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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:21 pm 
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I have not used an SLR before but have gotten used to a larger camera (Panasonix FZ30) with an excellent zoom and features (five years with it). I am about to embark on a week long Caribbean cruise and I am attempting to determine if the S95 would meet all my needs having no experience with SLR's, or whether now's the time to make the switch over. Will the quality of the photos be such a drop off that I will wish that I had committed to take everything with an SLR, say a Canon 550 or even a 60d? The S95 is a cool feature-rich camera with much portability obviously. Second question: Should I be instead thinking about the G12?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:40 pm 
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I'm pretty sure both the G12 and the S95 have better imagequality than your panasonic (sensor technology improved a lot over the past years).

I'd only get a DSLR if you're willing to learn how it works, and invest time in it.
If you just want to take pictures, I'd say the S95 is a great camera to buy, or perhaps look at the Sony NEX cameras (kind of a cross between a DSLR and compact, and still portable. Same story for the Olympus E pl-2)

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:29 pm 
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Agree with Citruspers...the DSLR would be worth it only if you're really wanting to get into photography, and learn to get the most out of it, or if you intend to be shooting often in challenging situations...otherwise you're just getting a bigger, heavier camera and likely as not getting the same basic results you'd have gotten from the pocket cam. In normal, good, daylight, even a basic P&S camera can do fine - and there's plenty of light in the Caribbean. Flash shots at the dinner table of the family or friends will do fine too - not professional portraits, but fine for the memories.

If you really think you'll be encountering low light situations often, want to go handheld, will be shooting in situations where you might want more dynamic range, will be cropping a lot, etc, then those mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras can be a good solution that sits between DSLRs and P&S cameras, with the size and portablity closer to the compacts (without purchasing the really long lenses), yet with the image quality and high ISO ability closer to the DSLRs. Sony NEX, Olympus Pen, and Panny G series all worth a look in this regard.

The S95 and LX5 are both slightly better than other P&S models due to their larger sensors - though 'larger' is relative, since compared to mirrorless cams and DSLRs they are still tiny sensors. And they offer a little more manual control for those willing to learn a bit and want some control over their photos. Add the Samsung TL500 and the newly announced Olympus XZ1 to that list as larger sensor, manually controllable cameras.

Personally, I love having my DSLR when I cruise - but I really am into photography, and like shooting lots of challenging scenes - handheld night shots, HDR, action and birding, live shows, etc. These are areas where the DSLRs come into their own - but DSLRs are heavier, less portable, and require investments in lenses to really get the most out of them - to really reap the benefits, the kit lens and Auto mode won't get you much farther than a good P&S, other than being more capable at higher ISOs.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:47 pm 
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Thanks for taking the time.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:19 pm 
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+2 -- only invest in the DSLR if you really want to take on the learning curve.

FWIW -- my first digital was a Canon G3 - which I purchased in 2003. I used it for 6.5 years until I finally replaced it with a DSLR -- and it was a great performer for me. The new G-series cameras are extremely good -- giving you DSLR capability without interchangeable lenses. I would seriously look at that with perhaps a couple of lens adapters for tele-zoom and wide angle.

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