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Old Oct 4, 2010, 5:16 PM   #1
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Default Pentax Optio X90 or Panasonic Lumix FZ40?

Need some help deciding. I've previously had a Panny FZ35, Fuji Finepix F70EXR, and before that several other Fuji's. I mainly take concert photos, like using macro and the usual snapshots of family and the cat. I'm still searching for my "perfect fit" (if there is such a thing). I would still classify myself as a beginner.

Thanks!
mary
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Old Oct 4, 2010, 6:18 PM   #2
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Hi Mary-

We have not seen you in awhile. Welcome back. Did you sell your Panasonic FZ-35? If you did sell the FZ-35, then my top choice would be the FZ-40. The Pentax X90 has not received good professional or user reviews.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 4, 2010, 9:08 PM   #3
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hi sarah,

thanks for the welcome back. i've been around lurking, but not posting. yes, i sold the FZ35 and am working on selling the Fuji F70EXR. i'll probably be kicking myself later, but like my dad....can't stay satisfied

the thing that intrigued me about the Pentax X90 was that it has a "stage" setting (thinking in terms of concert photos).

i've also been looking at the Panasonic FZ50-any thoughts on it?

thanks for your help and insight,
mary
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Old Oct 4, 2010, 10:57 PM   #4
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Mary-

The FZ-50 was a great outdoor landscape camera, but it maximum ISO setting was ISO 400 which makes it pretty unusable for concerts.

The problem with the Pentax X-90 is that after ISO 400, the noise becomes very visually evident in the image.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 4, 2010, 11:23 PM   #5
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Mary.

usually those "stage" settings and stuff are just gimicks. it cannot make for the fact that it is a small sensor camera that will never do well in a concert. that x90 in particular has not received good reviews, especially at a higher ISO.

honestly, if your primary interest is concert photos. then i think you need to start thinking beyond the small sensor. i am not sure what venues you are interested in, but small venues allow for dslrs and larger cameras. and this is really where your best chances of getting a good shot lie. its a hefty investment for sure, but if you really want to shoot concert venues, which are really demanding on your gear, its time to think about going this route. at smaller venues, the investment needed is far less. you can get by with shorter prime lenses like 50 1.8 and 85 1.8 lenses.

now before we get too far, are these smaller venues? because if they are big concert venues, then a pro camera will not be allowed, and that will be a null suggestion.
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Old Oct 4, 2010, 11:35 PM   #6
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hi dustin,

yes, at concerts i'm usually at a smaller type venue and close to the stage. i'm just not sure i'm ready for "the big guns" yet. i did get some fairly decent concert photos with the panny fz35. however, the last few shows i went to my photos....well barring a few shots, sucked. i'm not sure if it was the lighting or me just not getting settings right (i.e. still a noob). right now i think i am going with the panny fz40 and we'll see where that leads me.

thanks dustin and sarah for your expert input. i respect your opinions.

mary
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Old Oct 4, 2010, 11:41 PM   #7
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Mary.

I can understand your trepidation for playing with the "Big guns", but in all honesty they have no more controls than a FZ35/40 does. An entry level dslr has a bit of a learning curve, that is for certain, you have to understand your depth of field somewhat and such, but learning these things is half the fun. And for a small venue concert, a DSLR with a fast prime (even cheapy 50 1.8s) will elevate your photography once you get over this learning curve. and right now, entry level dslrs are cheaper than ever, Pentax KX and Sony A500 can be had for ~400$ or so, and cheaper 50 1.8 primes are not terribly expensive, heck even with the kit lens they will severely ouperform any small sensor camera in that venue.

i am not downplaying the FZ40, it is a good tool, i just don't think its the tool for the job you have in mind. and it will yield you photos that are no different from the FZ35 you had.

just my last $.02

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Old Oct 4, 2010, 11:48 PM   #8
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with what you are shooting, no megazoom will be able to give you the results you are looking for. You are just wasting your money going to the FZ40 for shooting in those environment. You are shooting in the situation where you will need the performance of a dslr.
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Old Oct 4, 2010, 11:58 PM   #9
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I agree with Dustin and S/T-

Only a DSLR such as the Pentax Kx will have the ISO capability to handle all of the low lighting situations that a concert can throw at you. However, a DSLR like the Pentax Kx does present a measurable learning curve for a beginner.

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Old Oct 5, 2010, 12:06 AM   #10
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Mary,

If you are concern about the learning of a dslr. check out www.dslrtips.com and look at the workshops. Also there is allot of video workshops on youtube also.
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