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View Full Version : Sony Cyber Shot DSC-H1 vs. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5




mnstr_trd_sd
Feb 25, 2006, 01:19 AM
Hello everyone. I'm in the market for a digital slr. As far as photography is concerned, it will be a learning (amateur) experience. I will be using this camera for some graphic design purposes but mainly for learning a new hobby.

I've narrowed it down to these two because of the price range and the reviews found on cnet.

Do any of you have experience with any of these cameras?

Which one would you chose and why?

Thank you in advance.



Clix Pix
Feb 25, 2006, 09:36 AM
A few photography-focused places to check for reviews are:

http://www.dpreview.com
http://www.steves-digicams.com
http://www.imaging-resource.com

Reviews by photographers aimed at other photographers are going to more likely hit the mark as to critical issues in a particular camera's suitability for specific tasks.

You mention "graphic design purposes." Prepress (print) or website design? Image quality can make a signficant difference if it's something which will be printed.

Have you considered going with a DSLR, such as Nikon's D50 instead of a prosumer digicam? For the type of projects you are thinking about, a DSLR may actually be more satisfactory. And, yes, it can be a very good learning tool while providing the user with basic "scene modes" and auto program mode so that the learner can get good results right out of the box. An issue with most digicams is that the lenses are usually slower (even though they may be a long zoom) and often there is shutter lag so that shots are missed. A DSLR takes care of both of these problems and offers flexiibility in lens choices.

Have you handled each camera in the camera shop? That can tell you a lot right there, as undoubtedly one will feel better to you than the other, one will seem to be more intuitive or more responsive..... If the shop will let you, buy a memory card and put it into each of the cameras you're interested in, shoot similar shots with each, then take the memory card home and review the images in your computer, make comparisons for yourself.

Good luck and happy shooting with whatever you decide to buy!

mnstr_trd_sd
Feb 25, 2006, 03:36 PM
Hi Clix Pix,

Thank you for the links they were quite helpful. To answer your question, I was able to pic up the Sony Cyber-shot at a local shop. I have to say that I fell in love with it right away. It felt real nice in my hands. When I went home I did a little research and found the DMC-FZ5. It seemed that the FZ5 was the best competitor for my needs.

The only major gripes that were stated about the two is that the DSC-H1 had what they call purple hazing and the FZ5 shot pictures to sharply causing jagged edges.

As far as DSLR's I would love to own one. In fact I was ready to purchase a Canon EOS 350D (Rebel XT) but decided not to because of my budget. To this day I'm still kicking myself.

I might just wait till may:o for the Sony's new DSC-H5 to come out and read some user reviews.

Artful Dodger
Feb 25, 2006, 04:43 PM
FWIW that line-up of cameras is getting revamped. Canon just came out with a new one as well as Panasonic (look on dpreview), if you can hold out it might be better for you but only you know that ;)

mnstr_trd_sd
Feb 25, 2006, 07:09 PM
uh oh.... Artful, you just made it harder for me:p

DSCH5 or DMC-FZ7?

Buy the Z7 now or waite till May for the H5?

Oh what to do:confused:

Artful Dodger
Feb 25, 2006, 07:28 PM
uh oh.... Artful, you just made it harder for me:p

DSCH5 or DMC-FZ7?

Buy the Z7 now or waite till May for the H5?

Oh what to do:confused:

My GF almost got the Sony for me this past week when I was in the hospital until she read dpreview and saw those were being updated. Needless to say I'm glad she waited since all models should be out in a few months to choose from :D That DSCH5 seems very sweet for what I'll be doing...come on spring let's go :)

mnstr_trd_sd
Feb 25, 2006, 08:23 PM
My GF almost got the Sony for me this past week when I was in the hospital until she read dpreview and saw those were being updated. Needless to say I'm glad she waited since all models should be out in a few months to choose from :D That DSCH5 seems very sweet for what I'll be doing...come on spring let's go :)

I know what you mean. Both the DSCH5 and the FZ7 are perfect for what i need. And and although the FZ7 was commented as being better, the overall asthetic design and package of the DSCH5 makes it that much more appealing.

