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Old Jun 17, 2010, 8:02 PM   #11
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I've read that the FZ35 is due for replacement soon so that irritates me because I don't think we can go more than a couple weeks without a camera.
Don't let that sway you. Cameras are evolving in terms of features but many are devolving in terms of sensor size and thus low-light IQ. Panasonic always drops the prices on discontinued (and even soon to be discontinued) items considerably so look at it as a plus.
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 12:51 AM   #12
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Hi everyone and thank you all for your great replies. I'm o.k with purchasing the FZ35 now rather than waiting for the newest version so we can put that one to rest for now.

Sarah thanks for the sample photo. I assume that when you say the FZ38 couldn't take that shot it would be due to the low light?

I noticed the Costco was selling the Rebel XSi for $649 with the 18-55 IS lense. I've noticed the XS before but wasn't sure what the XSi was all about. I've done a few searches and notice that there isn't much difference between them (Megapixels, LCD size)

Just got a bunch of flyer's today and here is the latest pricing for some SLR cameras:

Canon T1i $699 with EF-S 18-55mm IS lens
Canon XS $499 with 18-55mm IS lens
Nikon D3000 with 18-55mm DX lens also 55-200 f4-5.6 Vr Telephoto lens $699
Nikon D3000 with 18-55mm DX lens also 55-200 Non VR lens $589 (What does VR mean?)
Nikon D3000 camera only $399
Nikon D3000 with 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 VR lens $449
Nikon D5000 with 18-55mm VR lens $649
Pentax K-x with 18-55mm DA L lens $599 or $799 with 55-300mm Zoom lens added
Sony Alpha A230 with 18-55mm $399 or $549 with 75-300 lens added
Sony Alpha A330 with 18-55mm $499
Sony Alpha A380 with 18-55mm $529

So, from what I can tell I could spend $399 for something like the FZ35 or Canon SX20 IS p&s, or for $100 to $200 dollars more I could get DSLR with 18-55mm lens. I know for a fact that the zoom will be an issue so I'll have to add a zoom lens to this also. So now it would be $300 more then the FZ35 or equivalent p&s at $399. Does anyone have opinions about Sony DSLR's. And why would Pentax use AA's in the K-x?

Another question my wife had was the "liveview" mode. Does anyone know which ones do and do not have this feature.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by fawks99; Jun 18, 2010 at 1:05 AM.
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 2:37 AM   #13
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Unless you live near some great camera/electronics shops, I would recommend buying online or you'll overpay considerably.

For instance, here are 2 separate deals on the Canon T1i. The latter comes to $711 shipped for the camera and the lens and the former adds in a kick-a** printer for another $35 after MIR.

Amazon and B&H are good choices as they give you 15 and 30 days respectively to return anything that doesn't meet your expectations.
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 10:29 AM   #14
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fawks-

While most DSLR makers have some kind of LiveView implementation, Sony has the best and easiest to use implementation of LiveView with their A-300 series and A-500 and A-550 cameras. Yes, concerning the sample photo, the point I was making is that, the FZ-35 due to the low light could not have captured that photo.

Another important issue is to actually physically handle your top "finalists." How a camera feel in hand and how your hand spans the controls is very important.

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Old Jun 18, 2010, 10:37 AM   #15
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Unless you live near some great camera/electronics shops, I would recommend buying online or you'll overpay considerably.

For instance, here are 2 separate deals on the Canon T1i. The latter comes to $711 shipped for the camera and the lens and the former adds in a kick-a** printer for another $35 after MIR.

Amazon and B&H are good choices as they give you 15 and 30 days respectively to return anything that doesn't meet your expectations.
Costco (the store the OP just mentioned getting flyers from) usually has pretty good prices. Of course, check around to make sure the camera you're looking at isn't higher there. The local stores also stock camera models that are not available online from time to time (for example, I've seen people comment that some of their stores are carrying the Sony A500 and A550 now, even though they don't have listings for them on their web site yet).

Costco's return policy is also great (they give you 90 days on items like cameras):

http://shop.costco.com/en/Customer-Service/Returns.aspx
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 12:24 PM   #16
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Good Morning Fawks,

You have several sets of comparisons here - P&S vs dSLR and then several dSLR related items.

P&S or Bridge - The smaller entry level dSLRs are going to only be a tad larger in size than your present FZ, however the sensor size will be much larger providing some better image quality. These cameras are designed to give the user a good picture all the time, however they tend to wear out faster. For a combination of shooting quick moving kids both indoors and out, P&S are much more forgiving in trying to take the shot and are designed for this environment a bit better than dSLRs. dSLRs provide for more control and thus may take additional setting to get things right (initially - learning mode) and thereby may not be as conducive to a very fluid environment.

dSLRs - There are several questions here, all rolled up in to one. First, many have observed here that right off the bat, using a dSLR (with all of its modes) may not produce better quality images - initially. dSLR's have a "P&S" mode that you should probably start with and then ease into the rest of the camera. The learning curve is a bit steeper than with a P&S model.
Lenses - I would think that you would only really need the kit 18-55 and either a 50-200 (less expensive) or a 50-300. This two lens set would do everything you would want. The 50-200 would give you a 11x zoom factor (200/18=11) while the 50-300 would provide almost a 17x zoom factor (300/18=~17). However, any brand's set of kit lenses, will need a flash for a lot of the indoor shots (low ambient light situations - so you may be looking at a flash also).

