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Old Oct 12, 2005, 8:27 AM   #1
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Hi All,

I going overseas next year and am looking to upgrade my current Fujifilm s5500 (first digicam).
This has been a greater starter for me but i am finding that blurred images in low light/high zoom and shutter lag for candid shots are becoming of great annoyance. The purchase of a tripod has helped the first issue but wont help me when i'm living off of what i can carry on my back. Not as important is an increase in megapixel and/or quality. .
Issues i have considered are:

Digital V dSLR- In the long run would like dSLR (shutter lag, quality etc) but at the moment my budget rules it out, to get the zoom range i want will send me broke, and lugging around axtra lenses would be a hassle. Short term not really an option.

Megapixels: From what i'm lead to believe 8MP does not necessarily mean a better quality shot over 5-6MP (i would prefer a better quality smaller image than a poor quality large image with regards to noise). Most images will only be viewed on computer screen but would still like the option of a good quality print out (Atleast to A4/approx 8inch by 12) just in case depsite myself i take a worthy shot.

Anti-shake: I think a must. Is it a substitute for a tripod in most situations? At night?

Most shots will be of landscapes, cityscape, wildlife, sunrise/sunsets, people. Also love taking panorama shots (with stitching).

I would like to continue on with the shot selection features found in the s5500.
AA Batteries v battery pack not a big issue.
Good quality video would be an advantage.

This has lead me to four options: Minolta diMAGE Z6 , Canon Powershot S2 IS, Sony DSC H1 and Panasonic DMC FZ20. From the reviews i have read all are similar as far as features go and each has it pros and cons (i think the DiMAGE Z6 lags behind a bit in reviews and the panasonic is a bit more expensive).

If someone can help me split the above, think i would be just as happy with either of them, or think i have missed the boat completely please let me know.

Cheers and thanks in advance.
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Old Oct 12, 2005, 5:54 PM   #2
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If you like the shot selection features of the S5500, and only dislike the blurred images in low light and the shutter lag, why not consider the new S5600? According to Fuji, it has a startup time of 1.1 seconds, and a shutter lag of only 0.01 seconds, which are both extremely fast. It also has ISO 800 and 1600 capabilities, which will allow you to bring up the shutter speed, thereby reducing or eliminating the blurred pics.

You mentioned IS (or anti-shake) as being a must, but I think you'll find IS will only help you with 2 of your 5 photographic subject loves...landscapes and sunrise/sunsets. All of the others move...yes, cityscapes always seem to have something moving...cars, buses, trains, planes, etc. You can stop shaky hands with a tripod or with IS, but you can't make a person, animal or vehicle hold still for long. They move - you've got blur. The only way you can be sure of freezing action in low light is with a high shutter speed. That requires a high ISO.

None of the cameras you've selected has a higher ISO than your current S5500, that is, ISO 400. One of them, the Z6, only attains ISO 320. I haven't seen a professional reviewe of the Z6 yet, but the other cameras you've selected have been knocked in reviews because of grainy pics taken at ISO 400, and even at ISO 200.

The S5600 is just starting to hit the stores now, and I have yet to see any professional reviews on it, but if the picture quality is as good as the S5500, and the new processor and higher ISO capability work as well as on the F10, the S5600 may be just what your looking for. Other than the S9000, you may just need to buy a DSLR to get the low light performance you need.

the Hun

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Old Oct 13, 2005, 3:27 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice. I hadn't come across the s5600 until you pointed it out. Google it and you wont find many reviews (It seems to have been overshadowed by its bigger brother the s9500). I don't really need it until march so will keep on the look out / see what else comes along. Cheers.
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