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Help me decide...Panasonic FZ30 or Canon EOS 350D...or ??

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Anonymous
August 10, 2005 4:46:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Hi,
I'm in the market for a new digital camera, and I (think) I've
narrowed my choices down to either the new Panasonic FZ30 or the Canon
350D digital rebel XT. I need some help finalizing my decision.
Here's a description of what I do with a camera, so I'm hoping that you
good folks can give me some food for thought as I make this decision.
As you read, please understand that although I'm pretty good at
"technology", when it comes to the art of photography I'm a novice.

1. I buy, sell and collect vintage musical instruments. Mainly
guitars. I invested in decent studio lighting, so my indoor lighting
situation is pretty good. The issue I have is that I constantly need
to switch between taking "overview" shots (about 6 feet away) to taking
very close up shots (sometimes as close as 1 or 2 inches). When
photographing the electronics of an old electric guitar, I have to show
the tiny lettering on the components, which helps establish the date of
the instrument. So, constant lens changing would drive me nuts.

2. I want to do some portraits of my family. I have nice lighting,
muslin backdrops...let's see what happens :-)

3. I'd like to be able to use the camera for nature photography and
sporting events, and other outdoor activities, including nighttime
shots.

4. We have a puppy that does cute things while running very fast.
Usually away from us.

Here's what I concluded about what I've researched so far:

Panasonic FZ30: Great all around camera, but I'm not convinced that
the image sensor size is appropriate for this 8MP camera. I really
don't want to deal with noise in my images, especially if I need to go
to higher ISO settings. The FZ30 does have image stabilization, which
seems like an important feature for those outdoor zoomed shots.

Canon EOS 350D: A big step up in image quality and versatility -- but
I'm absolutely STUMPED about the lens situation. For my shooting
requirements described above, is there ONE lens I could buy that can
"do it all"? I read that the Canon 50mm/1.8 is a cheap but good "all
purpose" lens -- but I don't think I can get ultra close-ups. I really
liked what I read about the Canon, but if I have to buy several lenses
(and keep switching between them), I think I'd be sorry. Is there such
a thing as a single lens for the Canon that can go from macro mode (2
inches) to telephoto mode -- like the built in Leica lens system in the
Panasonic FZ30? Also, I'm not sure if image stabilization is available
in these lenses or not (?)

I do have a budget constraint, but I'd still like to understand the
lens options for the Canon. However, if I'd need $1500 worth of
lenses, I'd have to forget about it.

I guess that if the Panasonic had just used a larger sensor in the
FZ30, it would have been a no brainer for me. Aside from that, it
looks like the perfect 'amateur' camera.

Thanks much for any guidance you can give me!

-Chris
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 5:51:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

furtherside@yahoo.com wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm in the market for a new digital camera, and I (think) I've
> narrowed my choices down to either the new Panasonic FZ30 or the
> Canon
> 350D digital rebel XT. I need some help finalizing my decision.
> Here's a description of what I do with a camera, so I'm hoping that
> you good folks can give me some food for thought as I make this
> decision. As you read, please understand that although I'm pretty
> good at "technology", when it comes to the art of photography I'm a
> novice.
>
> 1. I buy, sell and collect vintage musical instruments. Mainly
> guitars. I invested in decent studio lighting, so my indoor
> lighting
> situation is pretty good. The issue I have is that I constantly
> need
> to switch between taking "overview" shots (about 6 feet away) to
> taking very close up shots (sometimes as close as 1 or 2 inches).
> When photographing the electronics of an old electric guitar, I have
> to show the tiny lettering on the components, which helps establish
> the date of the instrument. So, constant lens changing would drive
> me
> nuts.
>
> 2. I want to do some portraits of my family. I have nice lighting,
> muslin backdrops...let's see what happens :-)
>
> 3. I'd like to be able to use the camera for nature photography and
> sporting events, and other outdoor activities, including nighttime
> shots.
>
> 4. We have a puppy that does cute things while running very fast.
> Usually away from us.
>
> Here's what I concluded about what I've researched so far:
>
> Panasonic FZ30: Great all around camera, but I'm not convinced that
> the image sensor size is appropriate for this 8MP camera. I really
> don't want to deal with noise in my images, especially if I need to
> go
> to higher ISO settings. The FZ30 does have image stabilization,
> which
> seems like an important feature for those outdoor zoomed shots.
>
> Canon EOS 350D: A big step up in image quality and versatility --
> but
> I'm absolutely STUMPED about the lens situation. For my shooting
> requirements described above, is there ONE lens I could buy that can
> "do it all"? I read that the Canon 50mm/1.8 is a cheap but good
> "all
> purpose" lens -- but I don't think I can get ultra close-ups. I
> really liked what I read about the Canon, but if I have to buy
> several lenses (and keep switching between them), I think I'd be
> sorry. Is there such a thing as a single lens for the Canon that
> can
> go from macro mode (2 inches) to telephoto mode -- like the built in
> Leica lens system in the Panasonic FZ30? Also, I'm not sure if
> image
> stabilization is available in these lenses or not (?)
>
> I do have a budget constraint, but I'd still like to understand the
> lens options for the Canon. However, if I'd need $1500 worth of
> lenses, I'd have to forget about it.
>
> I guess that if the Panasonic had just used a larger sensor in the
> FZ30, it would have been a no brainer for me. Aside from that, it
> looks like the perfect 'amateur' camera.
>
> Thanks much for any guidance you can give me!
>

