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Thread: Help with decisions please!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Help with decisions please!!

    Hi All, I am quite new to this forum to please be patient!

    I have always been a fan of photography and even more so since having my son (now 2yrs). My 30th Birthday is coming up (AGH) and I have asked my husband for an SLR camera. I borrowed a Canon 400d from a work colleague last week and really enjoyed taking photos with it, and I am very pleased with what I achieved for a "beginner to slr's". Now the question......I have a budget, so am looking at the Canon 500d twin lens kit etc. However, I have also been put in the direction of the new Panasonic Lumix LZ48. Basically - HELP - I am struggling to decide what would be best to see me through my new found "serious" hobby!!

    Much appreciated!

    Bep

  2. #2
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    Feb 2010
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    Re: Help with decisions please!!

    If you have had fun with a 400D.

    It makes sense to get something similar like 500D which is improved model on the 400D.

    The FZ48 is a bridge camera. Which you need to try to find out if it might be ok. But the 500D will out perform it especially in low-light.

    The only catch with a say a 500D would it is abit more bulk to carry around. Just get a good camera bag.

    Use a bridge myself but a high end one the Fujifilm s100fs which performs better that the FZ48.

    If you are ok carry a camera like the 400D and you have the budget to get a 500D I'd get the 500D.

    I don't carry a dSLR myself because of shoulder issues so I avoid too heavier kit. Which starts happening with longer lenses.

    PS: There are better bridge cameras than the FZ48 IMHO. Like the Fujifilm H20EXR or the newer one the HS30EXR. Both have manual zoom which is way better for control.
    Last edited by P_Stoddart; 29-03-2012 at 16:49.

  3. #3
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    Re: Help with decisions please!!

    I have to agree with the above. As you seem to be developing more than a passing interest in photography, the DSLRs will give you better quality and greater flexibility to develop your skills and preferences. A bridge camera will not be as good as an SLR for capturing a busy 2yr old as they go about their business. I love using my Canon G10 compact but nothing can replace my DSLR when I am doing anything serious! Let us know what you decide!
    Zak FRIPN

    (Make mine a double)

  4. #4
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    Re: Help with decisions please!!

    DSLR all the way!
    Take the shot. Remove the cap and take the shot again...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Re: Help with decisions please!!

    Personally I really enjoy all aspects of using an SLR outfit, except for the bulk when carrying it. But Iím biased in favour of viewfinders and against LCD screens, which only became common around the time I became unable to see close-up detail without reading glasses.

    If you choose a DSLR and are able to stretch your budget a bit, I think the 550D is a much better camera than the 500D. As well as a higher pixel count, its sensor is supposed to have much lower noise and better low-light performance than the 500D. I donít think the 600D adds much more except some gimmicks for those who want their camera to take control of their photography for them.

    When I moved from film to digital, I was very tempted to build my outfit around the 550D, which has features such as automatic bracketing of exposures, and depth-of-field preview, that the smallest Nikons lack (I donít know whether the D500 shares these features). However, I opted for the Nikon D90, with its better controls and slightly larger sensor giving slightly wider angles from my Sigma 8-16 mm, but almost immediately it was superseded by the Nikon D7000, which I believe is a superb camera, but well outside your budget.

    If you buy a compact camera, and in future want something more advanced, you must replace the camera as a unit. Buying a DSLR outfit will be more expensive at the start, but the Canon 500D or 550D have tremendous potential that you are unlikely to outgrow, and you can improve and extend a DSLR outfit one item at a time. But thatís not an argument for buying a DSLR if you prefer to carry and use a compact!

    Chris Newman

  6. #6
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    Re: Help with decisions please!!

    Some people are mentioning the weight of DSLR's as a problem. I have a chronic pain problem in my left shoulder so it's a consideration for me but the D3100 is so light I've been known to check it's in the bag. I can carry it and a couple of lenses with no real problem
    "I am the very model of an amateur photographer"

  7. #7
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    Re: Help with decisions please!!

    I really have to say DSLR, they are just so much more fun, the picture quality is fantastic. I have had lots of different cameras but there is nothing that beats a SLR be it digital or film.
    At the moment I use an eos 600D I took it over the eos 550D As I really like the built in remote flash option and at the time it was on special offer so the price was not much higher than the 550D.

  8. #8
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    Re: Help with decisions please!!

    I see that the OP has triggered the usual stock answers of "DSLR!" It's almost like an online experiment, a sort of "Pavlov's Photographers."

    If I were looking for a camera today, especially as a mother of a two year old with a view to learn about photography and take family photos, I would place a DSLR way down the list.

    The question I'd ask the OP is why load yourself down with a DSLR when you don't have to? Any of the compact camera systems and many of the new generation of bridge cameras will give you all the image quality you need, and then some.

    Bep has a 2 year old son, so she to carry enough around with her as it is. What has she done to you lot for you to want to load her even more with the bulk of a DSLR system? DSLRs, even the smallest entry level ones, are big, especially when you add longer focal length lenses to them. The bigger your camera or system is, the less likely you are you want to carry around, so you have to be pretty committed to photography if you're prepared to go down that route.

    Believe me, when you have kids, if you get a system that's too big and bulky you'll find it left at home more often than not and will be trying to capture pictures of your son on an iPhone or compact camera instead.

    There are other advantages of a smaller system. The smaller the camera and kit you use, the more discreet and unobtrusive you are. This can make a real difference when photographing kids, especially if they're going through one of their anti-photography or won't look at a camera without pulling a ridiculous over the top smiley face phases.

