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Old Jun 10, 2005, 12:46 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2

OK, I've been on the research trail, and I'm now lost in a sea of confusing options. I've finally decided to post, in the hope that you good folk may be able to help me!

I'm a total amateur, and don't really understand all the tech-o stuff about photography. I just know when a photo looks good, and I know, intrinsically, what to point the thing at, and when to press the button.

I've taken some pretty nice photos with my Pentax Optio 33lf (3mp, 3x zoom), but it's coming time for me to get some good zoom, another megapixel or two, to somehow get a bit wider, and get better battery life. Incidentally, my Optio 33lf has been great! I also get frustrated at the limitations - oh, and not being able to fit the full scene in the shot (Pentax is 38mm)

My photo's are generally scenic and/or people shots, although I would like to get some action photos as well. I like to get out in the bush, and mountains, and beaches, and general life living!

I'm trying to be concise, but part of the problem is that I'm not entirely sure what I need.
Here is the super concise list of what I'm looking for:

Optical Zoom: 8+
Megapixels: 4+
Price: $350 - $450 US
Wideness: Wide lens, or ability to add wider lens.
Profile: Compact / light as possible – to take tramping.(hiking)
Features: IS
Battery life: Good / excellent. (AA's please)

I've been looking seriously at the Canon S1 IS, but it's only 3.2mp, and I think I need 4mp to be able to print something to put on my wall. Also, I would want to buy either the Canon wide angle lens, or maybe the Tiffen one from lensmateonline. Either way, this bumps the price right up, and I've still only got a 3.2mp camera.

The Minolta DiMage Z3 keeps coming up as a possible option. The camera is is 20% more expensive (in New Zealand), but with the manufacturers wide angle lens is cheaper than Canons. The Z3 also comes with a slightly wider lens by default. The Z3 also has CCD IS as opposed to IS in the lens – I don't understand the difference, but I suspect the S1 IS is better than the Z3.

Oh dear, a whole new alternative has just occurred to me while writing this… I could buy a camera with a standard wider angle lens, and buy a telephoto lens to add on. However, I guess you wouldn't get a low zoom camera with IS.

OK – If I keep going, I'm going to confuse more than just myself. I'm being very tempted to go for the DiMage Z3 with the wide angle lens… but I'm also tempted to go for the S1 IS… and then I get tempted to give up, and stay with my trusty Pentax.

Help me! I will really appreciate any and all feedback I can get!

Thanks so much!


PS: Sorry post is so long

PPS: Here is a link to a couple of my better photos (with Pentax) http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/zaneyb...bum?.dir=/4c05

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Old Jun 12, 2005, 7:39 PM   #2
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Well, I went out and bought the S1 the other day. I brought it home and played with it for a few hours, and will take it back this week, and sit on my hands for a whle.

To cut a long story short, what everybody says about the autofocus being bad in low light, is under emphasised!

I sat in my house, at night, with the lights on, and could not ever get the S1 to auto focus correctly on a persons face at full, or close to full zoom.

If it had a ring thing for manual focus, I would consider holding on to it, but you have to switch from full auto, to a semi-auto mode, and then press this, and that, and it's all just a bit clunky if I'm going to have to do it for every shot in those conditions.

I'm just gonna have to bite the bullet, and spend more money! The S2 is not available in NZ yet, but I'm going to wait for it.
I've been toying between the S2 and Panasonic FZ5, but I think the AA batteries, manual focus ability, Swivel LCD, & ergonomics will push me to the S2.
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