Tz5 - fz150 - a35

SilverGamer

Well-known Member
Morning everyone, a quick sanity check please to see if any of you camera gurus can spot anything I’ve missed.

A little background. I presently own a Panasonic TZ-5 and still love it. I’m now thinking of buying another camera in addition to this as I’d like to be able to
  • control more of the manual settings
  • take better shots in lower light / more challenging conditions
  • play with some longer exposure shots occasionally
  • have the ability to take excellent video.
However whatever I get has to still be portable and not take over whatever holiday / day out I am on.

First of all I started looking at the Sony A35. I don’t mind the EVF and like the Sony’s because of the built in Image Stabilisation that doesn’t require me to buy it in the lenses. The camera + two lenses presently retails at £529 with interest free credit over 10 months. I’ve demo’d the camera and it feels excellent, not too big and extremely quick to respond. The idea of a full SLR (ok SLT) does have a certain “pull” I’ll admit.

Recently however my focus has shifted to the new Panasonic FZ-150 bridge camera. Although I don’t think of Panasonic as a high-end camera brand (so no badge snobbery here) it appears to be cover all the bases that I need, looks to take stunning photo’s in both still AND video, has a very big range of zoom lens, has full manual override, HDR, 1080p video, 220fps capture, etc. It’s even (very possibly) shares many similarities with my TZ-5 as they are from the same family. It’s just under £400 in the UK and about £250 in the US.

So the TZ-150 would save me money, provide a lot of lens flexibility and looks to have most of the features (only thing I can see missing is the ability to stitch together panoramic photo’s inside the camera).

Am I missing anything in my logic ? Would the A35 really offer anything so much better as to make it worth the extra cash ?
Thanks for any input.
 

shotokan101

Banned
A35 sensor is much larger and will perform much better at higher ISO/low light and the APS-C sensor will offer much better control of Depth of Field/Aperture for creative shooting

JIm
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
I agree with Jim, I think the FZ-150 is a poor choice because while it looks like an SLR and would seem to bridge the gap between compacts and DSLRs it's not as inside it still uses a tiny sensor which is the same size as used in compact cameras and your TZ5. While the FZ offers additional functionality over your TZ5, it won't really give you the improvements you're looking for aside from perhaps the better video.

As Jim has said the A35's sensor is massive in comparison to the FZ-150, if you look at this picture you can see the FZ150's sensor in the bottom left and Sony A35's APS-C sensor further along:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sensor_sizes_overlaid_inside_-_updated.svg

In practice that large sensor gives you much better depth of field control allowing to have shallow depth of field where the subject is sharp and the background blurry. It also gives substantially better low light performance particularly with Sony's new 16MP sensor which even for a big APS-C sensor offers extremely impressive high iso performance.

The trouble is of course a larger sensor means larger lenses and you lose a lot of portability. The other option to consider is the mirrorless cameras, the NEX-5N offers exactly the same sensor as the A35 but in a compact camera size. Lens size is still an issue though as the options are currently fairly limited and still fairly bulky. Nikon's new '1' system has a sensor somewhere between a compact and the Sony APS-C sensor but image quality seems not bad and they have a very compact superzoom lens. Unfortunately though with it being a new system, prices are pretty high.

John
 

SilverGamer

Well-known Member
Thanks John, that picture provides some context to the actual size difference of the sensors and does definitely help. :smashin:

I'm actually edging towards the A35 now with the possible purchase of an FZ-150 to supplement it later (if required). From the US the FZ150 is very cheap and therefore makes this option possible.

I have looked at the 4/3 format cameras but I think I miss the point with them. With any half decent lens on they are pretty much as "portable" as the A35. I appreciate they are miniscule next to the bigger DSLRs but to me a camera either fits in pocket or it has to be carried. :)

I'm learning all the time though, so all your points are carefully considered.

Thanks for the positive feedback on the A35 btw - there seems to be a lot of " it's Nikon, it's Canon or it's **** " around ...
 

eduk

Distinguished Member
Just a bit of devilment...

