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Should I get a DSLR or a regular digital camera?

First off, I don’t have alot of experiance in photography, other than the point and shoot technique. I took photography in highschool but had a really slack teacher who wasn’t interested in helping me. I had a slr camera at the time but had no idea how to use it. After school ended my mum made me give my camera away which sucked, because I love the quality of the pictures and the colours. I need a new camera anyway because mine is three years old, the flash has died and the photos are really grainy. It used to be okay, but now it does not meet my needs, and I don’t think its worth fixing. It was already out of date when I brought it, and was not built to last.

I really like the look of the Pentax K100D, but I think it will be too expensive for me. I’m hoping to spend less than 200 pounds (US $300) if possible, and will consider getting a secondhand camera if I have too.

I don’t have many hobbies at the moment and would like to pick up photography. I am willing to go to nightclasses, watch tutorials and learn from others to improve in this field to learn how to use my camera to the best of its abilities.

I want a camera that is like a slr, but you can still do digital camera type stuff with it, like click and shoot, or get more technical and fiddle with all the settings to get the perfect photo. I need a multipurpose camera that will take a great picture quickly with automatic settings that will be easy for an amateur such as myself to use, but one that I will still enjoy using once I’ve picked up more skills. I would like a camera with a flip-out screen so I can get self pictures easily when theres no-one around to take them for me, so for when I am taking pictures for other people so that they can see what is going on, and tell me when to shoot. With the special effects, I would like different camera modes such as Sepia, Black and White, Kids and Pets, Fireworks, Snow, Nightmood etc. I also like the ability to turn off certain colours and create panoramic photos easily. I realise I can do most of these things with basic photo editing programs on my computer, so its not essential for the camera I buy to have these things.

I want to make a good investment in a camera I can use for years to come. I made a big mistake with the last camera I brought because it wasnt built to last and it wasn’t put together very well. I didnt look after it as well as I should of, but I don’t think it had a very good shelflife as it was.

I want the kind of camera I can use in any environment, but I don’t want to feel like a show-off carrying it around. I would still use it for goofy shots with my friends, and photos you dont have to be a professional to take, but as I said, I want an all purpose camera.

I plan on taking lots of photos as I travel the world, view new landscapes and get up close to different kinds of bugs and animals. I’m not very confident in my abilities as a photographer yet, and I never know what to take pictures of, but I think the problem is I’m lacking inspiration. I’m on my gap year at the moment and have plenty of photo opportunities everyday!

Then on the other hand, my sister has a Canon digital camera and she gets some really great pictures too. It has all the basic effects and modes I want and I already know how to use it, but I want a challenge, and theres lots of things you cant do with a digital camera. Is it possible to develop photos for a DSLR in a darkroom?

What kind of camera do you think I should get?
I think I found a way I can get that camera for 150 pounds (US $247) which isn’t too bad… I also found out it does have all the digital features I wanted!

Still your opinions please…?



  • sidler

    well to put it in simple terms
    i say if ur new and armature photographer
    dont go for DSLRs
    go for normal point and shoot cameras
    which are easy to use and lots of auto settings available

    here is the link for some great cameras

    hope this helps u

  • Rab

    Honestly,your budget will not meet your requirements stated above.If you wish to take great creative photos,you will definitely need a DSLR (Digital SLR).It will offer you everything.You will get decent entry level DSLRs at around US $550.Since you have already managed US $300, I personally prefer that you save some more money and invest it on a decent camera which will satisfy all your needs.

    But if you wish to take average photos with friends and family,a point and shoot camera should be ok for you.They come rather cheap and you can get decent ones within US $300.

    One more thing.Its better not to buy second hand cameras.As you have less experience with digital cameras,you might not notice flaws on second hand cameras.

    Check the site below.It offers reviews on different cameras.The reviews are very informative and unbiased.

  • Light

    I would suggest Sony Cyber-shot DSCH20.10MP, 10x Optical Zoom
    720p HD movie recording and Optical SteadyShot image stabilization
    3-inch Clear Photo LCD Plus screen
    Enhanced Smile Shutter and Face Detection
    It take stunning images quality and good video.

  • Cat Lover

    Since you already have had experience with a SLR, I don’t think you would be very satisfied with a point & shoot. You will need a DSLR, which is just like a SLR, only it doesn’t use film. It uses memory cards. And no, you can’t develop photos from a DSLR in a darkroom, because as I said, it doesn’t use film. You could print the photos yourself, if you have a printer, or take the card to a store and have them print them for you..

    You will have to save up more money for a DSLR though, as the cheapest ones are around $450. I wouldn’t get a used one, because you never know how it has been taken care of, plus you would get no warranty with it.

  • Edwin

    Your budget is really limiting. I’d happily suggest the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 buts its $499.95 USD.

    The LX3 has a very fast f2.0-2.8 lens which gives you excellent low-light, non-flash photography opportunities. It has all the manual control you’d ever need and should give you years of service.

    You will find a great deal of useful information about photography at: Well-written and illustrated tutorials/how-to articles.