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02-14-2010, 08:29 PM   #1
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P&S a better choice than K20?

Now that something has gone wrong with my K20 SD-card reading mechanism (it reads the card as full when it isn't and so won't record an image) and it's going to be out of service 2-4 weeks, I've started doing some DSLR soul searching.

I pulled my four-year-old Panasonic FZ-7out of the drawer with it's tiny sensor and built-in basic zoom lens . No massive megapixel quality, no costly bag of lenses and trying to select this lens for that use, no RAW capture and processing for the very "best" possible image detail. Just set it on Auto, a quick test shot in the backyard with no fuss, no muss and no agonizing over the thousand details of taking a "good" photograph. Then some very basic post-processing to get this edged art deco look. It's not a great shot by any means, but it captures the day, the setting, light and my mood just fine. For me. I'm beginning to wonder if the DSLR camera is getting in the way of having fun for me with photography.

I'm an average amateur photographer but I'll never be more than that; but what I'm getting better at is not taking the image but editing the image. My interests seem to lie in post-processing, so the photograph is just the raw material for the final edited image.Right now the less complicated, and less expensive, world of a good fixed zoom compact like the Panasonic Lumix LX-3 sounds pretty good. The bottom line is that I probably would get about the same quality images (up to 8x10" or so) from the LX-3 as the K20, be able to carry it in my pocket and have a lot less fussin' with the thing. There might be a K20+DA-35 combo coming up for sale soon, or maybe not. Just ranting here, thanks for listening,
EDIT: And here's the reason I'm considering making the DSLR to LX3 switch: I came across this bird who regularly fishes the golf course pond around the corner enjoying a light rain shower. Luckily I had the venerable Lumix FZ7 in the glovebox with it's whomping 12x zoom. Racked all the way out to a 35mm-equivelant of 432mm, is the IQ as good as say a K20+200mm? Of course not, not even close, and it's not even close to the LX3, but it was handy and the DSLR was sitting in its bag at home. The best camera really is the one you have with you,

Last edited by FHPhotographer; 02-20-2010 at 04:30 PM. Reason: add comment & image
02-14-2010, 09:00 PM   #2
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Hey Brian, perhaps you might want to have a look at the reasons why you bought a DSLR in the first place?
For me, a DLSR expands my creativity and enjoyment of photography, and whether it's realistic or not, I get the feeling I can do and achieve a lot more. Plus I enjoy the 'fun factor' of the SLR mirror slap and metal lenses.

02-15-2010, 12:03 AM   #3
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I feel your pain.

I carry my Panasonic FZ-30 when i go out in the car usually for a number of reasons. But every time I wonder why I can't just do with the FZ-30, it gets dark and there I am missing my A50mm f1.4 at iso 1600. Sure, I have the Olympus 1.7 teleconverter for the Panny and can reach out just as well as my DA*300 with the 1.4x TC. Oh, but then I have a lot of PP to do on the FZ-30 shots because the teleconverter really triples the PF and the noise above iso200 is horrible. I took many thousands of shots with the DSLR-like P&S, but after only 11 months with the K20D every one of my "best" shots is with it.

Yes, its dumb that we have to lug around a case full of lenses when someday the technology will give us a glass-free 10mm-500mm camera with zero fringing or distortion. Until then, I get pictures that are impossible to duplicate with the P&S. So it goes with me in the car....unless its dark...or unless I plan to go by something interesting.

Both have a place, including my cell phone camera.

:ugh:But I DO feel it at times just as you are now.:ugh:
02-15-2010, 01:58 AM   #4
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Different tools for different purposes.

I've just waded into the DSLR world with a K-7 and a few lenses. A fantastic piece of kit, but there are times when I'm happy to pick up my Panasonic LX-3. Times when speed and spontaneity are more important; when, on a whim, I want to shoot from the hip, the floor, up high; any time I don't feel like lugging around excess baggage.

With f2.0 at 24mm, the LX-3 takes some beating. Qualitywise, it's comprehensively outclassed by a K-7. Though I recently had an exhibition of metre wide prints from the Panasonic, that was down to the work of an excellent printshop and rather particular, abstract subject matter, rather than the camera's inherent quality. Hence my personal step up to DSLR-land, where I'm still very much learning my way.

Perhaps what I'm trying to say is that there is a case to be made for both...

Or, ideally, Pentax would come out with a micro four-thirds sized body, which would perfectly match its set of digital pancake lenses.

02-15-2010, 02:15 AM   #5
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I had similar feelings about 20 years ago when a work associate got back from vacation and pulled out 3 packages of processed photos. The colours in his shots were truly amazing and his ratio of good, to bad shots were well above most of my photo excursions. When I asked what type of camera he owned, I was devastated to find out he used Kodak disposables.
I know exactly how you feel, but for me, it's nice to know that with my DSLR, the image quality is there if/or when I may need it.
But that,s just me!
02-15-2010, 02:24 AM   #6
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You won't get any argument from me.

I use a DSLR because for very long FL glass there is no other game in town.

I'm still waiting for a digital equivalent of my mid 1950's Nikon S2 rangefinder. Fast, responsive, simple, compact, light and quiet. PS' still have the problem of too much shutter lag.
02-15-2010, 10:57 AM   #7
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Well, I choose the DSLR when I am in no hurry or want to get really good photographs of my kid.
When I am in a hurry or don't want to lug around a big DSLR then I take along my Canon S3 IS.
If I want anything smaller than that, then I now grab my Pentax W80 which I can put in my belt with its holster case.
Any which way, I'm covered..oh yeah, and there's also the phone cam too!


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