I have a Nikon CP8700 that will do all the doables in your RFP. The
improved current version (CP8800) might be even better, with image
stabilzation.

The un-doable (going-away cute puppy shots) is probably not a
camera-dependent function as much as a matter of persistence and luck.

There is another solution, depending on your requirements for
exhibition of the tiny writing on instruments: two cameras. Use the
Canon 350D/RebXT for formal portraits of family and instruments, with
one of the versatile, quality zooms some will recommend; get a refurb
or second-hand Nikon CP990 or 995. The latter are just 3Mpix but have
outstanding macro capability, and would fit in your budget right
alongside a new dSLR and decent lens. And no lens changing. If you
don't need to make prints at larger than 8x10 of those little numbers,
similar macro performance would be overkill and overcost, I bet.

--
Frank ess
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 9:13:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

furtherside@yahoo.com wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm in the market for a new digital camera, and I (think) I've
> narrowed my choices down to either the new Panasonic FZ30 or the Canon
> 350D digital rebel XT. I need some help finalizing my decision.
> Here's a description of what I do with a camera, so I'm hoping that you
> good folks can give me some food for thought as I make this decision.
> As you read, please understand that although I'm pretty good at
> "technology", when it comes to the art of photography I'm a novice.
>
> 1. I buy, sell and collect vintage musical instruments. Mainly
> guitars. I invested in decent studio lighting, so my indoor lighting
> situation is pretty good. The issue I have is that I constantly need
> to switch between taking "overview" shots (about 6 feet away) to taking
> very close up shots (sometimes as close as 1 or 2 inches). When
> photographing the electronics of an old electric guitar, I have to show
> the tiny lettering on the components, which helps establish the date of
> the instrument. So, constant lens changing would drive me nuts.
>
> 2. I want to do some portraits of my family. I have nice lighting,
> muslin backdrops...let's see what happens :-)
>
> 3. I'd like to be able to use the camera for nature photography and
> sporting events, and other outdoor activities, including nighttime
> shots.
>
> 4. We have a puppy that does cute things while running very fast.
> Usually away from us.
>
> Here's what I concluded about what I've researched so far:
>
> Panasonic FZ30: Great all around camera, but I'm not convinced that
> the image sensor size is appropriate for this 8MP camera. I really
> don't want to deal with noise in my images, especially if I need to go
> to higher ISO settings. The FZ30 does have image stabilization, which
> seems like an important feature for those outdoor zoomed shots.
>
> Canon EOS 350D: A big step up in image quality and versatility -- but
> I'm absolutely STUMPED about the lens situation. For my shooting
> requirements described above, is there ONE lens I could buy that can
> "do it all"? I read that the Canon 50mm/1.8 is a cheap but good "all
> purpose" lens -- but I don't think I can get ultra close-ups. I really
> liked what I read about the Canon, but if I have to buy several lenses
> (and keep switching between them), I think I'd be sorry. Is there such
> a thing as a single lens for the Canon that can go from macro mode (2
> inches) to telephoto mode -- like the built in Leica lens system in the
> Panasonic FZ30? Also, I'm not sure if image stabilization is available
> in these lenses or not (?)
>
> I do have a budget constraint, but I'd still like to understand the
> lens options for the Canon. However, if I'd need $1500 worth of
> lenses, I'd have to forget about it.
>
> I guess that if the Panasonic had just used a larger sensor in the
> FZ30, it would have been a no brainer for me. Aside from that, it
> looks like the perfect 'amateur' camera.
>
> Thanks much for any guidance you can give me!

