Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Rob gives bad advice on digital SLRs

Rob Pegoraro's column in this weekends Washington Post was a general buyer's guide to digital cameras and I liked the the no-nonsense advice he gave out until I read this:

That, in turn, undercuts one of the primary advantages of digital cameras -- the ability to take one to as many places as possible. That's also why I don't recommend D-SLRs -- "digital single-lens reflex" models that, like their film equivalents, let you frame a shot through the same lens used by the image sensor. They take extremely sharp pictures and do so extremely quickly, but they also cost far more and are hardly smaller than film SLRs. Hold off on any D-SLR shopping until you find you're making photography a serious hobby.


I disagree here. The benefit of the extremely fast photo taking seriously outweighs the "downsides" of extra disk space. You don't need to have photography as a serious hobby to get big benefits from a digital SLR. Fast photo taking is one of those things that's hard to understand the benefit of until you actually have it. And I'm generally a photo geek and a technology geek so you might discount my opinion here, but my wife who is neither LOVES our Canon EOS digital, she absolutely swears by it. With a young baby (they never sit still!) or kids that play sports or perform in school plays or WHATEVER, the quick response time from a camera fundamentally changes the quality of the shots that you get -- not in terms of pixel quality, but in terms of capturing what you intended to capture and not an image 1-2 seconds later.

Yes, the bulkiness is a disadvantage but it's outweighed (no pun intended) by the shift in the results you get from digital SLRs.

Now if only the makers of smaller digital cameras (the stuff that Rob exclusively advocates) could put the storage buffers and whatever else gives digital SLRs a quicker response time on digital SLRs into the next generation of Digital Elphs, we'd have the best of both worlds.

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