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Old Nov 4, 2008, 6:36 PM   #1
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Please help! I've read so many reviews, post, and articles that I think my head is going to explode! I've narrowed it down to 4 (I think????). I'm looking at -

Panasonic FZ28

Sony H50

Panasonic TZ5

Canon SX110 IS

I'm looking for a good all around camera that I can learn on, but still have some auto features in the mean time. I'm trying to stay in the $200 - $350 range (less is obviously better though!) I have two small (yet very fast) kids that pride themselves on being the blurry and non-smiling objects in all of my pictures (Have I mentioned how much I hate my current camera). Will shot indoors and out (I know low lights are hard on non-dslrs) and really looking to get quality shots. Most I would blow up is 8x10. Would like to takerapid succession shots (as fast as a non-dslr can go!).

If I had to toss one off the list it would be the TZ5 due to the limited manual options. The other three are a toss up. Not sure if I really need more than 10x zoom - Kid #1 is just starting to play little kid sports, but we aren't far from the field and I think I would like the smaller sizeof the of the SX110 IS, but I seem to get drawn right back into the allure of the higher zoomed FZ28 and H50. For not much more $ you seem to get some nice additional features and when I looked at the H50 in person - the size didn't seem that big of a deal to me.

Are the larger ultra zooms annoying to travel with all the time? Does upclose picture (not macro, but say 5 feet away) quality sacrificed due the larger long zoom capabilities? Any recommendations (as in one over the other?)?

Thank you in advance for any advice!

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Old Nov 5, 2008, 8:16 AM   #2
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I have had the FZ28 for about 5 days. I have had lots of superzooms and ultrazoms, but I think this is the best so far. It's fairly responsive with short shutter lag and a fast burst mode. Image quality is very good at ISO 100 and 200, good at 400, and OK at 800. It's light though well built. However, it is not really pocketable unless you are wearing a jacket with big pockets.

I own a Pentax K200D DSLR. Image quality is better, but it's much bigger, twice as expensive and needs several lenses to approach the zoom range of the FZ28. There is one lens that zooms 80 percent of the range of the FZ28, but that lens alone costs at least $400 from a reputable etailer, $100 more than the FZ28.

I don't have the H50, but I have picked it up and played with it a little in a store. It feels solid and has a very short shutter lag.

I would go for either the Panasonc FZ28 or the Sony because I like the extra zoom. However, if you want something truly pocketable, and can somehow be content with lack of manual settings, the TZ5 or even TZ4 take good pictures.
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Old Nov 5, 2008, 8:48 AM   #3
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Certainly the Panasonic FZ-28 and the Sony H-50 are worth very serious consideration. I own both cameras. The H-50 is a bit faster to focus, but the FZ-28 has the longer "reach."

Sarah Joyce
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Old Nov 5, 2008, 9:01 AM   #4
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Thank you both for the information! Would you say that there is an image quality difference between the H50 and FZ28? Is one better than the other? If you could pick only one to have as an all around camera - which would you pick?

The reason I ask, is because if they are very comparable, then the panasonic might be the winner as I can get it right now for about $50 less. But if picture quality is much better (and easier to attain) then I don't mind paying the extra $50.

Again Thank you for the help!

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Old Nov 5, 2008, 9:32 AM   #5
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Count me as another impressed with the FZ28.

As far as being a camera you could learn with, I have a hard time thinking there would be another any better in terms of the controls and available zoom range to experiment with. As has already been said, I also find image qualityto beexcellent through ISO 400 and even useable at ISO 800, which is more than I've been able to say for most Panasonic non-DSLR digital cameras.

The JPEG engine is quite good. In playing with the RAW files, I've yet to really produce anything I would call better than I could have had just using the JPEG setting, and I've tried quite hard to do so. There are several threads over in the Panasonic digicam section I have started on this camera if you want to go over there, as there are several links to what are becoming some extensive folders I am accumulating of shots taken with the FZ28, from closeups to nature and even sports, as I have taken it to both a major college football game and to a National Hockey Leage game and was able to get some very nice images both times.

All that said, fast moving children can sometimes be tough to shoot,whether with the camera you currently own orthe best digicams available today. DSLR's, even the cheapest available models,are obviously the better choice in terms of speed of operation and, to be honest, if you want good quality light in yourflash shots a DSLR (or adigicam that has a hot shoe)with a separate flash ispretty muchthe only way to get that. In low light, especially indoors where you'll probably be limited to high ISO (over ISO 400 without flash) shooting, it will be challenging.... maybe impossible, to get good, clean shots of fast moving children with both what you've been using, or what you are looking to get now.

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