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Old Apr 29, 2007, 9:37 PM   #11
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annie57 wrote:
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I am posting this here as I have had so much help in understanding my camera from those that are far more expert than I.

I currently have a Panasonic FZ30. I would love some input into whether I should wait and upgrade to a new Pany of this type when they come outas I read earlier that it was in July I believe or upgrade to a DSLR.I was not looking at theFZ50 from the reviews I have read. I was looking at a Canon as I cannot afford the Panasonic DSLR. I love my prosumer camera but was wondering if I would have more options with a DSLR.
I have noticed some people have upgraded and then regreted it due to having to change lenses all the time. I like nature photography, street photography and architecture like old barns and abandoned buildings.


Thanks in advance for any input!
There are always people who regret change, if you look you'll probably find as many or more people who love the DSLR after upgrading and wouldn't go back for anything. I don't think you should let that impact the decision if you should or shouldn't get a DSLR. There are several lens options you can get that wouldn't mean changing lenses all the time.

Would you have more options with a DLSR? Absolutly, but more options aren't always better. I think they are, but it depends on how you use the camera and what you want to get out of it, and what "cons" you're willing to put up with.

No camera or camera system is perfect, only you can decide if the pros of a DSLR outweigh the cons of the FZ30 (they did for me, by a wide margin). What is it about the FZ30 that makes you want another camera?

John
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Old Apr 30, 2007, 12:00 AM   #12
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hi Annie,

speaking as one who took the plunge from FZ to DSLR, i speak from experience, and i can tell you that the latter will absolutely blow the FZ's away. i am taking photosi couldn't evendream of getting with my FZ20 (as my recent post of the kingfisher will attest...), and the image quality is far better, although in small sizes it's hard to tell the difference. the DSLR does give me so much more flexibility, though... so much more performance...

you don't need a whole slew of lenses. you can do most things you want to do with a DSLR with just a couple, if you choose carefully. there are a lot of very good lenses out there in very useful focal lengths, that do not cost an arm and a leg (though i suppose that's relative), but i'd start out witha decent "all around" lens in the 17-85 or 24-100mm range.those will cover thewide-angle and general photography stuff. the other would be a good telephoto zoom, something in the 70-200 range. if you plan to do much wildlife photography, plan on adding a 1.4 or 2x converter to the 70-200, or better still (if you can afford it), getting an 80 or 100 to 400mm zoom in the first place. one lens in each of those two broadfocal ranges will cover most of the stuff you want to do. there's no need for a bagful of lenses if youget the right ones to begin with...

yes, it's pricey. but look at it this way... if you upgrade, you've spent $500 for what's really little more than a tweaked version of what you have. if you really want to see a difference, you'll have to jump to a DSLR anyway, so why not do it all in one leap, rather than trying to sneak up on it with halfway measures?

these days, you can get very capable DSLR bodies for under $1000. Canon makes the Rebel XTi, which is an excellent buy, and i've heard good reviews about the new Nikon D40. of course if youchoose one of those, you have tostick with that mount style for all your lenses, but that's not a problem. in some ways, the Pentax K10D is an even better choicethan either of those, because it has the IS built into the body, you don't have to buy stabilized lenses, and that will save you money. and the K10D is still under a grand. i've seen someshots taken with the K10D and an unstabilized 500mm lens that are absolutely amazing...

all that said, if you do choose to take the plunge and get a DSLR, do yourself a favor... get the absolute best lenses you can manage. the FZ's have superb lenses, and you'd be amazed at how many DSLR lenses there are out there that are not nearly as good as the FZ's glass. nothing will sour you on a camera faster than getting poor images, and if you scrimp on lenses, you will definitely not get the image quality you want. might as well spend the money just once, instead of buying cheap lenses, getting disappointed or disillusioned, and having to spend even more later to get the images you see in the viewfinder.

i sympathize with your dilemma. i went through the same thing before i bought my 30D. and though i had to gulp pretty hard to part with the cash for the lenses i got, i have never once regretted it.
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Old Apr 30, 2007, 6:52 AM   #13
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Wow squirrel, that is GREAT feedback and thanks so much. I have sort of a milestone birthday coming up and hubby wanted to get me something nice and he knows I like photography so that is where the upgrade is coming from.

