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Old Sep 18, 2012, 12:06 AM   #1
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Default Am I kidding myself shooting with a FZ?

I keep wondering if I'm kidding myself about remaining with using the Panasonic Super Zooms and not going with a DSLR like most everyone else I know. For one I have been really pleased with the results I have achieved from my FZ20, FZ35 and now the FZ47 but keep wondering if I'm spinning my wheels and should cave and join the DSLR group. Almost everyone I know has DSLR's even they are a amateur or "think their semi Pro" so there is that pier pressure. One major reason I have remained a FZ user is because I'm cheap hence even the less expensive FZ so to even consider a $1000-$2000 DSLR makes me sick. How does everyone afford them and all the lenses???
I love to shoot scenery, R/R track's, Church/Temples, tell me would my shots be that much better with a DSLR? I know there are a few draw backs with the FZ over DSLR's but is it worth the extra (lots of) money? I don't even shoot in Raw because I don't have Hard Drive storage enough or even expensive programs to edit them.
Please if you could advise me as to what you think I should do to take it up a notch.
Here is my Photobucket but these attached are a few samples of what I have done with the FZ's, shooting Jpeg and using free editing programs. Will I see a big gain with a DSLR, shooting in Raw and a Adobe program?
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 1:54 AM   #2
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I have been told by friends (on Facebook) that I need Lightroom for editing! Again It's $75 that I can't justifie spending unless you all think it's a must have. I currently use Photoimpression 4 (which i love), Microsoft Digital Image Starter and Pixlr online editing.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 3:22 AM   #3
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I too am an FZ user, FZ50 and I see no reason to go DSLR, who wants to carry all those expensive lenses, I don't shoot RAW and seldom video, I like what I shoot, if others don't, then I don't care. As for light room! why spend money on it? there are plenty of free editing programs, Photoscape, Picasa etc, therefore my advice is to stick with what you've got.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 4:29 AM   #4
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outofline99- with regards peer pressure,I really wouldn't worry about that- besides,an FZ at anything other than 10 feet might be mistaken for a "G" series Panny'...!
As for editing programs,I use Photoshop CS- but I also have Gimp,Photoscape and Raw Therapee- all of which are free and very useful.
I'd suggest for what you shoot,one of the FZ gang is more than adequate.
I own an FZ-150 AND a DSLR... but I rarely use the DSLR.
The DSLR will ultimately have the better IQ- but in "general" use you'd be hard pressed to notice the difference and might have to go "pixel peeping" to find it.
Of course,if you shoot a great deal in low light the benefits of the larger sensor are more obvious- though you'd still need an appropriate lens attached,with the resulting cost..!
DSLR's also give you more control over depth of field- though many bridge camera's have on board software to give a similar effect- as do many of the free software programs- such as Photoscape.
An avid sports shooter will prefer the DSLR with their larger buffers and quick processors and the optical viewfinders giving a clear shot at everything regardless what the camera is doing- though I have to say my FZ-150 is no slouch here and have captured some "more than adequate" images at a recent fell running event- aided by the 5.5 frames per second burst mode WITH autofocus on each image....
The convenience of a "bridge" camera cannot be underestimated- nor can the "other" form of speed the Bridge camera offers- being able to shoot a macro shot followed by a distant telephoto shot a second or two later is quite a feat- and something that a DSLR cannot pull off- PERIOD- no matter how good the AF speed,processors etc- rummaging around in your bag for a big lens takes time and that Buzzard doing the Rhumba on the telegraph pole might not wait for the fumbling DSLR user..!

If you're the kind of person who likes to shoot anything and everything- then a bridge camera,with its "other" speed and convenience,its lightweight and bijou proportions and it's relatively inexpensive price point- they're hard to ignore and are improving all the time,with IQ and noise control improving and the latest FZ-200 offering a FAST f/2.8 lens across the zoom range- now that IS some feat and should offer huge potential.

Last edited by SIMON40; Sep 18, 2012 at 3:44 PM.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 6:56 AM   #5
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Totally agree with what SIMON40 said. If you’re happy with your FZ and gettimg the results you want stick with it, your sample photos are great.
I use to own a DSLR kit (Canon EOS 1D MKII N & various lenses from 17-400mm, TC's etc.) and sold it all last year. Own a LX5 & FZ150 now, I am very happy & impressed with these cameras performance, features & image quality, DSLR definitely have their advantages as mentioned by SIMON40.
Got tired of carrying all my gear around (around 15 kg or 33 pounds) especially when out with my young kids, was not getting as much use from my gear as i use to & was finding that there are more camera restrictions (pro equipment) at major events now.
I do enjoy shooting motorsport and still do with my FZ150 a bit more difficult but I do get by with good results. EG: the cameras AF tracking does struggle with most Motor Racing & i am forced to use MF (prefocus).

The bridge camera (super zoom) is a fantastic all round cameras for the money and are getting better & better with every new model.

Here is a Motor Racing sample shot taken with my FZ150

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Old Sep 18, 2012, 9:16 AM   #6
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For many years, I used DSLR's; Nikon and the last was Canon. We took a trip to Alaska, and trying to carry & handle all the lens' was a huge hassle! I missed some shots while changing to another lens.

