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01-11-2009, 10:36 AM   #1
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Pentax make any cameras like these?

Does pentax make and cameras like the Panasonic Lumix FZ28 or FZ18?

I am looking for a camera a step up from a P&S but not quite a full DLSR yet.

01-11-2009, 11:22 AM   #2
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Ain't worth it... At current prices just get the Km (k2000) with the kit lens, and it will outperform any "prosumer"-type cameras out there... imho..
01-11-2009, 11:35 AM   #3
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no Pentax does not make a bridge camera. if you think you need such a thing then just invest in an entry level DSLR. you can still use it on full auto and you do not have to take off the lens. but when you do feel you are progressing you wont immediately outgrow your camera. you can just start experimenting with manual control and different lenses. seriously, if you feel you have outhrown a P&S then get an entry DSLR.

I suggest the new K-m/K2000 you can get it with the 18-55mm kit lens for around $350. or for around $560 with lens and flash. that might be a high price but its cheap compared to other brands entry levels and when one considers the cost of going from a P&S to a bridge to a DSLR.. well you have saved yourself quite a bit of money in the end. and you will get far better image quality. its still small, lightweight, easy to use on full auto or manual. its designed specifically for people in your position and even includes a help button.
01-11-2009, 11:42 AM   #4
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Although the suggestions that a DSLR has better image quality, you still need a second lens to match the focal length of the ultrazoom, so figure that in the budget as well.

01-11-2009, 11:47 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Although the suggestions that a DSLR has better image quality, you still need a second lens to match the focal length of the ultrazoom, so figure that in the budget as well.
even with the addition of say a 50-200mm, in the end the cost saved by cutting the bridge camera out of the equation more than makes up for the cost of the lens.

unless beep41 has no plans on ever upgrading to a DSLR?
01-11-2009, 11:51 AM   #6
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In less than ideal lighting you might get better results drastically cropping a K-m file than using a superzoom bridge cam at full telephoto.
01-11-2009, 01:47 PM   #7
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seamuis, if he needs a bridge, he doesn't need a DSLR. Like having the money for a Porshe does not make it the best car for you...

er1kksen, maybe true in certain situations, but I'd disagree as a general statement.

A DSLR is not the same as a bridge.
I have a K10D and the Pana FZ18.
If low ligth photography is you thing you'll want a DSLR, if you tried and loved an optical viewfinder and the way of photographing a SLR implies, then you prefer a DSLR. A bridge and a EVF are not the same.
Getting a DSLR with lenses with a range equivalent to that of the FZ18 e much more expensive. Even more expensive if you want glass that is decent.
The FZ18 or FZ28 have very good lenses, and very good optical stabilization. The best all-in-one lens you can find for a DSLR is the new Tamron 18-270mm and it still pales in comparison to what the FZ18 can do for focal length range and macro.

Yes, if you pixel-peep you'll notice the differences. But if your not printing big, they will look the same, maybe even better than a DSLR if the glass is poor.
For high ISO though, you will notice the difference a lot!

The Pana FZ18 was dreadful beyond ISO200 (FZ28 is said to be better), so the K10D looks better, but really at ISO800 its starting to look poor as well, its not the most impressive camera for high ISO behaviour (not that I bough it for it, so...)

The only reason I'm not using my Fz18 so much now really boils down to me liking the ergonomics of the camera and shooting through an OVF, what I'd call "the SLR experience", it just fells better (not in a sense hey look at me I'm shooting DSLR!).

The question you'd have to ask yourself is why do you want to upgrade? What are the requirements of your photography for the new upgrade equipment?
In my case I wanted to expand my photography to subjects that my previous camera (Sony V1) didn't allow and to have more versatility. I also considered a DSLR, but money wise and given my inexperience I couldn't convince my self my photography was worthy of such an upgrade (plus future commitments to additional lenses).
The super zoom FZ18 did its part, so much so that photography became much more important to me. It led me to learn more, explore and shoot more.
I eventually bought the K10D (ahead of schedule).

Sorry for the long post, but I hope my experience will help you think better about you decisions.

Best luck!

Last edited by edumad; 01-11-2009 at 01:49 PM. Reason: typos
01-11-2009, 04:59 PM   #8
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I have a kodak SX7590, 5 mp bridge camera only because pentax does not make a bridge camera.

