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Old Sep 15, 2005, 8:33 PM   #11
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The body is plastic, but it has a very solid, high quality feel to it, not flimsy or cheap. I have heard others say that they thought the body was cheap, but that is not my experience at all. It is sturdy, but light and compact. Some major reviews support my experience with the FZ5's body & design:

Steve's review has this to say about ergonomics:

Ergonomically the FZ5 is a well-designed camera, having a good secure feeling in your hands and well-placed controls that are easy to use but difficult to hit by accident. The camera's size and weight are smaller than you would expect given the aperture and focal length range of its lens.

Megapixel.net says this:

Engineered from the DMC-FZ3, the DMC-FZ5 retains the same general appearance as the FZ3, but has some minor modifications to some of the the external controls. As with the FZ3, the DMC-FZ5 has a tough plastic body, and is available in either a black or a silver finish, but the grip of the FZ5 has a more generous rubber-covered area than its predecessor.[/align]
Body Ergonomics
Combines design, sturdiness, layout of controls, comfort in use. Grade:


The smaller size doesn't harm the FZ5's handling one bit. Quite the opposite in fact; the camera feels stable, safe and solid, and operation of the main controls (zoom and shutter release is very easy. The excellent handling - along with the image stabilization - means the FZ5 (along with identical twin the FZ4) is probably the only 'super zoom' camera I have ever felt really safe using with one hand. It is very well balanced and not too heavy (though inevitably you'll get less camera shake if you support the right side of the camera with your 'spare' hand). The new grip and repositioned shutter release are the icing on the cake. Excellent.

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Old Sep 15, 2005, 8:48 PM   #12
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Perhaps you meant to answer my two posts. There was a completely blank post in this thread after my two posts. However, I just wanted to follow-up a bt further on the very significant and measurable advantages of having higher ISO setting available to you on your digital camera. The Canon S-1/2, the Olympus, the Kodak, the Sony H-1 and the Panasonic FZ series ultra zooms are all limited to a maximum ISO setting of ISO 400.

Both the Fuji S-5200 and the S-9000 ultra zoom digital cameras have a maximum ISO setting of ISO 1600, which simply means that you can take photos with 4 times LESS light than all of the other ultra zooms. This is a huge advantage that allows you to use much higher shutter speeds, which are essential when shooting photos of wildlife.

The choice is of course yours, but I think these new Fuji ultra zoom camera are worth taking a look at when doing your research.

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Old Sep 16, 2005, 1:06 AM   #13
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Knowing how much memory you will be buying will determine if you need extra battery.
I would not recomend buying a long zoom without is.
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Old Sep 16, 2005, 10:20 AM   #14
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Thanks very much for the tip. That had never occurred to me, but it is a factor. I am going to be taking pictures for about two weeks. I can imagine myself taking perhaps a minimum of 100 pictures a day and maybe as many as 200 a day. That's one of the joys of digital photography -- I can shoot as much as I want and then pick and choose after I get home. So, if I am going to take between 1400 and 2800 shots, how much memory do you think I would need? and how many batteries should I have? I assume (though I haven't looked) that the camera comes with a recharger for the battery, so I would imagine that I could have one set of batteries to use while I am charging the other set. Do you think that that is a correct assumption? I would be grateful for any insight into how many batteries I would need under those conditions. Also, do you have a recommendation on what brand of memory cards to buy and what size? Is it better to have four cards with 256mb each, or a single card with 1 gig? Thanks again. I appreciate the help..
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Old Sep 16, 2005, 10:29 PM   #15
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We need to know what size file you will be using for your pictures and how often you will be able to download your card to figure out what you need in memory size.
I buy kingston memory from Newegg which has good and fast service and also good value
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Old Sep 17, 2005, 8:26 PM   #16
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I just purchased Kodak's new P850, and here's my reasons:

- large 2.5" indoor/outdoor LCD display
- Hi-res EVF
- 12x optical zoom w/IS
- External flash hot shoe
- SD card compatibility
- price < $500

Good luck with your decision and whatever camera you get!

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