PnS or dSLR?

Started Oct 10, 2008 | Discussions thread
GaryDeM Veteran Member • Posts: 6,297
Re: I don't see the reply you're talking about Gary

what i think you are asking is whether or not a good p&s can take the same shot as a 8mp dslr, and when printed at a 8x10inch how do they compare.

the answer is yes no and maybe. i can illustrate this by the following real story which i found to be interesting.

In the summer of 2006 a pro working for a website and photo magazine went on a trip to hawaii. he took his canon20d, a dslr, and a canon s3IS, a good p&s super zoom. his intent was to shoot as many identical shots as possible with the 2 cameras and compare the results when he got home. before he went he said that the dslr should win in a walk. if for no other reason that the dslr has more mps.

what happened was the following: in 80% of the shots it was difficult to impossible to tell which camera shot which pic. the 80% however all had something in common. they were pics of everyday scenes or people or landscapes. there was not any closeups, heavy telephoto, macro or any other specialized images. for everyday shooting the super zoom did extremely well. BUT, when the dslr was able to switch lenses for a special use or add other gear to get a more optimized photo gear setup; there was simply no comparison. the dslr simply walked away with the image quality. in the remaining 20% the p&s could not compete on a one for one quality image basis. the p&s beyond the builtin features could not adapt well enough in very difficulkt conditions, but the dslr could.

so therefore as long as the user stays inside of the limits that a good p&s super zoom has the pics will generally be very good. once you try to take images that are pushing the design limits then the super zoom simply has no way to change to get any more performance.

please note that the above is talking about a max print size of 8x10inches. this was the comparison used. if you increase the print size to 11x14 or 16x20 or 20x30 THEN the p&s would not be able to compete in even more situations and would be doing this faster as the print size went up.

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