What are you viewing images on? Who is your intended audience? If they are for Facebook then does it really matter whether you get a bridge or dSLT?
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
Id get a second hand sony A580 and a minolta/Sony 50mm to start you off with
 

SilverGamer

Well-known Member
eddiewood said:
Just a bit of devilment...

What are you viewing images on? Who is your intended audience? If they are for Facebook then does it really matter whether you get a bridge or dSLT?

Intended audience is mainly myself and close family. I'm one of the 10 people in Britain that doesn't own a Facebook account and would be far more likely to use Flickr for online sharing of material.

Recently I've created a couple of Photobooks for printing and really enjoyed shooting and editing them.

I appreciate that reducing everything to 640x480 isn't really the best reason to buy a 16Mp camera :)


Andy
 

SilverGamer

Well-known Member
Delvey said:
Id get a second hand sony A580 and a minolta/Sony 50mm to start you off with

Thanks Delvey. For comparison could you tell me why you'd choose this combination over a new A35 with the supplied single or twin lenses? And how much is such a setup likely to cost?


Andy
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
The A580 is likely to have better and features
Depends what lenses you get with the deal your after and what uses you need?
There's a A580 on here for about £400 and a Minolta f1.7 50mm would be around £60-70
The minolta is a great starter lens which is great for portraits
 

SilverGamer

Well-known Member
Delvey said:
The A580 is likely to have better and features
Depends what lenses you get with the deal your after and what uses you need?
There's a A580 on here for about £400 and a Minolta f1.7 50mm would be around £60-70
The minolta is a great starter lens which is great for portraits

A new A35 within the 18-55mm zoom is approx £430 which can be done interest free over 10 months. So a very similar price. I certainly would like to have a zoom lens in the bag for the call round flexibility it gives in most situations. Would the 50mm lens above be a good addition to that, I'm not sure what it would add over stock lens except the ability to create better arty portrait shots?


Andrew
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
I can vouch the 50mm is a far better lens than the 18-55mm kit lens and I'm sure others will.
The 50mm will produce much sharper shots, can be used in lower light and I use it as a walkabout lens
 

shotokan101

Banned
I can vouch the 50mm is a far better lens than the 18-55mm kit lens and I'm sure others will.
The 50mm will produce much sharper shots, can be used in lower light and I use it as a walkabout lens

+1 - but the 18-55 kit lens is quite a good little flexible lens and I'd definitely recommend getting one - at least till you can afford a Sigma 17-70 or a better quality 18-50

Jim
 

eduk

Distinguished Member
A35 vs second-hand A580 is a very tough call. You need to handle the A580 as it's a completely different feel to the A35.

You do gain a little advantage in low light with the A580, but I think the A35 100% coverage EVF with the information it displays and how it shows real-time exposure etc., is a killer feature. Of course the fast video auto-focus edges the A35 ahead of the A580 and you also get creative image functions that you usually find on compacts too.
 

SilverGamer

Well-known Member
I didn't play with the A580 in the shop as I have to admit the A35 appeals to me for all the reasons you listed. I'm certainly not afraid of an EVF.

The A35 sat perfectly in my hand and was exactly the right size too. If the A580 is bigger / heavier then that would be a serious negative for me.
 

twist

Distinguished Member
I didn't play with the A580 in the shop as I have to admit the A35 appeals to me for all the reasons you listed. I'm certainly not afraid of an EVF.

The A35 sat perfectly in my hand and was exactly the right size too. If the A580 is bigger / heavier then that would be a serious negative for me.

Get the A35, sounds a better camera for you.
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
As above.
But I'd still look for a 50mm when you have the money
 

SilverGamer

Well-known Member
Delvey said:
As above.
But I'd still look for a 50mm when you have the money

To be honest mate if the 50mm lens is so much better than the 18-55mm set at 50mm then at the prices mentioned earlier I can pick one up anytime.

I could afford to spend thousands if I wanted to , but just see absolutely no point on spending more than I can appreciate. Does that make sense?

It's like a push bike for £1000. I know that the one for £7000 is 2kg lighter and is made from Carbon Fibre, but could I appreciate that difference? Not really...
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
I know, was just saying as for the price it's a fantastic lens.
And for an extra hundred get the 55mm-200. Its a decent walkabout lens to pair with the kit lens
 

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