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Old May 29, 2006, 2:39 PM   #1
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Hi all, I have been weighing up the possibility of buying the Fuji S9500 an upgrade from a P&S. I like it due to the DSLR style and features coupled with the fixed 28-300 F2.8-F4.9 lens.

Having read a whole load of reviews in magazines, on the net and posts on forums I am now wondering whether I would in the longer term be better off with a DSLR, either the Canon 350D or the Nikon D50 coupled with either the Sigma/Tamron F3.5-F6.3 18-200 lens - which would work out the same focal length as the S9500.

I think I've read the specs of these three cameras and know about the megapixels, size of the CCD, ISO ratings and most important the noise levels. The ability of buy more lenses over time is attractive but not the be all and end all.

The crux of the matter is would either the 350D or D50 out perform the S9500 with the 18-200 lens. Im curious as the F stop ratings are lower on the S9500 but perhaps that would be meaningless as it has a smaller CCD?

Many thanks for any help.

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Old May 29, 2006, 5:55 PM   #2
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maxfactor, there is really no contest here. One cannot seriously comapre a dSLR like the 350D or the D50 with a prosumer, be it even the best of them, the Fuji S9000. As it happends, I have owned the FZ30 and now have the D50 along with the Sigma 18-200mm. If you won't miss the live preview and movie capability that a prosumer offers than you'd be better off with either the 350D or the D50. You might spend more on a D50+18-200mm and even more on the 350D+18-200mm but in the long run you'll be better off, especially if you already have an idea of how to use settings like ISO, aperture, shutter time, white balance etc.
Good luck on your decision making!
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Old May 29, 2006, 9:05 PM   #3
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I was trying to make the same decision. I wanted to upgrade from my p&s and I saw the specs on the S9000/9500. It seemed like the perfect camera to me, all in one neat package. I read all the reviews I could find, both online and in magzines. While I was tryiong to decide, the new issues of photo mags didn't come out fast enough. I started reading this forum, posted several questions, and slowly started leaning towards a DSLR. One thing I did do was go to Steve's Digicams and read the reviews on both the S9000/9500 and D50 (I had narrowed my choice in a DSLR down to the D50). I looked at the sample pictures of both cameras whichhad the same sample pictures for both cameras. I printed them out at all ISO's and in 4x6 and 8x10 size to decide which camera would take the better picture. You can come to your own conclusion.

Further more, if money is a constraint, as it was in my case, you can go to CametaCamera Auctions and pick up a factory demo at substantial savings. I bought mine through Cameta, again picking up useful info from this forum. When I got my camera it appeared to be in perfect condition. I checked the shutter actuations on it, there were less than 60. Just so happens my son was so impress, that he went out and also got a D50 from Cameta. He just received his camera, it also was in perfect condition, but only had 12 shutter actuations on it. The cameras come with a 90 day factory warranty and Cameta adds a year warranty.

Best wishes on your decsion.
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Old May 30, 2006, 4:03 AM   #4
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You forgot most important things...
Is it for casual photographing and vacations, or for more active photographing?
And especially in later case what would be primary targets?
And in what conditions... for example action is demanding but when light level becomes somewhat worser than good daylight it becomes very demanding.
In short any non-stationary target is demanding in not so good lightning. In fact so demanding that for example in inside sports high sensitivity of dSLR isn't enough when coupled with general lens like that Sigma/Tamron mentioned above but requires fast primes or zoom lens retaining big aperture (=big price tag) throughout whole focal range.

Also non-SLRs have their own advantages, much bigger depth of field allows using biggest apertures (small f-ratio number) when light level is lower without causing very short DOF. (again in portraits long DOF is disadvantage)

And if you didn't notice dSLRs are like religion with relevant extremists...
Actually there's much to compare in stationary target shooting if dSLR would be used with one (non-car priced) longer zoom general lens for retaining convenience.
High ISO settings are used to achieve higher shutter speeds either to freeze action or prevent camera shake in hand-help photography. The Konica-Minolta A2 has an Anti-Shake system which reduces camera shake. It turns out that the anti-shake system works exceptionally well. So well that in cases where ISO 1600 does not allow a sufficiently fast shutter speed for hand-held photography with the 20D, the A2 managed to produce quite sharp and noise-free pictures using only ISO 200.

Both sides are compromises on their own way, non-SLRs can give lot of versatility in one convenient package with some unique capabilities and even advantage in few areas.
DSLRs again have versatility which is as big as your wallet but price of that is heavier both economically and physically, fast focusing and fast lenses give superior moving target capability while limitations of 70+ something old design required by entirely different kind sensor again causes disadvantages/lack of features in some areas.
And no matter how expensive camera is, getting good results still requires knowing and exploiting strong points of it.

"Understanding is a three-edged sword."

zygh, could you give maritime declaration for why dSLRs of Canon (at least) have so lousy "rear ahead to tree" custom white balance compared to "lowly" KM A2?
Or why access to exposure compensation in aperture/shutter modes and to both aperture and shutter in manual isn't direct in many lower end dSLRs?
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