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Old Feb 10, 2011, 6:47 PM   #1
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Default Talk me out of DSLR

Hi all

Im not sure if LTZ470 has ever used a DSLR but he sure knows his way around his many camera's. Sarah Joyce seems to have more camera choices then I would want to figure out what to use. It is really nice to have experienced people to talk to about what you want to do.

For some reason I feel compelled to buy the Pentax K-X with 2 lens kit 18-55mm and 55- 300mm.
I already own a Panasonic FZ-20, FZ-100 and the LX5. I guess this quest started when I took a photgraphy class which the instructor was all SLR then DSLR. He never used super zooms or compacts. Due to there sub par image quality. In otherwords he really never liked any of my shots. I must admit a lot of my shots were not very sharp.

So I have been playing with the FZ20 at first and then the FZ100 in Aperture mode,and manual mode. not doing all that well. Then got a LX-5 for indoor shots. Again not doing very well there either. So I think I'm missing the boat on how to use these Camara's. Some friends of mine suggested to stop playing with these toys and get a DSLR. Although they only ever used a SLR. But they also said the quality would be better.
I have seen some excellent shots from people on this site and another that do very well with these camera's. Although they are generally in bright sunlight. Where I live this winter has not seen to many sunny days and by the time I get home it's dark. I do like the LX5 as it is easy to take along on my belt , this means I will take it with me more. I also bought an external flash that will fit both the LX5 and the FZ100. But when you add the flash the camera gets bigger and now everyone knows you have a camera and they scatter. So my thought was that the Pentax was a little bigger than the FZ100 and I thought even with the Kit lenses I would be able to get indoor snaps without flash, that would be clear, crisp and sharp. So is a entry level DSLR similiar to what I am using or is the learning curve going to be even worse than what I am using. I do not plan on being a professional photographer, Just an occasional snapper, with a little of the artistic interest.

So would you invest in a third camera, or do you think what I have will do, what I would like to do. ( Yes I know the FZ100 is really not noted for it's IQ)
I probably would make do with the lenses I get with the kit.

Thanks for reading this long winded rambling.
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Old Feb 10, 2011, 6:54 PM   #2
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If you shoot in low light where a longer exposure can not be used, or that a flash is not the appropriate a dslr will out do any digicam with mid level and high iso, 800 and up. The FZ's are good camera, but they to have their limitations. Also a dslr will give you way more dof control over your shots. With the tiny sensors, you really do not have to much dof control on the short end of the zoom, To get any dof you will be shooting on the long end all the time. The dslr will allow you to have much better dof, even with the 18-55 at f3.5. These are some of the big gains with a dslr vs a digicam.


If you are shooting action, ie sports. You will need a dslr. Digicam's shutter lag do not work to well with fast moving subjects.
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Last edited by shoturtle; Feb 10, 2011 at 7:05 PM.
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Old Feb 11, 2011, 1:57 AM   #3
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I think it is an illusion many people have - that they just need to buy an expensive camera to get great pictures. If you struggle with the small cams that are meant to function as point and shoot cameras for the occasional snapper - you will certainly also struggle with a DSLR and its many settings and options.

Some of my stuff on vimeo (all shot with an FZ-35):
The tree: www.vimeo.com/11345662
with LC55 macro lens: www.vimeo.com/13884313
Zeeland: www.vimeo.com/14488204
The old mill: www.vimeo.com/14577326
autoHDR: www.vimeo.com/15797552
soccer kids: www.vimeo.com/17208358
christmas lights: www.vimeo.com/17912783

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Old Feb 11, 2011, 4:40 AM   #4
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All over the internet , Pentax k-x is being praised as the big bang for the buck.I was reading review , it seems it really is great camera .However , Ive seen very few shots made by it , so I am also not sure how it stands against old plain Panasonic.

Im looking myself also something like a dslr, dont think I will buy it yet , but I am looking , think I am ready to cross the line between point-and-shoot and real thing
canon 600d has just been released , as I read previews are quite good.