Since it sounds like you want to explore photography beyond just work
related tasks I suggest the 350D. It will allow you to branch out into
many different areas of photography from portrait to nature to macro
shots to name just a few. Also, the 350D can shoot much higher ISO
settings up to 1600 without a huge noise penalty where most CCD based
sensors are really limited from a practical standpoint to ISO 200.
Plus, the sheer number of lenses available for the 350D gives it a major
advantage over any fixed lens camera, IMHO, of course.
Related resources
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 9:49:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On 10 Aug 2005 12:46:16 -0700, furtherside@yahoo.com wrote:

>Hi,
> I'm in the market for a new digital camera, and I (think) I've
>narrowed my choices down to either the new Panasonic FZ30 or the Canon
>350D digital rebel XT.

Not really a fair test, the Canon wins hands down, if you don't mind the cost of
lenses. I have an FZ20 and have been following the progress of the FZ30
closely. As far as I'm concerned, to upgrade from an FZ 20 would require the
purchase of a DSLR, not another P&S that is more of the same. IMO.
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 10:21:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

>Not really a fair test, the Canon wins hands down, if you don't mind the cost of
>lenses. I have an FZ20 and have been following the progress of the FZ30
>closely. As far as I'm concerned, to upgrade from an FZ 20 would require the
>purchase of a DSLR, not another P&S that is more of the same. IMO.

Right...the key for me is "lenses". I don't understand the various
choices in lenses, and I was hoping that someone could give me a hint
as to what lens (or lenses) I would need with the Canon to cover the
same shooting range of the FZ30. On the front of the lens of the FZ30
it says "1:2.8 - 3.7 / 7.4 - 88.8". I have no idea what that means.

So, I'm trying to figure out what the choices are to set up the Canon
EOS 350D with a lens (or lenses) that would make it "act" the same way
as the FZ30. I say this because I understand the FZ30 in terms of how
it can focus -- from 5mm (macro) to 12x optical zoom. In terms of
"real life" (for me), I can visualize what this means.

Frank suggested two cameras, which is a good idea and would work -- but
I'd rather not have to deal with making sure two cameras are ready to
go when I need them, and separate uploading to the computer, etc.

Still trying to learn if it's possible to get the "quick and easy"
single lens functionality of the FZ30 in a single lens choice for the
Canon -- or if it means two lenses, or one lens with a close-up
adapter, or ??

Thanks!

-Chris
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 11:54:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

furtherside@yahoo.com writes:

> Hi,
> I'm in the market for a new digital camera, and I (think) I've
> narrowed my choices down to either the new Panasonic FZ30 or the Canon
> 350D digital rebel XT. I need some help finalizing my decision.
> Here's a description of what I do with a camera, so I'm hoping that you
> good folks can give me some food for thought as I make this decision.
> As you read, please understand that although I'm pretty good at
> "technology", when it comes to the art of photography I'm a novice.
>
> 1. I buy, sell and collect vintage musical instruments. Mainly
> guitars. I invested in decent studio lighting, so my indoor lighting
> situation is pretty good. The issue I have is that I constantly need
> to switch between taking "overview" shots (about 6 feet away) to taking
> very close up shots (sometimes as close as 1 or 2 inches). When
> photographing the electronics of an old electric guitar, I have to show
> the tiny lettering on the components, which helps establish the date of
> the instrument. So, constant lens changing would drive me nuts.
>
> 2. I want to do some portraits of my family. I have nice lighting,
> muslin backdrops...let's see what happens :-)
>
> 3. I'd like to be able to use the camera for nature photography and
> sporting events, and other outdoor activities, including nighttime
> shots.
>
> 4. We have a puppy that does cute things while running very fast.
> Usually away from us.
>
> Here's what I concluded about what I've researched so far:
>
> Panasonic FZ30: Great all around camera, but I'm not convinced that
> the image sensor size is appropriate for this 8MP camera. I really
> don't want to deal with noise in my images, especially if I need to go
> to higher ISO settings. The FZ30 does have image stabilization, which
> seems like an important feature for those outdoor zoomed shots.

