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Old Feb 16, 2008, 1:00 PM   #11
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TCav wrote:
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In terms of just pure megapixels, yes the Fz18 has more megapixels. I wouldn't necessarily assume it has better image quality, especially at higher ISO's, where the DSLR's will certainly outshine any point and shoot. The D40 has consistently been recoginzed as having superior image quality, even when compared to it's big brother the D80 (which has 10mp). There is certainly more to IQ than just megapixels.
Yes, but the OP probably won't be using higher ISO settings while on safari, so that probably shouldn't be a significantfactor in her decision. So that leaves megapixels.
Which still isn't the only factor that determines image quality (sensor quality, lens, processing algorithms, etc all play a role) . And higher iso's may be needed if shooting at dawn or dusk (when many animals are most active) or to get the higher shutter speeds that may be needed to freeze action or prevent camera shake, especially at longer focal lengths.
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Old Feb 16, 2008, 1:27 PM   #12
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rjseeney wrote:
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Which still isn't the only factor that determines image quality (sensor quality, lens, processing algorithms, etc all play a role) . And higher iso's may be needed if shooting at dawn or dusk (when many animals are most active) or to get the higher shutter speeds that may be needed to freeze action or prevent camera shake, especially at longer focal lengths.
Absolutely true.

But lenses for P&S digicams are easier to make (and therefore, easier to make well) than SLR lenses. Plus the FZ18 has a Leica lens. So again, for image quality, the FZ18 would have the edge over a dLSR with a Sigma 70-300, even the APO version.
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Old Feb 16, 2008, 1:59 PM   #13
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In terms of flexibility and convenience in a small(er) package, the FZ18 is tough to beat at its price. A dslr with lenses to match the range of the FZ18 would be expensive and bulky.

Despite the Leica lens, I still don't think the image quality will match a even a 6mp DSLR with a consumer grade lens. Most of the reviews I've seen of the FZ18 mention a lack of dynamic range (especially holding highlights) and poor noise handling, even at lower Iso's (200-400).

Once again, either choice involves compromise.
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Old Feb 16, 2008, 11:09 PM   #14
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Hi Whittetulp,

After several vacations (using a Canon SD500 ELPH), I came to the conclusion that I needed a DSLR. I was on a cruise to Alaska - on a whale watching trip and had a whale breech near us. I was only able to get a single decent shot with a lot of close but not good enough - i.e., push and wait, wait, wait, snap - whale gone, while others were snap,snap, snap, snap ...... I came back and started researching my options...

Everything that has been written here is spot on. I would only add the question - are you going on the safari to specificaly take pictures or enjoy yourself?

I have not really been to Africa, but I suppose that to get a really good shots you would need at least a 300mm lens and possibly longer. Really anything over 300mm and you would probably need a tripod, even with the camera (or lens) having image stablization.

Then there is the hauling of the additional weight and bulk, along with the changing of lens to possibly get the shot you want. Do you want to do this or enjoy yourself - pulling out your camera to take some shots along the way? Need to ask yourself this.

Also, you have to ask yourself this - what type of photos are you after - National Geographic up close and personal pictures of Lions and Zebra? or ??????

Personally, I would take both - a good superzoom P&S and a DSLR. Then based on the situation, use the approperiate tool.

All of this depends on how much you expect or want to spend. I have a Pentax K100D, a good beginner's DSLR. For a saferi, I would probably want more megapixels, possibly the just announced K200D. But with at least 2 good lens, its going to run to some money. You would probably want a 18 to 55 and then a 75 to 300. Considering that it will probably be bright and sunny there, you could take a 1.4 converter, thus making the 75-300mm lens into a 105-420mm lens.

You also need to consider all the extras that you need to take - additional batteries, and memory cards. Are you going to take a laptop to store the images on, or are you going to take 20 or 30 memory cards (say 1GB size) so that you will have enough storage for all the pictures you are going to take (say at 8GB a 1GB card will hold about 50 to 60 images). Even if your battery is rechargable, you will want one for the camera, one for your pocket (to swap out) and one back in camp on the recharger for tomorrow, and possibly an extra one - just in case. So everything adds up (this is for either a DLSR OR a superzoom).