That's exactly why I'm searching for that definite reason to choose one over the other.

ChrisA
Feb 25, 2006, 08:48 PM
As far as DSLR's I would love to own one..... but decided not to because of my budget. To this day I'm still kicking myself.
.

Ok, so are you going to continue kicking yourself after you buy the Sony?

There is not so much differece in price. You can have a Nikon D50 with the kit lens for $550.00 or the DSC-H1 for $350 you will quickly forget the $200 difference. If you look at the long term cost the Nikon will save you money because it is a system that can be upgraded "forever". the Sony will be replaced after a few years

The major difference between a D50 and DSC-H1 is the physical size of the sensor. The Sony uses a very small CCD that is 6mm wide while the D50's is 24mm wide. That is a HUGE difference. It's not just 4 times wides it as 16 times the area You can expect much "smoother" images with less noise or "grain" and much improved low light abillty

mnstr_trd_sd
Feb 25, 2006, 09:13 PM
Ok, so are you going to continue kicking yourself after you buy the Sony?

There is not so much differece in price. You can have a Nikon D50 with the kit lens for $550.00 or the DSC-H1 for $350 you will quickly forget the $200 difference. If you look at the long term cost the Nikon will save you money because it is a system that can be upgraded "forever". the Sony will be replaced after a few years

The major difference between a D50 and DSC-H1 is the physical size of the sensor. The Sony uses a very small CCD that is 6mm wide while the D50's is 24mm wide. That is a HUGE difference. It's not just 4 times wides it as 16 times the area You can expect much "smoother" images with less noise or "grain" and much improved low light abillty

Good point Chris. It's true that the usability factor is much longer with the D50 and the quality I'm sure is that much better. But $200 for me right now is a huge factor. My business is expanding, but I'm also investing in much more equiptment than just a camera. I'm also in the market for a Camcorder and a 3rd Powermac.

The main reasons why I am sticking to the DSCH1 and the FZ5 is because of the ease of a point and shoot with the (limited) capabilities of a dslr. Also, I don't want to carry around a bunch of different lenses.

It seems that the next step up would be the D50. I will definitely do more research.

Thanks again for everyones advice. Please feel free to post more:p

mnstr_trd_sd
Feb 25, 2006, 09:26 PM
oops. sorry for the repost

Clix Pix
Feb 25, 2006, 10:55 PM
I'm with Chris..... really consider going with a DSLR rather than a "bridge" camera or "prosumer" digicam, whatever you want to call it.

Hey, get a Nikon D50 and then slap the 18-200 VR lens on to it and (1) you will have more responsiveness per shot; (2) you'll have much better resolution per shot due to a better sensor, and (3) you'll have a very flexible lens range so that if you don't want to ever change lenses you don't have to do so....but if you at some point in the future decide that yes, you DO need a lens for a specific purpose, you have that option. With the D50 and other DSLRs you can kick up the ISO so that you can quickly and easily overcome any slowness in the lens. This works on a DSLR, but it's not always that effective on a "bridge" camera.

Again, what is the primary purpose of your purchase? You had mentioned graphic design. Well, chances are that with a DSLR you're going to get better results than you would with a "bridge" or "prosumer" camera, for all the reasons listed earlier. How important is this to you?

mnstr_trd_sd
Feb 26, 2006, 12:23 AM
I'm with Chris..... really consider going with a DSLR rather than a "bridge" camera or "prosumer" digicam, whatever you want to call it.

Hey, get a Nikon D50 and then slap the 18-200 VR lens on to it and (1) you will have more responsiveness per shot; (2) you'll have much better resolution per shot due to a better sensor, and (3) you'll have a very flexible lens range so that if you don't want to ever change lenses you don't have to do so....but if you at some point in the future decide that yes, you DO need a lens for a specific purpose, you have that option. With the D50 and other DSLRs you can kick up the ISO so that you can quickly and easily overcome any slowness in the lens. This works on a DSLR, but it's not always that effective on a "bridge" camera.

