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Old Jul 3, 2006, 11:00 PM   #11
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I don't know anything about the Samsung, but I owned an FZ30 for a month and I looked at both the Nikon and the Canon.

From the sounds of it, the FZ30 might be a good choice. It is lighter than the two dSLR cameras (I found the Canon to be too big and heavy for me - I ended up buying a Pentax DS because it was the lightest and cheapest dSLR). The FZ30 does quite well in good lighting conditions, though it suffers from noise in low light if you can't use a tripod and a long shutter speed. If you don't mind playing with your photos on the computer, Neat Image or Noise Ninja can deal with the noise from the higher ISO settings. The pictures from it are pleasing and that long zoom (both an asset and a curse to me) is very sharp. The drawbacks to it are a limited dynamic range (light/dark) and the fact that the camera doesn't automatically process out all the noise (you have to do that yourself). If you are basically just taking vacation snaps and aren't that concerned with top quality pictures under demanding lighting conditions, then the FZ30 might be fine.

The Canon and the Nikon will give you greater dynamic range and much better quality pictures. They both weigh more and cost more, but give you the versatility of interchangeable lenses (a curse and an asset to some people). There's also a bigger learning curve with any dSLR (you have a real viewfinder, and what you see through it might not be what the camera records), especially if you haven't used a film SLR before. Do you want to make the commitment in time and effort to learn how to use one? It isn't that they are so difficult, it's just there's more to it than a point and shoot camera.

Is there a reason you ruled out the Pentax line of dSLR cameras? The DL is lighter and cheaper than the Canon and Nikon, and there's a $100 rebate on the DL body at the moment, making it an excellent deal. The photo quality isn'treallydifferent than the other two (I've read somewhere that the Nikon and the Pentax use the same sensor, but I have no idea if that's true or not). The Pentax can use any lens that will fit a Pentax camera - I'm using a manual lens I bought 25 years ago for my very first SLR film camera. That means that you can find some excellent used lenses for less than new ones.

I had the FZ30 for a month and decided that it wasn't the camera for me (I like taking pictures with lots of contrast and I lost more range than I wanted to give up). The Canon was too big and heavy and the Nikon (also heavier)wasn't significantly better than the Pentax. I owned several Pentax lenses (that I had been too sentimental to throw out when I bought my first digital camera) so getting the Pentax was a no-brainer for me. I couldn't be happier, even though my compromise was to start carrying more equipment with me.
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Old Jul 3, 2006, 11:20 PM   #12
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No not at all, just didnt really wanna get a huge amount to choose from. A pro i know suggested nikon and canon to me so i looked for the best in my price range being the d50/70 and the rebel, and a associate from henrys [digi cam place in canada] really was pushing lumix once upon a time and i had heard good things and the samsung i saw in the store whilst browsing and the look of it caught my eye as well as the enormous 3.5 inch lcd :P otherwise i proally woulda only be looking at the canon and nikon. Any suggestion on what to buy in pentax line? I knew they had a great name in the SLR and manual camera similar to konica minolta thought they were a little less concerned with digital but that was a long time ago and i suppose digital is so huge now that they havent had a choice except to get up to speed.
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Old Jul 4, 2006, 6:49 AM   #13
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i own the fz30

i think its a great camera. picture quality is exceptional. Great versatile lens. Lots of reach but maybe not wide enough for some. Biggest draw back would have to be the noise is higher iso shots.. if you dont mind a bit of pp in photoshop or neat image then the likes of iso200+ shouldnt be to much of an issue.

i think its difficult to compare dslr to superzooms. DSLR are very versatile in the way as they can be customised with countless attachments. also these wide dynamic range and hi iso/lo noise performance makes them very versatile for lo ligt shots and actions shots.

superzooms are versatile in the sense as they have 1 lens which will do most of the tricks. no need for detaching and reattaching. these are more of a all in 1 solution.

i have seen shots from the canon dslr range and they look absolutely stunning. Clean silky image, excellent dynamic range and so much colour depth.

ken
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Old Jul 4, 2006, 9:19 AM   #14
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For the Pentax line, the DL is the one that's out now. They are getting ready to put out the K100D, a new camera (and perhaps a new sensor?) that will have IS and more focus points. I have a DS, which is an old model (has a smaller LCD and a different type of viewfinder) but is otherwise the same as the DL and I love it. If you want to buy a camera right away, the DL body has a $100 rebatethat just started, making the DL a really good buy. If you don't mind waiting a while the new K100D will have IS - something that might or might not be important to you. The K100D hasn't shipped yet, when Pentax announced it they said it would ship sometime in July. If you don't care about anti-shake then get the DL now and have fun learning how to use it!
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Old Jul 4, 2006, 10:07 AM   #15
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That is an excellent suggestion, mtngal.

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Old Jul 4, 2006, 12:26 PM   #16
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For your stated needs, read Genece's recent postings about his 7-week vacation to Alaska with his, and his wife's, experiences with her using the FZ30 and his w/ the Nikon D50 dSLR... FZ30 Goes to Alaska...
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Old Jul 5, 2006, 6:53 PM   #17
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Moderator Note:

The 5 Separate Threads started on this topic have been merged into one thread in the What Camera Should I Buy Forum, which is where we ask that users place threads asking what camera they should buy.

Jim C.

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Old Jul 10, 2006, 1:32 PM   #18
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i had the fz30 for 8 months, never could really get used to the images it took. when that ist DL rebate came about last week, the fz30 was gone on ebay. i get the new pentax today! with regards to lenses being expensive add ons, check out ebay or www.keh.com. you'll be surprised (as i was) to see branded and off branded (tamron, tokina, etc.) zoom lenses that match or better the fz30s 12x zoom for under $100 used and in excellent condition. $367 after rebate from beachcamera or butterfly photo are just too good of prices to pass up to make the jump to a dSLR.
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