Thanks again!!! :|:|
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Old May 2, 2007, 7:21 PM   #14
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Same for me, I am just going to wait for a month as I suspect newer cameras will be forth coming.... I really cannpt make up my mind on any camera
The L1 is gaining though.... price is down almost 40% or $1300 at BestBuy online today. Lens is worth maybe $900 and there is the rub... $400 or less for a decent camera body. Which is what you really get when going to DSLR at first.. a body with a kit lens. Compare the $400 with say the Nikon 40 and you get the picture. Jumping to the 80 or 200 is a big leap for me.
At least here you do get a pro lens with the body.

And the L1 may go the way of the passenger pigeon.... could be a collector's item in a bit if they discontinue the model.. it ould happen if rumors come true. So close the the Digilux 3 or Lieca"s version and a really solid camera for a FZ upgrader.
It is so hard to move from a terrific camera like the FZ, that is a great starter and keeper as well.
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Old May 3, 2007, 3:25 AM   #15
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annie57 wrote:
Quote:
I am posting this here as I have had so much help in understanding my camera from those that are far more expert than I.

I currently have a Panasonic FZ30. I would love some input into whether I should wait and upgrade to a new Pany of this type when they come outas I read earlier that it was in July I believe or upgrade to a DSLR.I was not looking at theFZ50 from the reviews I have read. I was looking at a Canon as I cannot afford the Panasonic DSLR. I love my prosumer camera but was wondering if I would have more options with a DSLR.
I have noticed some people have upgraded and then regreted it due to having to change lenses all the time. I like nature photography, street photography and architecture like old barns and abandoned buildings.


Thanks in advance for any input!
Look at the Sony A100. It is a DSLR with a dust sensor,OIS built into the camera allowing for less expensive lenses. A huge amount of less expensive lenses since all the old Minolta A mountfit this camera. Stay below 800 ISO and you have a 10MP winner. If you shop around you can get the body for $550.00. Then cherry pick the best lenses.
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Old May 3, 2007, 11:56 AM   #16
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Annie-

Like Squirl, I progressed from my FZ5 in Nov '05 to my FZ30 in June '06 to my Nikon D50 in Aug '06 and have to admit that my FZ digis are usually relegated to back ups.

In my case, I'm more into BIF so reach, AF speed and IQ is paramount. My purchase of my Bigma 50-500last year now gives me the quality that I can't match with my Pany FZ5/FZ30 digis.

My advice is to evaluate where you're at with your imaging. If you're fairly adept, comfortableand experienced with your FZ30 and typically producing quality images with it, progressing to a dSLR is probably advised. The typical detrimental warnings hypedabout dSLRs and need for multiple lenses/dust/lens changingand sensor cleaning is akin to the hype about Pany noise... its usually not that big of a deal.

For most of the areas that you indicate preferences for, two - possibly three quality lenses will be sufficient. In my recent foray to China, I had my 35 f/2; 70-300 LD and my 18-70 DX lenses plus my FZ30. Of the ~5,500 images taken, about 450 were with my FZ30, <20 with the 35 f/2 and the 70-300. So that leaves >90% of my images were with my D50 + the one 18-70 DX lens. Most of those images were of the street scenes, landscapes, people, and visited venues such as Tian An Men Square, Temple of Heaven etc.

While most, if not all, of my D50 images probably could have been taken with my FZ30, the IQ with the dSLR and 18-70 lens would have not been there. There is truth that the IQ of using quality glass on a dSLR can't readily/easily be matched. And, for the experienced FZ30 photog, most will readily embrace the significant advantages of a dSLR.

