Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jan 12, 2010, 9:43 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 101
Default Canon T1I vs FZ 35, etc -- new purchase.

I am in the need of advice, yet again. I posted earlier about upgrading to a better camera (DSLR) to get better family photos with the future option of taking sports and wildlife photos. The Canon T1i appears to be the hands-down winner, primarily due to its performance in action shots. Thank you all for the advice.

But let me ask you this: my main reason for upgrading from a 6 year old Canon powershot A80 is due to shutter lag and picture quality. I want to take quality photos of my children that will not degrade as they are enlarged. Sports and wildife photos are not a priority, other than the casual photo at a game and while I am hunting. Would a camera such as the FZ35 (or others) serve my purposes at a lower purchase price? I am looking at a +/-$300 price on the FZ 35 vs. a great price on the T1i kit that includes a zoom of about $825 if I can find it before the rebate expires. And unfortunately, purchase price is a huge consideration (although I am willing to justify $800 over the next 20 years for family photos if necessary).

I assume one advantage with the T1i will be the two lense kit that I can add accessories to, to include another body should the original malfunction. I also assume that lenses have a very long life.

I realize I am asking you to compare two entirely different types of cameras, but I am limited to the internet and the big box stores. Thanks for your advice in advance.
Luke Stepp is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jan 12, 2010, 10:31 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

If price is a concern and want the performance of a dslr. The 720 dollar 55-300 and 18-55 with the Pentax K-x will give you very simular performance as the T1i. And will perform better indoors then the FZ35. Or if reach is not that important you can go with the Pentax K-x with the 18-55 and 18-200 kit for about 630.

You may want to consider that when you kids get older, and if they get into more sports, a dslr will be better to handle those situration. As a DSLR is a long term investment.

That said, the FZ 35 is a very good bridge camera. There have been some nice photos posted here from it. It just will not have the growth potential of the DSLR.

So is the difference of 230 dollars worth the investment for you. That something you may want to consider.

Last edited by shoturtle; Jan 12, 2010 at 2:13 PM.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 2010, 10:39 AM   #3
Super Moderator
 
Hards80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 9,046
Default

if you are thinking about your camera as an investment, then i think you should stay the course with the t1i.

it will allow you to grow in your equipment as your kids/family grow. you can add a nice fast telephoto when they start sports or stage type things, etc.
Hards80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 2010, 10:55 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Luke-

You have received some excellent advice. However, at least for me, the bottom line is this: you take more photos when you can easily take a camera with you everywhere. It is a matter of ease, convenience, and just plain having it with you.

I shoot with both DSLR's and P+S superzoom or bridge cameras. i don't carry a conventional purse, but a small camera bag that carries my purse items, so I will usually have a super zoom and a pocket sized camera with me all the time. I cannot do that with my XSI, or D-90. so the two types of cameras have a place in my world, and I move back and forth from one type to the other based on the issue oc convenience and the photo demands of any expected situation.

The Panasonic FZ-35 (and others) are very able cameras in their own situations. They are not ideal for sports, or the school play and the like, but they can surely handle the family candids, and pure shots of everyday life quite nicely with a minimum of bulk and weight. They are always handy and ready for action.

I started, like most folks, and you as well, Luke, using P+S cameras, I moved to DSLR's when I needed specialized shooting that are the special province of DSLR cameras, but I never got rid of my P+S cameras. So mine is a different sort of approach to cameras, but thanks for allowing me to share it with you.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 2010, 11:15 AM   #5
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

The fz35 is a fine camera. As a family camera, the biggest limitation it has as a non-DSLR is it lacks a hotshoe for an external flash. There are times when an external flash simply performs better. Red-Eye reduction in any camera can fail. Direct flash can be more harsh than bounced flash. So, in the realm of digicams that would be a limiting factor. For certain you don't always want to carry an external flash - but for birthday parties and such it makes a big difference.

I have good friends that have a DSLR and digicam. 90% of their family shots (5 year old and 3 year old) are taken with the digicam because it's more convenient. In a lot of cases they look very good. Especially when you consider the vast majority are printed 4x6 or simply viewed online. But, there are types of shots they simply can't get - their son is in teeball. Can't get anywhere close to the results they're getting from their DSLR (Canon XTI and 70-300 IS USM lens).

As a parent of a 3 year old myself, there are a couple things I prefer about using my DSLR:
1) Still noticably faster from start up to taking shot and noticably faster to focus indoors. So I can take 2 shots before my friends can take 1. Digicams have gotten better but indoors in low light there's still a big difference.

2) External flash - which I already discussed

3) Shallow DOF. Digicams just can't do it in real world indoor situations. Yes they can do it taking macro shots of flowers, but your kids in the kitchen or living room they can't. I enjoy those types of photos - but you need lenses other than the kit lens of a camera to pull it off.

