. Every model on the shelf today is good enough that as a novice it'll take you years before your ability exceeds the camera's capabilities. AFAIK there are very few real dogs among current SLRs. Maybe some of the low-end Sonys?

Which is not to say that the Canon is a bad choice. It might very well be the best one.

But you should also pick up and play with every competitor in your price range.

- is it comfortable in your hand?
- how's the viewfinder with the kit lens mounted?
- do the controls seem completely alien or illogical, or do you immediately start to get a sense of which button does what?
- does the manufacturer have other lenses that appeal to you and that you can afford?

Also: check if there are any specials on discontinued models. Like this year's models, last year's are also good enough to do what you need for years to come.

Having said all that, here's another concern: friends. If you have a lot of them who use a particular lens mount, seriously consider joining the crowd. You'll be able to get better help understanding your new camera, and if they're nice they might lend you some more advanced lenses now and then.

edit: Sorry, noticed the date on the rest of the posts, so the above is probably useless to Adrian at this point. But hopefully of some use to someone...

Oakbridge
Apr 8th, 2011, 07:33 PM
Did the original poster make a decision?

Lee_Roy
Apr 8th, 2011, 08:17 PM
I too am a Nikon user.

This is my setup.

Camera Bodies:
Nikon D40
Nikon D5000

Lenses:
Nikon Nikkor DX 18-55mm lens (not used anymore)
Nikon Nikkor DX 18-55mm VR lens (used by my wife on the D40)
Nikon Nikkor DX 55-200 VR lens (barely used)
Nikon Nikkor 70-300 VR lens (used with all wildlife photography)
Nikon Nikkor DX 35mm F1.8 (use all the time with my D5000 and child at home)

I think the best bang for your buck camera for beginners is the D3100 from Nikon. It has a high megapixel and seems pretty decent even in low-light (we have this camera at work) and takes HD video with full-time auto focus (my D5000 doesn't auto focus). A good beginner lens kit is the 18-55 and 55-200. But they do make more expensive all in ones like the 18-105 and 18-200 but they cost a pretty penny. I would suggest the 35mm DX F1.8 lens. It's around $250-270 but it is very good in lowlight and is very compact. If it's straight photography you want to do, there are some good deals on the D90. It's an older model but it takes very good photos and has a lot of pro features (like LCD lens for adjustments on top of body.

Adrian.
Apr 8th, 2011, 10:57 PM
Thanks everyone for your input!

I think we have decided on the Rebel T3. The new just came out in February, and it seems to have everything we are looking for. We are Canon people, so we understand the interface/menus.

We are going to stick with the kit lens for now. I acquired a copy of Aperture 3 + book guide and the lady has almost figured the whole program out.

We will probably buy a portrait lens as our next purchase and then a telescopic lens.

I will resurrect this thread for more advice!

kps
Apr 8th, 2011, 11:18 PM
Out of curiosity...

Define what a so called "portrait lens" is (or means to you) and why it should be your next lens purchase?

eMacMan
Apr 8th, 2011, 11:30 PM
Traditionally Portrait lenses were "soft", low contrast lenses about double the so-called normal focal length.

For a 35mm camera a typical portrait lens would be about 90mm. For a DSLR somewhere around 45mm. Since you are not looking for super sharp focus, any Barlow style lens that includes the 40-50mm range should do the trick. Focus blurring and contrast reduction can both be easily accomplished and precisely controlled in PhotoShop so there is no longer any real reason for a specialty portrait lens.

SoyMac
Apr 9th, 2011, 10:24 AM
...

I think we have decided on the Rebel T3. The new just came out in February, and it seems to have everything we are looking for. We are Canon people, so we understand the interface/menus....Adrian, I think you'll really enjoy this new camera. And yes, the intuitiveness (for me) of the menu is a big reason why I prefer Canon.

My only word of advice, and I'm sorry to say that it does involve a little more money:

If you want a camera for camping and trekking, I'm not saying don't bring your T3.
But I would recommend you go to Henry's and choose a small point-and-shoot (doesn't really matter which one, as long as it's fairly recent model) from Henry's USED camera counter.
Henry's takes trade-ins, and warrantees these used cameras, and you can get a decent back-up camera for less than a hundred dollars.
I'm not recommending Henry's over anyone else. Henry's just happens to be the place where I've happily bought used cameras.

I'm not even recommending a back-up in case you drop your T3 over the gunwale.
It's just that I think you'll find that a camera that is in your chest pocket, or even on a lanyard around your neck, will be available for many more photos than a camera that will likely be in its waterproof Pelican case, requiring fiddling and set-up before a photo can be taken.
The P&S can conveniently be held at arm's length over the water to take an interesting candid shot of your Sweetie concentrating on the quickly approaching Class 5 rapids, or unobtrusively squeeze off some shots of the moose standing in the river, as you glide past, unnoticed.

I love my DSLR for Intentional shots (shots that are planned and take a bit to set-up), but due to convenience resulting in opportunity, most of my shots are taken with my little P&S that I bought used.

