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Old Aug 15, 2009, 10:03 PM   #11
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Well, I am with Anthony on this one-

For me at least, the Sony has the best reviews, the best burst speed and the best value. So I ordered the Sony H-20 camera. It is really an excellent value.

Yes, the Canon SX-10 is larger, more weighty, and also has good reviews. But it is more camera (as in weight and bulk, even though I already own the S-5IS and the EX-430 Flash) than I want to tote around.

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Old Aug 17, 2009, 4:16 AM   #12
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Thanks for the replies folks. One of my friends is a professional photographer and he gave me some very valuable advice regarding the purchase of a camera. He was intrigued to hear about superzooms and hasn't really researched them before, but he was wary when I told him about the number of pixels crammed onto the small sensor, inspite of their impressive zoom range. He urged me to seriously consider buying a DSLR, understandably - he owns a Nikon D40 which he holds in very high esteem.

I've had a think about it and he's right - if I'm going to spend up to/over 300 on a "performance" camera which ultimately has very crippling limitations, I may as well spend a bit (or a lot) more on a camera which not only doesn't have these limitations but also has much better general performance.

I can pick up a Nikon D90 for under 500 body only, and, as I'm sure most of you will agree, the D90 is in a different universe from superzooms.
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Old Aug 17, 2009, 7:20 AM   #13
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As a recent owner of a superzoom, I have to disagree that they have "crippling limitations". My Panasonic FZ28 enables to me to take excellent shots in all sorts of conditions. Yes, a DSLR is better in low light but the FZ28 isn't all that bad. Also, to get the kind of lens range of the FZ28, you'd need a Nikon D90 with an 18mm x 325mm zoom lens. I have that capability in a package that weighs less than a pound.

In a couple of weeks the new Panasonic FZ38 will be available for purchase. The FZ38 will be better at low light, have faster autofocus and much better video and audio. If I were you I'd wait for the FZ38 to come out before making the commitment to a DSLR.
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Old Aug 17, 2009, 10:22 AM   #14
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I agree with Andy-

I am rebelling against the size of kit that is required for the average DSLR shooter. I prefer smaller and more agile cameras. Yes, I own a nice Nikon DSLR camera, and I took it on my last contract along with a Sony H-2 camera (good, but somewhat outdated) and I used the H-2 probably three times more than I used the Nikon DSLR. My husband and I teach digital cameras on cruise ships.

It might be worth another think.

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Old Aug 17, 2009, 11:11 AM   #15
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On the DSLR vs. superzoom argument:

The truth of the matter is, today's digicams take amazing photos in many situations. There are certain situations where DSLRs outshine even the best digicams. The question is whether you really need those capabilities. DSLRs are generally bigger, heavier and to recognize the benefits, you're shooting with multiple lenses - which means carrying more gear around and it also means your total investment $$ goes up.
Having said that, here are some of the advantages of a DSLR:
  • Faster start-up. Still a benefit of the DSLR you get quicker start-up times.
  • Faster AF / shorter shutter lag. This is most noticed when you want to take that quick shot - say of kids. The time to take a photo with a DSLR still is better than with a digicam unless you can pre-focus.
  • Better dynamic range.
  • Better low light focusing
  • Better high ISO. When shooting at ISO 1600-6400 there is absolutely no comparison
  • Focus tracking - moving subject - sports & wildlife - the gulf is still extremely large.
  • Frame rate. A couple digicams have come out with gimmick high frame rates but I've never seen any good examples of the features working. Most digicams are less than 1 fps. The best are around 2. DSLRs go up to 10fps.
  • The ability to use a specialized lens. A true 1:1 macro lens. A f1.4 lens, a 70-200 f4 lens, a 70-200 2.8 lens, an ultra wide lens, etc. Allowing you to raise the bar on quality at all focal lengths - at a significant price though.
  • You're buying into a system so you can upgrade without having to replace the entire camera. You can buy a new lens and get new capability without throwing away entire initial investment.
  • shallow depth-of-field (DOF) photography. Getting shallow DOF photos with superzooms is difficult - it requires using extremely long focal lengths which aren't always feasible (e.g. taking a photo of a person indoors when you can't get 30 feet away from them to use 480mm equivelent focal length).
In summary - if you plan on doing a lot of sports, wildlife, macro, high dynamic range, shallow dof, high ISO or fast moving kids then a DSLR is a better choice. If not, the convenience of a superzoom can easily outweigh the benefits a DSLR provides.

But the above benefits come at that higher cost - in money, convenience and kit size. And a DSLR with kit lens isn't going to give you all that flexibility. You have to buy various other lenses, external flash, etc. to realize the benefit. And I've known a few people that buy a DSLR but still end up using a digicam because the DSLR is just too inconvenient for them. I shoot with professional DSLR / lenses / flash but it's heavy to tote around and not convenient at all. I stand out like a sore thumb with this mamoth gear. To me it's worth it because I get the quality I'm after. But I miss a lot of fun shots because it's not convenient to bring the DSLR along. However, keep in mind, superzooms aren't exactly compact. They don't go in a pocket or purse so if that level of convenience is needed, they're a bad choice as well.
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Old Aug 17, 2009, 11:25 AM   #16
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I agree with John ... and Andy and Sarah. I had a DSLR and I have the FZ28. Both have their place. If I were on a limited budget, I would probably get the FZ28.

DSLR's have shorter shutter lag, better picture quality (especially at high ISO's), faster burst rates, shallower depth of fields (if you want it), and can be used with various lenses suited for various settings. However, they're not always fun to lug around.

If you want something pocketable with a 12X zoom, Canon and Panasonic both have decent models, but you may lose some of your manual settings.
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Old Aug 17, 2009, 12:48 PM   #17
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I was on www.amazon.com this morning and I was really surprised to find the Canon SX-10 today (08/17/09) down to $306.34. The SX-10 has been selling in the $350 range lately. So that may indeed change the equation for some folks.

Canon is supposed to announce a series of new cameras the week or next week, perhaps a SX-10 replacement will be part of that announcement, perhaps with HD video clips.

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Old Aug 17, 2009, 4:29 PM   #18
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I had the SX10 and its a great little camera. Gave it to my mother-in-law and got myself a D40, a 35mm f/1.8, a Sigma 70-300mm and an old Manfrotto.

The Pro-sumers are (to me) a tease. They're great until you try and do low-ish light, or moving kids. The zoom is really quite amazing, but not for large pictures. The swivel screen is brilliant for paparazzi style candids. I put a filter on the beast and took this photo :



I enjoyed the SX10, but I really really LOVE the D40.

My advice : get an dSLR, get a fast prime (the 35mm is great), then spend all your hard earned cash on lenses, tripods, flashes and travelling. You'll thank me in the end.

Matt
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Old Aug 17, 2009, 6:30 PM   #19
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Nice photo, Matt-

I own multiple DSLR cameras, including a D-40. When I travel which is often, I prefer a lighter camera kit, and then I happily pack a superzoom, like the SX-10.

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Old Aug 18, 2009, 5:14 AM   #20
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mattyb -

I've been looking at the Sigma lens. How does the zoom compare to that of the SX10?

I've been on flickr browsing through images in the Sigma 70-300mm pool, and most of the images I've seen have been taken with entry level DSLRs, like the Nikon D60 and Canon 1000D (which my dad just bought). The images are astounding, and it makes me very tempted to get a lower priced DSLR with a couple of nice lenses, much like what you have.
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