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Old Dec 13, 2009, 6:23 PM   #11
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putt,

Let’s see...you started out unsure of whether you wanted a superzoom or a DSLR. Your original budget was $500. Now you’re up to $700, and what will you have? An entry level DSLR with two kit lenses. You mentioned weight being an issue...what are you considering here? The camera body alone weighs 475g (16.75oz), the 18-55mm (f/3.5-5.6) weighs 200g (17.1oz), the 55-250mm (f/4-5.6) weighs 390g (13.75oz), and the battery weighs 50g (1.75oz)...that’s a total of 1115g (39.3oz) - 2 lbs - and no video. You’ll still have to haul your camcorder along as well.

As an alternative, you can buy a high end superzoom for $500 or less. Let’s look at one already named in this thread, the SX-20. You can buy one for $369. It has a 28-526mm focal range (f/2.8-5.7) lens, it weighs 600g (21.2oz), and it has HD video, so you can leave your camcorder home...and you won’t have to change lenses...and you won’t have to worry about cleaning sensors and mirrors...and spending a lot of time a lot with pp...and being denied access to events where DSLR’s are forbidden...

Do you have to have a DSLR or a superzoom? How about a G11?

Just a thought...or two...

The Hun
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Old Dec 13, 2009, 6:45 PM   #12
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I would factor the HD out for both the dslr and super zooms equation, they really do not perform as well as a camcorder. I have a jvc HD camcorder, and it works way better then my dslr. And form seeing some super zoom with HD, they do suffer the same fate. I would not hang up the camcorder just yet.

Since getting my T1i I have not use the HD feature, but once to test it out. Beside the myriad of photo techniques that you get a dslr for, I got it for the senor, screen for reviewing and egos. In camera HD is still in its infancy.

Last edited by shoturtle; Dec 13, 2009 at 8:17 PM.
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Old Dec 13, 2009, 6:50 PM   #13
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h823putt,

If you have the gorillapod tripod, form what it sounds like you have. If it was design for compact point and shoots think it is the gorilllapod compact, it will not be suitable for dslr and superzooms. As they are bigger and heavier. Gorillapod has a DSLR zoom verison that is design for the higher weight.
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Old Dec 13, 2009, 7:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rinniethehun View Post
putt,

Let’s see...you started out unsure of whether you wanted a superzoom or a DSLR. Your original budget was $500. Now you’re up to $700, and what will you have? An entry level DSLR with two kit lenses. You mentioned weight being an issue...what are you considering here? The camera body alone weighs 475g (16.75oz), the 18-55mm (f/3.5-5.6) weighs 200g (17.1oz), the 55-250mm (f/4-5.6) weighs 390g (13.75oz), and the battery weighs 50g (1.75oz)...that’s a total of 1115g (39.3oz) - 2 lbs - and no video. You’ll still have to haul your camcorder along as well.

As an alternative, you can buy a high end superzoom for $500 or less. Let’s look at one already named in this thread, the SX-20. You can buy one for $369. It has a 28-526mm focal range (f/2.8-5.7) lens, it weighs 600g (21.2oz), and it has HD video, so you can leave your camcorder home...and you won’t have to change lenses...and you won’t have to worry about cleaning sensors and mirrors...and spending a lot of time a lot with pp...and being denied access to events where DSLR’s are forbidden...

Do you have to have a DSLR or a superzoom? How about a G11?

Just a thought...or two...

The Hun
Good point.

The Sx-20 is a very competent camera, and would serve the purposes that the OP describe quite well. Actually all the manufacturers have high end bridge camera that would serve the purpose, and it would a a big step up form the compact point and shoot.

Price wise the DSLR is pricer, but the current crop of entry dslr are pack with features and takes fantastic photo. And the kit lens from some of the brands are quite good lenses. I would not down play the "entry dslr" line ups, they are quite competent DSLR in their own rights and perform at or close to their pro brother in the next level of DSLR.

