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Old Jan 11, 2007, 12:23 PM   #1
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I am having a delimna. I may be coming into a little extra money soon, and was looking to move up from the FZ10 to the FZ50. Now a little background, I do outdoor photography, mostly, for seniors children and families. So far I have been happy with my FZ10, and am excited about more clarity for my pictures with the 10 mp, vs. the 4mp. I have a friend who is a die hard canon fan, and informed me thatI should buy a canon, specifically the 30D... They even said that I would not look as professional with a point and shoot as a I would with an SLR.

My thinking is that I am generally not shooting people who know a whole lot about cameras and we all know the fz series do have a pro look about them. So I guess my main question, for what I do, 90% outdoor pictures, is there anything the canon would benefit me that the FZ50 would not?

I read that canon has the best clarity... I read that leica lens that come standard on panasonic, are top notch... I'm so confused...

I hate the whole canon-nikon vs. other cameras debates. And the friend comments just made me feel less pro-like, not that I really am a 'pro', but I feel that I am where I wanna be. I mean there are dreams of a studio one day, but if that day ever comes, then of course would come better camera equipment. For now, my fz10 is giving me all I need, minus the ocassional noise from being lower mp...

I guess the other concern is obviously money... for half the amount of the canon body alone, I can get a great package on a FZ50... I mean it just doesn't make sense. Is it really about the name with canon and the fact that you can detatch the lens and add another?

Someone please help me sort this out... Basically is there anything the canon can do that I couldn't with the FZ50?



Shannon
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Old Jan 11, 2007, 1:20 PM   #2
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hi Shannon, and welcome to the forum!

i upgraded last spring from my FZ20 to a Canon 30D, and have never regretted it. but i may have had different reasons...

first, i would not recommend the FZ50. the pics it takes are, by all accounts, not as clear and cleanas the images you get with your FZ10. if you want to step up and still stay with Panasonic, i'd go with the FZ30. it's "only" 8 Mp instead of 10,and even at that it's a bit noisier than your FZ10, but from what i've seen, the image quality is significantly better than the FZ50, and should be more than adequate for what you need. for mostly outdoor shots, unless you're shooting a lot of "moving target" stuff, or really want the high-ISO performance and extremely low noise of a DSLR, the FZ30 should be just the ticket.

as i mentioned, i upgraded to a 30D last spring, and i love it. but if you're not prepared to spend even more on lenses than you do on the body, i'd recommend staying with the FZ30. the 30D is a helluva camera, and takes killer photos, but it needs top-notch glass to perform at its best. the Leica lens on the FZ's is as good optically as anything out there, in my opinion, and to equal the performance and range of that lens, you'll need to shell out some significant bucks for a good wide-angle-to-short-tele lens, and also for a mid-to-long zoom lens for the 30D. i spent more on 2 lenses than i did on the body, just because i wanted good optics, and even at that, i didn't get the most-highly rated lenses!

now... if you're planning a lot of wildlife or action shots, the 30Dcan quite simply blow any FZ into the weeds. it'sAF isfaster, more responsive, more accurate, and with a long zoom like my 80-400, it gives half again you more "reach" than the FZ can offer. it can shoot clean even above ISO 800, which means low-light shots aren't too hard, and the difference moving from an EVF viewfinder to an optical one is amazing. it'll shoot 5 frames a second, if you need it to, and the image quality is second to none in its class, even if you make BIG prints (i.e. 18x24 or larger). but if you don't really need those capabilities for what you want to do, you might well find it worthwhile to simply get an FZ30 and save yourself about $2500...

as for the FZ not "looking as professional", who cares? what counts is the results, and from what i've seen, the FZ30 can deliver excellent photos in most situations. so unless you have specific reasons for wanting a DSLR, you might be better off with the FZ. it's a lot smaller and lighter than a 30D with any lens, you don't have to worry about changing lenses, or getting dust on your sensor, carrying a bagful of lenses and accessories, and it uses the same memory cards as your FZ1- (the 30D uses CF cards).

some who know me here may think this sounds like i'm trying to steer you away from the 30D. not so... i love mine. but it doesn't sound like you really need one for the kind of work you do, so there's no point in spending the money for features and capabilities you don't need. now, if you think you might want to branch into other kinds of photography later - animals, birds, action or the like - that really need thecapabilities of a DSLR,or if you decide asi did that no matter what you shoot,image quality trumps everything, then the 30D would be a wise purchase.

hope this hasn't confused you more... andgood luck with whatever you get!
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Old Jan 11, 2007, 2:04 PM   #3
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Let me ask you this then, in your opinion, which is the best lens for the 30D? To get the best clarity? The sigma?

