I’ve had a Canon Powershot (new version of what I have is the SX50 HS) for about 4 years now. About a year ago, in Yellowstone, to be exact, it started to act up with both rapid shooting and macro shots. The macro function doesn’t work, at all, and it won’t focus for macro shots (all blur, all the time). It made me super mad, as it screwed up my photos of mudpots (and if you don’t know how much I love mudpots, you should). I tried resetting the entire camera, which fixed the problem for about a day. Then it reverted back to its annoying non-macro taking state. For “action” shots, it takes at least 5 seconds between frames, no matter what setting (auto/manual/etc.), which–if you’ve ever taken action shots of wildlife and sports–is a lifetime. I think the gap used to be about 1.5 to 2 seconds.
Besides these problems, the Canon Powershot was/is amazing–I love it dearly and it was the perfect step up from a normal point and shoot as it allowed me to play with shutter speed and aperture in a non-frightening way. Don’t worry, it became my husband’s camera, as he was still using a point and shoot, and his 1500 photos of our 10 days in Kenya suggest, to me, that he was grateful for the upgrade.
So I started looking for a decent body–not quite the lowest entry level, but definitely not something that expensive. I did consider a mirrorless option, but those with good reviews were already running $700+, and I wasn’t ready to spend that on something that I needed to learn how to use. I’m sort of partial to Canon, mainly because I’m familiar with their setup and when I knew I had SO much to learn about using a DSLR, also learning all new menu functions/controls was not something I wanted to do. I have a stubborn opposition to user manuals/instruction books for all they are worth and I don’t think I’ve ever read one successfully in my life.
After much debate and deliberation, I ended up with an advanced entry level DSLR, the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR. This wasn’t a decision I took lightly–while I buy things like clothes, shoes, and bags, with minimal debate–I have a really hard time buying electronics.To say I “know how” to use this camera and all its functions is probably overstating my skills. But I have definitely enjoyed playing and learning.
Here’s what I think so far:
Never said I wasn’t vain…check out this puppy…it’s WHITE. And it is SO pretty. I’ve gotten so many compliments on my white camera, and I love that it’s different. No, no, no, I didn’t buy it just because it was white, but it is pretty exciting. My macro lens it came with is also white, just to add to the fun.
I can say, for reproductions, the quality and resolution of photos from this camera are significantly improved even when shooting in JPEG and not RAW. I also think it takes better photos in low light situations. Obviously, and to my delight, it also takes amazing macros with my 18-55mm lens. I also ordered a 55-250mm lens. Both have image stabilization, and have been really fantastic so far. I do miss the crazy digital zoom power of the Powershot, but a telephoto lens just is NOT in the cards!
Ease of Use
While I know I’m not getting all I could be out of this camera, it is not significantly more difficult to use than my old Powershot on manual settings. And it has a nifty spifty touchscreen which can be fun for swiping through photos or a quick and easy auto-focus.
Critically important for packing, this thing is LIGHT. So much lighter than my old camera, and the one of or the smallest DSLR on the market according to the specs at purchase, at only .9 lbs. This was a huge draw for me, as I use it mostly for trips. It fits into little purses and even with 2 lenses, it’s easy to throw into one of my carry-on personal items (just reviewed last week).
Verdict (So Far)
While I still have so much to learn about photography, using a DSLR, photo editing (and shooting in RAW), I am really enjoying my new DSLR and don’t regret the purchase one bit. Hopefully as the summer comes to an end, I’ll have more time to continue learning how to use it better. But as for a step up from the Powershot, it’s been a fantastic choice.
Photos courtesy of my mother (aka dogsitter extraordinaire) since I can’t take pictures of myself taking photos (she uses a Canon Powershot, too, FWIW).