It depends on what kinds of light you are photographing in. If it is real
bright, then you won't need stabalization. If you are willing to use a tripod
or monopod for the long zoom shots, then you don't need stabalization.

> Canon EOS 350D: A big step up in image quality and versatility -- but
> I'm absolutely STUMPED about the lens situation. For my shooting
> requirements described above, is there ONE lens I could buy that can
> "do it all"? I read that the Canon 50mm/1.8 is a cheap but good "all
> purpose" lens -- but I don't think I can get ultra close-ups. I really
> liked what I read about the Canon, but if I have to buy several lenses
> (and keep switching between them), I think I'd be sorry. Is there such
> a thing as a single lens for the Canon that can go from macro mode (2
> inches) to telephoto mode -- like the built in Leica lens system in the
> Panasonic FZ30? Also, I'm not sure if image stabilization is available
> in these lenses or not (?)

Canon does have stabalization in some of the consumer lenses (off the top of my
head, 17-85IS (equivalent to 27-136mm in a 35mm film camera), 28-135IS
(equivalent to a 45-216mm in a 35mm film camera), 75-300IS (equivalent to a
120-480mm in a 35mm film camera). From what I recall when I was looking at the
Canon, the above lenses are somewhat slow, and are soft wide open, which means
compared to the Panasonic, you will lose 2 ISO levels. Typically in DSLRs if
you have lenses that zoom a great deal, they often are inferior, and usually
need to be stopped down 1-2 f/stop to get acceptable quality.

There are other DSLRs than Canon (Nikon, Olympus, Konica-Minolta, Pentex, etc.)
that each offer their own benefits and pitfalls.

> I do have a budget constraint, but I'd still like to understand the
> lens options for the Canon. However, if I'd need $1500 worth of
> lenses, I'd have to forget about it.
>
> I guess that if the Panasonic had just used a larger sensor in the
> FZ30, it would have been a no brainer for me. Aside from that, it
> looks like the perfect 'amateur' camera.

Bear in mind, if they used a larger sensor, the lens would be larger too.
Also, for most situations noise can be controlled. Since you have external
lighting, it shouldn't be an issue for your instruments. Yes, if you are
taking low light pictures without a flash, and want to blow them up to 20x24",
then noise might be a bigger problem.

--
Michael Meissner
email: mrmnews@the-meissners.org
http://www.the-meissners.org
August 10, 2005 11:58:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I do not know anything about the Panasonic, but I am very happy with my
Cannon Rebel XT and the Image Stabilization lens I have for it. Cannon has
around 50 different lenses available for the Rebel XT you cannot ask for
more choices.