"bad" thing about dslr-s that if you want appropriate "glass", it will cost you third or a half price of a camera itself (tamron..)
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Old Feb 11, 2011, 7:03 AM   #5
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I very glad I bought the Sony A55. I really like my FZ35 but the A55 has allowed me to take pictures in low light that I would not have able able to capture with the FZ35 and have good picture quality. ISO options as well as others mentioned above make a DSLR a good choice. Depending on the types of pictures you take and how you want to display them, you may reach the limitations of a P&S camera.
However, you can buy 3 or 4 FZ40s for the cost of a good DSLR lens.
The "glass" is the major cost.
As far as the mechanics are concerned, I didn't find it hard to move from the FZ35 to the Sony A55. I have 3 lenses for the A55. It weighs a little more but that doesn't bother me. With the FZ35 I was taking the extension tube and the macro lens on and off so I was already "changing lenses" - no different from a DSLR.

Be ready to spend the money. If you do, don't regret it but have fun!!

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Old Feb 11, 2011, 7:48 AM   #6
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I would not worry to much about the k-x it is a fine camera, and stacks up well against other higher end camera's on the market.

Also the kit lens, the 18-55 and 55-300 are both excellent general photography lenses. And will cover most people's photo needs. I do shoot the k-x on occasions. And it does do well compare to my T1i or my 60D in the image quality department. And it does support wireless p-ttl, built in HDR, and a host of other nice features.
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Old Feb 11, 2011, 8:12 AM   #7
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I would say it depends on what you mostly take photos of and what you do with your photos i personally mainly enjoy taking photos of wildlife etc and although obviously DSLR'S are faster and have better IQ etc they also cost a small fortune well long lenses do :P and theres also the size and weight of lugging one around that is why i am now looking at getting a bridge camera again rather than another dslr and too me the IQ is brilliant if you know what your doing with the camera.
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Old Feb 11, 2011, 9:10 AM   #8
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My line of thought is much the same as Joho's.

I too was looking at buying a DSLR. After months af reading & research, I ended up an fz100. Cost was one reason I didn't get the DSLR, but the main reason was, I thought my skills didnt justify a DSLR.

I would look at LTZ470's shots and think "I could spend $2000+ on a DSLR and theres still no way I could take shots THAT good"
There are so many things that go into making a good photo.

I'd love a pentax K-X, I think (hope ) my photos would be a little better (especially in low light) but my skill level has such a long way to go before I can get the best out of the the camera I have now. Once I feel my shots are limited by my camera alone, then I'll buy a DSLR.

Just my 2 cents. I'm sure it wont help
aka : Noobie shooting wildly with a FZ100

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Old Feb 11, 2011, 9:27 AM   #9
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When I was looking for a camera I too looked at DSLRs, but I decided that the camera and all the available lenses would cost too much and be too complex. So I got an FZ40 and am very happy with that decision. It has great photo quality for the sensor size and is a very versatile camera. But when I do eventually upgrade the Pentax K-X will more than likely be my first choice. All the the reviews say that the camera is a amazing camera and all of the included features built into the camera are a good deal too.
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Old Feb 11, 2011, 11:26 AM   #10
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I am retired and I have a lot of fun teaching digital cameras. So, I have lots of camera, including the Pentax Kx, but not the FZ100. I have lots of cameras so that I can pick-up a student's camera and be able to tell them it exactly where every feature is located on their camera and then demonstrate that feature to them on the spot using their camera. I am retired. So, the salary I am paid by the local Community College, goes into purchasing a variety of cameras so I can help my students.

In addition when we have shooting sessions, which we do regularly, the students can use their own camera, or use one of mine. That works very well for students who are considering upgrading to a new camera. It gives them a change to experience and get the feel of actually shooting with the camera they are considering.

Having had the chance to observe and help many students since I retired almost 20 years ago, I can tell you quite honestly, that what makes the biggest difference in the quality of photos that those students are taking are experience and understanding photography.

Here is an example of what I am writing about. My pet seagull, named Arnold, who I feed every morning, just dropped by for his "breakfast" whole I was beginning to write this post to you. So, I quickly grabbed several cameras and took some photos of Arnold. One of those cameras, a Canon A3000, costs about $100, another of those cameras, a Canon SX130, costs about $200, and the final camera, an Olympus E-600 DSLR, costs about $400. I will post a photo from each of the cameras, and I want you to guess which camera took which photo.

This is the first photo and here is a link to a full resolution image of photo #1


Sarah Joyce
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Last edited by mtclimber; Feb 11, 2011 at 12:27 PM.
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