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Old Feb 19, 2010, 8:10 PM   #21
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Default Trip to camera store

I went to the store today and looked at some superzooms and DSLRs. I only had about 45 minutes, but it was helpful anyway.

I found that I liked the way the FZ35 felt in my hands a little better than the SX20 although the SX20 felt a little more substantial. Both cameras seemed nice. Unfortunately I was having trouble with the FZ35's EVF -- it wasn't focusing well when zoomed. I have a question about this in the Panasonic forum section.

On the DSLR side, I looked at some of the beginner DSLRs: Pentax k-x, Canon XSi and Nikon D3000. I haven't done much research on the DSLRs in terms of features and reviews, but I liked the way the Nikon felt the best. The others were ok too, but they had a bit more of a bulbous grip and they didn't fit my smaller hands quite as well.

I think the Nikon with two lens kit was about $640. I still think I might be better off with a superzoom for traveling for convenience, but I am enticed by the potential for better picture quality from the DSLR. I think the m 4/3 and similar cameras are still a bit overpriced, so I'm not sure I want to go that route.

How does the Nikon D3000 compare to the competition?
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 8:24 PM   #22
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Against the Pentax k-x it falls way behind. Against the canon XSi is not as bad. The Nikon D3000 and D5000 limits you to only AF-s and AF-i lenses if you want it to auto focus. So getting a fast prime lens for growth will be quite a bit more expensive compare to the canon. 450 dollars for a 50mm prime compare to 100 for the canon. It is not as bad compare to the pantax at 350.

Also the pentax will out perform the d3000 and XSi in low light, as the pentax has a better low light performance at 12800 iso, only 2 camera in the enter dslr segment can do that right now, the other is the canon T1i. The XSi has an excellent auto focus system. Better then the other two.

If you want video. The K-x is the only one of the three that does hd video. If that is a feature you are looking at. Also the K-x has allot more art filters that allows you to set up the effect you may want. Also it does in camera HDR. Kind of nice, or you get a program that does that for 100 dollars.

The K-x is the best among the 3 dslr you mention. The canon is number 2 follow by the D3000. The D3000 is the most basic beginner dslr of the 3. The other two are just higher grade camera.
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 8:24 PM   #23
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well the d3000 like all nikon entry-level dslrs lacks a focusing motor. for some that shoot with alot of prime lenses or macro lenses, this could be detrimental. but for most people this is not an issue at all, and there is a workaround for most primes anyway.

so i don't think for you this will be an issue.

other than that the d3000 is really a great camera for that price bracket of dslrs. it has a good feature set, iso expansion to 3200. good image quality. and if it feels the best in your hands, that is a big part of the purchase.

the decision of whether a dslr is right or not for you is one you will need to figure out. but if you do decide to go with a dslr, the d3000 would work nicely.
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 9:04 PM   #24
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Jazzer-

I am with shoturtle on this one. I think that the FZ-35 should fill your needs at a workable price. If you opt to go for a DSLR, then the Pentax KX is a better choice than the Nikon D-3000, especially if you want good image quality at high ISO settings.

Have a great weekend.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 10:33 PM   #25
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i will start off by saying that the fz-35 or some other superzoom is probably the more reasonable choice for a travel camera. especially since you state upfront the lighting will be reasonable, which will negate much of the image quality differences between a superzoom and and entry-level dslr. and its much smaller, cheaper, and gives you a large zoom range that can do everything from landscape to wildlife.

but, i just want to speak a little bit towards this, which dslr is best concept. while its easy to say, x camera is better than y camera and state a reason or 2. heck, i could do that for any of the cameras you mentioned. but therein lies the answer, they each have strengths, and only by looking what is important to each individual can you truly find out which camera is "best".

i will first agree that just a camera with a kit lens or 2, the k-x is probably the best of the bunch. it has the hd video, it has a good imager with great high-iso performance, the kit lens is a good one, in-body stab.etc, it is a great entry level camera and easily the best choice in low light. however, if you look at canon's XSi, while it is an older model now, it has some advantages over the kx. for one, canon's lens selection is larger, more diverse, and generally cheaper. also the lenses that do have image stabilization offer up to 3-4 stops of stability, whereas the sensor shift in the kx is good for about 2 stops max. and the 12mp sensor in the canon is very highly regarded, and has a lighter AA filter than most, so at lower ISO's it will outresolve either of the 2 cameras, hence its almost cult following in landscapers use. the nikon d3000 has the advantage of being compatible with nikon's flash system, which is simply the best flash system there is, which for some could be a huge bonus. and like canon the VR lenses within the nikon system will do better than the IS inbody of the pentax. and for this case, the OP really liked the handling of the d3000, which is a huge bonus, after all, you are the one that has to shoot it all day, you might as well be comfortable. and really in the end, you can nitpick and pixel peep all day, but all 3 of these cameras are really quite good and offer great image quality.

anyways, these are just some reasons why you will never see me write that X camera is better than Y camera. what instead you will see from me is something like, based on your needs, it appears that X camera is the best choice for these reasons, and then something like Y may not be the best choice for you because.. , but does offer ...
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 10:59 PM   #26
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I also agree since the trip is in may that the fz-35 may be the better option. Dslr need more learning time. If the OP does not have the time to learn how to use a dslr properly the fz-35 has another advantage.

