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Old Nov 12, 2007, 8:03 AM   #1
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Hi guys,
Like so many other people, I want to make the right decision about my next camera, but I've probably done too much research. Now I'm afraid to buy in case I make a horrible mistake!

In December 2004, I bought a Konica Minolta Z3. All was well and I have enjoyed using it ever since. But in Autumn 2005 I was in Paris on holidays and dropped it. One of the little catches on the battery cover snapped off, so the cover wouldn't close properly. It was never the same afterwards (I felt). I still kept on using it, but recently I have noticed that any batteries I put in, even though they're freshly charged, show up on the camera as being nearly exhausted. Holding the battery cover firmly shut makes no difference. So I've decided it's time to find a new one.

My new camera, whatever it is, MUST HAVE AA batteries. I think this is vital. Secondly, it must have a long zoom - at least 12x would be great, but anything from 10x up would be acceptable. Because of the long zoom, some sort of Image Stabilisation is also a must. Movie mode is always nice, which sems to direct me towards a compact rather than a dSLR. It would be nice to be able to zoom while shooting the movie, as the Z3 allows me to do.

I like to shoot landscapes as well as motorcycle racing, so I need a combination of a nice wide-angle with a fast shutter-speed. SD card compatibility would be nice, but not essential - the most important thing here is to be able to write to the card fast enough in a burst mode during races. The ability to fit a UV or ND filter, with or without a conversion ring, is also important. I would rather replace a scratched filter than a scratched lens!

The main problem I have currently, with my lengthy research period, is that I have read so many reviews which complain of massive amounts of noise. I don't know whether this will be any better or worse than what I currently experience. The Z3 had big problems on night scenes or at weddings when inside the church and it's inappropriate to use the flash.

So based on all those factors mentioned above, can ANYONE point me in the right direction based on their own personal experience?

Thanks for your time.
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Old Nov 14, 2007, 12:16 AM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 132

With so many options these days, it can really be confusing.

In my case, I needed the following features:
- hot shoe for external flash for those indoor shots where I can't get close to the subject
- long zoom (like 12X)
- good video mode
- AA batteries (rechargeable)
- ability to add filters for lens protection
- compact size/not a DSLR

The hot shoe and the video mode really narrowed down my choices and I decided on the Canon S5IS and I have been very happy with it since I acquired it 3 months ago.

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Old Nov 14, 2007, 1:09 AM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 51

A must: AA, 10x, IS, Threaded Lens.

Optional: SD, Wide-Angle

Canon S5 IS, maybe? but it's not 28mm wide

Or you can check Fuji S8000fd or Olympus SP560UZ for 28/27mm wide.

They say Oly can accept filters but I don't really know. It uses xD. 18x

Fuji S8000fd lens's definitely not threaded. But it can use SD. 18x too
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Old Nov 14, 2007, 3:49 PM   #4
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Thanks for these suggestions folks. I didn't want to sway opinion by mentioning any model in particular. I'll look some more into the ones mentioned so far.

Alternatively, I might make the jump to dSLR (oooohhhh!). The reports I've read so far about the Canon EOS 300 seem OK, and while it's not a shiny new release, might suit me for a few years and it would give me more spare cash to spend on lenses.

Hmmm... still puzzled, I guess!

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