I say that I mostly shoot people, but like most others, I do like to take pics of animals, scenery, and other objects for fun... And I am sad to hear that the FZ50 is not as good as it sounded...

Thanks for your info, I am really struggling to figure out what I want.
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Old Jan 11, 2007, 3:43 PM   #4
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Shannon -

there is no one answer to that question. different lenses for different things. for close-ups, landscapes or the like, the "best" lenses are probablythe Canon 17-40L, or the 24-105L, but both of those are around $1000 each. they offer image stabilization, ultra-sonic AF motorsand tack-sharp optics, but you pay for it. i have a Tamron 24-135 (remember, the 30D is a 1.6x crop body, so the effective focal length is 1.6x the focal length of the lens itself...) which i use for landscape and general purpose work, it seems to be a pretty decent lens, and it's only $400 or so, but it's not stabilized and doesn't have the USM feature.

for wildlife, there are also several good lenses to pick from. the Canon 100-400L is generally regarded as the top of the heap in most circles. it's stabilized and has USM, but runs about $1300. as i mentioned, i have the Sigma EX 80-400. it's got stabilization, but no USM,though it's optically comparable, and it's about $300-$350 cheaper than the Canon. there's also the Sigma EX 50-500, for about the same price as the 80-400, but it has no stabilization, so unless you buy a camera body with built-in IS like the Pentax K10D, you'd have to use a tripod with it most of the time. Tamron and Tokina also make good quality Canon-mount lenses in the same focal range, for between $800 and $950, but neither of them offer either IS or USM.

obviously, there are also lots of good lenses out there other than these, including quite a few in the $400-$600 range that aren't necessarily "top-rated" lenses, but will still perform quite well.you'll just have to decide what kinds of things are most important to you, and then plan on buying the best quality lenses you can afford.

don't be sad about the FZ50. my word isn't gospel, by any stretch, and i'm sure there are folks out there who are perfectly happy with the FZ50. but from all i've seen and read, the FZ30 is actually the better camera of the two. and unless you're really hung up on megapixels (the fZ30 and the 30D are both 8Mp, by the way), there's no reason to consider the FZ30 a downgrade from the '50. and remember, unless you're going to make really large prints,you really don't need more than 8Mp anyway. i've made absolutely beautiful 20x30 prints, and evena very, very impressive 30x40, from photos i shot with my 30D. 8Mp is plenty.
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Old Jan 11, 2007, 4:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
I am having a delimna. I may be coming into a little extra money soon, and was looking to move up from the FZ10 to the FZ50. Now a little background, I do outdoor photography, mostly, for seniors children and families. So far I have been happy with my FZ10, and am excited about more clarity for my pictures with the 10 mp, vs. the 4mp. I have a friend who is a die hard canon fan, and informed me thatI should buy a canon, specifically the 30D... They even said that I would not look as professional with a point and shoot as a I would with an SLR.



If a lot of what you do is in good light ,,,,I am not sure the FZ50 may not be the best choice for you....Go back and look at the photos you have taken over the last couple years.....If most are taken at less than 200 mm I think perhaps a DSLR may be able to work for you.....but If you need to cover a range from 35mm to 400mm you are getting involved in a lot more than a simple camera purchase.

Because you will look like a pro seems to be a poor choice for buying a camera....



I have a D50 and A few lenses and it does not make me look like a pro.

Your friend really does not sound like a pro.



If you are not troubled by the noise of the FZ10 ...my guess is you will like the FZ50.


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Old Jan 11, 2007, 6:29 PM   #6
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Here is a link to some FZ-50 pictures of mine. All the bird shots were using a TCON-17 teleconverter and some were shot at over 100' away. Look and see if the quality meets your needs. In the rest of the gallery there are many more shots with the FZ-50 just look for the ones starting with PXXXXXX.
As Rocky said, none of the FZs can match a DSLR in performance and image quality given the right lens , nor in noise management. But a DSLR cannot match an FZ for convenience.
Now, unless you make really large prints I doubt you will notice very much difference between your FZ-10 and an FZ-50. To me the big difference between the FZ50/30 and the FZ-10,15,20 is in how it handles not in image quality.
I have owned a FZ-15, a FZ-30, a FZ-50, and A Nikon D50 and if I had to pick only one camera I could keep it would be the new model that is coming out next year that will beat them all.:-):-)


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