I often wonder why,

01-11-2009, 08:05 PM   #9
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Lowell,
I think that the market changes to fast to suit Pentax. Effort and resources are better spent with core products.

Dave


QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I have a kodak SX7590, 5 mp bridge camera only because pentax does not make a bridge camera.

I often wonder why,
01-11-2009, 08:25 PM   #10
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I would suggest either the K2000 or K200 + either the Tamron or Pentax 18-250. That would be the closest thing to a bridgecam in Pentaxland. With that combination, plus the auto, program, and scene modes on either body, the camera will pretty much operate like a bridgecam. Use that combination for a while and when you're ready, you can start adding more lenses to your body and either keep or sell the 18-250.

One plus with using a DSLR/superzoom combination is that the sensor on the DSLR is bigger than a bridgecam, producing better results in image quality (IQ).

If none of us can convince you to try something like this, then it would be worth your while to check out Fuji's bridge cams. I used to have a Fuji bridge cam and got very good results from it.

HTH,
Heather
01-11-2009, 09:56 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by edumad Quote
seamuis, if he needs a bridge, he doesn't need a DSLR. Like having the money for a Porshe does not make it the best car for you...

er1kksen, maybe true in certain situations, but I'd disagree as a general statement.

A DSLR is not the same as a bridge.
I have a K10D and the Pana FZ18.
If low ligth photography is you thing you'll want a DSLR, if you tried and loved an optical viewfinder and the way of photographing a SLR implies, then you prefer a DSLR. A bridge and a EVF are not the same.
Getting a DSLR with lenses with a range equivalent to that of the FZ18 e much more expensive. Even more expensive if you want glass that is decent.
The FZ18 or FZ28 have very good lenses, and very good optical stabilization. The best all-in-one lens you can find for a DSLR is the new Tamron 18-270mm and it still pales in comparison to what the FZ18 can do for focal length range and macro.

Yes, if you pixel-peep you'll notice the differences. But if your not printing big, they will look the same, maybe even better than a DSLR if the glass is poor.
For high ISO though, you will notice the difference a lot!

The Pana FZ18 was dreadful beyond ISO200 (FZ28 is said to be better), so the K10D looks better, but really at ISO800 its starting to look poor as well, its not the most impressive camera for high ISO behaviour (not that I bough it for it, so...)

The only reason I'm not using my Fz18 so much now really boils down to me liking the ergonomics of the camera and shooting through an OVF, what I'd call "the SLR experience", it just fells better (not in a sense hey look at me I'm shooting DSLR!).

The question you'd have to ask yourself is why do you want to upgrade? What are the requirements of your photography for the new upgrade equipment?
In my case I wanted to expand my photography to subjects that my previous camera (Sony V1) didn't allow and to have more versatility. I also considered a DSLR, but money wise and given my inexperience I couldn't convince my self my photography was worthy of such an upgrade (plus future commitments to additional lenses).
The super zoom FZ18 did its part, so much so that photography became much more important to me. It led me to learn more, explore and shoot more.
I eventually bought the K10D (ahead of schedule).

Sorry for the long post, but I hope my experience will help you think better about you decisions.

Best luck!
well noted, and mostly agreed. but I think just for the sake of the discussion you should have been comparing with a K2000 not a K10D.

in the end though what Im getting at is if the OP does have plans on upgrading to a DSLR in the future, why add the extra expensive step of the bridge camera? the learning curve from P&S to DSLR isn't that steep, especially with the K2000 and the cost between the K2000 (street price) and say a Lumix FZ28 isnt all that different. and since we have no idea if the OP will likely use the longer end of the zoom or the shorter end of the zoom more often its hard to say if the OP would actually need the 18x.

either way, the cost of say a K2000w/ kit lens and an smc-DA 50-200mm (which is more than a decent performer) will be in good part offset by the money not spent on going from P&S>bridge>DSLR.

again the real question is does the OP eventually plan on upgrading the bridge to a DSLR?
01-12-2009, 11:32 AM   #12
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Actually, what I would question is to what extent a "superzoom" camera like the Panasonic FZ series makes sense as an intermediate step up up from P&S on the way to DSLR. In some ways, the superzoom cameras are a step *down* from at least other P&S cameras that sport larger sensors (and hence less noise and more possibility of DOF control) and less bulky smaller lenses (and hence fewer aberrations and faster AF). And the superzooms cameras are big enough that they compete with the smaller DSLR's in that department, and yet give few of the other advantages of a DSLR.

