Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Dec 22, 2010, 3:24 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
MartinSykes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cheshire, UK
Posts: 854
Default Upgrading from the FZ38

My next purchase isn't imminent but it's my 40th birthday late next year and I'm planning to treat myself to a DSLR. At the moment I'm still trying to figure out what features I really need and what I'll use it for so I'm looking for advice on what to look for rather than specific cameras. Lens choices in particular look very complicated.

Firstly, what it will be used for: Just about everything. I'm not specialising in anything in particular so it needs to be a good all-rounder. Holidays (landscape, kids doing stuff), family gatherings, kids school plays, kids sports, wildlife, landscape, macro, stars, probably everything short of motorsports. Really not interested in video.

Features I want: High IQ, good lowish-light capability (think kids' school plays indoors under poor lighting - I'd like a decent shutter speed without flash), quiet (some DSLRS seem very noisy and intrusive), good zoom initially. Not too bulky/heavy. Not sure about body or lens stabilsation.

I like the idea of Micro 4/3 which I guess is quiet without the complicated shutter arrangements and the slightly smaller sensor allows longer zoom lenses etc at a smaller size (and cost?). Would I end up kicking myself that I didn't get a larger sensor DSLR though?

To initially narrow down my search, what is the main factor people here considered when making a choice between Micro 4/3 or DSLR ? Is it the sensor size or the pixel size on the sensor that matters? Would a low MP 4/3 be closer in IQ to a high MP DSLR?
__________________
AutoHDR - Free HDR software for Windows at http://www.autohdr.co.uk on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=...36045126467361
My Flickr stream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinsykes
Panasonic DMC-FZ38, Sony ­α580

Last edited by MartinSykes; Dec 22, 2010 at 4:06 AM.
MartinSykes is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Dec 23, 2010, 1:20 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 114
Default

Megapixels are secondary. An FZ45 produces 14mp images which are no comparison to an oudated DSLR that's only 6mp. Hence sensor size matters.

Full frame will give you the best image quality where as cropped sensors and 4/3 will have a smaller sensor but still bigger than a FZ38.

I can't tell you what to buy since I'm biased but I and my boyfriend made the jump from an FZ35 which was great outdoors but very iffy indoors, and ISO past 400 was pitiful compared to my current Nikon D90. I'm very happy with it and ISO is stellar at 1600, usable till 3200. But that was 3 months ago and this is now. My D90 is not an ultra quiet DSLR like you wanted.

And its hard to answer your question without a budget. For me the high quality, good lowish light capability was achieved by a D90 and a prime lens. However I found out I like bouncing a flash and lighting the thing much more than always shooting in natural light so my next purchase was an external bounce flash. As for good zoom my kit lens of 18-105 really provided me with enough. In fact most of my shots are in the 28-75 range - 98% of them to be exact.

I would suggest looking at a Nikon D7000 because it answers quite a few of your needs. As for all of your needs maybe someone else can answer your question better. I went with a D90 mostly because of the budget and I didn't care for the video.

Anyways good luck to you in finding a good dslr. Hopefully someone can give you better advice than me.
__________________
I shoot through a Nikkor 18-200mm VR lens on a Nikon D90 and an SB-600.
Lilacfire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 23, 2010, 2:28 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 233
Default

I would suggest the Pentax k-r or k-x with 18-55 and 55-300 kit lenses. V V gd lowlight.Xcellent overall cameras.K-r is high speed, 6fps.
Fayyaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 24, 2010, 11:06 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Martin-

Because it seems that suggestions are in order, you might also want to give some consideration to the Sony A500 as a very cost effective DSLR that has all the features. Here are two good reviews:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/camer...00-review.html

http://www.alphamountworld.com/reviews/sony-alpha-dslr-a500-review-and-conclusio[/url]

Merry Christmas!

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Dec 24, 2010 at 11:48 AM.
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 24, 2010, 11:11 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
wave01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: North West England
Posts: 1,748
Default

Hi this looks like the choice i had D90 T2i/550d or the e620. After looking and trying each I chose the T2i/550d it just felt right.I would have chosen either of the other two but as i said the canon was easy to use.
On a personnel note good luck with the birthday 0 birthdays are great for getting real good presents
wave01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2010, 12:31 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
MartinSykes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cheshire, UK
Posts: 854
Default

Thanks all - will look at those now I have some time. My budget isn't certain at the moment but I'm thinking around 750-1000 for everything - body, lense(s), new tripod, bag, etc. etc.
__________________
AutoHDR - Free HDR software for Windows at http://www.autohdr.co.uk on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=...36045126467361
My Flickr stream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinsykes
Panasonic DMC-FZ38, Sony ­α580
MartinSykes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 2010, 4:52 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
MartinSykes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cheshire, UK
Posts: 854
Default

I was thinking the 4/3 would be quieter but having found a video online of the shutter sound recording compared with an dSLR, it sounds just as loud so I'm leaning towards the Pentax K-r now based on user reviews, sample images I've seen which look really clean. It looks like it's very reasonably priced and should come down further by the time I'm ready to buy later next year (unless something better comes along).

Any suggestions on lenses? It comes with the Pentax 18-55 and the twin lens bundle usually includes a 50-200 lens although I've also seen it bundled with a Tamron 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di LD Macro.

Any lens suggestions? Worth getting a bundle or buy them separately?
__________________
AutoHDR - Free HDR software for Windows at http://www.autohdr.co.uk on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=...36045126467361
My Flickr stream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinsykes
Panasonic DMC-FZ38, Sony ­α580
MartinSykes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 2010, 6:41 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Fredrikstad - Norway / Europe
Posts: 1,954
Default

Hello Martin!

I have not read the entire thread here and who recommended what, but I seem to remember you being an avid HDR-shooter.

Now this might be the equal of "swearing in church" - as we say here in Norway - because you are actually the developer of your own HDR-software, which only needs one exposure...but if you want to make real HDR's with more than one exposure you should look at the different cameras Automatic BRACKET Exposure possibility.

F. instance - most Canon's and Sony's can only do the standard 3-exposure brackets, while there are a lot of other brands (Nikon, Panasonic, Pentax) who can do 3, 5 , 7 and some even 9 exposures in bracket-mode.

This is really important and this is the main reason I have NEVER looked at a Canon or Sony.

My Nikon D300s can do all the above mentioned brackets with either 0,3 - 0,7 or 1 EV in between those brackets. My other camera a Panasonic G1 can do 3, 5 and 7 brackets with the same increments in between.

Also, some cameras can only produce up to a maximum of 3 EV with exposure compensation - in som very bright / dark contrasted pictures you may want to use up to 5 EV in exp. compensation.

Now this is important, and its too late to find out if you do not do your homework.


Just a thought. It might be some thing to consider...

Good luck!

Last edited by Walter_S; Dec 31, 2010 at 6:43 AM.
Walter_S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 2010, 11:48 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
idenny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 219
Default

micro four thirds too expensive better spend extra 100 bucks and real DSLR, could be used or refurbished
idenny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 2011, 6:40 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
MartinSykes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cheshire, UK
Posts: 854
Default

Anyone got any experience of the Sony SLT-alpha 55? It looks like it's got a lot going for it in terms of sensor quality and does the mirror design mean it's a bit quieter and less likely to wear out than a 'normal' SLR?
__________________
AutoHDR - Free HDR software for Windows at http://www.autohdr.co.uk on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=...36045126467361
My Flickr stream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinsykes
Panasonic DMC-FZ38, Sony ­α580
MartinSykes is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:45 AM.