Jim Edmondson

<furtherside@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1123703176.658782.61100@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Hi,
> I'm in the market for a new digital camera, and I (think) I've
> narrowed my choices down to either the new Panasonic FZ30 or the Canon
> 350D digital rebel XT. I need some help finalizing my decision.
> Here's a description of what I do with a camera, so I'm hoping that you
> good folks can give me some food for thought as I make this decision.
> As you read, please understand that although I'm pretty good at
> "technology", when it comes to the art of photography I'm a novice.
>
> 1. I buy, sell and collect vintage musical instruments. Mainly
> guitars. I invested in decent studio lighting, so my indoor lighting
> situation is pretty good. The issue I have is that I constantly need
> to switch between taking "overview" shots (about 6 feet away) to taking
> very close up shots (sometimes as close as 1 or 2 inches). When
> photographing the electronics of an old electric guitar, I have to show
> the tiny lettering on the components, which helps establish the date of
> the instrument. So, constant lens changing would drive me nuts.
>
> 2. I want to do some portraits of my family. I have nice lighting,
> muslin backdrops...let's see what happens :-)
>
> 3. I'd like to be able to use the camera for nature photography and
> sporting events, and other outdoor activities, including nighttime
> shots.
>
> 4. We have a puppy that does cute things while running very fast.
> Usually away from us.
>
> Here's what I concluded about what I've researched so far:
>
> Panasonic FZ30: Great all around camera, but I'm not convinced that
> the image sensor size is appropriate for this 8MP camera. I really
> don't want to deal with noise in my images, especially if I need to go
> to higher ISO settings. The FZ30 does have image stabilization, which
> seems like an important feature for those outdoor zoomed shots.
>
> Canon EOS 350D: A big step up in image quality and versatility -- but
> I'm absolutely STUMPED about the lens situation. For my shooting
> requirements described above, is there ONE lens I could buy that can
> "do it all"? I read that the Canon 50mm/1.8 is a cheap but good "all
> purpose" lens -- but I don't think I can get ultra close-ups. I really
> liked what I read about the Canon, but if I have to buy several lenses
> (and keep switching between them), I think I'd be sorry. Is there such
> a thing as a single lens for the Canon that can go from macro mode (2
> inches) to telephoto mode -- like the built in Leica lens system in the
> Panasonic FZ30? Also, I'm not sure if image stabilization is available
> in these lenses or not (?)
>
> I do have a budget constraint, but I'd still like to understand the
> lens options for the Canon. However, if I'd need $1500 worth of
> lenses, I'd have to forget about it.
>
> I guess that if the Panasonic had just used a larger sensor in the
> FZ30, it would have been a no brainer for me. Aside from that, it
> looks like the perfect 'amateur' camera.
>
> Thanks much for any guidance you can give me!
>
> -Chris
>
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 11:58:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Wed, 10 Aug 2005 19:58:32 GMT, "Jim" <jim@jugglerjim.com> wrote:

>I do not know anything about the Panasonic, but I am very happy with my
>Cannon Rebel XT and the Image Stabilization lens I have for it. Cannon has
>around 50 different lenses available for the Rebel XT you cannot ask for
>more choices.
>
>Jim Edmondson

It's Canon, you illiterate moron. Don't you ever look at the front of
your camera?

And by the way, the availability of all those lenses is an advantage
for Canon, not for the poor guy who has to buy them all and schlep
them around. Not necessary with the Panasonic.

G.Z.
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 11:58:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Wed, 10 Aug 2005 15:01:03 -0600, Gordon Zola <zolag@shininglightcorp.com>
wrote:
>On Wed, 10 Aug 2005 19:58:32 GMT, "Jim" <jim@jugglerjim.com> wrote:
>
>>I do not know anything about the Panasonic, but I am very happy with my
>>Cannon Rebel XT and the Image Stabilization lens I have for it. Cannon has
>>around 50 different lenses available for the Rebel XT you cannot ask for
>>more choices.
>>
>>Jim Edmondson
>
>It's Canon, you illiterate moron. Don't you ever look at the front of
>your camera?

Maybe he bought one of those Chinese knock-offs.
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 5:38:16 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

> It's Canon, you illiterate moron. Don't you ever look at the front of
> your camera?
>

Anger management classes are each Tuesday 7-9pm.

ef
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 5:38:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Thu, 11 Aug 2005 01:38:16 GMT, EF in FLA wrote:

>>> but I am very happy with my Cannon Rebel XT . . .
>>
>> It's Canon, you illiterate moron. Don't you ever look at the front of
>> your camera?
>>
>
> Anger management classes are each Tuesday 7-9pm.

I somehow doubt that anger management classes will be enough to
help Gorgonzola through his bad spells.
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 6:22:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

furtherside@yahoo.com wrote:
>>Not really a fair test, the Canon wins hands down, if you don't mind the cost of
>>lenses. I have an FZ20 and have been following the progress of the FZ30
>>closely. As far as I'm concerned, to upgrade from an FZ 20 would require the
>>purchase of a DSLR, not another P&S that is more of the same. IMO.
>
>
> Right...the key for me is "lenses". I don't understand the various
> choices in lenses, and I was hoping that someone could give me a hint
> as to what lens (or lenses) I would need with the Canon to cover the
> same shooting range of the FZ30. On the front of the lens of the FZ30
> it says "1:2.8 - 3.7 / 7.4 - 88.8". I have no idea what that means.
>
> So, I'm trying to figure out what the choices are to set up the Canon
> EOS 350D with a lens (or lenses) that would make it "act" the same way
> as the FZ30. I say this because I understand the FZ30 in terms of how
> it can focus -- from 5mm (macro) to 12x optical zoom. In terms of
> "real life" (for me), I can visualize what this means.
>
> Frank suggested two cameras, which is a good idea and would work -- but
> I'd rather not have to deal with making sure two cameras are ready to
> go when I need them, and separate uploading to the computer, etc.
>
> Still trying to learn if it's possible to get the "quick and easy"
> single lens functionality of the FZ30 in a single lens choice for the
> Canon -- or if it means two lenses, or one lens with a close-up
> adapter, or ??
>
> Thanks!
>
> -Chris
>

