Choices.. FZ18, Sony A100, Nikon D40 or Pentax K100D Super?
Hello and good day..

Ill start at the beginning, so bear with with &.

I previously owned two High Zoom Digital Cameras (the Konica-Minolta Z10 (2004-2006) and then the Konica-Minolta Z5 (2006) which I did enjoy using and had some great shots with, but at the end of 2006 I decided I was sick of carrying around a camera of these sizes and replaced it with a compact, the Samsung I6. I soon missed my High Zoom camera (big mistake) but have put up with it until now, some 15 months later (It has served me well to be fair) then&.

Back in October 2007 I read the news about the new Panasonic FZ18 and thought, yes; this is the new camera for me, especially with it's zoom range..

For some reason it has taken me until now (surprised, as Im the want one yesterday kind) to finally decide, next week is new camera week. I have researched on a large scale various Super Zooms in this time but now something has found its way into my head about a Beginners DSLR&.

I have researched these over the last week, and the 3 obvious ones that I could afford are the following:.

Sony A100 (with 18-70mm Lens)  Argos 330.

Nikon D40 (with 18-55mm Lens)  Various Places - 300.

Pentax K100D Super (with 18-55mm Lens)  Argos - 280.

The Sony seems very good for the price, most other retailers are selling it for 100+ more than Argos but it seems to have the odd niggle (I guess they all do). The other two Im a little put off by the 6mp sensor. I know about the megapixels thing, that it doesnt matter too much, but its in my head anyway..

So do I stick with my original thought of getting the Panasonic or do I go for one of the above DSLRs?.

I want the best all-rounder, I like taking shots of my Son, Landscapes, Sunsets/Sunrise and general things, possible some Car Show/Track shots..

My original budget was around 250 for which the FZ18 fitted into fine, and a little more for a case/spare battery (no more than 300 for the lot).

Buying one of the DSLRs would stretch my budget to the maximum. The main concern is the cost of the extra lenses needed to get it anywhere near the zoom range of the FZ18, and then the accessories on top..

I have read all of the reviews on these 4 cameras and find very little between them, Im completely stuck now. Can anyone help me make the correct choice?.

Thankyou and regards.

Dan (UK) .


Comments (6)

I have read all of the reviews on these 4 cameras and find verylittle between them, Im completely stuck now. Can anyone help memake the correct choice?Dan (UK) .

There's very little difference in the quality of photos these cameras can take, to be honest. The Sony has the advantage of built-in image stabilisation I guess, but really they're so close that you should probably buy based on price, or which feels best in your hands, or just sheer gut feeling..

Having said that, if you do intend to buy more lenses, look at what's available for each camera and use that to decide too..

All the DSLRs will be quite a bit bigger and heavier than the FZ18 though, and you might want to think for a day or two before giving up the sheer fun factor of having an all-in-one superzoom that does video too..


Comment #1

It sounds like you've done your research and the "superzoom" cameras are surely a marvel of camera engineering. Where else can you get the reach (18x) and depth of focus in a small somewhat inexpensive package?.

I have a somewhat nice P&S camera with 6x zoom and lusted after my womanfriends FZ18. I thought I'd 'one better than' her and get a DSLR instead of a superzoom. So here I'am, a few $1000 later and she still can take pictures I can't!!.

Her camera is about the same size as my DSLR/kit lense. To be able to get close to the same shots, I need to carry at least 2 lenses and a tripod! (the 70-300IS on my Xti (112-480mm equiv) just about covers the 'reach' of her 18x (28-504mm equiv.) but unless it is very bright, I need a tripod to 'stop down' the 70-300IS to get the DOF that she gets stock with her FZ18!.

While my 340EX flash will light up areas that she can only dream of on her FZ18, she is still laughing at me.....

Technologist @ Large- Mark0..

Comment #2

The Sony 100 is the clear choice of the three mentioned IMO, however, the A200 is now available and has made a few improvements although none are earthshattering. You might want to check it out...

Comment #3

Hi Dan,.

As I read your post I thought of the situation I was in six months ago. Like you I owned a KM Z6 and was looking to move on. For me, money was the deciding factor so it was a choice between a Nikon D40 and the Pentax K100d. the Pentax won for the following reasons.1. Optical depth of field preview, Pentax yes. Nikon no.2.

Ditto ditto..

3. Lens availability. Pentax. Enormous with backward compatibility. Pentax primes are fantastic. Lenses for the D40 are somewhat restricted..

4. Shake reduction built into the Pentax body, yes it works very well. and works with 20-30-40 year old lenses even screw thread ones..

In short Dan I just love the camera and although it only has 6 megapexels I print up to A3 paper size with very good results. I also use ISO 800 regularly and ISO 1600 odd times. The results are fine.I have included a few shots for you to have a look at..

Whatever you go for in the end, I hope you have loads of fun and please post lots of shots.




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Comment #4

Thankyou to those people who have replied. Much appreciated. Some good points to take onboard..

Richard, great photo's I must say. Is there much difference between the K100D and the K100D Super?.



Comment #5

No, it is exactly the same except the 'Super' has anti-dust sensor shake + it is compatible with the latest SSM autofocus lenses that Pentax are bringing out. That means that all lenses including the very latest may be used.Richard.

Comment #6

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