Panasonic FZ38 v Sony A250
I'm looking for a little advice re buying a new camera.
I have just sold a Canon S90 which I enjoyed using but am now looking for a longer zoom (mainly for photographing birds). I started by looking at the Panasonic TZ6 & TZ7 but I then stumbled upon the FZ38 with it's 18x zoom and raw capture.
Before heading down the FZ38 route though I have noticed that I can pick up a Sony Alpha 230 with a twin lens deal offering a 300mm zoom for a total of £399. This is about £120 more than the FZ38 but I'm wondering if it's worth it.
I kind of like the all in one idea of the FZ38 without the hassle of lenses and temptation to buy further lenses and flashes etc but I can't help thinking I may be a little foolish to spend £280 on a bridge camera when I could have a DSLR for that bit extra.
On the other hand I'm only ever really going to view pics on a PC monitor / other high res screen so will I notice much difference in image quality anyway if I'm not printing? Would the DSLR offer more depth of field options than the FZ38?
Any advice would be appreciated. General photo use but especially birds, pets, family and street / architecture.
Any other suggestions welcome. Considered Olympus e420 but lack of SD card slot put me off. Would consider Canon 100D but I'd have to buy long lens a few months down the line as the body is a bit more money.
The Lumix FZ38 is fine as bridge cameras go but if you're interested in photographing birds you ABSOLUTELY should buy the Sony A230. No question. Not for the image quality but for the performance.
Bridge cameras and compacts all suffer a degree of shutter lag which means there's a small delay between pressing the button and the picture taking. This isn't a problem for general shots but for fast moving birds it would be hopeless.
A Digital SLR not only fires pretty much instantaneously, it focuses much faster too. You also have the option of a proper manual focus so you can pre-focus on a branch near a feeding station, for example, and wait for the birds to land.
Because the sensor is much bigger image quality IS better, which means that if 300mm isn't enough for you to fill the frame with your subjects (it probably won't be) you can crop in and still get a good quality image.
£300 is a very good price for a twin lens DSLR kit that goes up to 300mm – I'd snap it up. I'd be interested to know who's selling it at that price.
I got the deal slightly wrong. It's an 18-55 & 55-200mm lens package that is £399 not a 300mm as I thought. Wilkinson cameras.
I guess what you're saying then is to go down the slr route. At that price bracket I can have a Sony A230, Olympus E420 or just about a Canon 1000D.
Would you recommend any of those above each other?
Cheers for your time.
Just had a quick read up on a few things. Canon seems like it might be slightly better than the Sony but the Sony looks like it has really easy to follow menus which could be good for a beginer (well a relative newcomer to digital).
Yes, you should definitely get a DSLR. I'd discount eh E420 because it doesn't have image stabilisation, and photographing birds with a tele-zoom lens is something that IS would be hugely beneficial for. With the Sony its built in, and with the Canon you'd get the IS tele-zoom.
The Canon 1000D is in my view better than the A230, but if its a choice of the Canon and kit lens or the Sony twin lens kit I'd get the Sony because you will need that 55-200mm lens for sure. As you say, the Sony has a good interface for the beginner.
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