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We all came to because we are interested in editing photos -- retouching new or old images, restoring damaged images, or creating painterly impressions from a photo.

Everything we do here starts with the photographic image.

The image came first. That is where my fascination still lies.
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Do I need a DSLR, or is it just camera lust?

Posted 11-11-2007 at 03:21 AM by CJ Swartz
Updated 11-14-2007 at 12:26 AM by CJ Swartz

Every so often it hits me. Time zips by and I forget to eat, ignore my cats' insistence on a head-rub, and only get up to visit the bathroom. Am I researching useful info on presidential candidates, or locating examples of living-wills for my relatives? Nope, just visiting DPreview, Imaging Resources, etc. looking at specs, image samples and owner comments relating to the recent crop of DSLR's.

Last year I talked myself out of a DSLR and bought an updated super-zoom Fujifilm S5200. Kept my 2MP super-zoom Olympus C2100 because it's good at digital near-IR.

Now that I'm photographing dogs and cats at the county shelter (in reduced light and without a partner to act as a handler), I'm talking myself into the "need for speed" -- being able to raise my ISO without adding visible noise. I'm shooting at high ISOs and slow shutter speeds and many shots are blurred due to my hand shaking (always a problem for me, but now I have one hand on a moving cat/dog and one hand on the camera). I have to upload the images at the shelter without benefit of editing in Photoshop, so I can't shoot in raw or remove the noise. I had hoped to avoid the use of flash (spooks some cats/dogs), but have had to add it to the mix to keep the noise level of the images at a reasonable level.

A DSLR could deliver clean images at 1600 ISO, thus reducing my need for flash and helping the animals get better photos with less stress and find new homes faster --- sounds reasonable to me

But I know it's my camera lust attacking again...
Posted in Photography
Views 5436 Comments 10
Total Comments 10


  1. Old Comment
    palms's Avatar


    I wonder how many members here can identify with you CJ i would like to bet it is quite a few, And it beats watching t.v.

    Posted 11-11-2007 at 04:46 AM by palms palms is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Craig Walters's Avatar
    ah, toy lust! we've all had it and we've all gone crazy with it! 'oooooh! how cool! i want that!!' three months later after losing the manual and finding other toys to play with, the original item is sitting on a shelf enjoying the dust accumulating around it.

    i was recently in that mode a few months back when i came into a small windfall of money. and sure enough, i was looking at dslr's also. ah! Canon! ah, Nikon! ooooooh! and i also found myself on dpreview going over pages of specs. the lust was in full bloom! i want that! and that! and ooooooh!!

    hehe, it's one of those things where your head seems to go south, and something else takes over... much like the other lust we're probably all familiar with

    well, this time i managed to stave off the lust long enough to realize i had some other needs, bills and so on. and i also, somehow, managed to ask myself how much was i really going to use this, i mean, really ask. and i finally realized that what i really wanted was something i could carry around with me ALL the time without lugging around a tripod, accessory bag and lighting. trust me, that was tough! i ended up with a small Kodak i could carry on my belt in a pouch. and i do carry it everywhere. in fact, while i'm sitting here typing, it's on my belt.

    now, i've been pretty happy with this small investment and take pictures much more frequently than if i had to pack up a half a ton of equipment and 'go out for a shoot'. and, i saved a TON of money. that doesnt mean i still dont want a dslr. i do.

    and it also doesnt mean i dont want any other camera. i do. i find that, even though i did do some homework on buying the little Kodak, i am missing some things i'd really like to have now. so, one of these days, the current, semi-assuaged lust is going to go full bloom again and woe be to anyone that gets in my way
    Posted 11-11-2007 at 12:42 PM by Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
  3. Old Comment
    CJ Swartz's Avatar
    Yes, Craig, you've described it well, including the "other needs" that could use the money at least as much as my camera lust.

