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Old Dec 29, 2003, 11:44 AM   #1
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Default Minolta Z1 vs Panasonic FZ10

I hate to ask "which is better" - but - I have the Z1 and so far I am not crazy about it. I am sure most or all of the problems I have had are operator error, but I will say that it is easier to get consistently good pix with my old Sony FD95.

I have until January 5 to return the Z1 for a full refund at Wolf Camera, and I can move to the FZ10 for $200. I would do it in a second if I thought I would be happy with the FZ10. I am coming from a Sony FD95, so the large size of the FZ10 isn't too big of a deal to me. I assume that monster lens would be very good in lower light situations.

I have looked at a TON of other cameras, and I realize none of them in the under $600 price range are going to be perfect, but I have had the Sony for over 3 years and I want to be sure I am happy with whatever I go to next for a comparable length of time. The folks in the stores give mixed opinions on all the cameras I have looked at, so I am more confused than ever.

$600 isn't a lot for a nice, long zoom digital camera to a lot of people, but it is a bunch of money to me, and I want to be sure I spend it on the best camera I can. I have been spoiled by the 10x optical on my Sony, so I really want to stay with a long zoom camera.

My dislikes with the Z1 are low light performance (normal indoor lighting) - slow (if ever) to achieve focus lock on auto-focus, especially indoors. Frame one shot, it won't auto-focus, reframe same shot and it will - frustrating. I also have trouble getting it to focus on the main subject. As a test, I tried shooting a tree limb with other trees in the background. I could not get it to focus on the closer limb - always on something in the background. This is probably operator error, but I never have that problem with the Sony. It's like the auto-focus area is too large. I also miss the image stabilizer on the Sony, and I know the Panasonic has it, but how good is it?

One salesperson said the FZ10 is "by far the best camera for under $1000" - another sales person at a different store (same chain) said the FZ10 has a problem with color reproduction.

I never would have thought to look at Panasonic for a camera - I am no professional, but I thought I should stay with conventional camera brands - Minolta, Canon, Nikon - maybe not?

Am I asking for too much in a $500 - $600 camera?
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Old Dec 29, 2003, 11:55 AM   #2
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Imaging-resource states that the AF assist lamp on the Fuji S5000 is very effective; perhaps you should check that model out? It is a 10x zoom camera, and you won't have to spend extra money .

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Old Dec 29, 2003, 12:22 PM   #3
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I would not blame operator error if you can take good photos with another camera....I think Panasonic is having the public "road test" their products....take it back and get something that WORKS!
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Old Dec 29, 2003, 2:14 PM   #4
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I have the Z1 - I am looking at the Panasonic.... among others.
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