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Old Jul 20, 2010, 12:30 PM   #1
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Default Super Zoom or Entry Level DSLR?

I'm looking to upgrade to a better camera from my current P&S but I need to do so on a budget. While I'd like to try out a DSLR like the Nikon D5000 or Canon T1i/T2i they are out of my price range right now. I'm also a little wary about jumping into a DSLR since I have no experience with them but the price point for some entry level cameras is very good right now and am willing to put the time in to learn.

I can get a Sony A330 with two lenses (18-55 and 55-200) for under $600 CAD. I was also looking at the Panasonic FZ35 which sells for $450 CAD. I will initially be relying on the auto settings in these cameras and would be looking for the best image quality.

I typically use my camera as follows:

- Indoor potrait style photos - 50%
- Some outdoor activities (kids soccer, camping) - 10%
- Travel, vacation shots (mainly outdoors) - 40%

My question is: Will I be happy with the FZ35 for my usage until such time as I'm ready to buy a little better DSLR or is it worth while to get the A330 now? Also, HD video is a bonus but not mandatory.

Thank you.
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Old Jul 20, 2010, 1:39 PM   #2
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As far as the Sony kit goes, the 55-200 isn't long enough for Soccer. If you go that way, and must do so on a tight budget, the Tamron 70-300 Di LD would be a better choice than the 55-200, and it costs about the same. You'll also need another lens to do the "Indoor potrait style photos" but a dSLR will do those a lot better than the FZ35. If that's a big part of what you want to shoot, I think you should skip the FZ35 and go straight to the Sony.
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Old Jul 20, 2010, 2:36 PM   #3
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Thank you for your reply TCav.

The appeal of the Sony kit is that it seems to be a good package deal, however, if I purchase the basic kit (18-55 lense only) with the Tamron lense I believe that would increase my overall cost by about $100, adding another lense for portraits will add another $150 or so which exceeds my budget. So for now, I'm really only looking to compare the FZ35 with the Sony A330 2 lense kit as is. Does the dSLR still come out ahead in this case or does the added zoom range of the FZ35 make it a better option?
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Old Jul 20, 2010, 3:30 PM   #4
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Just as an aside, camera stores don't like to throw in extras. so if you're like me (or have children that love to grab), you'll add a filter per lens. then later on, an external flash. a bag too. spare battery even. i favour the sony for the quality but realize your budget needs to have more flexibility than you think.
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Old Jul 20, 2010, 4:25 PM   #5
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finja-

My reading of your post is that the highest priority is to remain within budget. By getting the FZ-35 and a Slave Flash for amount $350 to $370, you could pretty well accomplish your photo goals at the lowest possible price.

Yes, a DSLR would produce somewhat better image quality when equipped with the necessary specialized lenses. However, when you are comparing images from a DSL and a super zoom in good light, the image quality difference is not dramatically, or hugely different.

IMO the Panasonic FZ-35, the Canon SX-20, and the Sony HX-1 are the three best cameras in the current super zoom market, in that order. But also keep in mind that all three models are slated for replacement models for the 2010 Christmas market. The FZ-45 that is rumored to replace the FZ-35 is only a minor make over. Making the FZ-35 even more attractive right now.

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Old Jul 20, 2010, 4:53 PM   #6
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Tough call. For soccer, I'd say the FZ35 would do better than the Sony package. The Sony would do better for indoor portraits with the right lens, but that will bust your budget.
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Old Jul 20, 2010, 6:03 PM   #7
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How important is a long zoom, if you are will to wait a bit on it, I would get something like a olympus e-620 with one lens or the pentax k-x with one lens. As they will be better for the indoor shots then a megazoom. And when can save up some more funds, add a longer zoom. A dslr will give you better image quality. Bot the olympus and the pentax are pretty user friendly, there are scene moods like a point and shoot till you learn more.

But if the long reach is very important and a 3x zoom is too short. Get a megazoom, in good lighting they are pretty good, but for indoor, try to stay within flash range. Or get a external slave flash for the fz 35 to give it a bit more reach, or a hotshoe flash for something like the fuji HS10.
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Old Jul 22, 2010, 2:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finja View Post
Thank you for your reply TCav.

The appeal of the Sony kit is that it seems to be a good package deal, however, if I purchase the basic kit (18-55 lense only) with the Tamron lense I believe that would increase my overall cost by about $100, adding another lense for portraits will add another $150 or so which exceeds my budget. So for now, I'm really only looking to compare the FZ35 with the Sony A330 2 lense kit as is. Does the dSLR still come out ahead in this case or does the added zoom range of the FZ35 make it a better option?
I'll suggest the Pentax K-x two lens kit including the 55-300mm zoom kit lens. I saw it a few days ago for $700 at Amazon (it's $719 right now). Maybe it will drop backk to $700. The 55-300mm zooms further than the Sony zoom, and it has a very good reputation for a zoom lens. The body also has a lot going for it compared to the Sony. It doesn't have the reticulating Live View, but otherwise it compares very favorably.
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Old Jul 22, 2010, 3:37 PM   #9
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Also the K-x has HD video and a higher iso range then the sony.
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Old May 8, 2011, 12:52 AM   #10
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Default confused please help

I have been reading reviews and threads for weeks trying to figure out what type of camera will suit my needs and just keep going in circles it seems.

I am currently in the market for a new camera and am torn between a DSLR (specifically a d3100) and a point and shoot (long zoom)

I understand that a DSLR is superior in many ways however, i am not convinced it is what "I" need.

Ive always been a point and shoot type person. i don't know much about photography and am not looking for a camera to take up photography as a hobby or an art form. I am just a simple guy looking to get decent photos for everyday life.

65% candid toddler moments and
35% scenery/camping/vacation

I know if i take the time to learn and get the proper lenses for the d3100 i will get steler photos but i wouldn't even know what lenses to buy and when to use them.

Based on what i have described would it be a waste of my time and money to get a dslr if i am not shooting as a hobby or art form?
Should i just get a high end long zoom.
people seem to have very conflicting opinions on this topic

Any input is appreciated
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