Of course, in practice, the superzoom might happen to meet someone's needs better than, say, an LX3 or Canon G10 (the cameras *I* would consider the top-of-the-line P&S cameras). In particular - obviously - the huge zoom range. But getting a camer with a huge zoom range can set expectations that can - perhaps - be somewhat counterproductive if you're truly thinking of it as a "bridge" to a DSLR. I say that because it may condition you to value zoom range over IQ or other photographic concerns, such that when you do eventually "graduate" to a DSLR, the first thing you do is put on an 18-250 and wonder why the thing is so much bigger and more expensive than your superzoom and yet doesn't necessarily take better pictures right out of the box.
01-12-2009, 01:20 PM   #13
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Allow me to offer a counterpoint.

I went from an Olympus stylus p&s to a Canon S5IS superzoom/bridge, to a K200D, in the course of about 18 months.

Over a year ago I was rather uncomfortable making the jump to DSLR, and wanted a bit of a preview of the experience. The bridge cameras such as my S5IS are not necessarily a step up from an IQ perspective, but they are a great psychological bridge, with quite a few features that offer a preview of the DSLR experience.

The simple act of fully manual shooting, understanding WB, noise, etc. took me a while to get a hang of. That, along with a more concerted effort to understand composition, made for about a year of enjoyable photography. Some of the enjoyment is the ability to worry about exposure and composition without a real effective DOF at larger apertures. I eventually grew to understand the shortcomings of the camera, and decided it was worth it to buy into a DSLR system.

To say that the $350 I spent a year ago (of which I recouped $200 upon sale) was a waste of money or somehow unimportant sells short the learning process provided by a decent bridge or superzoom. I've learned even more since buying a DSLR, but the S5IS allowed me a comfortable learning curve.

As always, your results may vary.
01-12-2009, 01:33 PM   #14
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I think the real attraction, at least for me is to have the following
- a good zoom range , 10:1 is all that is really necessary, and 5:1 would also be OK if it was 20mm to 100mm equivalent,
- plus full manual controls,
- ability to take some macro attachments,
- have a reasonable lens speed (my kodak is F2.8-3.2) and both viewfinder and viewing screen.
- manual controls etc...

basically a mini slr, smaller in size and a good enough zoom range to travel with regularly, take technical photos (my need) etc.

I hesitate to use my DSLRs for work. too much to carry, to big and a bit over the top for needs. Bridge cameras fit that need, and once the main body and features are designed, sensors can be moved in and out as needed. just like their present P&S and DSLRs
01-12-2009, 01:43 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Of course, in practice, the superzoom might happen to meet someone's needs better than, say, an LX3 or Canon G10 (the cameras *I* would consider the top-of-the-line P&S cameras). In particular - obviously - the huge zoom range. But getting a camer with a huge zoom range can set expectations that can - perhaps - be somewhat counterproductive if you're truly thinking of it as a "bridge" to a DSLR. I say that because it may condition you to value zoom range over IQ or other photographic concerns, such that when you do eventually "graduate" to a DSLR, the first thing you do is put on an 18-250 and wonder why the thing is so much bigger and more expensive than your superzoom and yet doesn't necessarily take better pictures right out of the box.
An LX3 or G10 is not the same market/demographic as a bridge/superzoom. The sensor size is the same, but everything else is different. The bridge/superzoom is for people who want one camera to do everything and don't want to mess with changing lenses, etc. And they do a passable job as long as you don't pixel peep. I have an FZ18 lying around that I don't use as I never was particularly happy with the EVF or iq. But it does have its place. If you want 400mm effective, you want 400mm effective, and an LX3 or G10 won't give you that.

I would venture a guess that most small dSLR cameras never see a lens change. So if that is the case then the consumer is paying money for a feature that they don't use. imho many would be better served by either a small p&s or a bridge camera. That type of consumer likely isn't going to see/need the iq difference between p&s/bridge and dSLR. So why mess with lenses?

Horses for courses. I think where it gets more interesting for enthusiasts is when you either put larger sensors in smaller bodies (like the DP-1) or can change lenses on something smaller (like the G1). Neither of those are perfect, but they offer interesting alternatives.
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