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Creative Non-DSLR Camera Choice
Hi all, I am in the final stage of choosing a camera. I want to choose a camera that will give me creative control, RAW format, and most of all the best quality pictures for a non-DSLR in both indoor and outdoor shooting..

I am asking specifically for feedback on two models that I have narrowed my choice down to: The Canon G9 -or- Panasonic FZ-18..

Here are questions I have to help make my decision:.

1. Photo Quality: Just in general, which camera will offer better quality images to start with under ideal conditions? (i.e. sunny day outside, shooting at 100 ISO).

2. Resolution vs. Zoom Options: Since the FZ-18 offers an 18X optical zoom and 8.1MP - and the Canon G9 is 10.2MP with 6X optical zoom I am wondering if the higher resolution will help compensate for the minimal zoom capabilities? In other words, will I be able to crop out a subject in my photo taken at 6X on the G9 and get a crisper result then say a subject taken at 18X on the FZ-18 since it has a lower MP resolution?.

3. Build Quality: I do prefer a camera that is somewhat durable. The G9 feels solid while the Panasonic feels a bit "plastic". I wonder if the Panasonic will wear out or break with more use?.

4. Creative Options: It seems like both cameras offer plenty of manual controls, albeit some harder to get too through multiple button presses. Is there something I am missing that one has over the other..

Thank you for any help and advice! I plan to use this new camera ultimately as a path to a DSLR, but want to explore my accomplishments with the advanced features that these models offer first - then make a decision to make a financial commitment to moving into a DLSR down the road if I find I am having fun and am successful...

Comments (8)

Le5paul wrote:.

Hi all, I am in the final stage of choosing a camera. I want tochoose a camera that will give me creative control, RAW format, andmost of all the best quality pictures for a non-DSLR in both indoorand outdoor shooting..

I am asking specifically for feedback on two models that I havenarrowed my choice down to: The Canon G9 -or- Panasonic FZ-18..

Here are questions I have to help make my decision:.

1. Photo Quality: Just in general, which camera will offer betterquality images to start with under ideal conditions? (i.e. sunny dayoutside, shooting at 100 ISO).

2. Resolution vs. Zoom Options: Since the FZ-18 offers an 18X opticalzoom and 8.1MP - and the Canon G9 is 10.2MP with 6X optical zoom I amwondering if the higher resolution will help compensate for theminimal zoom capabilities? In other words, will I be able to crop outa subject in my photo taken at 6X on the G9 and get a crisper resultthen say a subject taken at 18X on the FZ-18 since it has a lower MPresolution?.

There really isn't that much of a difference between 8 and 10 MP. I don't know the FZ18 but some zooms start deteriorating in IQ the toward the tele end. You should take a memory card to the store and try both models out and take them home and print them up and compare your cropped shot to zoomed shot..

3. Build Quality: I do prefer a camera that is somewhat durable. TheG9 feels solid while the Panasonic feels a bit "plastic". I wonder ifthe Panasonic will wear out or break with more use?.

4. Creative Options: It seems like both cameras offer plenty ofmanual controls, albeit some harder to get too through multiplebutton presses. Is there something I am missing that one has over theother..

Thank you for any help and advice! I plan to use this new cameraultimately as a path to a DSLR, but want to explore myaccomplishments with the advanced features that these models offerfirst - then make a decision to make a financial commitment to movinginto a DLSR down the road if I find I am having fun and am successful..

You could pick up noise ninja or neatimage to clean up noisy RAW..

I think the G9 is pretty nice for a compact camera from playing with it at the store. Having a command dial and the ISO dial really gives you a lot of control..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #1

Le5paul wrote:.

Hi all, I am in the final stage of choosing a camera. I want tochoose a camera that will give me creative control, RAW format, andmost of all the best quality pictures for a non-DSLR in both indoorand outdoor shooting..

I bought a FZ18 for a family member. It's a great camera for it's size..

If image quality is the most important criteria to you and you want a non-DSLR, have you also considered the Panasonic FZ50? I own it's predecessor, the FZ30. It has better image quality than the FZ18. The FZ50 has two negatives of concern (compared to the FZ18):.

