nikkor 18-200mm lens vs. lumix FZ18s

Discussion in 'Panasonic Lumix' started by Mike, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. Mike

    Mike Guest

    I currently have a Nikon D50 with an 18-55mm lens and a 70-300mm lens.
    I'm getting tired of carrying around and switching between two lenses,
    though, so I'm considering two options:

    1) Get a Nikkor 18-200mm lens to replace my other lenses.

    2) Get a Panasonic Lumix FX18S.

    I'm leaning toward option #2 because it's cheaper and more convenient.
    (Most of my pics are taken while traveling, so convenience is
    important.) However, I'm concerned that the Lumix won't let me learn
    as much about photography as the DLSR might.

    Any advice on this decision? I'm open to other suggestions, too. I
    don't require an 18x zoom, for example, so if there's a cam that's
    better than the Lumix except for a little less zoom, I'd consider

    Thanks for any help.
    Mike, Jul 1, 2008
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  2. Mike

    richg99 Guest

    I'm afraid that you are comparing apples to bananas. I can say that because
    I own two Ultra Zoom cameras ( Canon S3is and Sony H5) that are similar to
    the Ultra Zoom Lumix. All of them are great "take-along" cameras and do
    take fine pictures. None of them IMHO, take pix as sharp and as well
    detailed as my Sony DSLR.

    I agree that changing lenses and carrying tons of stuff around is a major
    issue with full use of my DSLR. However, after you've seen the same shot
    taken with the DSLR... the "bridge-Ultra-zoom" cameras are just not as

    I did take my S3is on a Canadian trip since I didn't want to take a chance
    on dropping the DSLR in a small boat. The S3IS took fine shots and I
    treasure many of them. But, IMHO, all of the shots would have been much
    better, taken with a DSLR.

    So you really have to trade off convenience and portability for detail and
    clearer shots.

    You WILL learn more with a DSLR, because you will be forced to. regards,
    richg99, Jul 1, 2008
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  3. Mike

    ray Guest

    FWIW - the discontinued Kodak P series cameras provide all the manual
    controls, etc. that you would find on a dslr - I don't know how complete
    the panasonic is. I use a P850 and am quite pleased with what I can do
    with it. Kodak still has P series cameras available from their online
    store from time to time - very good prices.
    ray, Jul 1, 2008
  4. Mike

    Paul Furman Guest

    That is reason for concern, plus the image quality, low light
    performance & speed will suffer.
    No matter how many controls you won't be able to use shallow depth of
    field with a compact. I would suggest the 18-200 lens and a $100 50mm
    f/1.8 if you want to learn & play with photography.

    Paul Furman

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
    Paul Furman, Jul 1, 2008
  5. Mike

    Ofnuts Guest

    The Panasonic has fully manual modes (aperture, speed, ISO, ans focus).

    Picture is nowhere near what you get from a DSLR. Decent a 100 ISO,
    so-so as 200, and noisy at 400 ISO or above.

    Autofocus is slow, compared to a DSLR.
    Ofnuts, Jul 2, 2008
  6. Mike

    pickled Guest

    I own both the Nikon 18-200 and the Panasonic Lumix FZ18.
    I got the Panasonic for largely the reasons you mention.
    There is no getting around the fact that the image quality of any of the
    Nikon dSLR sensors is superior to the smaller, noisy sensor in the
    Panasonic. I leave the Panasonic on ISO 100 and only use its raw mode. I
    only use my Nikon dSLRs in raw mode also.
    There is no getting around the fact that the 18-200VR mated to any Nikon
    dSLR is like carrying a Hummer SUV around your neck whereas the Panasonic is
    more comparable, sizewise, to a motorcycle.
    Although not as ergonomically convenient as a dSLR the Panasonic is capable
    of all the manual control you can use, and it takes decent videos too.
    Optically the 18-200 is, to me, kind of frustrating. For a superzoom it is
    pretty good but it is a superzoom and hence not a super lens. Great VR
    When people grouse about the image quality/noise from smaller sensors like
    the Panasonic you have to realize that few of them have the talent of Ansel
    Adams and are not creating works of art but personal snapshots. Hence, how
    much quality is enough?
    On travels I now carry both a Nikon dSLR/VR 18-200 blunderbuss and the
    Panasonic fly swatter. The latter gets out to an effective focal length over
    400mm and is small and light enough to tote around when the blunderbuss just
    will not do.
    On the other hand, when I want to create quality images the Panasonic is not
    a consideration. And rarely is the 18-200.
    pickled, Jul 2, 2008
  7. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Well, darn. So if someone needs to travel light but also to take sharp
    pics (e.g., if one is going on a camping trip in an exotic landscape),
    it sounds like there's no good solution. The Panasonic can't take
    pictures worthy of, say, an amateur photo contest, but the dSLR is
    going to be too heavy and big for hiking and camping...
    Mike, Jul 2, 2008
  8. Mike

    Ofnuts Guest

    The 4/3 cameras could be the solution...
    Ofnuts, Jul 2, 2008
  9. Mike

    Vance Guest

    Are you trying to take pictures for an amateur photo contest?

    You have two criteria you are trying to meet: 1) convenience; 2)
    quality of output. Compromise along one dimension effects the other.
    I usually recommend that people set a realistic quality for their
    intended purpose (personal use, etc.) and then find the most
    convenient camera that delivers along the quality dimension. You can
    refine your choice from there.

    I use several cameras, three for pro work, and a P&S and camera
    phone. For high quality work when climbing or long distance
    backpacking, I can use a Canon 1v because it will work under all
    conditions without some of the restrictions digital has under the same
    circumstances (like operating temp range because I do go outback in
    the winter). For just pleasure shooting while backpacking, I can use
    a super zoom. The pictures are going to be hanging on my wall and I
    don't need anything bigger than 8x10. A camera phone is great for
    scouting locations and spontaneous shots when you wouldn't be expected
    to carry a camera.

    Everything depends on the balanced compromise you come to regarding
    the minimum acceptable image qaulity you want to produce and
    convenience. Only you can make those choices. What are you really
    going to be doing? Meet your personal needs first and add desires as
    you feel like it.

    Also, don't forget that to some extent you can compensate for a
    cameras limitations (with attendant compromises) in post production.

    Vance, Jul 2, 2008
  10. Mike

    ray Guest

    There are trade offs in everything. Are you after superiority or
    sufficiency? How 'good' do your photos really need to be? I find that I
    can generally do what I want and need with my Kodak P850 - it is certainly
    convenient to be able to shoot raw - that gives much more processing
    latitude, and the P series does it 'out of the box'. I'm not claiming it
    has the excellence of a $1500 DSLR - but it costs a lot less, is more
    convenient, and does what I need.
    ray, Jul 2, 2008
  11. If you already have a DSLR, why get another inferior camera? I would
    say go for the 18-200. And if you say convenience is important, I would
    say while the 18-200 is bigger, it evens out when you get back home and
    have better pictures to work with.
    Joseph Lochli, Jul 5, 2008
  12. Mike

    Jack Guest

    Mike: Check out the reviews and specs on the Lumix FZ50. The zoom is
    decreased to 12x from 18x and some of the image noise problems in the
    higher ISO settings of the FZ18S have been resolved. It's more like a
    DSLR with manual controls for settings if you want to use them, It's
    not perfect but a happy medium that you might find more to your
    liking. The lowest price I found recently is $369.
    Jack, Jul 15, 2008
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