S100 for a beginner?

Started Dec 24, 2011 | Discussions thread
Alastair Norcross Veteran Member • Posts: 6,121
Re: S100 for a beginner?

skisagooner wrote:

Alastair Norcross wrote:

One of the big differences between the S100 and a DSLR is in depth of field control. Because the sensor on the S100 is much smaller than a DSLR sensor (though larger than most other compacts), the focal lengths of the lens are much shorter than of the lenses that would give you an equivalent field of view on a DSLR. The S100 lens is 5.2mm to 26mm. A roughly equivalent lens on a Canon Rebel, or other APS-C DSLR, is 15mm to 85mm. At, say, 10mm, which is in the middle of the S100 range, you get enormous depth of field, making it very difficult to blur the background. A 50mm lens on a DSLR allows you to get great background blur, isolating the subject. Of course, the flip side of this is that a compact will give you initially sharper-looking images, because of the enormous depth of field. Many people who upgrade from a compact to a DSLR are confused when their pictures don't seem to be as sharp.

Another thing you will get from a DSLR is better high ISO performance. The much larger sensor allows you to shoot at higher sensitivities with lower noise. The S100 is a wonderful high ISO performer for a compact, but my 7D is at least two stops better.

Yet another advantage of a DSLR is in shooting speed. A DSLR, even a Rebel, will focus and shoot a lot faster than a compact. That's why you'd never see a sports photographer with a compact. There's practically no noticeable shutter lag with a DSLR. With a compact, even a very good one like the S100, you really notice the lag between pressing the shutter button and taking the picture.

Thanks, you're absolutely right. But basically it's image quality (oh well, looks like I won't be able to shoot bokeh-licious shots with the S100). But in terms of manual controls, I think they're about the same?

I think the S100 will be a camera that I can take time to grow into, and then I'll decide whether I should get a DSLR. Because a DSLR, at the moment is a bit unaffordable and unnecessary for me.

Sounds like a good plan. The S100 is a terrific camera. And it does have full manual control, which makes it great for learning photography. You may get a DSLR at some point too, or you may be happy with just a great compact. Have fun.
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Alastair
http://anorcross.smugmug.com
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