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Old Mar 12, 2006, 5:01 AM   #1
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This post may be very similar to a recent thread, but is more tailored to my specific situation.

Long long ago I used to have an SLR but since then have used the manual Rollei mini rangefinder for all my photographic needs, mostly for travel pictures. My wife and I entered the digital game with an older Canon power shot, and then more recently to a Konica-Minolta G530 (which for the third time is in the shop for repair - we apparently bought a lemon). I am amazed at the picture quality of such a small camera as the G530, when it is working.

Now I want to buy a better camera for myself. Of course I am very confused about the huge selection of offerings on the market, but the most confusing question that arises is the one: DSLR vs. superzoom.

Because of the look and feel of the camera, I became interested in the Panazonic Z30, but am a bit turned off by the reports of high noise in various reviews. I haven't seen the Sony H1 or R1 yet, but don't know if I will like the feel of these in my hands. The Fuji 9000 also sounds interesting. But just on the basis of reviews of these cameras, I can go around in circles for ages, in trying to make a decision.

But now I see that a local shop has begun to offer the Nikon D50 with 18-55mm lens for the same price as the Panasonic Z30. What I have read about the D50 makes me very interested in this camera, also from the body design.

I am the type of person that can handle and learn what it takes to produce good photos from an SLR. Yet I am a hobbyist, not a professional. The pros and cons for me between an SLR and a superzoom are 1) SLR con: cost of an extra lens for extended zoom, 2) SLR con: need to carry an extra lens and to change lenses, 3) SLR pro: extra control over lighting, speeds, focus once I learn to control these. 4) Picture quality in general: Can anyone help here? I don't know!

Can anyone help with some advice or tips? Nikon D50 as DSLR vs. one of the above superzooms?


Thanks very much in advance,
Steve, Denmark
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Old Mar 12, 2006, 7:16 AM   #2
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I used to have a FZ5 superzoom (only had it for about 2 months), I since switched to dSLR and wow - a whole new world...

Even tho some of these superzooms have f2.8 rated lens, I bought a cheap Tamron 28-300 (42-450 equiv) and it takes sharper pics in lower light..

Also I now view the world of wide angle thanks to kit lens 18-55mm (which is not a shabby lens). I also added a 50mm f1.8 and can now take lovely portraits in low light.

In summary then, I would never go back to a superzoom/all-in-one camera
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Old Mar 12, 2006, 7:33 AM   #3
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Since I posted my question, I have been surfing extensively, looking at reviews and local internet shops to find out what various add-ons for the Nikon D50 may cost me.

I see that there is a Sigma 28-300 macro zoom lens that apparently works with the Nikon D50. Can anyone tell me about this from a quality point of view? One of my objections for going the DSLR route is having to take with me and change between three lenses if I want macro, normal and long zoom capabilities. But with this Sigma lens, it seems to me only the one lens would be necessary, and would give me the same capabilities as the Fuji 9000/9500 non SLR camera.

Can someone comment on this Sigma used with the Nikon D50? If I go for the SLR, would it be wise then to buy Nikon D50 body only + this Sigma, and drop the deals that throw in the Nikkor 18-85 lens?

Thanks again!
Steve, Denmark
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Old Mar 12, 2006, 8:09 AM   #4
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The Nikkor kit lens has a nice focal length, and probably adds little to the cost of the camera if you buy it in kit form.

As for Sigma, no problem, the third party lenses are every bit as good as the name brand these days, except the price is lower.

As for the Sigma 28-300, if you're looking for a "do it all" lens, I'd stick with a lens that has 18 mm at the wide end.

For general photography, you might find yourself more at the 18mm end than the 300mm end.

Tamron makes an 18-200 that looks really nice.

If you're really interested in 300mm photography (telephoto), then a dedicated telephoto zoom would be better.

-- Terry


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Old Mar 12, 2006, 8:17 AM   #5
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If you want the best of both worlds, go for a D50 body and Nikon's new 18-200 VR lens. You will get Nikon's quality and durability and a super-zoom versatility, but (there is alway that annoying "but":-)), it won't be cheap.

I currently use Fuji S9500 and so far very happy with it.
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Old Mar 12, 2006, 8:31 AM   #6
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Thanks for the reply, Terry,

I looked up the Tamron lens here locally, and can see that such a lens will cost me (almost) as much as the superzoom Canon Powershot 2 IS would cost. The reason I mentioned the Sigma lens is that it has a macro feature which the Tamron apparently does not have. Back in my SLR days before, I never used a macro lens, but I would assume it would be nice. The 28-300 range of the sigma lens also is the range of the superzoom Fuji 9000 that I am also considering.

So the economics is also an important element here. For me, buying the Nikon D50 or the Canon or the Fuji or the Panasonic Z30 is within my current budget, but not the Nikon D50 + either the Sigma or Tamron lens. So the question of my original post still remains: superzoom or entry level SLR?
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Old Mar 12, 2006, 10:09 AM   #7
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Before the 18-200mm lenses from Tamron, Nikon and the like were available, I used the Sigma 28-300mmlens on my Pentax DS quite sucessfully. It effectively gave me a 42 to 450mm range which was quite workable for me because I tend to shoot more at the far end of the lens.

The lens was less expensive and it saved me many lens changes and and a much heavier kit. Later on, I added a wide angle and I have since then been able to get by with fewer things to carry. I like it that way.

In in low light conditions, working without flash, where I had to go very wide with the aperture, I got very reasonable results, and I will attach one of those low light level photos. This was taken at the Shanghai Acrobatic show at a distance of about 90 feet. I was pleased with the results.The single lens approachwas an excellent strategy to get me started with a dSLR camera.

MT


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Old Mar 13, 2006, 1:22 AM   #8
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Thanks to all those who replied so far.

I am convinced that if I go the DSLR route, it will be for now the Nikon D50 and a lens like the Tamron 18-200.

However, I still can't decide whether a superzoom like the Fuji 9000 or the Canon PS2 IS or the Panasonic Z30 would be the better choice for me for now. Its very hard to tell from reading all the threads in this forum, since the replies come from all levels of photographers, from the hobbyist to the professional. Thanks to Algold for the comment of being very happy with the Fuji 9500. Can anyone who has used or uses both DSLR and superzooms add some advice?

Just to add: I will be more a hobbyist than professional, but I do want to take high quality pictures. I have no specific things that I photograph, mostly it will be home photos (cats, friends), travel, and nature.

Many thanks!

Steve, Denmark
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Old Mar 13, 2006, 1:42 AM   #9
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I suppose you have to consider how much money you would want to spend after you got the camera.

What I mean is, with a Superzoom there really isnt anything else worth buying for it (stay clear of 'adapter lens' things). Whereas since I have had my dSLR I have been looking in my camera magazines and on ebay all the time for new lenses.... I think they call it lens lust!

lol
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Old Mar 13, 2006, 1:42 AM   #10
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If you can afford it, go for the Nikon. The Fuji is a good cam, but somehow a compromise. Nevertheless I bought it myself and I hope I'll be happy with it. If you decide to buy a non dSLR the Fuji will be a good choice!
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