    As an example, today I took my six year old daughter out as she tried out her roller skates for pretty much the first time properly. This is not a time to have a DSLR swinging around so I took my Lumix GF-1 which fits in my coat pocket. Not only did I get some nice shots, but I was also able to hang the camera round my neck and video her as I pulled her along for a fun bit of filming (without her being aware) from an alternative viewpoint.

    The new breed of smaller camera systems give you just as much control as an entry level DSLR and many have useful features that you won't find on DLSRs yet.

    The two main areas a DSLR might hold an advantage over a smaller system are handling, particularly with regard the optical viewfinder, and auto-focus where DSLR systems tend to be fast and more accurate.

    Bep didn't say what her budget was, but if I were her I would go with an open mind in to your nearest independent camera shop, and try out a few models from each option, bridge, compact camera system and DLSR. I'd take an SD card with me so that I can get a feel of the play back functionality, and I'd try out the cameras in the store, and outside in the street. Don't worry too much about picture quality any shots I'd be able to take wouldn't give me any real idea on that, but instead I'd concentrate on how the camera feels in my hand, how it handles, how easy it is to change important settings - are they just a press of a button (good) or do you have to delve deep into a menu system? (bad). Handling is vitally important, there's no point having the best image quality money can buy if the moment's passed before you can take the picture.

    I own 2 DSLRs and a GF1 with a 20mm lens. There are times when I use all three for photos of my family, but most of the time I wish I had a bridge camera like the Fuji X10, or at least a GF3 (for the better AF point selection via the touch screen) with a kit lens for added reach.

    If I had to get a DSLR, I'd get a Nikon D3100, not because of any bias towards Nikon, but simple because the way the D3100 is configured (inbuilt tutorials etc) makes it really easy for beginners to use and it is independently rated (by Ms Nicholson, late of this Parish) above the Canon 500d equivalent. You can pick up one with a kit lens for less than £400, while rumours of a replacement D3200 model to be announced in the next month or so could lead to further price reductions too, if they are true.

    Edit: And I present this thread http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?97596-Much-to-my-surprise-Bridge-camera-chosen-over-DSLR as evidence, m'lud.
    Last edited by Barney; 31-03-2012 at 20:37.
    "Wrong on so many different levels."

    Blog - Contre Dour http://www.contredour.com - Capturing the ordinary for posterity.

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  9. #9
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    Re: Help with decisions please!!

    Well,i cant help much. I have been looking at which camera to buy for 6 weeks and i still cant make my mind up. I was tempted into the dslr route ,but will probably buy a bridge. My reasons, most have a 24 plus zoom and a viewfinder, plus i wont have to worry about additional lenses. The Fuji hs20exr is a good bet,but i think i will buy a Panasonic fz48. Im not worried about raw and the price is spot on and for me it handles better than the Fuji.

  10. #10
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    Feb 2010
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    Re: Help with decisions please!!

    Quote Originally Posted by talisman View Post
    Well,i cant help much. I have been looking at which camera to buy for 6 weeks and i still cant make my mind up. I was tempted into the dslr route ,but will probably buy a bridge. My reasons, most have a 24 plus zoom and a viewfinder, plus i wont have to worry about additional lenses. The Fuji hs20exr is a good bet,but i think i will buy a Panasonic fz48. Im not worried about raw and the price is spot on and for me it handles better than the Fuji.
    I used both types of bridge cameras myself. The one used was the Olympus SP550 which has a similar power zoom system. Trouble I find with such controls is trying to shoot action can be annoying because you are at the mercy of the power zoom. Where as designs like the HS20EXR having manual zoom means more faster & finer control.

    It does make the bridge more bulky though because the zoom does not collapse as in the power design.

    Olympus had a go at trying to simulate the zoom ring feel on the SP570. Worked fairly ok but not quite the same.

  11. #11
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    Feb 2010
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    9,152

    Re: Help with decisions please!!

    Barney did you read the same OP

    She being a mother of 2 year old is beside the point. There was no suggestion that was the only subject matter.

    She has had great fun with a 400D (a camera I have handled actually as well)

    I quote "fan of photography" and "I am very pleased with what I achieved for a "beginner to slr's"

    If however she had said "I tried a dSLR like the 400D and am not sure it's right for me" or "had problems".

    Then I would have pointer to a bridge or highend compact.

    I use a bridge myself because I want to keep a low weight, grab the kit camera.

    But it is just a complex as the 400D or other entry level dSLR can be set up to.

    The 500D as you must know has full auto like all entry level dSLR.

    I for one don't always say to OPs on here get a dSLR. I on alot of occasions suggested the HS20EXR or even my camera secondhand (if you can find one ) or even CSC. So I certainly don't have a tunnel vision of it must be dSLR or nothing.

    Anyway I was just pointing out a observation. No offence intended to you Barney.

  12. #12
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    Re: Help with decisions please!!

    You make a good point Barney but I personaly find that I use the eos 600D over my other cameras. I got a two and a four year old kids and I feel I have more success using the SLR. Then I just like the quality of the 18mpix APS-C sensor, it is in a differnt leage compared to compacts. Another problem with the smaller stuff is shutter lag and handling I feel I get much better of both from a SLR.
    At the end of the day it is all about what you would use and get inspaierd by, if the camera is left at home it is no good.
    I can recomend the 600D with many of the great features from the bigger 60D and 7D but it also has the new "creative auto" that does realy good job for beginers. True it will strech the budget but...

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