I am thinking about getting a new SLR camera and I want to make a good decision. Going to a camera store is out of the question since I live in the boonies, so I need help as to what camera to buy. I currently own a Kodak EasyShare 740 and it's an OK camera. I really enjoy taking pictures of wildlife and need to zoom in more than I currently can (I even have the attachment zoom lens thinking that this would be more helpful...it wasn't). I have a friend who has a Cannon and he tells me I should get the D20. He promises that I will LOVE THAT CAMERA. I have also looked into a Nikon D70, which seems to be cheaper and that's attractive of course. HELP! Is an SLR going to take that much better pictures than my current Kodak? I don't want to spend that kind of money only to discover that it's not that much better. I hope that someone is able to help me with this decision or has been in my shoes and has some good advise for me as to buy or not to buy and deal with the Kodak.
You would really enjoy either the 20D or the D70, but your Kodak has a feature that neither of those cameras will be able to give you without a significant additional purchase - a very long zoom lens.
That 10x lens your Kodak has is pretty surprisingly powerful. You'd have to get at least a 400mm lens for either the Canon or the Nikon in order to improve on what the Kodak already gives you.
This is not to say that the Kodak's a better camera. Both the SLRs offer more pixels in the image, greater ISO range, faster shutter speeds, and far more overall flexibility. But that Z740 is quite a lot of camera packed into a little container.
If more zoom is what you're after, either the Canon or the Nikon will give it to you - but only after you've spent a lot more money for a big lens. In fact, the lens can easily top the price of the camera itself by several times.
That expense would be WELL worth it. But not everyone's ready to drop five grand all at one throw into a hobby. I'd hate to see you drop a thousand dollars into a wonderful new camera body only to discover that you needed to spend thousands more to get the lens to make it to do what you want.
You may want to look at a NIKON d50. I am a little bias because I own one. But if you check out reviews on the web, you will find many great reviews.
Changing cameras doesn't necessarily get you better pictures. Becoming a better photographer does.
I find that I can be more creative with any of the CoolPix cameras because they are small and easy to carry around. Not so with a DSLR which I find too heavy and only use it for specific purposes.
Funny you should mention the Nikon CoolPix, Larry. I used to have an 880. Very nice little P&S camera with a 3.3mpxl sensor and I had fun for years with it. I retired it when the battery door broke.
I stepped up to a Canon Digital Rebel XT and have been thoroughly enjoying the additional options it gives me, but missed the extreme portability of the little Nikon.
A couple of months ago, I was browsing through my favorite local camera store (North Tampa Photography) and spotted a CoolPix 885 in the used section. I bought it and brought it home to use as a little "kickaround" camera - something I could just keep handy without having to deal with all the complexities of the Canon.
Well not only does it take excellent pictures, but I've noticed that I'm taking better pictures with it. Owning the Canon has changed my vision of what makes a good image and that's bled through to my use of the Nikon too.
So now I'm doing the same as you. I have my "good" camera and I use it a lot and enjoy it immensely. But that little Nikon goes with me everywhere and the pictures I take with it are at least as good as those I take with the Canon.
Doesn't it all depend on the size of your pocket as to what is suitable as a carry-around camera? In this debate I think there is no question a dSLR offers some quality advantages over a point and shoot and provides some functional advantages as well that only comes with interchangeable lenses and SLR viewing and focusing. So to be relatively equal in output relative to cost, I just noticed today Adorama is offering a 6MP dSLR I think should be taken seriously for just about the same price as many comparable performance spec point and shoots:
Samsung Digimax GX 1S Digital SLR Camera Body with D-XENON 18-55mm Zoom Lens, 11 Point AF, 6.0 Megapixel, 2.5" LCD Screen
Reg. $799.95 'Seize the Week' Special Only $599.95
Like Lance Armstrong once said..."It's not about the bike."
I was in your shoes last year around this time. I had a Kodak Easy Share too ( and still do and still love it to death) and I too was beginning to wonder if maybe I should get a DSLR for better pictures. I did a lot of research and got alot of opinions and ended up going with a more advanced P&S . I bought a Konica Minolta DiMage7 which has alot of advanced features similar to a DSLR , I can add all the fancy lenses I want, but still have the invaluable ability to just whip it out and start shooting without adjusting lenses and all the hassle of a DSLR. The problem I have with DSLR's is the cost of the lenses, it has been said before and I'll say it again, to get a lens with Zoom comparable to the Zoom on some P&S's you will pay as much as you paid for the camera itself, sometimes more. For me, it's just not worth it. I say, get a new camera if you're feeling the itch, but stay with an advanced Point and Shoot.
I'd like to recommend either the Leica V-Lux or the Panasonic FZ50. Both have a truly-amazong Leica lens that is image stabilised and zooms from wide angle to 12X. These cameras are a lot lighter and less expensive than a dSLR.
I have had bad experiences in the past with getting good pictures from Kodak cameras and actually returned two of them. I am now on my fourth digital camera (Pansonic Super Disk 1.3MP; Olympus C-700, Olympus C-740 and now Fuji S-5200). I now use a Fuji S-5200 camera. I have tired out a few D-SLR camera about 3 months ago when I was looking to replace my C-740 but found I did not like carrying around the extra weight of the lenses and added weigh of the camera body. I shoot a lot of fires and accidents were I live and I get into a lot of smoke and also chose my camera so I wouldn't expose the sensor to smoke when I needed to change lenses to get a longer or short focal length. The Fuji I use has a 10x optical zoom (38 - 380mm) which give ms the full spectum of what I need and it does get great pictures from a far on hazmat type calls and big fires where you can't safely get close to the building. I think it would do great for wildlife images although it does make a little click when you push the shutter down so it might scare off some animals......
I would suggest you look for a camera with an 8 or 10x optical zoom as they will give you great distance. You might find the Fuji S-9000, S-9100 or S-600fd good to look into especially if you need very high resolution.
BTW the cameras I did test were Nikon D-70, Cannon 8MP Digtial RebelXT, Fuji S-9000, Fuji S-5200 and Cannon G3IS.
Good luck let us know what you do.