I would like to buy good camera to start learning photography ... i have 30K(Indian ruppies) budget.

Now i am confused whether i should go for the DSLR or for the New Performance series(High end compacts with great Zoom) like Nikon coolprix P100.

For DSLR(20-30K) i will have to buy expensive lenses(10-20K) to shoot for wildlife etc... subject where as high end compacts offer good zoom upto 20x that means no need to buy a lenses and stuff...

So does there high end compacts and DSLR makes different in shooting results or experience ? if yes upto what extent ?

However i am "very serious" about the Photography. Unfortunate thing is currently i see it as hobby and not sure if i will go for some earning from this hobby.

Please help me out... regarding what should i do Thanks

  • Could you clarify the units of your price range / budget? I can assume that your 30,000 figure is not dollars...
    – ahockley
    Dec 28 '10 at 15:39
  • Right, its Indian ruppies...
    – Anil Namde
    Dec 28 '10 at 15:40
  • Anil, most people here are probably more comfort with US $ prices. Can you translate?
    – ysap
    Dec 28 '10 at 15:46
  • Possible duplicate: photo.stackexchange.com/q/4114/21 Dec 28 '10 at 16:19
  • 1
    This is another very general equipment recommendation thread. We keep getting these, and they never really garner many really useful answers. These types of questions are also often susceptible to brand loyalty, which can greatly bias the answers provided. I will leave this question for now, but it may need to be closed, or at best converted to wiki. I suggest you do a quick search of our forums for similar questions, as we get this one a lot. Additionally, you might find that chatting real time in our chat (click "Photographic Memories" to the right) will be more beneficial.
    – jrista
    Dec 28 '10 at 22:30

I recommend that you decide what class of camera to buy (DSLR, compact, superzoom), then head over to SnapSort to figure out the specific camera make and model you want. I cannot say enough good things about SnapSort; it’s an incredibly well-done and helpful site.

I don’t know what the prices are like in India, but I see that 30,000 INR is around $660 USD. It would be difficult to purchase a new DSLR system for that amount of money in the United States. You might try looking for a used DSLR body, then purchase some new lenses, if you want to go that route.

There is definitely a difference between shooting with a DSLR and a compact, but it’s not as much as you might think. The most important part of the camera is the twelve inches behind it, that is, the photographer. As long as you get something with enough reach for the kind of photography you’re interested in, you should be fine.

  • 3
    +1 SnapSort looks good, but I'm not sure about placing the Pentax K-5 as entry level and the Canon 60D as professional... That tends to make me question their accuracy.
    – Joanne C
    Dec 28 '10 at 18:01
  • We made a mistake with the K-5, agreed it should be listed as professional. Hmm, I thought the 40D/50D/60D were in Canon's Pro lineup, am I wrong? We need a good definition of pro gear :)
    – Alex Black
    Jan 6 '11 at 0:44

It is important to first understand the pros and cons of DSLRs. People will tell you that DSLRs give the best image quality and they are right.

Whether you need that image quality depends on the type of shooting you do. Particularly if you print small or simply share your images on the web, you won't notice much difference until shooting in very low light.

The MOST important advantage of DSLRs is speed. They respond faster which gives you much better changes at catching things that move fast like sports and action. No matter how small you print, if you miss the shot because the camera is too slow, you missed, period.

While DSLRs have the ultimate flexibility (lenses, filters, flashes, etc), top-of-the-line fixed-lens cameras have awesome immediate flexibility. With a single lens you can go from ultra-wide (24mm) to super telephoto (840mm) in the case of the Canon SX30 for example. You can also focus at 0cm from the lens which gives awesome macro capability which you would need a specialty lens for on a DSLR... and you get all this for under 2 lbs and never deal with sensor dust.

Certain models from Fuji have excellent image quality for their class, even though I own several DSLRs and more lenses than I remember, I do own several fixed lens cameras with my favorite being the Fuji Finepix S100FS. The mechanical lens makes framing extremely precise and the zoom range is enough that I rarely have the 'wrong lens' for a quick shot I need. I certainly would not take this camera to shoot indoor basketball though, for that I use a Canon DSLR.


Anil, there certainly is a difference in results, mainly in image quality. DSLRs do a much better work when it comes to IQ, due to larger sensors and better lenses (in general). Also, DSLRs are usually more controllable and configurable than compacts (and more expensive, duh...). You can see image samples of the models that are of your interest in the many review sites around the net (dpreview, to mention just one).

That said, if you just start learning, a top of the line compact will definitely let you learn the basics. just consider that down the road, depending on your "seriousness", you will want to upgrade to a DSLR, so take this into account.


If you want to learn photography, almost any camera will do to start with. In some ways, the more primitive the camera, the more you will learn. I believe the most important aspects of photography are things like composition, framing, choosing the instant, making the best use of ambient lighting and so on.

I have an inexpensive DSLR, I also have a high-end superzoom compact with the same zoom range as the lens I use most often on my DSLR. For photographing wildlife the DSLR wins every time, even though it's sensor has half the number of pixels. The DSLR wins in the following areas:

  • Speed of focus.
  • Ability for me to quickly choose focus point.
  • shortness of interval between pressing the shutter and capturing the image.
  • Lack of noise in the image, especially at high ISO.
  • Color reproduction (though this is adjustable in both cameras)
  • Range of controls that are instantly to hand (without moving eye from subject).

One of the things that really irks me is that even if I pre-compose the shot, when I press the shutter release on the compact, even if the subject is still in focus, it always takes a half second to focus back and forth before settiling on the subject.

Another thing that irks me is that if the compact focuses on a twig instead of a bird, there is usually nothing I can do about it in the time before the bird flies away.

The above may not hold true for some other pairing of DSLR and compact but I find it persuasive.

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