Here is a guide for the Canon EOS system

http://photonotes.org/articles/beginner-faq/

And also this one:

http://www.photo.net/equipment/canon/300D/EOS_300D_lens...

You should not think about acquiring lenses to cover the full focal
length as FZ30, especially when you don't have money.

Frankly, the FZ30 will possibly do everything you ever need. However, if
you want to do more than just POINT and CLICK, even a 350D with a cheap
kit lens and 50/1.8 will get you started. As for macro, there is a
relatively affordable 50/2.5 half life size macro lens.

You'll spend a lot of money when you get a dSLR, if you ever are serious
about photography, instead of casual snapshots. If your money's tight
and think you'll never do anything creative, get any high end p&s will
be sufficient.
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 11:06:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <1123703176.658782.61100@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
furtherside@yahoo.com () wrote:

> new Panasonic FZ30

Sorry, I can't help your decision. I just wanted to thank you for
alerting me to the FZ30's existence. Much though I'd like a dSLR,
I'm converted to IS and certainly can't afford Canon IS lenses on
top of the body price.

My biggest complaint about my very flexible Canon S1 IS is the poor
EVF resolution (the S2 has the same problem). With nearly twice as
many EVF pixels to play with, the FZ30 ought to be a great
creative tool.

Of course at UK prices it'll probably cost as much as a dSLR anyway
:-)

Andrew McP
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 12:05:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Gordon,
Can't you make a point without using expletives?
It automatically defeats whatever intelligent point you were trying to make.
;-)
Cheers,
Marcel



"Gordon Zola" <zolag@shininglightcorp.com> wrote in message
news:1123707657.386f3223de47f642c02e10c461646169@teranews...
> On Wed, 10 Aug 2005 19:58:32 GMT, "Jim" <jim@jugglerjim.com> wrote:
>
> >I do not know anything about the Panasonic, but I am very happy with my
> >Cannon Rebel XT and the Image Stabilization lens I have for it. Cannon
has
> >around 50 different lenses available for the Rebel XT you cannot ask for
> >more choices.
> >
> >Jim Edmondson
>
> It's Canon, you illiterate moron. Don't you ever look at the front of
> your camera?
>
> And by the way, the availability of all those lenses is an advantage
> for Canon, not for the poor guy who has to buy them all and schlep
> them around. Not necessary with the Panasonic.
>
> G.Z.
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 12:56:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

furtherside@yahoo.com wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm in the market for a new digital camera, and I (think) I've
> narrowed my choices down to either the new Panasonic FZ30 or the Canon
> 350D digital rebel XT.

Chris,

Either camera would go some way towards meeting your needs - the DSLR
(almost any brand) providing higher quality and better low-light
performance, but at the cost of an expensive collection of heavy lenses to
be lugged round with the camera.

My own solution has been the Panasonic FZ5 (the 5MP version of the FZ30
without the hot-shoe or manual focus). The slight noise form the sensor
is no problem in prints up to the largest I make (A4 size, about 11 inches
by 8), and for macro work the camera has a "telephoto macro" mode
providing a field 85mm wide at 90cm working distance, or a 50mm field
width just in front of the lens in normal macro mode.

As someone commented, the Nikon 990 series are some of the best macro
cameras, mine managing a field width of less than 20mm close to the
lens....

David
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 7:03:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

>Either camera would go some way towards meeting your needs - the DSLR
>(almost any brand) providing higher quality and better low-light
>performance, but at the cost of an expensive collection of heavy lenses to
>be lugged round with the camera.

Thanks David, and thanks to everyone else who helped...lot's of good
info. I think I'm "off" the DSLR idea for now...lenses are too much
complexity/cost/inconvenience for me right now. I'm back to the
Panasonic FZ30 as my top choice...waiting for a couple of in depth
reviews to be posted once production units actually hit the street
sometime in early September.