1. No 28mm wideangle builtin..

2. Even thought the FZ50 is a great camera ... I think it is the best "bridge camera" currently available ... but it is about two years old. Panasonic MAY??? come out with an update in the near future ... or it may not.



- Simon.

Http://scpics.smugmug.com/..

Comment #2

Have you looked at the fuji s100fs yet...if not take a look in the fuji forums and check it out....its pretty much the best bridge camera on the marketFUJI FINEPIX S100FS,FUJI FINEPIX S9000http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=12031129733.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #3

I'm in the exact same boat as you. The canon g9 I believe would not look as good if cropped to 18x zoom range, and from what I've heard the fz-18 offers little to no distortion all the way up to that massive range. Also worth considering, the fz-18 has a much wider viewing capability up to 28mm! While the canon is, I believe 33mm+. The G9 then again, seems to be slightly better in IQ, but I'm just speculating. Compromises are constant in both, but for me, the fz-18 is looking to be the better choice, + it's $100 cheaper..

Comment #4

Pauw wrote:.

I'm in the exact same boat as you. The canon g9 I believe would notlook as good if cropped to 18x zoom range, and from what I've heardthe fz-18 offers little to no distortion all the way up to thatmassive range. Also worth considering, the fz-18 has a much widerviewing capability up to 28mm! While the canon is, I believe 33mm+.The G9 then again, seems to be slightly better in IQ, but I'm justspeculating. Compromises are constant in both, but for me, the fz-18is looking to be the better choice, + it's $100 cheaper.

"Compromises are constant in both...".

That is exactly the hard part of this decision. However it seems that there are many pro photographers who choose the G9 as a camera to take along everywhere. I have to wonder why that is the case? I wonder if the G9 simply takes better pictures to benefit my efforts as I learn and incorporate my creativity? On the other hand, the FZ-18 sure has some outstanding features, compelling photo quality as well and the cost is very reasonable..

There is no denying photos from the G9 like this that simply look amazing:.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Oh what to do?!!!!..

Comment #5

How strange we are in the exact same situation... I can't stop thinking over and over if I bought the g9, I'd feel remorse over not having the fz-18's features, and vice versa. Anyway, please reply on this thread if you find anything else out and I'll do likewise.Good luck!..

Comment #6

Thank you to those who replied for all the information. I have picked up the G9 and bought a copy of NoiseNinja to get the most out of my captures!.

My first impression of the G9 is that it is indeed a very solid and well-built camera. The LCD is outstanding for reviewing my shots, and the camera is a pleasure to hold and use. It goes without saying that the image quality and manual controls on this camera are unbeatable in a relatively small package, so I think I made the right choice for my needs. Down the road I hope to be moving into a nice DSLR when I feel I am truly ready to make the most of it..

The Panasonic FZ-18 (my second choice) is a great camera as well IMO. I am a bit concerned about it's build quality (very plastic). Secondly, the LCD on the G9 is a plus for my needs since I can get more accurate immediate feedback of my shots on the spot. A requirement for me at this point is to learn all I can while actively shooting and in this case, the display on the G9 is an indispensable learning tool...

Comment #7

To some extent you are comparing the proverbial apples and oranges here. Both are fine cameras, but really serve different purposes. The G9 is among the most flexible compact cameras in terms of use and control. But it does not have a long zoom. If you want a long zoom, then you should look elsewhere like to a superzoom or bridge. The FZ18 or FZ50 are good examples, as are many other.

For me the G9 would be the obvious choice. Lots of people however like shooting wildlife or other things and really use the long reach of the telephoto a lot. For them the G9 is the wrong choice and one of the other options is better. You need to figure out what you want..

Between the superzooms/bridge cameras, they really fall into 2 groups, the smaller ones (size / weight) all have a smaller sensor (FZ18, canon S5 etc). The image quality is usually quite good, but not as good as a camera with larger sensor where size and weight aren't so much of an issue (FZ50, Fuji S100fs etc). So decide which are most important to you in terms of telephoto reach and size/weight of camera. Once you pick those, then you can find the best choice in that category...

Comment #8

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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