Image Stabilization - Canon and Nikon place image stabilization (IS) in the lenses, so you would need to buy higher cost IS (or VR) lenses to have this capability. Pentax and Sony build IS into the body, so that what ever lens is mounted you are able to use image stabilization.

Liveview - dSLRs are physically larger units, thus liveview although available, is rarely used. Its impossible to really hold the camera still an arm's length away from your body, so the viewfinder is used with the eye, which inherently steadies the camera. Liveview is useful for other modes (tripod use, camera on the ground, etc.)
EVIL Cameras - This is a type of camera that combines features of dSLRs (removable lenses, larger sensors, better user controls), with features of P&S and Bridge cameras, - smaller size and weight, etc. These cameras essentially remove the mirror from the dSLR design (shrinking the body size & weight), and add a micro TV in the view finder or a "better live view" capability. They tend to be a bit more expensive since they are new and the demand is holding up prices. dSLRs would provide a better bang for the buck.

Overall - as you can probably see, there is not a perfect solution. P&S would be easier and probably better for quick use indoors. dSLRs do require a learning curve, provide better image quality, at the cost of possibly longer setup. dSLRs would probably require 4 pieces - body, 2 lenses and a flash, while the P&S/Bridge is a single unit.

It all comes down to managing expectations. Getting a dSLR is going to be a bit different than a P&S, and will take a bit of additional thought, but can produce stunning results.

... hope that helps - I know it can be confusing...

Last edited by interested_observer; Jun 18, 2010 at 12:31 PM.
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 11:04 PM   #17
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hmmm , not sure i agree with the above post entirely. i went from an s5 is to a T2i and when shot in auto mode , it's as easy , in fact i feel it takes a far more accurate picture every time .My wife (not really agreeing with the need for a dslr (our s5 was working just fine ) has found it to be just as easy (as long as i leave it in auto ) I am a novice just starting to try and learn the camera . But it can be as simple as my last camera

examples reduced in size


first set in auto (wifey took it, pointed and shoot! )
second set in sports mode
third in portrat.
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 11:34 PM   #18
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hmmm , not sure i agree with the above post entirely. i went from an s5 is to a T2i and when shot in auto mode , it's as easy , in fact i feel it takes a far more accurate picture every time .My wife (not really agreeing with the need for a dslr (our s5 was working just fine ) has found it to be just as easy (as long as i leave it in auto ) I am a novice just starting to try and learn the camera . But it can be as simple as my last camera.
I agree that it can be as simple as your experiences with wonderful results, as you have shown. The other evening I was reading a post where someone brought home their new camera, was trying to read the manual and take an indoor picture (without flash) in manual mode and was totally flustered - ready to take the #*&^%$ thing back.

Starting simple - in fully automatic mode (just like a P&S), generates success that can be built on. Its all a matter of managing expectations.

Way too many folks invest in a expensive dSLR along with a set of lenses and expect instant professional miracles, setting themselves up for absolute disaster.

I am glad that you and your wife are getting great images and having a good time with the camera.
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Old Jun 19, 2010, 8:12 AM   #19
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I agree that it can be as simple as your experiences with wonderful results, as you have shown. The other evening I was reading a post where someone brought home their new camera, was trying to read the manual and take an indoor picture (without flash) in manual mode and was totally flustered - ready to take the #*&^%$ thing back.

Starting simple - in fully automatic mode (just like a P&S), generates success that can be built on. Its all a matter of managing expectations.

Way too many folks invest in a expensive dSLR along with a set of lenses and expect instant professional miracles, setting themselves up for absolute disaster.

I am glad that you and your wife are getting great images and having a good time with the camera.
Yes , wanting instant professional results is unrealistic (without intimate knowledge of ones camera). I am just trying to point out that with a dlsr , the OP can use it as a point and shoot yet expand their skills from there. The statement of not going without a camera for very long tells me a camera is a big part of their lives and satisfaction will be greater in the long run (especially if they start shooting kids in sports etc..)


Personally for me, I've been shooting pictures with different settings to learn exactly how it all works and am learning from there.In a month(or so) i have shot approx 1600 pix , having alot of fun and am extremely pleased with what my camera is capable of.This is a new hobby that has really got me hook, line and sinker .
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Old Jun 19, 2010, 12:02 PM   #20
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And thats what it's all about taking photos and having fun...I have shot several thousand in the past few months and it has really been an interesting learning curve...

As for the ZS Camera's if you can get them still for a shot they do very well even in challenging conditions...
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