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Old May 11, 2008, 11:09 AM   #11
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none of the superzooms have sensors as large as the dslrs. large sensor = better iq. my experience with small-sensored superzooms is that over 100 iso you get too much noise.

there is one new superzoom (fuji s100fs) that has the largest sensor for a p&s but which is still much smaller than dslr. for the cost of that fuji ($700-$800), you could be well on your way to a decent nikon dslr body to go with that lens you already own, assuming compatibility, of course. also, having read a couple of the 'net photo site reviews, the fuji exhibits excessive purple fringing at certain settings. otherwise, for the same price as the aforementioned fuji superzoom, sony has dslr kit out right now (a300).

i recently put down my panasonic z30 superzoom and picked up my pentax *ist ds which i previously only used on a tripod for pictures of my orchids. i have been carrying it around the pond for wildlife pics and, even without image stabilization, it takes much better pics than the superzoom. i will be upgrading this dslr soon because of slow shutter so i recommend, if you go dslr, that you buy a new model, which will be faster than an older one.

ellen fl
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Old May 15, 2008, 3:20 PM   #12
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JimC wrote:
If you were comfortable with the image quality of the N80 and a 28-200mm zoom, then an entry level dSLR model with the Tamron (or camera manufacturer equivalent) 18-250mm zoom mentioned by rfortson would be a good choice (provided you don't plan on poster size prints too often and don't mind a few image quality flaws).

You can't expect a zoom with that much range from wide to long in a smaller package to have perfect image quality with no distortion or edge softness, especially at zoom extremes. ;-) But, most reviews I've seen of it have been very positive for a lens with a focal range this ambitious, with good center sharpness throughout most of the zoom range.
Hi Jim,

I'm not sure that you need to worry too much about compromises. This was taken with the Tamron 18-250 at full zoom, wide open (pretty much the worst case if any compromises are going to show up). You can see the full sized shot in my Flickr stream. Maybe your standards are higher than mine (probably are), but this shot is plenty sharp and the contrast is fine for me.

One other note, Don Gale (http://www.photographybydon.com/ )shoots with this lens regularly. Yes, he's sponsored by Tamron, but they have lots of other specialty lenses that should be better (and are). However, he uses this lens a lot and even shot a friend's wedding two weeks ago using just this lens. That's a prettystrong endorsement in my book. It's one thing to shoot a paid advertising gig, and quite another to choose to use it for a friend's wedding, where IQ should be important. His view was that being able to capture the moment was paramount for him, and he didn't feel like he was giving up much in IQ.

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