Then there is the learning curve so that you will use the camera to get what you want out of it.

I would tend to go with a superzoom like the Canon Powershot S3 IS, and really enjoy myself and not be so concerned with taking the world's best pictures....
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Old Feb 17, 2008, 3:46 AM   #15
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If you are not likely to generally require a long telephoto, but just need it for the safari then I would consider renting.

That is fairly likely to restrict you to Canon or Nikon, costs a little bit but then the safari is going to cost you too and if you want great pics then it may be worth it. The Canon 100-400L is a pretty decent lens and probably the most frequently used lens for safaris. Nikon have a 200-400 (very expensive).

Another possibility is to try to get hold of a good used telepoto lens and then buy yourself a body to match; after all - all the systems have a pretty good range of cameras now. When the holiday is over you can probably sell the lens for almost what you paid for it, or who knows, even more if you get lucky on ebay.

I personally don't think that a 300mm is really long enough for safari shots of the sort you are probably thinking of. If you are thinking of buying then you might consider the Tamron 200-500mm or the Sigma 50-500mm lenses.

But honestly, on safari unless you really really want still photos you can do much better with a mid-range/semi-pro camcorder. They are much easier to use and give you very good telephoto reach for what they cost. Many of the HD ones will allow you to take still photos too at a reasonable resolution at full zoom. Certainly good enough for small prints and even at a push up to 8x10.

Keep the SLR for landscape and people shots.
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Old Feb 17, 2008, 10:51 PM   #16
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before you decide, fuji has a superzoom (s100fs) that looks really good coming out this month and sony has 2 dlsrs coming out in april. check out the oly e-3 dslr as well. all of the dslrs mentioned have image stabilization and live view articulating lcds. i won't buy a camera without those features.

ellen


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Old Feb 18, 2008, 7:54 AM   #17
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ellenfl wrote:
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... all of the dslrs mentioned have image stabilization and live view articulating lcds. i won't buy a camera without those features.
Ditto on the image stabilization, but the 'Live View' feature doesn't exist in a vacuum. If it's important to you, you need to know how it's implemented. As I've said before, the Olympus 'Live View' in the E-510 and E-3 show a stabilized image, but can't autofocus during 'Live View'. The Sony A300 and A350 can autofocus during 'Live View' but don't show a stabilized image. No doubt there are other limitations on the 'Live View' features as implemented in the other systems as well.
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Old Feb 18, 2008, 1:25 PM   #18
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thanks for that info, tcav. i don't care if the image is staibilized in the viewer but i DO care that autofocus works . another reason for me to get the sony (besides the fact it is half the price of the oly). i'm just not good with a viewfinder . . . bifocals, ya know. totally inept with binoculars too.

i will be interested to see if the older minolta lens i already have will fit the a-300.

ellen fl
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Old Feb 18, 2008, 3:06 PM   #19
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ellenfl wrote:
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i will be interested to see if the older minolta lens i already have will fit the a-300.
Absolutely! All Minolta's Maxxum AF lenses work on allSony's dSLRs.

Apparently, Minolta licensed the AF configuration but Sigma wouldn't pay and tried to reverse engineer the system. Some of their early lenses with the Minolta AF mount work on the Maxxum 7000, 9000 and 5000, but not on later models. If you've got an early Sigma lens with a Minolta AF mount, you might have some trouble with it.

I've got an oldSigma 75-200/2.8-3.5 (the one with the push-pull zoom) with the Minolta AF mount that won't autofocus on my Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, but works fine when used with a chipped 1.4X or a 2X teleconverter. I keep the 1.4X TC on it and it gives me a nice 110-280/4.0-5.0 lens.
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Old Jun 23, 2008, 4:35 AM   #20
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http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=94



in the end; i got the k100d super + bought tamron 18-250. Nice and easy camera, and delivers good images (i think)



above links to some initial results

thanks for all advice
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