4) higher ISOs - both with and without flash. I can use ISO 800 with flash if I want a better blend of flash and ambient for more natural looking photos. Without flash I can use ISO 3200-6400 if I choose.
Here's an ISO 1600 f2.0 shot - showing both high ISO and shallow DOF benefits a DSLR (and fast prime lens) provide:


Bounced flash for a much more natural look:


and here we have - bounced flash, no red eye, fast focus and low shutter lag (and no delay from red eye reduction):
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 2010, 11:58 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 101
Default

These comments are very helpful regarding the two different camera types and their end use -- keep em coming.
Luke Stepp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 2010, 3:39 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3
Default Perhaps consider a Canon SX20

Luke,

It sounds like you and I are in the same boat. I have been debating over the last month whether to go with a dSLR or a superzoom camera. I posted in December asking for advice, and got some very helpful posts. I will use the camera mainly for photos of the family on vacations, at birthday parties, etc. I am a novice photographer, having used only P+s cameras in the past, although I learned enough to change the settings to match the scene.

It has come down to a XSi, T1i or an SX20 for me. (I tried the FZ35 at a local store, but did not like the ergonomics or menu system. This is probably based more on the fact that I have used Canon P+S over years, and am therefore already familiar with Canon's menu system.) Part of me says I should pay the money for one of the dSLRs with the two lens kits, as they will probably last a long time. The other part of me says I should get an SX20, and use it to learn more about photography for a year or two, and then see whether I want to make the jump to a dSLR.

As part of my process, I purchased a Canon SX20 last Saturday at Costco, which has a 90-day return policy, for $370. I figured that I had nothing to lose. I think that it takes great photos, particularly if there is good light. In fact, I have been pleasantly surprised by the photo quality. I always use the portrait, landscape, etc. settings on the mode dial, or the settlings in the SCN menu, to match the scene. I think the physical size of the camera will be fine for carrying around on vacations, etc. I wonder if I will want to carry a dSLR for a full day at Disneyland, or on a hike.

Right now, the only concern I have with the SX20 is the noise that I can see when I enlarge the photos on my computer screen. You can see the noise, especially at ISO 400 and 800. I have not tried higher than 800. These are photos taken in relatively low light with no flash. (I have not had much luck with the on board flash. The subject tends to get washed out, and the sides of the photo remain too dark.) These photos look pretty good to me when displayed at "normal" size on the computer, although I notice that fine detail deteriorates. I have taken some photos of a shelf in my home that displays some knickknacks and family photos in frames. At 80 and 100 ISO photos taken in the day, the photos are sharp and I can read the small writing on one of frames. The photos I have taken at dusk or at night, when the higher ISO is selected, the writing on the frames get progressively blurry as the ISO gets higher. The photos do, however, fairly depict the scene. I think they would like fine as a 4x6 print. Since I have very limited experience with dSLR, I cannot say how these photos would look if I took them with an XSi or T1i. I am also not sure how long it would take me to learn how to use a dSLR to improve the photo quality over that of the SX20.

My next experiment is going to be to order some 8x10 prints of several photos to see how they look. I don't anticipate printing larger than that. If the prints look good, I will probably stick with the SX20, and order a flash that I can bounce to help out in low light.

One other good thing about the SX20 is that the video is surprisingly good, at least good light, which is all I have tried. I took some video of my kids that looked as good as the video my 1080 HD camcorder takes, at least on my computer screen.

Obviously, in making this recommendation, I do not have anywhere near the expertise of the other posters. However, I thought that my experience might be helpful. I think that some of the things that the experts criticize are not things that will affect those of us who are mainly looking to get good photos of our kids and families. That said, I will also look forward to additional posts from the experienced photographers.
h823putt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 2010, 3:53 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

actually if you can see the noise or distortion on the your computer screen, you will most likely see the noise or distortion on a 8x10 print with low light shots. But it should not be to much of an issue with 6x5. Also you may want to consider a noise reduction software and editing program.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 2010, 3:59 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 104
Default

If i may add my 2 cents; I'm by no means a seasoned photographer, however, I was recently in a similar situation. I had a Nikon P90 which I bought for casual photos of my children and family photos, for which I payed about $370. After a few weeks I found myself saying "I wish i could..." and was referring to things like taking more attractive low light indoor photos, adding a better flash, etc. I'm not saying they weren't completely possible, however, I failed to assess my priorities prior to making a purchase. I simply spent a large amount of money on a camera hoping that I could just take great pictures with it. Rather than seeign if it were the best fit for me.

Truth be told, it was an almost $400 lesson on why I should have done my homework a little better. After assessing my needs, a DSLR was a much better way to go. As a result, a new Canon T1i w/18-55mm & 55-250mm kit is on it's way as we speak.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's going to get great photos just because it's a DSLR. More importantly, it gives me more flexibility to do so.


John, what lens did you use for the shot of your son above?

Last edited by fbords; Jan 12, 2010 at 4:06 PM.
fbords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 2010, 4:36 PM   #10
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fbords View Post
John, what lens did you use for the shot of your son above?
It was an 85mm 1.8 lens. But it was on a camera with a 1.3 crop factor (canon 1dmkIII). So the background is blurred a bit more than you would have on an aps-C sensor camera.

I did use the 85mm 1.8 on an aps-c and it's a GREAT lens for infants and toddlers IMO. 50mm 1.8 lenses are often a great entry into shallow DOF - both canon and Nikon have them for about $110. But it should be noted the nikon 50mm 1.8 will not autofocus on Nikon D5000, D3000, D60 or D40 cameras. You have to buy a bit pricier lens to get AF on those models.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:30 PM.