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Old Jan 26, 2010, 11:15 AM   #1
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Default SX20, FZ35, or jump to T1i?

Excellent site. I surely appreciate the wealth of knowledge and the great attitudes that go along with it. But alas, I've lurked long enough and need a nudge from you experienced shooters...

After reviewing my text, I seem to be thinking out loud a bit here and, some of my terms may be off but should be close enough for you to know what I mean. Sorry! (And thanks for any reeducation!)

I've joined the debate between the Canon SX20 and the Panny FZ35. I'm leaning toward the FZ35, as I'm not totally stuck on wanting the articulating screen, or hotshoe (after seeing Sarahs post regarding a slave flash, here). After reading several online reviews and hundreds of posts from consumers, it seems that many also lean toward the Panny - but not a camera shop within reasonable driving distance has one for me to hold; in fact, when asking, I was 'snubbed' a few times with rudely-toned comments such as, "Haha. No. We only carry Cannon and Nikkon." (Brand loyalty? Bad service? I know I was certainly nice on the phone!) Anyway, I'm apprehensive about making a purchase of this magnitude, unseen and unfelt.

I've a 35mm Canon EOS RebelG, which I used quite a bit (many years ago!) and I like the looks and feel of the Cannon builds, but again, the comments I've read about the SX20 make me hesitant.

I don't know if I'm a sucker for hype, or a few good pictures, but I like what a Raynox DSC-250 does with a FZ35 (with bona fide threads for such things); though I've read that a Lensmate will work on a SX20 with the DSC-250, but that's about it because of weight and concern with motor/lens damage.

But back to the EOS. I realize that the DSLR will be better all around, long term, but it's quite a step, cost-wise, from the P&Ss: I will not be in the position to invest in better glass for some time, as I'm about to, theoretically, finish my Master's Thesis and move on to a PhD program (read: "starving student!").
I think I can use my 35mm EOS lens (35-80mm AF/MF) with the T1i? Should I be concerned about Image Stabilization with the old lens and/or the T1i body, working together? I suppose I'd lose some wide angle if I just got the T1i body (not with the 18-55mm kit lens), but I do like the longer shots (though I realize 80mm isn't anywhere near the zoom of the P&S choices)...but I'm a big macro fan as well. Is an inexpensive doubler, or "whatever," an option to be considered for short term, while budgeting for better glass? If I can do decent macro as it is, or fairly low-budget, for now, I think I'd opt for a zoom in the future if I went with the T1i.

I'm not afraid to play with manual settings. I'm also the kind that will click first and see what happens, but, will also enjoy reading the manual (I'm sick, I know!) and other literature on the respective equipment.

Bottom line: I like the price point of the seemingly "decent" bridge the FZ35 or SX20 might make, but I'm concerned with ultimately limiting myself in the long run (which points to DSLR, I think, but I'm limited with glass-upgrades, at the moment, financially). And, not being able to get my hands on the FZ35, before purchase, concerns me a bit.
I'm eager to upgrade from my dinky Sony Cybershot DSC-S750, but don't want to think I'm settling on the SX20 because it's the option I can find locally (versus the FZ35)...


**Is there a time-out limit while composing a thread? I was logged in, took ages to type this up, clicked "Preview" and it asked me to log in. Luckily, I back-peddled, copied and saved my text, logged in, and then pasted.

Thanks! I appreciate your patience and your help.
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Old Jan 26, 2010, 11:32 AM   #2
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Well I can definitely sympathize with your situation as I am currently on the other end of the PhD, will be finishing in March.

The bridge cameras you mentioned (the FZ35 and SX20) offer a lot of control and are quite flexible tools and as many others have found out, are really nice learning tools for those getting into photography. In good lighting, they take pictures that are more than good enough to make huge prints. And have the advantage of having very nice and useful zoom lenses with image stabilization. They also make really great macro cameras, as the increased depth of field from the smaller sensor allows you to keep more of your subject in focus without having to stop down the aperture and use a tripod. so for landscapes/cityscapes in good light and some macro uses, they will compete well with dslrs. and they are much smaller and more compact.

however, they lack the versatility of a dslr. you cannot achieve shallow depth of field (think blurry background portraits) with these cameras. and for low-light situations handheld when you need to up the ISO to get good shutter speeds, they will be noisy. and they just simply cannot keep up with action shots really either.

if you do go the dslr route, i would definately get the 18-55 is kit lens that comes with the t1i. it is MUCH better optically than your old 35-80. and comes with a nice image stabilization, good for a stop or 2. if you wish to shoot macro while you are saving up for a dedicated macro lens, you could purchase a 250D close-up lens which will thread onto your 18-55 to increase magnfication.
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Old Jan 26, 2010, 11:57 AM   #3
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You can get the ef 50mm f2.5 macro as a macro lens for the T1i. It works great for hand held work. It is not that expensive. And it can be a fast prime also. Do you have any other lenses with your eos g, if so all the lenses will work on the t1i. I have lenses from my old eos1 and 630 that work great on my T1i. I have the ef 28, ef 50, ef 85, ef 28-135 and ef 70-300.
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Old Jan 26, 2010, 12:10 PM   #4
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Well, three completed and in progress Phd's in a single thread. Wow! I got mine years ago, but I am still teaching.

