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Old Jul 25, 2007, 3:41 AM   #1
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I'm new to digital photography and for quite some time do look for a camera that fits
my needs and expectations - not too dear, relatively light and, most importantly, with
a wide angle lens - .

I don't want to buy different lenses, so it would be ok for me if the camera I finally purchase would have a fixed lens. But it must be a wide angle lens!!

After reading camera reviews again and again, I first considered to take the risk and pick up a DSLR since they seem to have an outstanding image quality and, in compari-
son with other cameras, work best at high ISO settings. But DSLR's are fairly expen-
sive and obviously have a big issue and that is dust.

In the meantime, I also took a look at so called Super Zoom cameras and just yester-
day when Panasonic announced the "Lumix FZ 18" with its amazing 28 - 504 mm lens I really "fell in love" with that brand-new digicam.

I'm not going to make any decision right now. Instead, I'll wait for the reviews of the "Lumix FZ 18" to come out, because I'm sure that camera will also have some draw- backs.

Before I conclude this post, please allow me to ask two final questions:

1. Do Super Zoom cameras have fixed lenses? And
2. Do they also have problems with dust?

I really would appreciate any recommendation.

Thanks in advance.


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Old Jul 25, 2007, 9:20 AM   #2
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If by superzoom cameras you are talking about Sony H's or Canon S's, then yes, the lenses are fixed, in that they don't come off. You have the ability to add lenses onto the ends of the existing lenses by buying a lens adapter and then screwing the added lenses onto the adapter.

If you use an adapter at all times with a UV lens at the end, they don't get dust into the lens extending mechanism and the lens face is safe from scratching.

If you don't use an adapter and lens filter, dust can get into the mechanism and cause problems over time.

DSLR will cost a great deal more then the super zooms. DSLR's high ISO is better, etc., it all comes down to how much money you want to spend on the hobby.

I have a Canon S3 and find it excellent, many settings to use for effects, good photo results,and very cost effective.

Hope that helps a little.

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Old Jul 25, 2007, 10:11 AM   #3
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xer2004 wrote:

1. Do Super Zoom cameras have fixed lenses? And
2. Do they also have problems with dust?
1. Yes

2. For the most part....no. There have been times where I've heard of "something" getting on a sensor in a camera with a fixed lens, but for the most part dust should never be a worry in a camera with a fixed lens.

Until you see you cannot do what you want with a super zoom digicam, and that day may ormay notcome, I'm not sure I'd go all out on a DSLR system, which adds it's own set of complications to the process....unless you are dead-set on spending a lotof money! I own a DSLR setup, but today use a couple of the larger zoom range digicams for all my photography... Panasonic TZ3 for compactness/ease of carry,and an FZ50 forwhen I need more versatility and/or the ability to use a separate flash for the better quality lighting those give.

There'smore than one option of super zoom bodieswith lenses that go as wide as 28mm at the wide end, which is fairly wide.
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Old Jul 25, 2007, 10:50 PM   #4
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I am in the same situation your are. I agree with the previous replies on your two questions and only want to coment that the Canon Rebel XTi has an automatic cleaner on the sensor. Please consider the folowing:

1. Weight: FZ18 weighs about 13oz. The DSLRs weigh in the pounds and the weight may increase with the lenses. Depending on your shooting, the weight can be tiring and a drag factor. I know some like heavy cameras, and they usually drag a tripod along. Thats fine for work, but not for fun.

2. Viewer: With the exception of one or two, you cannot use the DSLR LCD for viewing when taking a picture, you must use the Optical Viewer. The LCD is used for playback, settings, etc.

3. Image: One Pro remarked, the bottom line is image quality. Viewers and judges don't care what equipment you use. I have a relative who is a Pro and uses a Nikon D2x ($4K+) in his work, but his personal camera is a Fujifilm F31 (about $300) which had one of the highes image quality ratings (9) by a tough reviewer.

4. The FZ18 has a lot of new features, including angle viewing, which is good if you must hold the camera over your head, like in a crowd. You should also be able to purchase add on lenses/filters for the FZ18, but doubt if you wll need them since you will start at a 28mm which is a good wide lenses setting.

5. The FZ18 should cost about one-third to half less than a DSLR body and lens or lenses. So, in a year or so, you may want to upgrade because of all the advances and the cost won't be such a major factor.

6. Get an extended warranty. Some credit card companies, like AE, will double your warranty free up to a year. Also, go to a camera dealer like Circuit City, Best Buy, Ritz and try the cameras out.

7. Most will probably wisely advise, wait for two or three reviews before desiding, I am. Good Luck.

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Old Jul 26, 2007, 12:34 PM   #5
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The review of the Lumix FZ 18 should hardly impact your decision on whether or not to go with a DSLR or a P&S. It is not a fine line between the two, but rather a vast field of differences. The issue at hand is simply one of how seriously you want to take your hobby.

If you see yourself as the type who just wants to take decent photos without much messing around with features, functions and various interchangeable lenses, and would rather the pictures look good right out of the camera than after messing around with them on the computer, you'd likely do best with a P&S.

If you see yourself as a hobbyist who likes to experiment, likes to try a lot of different ways of doing things, wants to have the best possible equipment for various situations and enjoys playing with your images on the computer to get them to look just how you want, than a DSLR is probably what you'd enjoy more.

If you find yourself somewhere in the middle, you might want to check out the Olympus DSLRs. They have live preview LCD screens, are relatively compact, have great ergonomics, produce great images right out of the camera, have very high quality lenses, and the most recent model (Evolt E510) has built-in stabilization.

The only disadvantage of the Olympus cameras are that they have smaller sensors than all the other DSLRs, but not as small as a P&S sensor so you still get better high ISO performance.
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Old Jul 26, 2007, 2:30 PM   #6
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From your requirements, a superzoom is probably a better fit than an entry level DSLR. The Canon, Panasonic and Sony models generally get good reviews for image quality (earlier models better rated than the latest higher MP versions), and are small, light, relatively inexpensiveand very capable for outdoor use. Other suppliers are Olympus and Fuji. Entry level DSLRs are well priced, but the costs can rise quickly with additional lenses, flashlights, etc. I have a Sony H5 and a Nikon D40. Both are excellent cameras. The Sony H5 is best for walk-around and wildlife, whereas the D40 is best for low light, e.g., indoor use. If you want to experiment more, are prepared to spend more money on ancillary equipment, more time on post processing, and carry more kit, the DSLR is a superior tool.
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