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Old May 5, 2008, 9:59 PM   #1
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OK. I know the first thing folks are going to say is decide what you want to do. I have always owned filmm SLR's, done my own development many years ago and understand the advantages of an SLR for control.

However, now that I am older and have kids, while I still value the control and quality of a DSLR, I also now value convenience (though quality is still critical).

My last film camera was/is a Nikon N80 with a Tamrom EF 28-200 (I think) lens. The camera admittedly takes great pictures, but the cost and convenience of digital is far more suited to my requirements.

I am currently using a Canon SD400, and frankly while it is OK, there is not much I really like about it. My number one complaint is that it is slow and I miss so many pictures between shutter lag and focus.

So if I could get a superzoom above that is fast, then I probably don't need a DSLR. But if the only way to get the speed of a film camera is with a DSLR then I would need to go that route.

So I would appreciate hearing some thoughts on this, and let assume price or size is not the driving influence here. If I go DSLR, I am leaning to the Sony as it seems to get great reviews and provides good value for the dollars and would appreciate opinions on that also.

Regards
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Old May 6, 2008, 8:33 AM   #2
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A dSLR is a 'no compromises' photographic tool, and since you're already familiar with film SLRs, the transition should go smoothly, and you'll hit the ground running.

But some of what I read in your post seems to indicate that you might be not just willing to accept, but actually looking for some compromise. Superzooms work well for most situations, and the shutter lag (the delay inherent in AE and AF systems) is less than for P&S digicams, but still not up to what the typical dSLR can do. And nothing can compare with the low-light capabilities of a dSLR.

So, yes, you need to decide what you want to do.
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Old May 6, 2008, 10:11 AM   #3
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Sony digital cameras in general are very quick performers including shutter lag. The Sony superzooms, the H3, H10, H7 and H9, won't give you the performance and image quality of a Sony DSLR, but they are pretty good.
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Old May 6, 2008, 11:49 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. You are correct, I am notintimidated by a dSLR. I am willing to accept some compromises in image quality but I can tolerate little with shutter lag. So if I go superzoom, which ones have the fastest shutter.

I was in a store today and I tried the Canon SX100is and was not impressed. Great feature set but focus/shutter lag was problematic.




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Old May 9, 2008, 12:07 PM   #5
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How about one of the entry dSLRs with the Tamron 18-250 lens? I use Pentax so I get in-camera stabilization. Pentax has their own version of this lens. Sony (with in-camera stabilization) also has a version of this lens. Either setup would out perform a superzoom, except that you wouldn't have video.


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Old May 9, 2008, 1:12 PM   #6
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If you were comfortable with the image quality of the N80 and a 28-200mm zoom, then an entry level dSLR model with the Tamron (or camera manufacturer equivalent) 18-250mm zoom mentioned by rfortson would be a good choice (provided you don't plan on poster size prints too often and don't mind a few image quality flaws).

You can't expect a zoom with that much range from wide to long in a smaller package to have perfect image quality with no distortion or edge softness, especially at zoom extremes. ;-) But, most reviews I've seen of it have been very positive for a lens with a focal range this ambitious, with good center sharpness throughout most of the zoom range.

Sony did improve on the Tamron design some with it's 18-250mm lens (Sony geared their 18-250mm for faster Autofocus with less turns of the focus screw, with rounded aperture blades, better build quality and different coatings). But, the Tamron branded version of it seems to be very well liked, too.

P.S.

Here's a review of the Sony version of this optical design:

http://www.alphamountworld.com/revie...-f35-63-review

Here's a review of the Tamron branded version of it on a Nikon dSLR model (but, performance should be similar on other brands of dSLR models):

Tamron AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II LD Aspherical [IF] macro review at photozone.de

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Old May 9, 2008, 2:29 PM   #7
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When lenses are listed at 18-250, is that at 35mm equivalent or specific to dSLR. If the multiplier is 1.5 (as in the Sony a300) is this really the equivalent of a 27 to 375mm lens?
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Old May 9, 2008, 2:44 PM   #8
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Right. On a dSLR model like one of the Sonys (A200, A300, A350, A700), you'd have roughly the same angle of view (apparent magnification) that you'd have using a 27-375mm lens on a 35mm camera. It's actually closer to the same angle of view you'd get using a 27.5-382.5mm lens on a 35mm camera (the multiplier for cameras using a Sony APS-C size sensor like the entry level Sony, Nikon, and Pentax models is closer to 1.53x, but it's usually rounded to 1.5x + the lens manufacturers sometimes round up or down a bit anyway).

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Old May 9, 2008, 2:56 PM   #9
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P.S.

On an entry level Canon dSLR model (XT, XTi, XSi), multiply the focal length by 1.6x to see what focal length you'd need on a 35mm camera to see how angle of view compares (Canon makes their own sensors for their dSLR models, even though they use other manufacturer's sensors for some of their non-DSLR models), whereas the entry level dSLR models from Nikon, Pentax and Sony use slightly larger Sony APS-C size sensors with a slightly different multplier for angle of view comparisons.

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Old May 9, 2008, 3:28 PM   #10
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Let me say that if you really want a single lens to do everything, then the Tamron 18-250 (in its various guises) is the best. But superzooms in general, are jacks of all trades and masters of none. By that I mean that so long as you don't ever intend to critically examine your photos, you may be happy with them.

I used to own a Minolta 18-200. I bought it because I thought it would do everything I wanted. When I started looking closely at what it was giving me, I became very dissatisfied. I have since replaced it with multiple lenses covering the same range, and am a lot happier with the results.
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