Aaron-

If finances are an issue, the XSi will save some $$ rather than the T-1. As for me, I shoot with the XSi and the FZ-35. Both cameras have a place in my shooting style. As Hards/Dustin mentioned the FZ-35 is a very competent camera, and at 14 ounce in weight, it has become my "take anywhere" camera.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 26, 2010, 2:25 PM   #5
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Thank you for the timely and informative replies.

Shoturtle - the 35-80 I mentioned is the only lens I have, unfortunately. It's good to know that old lenses can be used though.

Hards' - the 250D looks interesting and is within the quick budget if I went that route - considering I'm over budget anyway, as I initially started my research by comparing the bridge P&S's. It seems the more I read, the bigger the budget becomes. Funny how that works! (ha)

Sarah - finances do need to be considered, but, I was looking at the T1 because it [also] has the HD movie capabilities. The movie mode may only get used 25% (or less) of the time, but I'd kick myself if I didn't consider that option (I don't like the low quality videos my little Sony P&S creates, but I like that I have the option, and if done carefully, I can come up with tolerable bits of fun stuff to share with family and friends).
I have yet to research any "low-cost" (for me this means around $200) camcorders, if such a thing exists...but the money I would save going with an XSi would nearly get me the 50mm f2.5 lens that Shoturtle mentioned, or a few other necessities/goodies (or Canon's 55-250mm f4-5.6, but I'm thinking the $300 cost suggests low quality?). Meanwhile, I'd be happy knowing that good video out of a decent camcorder was only "a few hundred bucks away"...

After quick exploration of the XSi, I'm wondering about the [same] sensor size in the XS and XSi and, the XSi's jump to 12.2MP (versus the 10MP of the XS)...the local price difference is only about $30... Now I don't quite know how to ask or comment on this, but I've read much regarding camera manufacturers boosting the MP's in their P&S's to play the numbers game, while leaving in small sensors, essentially relying on software/firmware(?) for noise reduction to compensate (I think I understand what I think I'm talking about!). Is this something to consider while thinking about the XS and XSi?
(EDIT: it seems the $30 difference I was looking at is a "Sale" at BestBuy, listing the XSi for $599, down from List Price of $649, which is what the local price is normally, it seems. I'm a hands-on guy and wouldn't mind paying a little more, over Shipping Charges, for the option to drive it back to the store, if needs be. Thoughts on this? )

Gads!
Thanks again.

Please - any comments, suggestions, opinions and questions, are very welcome! If it seems I need correction with terms or my understanding of something(s), I welcome that, too.

Last edited by AaronB; Jan 26, 2010 at 3:22 PM.
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Old Jan 26, 2010, 2:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronB View Post

(or Canon's 55-250mm f4-5.6, but I'm thinking the $300 cost suggests low quality?).


After quick exploration of the XSi, I'm wondering about the [same] sensor size in the XS and XSi and, the XSi's jump to 12.2MP (versus the 10MP of the XS)...the local price difference is only about $30... Now I don't quite know how to ask or comment on this, but I've read much regarding camera manufacturers boosting the MP's in their P&S's to play the numbers game, while leaving in small sensors, essentially relying on software/firmware(?) for noise reduction to compensate
the canon 55-250 IS is actually quite good optically, especially considering the price. and it actually does quite good for closeup 1:3 lens on its own. and even better when you add a 500D closeup filter. here is an example http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=9471412



alright, it is true that the p&s megapixel race has added some noise as they cram more and more pixels into the tiny sensors. however this is partially offset by better processing. A DSLR's imager is much much larger than the p&s sensors. the 12mp imager on the XSI is actually quite a bit better than the 10mp imager on the XS (while still good itself). there is no need to worry about increased noise going from xs-xsi or to the 15mp imager on t1i.
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Old Jan 26, 2010, 3:29 PM   #7
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Aaron-

Hards/Dustin has stated the XS versus the XSi issue quite well. I shot both cameras side by side for about a month, and the more feature rich XSi was the winner.

The Canon 55-250mm lens is one of my favorite lenses. It is optically very good, and it works very well indeed on an every day shooting basis.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 26, 2010, 3:56 PM   #8
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The 55-250mm is a very good lens, I have that lens as well.
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Old Jan 26, 2010, 5:10 PM   #9
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Again, I appreciate the feedback - it's both helpful and wonderfully frustrating.

Hards' (Dustin) - Thanks for the picture of the 'hopper. Very nice. The quality is not surprising and seeing that certainly makes it harder to resist pushing the budget a bit and going DSLR.

Thanks, also, Sarah and Shoturtle, for your equally tempting remarks about the 55-250mm lens.
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Old Jan 26, 2010, 5:26 PM   #10
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Since you have a slr background, a dslr transition will be a breeze. It allows you to do more then a bridge camera. And it lets you do more specialize work then a bridge camera, as macro work is something you are into.. Also with the bridge camera, and the super zooms, you have more distortion then lenses with less aggressive zoom ranges.
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Last edited by shoturtle; Jan 26, 2010 at 5:28 PM.
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