Again, what is the primary purpose of your purchase? You had mentioned graphic design. Well, chances are that with a DSLR you're going to get better results than you would with a "bridge" or "prosumer" camera, for all the reasons listed earlier. How important is this to you?

The main purpose for purchasing the camera is for web, print and animation using stills. High resolution and quality is a huge factor.

Clix, who makes the 18-200vr lens you are talking about so I could research it more. It actually sounds like a better route. Also, how would you bump up the ISO, is it a setting that could easily be done? Sorry, to ask such amateur questions, the last time I picked up a SLR was in my high shool photography class, that was about a decade ago.:o

joelypolly
Feb 26, 2006, 07:13 AM
ISO settings are usually in the camera menus. However with most point and shoot digicams the higher the ISO the more noise you will see. I recommend any panasonic over a sony because all panasonics come with image stabilization but only a few sonys come with it. Also panasonics use SD cards which come cheaper and larger than the MS.
I would wait until at least the end of the month to get something as everything is getting released these few weeks.
Also depends on if you want wideangle or telephoto lens

Arnaud
Feb 26, 2006, 08:55 AM
Hello all,

I've had a Sony DSC-F828, i.e. a bridge camera, for more than one year now. It's a really nice machine, and I enjoy very much the 24-200 without a change of lenses, and with a good control of light. It's quite fast and gives good results to my taste.

Nevertheless, I would never have taken this camera without the mechanical zoom control, I think it's hell to find the small button for zoom-in/zoom-out when shooting. Additionally, I've learnt to live with its disadvantages, which are common to bridge when compared to DSLR:
- "fast" reactivity doesn't mean instantaneous,
- pushing the iso up (to 400 or 800) is not really an option if you want to use the picture on something else than a stamp.

I guess my next machine will be a DSLR with a good lens. It might be more expensive, but there's no price to "the light is too low, please stop moving/breathing so I can have a clear picture (without shaking)" or "oh crap, I took this picture a split half-second to late, and I had to wait another half-second for the next one". And as I said, "motorized" zoom sucks, IMHO. :rolleyes:

Clix Pix
Feb 26, 2006, 12:46 PM
The main purpose for purchasing the camera is for web, print and animation using stills. High resolution and quality is a huge factor.

Clix, who makes the 18-200vr lens you are talking about so I could research it more. It actually sounds like a better route. Also, how would you bump up the ISO, is it a setting that could easily be done? Sorry, to ask such amateur questions, the last time I picked up a SLR was in my high shool photography class, that was about a decade ago.:o

OK, well, first thing: if you want high resolution and good quality in your images, then you're going to have to go to a DSLR. You just aren't going to get the resolution and quality you're seeking, especially for print, out of a prosumer digital camera. It's unfortunate but that's the way it is. The advantage of a digital SLR is that one can change lenses as needed and can achieve higher quality images and higher resolution in those images because of the difference in sensors. Fortunately, these days the prices have come down on DSLRs and now there are many good choices, unlike several years ago.

Bumping up the ISO on my Nikon D200 is as easy as pressing the "ISO" button and then using my index finger to move the command wheel while looking either at the top of the camera or through the viewfinder until I hit the number I want. Since I haven't used a D50 I am not sure how it's done on that camera. I don't remember now how I did it on the CP 8800 since it's been a year since I've used that camera and because I didn't often try to boost the ISO due to excessive noise in the higher levels. In many prosumer digicams many features are menu-driven, which can be a nuisance if you want to do something quickly.

Nikon just released the 18-200 VR lens in January and it has been in very high demand. I was lucky enough to get one early on because I'd pre-ordered through my camera dealer and the timing was perfect, as it came a few days before I was traveling out to SF for MacWorld. That lens lived on my camera most of the time and I really appreciated its flexibility in zoom range. It's not the fastest lens on the block -- f/3.5 - 5.6 -- but it has excellent sharpness and resolving quality. One can make up for the lens speed by kicking up the ISO. Not sure about the D50's "sweet spot" as far as ISO, but I can go pretty high with my D200 before I start seeing noise.