-Chris
Anonymous
September 21, 2005 9:41:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

furtherside@yahoo.com wrote:

>Hi,
> I'm in the market for a new digital camera, and I (think) I've
>narrowed my choices down to either the new Panasonic FZ30 or the Canon
>350D digital rebel XT.
>
I read a review of the FZ30. The conclusion that image results were
only a hair better in color and sharpness over the FZ30 and had much
more noise. Since the FZ5 will produce results close to the FZ20 that
is nearly as good and better in some respects that than the FZ30 then I
might consider the FZ5 (smaller and lighter).

In any event, I think that all DSLRs, including the DRXT, are in a
different class. I like the DRXT except for the lousy grip. I like the
Nikon D50 for most reasons including balance but I think Canon may have
a better digital system. If I could let go of $2000 I would get the
Canon 20D. If I did not care about money or justifying my purchase I
would look into the Canon 5D.

In any event I am seriously thinking about a Panasonic FZ5 and getting a
DSLR at another date. I have a Nikon F2a and remember not taking many
pictures because I did not feel like dragging a large heave system with
me. With the FZ5 I will not have have the problem.

>I need some help finalizing my decision.
>Here's a description of what I do with a camera, so I'm hoping that you
>good folks can give me some food for thought as I make this decision.
>As you read, please understand that although I'm pretty good at
>"technology", when it comes to the art of photography I'm a novice.
>
>1. I buy, sell and collect vintage musical instruments. Mainly
>guitars. I invested in decent studio lighting, so my indoor lighting
>situation is pretty good. The issue I have is that I constantly need
>to switch between taking "overview" shots (about 6 feet away) to taking
>very close up shots (sometimes as close as 1 or 2 inches). When
>photographing the electronics of an old electric guitar, I have to show
>the tiny lettering on the components, which helps establish the date of
>the instrument. So, constant lens changing would drive me nuts.
>
>
FZ5 should do that.

>2. I want to do some portraits of my family. I have nice lighting,
>muslin backdrops...let's see what happens :-)
>
>
FZ5 should do that. A DSLR will get you better 13x19 enlargements

>3. I'd like to be able to use the camera for nature photography and
>sporting events, and other outdoor activities, including nighttime
>shots.
>
>
FZ5 should do that but a DSLR may be more flexible.

>4. We have a puppy that does cute things while running very fast.
>Usually away from us.
>
>
No problem with the FZ5

>Here's what I concluded about what I've researched so far:
>
>Panasonic FZ30: Great all around camera, but I'm not convinced that
>the image sensor size is appropriate for this 8MP camera.
>
The results are more noisey than the FZ20 and FZ5 according to reviews.

>I really
>don't want to deal with noise in my images, especially if I need to go
>to higher ISO settings. The FZ30 does have image stabilization, which
>seems like an important feature for those outdoor zoomed shots.
>
>Canon EOS 350D: A big step up in image quality and versatility -- but
>I'm absolutely STUMPED about the lens situation. For my shooting
>requirements described above, is there ONE lens I could buy that can
>"do it all"? I read that the Canon 50mm/1.8 is a cheap but good "all
>purpose" lens -- but I don't think I can get ultra close-ups.
>
Right. You will need a macro lens and at least a wide to long zoom.

>I really
>liked what I read about the Canon, but if I have to buy several lenses
>(and keep switching between them), I think I'd be sorry. Is there such
>a thing as a single lens for the Canon that can go from macro mode (2
>inches) to telephoto mode -- like the built in Leica lens system in the
>Panasonic FZ30? Also, I'm not sure if image stabilization is available
>in these lenses or not (?)
>
>I do have a budget constraint, but I'd still like to understand the
>lens options for the Canon. However, if I'd need $1500 worth of
>lenses, I'd have to forget about it.
>
>
You will probably need to spend between $600 and $1000. You will also
need to buy a flash unit for a couple of hundred.

>I guess that if the Panasonic had just used a larger sensor in the
>FZ30, it would have been a no brainer for me. Aside from that, it
>looks like the perfect 'amateur' camera.
>
>Thanks much for any guidance you can give me!
>
>-Chris
>
>
>
!