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Old Nov 29, 2004, 9:34 AM   #1
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I'm looking for a camera for vacations ....(a lot of wildlife photos), horse shows, and family photos....mainly of my four month old son....so thecamera needs to befairly quick...seems thosebaby smiles are always gone before I can catch them. :-)I was considering these three cameras. What are the main differences? Are these good cameras for my needs? Anyone particularly better? Is there a camera that may be better than any of these? I need to keep the price under $600.
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Old Nov 29, 2004, 12:09 PM   #2
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For your general photography purposes I would recommend the FZ20. I have a FZ10 primarily for nature photography and it is sufficient for that. But the flash is weak and low light focus can be a problem.

They all have a continuous focus mode which lets you pre-focus in more situations. It is a big help when your baby turns rugrat. You can hold the pre-focus on a perpetual motion toddler until you get the right moment. Then the delay is only 0.1 second. I have 2 cameras with and 2 without continuous focus and definitely get more reliable rugrat photos with it.

One downside of the FZ10/15/20 is bulk. The camera you have with you is infinitely better than the great one sitting at home. It doesn't have the f2.8 all the way to 12X and stabilization, but the new Pentax 750Z has some nice features. The Olympus C7000 is about the same size and very fast, but I like the features on the Pentax a little more.

I have an Oly C50, which is the same size as the 750Z and 7000Z. It is always with me. I carry it in a tiny leather belt pouch, but it will fit in my pocket in an emergency. I get more pictures with it than my more competent large cameras – something to consider. Especially if you have a cooperative wife that doesn't mind having it in her purse.

If you don't intend carrying a camera all the time I don't think you can do better than the FZ20. You can get a small automatic bounce flash unit in the $30 range that will improve your indoor shots, but it isn't necessary. Whatever you buy red eye will be a problem. An external unit helps eliminate that. No way around it with a pocket camera except post processing though.

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