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Old Mar 25, 2008, 9:10 AM   #1
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Hey guys,

Have done a ton of research on a new camera. I kind of figured the FZ18 would be best for me but then someone said why dont you get an entry level DSLR.

I will use it for-

Now
Family shots both indoor and outdoor
Photographing my 4 yr old girl both indoor and outdoor
Travelling -tourist stuff, streetscapes etc
Learning photography, I will be taking a few classes

Future
More arty stuff kind of interests me
Close ups of things(is that called Macro?)
Maybe things involving a big zoom
I dont know I guess it could go anywhere

Im in West Australia and locally all these cameras are priced insanely so I will be ordering it from Hong Kong. For comparison these are the current prices delivered in A$
FZ18 $450
A200 about $750 with kit lens
400D about $750 with kit lens and about $630 body only

Local prices are close to double.

Does anyone have any others possibilities? I think for what I want the DSLR's will be much of a muchness and it might well come down to price.

Would anyone recomend the FZ18 over the DSLR's?

I understand the Canon kit lens isnt highly regarded. If i was to get body only how much would I have to spend to get and equivalent lens to the Sony? I have no idea about lenses.

Thank you.

Al.
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Old Mar 25, 2008, 9:38 AM   #2
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Al-

Let me share a bit of experience with you. I am a professional digital camera instructor. DSLR cameras are very expensive and rather complicated as well. As I understand your post, you have an interest in photography, but you are something of a beginner to perhaps an experienced amateur in photography.

On several ocassions I have seen students get cameras thatwere fartoo complicated for their level of photographic knowledge. The resultwas that they sometimesbecame quitediscouraged with their photography because they could notproduce the kind of photos that they believed should come from their expensive camera,so they gave up on photography all together.

Learning photography, like any other skill, is a progressive thing. Also please keep in mind that a lens for a DSLR camera to equal the zoom capabilities of the Panasonic FZ-18 camera, will in most cases cost as much or more than the DSLR camera body alone. So my suggestion would be to develop your photographic skills first with a less complicated and less expensive camera.

The Panasonic FZ-18 is a good camera, just as is the Canon S-5 camera. Both feature long zoom and will be more ideal to begin with in photography. It is an excellent idea that you are taking a course in digital cameras. That will assist you in learning photography. Good luck to you. I have attached a sample FZ-18 photo.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Mar 25, 2008, 9:42 AM   #3
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What kind of digital camera do you have know (if you have one)?

I have a superzoom (the Olympus SP-560). I like it much better than its predecessor, the SP-550, which focused slower and which had a longer shutter lag. From what I've read and heard, the FZ-18 focuses faster than the 560. However, none of the superzooms is particularly good at low light photography.

Two key questions for you to answer are:

How much do you want to spend?

How picky are you about image quality?

If you have the money and are willing to spend a lot, then the DSLR might be the way to go.

Theadvantage of the Sony A-200 is that it has image stablization built into the camera body. With the Canon you need to buy stabilized lenses and they are not cheap. The advantage of the Canon may be that it has slightly sharper pictures. You cango to dcresource fora review of the A200.

Last night, I took my SP-560 to a basketball game at which I sat in the cheap seats, far from the court. First, I could get itin the arena because it was small enough not to alarm the ushers. Second, its 18x stabilized zoom enabled me to get shots which I could not have gotten with a DSLR without a large zoom lens. The picture quality wasn't professional, but it was good enoughfor me.


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Old Mar 25, 2008, 10:38 AM   #4
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robbo wrote:
Quote:
You cango to dcresource fora review of the A200.
Dave over at imaging-resource.com has a much more thorough review (including test shots in a variety of controlled conditions, imatest results measuring things like DR, etc.

Also, keep an eye out for Steve's Final Review soon. It's in First Look Status now:

Sony DSLR-A200

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Old Mar 25, 2008, 11:22 AM   #5
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Couple of great posts there.

Sarah, Your post is the whole reason I included the FZ18 in my post. Im not one to get discouraged but I do realise that a DSLR is prob alot of overkill for now and prob for a while. I chose the FZ18 over the S5 because I dont want to use AA batts.

Currently I just have a subcompact Canon thats on its last legs.

Im not looking to spend any more than $800 , $850 at a atretch.

Id like the best picture I can get but I realise that depends on a lot of things.

Im waiting with baited breath for the A200 review but prob leaning towards the FZ18 now.
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Old Mar 25, 2008, 11:33 AM   #6
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Al-

With your list of requirements, I sincerely do not believe that you can get any DSLR in Australia, with a Macro lens and a Lens that would give you the 500+mm focal length of the Panasonic FZ-18, and stay within your proposed budget.

The FZ-18 is not a bad choice. It is a very capable camera. Here is another Panasonic FZ-18 photo sample.

Sarah Joyce
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