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Old Aug 11, 2006, 9:04 AM   #1
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Hello from Australia :bye:

Firstly thankyou so much for your collective knowledge and experience! I have learned so much from what you have shared in this forum already. I have lurked occasionally in the past and of late my lurking has been quite obsessive in trying to decide on what camera to buy next. I am feeling quite overloaded with information and now have that ‘can't see the trees for the forest' feeling.

I would really appreciate your opinions on which might suit me best out of my final 2 choices which are the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7 and the Canon S3 IS.

The Fuji Finepix S9500 was top of my list at one stage although I scrapped it because it didn't have IS. Which is a shame because I loved the feel of it in the shop, love the manual zoom rings, has 3 more MP than the other two, powered by AA batteries, could get a great deal inc free 1gig card at AUD$749 {USD$575}, love the ease of the "F" button to change ISO, image size & colour etc, and was impressed with Steve's review regarding sharpness, movie features, macro modes & ISO performance. Why oh why didn't they put in IS so this nervous nelly could just jump right in and buy this one and start playing??

My main uses for the camera will be candid family shots and macro flora shots.
As a kid I was so bored when mum would drag me out for hours at a time as she scouted for orchids….back then I couldn't understand why you would even take a photo without a person it it??!!! Ha ha ha!

The images will be displayed on a website for now and when printed , mainly 4x6 with the occasional 8 x 10.

I want sharp, crisp images and although reading the reviews places certain cameras above others for picture quality, I can't help but think that in this price range of cameras it would be my lack of skill rather than the camera to not produce a clean shot. How accurate is my thinking on this?

Also, although the beauty of SLR shots is enviable, I just would like to be reassured that the camera I choose is a heck of a fine camera for my needs compared to others in its own range not compared to SLR.

It is important for me to be able to quickly and easily change ISO, effects, engage IS etc through dedicated buttons rather than them being deeper in the menu. I am a beginner just coming out of P& S and still learning my way through trial and error and admit that my understanding and application is on shakey legs.

I would like a camera that challenges me to grow although has the patience to still take a decent shot as I catch up to its capabilities.

An area focus option for my macro obsession would be greatly welcomed.

In Canon's corner :

1) The woman in the shop preferred this one

2) It felt better in my hand than the Panny. The Panny felt a bit plasticy & lightweight in the body to be carrying that Leica lens. Drool drool.

3) I prefer the handling and button features of the canon rather than surfing through the menu with the Panny. The canon has dedicated buttons for changing ISO, MF(not that I would use MF often, macro focus, etc

4) Steve rated the Canon well for consistently sharp images.

5) We are going on a once of a big trip through the outback in a week and a half for 2 months and charging batteries may be a problem. If we had rechargeable AA batts we could use a car charger kit. (Our Sony DSC-P73 also takes rechargeable AA's). I think camping stores have a car charger converter for normal plugs to go with the FZ7.

The bits that make me hesitate and lean toward the FZ7

1) The quality lens which a few have told me is the most important feature for the quality I want. A friend of my partner that used to work in a camera shop rates the FZ7 over the FinePix & the IS S3

2) There are a heap of people on this forum that love their F27's. There are people that love their S3's &S2's too but the F27's appear larger in numbers.

3) There are a few ‘not happy' threads on this forum about digital Canon's that scare me.

4) Its many features, including macro, have good reviews. The low light condition of both seem comparable.

5) There are awesome shots on this site that really fuel my want to try my hand at this camera…..don't get me started on the oh so magnificent FZ30 that I held instore, delightful but way too much fruit for this newbie.

I don't have the experience to judge the differences in picture quality between the three cameras myself so I am relying on your help and the reviews. The test photos from all 3 look good to me.

I am sorry for the long rambling post….if anyone is still reading this post :yawn:I would really value your comments to help me clarify this round-a-bout of a conundrum.



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Old Aug 18, 2006, 7:13 PM   #2
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I am buying a superzoom as well in the next few months and have been tossing up between the Canon S3, Sony H5, and Pana FZ7.

From my research, this is what I've observed:
For picture quality, I like the Sony H5 the most - especially after seeing the pic comparison between the S3 and H5 on this site. The FZ7 has the best lense and most effective optical image stabaliser. The S3 has the largest feature set and has a brilliant movie mode.

Its a tough decision. All cams have their +/-'s. Personally, I have decided on the Sony H5 for its awesome pic quality out of the camera and its sexy 3 inch LCD.

Between the Canon and the Pana - I'd go for the Canon. It has a massive feature set and an awesome movie mode to keep you entertained. Difference in pic quality is negligible and you say it feels more intuitive to use. I say go for it!

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Old Aug 20, 2006, 10:03 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply tdarian. Yeah I probably will go for the panasonic although I am not getting it just yet... I got a bit of descision burn out so will jsut hang back for a bit and then go in with a clear mind.

Have a great time with the Sony and good on you for making a descision on a tough choice
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