From: Chris Malcolm on
infiniteMPG <57classic(a)gmail.com> wrote:
>> If so, you wasted your money - again. ?Maybe in future you should use your limited budget to buy fewer items, but better quality?

> Could you recommend a "good" lens in the 500mm-800mm range and a
> "good" magnifier that a normal "working Joe" can afford that won't
> cost ten times what my camera cost or require me to trade my car in
> for?

Since you have a Sony Alpha the Sony 500mm mirror (or the very similar
second hand Minolta) is not only pretty good it's also the only
autofocusing mirror lens, which is very handy indeed for lenses which
are so tricky to focus manually.

--
Chris Malcolm
Warning: none of the above is indisputable fact.
From: infiniteMPG on
>>Is the quality of a DSLR that much better then these high end P&S cameras?????  My Z3 used to take great shots.

Scratch that remark. Even looking at the reviews of the really high
end mega zoom P&S cameras, picture quality isn't their strong suit for
sure. Forget the P&S. I have an Olympus Stylus Tough series camera
which is shock and water proof that I use when I want to just toss a
camera in the kayak or the back pack and although only fair in
quality, it gets me by and handles drops onto the group or into the
water without issue (learned first hand on both counts).

Brings me back to a nagging question, is there any big advantages of
something like the Sony A900 over my A100? Or would shifting gears
into a Canon EOS or low end Nikon be better? :O/
From: Better Info on
On Wed, 16 Jun 2010 09:59:35 -0700 (PDT), infiniteMPG <57classic(a)gmail.com>
wrote:

>Is the quality of a DSLR that much better then these high
>end P&S cameras????? My Z3 used to take great shots.
>
>

These three reviews prove, "no." DSLRs don't always provide better image
quality. "DSLRs are always better" is the mantra of ignorant fools.


<http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Canon_PowerShot_SX10_IS/outdoor_results.shtml>

<http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/kidding.shtml>

<http://darwinwiggett.wordpress.com/2009/11/11/the-canon-7d/>

From: infiniteMPG on
> These three reviews prove, "no." DSLRs don't always provide better image quality. "DSLRs are always better" is the mantra of ignorant fools.

GREAT links. Good info. Read quickly over them and if a decent
quality can be achieved with P&S with a mega-zoom built in then can be
achieved with hauling around a suitcase worth of stuff, then by all
means the P&S would be the way to go. I do not expect to be making a
living off photography. I enjoy it and share it, but using a high end
mega-zoom or a low end DSLR seem to be getting pretty close with one
exception.... a high end mega-zoom P&S that can go from 20mm to +500mm
is <$400. A low end DSLR with lenses to cover that same range is +
$2,000 modestly priced and you need a backpack to haul it all around.

One stigma I saw when I was carrying my lil' ol Z3 around was people
would have some big DSLR (or SLR at that time) and look at me like I
was holding a cheap plastic toy.... but then I'd look at my pictures
(and some wildlife contest prize winners) and think my ol' cheap
plastic toy did the job. I think the way your mind and eye work
artistically have about as much to do with capturing a keeper as does
the piece of equipment in your hand.

I'm starting to think about this more open minded...

Thanks
From: Chris Malcolm on
infiniteMPG <57classic(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks for the input... lots of help (and lots of additions to my wish
> list).

> First, I looked at the mega-zoom P&S and the Canon SX series looks
> good and I like the 28-560mm lens range of the SX20 IS. The SX1
> clocks in at $600.... for a P&S...? Naw. I had a Konica Minolta Z3 I
> was really happy with until it kind of got abused on many hiking treks
> and parts started falling off. If I wanted to step back into the P&S
> world I guess I'd head towards something like the Nikon Coolpix P100
> since the lens range on that is equivalent to 26-678mm, enough to suit
> me and I'd probably get by giving up RAW support for under $400.

> I also checked out the Sony 500mm f8.0 autofocus. Sounds pretty good
> and looks like it's around $750. Found a nice write up here :

> http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/lenses/sony500.shtml

> but they seem to be pushing this with the Sony A900. I have an A100
> so not sure if I'll be more limited.

Less limited. It's a full frame lens, so on a crop sensor DSLR you get
a smaller angle of view/longer telephoto reach. Also since your A100
in effect crops the edges off the full frame image, there is less
vignetting. As you may be in the process of discovering, although good
mirror lenses aren't quite as good as good refractors, they're so much
cheaper, smaller, and lighter, that they're a very handy package which
you'll carry a lot more often "just in case", and are a bargain in
terms of price for image quality at that reach.

If I had say a 250-500mm f4 zoom of superior image quality to my 500mm
f8 AF mirror, I'd still keep the mirror lens, and probably use it at
least as much as the big one simply because it's so much easier to
carry.

--
Chris Malcolm
Warning: none of the above is indisputable fact.