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Old Dec 20, 2010, 1:23 PM   #1
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Default Looking to Upgrade - Any & All Advice is Appreciated :-)

Hi Everyone. First post here, but I've used the advice, reviews, and comparisons from the site for quite some time.

My current camera is a Panasonic Lumix FZ18k and I'm beginning to consider upgrading. That's where your experience & advice comes in because I'm really struggling.

What I Like About the FZ18k
  • Simple To Use
  • Decent Zoom (18x optical)
  • Seemingly Good Auto Mode (better than the Kodak I upgraded from )
  • Cheap Replacement Batteries (rechargeable, but non-chipped)
  • Relatively Compact
What I Don't Like About the FZ18k
  • I'd like faster shooting speeds, or more capabilities in the burst mode
  • I Crave More Zoom
  • No Hot Shoe (I've always wanted an external flash)
  • Can't Get Decent Macro Photos From It
  • No HD Video Recording
  • I'm sure better picture quality is available despite my conundrum.
How Do I Use My Camera?
  • 75% Outdoor Nature & Animal Photos
  • 15% Indoor Portraits & Candid Shots
  • 5% Product Shots For Online Sales
  • 5% Video
Now, here's the struggle --> I like the simplicity of a SuperZoom, but I feel like a DSLR is the next logical upgrade. That said, I don't really know anything about DSLR's, or even proper photography 'settings'. I rely heavily on the Auto mode of my current camera, but I think this is partly due to the difficulty of changing the settings (I could be overlooking something though).

As I stated, I crave additional zoom. Most of my photos are of scenery and animals. Having a strong zoom helps so much in these situations. I fear that if I did go with a DSLR, I would either have to get such a confusing set of lenses that I wouldn't know where to start, or that I'd have to lug around a giant telephoto lens that practically requires a guitar case .

My questions to everyone that knows more than me:
  1. From the information I have shared, do you feel a proper upgrade would be a DSLR or another SuperZoom?
  2. Despite your answer to Question 1, could you share a couple possible upgrades? (Ex: Specific Models)
  3. It seems that a new generation of SuperZooms are extremely near. If I went with a SuperZoom, do you think it's worth waiting another 6 months or so?
I'd like to thank you in advance for the help. I'm sure your knowledge & expertise will be immensely beneficial to my decision!
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Old Dec 20, 2010, 1:46 PM   #2
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The Panasonic FZ35 and FZ40 cameras seem to meet your needs and are the logical upgrade to your FZ18.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 24, 2010, 3:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
The Panasonic FZ35 and FZ40 cameras seem to meet your needs and are the logical upgrade to your FZ18.

Sarah Joyce
Thanks, Sarah. Why not the FZ100, with the hot shoe? Also, what do you predict for zoom levels on Panasonic's next generation of SuperZooms, coming in 2011?
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Old Dec 24, 2010, 6:38 PM   #4
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In terms of optical design, increasing the zoom factor makes lens design much more difficult and costly. With the SX30 at 35X, I don't think that we will see lens design increasing much more than than. Problems with diffraction are inherent to more zoom. The Panasonic 18X lens was already troubled with diffraction, thus the new lens on the FZ40 and FZ100.

The FZ100 may have a BSI-CMOS imager and a hot shoe, but I think that the optical performance of the FZ40 with a conventional CCD might be better, and it would be even better with the 12mp CCD imager, had that been an option.

Merry Christmas!

Sarah Joyce
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