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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:59 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:23 pm
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Location: United States
I know you all have read so many questions regarding what type of camera to buy etc. But when I read info on what to choose it all seems outdated. I have been hesitant to purchase a DSLR as I am mostly taking photo's of my kids and therefor don't want to miss shots because I don't have my camera ready. Also, I just wouldn't know where to begin. The issue is after trying various Point and Shoot's over the years (z3 through z20, fz150, sx30HS, Sony 10V and some I can't remember) , I am left wanting. My wants are as follows:
Great low light photo's
Speedy photo capture (I really am at a loss with the fps info.. If I am reading correctly then it's showing the FZ200 faster than T5i)
good AF
No too pricey

Eventually I will be ok with investing more in to a DSLR but currently would like a camera that delivers these qualities out of box or so. Would prefer not to spend more than 800 and if an SLR I would like to have 1 lens that is the best for most situations (pics of kids and sports).

So, Is there a budget SLR out there that will deliver or is it better to stick with the likes of the FZ200 or equivalent? If an SLR is the way to go, what one is best at what I want? Any help would be wonderful as I am extremely lost and am tired of the sub par photo's my zs20 currently delivers.

Thanks in advance for all the help.
Becky


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:29 am
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Short answer: I think the FZ200 could work, especially since, thus far, your situation seems to bear some resemblance to the one in this thread, and there, I ended up recommending the FZ200.

But, if your situation is different, it would help to know how it's different. So like I asked in the other thread, pictures of your kids doing what, exactly? (Going down the slide at the neighborhood playground has different requirements from building a pillow fort out of couch cushions in the living room.)

Also, which sports, specifically? (Soccer has different requirements than volleyball, for example.)

And what do you mean by "Speedy photo capture"? Do you mean boot (turn on/power up) time? or auto-focus time? or shot-to-shot (burst) time? or shutter lag (time from when you press the button to when the picture is taken)? or something else?

One last note: "Great low light photo's" almost always comes at a price - Mark


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:23 pm
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Location: United States
Thank you for your reply Mark.
And I somehow missed that thread you linked to. Sorry.

Basically I am just unsure if I want to keep investing in point and shoots that I am replacing yearly because I am unhappy with performance. Starting to think I should invest in a DSLR and learn how to use it.
I am mostly taking photo's of events such as football, cheer, swim. 1/2 is outdoor and half indoor. For the most part I am happy with my photos outdoors while it's sunny out. But if I need to use my flash I always miss the shot. Indoor's my photo's are horrible unless I am on top of my subject. The zoom is useless for me because if I zoom to get close, I have a dark grainy shot.

By speedy photo capture I am referring to the time in between photo capture. So, shot to shot performance. But I also get frustrated when I hold down the shutter and it takes forever to snap. Is there a point and shoot that comes close to the speed of a DSLR?

I have been reading all the other posts but am at a loss on what will best suit my situation. I think I am on information overload after reading all the camera reviews for the past year. While I understand I can't have it all in one camera (especially a lower end one), I would like to get better than I am getting.

I had the Fz150 and while it was ok, the low light still didn't impress. Is there a way to tweak settings to get the results I want?

Becky


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:27 pm 
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Is it safe to say if I am looking at the T3i vs the fz200 (without buying new lenses right away)- my situation would be better suited to the FZ200?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:22 am 
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Bottom line up front...

becky0216 wrote:
Is it safe to say if I am looking at the T3i vs the fz200 (without buying new lenses right away)- my situation would be better suited to the FZ200?

I think so. Yes.

But to go into a bit more detail...

Quote:
For the most part I am happy with my photos outdoors while it's sunny out. ... Indoor's my photo's are horrible unless I am on top of my subject. The zoom is useless for me because if I zoom to get close, I have a dark grainy shot.

That's normal because most lenses (even DSLR lenses) get slower/darker as you zoom in. But one of the reasons for recommending the FZ200 is that the lens has a constant f2.8 aperture regardless of how much it's zoomed. (As compared to the FZ150, for example, which slows down almost 2 stops -- f2.8 to f5.2 -- as you zoom in.)

Quote:
By speedy photo capture I am referring to the time in between photo capture. So, shot to shot performance.

In the "Continuous shooting" section of the FZ200 review, Gordon writes "You can shoot at up to 12fps at the full resolution without AF, or at 5.5fps or 2fps with autofocus; at 12fps you can capture up to 12 frames, while the slower speeds are limited only by memory." Which I'm guessing should be fast enough for cheer, swim and most football shots with the possible exception of shooting from the end zone and the player running toward (or away) from you. (I'm assuming that, in that circumstance, you'd need/want "continuous auto-focus", and to quote Gordon's review again, "I then switched to the continuous AF 5.5fps mode and fired a burst of 15 frames which sounded slower and more erratic, a fact born out by the numbers - just over 4fps." But even 4fps is pretty quick.)

Quote:
But I also get frustrated when I hold down the shutter and it takes forever to snap.

Assuming you mean "snap the first/only shot", you could try the two techniques I mentioned in the other thread. (pre-focus and/or shoot (semi-)manual i.e. Shutter Priority. Seems to me it should be possible to pre-focus for swim and to a lesser extent, cheer. With football, it probably would not work for a running back or wide receiver, but might work for a quarterback and would definitely work for a place kicker.)

(And as an aside, no worries about missing the other thread since the title refers to a micro 4/3 camera, but you aren't/weren't considering one.)

Quote:
I had the Fz150 and while it was ok, the low light still didn't impress. Is there a way to tweak settings to get the results I want?

For static (posing) subjects (i.e. not sports), you could try the High Sensitivity/Handheld Night scene mode. But for sports, no, there's not much you can do. (Well, not much outside of spending upwards of $2,000 for a better camera and bright telephoto (i.e. non-kit) lens, which I'm assuming is not a realistic option for you.)

Mark


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:23 pm
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Thank you for your in depth reply. I have decided to go for the FZ200 and try to learn the manual settings. I am ignorant to photography so I am an auto focus kind of gal. Maybe with a bit of patience I can make good use out of the FZ200. I really appreciate your help.
Becky


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:21 am 
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You're welcome. And if you have more questions while learning to use manual settings, you can always ask in either the "Photography tips and techniques" section or the section for a specific subject. i.e. "Action, sports and aviation photography".

Mark


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