Actually the SX-20 at 21oz is about the same as the olympus e620 with their 14-42 lens and the 40-150 is not much heavier. The OP has allot of things to weigh about weather he want to go the route of the pricier DSLR or go with a superzoom with less photo options.

Last edited by shoturtle; Dec 13, 2009 at 7:14 PM.
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Old Dec 13, 2009, 7:58 PM   #15
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And the Panasonic FZ-35 weighs 367 grams or 13.2 ounces. That is almost 1/2 the weight of the canon SX-20!

The FZ-35 is a top rated super zoom. 13.2 ounces packed all day sounds a lot better to me than 39.3 ounces. Its easy math, and it makes picture taking with the family a whole lot more fun.

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Old Dec 13, 2009, 11:08 PM   #16
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h823putt... going back to your earlier point about being able to tell what your needs are in terms of zoom range...

It's always bothered me that camera companies often tell consumers that a camera's given zoom range is 3x, 5x, 12x or 15x, etc. In order for that information to be useful to you, you have to know where the lens begins when set at its widest. 10x36mm is a lot different than 10x28mm.

Most photography enthusiasts tend to agree that 28mm is about the beginning of what's regarded as a usefully wide angle. Anything with a HIGHER number than that (say, 36mm) isn't as wide. 50mm has been long considered the so-called "normal" focal point - that is, the point that is neutral and close to a "normal" human view. Any focal point with a lower number (49-0mm) is progressively wider and any focal point with a higher number (51-infinity) is progressively more "telephoto" or "longer."

Then one must take into consideration the so-called "crop" factor for most DSLRs. Cameras with an APS-C sized sensor have a crop factor of 1.5 or 1.6 compared with a so-called "full frame" camera - that is a camera with a sensor the size of a traditional 35mm film negative. There are full-frame DSLRs but not in your price range right now. For Canons in your price range, the crop factor is 1.6. For Nikons, Pentaxes and Sonys, the crop factor is 1.5. Olympus's four-thirds DSLRs have a crop factor of 2.

So.... what does this mean to you? The 18-55mm kit lens on the Canon XSi gives you an effective zoom range of 28.8mm to 88mm. The longer 55-250mm lens gives you an effective zoom range of 88mm to 400mm. That's a very good total range to have at your disposal. Olympus's E-520 and E-620 offer two kit lenses: The 14-42mm and the 40-150mm. With a crop factor of two those lenses offer you effective zoom ranges of 28-84mm and 80-300mm respectively.

Now... point-and-shoot superzooms can offer phenomenal zoom ranges - often 26 to 600+ millimeters with one, smallish lens. They do that because the cameras are working with very small sensors with high crop factors. For example, the Canon SX20 offers an effective 28-560mm zoom range. But the actual zoom range of the lens is 5-100mm. That's a crop factor of 5.6.

In bright light, these small sensors and high crop factors aren't that big a deal. The most obvious compromise in bright light can be limitations in terms of dynamic range. That means, in high-contrast situations, highlights can be "blown." For example, the white side of a house might be too bright and thus all details - such as the clapboards - are lost in a wash of bright white. The same goes for dark spots in a high-contrast image: they can be too dark with detail again being lost. In a standard snapshot, you might not care. But if one is trying to create a good photograph, limited dynamic range can be a problem. And it must be stressed that some cameras are better than others in this respect. Like the Canon SX20 and the Panasonic FZ35... rated at the top of the superzoom class.

Also, cameras with small sensors have a tendency toward digital "noise" in low-light or high ISO situations because of all the pixels and photosites crammed onto the tiny sensor. And, once again, some cameras are better than others.

I've drifted onto a second subject here beyond zoom range. But I hope you'll find this helpful in making your decision. Only you can determine if the price, size and convenience of a point-and-shoot superzoom is worth the occasional image compromises compared with a DSLR. And, again, many DSLR owners also own P&S superzooms as second cameras.

Last edited by Biro; Dec 13, 2009 at 11:17 PM.
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