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Old May 23, 2006, 4:22 AM   #1
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Greetings to all. This seems to be an informative and useful forum.

So far, my digital experiences have been with a Konica Minolta Z1, which I bought because of the combination of a powerful zoom and a reasonable price.

The best photo advice I know is the statement that the best camera is the one you actually have at hand when you need it, and here the Z1 is a bit too clumsy. I need something that fits into at least some kind of pocket. Still, I want as much zoom as I can get.

Experience with the non-stabilized Z1 makes me want one with a stabilizer, too.

Before you yell "Panasonic TZ1", I should add that it must run on standard AA batteries. I need the option of buying some power in the first, the best shop in an emergency (been there, done that with the Z1).

As far as I can see, all this points towards the Panasonic LZ1/2/3/5. I've also considered the Canon A700, but it has no stabilizer.

From what I've read around, the LZs get mixed reviews, the main drawbacks being lack of manual controls and some noise issues at even moderately high ISO.

So, my questions:

- given that the Z1 has set the standard for me so far, would I be awfully disappointed with the Panasonic LZs? It should be noted that I don't plan on making huge prints; it will mostly be for web use and the occasional 10x15 cm (I live in the metric part of the world) print.

- any major differences between the LZ models? Are the new ones (LZ3/5) significantly better than last years LZ1/2? Or maybe the other way round (I know well enough that progress doesn't always equal improvement)?
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Old May 24, 2006, 2:44 PM   #2
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On the noise issue; no, you won't notice any noise. On a 10*15cm (4*6") pic, individual pixels are 1/200th of a cm (1/500th of an inch) [based on resolution of a Pana LZ-5]; and most noise is only a few pixels across - 6 at the very most for a very noise pic (based on looking in PSP at the output of a Pana FZ-30). At normal viewing distance the eye cannot resolve such small detail [usual figures quoted for eye resolving detail are 150dpi for casual viewing and 300dpi for close scrutiny].

Edit: And, of course, web use if even more lenient that that - monitors are usually around 72 dpi.
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