But if the OP wants a dslr for the trip. The pentax k-x has one more advantage. It is allot easier to transition from with all the menus and art filters.

But I hear what you are saying, about the cameras. But since each is in a different level of the entry market. The K-x is up with the d5000 and t1i, XSi is on step down with the a330, k-m and e620. The d3000 is at the level of the canon xs and A230. It is really comparing apples to oranges with the 3 listed.
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 11:23 PM   #27
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Hards -- I appreciate your thoughts/explanation. That is a very sensible approach given each person's varying needs.
Sarah and Shoturtle, I am appreciative of your responses as well. Thank you very much.

Hards, I did mention that I expected to use the camera in reasonable light (I have the S90 for lower light duties), but by thi I mean that I expect I will be using it primarily outdoors during daylight hours. I do, however, expect to be in a variety of shady/wooded areas. Can I assume that the FZ35 is well up to that task?

As I think a little more on this I think I see where it is headed. When I first started considering a camera to supplement the S90, I was wondering if even the FZ35 or SX20 might be too big and if I should consider the ZS3. I received many helpful comments and the consensus seemed to be (to which I tend to agree) that the FZ35 would likely be a better companion as it would offer a greater zoom, more creative control and less overlap as I already own one very capable compact camera.

As I started to look at the FZ35 and the SX20 I began to wonder whether I shouldn't just opt for a DSLR and the resulting potentially better image quality if I wasn't getting a pocket-sized camera. But I think this ignores the convenience of a single lens and still lighter package vs. a DSLR.

Although I haven't completely settled on it yet, I am currently leaning strongly toward the FZ35 with the thoughts that I (1) can spend less than 1/2 the price of a DSLR now and have the majority of my picture taking needs met; (2) spend some quality time with both the FZ35 and the S90 and really get a sense of my picture taking habits and needs; and (3) upgrade to (or add) a DSLR sometime down the road if that seems appropriate -- by that time there will no doubt be any number of additional cameras to consider. I will certainly let you know what I decide.

Thanks again to everyone for their input.
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 11:43 PM   #28
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Yes the fz35 would be a better choice then the zs3 since you do have a very good pocket camera in the s90. If there were no m4/3 cameras, for my travel needs a megazoom would be what I would get for a travel camera. I love my dslr, but it is not really suited for traveling light.
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 11:54 PM   #29
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i think the reasoning you stated within your last paragraph is a very logical and sensible approach.
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 1:25 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzer251 View Post
Shoturtle, yes, the EP-L1 looks like it has some promise, but unfortunately it isn't out yet and I doubt there will be any reviews forthcoming immediately after it is.

I noticed that the Pentax K-x is $644 on Amazon with 2 lenses, including the 55mm-300mm lens. That seems like a great deal. I have small hands, so I suspect that camera would feel pretty good to me, but it's still going to be considerably larger than a m4/3 or superzoom.

I do like the idea of a DSLR-sized sensor and it would be great to have a "real" camera to learn on, but I do wonder about how I might feel about the size/weight when I'm walking around all day traveling. So it looks like the decision comes down to potential image quality (if I know what I'm doing) vs. convenience, which is why I'm trying to get some sense of what the "real world" image quality difference is really likely to be given a DSLR novice and about 2 months to learn.
I don't do a lot of traveling, but I did make a decision about getting either a DSLR or a good P + S. I looked at the Canon G10, a really nice high quality little job.

But when I compared it to the pix of an entry DSLR...there was no comparison.

So I went with the entry DSLR...a Pentax KM (K2000) . I have the 55-300 mm lens and I'm really impressed with the picture quality of this lens...the basic KM is excellent too. I carry around the KM in a lightweight LowePro bag..almost on a daily basis. Works for me.

I find the Pentax DSLR shake reduction really works well...also like the fact that I don't have to pay extra for it in every lens I get.

I travel with it, but in a car, don't fly much so can't speak on that.

Last edited by lesmore49; Feb 20, 2010 at 1:28 AM.
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