Definitely do some research and spend some at the store handling a D50 and an 18-200 VR lens.... Yes, it'll cost a little more than buying an all-in-one "bridge" camera but the increased quality of your images will be worth it.

mnstr_trd_sd
Feb 26, 2006, 01:15 PM
Thanks,

I ended up researching the D50 and think that's the best way to go. While researching the product itself and looking for deals on the net I came across this site:

http://www.century21electronics.com/prodetails.asp?prodid=366777&start=1

They have the D50 for $287. I'm hoping that its for the digital version rather than a 35mm ( if there is one). I was surprised to find one at that price. It doesn't seem to state wether it is just the body or with the kit lens but either way it's a good deal. Maybe it's refurbished?

Also looking into the 18-200 lenses I found that the Nikon lens might be out of my range. The good news is that I found another lens that would fit made by Tamron. The best deal I could find was int the mid $300-400 range.

Have any of you used the Tamron lenses before?

How are they as far as quality and reliability and even picture quality?

Clix Pix
Feb 26, 2006, 06:15 PM
I ended up researching the D50 and think that's the best way to go. While researching the product itself and looking for deals on the net I came across this site:

http://www.century21electronics.com/prodetails.asp?prodid=366777&start=1

They have the D50 for $287. I'm hoping that its for the digital version rather than a 35mm ( if there is one). I was surprised to find one at that price. It doesn't seem to state wether it is just the body or with the kit lens but either way it's a good deal. Maybe it's refurbished?

If it's priced that low, it sounds too good to be true....and probably IS too good to be true. Be very wary of this sort of deal. It is much better to purchase from a trustworthy dealer in person in your area even if you need to pay more money because then if something is a problem you've got support and customer service available, which doesn't usually happen when you order from an online store or buy in a big-box store which doesn't specialize in camera gear. I'd be VERY leery of this Century 21 Electronics place -- do a Google on them, see if you can find evaluations of them. Good trustworthy online dealers include B&H Photo (http://www.bhphotovideo.com), Calumet, Cameta and Penn. OK, I just took a fast look at the site. The price you mention is for the body only. They have a listing of various "packages" which include body plus lens(es). The hitch here is to be sure that the lenses are actually Nikon lenses and not some third-party lenses, which is usually what happens in these deals. Be careful! You're spending a fair amount of money and you don't want to find tht you've been rooked by some dishonest dealer pulling a fast one. A lot of these places use a fair amount of bait-and-switch tactics or they'll try to get you to buy a bunch of accessories in addition, things which you probably neither need nor want. Camera equipment also should be sold with a USA warranty; sometimes these shady dealers will sell you a "grey market" item, which then is useless if you need to contact Nikon for any warranty work.

By the way, there is no film 35mm version of the D50. Nikon developed the D50 as a consumer digital SLR from the get-go. All of their digital SLRs have the "D" as part of the name.

Also looking into the 18-200 lenses I found that the Nikon lens might be out of my range. The good news is that I found another lens that would fit made by Tamron. The best deal I could find was int the mid $300-400 range.

Have any of you used the Tamron lenses before?

How are they as far as quality and reliability and even picture quality?

Yep, before I had the Nikon 18-200 VR, I had the Tamron. Once I'd started using the Nikon lens, I no longer needed the Tamron, so sold it back to the dealer. In the time that I had it, I found that it was an OK lens, with decent photo quality although sometimes it did seem to have problems with flare and glare. It didn't have the VR so sometimes shots were blurry if I shot under not-so-optimum conditions. I don't think it has the same sharpness and quality as the Nikon lens and for the money, just a few hundred dollars more, I think you get a lot more value with the Nikon.

mnstr_trd_sd
Feb 26, 2006, 07:45 PM
Thanks for all the great advice. I think what I'll do is call that website and get more info on the product (really to feel them out and find out if there's any strings attached).

