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Old Oct 29, 2004, 5:22 PM   #1
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I'm looking for anew digital camera, and have what may be conflicting requirements:

1) long (> 8x) zoom
2) optical viewfinder
3) hot shoe
4) decent IR performance
5) 4 MP minimum
6) under $600

Am I dreaming? Or is this reasonable? If it is, what would you recommend?
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Old Oct 29, 2004, 7:43 PM   #2
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lol I did a feature search at dpreview with your specs (except for the IR spec and price) and ZERO cameras showed up :lol: I'm not sure how good the feature search is at dpreview but it doesn't look like there are many choices.

The problem is that a lot of the ultra-zoom cameras don't have optical viewfinders. Drop the optical viewfinder and you'll have some choices.

Perhaps the best one for you is the Panasonic DMC-FZ20 (12x zoom, EVF viewfinder, hot shoe, 5MP, US$500... along with very good zoom, image stabilization, very good lens). You should also consider the ultra-zooms from Konica Minolta, Kodak, Olympus, etc (but Panasonic is the best IMO).

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Old Oct 30, 2004, 2:13 AM   #3
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Yes, demands 1 and 2 conflict with each other. If you want an optical viewfinder with a long zoom lens you'll have to go dSLR, which means a lot more money.

IR performance has been cut back with newer digicams for better pictures. For IR shooting I'd buy either an older camera (like an Olympus C-2020 which had good IR performance), or another inexpensive camera and remove the IR cut filter which means you couldn't use it for normal pictures:

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Old Nov 1, 2004, 7:40 PM   #4
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Thaks to both of you.......I was afraid that the answer was that I was SOL, but hoping against hope.......

I have narrowed it down to the Konica-Minolta Z3 and the Panasonic FZ20. Need to play with both a bit more then decide. I did try my old (last year's generation) Sharp and it got decent IR through a #89B (aka Hoya R72), so there's some hope that the later cameras like the FZ20 will get SOMETHING.

Thanks again.
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