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Old Mar 29, 2006, 3:24 AM   #1
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Girlfriend wants to get a new camera. Has seen my DSLR and not sure if she should go with something like that or the Panasonic DMC-FZ30 or something similar. I dont know a lot about panasonic, she wants sharp photos and zoom ability, any Ideas?
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Old Mar 29, 2006, 3:53 AM   #2
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Now about every camera has zoom... only some El Cheapos have fixed focal length.
(but most digicams have button controlled zoom instead of mechanical zoom)

If good low light capability is important that would point towards DSLR, like need for fast focusing to even moving targets.
Again good non-DLSRs have quite a lot capabilities in one easy to carry package.

One thing which would definitely decide between DSLR and non-DSLR is might she take video clips?
Almost all digicams can take videos of this quality.

Also what kind of targets she would photograph, is it lanscapes, architecture, general photos, nature or wild animals/birds.
Because zoom number doesn't tell anything concretic like you surely know and super/ultrazoom digicams don't have best/good wide angle.

So it's much what would be biggest needs/required features, both sides are compromises on their own way...
DSLRs have good low light and focusing capability, lot of expandability, but lack video and price of that ultimate versatility is less convenience compared to "all-in-one" non-SLRs.
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Old Mar 29, 2006, 2:07 PM   #3
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I own the Panasonic FZ20 -the predecessor of Fz30 and i have tried the newer model allso.

The Leica lens is suberb quality and with O.I.S it really can go places. If your girlfriend buys lenses to DSLR to cover same focal lenght it takes big bucks.

Low light performance is naturally a lot better with DSLR.

Check SteveĀ“s Panasonic forum to get more info
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Old Mar 29, 2006, 4:02 PM   #4
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I had an FZ30 for a month and sold it to buy a dSLR. The Panasonic can take reallynice pictures, has an excellent lens and is easy to use for someone who doesn't really know what they are doing (but has manual controls and so on for someone who knows what they are doing). It doesn't over process the pictures in-camera, which means that most of the time you have to do your own PP - does your girlfriend want to do that (I didn't mind that part of the camera - I do so much of it anyway)?

It does not have as much dynamic range as a dSLR and won't capture as much detail because of that. I spent much of my time being frustrated with it, and think now that I might have gotten along better with one of the other Panasonics that have fewer megapixels.

I'm much happier now with the dSLR and since I had a background in film SLRs, there wasn't that much of a learning curve. I do occasionally forget to stop the lens down temporarily to meter/let the camera set the shutter speedwhen I'm using manual lenses, though!
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Old Mar 29, 2006, 6:05 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies, she is still looking at the range of digitals out there. Although I cant imagine any but a DSLR, I can appreciate that she just wants to be able to get close to the subject and have good shots, shes not all that much into post processing but has the ability to do so.
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Old Mar 29, 2006, 8:38 PM   #6
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I guess it really comes down to:

1. What is her budget?

2. Is the weight of the camera bag for an ultrazoom camera versus the dSLR camera bag weight a factor?

3. Is image quality an issue? A dSLR is capable of higher quality images that an ultra zoom when used to its full capabilities.

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