Happy clicking!

glow
Apr 14th, 2011, 12:23 AM
I have found that after image quality, speed makes all the difference. I made the mistake once on vacation of taking a Canon p&s to the Vancouver Aquarium and when inside it was too dark and there wasn't enough flash control so I turned it off. The image noise that the camera produced was horrible (the flash bouncing off the glass would have been a nightmare). Also, when outside I was trying to take pictures of a dolphin that was circling it's enclosure, and I couldn't get the dolphin at the right time because the shutter lag was impossible. I was totally kicking myself that I left my DSLR in the hotel room just to save a little room. It made all the difference in the pictures that I got that day. Which wasn't that many.

Sure, if you are in really nice light and the subject doesn't move and if you have some sort of flash control (meaning you can manually power down the flash indoors) then maybe I would say okay, get a good p&s.

I think almost any DSLR that you buy with a small zoom would put it leaps and bounds over any p&s. I don't think you would regret the T3.

I hope you capture some really great images and memories!

eMacMan
Apr 14th, 2011, 01:30 AM
I have found that after image quality, speed makes all the difference. I made the mistake once on vacation of taking a Canon p&s to the Vancouver Aquarium and when inside it was too dark and there wasn't enough flash control so I turned it off. The image noise that the camera produced was horrible (the flash bouncing off the glass would have been a nightmare). Also, when outside I was trying to take pictures of a dolphin that was circling it's enclosure, and I couldn't get the dolphin at the right time because the shutter lag was impossible. I was totally kicking myself that I left my DSLR in the hotel room just to save a little room. It made all the difference in the pictures that I got that day. Which wasn't that many.

Sure, if you are in really nice light and the subject doesn't move and if you have some sort of flash control (meaning you can manually power down the flash indoors) then maybe I would say okay, get a good p&s.

I think almost any DSLR that you buy with a small zoom would put it leaps and bounds over any p&s. I don't think you would regret the T3.

I hope you capture some really great images and memories!

Hint for P & S users: Stick with ISO 100 for existing light and flash images. Image may be underexposed but you can often bring back a remarkable degree of detail. Higher ISOs will not capture any more light but will generate a lot more noise.

mguertin
Apr 14th, 2011, 01:32 AM
Depends on the P&S ... I've had a couple that were still pretty reasonable up to ISO 400 or so. Aquariums are tough for sure, even shooting with a decent DSLR @ ISO 1600 and using a fast lens it can be tough to get good captures sometimes.

eMacMan
Apr 14th, 2011, 02:20 AM
Depends on the P&S ... I've had a couple that were still pretty reasonable up to ISO 400 or so. Aquariums are tough for sure, even shooting with a decent DSLR @ ISO 1600 and using a fast lens it can be tough to get good captures sometimes.

I've done multi-image comparisons with Olympus, Canon and Kodak. All three produced better looking images at ISO 100 vs ISO 200 and 400. With Flash light drop was identical despite higher ISOs. With existing light the slower ISO images may have appeared slightly darker but I was able to get better images from them than from their higher speed doppelgangers. I would certainly do some testing along these lines as part of becoming familiar with any cameras capabilities.

Obviously a very steady hand or monopod can make an enormous difference if one is shooting under existing light. And yes a larger sensor should be a big help as well. Many may prefer the additional bulk and cost if they shoot often under poor lighting conditions.

Max
Apr 14th, 2011, 10:37 AM
T3 review at Dpreview here. (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos1100d/)

mguertin
Apr 14th, 2011, 10:57 AM
I've done multi-image comparisons with Olympus, Canon and Kodak. All three produced better looking images at ISO 100 vs ISO 200 and 400. With Flash light drop was identical despite higher ISOs. With existing light the slower ISO images may have appeared slightly darker but I was able to get better images from them than from their higher speed doppelgangers. I would certainly do some testing along these lines as part of becoming familiar with any cameras capabilities.

Obviously a very steady hand or monopod can make an enormous difference if one is shooting under existing light. And yes a larger sensor should be a big help as well. Many may prefer the additional bulk and cost if they shoot often under poor lighting conditions.

The same can be said of just about any camera, P&S or DSLR, at least anything in my range of affordability ;) Higher ISO == more noise. It just tends to be more noticeable on cheaper cameras/sensors. Also a lot of cameras have built-in processing that helps deal with that type of noise. Personally I turn off any options along those lines where possible as I shoot RAW and prefer to deal with it after the fact instead of letting the camera do it as you tend to get better results this way. A lot of the cameras' noise reduction routines can also result in quality/contrast reduction as well.

eMacMan
Apr 14th, 2011, 11:21 AM
The same can be said of just about any camera, P&S or DSLR, at least anything in my range of affordability ;) Higher ISO == more noise. It just tends to be more noticeable on cheaper cameras/sensors. Also a lot of cameras have built-in processing that helps deal with that type of noise. Personally I turn off any options along those lines where possible as I shoot RAW and prefer to deal with it after the fact instead of letting the camera do it as you tend to get better results this way. A lot of the cameras' noise reduction routines can also result in quality/contrast reduction as well.

Yes the built in blurring on my little Oly is very annoying at times. Generally it can be corrected with careful application of the unsharp mask especially after image has been reduced in size to say 800x600 pixels. Do wish the blurring was more selective and did not apply it to ISO 200 and lower images. Realistically with this camera any ISO greater than 640 gives images good only for special effects and I do avoid using the high ISOs altogether. OTH the waterproof, shockproof, small size combination makes this a go-to camera in many situations.