Then I got a few digitals, & finally, the FZ40. I would not go back to DSLR's from the FZ's for anything! The convenience, the small size; and best of all; the quality of photos these cameras put out are amazing! I'm so sold on them, that my next on will be the FZ200.

Your photos are beautiful, don't know how much better you could wish for.

~Pentax K10D~
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 2:14 PM   #7
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I had an FZ 38 , sold it and bought a Pentax K-r then bought an FZ 38 again. I like both but if i'm honest i think i think a Bridge suits me better and i'm not convinced the quality is much different (with my limited skills)
I think Dslrs are more suited to those happy to spend time setting up shots , i'm more shoot on impulse .
If i had the chance to sell both and buy an Fz 200 i think i'd take it
Pentax K-r & Panasonic Fz-72 http://www.flickr.com/photos/darren_healy/
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 8:46 PM   #8
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Thanks, you guys are saving me a lot of money! At times shooting I feel a DSLR would be better at the shot but the thought of spending the money just does not excite me. I know what it's like to have the cost and trouble of hauling a SLR, I was a Automotive Racing Photographer back in the 80's and loved my Chinon CM3 SLR and had a wide angle, 55mm and a 70-210 zoom lens. My FZ47 would have been great to have used back then with the 600mm zoom.

Do you think the FZ200 would be a noticeable improvement over what I have shot with the FZ47? I'm not sure i can justify the $400+ cost for a camera that will feel and work just like the 47, I got the FZ47 on that Amazon deal for $185 which is the reason I moved up from the FZ35 that I still have. I will like the video without the bad sunflare lines problem of the CCD of the lower ZF's!

I will download Photoscape and play around with it. I think I need to learn how to use bracketing and layering which is something I have not really tried yet mainly because i don't know how to work with layers. Many have shook their heads at me stating i need to shoot Raw (which the 47 does not have) but until someone sits down at a PC and shows me what can be done with raw over what i can do with jpeg I cant see filling up 4x's the amount of hard drive space. By how many shots I take I could fill a 1TB Hard drive quickly in Raw.

TG, I had seen your other post of the racing, great shots! Reminds me back of my racing photog days, I was even published in Hot Rod once!

Thanks for the replies, perhaps I can put off the desire and pressure for a DSLR a bit longer!

Last edited by outofline99; Sep 18, 2012 at 8:49 PM.
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 12:35 PM   #9
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I've wrestled with this myself for a good long while.
I gave up a SLR + lenses to go with the FZ7. I loved it for sunny outdoor shots/seaside/kids in park etc.
I even went to a wedding and shot some good pics of the Bride and Groom outside the church,then went inside duh! Then one day I went to the dimly lit Riks art gallery in Amsterdam and was told I could take pics without flash. After that I bought a DSLR because I felt that those paintings by Vermeer/ Rembrant etc deserved a better result than my FZ gave me, not to mention the Bride and Groom.
My point is that IMHO any camera will produce good shots in good conditions but the DSLR comes into its own in poor conditions, once you go above iso 400 it's no contest.
Having said that I realize that the FZ200 appears to be very good but the ISO is still the Achilles heel. Knowing me I might get one next year as a back up to my Nikon + 18-200mm,then I'll find out which one I take out. Also on another post I remarked to T.Cav how on holiday at a Sea life park how little I had actually used my 200mm lens, nearly all the long shots were around 135mm.So unless I'm going to shoot birds from a long way off (I dont go to football matches) 600mm wont be used much .Incidently my outfit is just 500 grms more than the FZ200, heavier but not terrible..
D5100 +18-200mVR Nikkor lens.
SB400 Flash, ML-L3 Remote.
SB 700 Flash
Holster + Shoulder Bag.
Beike carbon 4 section tripod/monopod
Gorillapod SLR Zoom + BH1 ball head
Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic FZ200
Nissin D i40 Flash
+ SLR Gorillapod
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 2:12 PM   #10
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With regards the FZ200's plus points over the FZ47 (or any other FZ for that matter)- the obvious one is the fast f/2.8 lens throughout the zoom range.
Whilst some might suggest (and rightly so) that the FZ's- and any other bridge camera's IQ is inferior to a DSLR when the iso goes up- the FZ200's lens effectively means you can still utilise lower iso's at the long end of the zoom when compared to it's rivals- there's just more light coming in- and LOTS more....
The other specs- faster AF speed,faster burst modes,tilt/swivel LCD,improved video capture...etc etc.... many improvements.

Quite often "images straight out of the camera" are better with bridge camera's compared to DSLR's- as manufacturers seemingly anticipate that the "bridge" market probably don't want to spend too much time editing and gear their respective jpeg engines for the best possible output- or at least what they perceive to be "best possible output".

With regards RAW shooting on a "bridge"- there is a little bit of extra data to be squeezed out of a RAW capture as opposed to a jpeg- usually in highlight areas- but not that much when compared to a large DSLR sensor- and as such I would question the merits of such procedures- but hey, if you like tinkering and editing, why not..!

Last edited by SIMON40; Sep 19, 2012 at 2:20 PM.
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