Also, I'm happy you have had experience with both lenses. Input from anyone who used both is extremely valuable. I would like to get the nikon lens but I guess I'll just have to keep saving.

I was looking at the dcresource site today and noticed that panasonic just announced the Lumix DMC-L1. The specs are pretty impressive including the 7.5 megapixel rating.

http://www.dcresource.com/news/newsitem.php?id=3274

What do you think?

homerjward
Feb 26, 2006, 07:53 PM
that place DEFINITELY looks shady--no address or anything, and the prices are really, really low. i'd be wary.

by the way, you change iso on a d50 in much the same way as Clix Pix's d200, but you use the command dial under thumb since it's the only one, and iso doesn't show up in the viewfinder--only the top lcd.

homerjward
Feb 26, 2006, 07:54 PM
Thanks for all the great advice. I think what I'll do is call that website and get more info on the product (really to feel them out and find out if there's any strings attached).

Also, I'm happy you have had experience with both lenses. Input from anyone who used both is extremely valuable. I would like to get the nikon lens but I guess I'll just have to keep saving.

I was looking at the dcresource site today and noticed that panasonic just announced the Lumix DMC-L1. The specs are pretty impressive including the 7.5 megapixel rating.

http://www.dcresource.com/news/newsitem.php?id=3274

What do you think?
it certainly looks like a nice camera, but especially with that nice leica lens i'm not sure it'll be close to your budget, and the old-style shutterspeed dial might get a little annoying imho, as would the dark viewfinder caused by the live view stuff.

Flynnstone
Feb 26, 2006, 10:05 PM
I have the Panasonic. I really like it.

mnstr_trd_sd
Feb 27, 2006, 12:39 AM
I have the Panasonic. I really like it.


Flynnstone,

Would you be so kind and tell us which model you own and what you like and don't like about it. Thanks.:D

Clix Pix
Feb 27, 2006, 12:42 PM
I did a quick search and came up with comments made by "rollinthunder" on DPreview:

"I just spent over an hour with Century 21 Electronics.com. After dealing with their very rude customer service people, I found out that their products, even their packages with lenses, etc. do not come with batteries, software, cableing, etc. "

Erm, that definitely sounds shady! No batteries, software and cabling???!!! That suggests grey market merchandise for sure. I'd stay far, far away from this outfit!

OK, take a look at this website and then also take a look at the one done by Don Wiss, which depicts the actual location of some of these "stores" in Brooklyn...

http://www.sheddingsomelight.com/buy-cameras/list/dealers-mraccfam.html

http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/


You'll note that Century 21 Electronics is located at the same address as J&K and Infiniti Photo. J&K is shown on Don Wiss' site....

Flynnstone
Feb 27, 2006, 09:25 PM
Flynnstone,

Would you be so kind and tell us which model you own and what you like and don't like about it. Thanks.:D

The DMC-FZ5 of course :D

Small & light. Takes excellent pictures. Lots O zoom. 300 picture battery life.
We use the simple mode all the time. Good compromise between small size and good pictures. One of my rules of thumb is: "the bigger the chunk O glass, the better the pictures".
Downside, ? the lens clunks slightly, the image stabilization stuff.

My opinion: about 5 mega pixel is the sweet spot. More than that and you fill cards up faster and used more battery power. I've used a Pentax optio, nice little compact beast. But didn't like the distortion when taking pictures of buildings. (See big chunk O glass)

my 2cents

mnstr_trd_sd
Mar 1, 2006, 12:21 PM
Thanks for all your help. I'm going to save up and get a D50. It looks like that is the most practical way to go for my needs.

Arnaud
Mar 2, 2006, 10:01 AM
Thanks for all your help. I'm going to save up and get a D50. It looks like that is the most practical way to go for my needs.

Mmm... Quite envious here ! :D

Enjoy,
A.