In the end, I guess it can be said that the digi owners who are more prone to want a single, all-in-one system for ease of imaging in a lot of varied circumstances, the FZxx are a great solution. For those of us who want to expand our capabilities to the next level, a dSLR system is a natural progression. Nothing wrong in either case...


My Galleries-

http://telecorder.smugmug.com/
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Old May 3, 2007, 3:43 PM   #17
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Many thanks again to all of you that have provided feedback. I will probably be buying a camera on the weekend at a local photography show and I will let you know how it turns out.

Thanks again for all of your support!!!!

annie


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Old May 3, 2007, 9:40 PM   #18
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Best value of all the 'entry' model DSLRs (ie the more affordable cams, below the pro-spec range) is the Pentax K10D - it almost matches the leader of the entry-level field in image quality (the Canon XTi) and beats the pants off all other contenders at its price point for features (with the sole exception of the Sony Alpha, which is also worth considering). I still use my FZ20 fairly often (for portability plus zoom range it can't be matched byany DSLR), but probably close to 80% of my current shots are now with the K10D (the ability to get lovely noise-free shots under nearly all lighting conditions far exceeds the capabilities of the FZs small sensors). I still intend the FZ20 to stay in my camera bag/kit for the forseeable future.

The current Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony DSLRs are all good cameras, and you cannot go too far wrong with choosing any of their latest offerings - though the feature sets and ergonomics vary considerably between the different models, and it pays to physically handle any cam before buying it (e.g. the large amount of features on the K10D, as well as full weather sealing, make it a relatively large and somewhat heavier camera than most entry DSLRs - I don't mind that, but others might find it too large for their hands...)

The DSLR that would allow shooting in a manner closest to using an FZ is the Oly E-330 (but I regard it as rather over-priced, and am unsure whether the 4/3 lens experiment will succeed over the long-term...)

One thing to consider is how good a lens comes with the camera - the best kit lenses (typically with a focal range around 18-55mm) are those released by Pentax and Nikon (the kit lens on the Canon Rebel is found to be overly soft by most users. Another is lens availability - Canon wins by a mile here, with by far the greatest range of lens and accessories available, and Nikon is next best (though the top quality lenses of these 'big two' brands- such as the Canon L series - can be extremely expensive). Yet this is not too much of an issue, since all the major camera manufacturers have more than enough lenses out there to break any typical budget!

One advantage of going Pentax is the ability to use older lenses (Canon is pretty useless in this regard - if I could have used all my nice FD lenses from my Canon film camera days on any of their current cams then I would undoubtedly have bought Canon instead of any other brand) - Nikon and Sony (with Konica-minolta lens) are also OK in this regard. For example, I bought a second-hand Pentax lens on ebay the other day for about 30 dollars that is as sharp as any lens produced today - even pro spec ones costing thousands. Works fine on my K10D - as long as one doesn't mind giving up autofocus of course...

The K10D is not a 'beginners' camera - it has so many features there is a fair learning curve to it, and it does away with all the 'scene' modes found on most entry level cams - but its versatility is only matched by considerably more expensive cams from the 'big two' (such as the Canon 30D and the Nikon D200).

If you feel you have outgrown the FZ's capability (and the intrinsic abilities oftheir small sensors) then a DSLR is probably worth it (expense was the main sticking point for me, and I had to save for a LONG time before getting my K10D a couple of months ago) - just remember to still grab the FZ on those days you don't want to worry about lens changing etc!

Cheers,
David C.
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Old May 5, 2007, 1:50 PM   #19
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Annie. Did you see the deal on the Lumix L1 with the fantastic lens... the NerdsNet has them now at $1027.. about the price of the lens, MSRP that is, if you can even get one. I know people will buy this for the lens.
$1599 on Panasonic's site, $2400 at Lieca
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Old May 5, 2007, 5:08 PM   #20
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Thanks for letting me know. Trouble is I am in Canada and those deals just aren't available here!!!!
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