    My Fuji has really helped quell the raging desire for SLR because I have an excellent zoom range (38- to 380mm 35mm equivalent) without changing lenses or adding any weight, and I can use raw format when I worry that noise/Fuji noise reduction will be a problem. I've also accepted the fact that I'm not going to shoot fantastic bird photos like Arthur Morris even if I did have a 600mm lens because I'm not willing to put in the time/work/energy to get to that level. That helps quell the SLR wish a lot. But then something comes along that is at the edge of what my Fuji can do easily, and I start thinking about what the SLR could do. When I had film SLRs, I honestly didn't use them enough to make their purchase worthwhile, but digital has greatly increased my frequency of photography. I do fear buying a SLR and wasting it. I have usually shot subjects at telephoto rather than making use of wide-angle and normal to mid-range distances. I still have a (heavy) telephoto zoom that I could use with a SLR, but I got really tired of lugging the heavy equipment around just like you did. But the new SLRs and lenses weigh less than my old film cameras. But the super-zooms weigh even less. I really never needed to use high ISO when I shot film or digital until I started volunteering at the shelter. There are some reasonable solutions to my dilemma that don't require buying a SLR, but it would be ONE of the good solutions...
    Posted 11-11-2007 at 02:53 PM by CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Janet Petty's Avatar
    When my husband and I became empty nesters, he went back to school (as a hobby) and I renewed my long neglected interest in photography. Beginning anew with a point-and-shoot digital camera was like waking a sleeping giant. No more film or processing costs, no wasting said film on shots that didn't turn out, being able to change ISOs on the fly, and this gal hasn't looked backward since. I started by taking candids of people at our church pot lucks and putting together a slideshow for an end year production. With all the positive feedback and humor those shows spawned, I went whole hog and purchased a dslr. I've never regretted the decision or the recent upgrade to the new Canon 40D. Sure I've invested more money than I need to, taken thousands of terrible photos just to get a few stunning keepers. But is beginning to pay off. I'm finally starting to see benefits in a lot of areas. Among them, I notice more of my surroundings, enjoy the light and its moods more, and find that I notice people and situations on a heightened level. I feel blessed to have been able to grow in an area that brings so much pleasure.
    Posted 11-11-2007 at 04:38 PM by Janet Petty Janet Petty is offline
  5. Old Comment
    patriciakay's Avatar
    A very interesting blog and one i identify with...I started my digital camera journey with a Sony cybershot...2 took lovely landscape pics but i didnt like the people ones...but i dont take so many of those..birthday came around and i got a Canon Powershot A300 3.2 mpx and i love it still...but...the zoom wasnt as good as i would like and of course i wanted more mpx...last October i made a big decision to buy a Canon Rebel....all the way from New York as the price was so much better! I really love it and practice as often as i can and have recently started shooting RAW and using my tripod (thats a big help as i get so giddy when i see something i want to hands shake a bit!) I am really into Macro...mostly flowers but i love the insects and bugs too...they are not super macro shots though as that lens costs an arm and a leg and anyway i am not experienced enough to spend so much....I have invested in a Canon 60mm Macro lens though...Am i happy with all that---oh yes extremely----BUT----Its too much to carry around all the time and i do like to have a camera with wherever i go...there is always a photo just waiting to be taken....soooooooo....this year when it was my birthday this year i got a new point and shoot but 10 mpx and with super macro ...Samsung 1050 and its so neat...takes great shots and fits with ease into my bag...What i am trying to say Cj is go for it, there is a time in all our lives when we should if we can afford it have the things we want and even when we get them...theres more.....
    Posted 11-17-2007 at 06:41 PM by patriciakay patriciakay is offline
  6. Old Comment
    CJ Swartz's Avatar
    Patriciakay says:"What i am trying to say Cj is go for it, there is a time in all our lives when we should if we can afford it have the things we want and even when we get them...theres more....."

    Patricia - that's what I'm always telling myself when I'm looking thru the camera/lens reviews...
    Posted 11-18-2007 at 02:13 PM by CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
  7. Old Comment
    DannyRaphael's Avatar
    I just yielded to my lust: a Nikon D300 en route. (I'm upgrading from D70).

    Faster focus & 2x frame rate for kid sports, leaping from 6mp to 12mp (larger high quality prints or more cropping potential), ability to shoot at higher ISO w/less noise than D70.
    Posted 11-28-2007 at 08:43 PM by DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
  8. Old Comment
    CJ Swartz's Avatar

    I yield, I yield! New Nikon D40

    Originally Posted by Danny R.
    I just yielded to my lust: a Nikon D300 en route. (I'm upgrading from D70).

    Wow, Danny! A D300 -- yum!! Beats out my news of getting a D40 just now (except the D40 is mine, so that's better news for ME! )

    The deals for the D40 were too much to pass up, and they had a great price for the VR version of the 55-200mm lens also, so I went for it.

    I've opened up the boxes (with the "help" of two of the cats), started charging the battery and held the camera in my own hands. Have a lot to learn about settings and controls, but that will all be FUN. I have some free time coming up, and hope to make some good images soon after some practice.

    I've been waiting for this since I read about the first DSLR years ago - I knew that digital workflow fit me better than film did, and I'm truly excited to finally have this little beauty in my hands!

    Danny - how long do you have to wait for your D300? I'm sure you're drooling at the thought.
    Posted 11-29-2007 at 01:45 PM by CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
  9. Old Comment
    DannyRaphael's Avatar
    D300 arrived yesterday... I'm sure my kitties will enjoy the unwrapping process, too.

    Look FWD now to getting CS3 installed so I can start tinkering with ACR, .RAW. etc.

    Too many distractions to conflict with required holiday-related tasks. A nice problem to have.
    Posted 11-30-2007 at 12:29 PM by DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
  10. Old Comment
    patriciakay's Avatar
    Great news Cj and Danny....

    Its such fun getting a new camera....look forward to lots of pics from you both!!!

    Posted 11-30-2007 at 01:27 PM by patriciakay patriciakay is offline

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