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Old Jan 5, 2012, 11:58 AM   #1
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Default super zoom or basic dslr?

Want to upgrade from an fx35 that I am not happy with the picture quality of.
-I take a ton of grandkid pictures, mostly closeups of faces. I do like a large zoom lenses.
-I want to advance my skills and start using more creative functions in the camera.
-I use the camera constantly, 50-100 pictures a day many days.
-I am a teachers aide, I use it a ton at school too.

I had decided on a sx40, which I took over a p500. But now I am wondering if I should go for even better picture quality and get a dslr. But, I really don't want to spend over $500 unless it's absolutely necessary.

So, those of you who have used the sx40 (or equivalent) and a dslr, what advice would you give me, would I see huge differences in the two?
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Old Jan 5, 2012, 12:01 PM   #2
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And I am also just starting to learn photoshop. Is the raw format super important to have in a camera?
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Old Jan 5, 2012, 1:46 PM   #3
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Hi dansmail- I own the SX40hs- and traded in my SLR for the pleasure.
The IQ is about as good as it gets at present,for a "bridge" camera- with pretty low noise levels and good levels of detail.
Yes- an SLR will beat the IQ of the SX40- though you have to be using high iso's and/or very extreme exposure conditions to really see the benefit- and how often will you shoot under those circumstances? Additionally,there's the cost of SLR lenses to factor in to get even close to the focal lengths of the SX40- not to mention the portability(or lack of) and weight of it all.
Quite simply- the thought of being able to shoot pretty much anything I choose,with something I can stick in a large coat pocket is compelling,to say the least.
I'd sacrifice the slight drop in IQ over the above,for sure.
If you want to shoot RAW(it does give you more headroom for editing) then don't overlook the Panny FZ-150,which gives you this option.
It's a belter of a camera- which is MUCH improved in ALL areas over the older FZ models... and arguably more of a "photographers" camera than the SX40hs...
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Old Jan 5, 2012, 2:10 PM   #4
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Do you need allot of zoom. And do you mind the added size of a compact dslr.
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Old Jan 5, 2012, 3:48 PM   #5
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- I don't need the 36x zoom (800+mm?), if I went dslr I am sure a 180-200 zoom would be fine.

- What do you mean by the fz150 is more of a photographers camera?

- The fz35 is not super easy to work in manual mode due to all the menus etc you have to go through, how about on the sx40?

I am reluctant to try another Panny after I feel getting duped on the fz35, but I would consider it. It is another $50 too though.

Last edited by dansmail26; Jan 5, 2012 at 3:54 PM.
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Old Jan 5, 2012, 4:35 PM   #6
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G'day Dan

You say
"-Want to upgrade from an fx35 that I am not happy with the picture quality of.
-I take a ton of grandkid pictures, mostly closeups of faces. I do like a large zoom lenses.
-I want to advance my skills and start using more creative functions in the camera."

Good > that makes you just like most of us too

However you also say
"Want to upgrade from an fx35 that I am not happy with the picture quality of."

So - What disappoints you about the FZ picture Quality??

To follow-on from Simon
"... Additionally,there's the cost of SLR lenses to factor in to get even close to the focal lengths of the SX40- not to mention the portability(or lack of) and weight of it all..."

My Pentax with a Sigma 28-300mm lens is around 2-times the weight of the Panny FZ35 - is this what you want to cart around all day long??

On the pp level re- RAW imagery
-yes- if you shoot in RAW format, then all of the so-called digital darkroom is open to you so that you can adjust & micro-adjust lots of things within the photo, however, if you shoot in ordinary JPG format, many of the same adjustments are available to you, though maybe not to the same depth of alteration that is available to RAW format

What I'm saying here is that things like Levels & Curves & minor Exposure variations etc can be done on a JPG image as well as a RAW image, so maybe having or not-having RAW might not be such a huge issue

Hope this helps
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Old Jan 5, 2012, 4:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dansmail26 View Post
... I really don't want to spend over $500
Go with a superzoom. A dSLR plus a lens or two will put you over that, and with those lenses, you might do better with a superzoom.
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Old Jan 5, 2012, 4:50 PM   #8
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I found the sharpness and even the colors on the fz35 aren't anywhere near as good as the (now broken) Canon is4 it replaced. It just hasn't produced the images we were used to.

Thanks for the data on raw images vs. jpg.

I am leaning towards the sx40... I just don't want to make another mistake.
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Old Jan 5, 2012, 5:51 PM   #9
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Hi again- with regards my comment about the FZ-150 being more a "photographers tool" as opposed to the canon- well,the buttons,dials etc are more akin to an SLR- as is the layout and the body design. It also has more adjustable parameters in the menu's(and shoots RAW as already mentioned),plus the ability to add filters straight onto the camera- again,like an SLR. The facility to add external mic's when shooting video- plus being able to manipulate the video recording far more,all add up to quite a compelling- and,dare I say,almost Pro like feel- albeit in compact form.
The SX40 has a much simpler appearance at first glance- and you get the feeling that this is a camera to deliver good pic's with the minimum of fuss- as opposed to the Panasonic- which is kinda saying- "I can go further- can you...?"
That's not to say the Canon isn't feature laden- it is- just not as much as the Panny'.
The extra tricks up the Panny's sleeve may be of no use to you whatsoever- and if you want a simple camera,with a good auto mode,plus full manual modes should you wish,in addition to a good HD movie mode,competent image stabiliser,huge 24-840mm lens,with the VERY handy tilt/swivel screen,with good image quality- then the SX40hs definitely fits the bill.
If at all possible,try them out somewhere... see what you think- get "hands on" with them. Also,scour various sites such as this to see peoples results in a variety of conditions- with full file downloads if possible. There are also some opinions about the Canon and the Panny' under the "point and shoot" forum here...
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Old Jan 5, 2012, 7:24 PM   #10
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If you do not need allot of zoom, you can look at a canon dslr with the 18-55 and 55-250. It will be a little over your budget. But will give you better IQ, and allot easier to work in manual mode. The pentax with the 18-55 and 55-300 is another good option. But with either system you are look at around 650-700 dollars.
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