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Old Apr 24, 2006, 6:49 AM   #1
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Im lookin to do more studio photography than outdoors stuff, mostly people. Which of these would be better?
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Old Apr 24, 2006, 9:35 AM   #2
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The high end p&s cameras can make very capable studio cameras if you have enough lighting to use the lowest ISO setting. In the studio the slower reaction of a digicam is usually not an issue. I would suggest however that a DSLR like the Pentax *istDL probably costs no more (with kit lens) than the Panasonic, has much better high ISO performance and the option of adding special purpose lenses in future.

In short the FZ30 is capable and represents a single purchase price, but no high ISO (unless you like the grainy look of noise). The Pentax *istDL (or DS or DS2 or DL2) are often available with a two lens kit (18-55mm and 50-200mm) that covers the best of the FZ30 range and offers very usable ISO up to 800 (with 1600 and 3200 for those time when recording the image is more important than the quality).

I own a Pentax *istDL, because I had some K-mount lenses. I now use it with a Sigma 24-135mm lens most of the time. This would make a great studio portrait combination. Biggest drawback is macro, you need a dedicated macro lens to get as close as the digicams can work. I still use my Fuji S7000 digicam when I am doing studio portraits with two small studio flash units, so I have no issues with either choice, but outside the studio the Pentax gets the nod.

Ira
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Old Apr 24, 2006, 10:48 AM   #3
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Ira gave you the main points.

Just my $0.02:

It is much easier to throw the background out of focus with a DSLR camerra, if you have or ready to invest into fastprime or zoomlenses. The greater DOF of the advanced P&S cameras helps in macro and closeup, but for portrait work it's a real pain in a small studio. You can also consider Fuji S9000/9500 for studio work. It has a built-in PC sync terminal to connect a studio flash and the shutter release button is threaded, so you can use a really cheap mechanical cable instead of the expensive electronic remote release.

HTH
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Old Apr 25, 2006, 12:37 AM   #4
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Monza76 wrote:
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The high end p&s cameras can make very capable studio cameras if you have enough lighting to use the lowest ISO setting. In the studio the slower reaction of a digicam is usually not an issue. I would suggest however that a DSLR like the Pentax *istDL probably costs no more (with kit lens) than the Panasonic, has much better high ISO performance and the option of adding special purpose lenses in future.

In short the FZ30 is capable and represents a single purchase price, but no high ISO (unless you like the grainy look of noise). The Pentax *istDL (or DS or DS2 or DL2) are often available with a two lens kit (18-55mm and 50-200mm) that covers the best of the FZ30 range and offers very usable ISO up to 800 (with 1600 and 3200 for those time when recording the image is more important than the quality).

I own a Pentax *istDL, because I had some K-mount lenses. I now use it with a Sigma 24-135mm lens most of the time. This would make a great studio portrait combination. Biggest drawback is macro, you need a dedicated macro lens to get as close as the digicams can work. I still use my Fuji S7000 digicam when I am doing studio portraits with two small studio flash units, so I have no issues with either choice, but outside the studio the Pentax gets the nod.

Ira
The DL Body only is about 20 dollars less than the FZ30 andwith 18-55mm Lens about 65 more than the FZ30. That's close to the price of the Panasonic but to cover the range of the Panasonic I think it's quite a bit more than the Panasonic. Iam basing this on prices from reputable US dealers. I will keep the Pentax models in mind when I decide I'm ready to go DSLR.

Of course, the FZ30 can't compete with DSLR when it comes to noise, but it does take some great pictures.

As for studio work, I would have thought DSLR would have been the weapon of choice, but I'm no expert. I guess having one of each might be nice.
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Old Apr 25, 2006, 4:02 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input. Im kinda a newbie at this stuff, will the dslr be too much for a beginner? Also the FZ30 is 8 Megapixels and the Pentax *ist is only 6.1, what kind of difference will that make??
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Old Apr 25, 2006, 6:03 AM   #6
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Yes FZ30 is an exceptional camera but i also agree there is no cmparison when comparing noise to a dslr.

Lens wise i gues you would shoot mainly in the 90-130mm focal range so most cameras will cover this. The pana 35mm wide shouldnt be an issue.

And yes i also agree with the dof comment. the fz30 starts at 2.8 at widest and once you move into tele photo fstop increases to 3.6 so the blurred backing effect is reduced.
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Old Apr 25, 2006, 6:26 PM   #7
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I originally bought the FZ30 before Christmas but I just didn't "click" with the camera. I took a number of nice photos but was frustrated with it more often than not. I ended up selling it for a *ist DS and love it! I didn't think it was any more difficult to learn than the FZ30. There is more going on and more to think about, but not really any more difficult. It does help to have some background in film SLR cameras - much about dSLRs are expressed in film SLR terms.

