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Old Mar 16, 2006, 7:56 PM   #1
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I am debating between two very recent cameras: the casio z600 and the panasonic fx01. I have seen a few samples for both cameras, and have read some short reviews. However, there are things I like about both, and things I dislike about both - if only I could combine the two.... I was also considering the canon a540 at one point, but it's a little too big for my taste right now.

I generally want a camera with really good picture quality in almost all types of conditions - especially indoors. I haven't seen much info on indoor and dim lighting pictures for the z600. For the fx01, some people complain it's not too good for dim conditions, and others complain of yellow/purple mottling.

I am also not sure how the flash performs for both of these cameras -especially the casio z600. I also dislike the large video file sizes on the casio. I like taking videos often, and don't want to run out of disk space constantly (I hear it can record 25mins on a 1GB card, ouch!).

What I like about the fx01 so far are: the wide angle; the ability to have 15, 30, and 60 secs exposures;goodlooking videos. What concerns me are: complaints of subpar quality pics in dim lighting and even grainy pics in zoom; yellow/purple spots; less tele zoom than casio (102mm vs. 114mm equivalent, due to the wide angle).

I also like a little more control in my picture taking from time to time - some manual controls, or at least manual focus, etc. That's one of the reasons I considered the canon a540 - plus it had more zoom, and I've heard good things of pic quality.

What do you folks think? Are any of my concerns for the two cameras unfounded or are they accurate? Anyone has any suggestions as to these two? or have other options I may want to consider? (I'd rather keep to these two, but if there's another amazing camera I am overlooking, pray tell.

Thanks for the help!
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Old Mar 16, 2006, 8:03 PM   #2
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Personally I would have some qualms, because of what I have read in this forumabout both cameras. I have a fuji F-10 that does a great job under low light level conditions.

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Old Mar 16, 2006, 9:45 PM   #3
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The only small Casios I know with really great lenses are the Z750/850 and the Z120. They all have the same lens and I think Schneider makes it. Of those the only ones with MPEG4 are the Z750/850. I'm a big fan of the past movie mode in the Casio cameras with MPEG4. Casio cameras without MPEG4 don't have the past movie mode.

I think the Z500 has the same Casio lens as the Z600 and it got mixed reviews. They didn't sell many Z500s in the US and there weren't a lot of reviews from reviewers I trust.

On a 1 Gig card you will get about 8 minutes of best quality movies with the Casio MJPEG and around 17 minutes with the QuickTime Motion JPEG Panasonic used on the FX9. If they use the same format the wide movies on the FX01 will give you a little less. MPEG4 gives you 32 minutes at best quality 640 X 480 @ 30fps. You can go down a notch in compression quality and double that with MPEG4, still getting 640 X 480 @ 30fps. With the past movie mode I haven't had to use the lower quality, but it is most apparent when you pan according to posts. With the others you can go from 30fps to jerky 10fps movies and extend the recording time.

Some people over on the Casio board at dpreview aren't as happy with the movies on the Z850 as they were with the Z750. One poster returned his Z850 and is planning on purchasing another Z750. The Z850 has a lot of improved features like a movie light and 3 flash pictures in a second along with a stronger flash. I don't know what to think about the reports on the movies. Maybe the higher Mp sensor isn't as good for movies or maybe they added anti-aliasing.

None of the Casios are great in low light. The 7Mp 1/1.8 Sony sensor in the Z750 and Z120 are above average for noise, but you still can't crank the ISO up very much. The stabilization on the FX01 would give you much better low light capability as long as what you were shooting wasn't moving. Stabilization just lets you shoot at a much lower shutter speed, which obviously doesn't help for subject motion.

If movies are a priority get a Z750 and leave the flash assist on auto. It is good for about 25 feet with flash assist and the increased noise isn't bad for smaller prints and viewing at screen size. I would wait for some reviews of the Z850 with sample movies before considering one. The Z750 movies are very good. The Z750 also has full manual everything and an excellent control setup. You can store custom user modes in the permanent memory with a picture to remind you of the conditions rather than have to remember what user mode 3 is for. It also has an optical viewfinder which I consider necessary for acquiring moving targets when zoomed.

If you get a Z750 I recommend the anthracite or gunmetal gray (same color – different markets). It is the same camera as the silver but you know it is a recent release without the lens error problems of the early cameras.

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Old Mar 16, 2006, 11:02 PM   #4
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The Panasonic Lumix FX01 definitely.

With advanced O.I.S and excellent Leica lens, there is no need to try Casio.

Casio lens quality are not very good, and their image quality is average.

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Old Mar 17, 2006, 2:20 PM   #5
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While I agree with ELDDJOC that the Leica lens and the OIS are nice, I have seen some sample pictures from the fx01 that make me doubt the quality of the camera (a lot of yellow dots inindoors pictures).

Slipe: now you have me considering the z850 as well - whichis actually a bit out of my price range... I was really hoping to get something below $300, and closer to $250(I saw sample vids from it, and the only problem seems to be high quality videos, which I can do without, so long as normal video works well; otherwise, I really like what I have seen in the z850).

While the z750 can be around my price range, I looked around and can't really find anything but the 'silver' version of it. I've also read that the flash is weaker, along with some other minor problems that the z850 corrects.

While I would love to get the z850 if could afford it (even with the video problem I have read about), I am not sure I can justify spendingnearly $100more for it (cheapest I've found is $340) (I am a grad student still....).

Now, does anyone know if the z600 is worth it? (meaning can it do a decent job, without too many problems? I can find it forunder $250). Or would it just be a waste of money, and I'm better off paying more for something better?

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Old Mar 17, 2006, 5:16 PM   #6
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From what I have found about the z600, it is not that great of a camera. It may still produce decent pictures, but I don't think that it will hold up to my expectations. I was seriously about to get this camera, then I found the PMA shootout results and have since changed my mind. I am still considering this camera, but I am definitely looking around much more now. the link for the results is http://www.pmai.org/mktrsrch/mrweb/cso06.aspx . This is just talking about the best picture produced by a group of people in a certain time period, not how the camera performs on an everyday basis.

heres a link for a site that has posted some pics from a z600:

heres another link of a thread that I had discussing the z600 and afew other cameras:

costco.com now has the z600 (possibly in stores as well) for $270 and they have a great return policy if it doesn't meet your expectations.
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