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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    6

    UZ P&S or SLR w/ 18-250 lens?

    Hello, I've been doing a bit of research for the past 2 weeks, and keep flip-flopping on whether to buy a P&S or an SLR, so I'm hoping based on my answers here you can give some advice.

    Budget

    * What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible.

    Haven't really assigned a budget, since we'll just save up as long as is necessary, but obviously the lower the price the better. Definitely want to keep below $1000 though.

    Size

    * What size camera are you looking for? Or does size not matter at all to you?

    Full-size is not a problem

    Features

    * How many megapixels will suffice for you?

    6mp should suffice since we usually print in 4x6, and only rarely want to print a cropped 8x10

    * What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x, Other - Specify)

    Tried a Panasonic TZ3 with 28-280 and found it coming up a little short of where we'd like the zoom to go, so I guess at least a 12x, but we also like the idea of 18x.

    * How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10)

    Not sure how to rank image quality -- we don't look at the pictures at 100% on screen, nor are we printing poster size...so as long as they'll look good on screen around 1280x1024, or print nice 4x6's (with the occasional 8x10), we'd be happy.

    * Do you care for manual controls?

    I wouldn't know what to do with the manual controls!

    General Usage

    * What will you generally use the camera for?

    Usage is all-purpose. My wife works at a daycare, so would like to be able to take exterior shots of the kids at play, as well as interior portraits of the kids. But we'd also like to take more telephoto exterior shots (nature/countryside photos) as well.

    * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?

    We'll usually print 4x6, with the odd 8x10 if it's a really nice shot.

    * Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos?

    Yes, there'll be lots of indoor or low light photos.

    * Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos?

    Not sports, and only as much action as a 3 year old can produce!

    Miscellaneous

    * Are there particular brands you like or hate?

    My Dad has a Pentax *ist D that we've used and really like, but we have no experience with other brands (aside from Kodak, since our existing camera is a CX7330)

    * Are there particular models you already have in mind?

    On the P&S side we're looking at the Canon S5 IS, and also thinking of the Fuji S8000fd (really wish Jeff had a review of that one up as well!). If it's worth it to upgrade, we'd also consider moving up to an SLR, where our main interest is in the Pentax K100D. And for it, the lens I'm interested in is either the Pentax or Tamron 18-250 F3.5-6.3 (we'd rather not have to carry multiple lenses and have to switch them around all the time).
    This is where the trouble deciding comes in to play -- The Pentax with that lens is about $900 CDN, whereas the two P&S cameras are both around $400. Even going with two lenses for the Pentax (18-55 kit lens and Sigma 70-300 F4-5.6) still only drops us to around $650.

    * Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD)

    A lot of our shooting will be done without a tripod, so from what I've read IS would be a great thing to have. Aside from that, the only real special considerations are that we'd like to be able to use our existing 2500mAh NiMH batteries and our SD memory cards. Although if there is reason enough, the last two requirements aren't set in stone.

    Thanks for any suggestions you can give!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Near Seattle, WA
    Posts
    368
    The SLR is worth the extra $$.

    I have a ultrazoom P&S (Kodak Z612) and a digital SLR (Nikon D40).

    The SLR's autofocus is devastatingly fast and accurate compared with the P&S and the image quality (especially in low light) is worlds better.

    The Tamron 18-250 is a good choice for a digital SLR with built-in image stabilization like the Pentax.

    Spend the extra for the digital SLR. You will be happy that you did.
    Sam


    Nikon D80, D300s, Nikkormat EL, Tamron 17-50mm f2.8, 55-200mm f4-f5.6 VR AF-S Nikkor, 50mm f1.8 AF-D Nikkor, 80-200mm f2.8 AF-D Nikkor, 135mm f2.8 Nikkor-Q pre-AI, Hanimex 35mm f2.8 doorstop

    www.flickr.com/photos/swpars

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    6
    Thanks for the info, I guess we'll have to wait a few more months and get an SLR if the low-light quality is that much better.

    Rick

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Brisbane, CA
    Posts
    3,591
    The 18-250 is by no means a fast (read: good in low light) lens. It's slow max aperture is necessary to maintain it's small size. I currently have a Pentax 16-45mm f/4, Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 and a Pentax 50mm f/1.4. I find myself constantly switching between the 16-45 and the 70-300 so I'm going to replace both of them with the Pentax 18-250. Since the ultrazoom lens is slow I will keep the 50mm lens for low light and portraits. I'm also going to pick up an external flash to make the 18-250 usable indoors. If you aren't going to bother to learn how to use the manual controls then I would just get a P&S. A DSLR is a great tool but the photographer makes the pictures great not the camera.
    Lukas

    Camera: Anonymous
    I could tell you but I wouldn't want you to get all pissy if it's the wrong brand

    Flickr

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