As far as the 6 vs. 8 MP - one of the main complaints I had with the FZ30 was it's dynamic range. I wanted pictures that had detail in a greater range of light/dark than the camera is capable of giving. If your primary purpose is studio photography where you have lots of light it might not be a big concern for you. That's one of the limitations of having so many pixels on a smaller sensor. The Pentax has a bigger sensor and fewer pixels so they are more sensitive to light (that's more or less how I understand it, I'm no expert so I might not be explaining this correctly). It's also one of the reasons why the FZ30 is noisy at higher ISOs. I'll take 6 over 8, especially when the 8 has a smaller sensor any day.

The other nice thing about the Pentax is that it can use older, manual lenses (though they ARE manual so you don't have auto focus or auto exposure). This means you might be able to save money by buying used lenses.
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Old Apr 25, 2006, 8:36 PM   #8
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Me again,

Mtngal has really hit the central issue here, pixel density, lets look at some numbers.

The FZ30 has a sensor listed as a 1/1.8" sensor. This is typically about 7.2mm X 5.3mm and gives an image size of 3264 X 2448 pixels.
The Pentax *istDseries cameras use an APS-C sensor that is 23.7mm X 15.6mm and produces an image 3008 X 2000 pixels.

As you can see the sensor in the Pentax is about three times as big linearly, that means it has nine times the surface area. By width alone the Panasonic packs about 453 pixels/ mm, the Pentax only has about 127 pixels / mm.
Now lets check basic physics, at any given light level the larger pixels of the Pentax sensor will receive about twelve times the amount of light the tiny Panasonic pixels see (remember that the linear difference between the Pentax and Panasonic pixels is about 3.5X as large, in area that would be 3.5 squared which is 12.25). Less light per pixel means weaker signal, which mean a lower signal to noise ratio which means noise. Case closed. Some manufacturers like Fuji use aggressive in camera image processing to eliminate noise but it also reduces detail somewhat.

As for cost, the backward compatibility of the Pentax DSLRs mean that they will function with almost every K-mount lens produced, manual focus, manual exposure, auto exposure and newer auto-focus. So the $65 price difference gives you a wider angle lens, much cleaner images with greater dynamic range (also partially affected by pixel size), but you lose the long telephoto. A 70-300mm Sigma or 75-300mm Pentax FAJ lens will probably cost less than $100 from reputable sellers such as Cameta Camera and this would then give an equivalent of 28mm to 450mm with just these two lenses.

As for complexity, the Pentax *istDseries cameras are designed to be simple to use for DSLR beginners yet have all of the features needed as you progress.

Another factor that has been completely ignored is the difference between an EVF and a real optical viewfinder. EVFs (electronic view finders) have a lag of up to 1/10 of a second, that means that if you shoot when you see what you wanted in the viewfinder it is already 1/10 second too late. The optical viewfinder of a DSLR has no lag (speed of light is quite fast) so it is much easier to track motion.

One big drawback of the DSLR is sound (not noise:?), shutters and mirrors make quite a racket compared to the silence of a digicam (if you turn off the fake shutter sounds). If you do a lot of work in places that require silence you may want to get the digicam.

Final word, DSLRs are better photographic tools, but for the casual shooters they can be a hassle. Sensors need cleaning occasionally, it may take two or three lenses to cover the same range and they are generally larger and heavier. I now regularly use a Pentax *istDL with a 24-135mm Sigma f2.8-4.5 lens attached. With this I rarely have to change lenses, with this one lens I have over 80% of the range of the Panasonic FZ30. I paid $70.89 for the lens, brand new in the box, from a reputable ebay store. My previous digital camera was a Fuji S7000, a very capable camera but the EVF was a sore point. It had a lens zoom range of approximately the same as the Sigma lens on my Pentax, but was a little faster on the long end (f3.1 vs f4.5). Here is a picture of my *istDL with Sigma 24-135mm lens and Optex holster style zoom toploader bag.



The 18-55mm kit lens and the Pentax FA 100-300mm f4.7-5.8 telephoto zoom stay in the camera bag unless I need the wider angle of view or the long telephoto for wildlife etc..

Ira
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Old Apr 26, 2006, 1:28 AM   #9
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Monza76 wrote:
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Here is a picture of my *istDL with Sigma 24-135mm lens and Optex holster style zoom toploader bag.

What did you use to take the picture of your Pentax?
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Old Apr 26, 2006, 1:43 AM   #10
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meanstreak wrote:
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Monza76 wrote:
Quote:
Here is a picture of my *istDL with Sigma 24-135mm lens and Optex holster style zoom toploader bag.

What did you use to take the picture of your Pentax?

hahah he used a pentax to tke the pic of the pentax
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