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Old Jun 25, 2013, 8:22 PM   #21
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And - it doesn't have to be the FZ200 - it can be something else you might recommend.
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 5:01 AM   #22
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If going lighter was the main factor- the FZ-200 would be the way I'd go...
It is the king of bridges/superzooms in my opinion... though if you don't mind forgoing a touch of operational speed for zoom range and maybe a touch better IQ (all else being equal) than the FZ, maybe look at the Canon SX50hs...

In the DSLR v Bridge battle... here's 2 shots taken by myself recently-
one with an FZ150 and the other with a Canon 600D...

Little to choose,I think- and if you weren't going to print regularly beyond A4 size or thereabouts,you'd be hard pressed to say which was taken with which camera...
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 6:28 AM   #23
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I hadn't used the D80 in a while, but yes I was happy with the results except for the weird distortions.
The distortions are not from the camera body, but the 18-200 lens you were using with it. (Lenses distort; bodies don't.) And any similar lens will do the same. If you want to use a dSLR with a single lens for everything, you're going to get the same and worse. You should decide between a bridge camera like the FZ200, or multiple dSLR lenses that, individually, don't have the range of your 18-200 but provide better image quality.
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 9:43 AM   #24
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Thank you for the images, Simon-cool shots!
My interest would be going beyond A4, that's my dilemma (I guess I want everything ).

I understand the distortions are from the lens, Tcav, I was talking about it as a system - [D80 with 18-200] vs. [superzoom]. So, are you saying that a dSLR with the 18-200 is no better than a superzoom because the lens cancels the dSLR benefits (which was my original question)?
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 11:45 AM   #25
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... So, are you saying that a dSLR with the 18-200 is no better than a superzoom because the lens cancels the dSLR benefits (which was my original question)?
In some respects, it's better, but in other respects it's worse. Superzoom lenses are not sharp, and have lots of vignetting, distortion and chromatic aberration. In most respects, they're not as good as equivalent lenses in bridge cameras. The image sensors in dSLRs have their own set of advantages, so it's always a compromise, unless you pair a good camera with a good lens.

I've owned an 18-200 superzoom lens myself, and am still pleased with some of the shots I took with it. But the shots I wasn't pleased with just got to be too many, and I went looking elsewhere and haven't looked back.
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 12:46 PM   #26
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If your intent is to only ever use the DSLR with superzoom lens, here's what you will get over the FZ200:
1) Faster response time
2) faster auto-focus
3) better high ISO performance
4) more dynamic range to recover shadow detail when you botch an exposure or when the image dynamic range as a whole is too large.
But, you're still giving up a lot of 'long' focal length and you're incuring a size/weight penalty.
The benefit of the DSLR, as TCAV has been trying to point out, isn't fully realized until you use lenses of better quality. When you start to do that, you start to produce photos a camera like the FZ200 cannot produce. This type of blurred background indoors (where you can't back up far enough to use full zoom) is just not possible with the small sensor of the digicam:


Similarly, you're not going to get the focus performance and shallow DOF that produced a shot like this:


But you're not going to get those types of shots with a 18-200 superzoom either.
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 1:01 PM   #27
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I once owned a Canon 20D with a Tamron 18-270VR lens attached- and loved it to bits...
The only downside was shooting at wide angle/landscape work,where the periphery of the images were quite soft/distorted- though if you tend to use the lens for the zoom more often than for wide angle usage (which would seem a logical assumption...) then it wouldn't be a deal breaker. I rarely used it at 18mm(27)- using it mainly for outdoor sports,so I was very happy with it. The stabilizer was superb- as was the AF speed...
As for the 18-200 Nikon lens,I couldn't really comment- I've never used one....

Here's an example of the big Tamron- a wide shot,a crop from the edge- and a shot in it's strong range...
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 1:10 PM   #28
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It's always a compromise, and we're all on different paths with different priorities at different times.
Years and years ago, I was shooting medium format transparencies with individual lenses. Then I went to 35mm Velvia. It wasn't as good, but it gave me more opportunities to shoot, which I welcomed. Then I went to digital with the D80 and 18-200. My reasoning was portability and using a single lens meant no dust on the sensor.
Then I got out of photography altogether, so I bought a Nikon P6000 and later a Nikon P510, for traveling photography.
Now I want to get more serious about shooting again, so I'm trying to decide between staying with the superzooms or going back to dSLR. But - I still want to stick to one camera, one lens...
Thank you all very much for your help!
Alex
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 1:15 PM   #29
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Oh... fancy a shallow-ish DOF...?
Use the long zoom on a bridge and shoot at distance...
Here's a shot with the FZ-150... and a shallower DOF could be yours with the FZ-200
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 1:39 PM   #30
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Oh... fancy a shallow-ish DOF...?
Use the long zoom on a bridge and shoot at distance...
Here's a shot with the FZ-150... and a shallower DOF could be yours with the FZ-200
Except when you can't shoot at those focal lengths. Why don't you post some of your shallow DOF inside-the-house shots of a person

And, let's just say that someone muscling up a hill is moving quite a bit slower than someone running full tilt. So, hardly an apples-to-apples comparison there.

Now, I've seen some wonderful standing bird shots from the fz200. But the reality is you can't always shoot at 500mm equivalent focal lengths. But, if we want to continue this silly exercise - if you do use a longer focal length you can achieve a much-much shallower DOF than your image demonstrates and you can do it while being closer to your subject. Here we have a shot where the background is not only closer to the subject but also rendered out of focus in a much more pleasing manner. Trying to argue that dof control on the fz200 is just as good as on a DSLR is silly. It's often "good enough" for small subjects shot at distance - but for most human-subject photos it's not remotely close.
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