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Old Oct 7, 2007, 11:19 PM   #1
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I've just bought the fz8 and not sure if I will ever been 100% sure on my decision. I decided to stick with it due to price, light weight and the quality at this stage seems to be good for me. however, I am a beginner. Now what i'm thinking is if its a good idea to take it to the next level and purchase a pentax k10d. Is this a hard camera to work out how to use and is there going to be any advantages for me in doing so.
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Old Oct 8, 2007, 12:57 AM   #2
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seashels wrote:
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I've just bought the fz8 and not sure if I will ever been 100% sure on my decision. I decided to stick with it due to price, light weight and the quality at this stage seems to be good for me. however, I am a beginner. Now what i'm thinking is if its a good idea to take it to the next level and purchase a pentax k10d. Is this a hard camera to work out how to use and is there going to be any advantages for me in doing so.
How long have you owned the FZ8? Is it not doing something for you now that you thinka DSLR can? Have you mastered the FZ8 and know what it can and cannot do? Do you know what each of the letters (P, A, S, M) on the FZ8's maindial mean and why you would want to use one vs. one ofthe others, or do you just leave it set to AUTO?

Assuming you do buy The K10D, how much are you planning to spend on lenses after buying the K10D? Accessories? Separate flash? Software?If you really are a beginner, the worst thing you can probably do is load yourself down with equipment you know absolutely nothing about. Digital SLR's are not the final, great step for everyone, expecially if you don't have a solid reason for needing to buy one...unless, of course, you have $1,000-$2,000 burning a hole in your pocket.
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Old Oct 8, 2007, 1:08 AM   #3
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The K10D is a fine camera, but so is the FZ8. The K10D is capable of more, but it also requires more from you. You haven't said what kind of experience you've had before, or even with, the FZ8, but the K10D is not something you should jump into if you haven't at least been around the block with the FZ8.

Get your feet wet with the FZ8, and if you outgrow it, then come back and ask aboutyournext camera. But in the mean time, show us, and more important, yourself,what you can do with the FZ8.
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Old Oct 8, 2007, 3:23 PM   #4
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What do you want to do with your camera, and how much time do you want to spend learning about photography in general? What is it about the FZ8 that you don't like? Thoseare probably the biggest questions that you need to answer for yourself. It's not so much how much you know right this moment, but how much time and effort you are willing to put in learning about photographic concepts and how to apply them to your pictures.

The K10 is an excellent camera - I have one and like it very much. It does have an auto setting where the camera makes mostof the decisions for you. However, it's not a camera that will appeal to everyone. It's quite capable of taking outstanding pictures, but it's also equally capable of taking lousy ones. Many of the controls that are buried in menus on more basic cameras are on the camera body and it's easy to accidentally change something when you take the camera out of a bag. There's lots more options for customizing the controls - great for someone who knows what they do and why they might want to use it that way. Sometimes I find it "fussy" - there's certainly more to think about when you are using one. It's not a camera for someone who just wants to take good looking pictures and isn't interested in learning about what affects aperture has on a scene, or why they might want to change the shutter speed for a particular effect.

The other point that was brought up - overall cost - is another thing to think about. The Pentax kit lens is quite good (I still use mine), but has limitations. So look at what you ultimately are going to use the camera for, and then start planning on how much you'll end up spending to meet those goals. It will definitely be more than you've spent on the FZ8.
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Old Oct 8, 2007, 5:55 PM   #5
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thanks everyone. I will learn how to use it properly as I certainly haven't got money to spend on a camera this full on. Not for a long time. More full on than I realised. One question though. Last night I was trying to take some photos of lightening with no luck at all. Am i able to do this with the fz8 or is this just out of my leage for now. I am just a beginner. I've come from a fuji finepix f810. I just want a great camera that takes great quality all round shots. I went against the canon s5is when it was the one I prefered. I just didn't like the price different and am concerned I made the wrong decision but have stuck with the fz8 through advice I will regret swapping it - which I don't want as i have taken some great pics. Its not an easy process buying a bigger and better camera.
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Old Oct 8, 2007, 7:30 PM   #6
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seashels wrote:
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thanks everyone. I will learn how to use it properly as I certainly haven't got money to spend on a camera this full on. Not for a long time. More full on than I realised. One question though. Last night I was trying to take some photos of lightening with no luck at all. Am i able to do this with the fz8 or is this just out of my leage for now.
You definitely can use the FZ8 to shoot lightening.

The thing about shooting lightening is, you have to open the shutter for several seconds and, literally, get lucky you're going to see a strike, both where you've pointed the camera andwhile the shutter is open, so the longer the exposure, the better your chances are. You need a tripod since you're looking at an exposure of several seconds. Set the camera to MANUAL exposure mode, ISO 100, and use an f-stop of around f5.6 or so. In manual mode, the shutter can be left open as long as up to60 seconds. I would start at a setting of around 8-10 seconds. Set the focus to MANUAL and set it to infinity focus. The zoom setting can be set anywhere, depending on how much of the sky or landscapeyou want to record.

Unless you're looking at an extremely active storm, you are likely to have more exposures that don't work as do, but that's the nature of the beast. Just fire away and don't worry about it...you can always delete the ones you don't like.
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Old Oct 8, 2007, 8:54 PM   #7
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I agree with some of the other respondents. It would good to know how well you can use the camera you have now and what you want to take pictures of before recommending another camera purchase. Personally, if you wanted a DSLR upgrade from a prosumer camera, I would go first for the Pentax K100d. It's several hundred dollars cheaper and much easier to use than its "big brother" K10D. I had the Pentax *ist DS. It had a "bulbmode" which I used to take pictures of a lightning storm during 4th of July fireworksin north Seattle in 2006. I used a cable shutter release to avoid any vibration.

However, from what I've read and seen, the FZ8 is a pretty capable camera for the price. It's also much easier to carry around than a DSLR with several lenses.

As "shutterbugs" we often feel the desire to upgrade our equipment. I know I do. But you will enjoy the upgrade more if you learn how to use the camera you have as well as possible.
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Old Oct 10, 2007, 4:50 PM   #8
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Thanks for that helpful advice. We are approaching a pretty full on storm season this year (tropical queensland, australia) so should have plenty of ops to practice.

One more thing. I went to a concert the other night. I got some good shots but nothing great. I played with a million different settings but ended up simply setting the camera to iso 100. It was ok but what was the best thing for me to do. I was pretty far back
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Old Oct 10, 2007, 8:09 PM   #9
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I would try iso 200 and 400 settings. That would get you more light and faster shutter speeds which means less blurriness if what/who you were taking pictures of was moving. It goes up to ISO 1250, but picture quality is not great. What the heck!Maybe you can try all the various ISO settings and find out for yourself which settings work and which don't.
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Old Oct 11, 2007, 2:10 PM   #10
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seashels wrote:
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One more thing. I went to a concert the other night. I got some good shots but nothing great. I played with a million different settings but ended up simply setting the camera to iso 100. It was ok but what was the best thing for me to do. I was pretty far back
Concerts...typically great lighting on the performers and dark everywhere else...not a good combination for using a camera's evaluative or centerweighted metering patterns, which will typically overcompensate for the dark areas you don't care about and overexpose the performers. Try using SPOT metering, making sure the spot is over an area where the performers are, and you may need to go to the extended zoom range (not digital zoom)to be able to get close enough if you are far away.
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