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Old May 24, 2009, 3:07 PM   #1
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Default Looking for help with an open decision (bit long)

OK, I'm coming here with a bit of a quandary that I hope y'all can help me with.

Currently, I have a Panasonic FZ-18, which has done me well. Even have a book about Rocky Mtn Natl Park where most of the photos are from this camera. However I have noticed a couple places on the lens that look like the coating has begun to wear off. I've started keeping a UV filter on, and it doesn't seem to have affected the image quality, but it does have me thinking it might be time to do something.

The San Antonio Riverwalk will be adding a multi-mile new segment next weekend (May 30th), and I want to do a shoot of that segment for my next book - figure there's some advantage to being one of the first in print

Additionally, I have about $400 in an account I'm looking to close to avoid the monthly fees that I think would be useful to spend on this.

All of that background is to give you an idea of my requirements. What I'm trying to decide is if I should buy a new camera (if so, which one), or look at some upgrades to the FZ-18 (maybe a telephoto?), or do something else?

For a new camera I was thinking about the FZ-28, but from what I've read, it's main advantage is for indoor shooting. In fact I've seen a couple folks who've said they kept their 18 for outside and just use the 28 inside. Then again, I gather the Canon SX10 has some color and other issues even though it has a bit more reach.

For the telephoto, my main concern would be carrying it around. I gather it's too heavy to leave on all the time, and part of the reason I've avoided a DSLR up to now is not wanting to have to try and quickly switch lenses and maybe miss a shot.

So, what do y'all think? If you had $400 in your pocket to spend on your photography, what would YOU do with it?
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Old May 25, 2009, 12:13 PM   #2
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Ewan-

The obvious answer is the Panasonic FZ-28. Having owed and used both the FZ-18 and the FZ-18 myself. My observation is that my FZ-18 has been gathering dust, after the arrival of the FZ-28 because the FZ-28 is more of an all around camera while still retaining a very convenient size.

I also own seval DSLR cameras as well, that I use when teaching, as I have been a digital camera instructor for the past 12 years. However, I keep gravitating back to the superzoom cameras because I don't like changing lenses and carrying around the extra lenses.

You would, it seems from your post, be a logical candidate to move up to a DSLR due to the extra photographic flexibility. However, your next logical step might be a very thorough analysis of how often, in your normal shooting, you could make use of that DSLR flexibility. Then consider the reverse of that equation, how often you use a lot of your long zoom settings. When you need long zoom in a DSLR, the lens size and weight increases immediately and substantially.

I have never had any problems at all with the lens coatings on either my FZ-18 or FZ-28 and I am often working in a salt air environment.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; May 25, 2009 at 12:15 PM.
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Old May 25, 2009, 12:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
The obvious answer is the Panasonic FZ-28. Having owed and used both the FZ-18 and the FZ-18 myself. My observation is that my FZ-18 has been gathering dust, after the arrival of the FZ-28 because the FZ-28 is more of an all around camera while still retaining a very convenient size.
So you don't find the FZ-28 to lose much detail/sharpness in outdoor locations? Since so much of my work is outdoors, the couple comments I've seen about that had me a bit spooked - even though the extra MP and the better NR seem worth considering.

Quote:
I also own seval DSLR cameras as well, that I use when teaching, as I have been a digital camera instructor for the past 12 years. However, I keep gravitating back to the superzoom cameras because I don't like changing lenses and carrying around the extra lenses.
My first digital (many moons ago) was a 3MP Kodak that had a whole lens accessory set. Splurged on the whole thing, and then found that the time it took me to change from the Wide Angle to the Telephoto or the Macro was getting in the way of my work, and carrying all that junk around made me feel like a minivan. Which is probably why I've avoided DSLRs longer than I should have - it's hard to convince myself that the end result would be worth the extra hassle

Quote:
I have never had any problems at all with the lens coatings on either my FZ-18 or FZ-28 and I am often working in a salt air environment.
On one of my climbing outings last summer I think I got a little over corrective about keeping dust and sweat off the lens (I was sweating quite a bit, and kept thinking I was dripping onto it), and so I think I may have worn it off in a couple places. At least that's what I "assume" I'm looking at.

In any event, sounds like I may need to give the FZ-28 another think.
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Old May 25, 2009, 2:27 PM   #4
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Ewan-

Based on the fact that most of your photos are taken out of doors, that is exactly where it becomes hard to define the difference that a DSLR can produce as oppossed to a superzoom. If you were discussing low light level photos, then its no contest at all, the DSLR will win easily.

So the real difference is found in the photo environment. When the lighting gets marginal or weird, the DSLR camera gains the advantage.

Sarah Joyce
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