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Old Dec 26, 2008, 4:51 PM   #1
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I have an old Pentax EI2000 that I was very happy with. But would like to upgrade to something newer. I used to have 35mm SLR so have compatible lens. However I found that I used the auto function on the EI2000 almost exclusively so perhaps I don't need a DSLR. I take pix mostly of friends & dogs - plus need a big zoom for distance action shots at sheepdog competitions. I still want good image quality. I am currently comparing the Pentax K200D, Nikon D60, Canon EOS Rebel SX/SXi. Or should I go with Canon PowerShot SX10 IS or FujiFine S200HD? Much better price(s) and may meet all my needs.
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Old Dec 26, 2008, 6:53 PM   #2
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It's a difficult question to answer as yes you can probably do what you want with a UZ, but there are limitations and you can't make changes without buying a new camera.

A UZ will not focus as well asa dSLR, it will generally not handle low light as well, however it does mean you are getting some pretty serious zoom coverage in a compact unit.

If you want to grow in your photography then a dSLR is the route but if you are happy with what a UZ will give and you never want to look at going above this then it is a good option.

For family/friends snap shots then a UZ will do the trick, for sheepdog comps the long zoom will be helpful but limited by AF speed somewhat.

If you want to go beyond a standard snap shot with some more creative shooting (but still taking quick snaps) then a dSLR is essential as you can control the depth of field much more easily. I've given you a quick sample of a reduced dof shot taken at a party, just a snap, not posed or anything, but the background is removed by the shallow depth of field.

Personally if was looking at the camera options you have mentioned then I would go Pentax or Canon, the D60 is too limited in lens options for my liking as there is no focus motor in the body.

If you do go for a dSLR then be aware there is a lot higher cost involved that with a P&S/HZ etc, you will need 2 or 3 lenses to cover the same range. I personally use 3 dSLRs and a Panasonic TZ5 P&S and I really wouldn't like to be without any of the options I have as there are times it's nice to just have a small camera to take anywhere easily but my artistic side needs what a dSLR brings to the party. I probably shoot 85% dSLR and 15% P&S.

The last question is what lenses you have left and can they be used on a new dSLR?

Mark
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Old Dec 26, 2008, 7:06 PM   #3
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Just like the DSLR cameras, the ultrazooms have also improved a great deal in the last few years. For example ISO 800 photos are easily possible with the new ultra zooms. I shoot a lot with two excellent ultrazooms. They are the Panasonic FZ-28 and the Sony H-50.

While I alo have DSLR cameras, there are times when the small size and the quickness of the ultrazoom is very appealing. By purchasing an ultrazoom you will limit your investment and at the sametime you will get a very capable camera.

Here is a photo sample from the Sony H-50 camera taken at ISO 1250.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 26, 2008, 7:56 PM   #4
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It is true that you can shoot at higher ISO with P&S cameras but it will depend on the usage of the shots as to what you will class as good enough quality. For printing purposes then most non dSLRs stop being usable at about ISO 400 (less if a cheaper camera), with dSLR then I sell work taken at up to ISO 6400 (size limited to 9x6 prints), for ISO 1600 then I'm happy with my kit to go much larger.

This is the problem that there is no perfect camera, everything is a trade off. It is essential that you cover the areas that are important to you as a photographer and not someone else as we all have different desires in our photography as well as different limitations (weigh/money are two big ones) so where can you compromise and where can't you?

size, cost, simplicity, movie mode (yes the Canon 5DmkII and Nikon D90 have this but not a common dSLRfeature - yet -)then P&S is king

overall quality, fast focus, low light, expandable, creative controlthen dSLR

Obviously there are other things that could be added to the list but these are the first things that come to mind.

edit, btw Sarah the photo you posted is at ISO 640 not 1250

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Old Dec 26, 2008, 9:17 PM   #5
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Mark-

You are very correct. It you are approaching this purchase as a real camera enthusiast, then a consumer level DSLR camera is the proper equipment.

However, if you are looking for a good camera to take photos of family events, family holidays, school plays and the like, then a good ultra zoom like the FZ-28 equipped with an external flash will cost you just 25% of what the average consumer level DSLR kit costs.

It is all up to the OP. I have attached a nice no flash photo taken at ISO 800 (Mark I carefully checked this time!) Perhaps the FX-28 will fill the bill for you.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 26, 2008, 9:34 PM   #6
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In the interest of being fair and even handed, I also want to post a photo from the new Canon XS (in other parts of the world it is known as the Canon KISS or the EOS-1000) It is an excellent example of a good consumer level DSLR camera.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 26, 2008, 10:28 PM   #7
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And here is the Canon XS, using the Canon 28-135mm IS lens at ISO 1600, using just typical living room lighting. High ISO/existing light is Canon's forte. This an area where the FZ-28 or the H-50 cannot go.

Sarah Joyce


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Old Dec 27, 2008, 12:01 AM   #8
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Thanks for your input, but I'm not sure anyone has addressed my question. I am not interested in 'growing' as a photographer.....btdt in 35m. I like what my PentaxEI200 in auto has given me, but think I can get better image quality and zoom in something new AND considering that I never used the SLR options... Just wondering how the 'less' techie cameras stand up - and thinking that the Canon Power Shot SX10IS may be a good match for the low 'tech' type of pix that I want.
thanks again
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Old Dec 27, 2008, 4:26 AM   #9
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Thanks for clarifying the direction of the thread. There are lots of ultrazoom options out there. The CanonSX-10 IS is certainly of of those options. It has received good but not excellent reviews. The Canon S-5 IS which was the camera that the SX-10 IS replaced seemed to be a stronger contender. The Canon SX-10 IS has a huge zoom range of 28mm to 560mm (in 35mm terms), but like the S-5 that it replaced, the SX-10 IS does best if the ISO settings are kept below 250 ISO.

Used in the Auto Mode with Auto ISO set the SX-10 IS will often times select 250 ISO, and setting that is not selectable in the manual ISO range avail on the menu. Another issue for some folks, like myself who often shoot in a low light level environment is that when the SX-10 IS zooms outward it dims to a maximum of F 5.6 rather quickly. The SX-10 IS is equipped with an articulated LCD screen and a very handy and convenient hot shoe for mounting an external flash.

Other contenders in the ultra zoom field are the Panasonic FZ-28, a camera that is very popular and that has received some excellent prodessional reviews. I posted a sample photo from the FZ-28 previously in this thread. The Sony H-50 is another competitor. It too is very popular and it has received good reviews. In the same field you will also find the Kodak Z-1012, the Nikon P-80,the Fuji S-8100 and the new Fuji S-2000 HD. All have IS or image stabilization.

If most of your proposed photos were taken out of doors or with the SX-10 IS using an external flash, such as the Canon EX-430, the SX-10IS would be a very good choice. I have attached a Canon S-5 sample photo which show how well both the SX-10 and the S-5 can do out of doors.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 27, 2008, 4:36 AM   #10
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How can we be more specific if you aren't?

If you are taking shots in good light where the subject isn't very fast moving and you don't need shallow depth-of-field then a good superzoom will be fine.

From your general orientation I would suggest that you go that way because you just want auto-mode decent snaps, SLR cameras often produce worse quality photos than P&S cameras if you prefer the camera to do all the work.

There is one other alternative - there is now a new EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lenses) camera available - the Panasonic G1 which isn't a full-blown SLR and may be more the kind of thing you are looking for. Check it out.
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