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Old Apr 7, 2006, 12:01 AM   #21
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It's a great camera, equipped with aLeica lens. The Panasonics have one (if not the) best image stabilizers out there. However, I don't think it's in the same category as the H1/H5. Although it's an older camera, it's price is higher even than the new H5. It has some great features that neither the new Sonys nor the Canon have, such as the ability to record in RAW and TIFF formats, higher # of MP and f/stop up to f/11. But, it uses proprietary batteries, which I despise andit's muchbulkier since ithas fixed lens. This camera compares more with the Sony R1. The newer generation, whichmore comparable with the H2/H5hasthe FZ5 and the brand new FZ7. Although I'm a big fan of the Leica lens, I still think that the Sony H5 is a better choice.
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Old Apr 14, 2006, 7:15 AM   #22
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Good Morning Tullio,

You guys in San Jose get started on your keyboard pretty early!

Your comments on the Fz30 were interesting; I'm having to replace an old, much-loved Canon PRO90IS; even if the start-up and shutter-lag times are lengthy by today's standards. I reckon to have had some pretty good results from this 'small' 2.6Mb unit.

But I have to move on.

I loved the very flexible screen on the PRO90 so I was leaning very much towards the S2IS (the S3, I realise is about to hit the stores but the apparentimprovements seem pretty marginal for the projected price differential).

I then 'discovered' the FZ30; the lens seems to match the canon, the TIFF/RAW is a definite plus point, as is the manual zoom and focus facility. The movies function doesn't seem to quite match the S2 (especially the still over movie advantage, but the movie mode is not the main reason the buying a digicam!) the screen is not as flexible as the canon, but I think it's almost there.

Handing the FZ30 (after the PRO90) seems 'more natural' with the S2/S3 seeming a bit 'toy-ish' with a definite 'plasticky' feel.

Do you actually own a FZ30?

Steve's review states that the is a time-lapse shooting mode, but I can't find this referred to in any other review?

I'm sure the 'high' noise factor which many reviewers refer to is not a great problem (as Steve states) so I won't let this cloud my judgement.

Are there any other folk out there able to comment on my S2/S3 vs FZ30 dilemma?

P.S. I live in Cardiff, the capital of the Principality of Wales, UK.
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Old Apr 14, 2006, 10:14 AM   #23
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Okay, here goes. Tullio is a great source of information/advice and he almost convinced me to buythe Sony H1 or wait for the H5 to come out. I've been researching for 2 years which camera I was going to get to upgrade from my 5mp pocket-camera Sony DSC-P10 with. Great camera, but you cannot get across a soccer field with a standard 3x optical zoom. I'm no photography expert by any means...just wanted closer pix of my kids' games. WE ALL KNOW that SLRs and DSLRs are the fastest cameras with the best photos. However, I didn't want to schlep around multiple lenses (or spend that kind of money).....I'm mainly about the "point & shoot." Decided it was going to be a megazoom digital for these reasons.

Was leaning towards the Sony H1 coz I already have 1gb's worth of memory cards, but then thought, hey!, why lock myself in? Wanted to get the best camera I could within my parameters. After reading all the forums at Steve's, Imaging Resource, blah, blah, etc...it was down to the Canon S2 or the Sony H1. Have played around with these both a million times during lunch hour at Best Buy!

Really liked that both take generic rechargeable nimh batteries or alkalines in a pinch. S2 feature set is most extensive in this class. Though I don't take many movies, I have started recently and having the option for the better movie mode was appealing. Little disappointed about the 1.8" lcd when the H1's is a beautiful 2.5". The S3 bumps it up to 2"....will be available April/May Canon says. Like the articulating screen on S2...again may not use much, but it's there when you need it.

I found the H1's zoom is a tad slow. Our friend Tullio pointed out (reviews bear this out) however, that the autofocus quicker than the S2's. I found this to be the case when using my father-in-law's S2 shootinga soccer game. The zoom action is pretty good....but then the autofocus "hunts" when the lens is fully extended. A bit disconcerting. But I did get some awesome photos. I just hoped the upcoming S3 would improve on this feature and decided to wait.

Then I read this article/review from Shutterbug/Dec '05 of current crop of megazoom cameras: http://www.shutterbug.net/equipmentr...oom/index.html

It gave a clear nod to the Panasonic FZ30 as the best of the bunch. Tullio, I hear ya regarding the proprietary batteries issue, my intent was to get away from these, but I will say this my Sony batteries hold charge for many, many shots....my decision was most influenced by cameraperformance. Shutter lag speed was key. Short of getting a DSLR, if buying a camera in this class.....I found the FZ30 (yes it's more expensive..maybe look at the FZ5 if too much for you) to be better. It's not too big or heavy, feels great in hand, nicely weighted. Compared to the S2 and H1....lcd AND the viewfinder are MUCH better picture/easier to work with. It takes pictures faster (like my tech talk?). Love the mechanical zoom ring SO much better than those electronic zooms. Has the well-regarded Leica lens (has to be on a level with Sony's Carl Zeiss, no?) The flash works great, the program modes work (I've had it only 2 days) great! Took a nice shot of my daughters with the moon in the background for Night Portrait.

It has the flip out lcd (ok...it's not side-hinged like the S2 which is better/more flexible, but how many self portraits do I want to take? It's mainly for those "shooting over a crowd of people" shots..to me.

We had a family get-together which we wanted some nice group photos of, and I decided to pull the trigger and buy a camera. I was lucky enough to be in a position where price wasn'tan issue (but I still didn't want an SLR)...so I decided the FZ30 was the one, got it for $500 shipped. Have seen on forums someone got it for $483, nice!

It is an awesome camera, check it out.
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Old Apr 14, 2006, 11:11 AM   #24
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Yes, the FZ30 is indeed an awesome camera and by the sounds of it, prices have come down significantly. The FZ5 is also a very nice camera and it produces great pictures. The PanasonicOISis with no doubt the best IS system out there and we all know the quality of the Leica lens. The FZ5 is much smaller (and lighter) than the S2 or H1 and even when extended, the FZ5 lens is much shorter than the S2 and H1 as well. I find the body has a cheap feel to it (perhaps due to it very light weight) butit's actually verywell built. The FZ30 on the other hand, feels much more solid, it has a beautiful, classy design and the lens is gorgeous. If it was a bit cheaper when I was looking to buy my H1, I'd have gone with it!I'm positive you'll be more than happy with your purchase, dmagolis! Enjoy it and post the results!!!.
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Old Apr 14, 2006, 12:09 PM   #25
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Thank you Gentlemen for your comments; you've certainly made my decision-making a little easier.

Tullio, now that you've got the FZ30, can you peruse your user guide to check if their is a time-lapse shooting mode (sorry, Steve, if I'm casting doubts on your review (see Introduction & Physical views, Pg 3, it's just that I haven't seen this feature mentioned in any of the other reviews that I've read).

It's not decision making item, but it's a (theoretical) plus point and one that might be interesting to fiddle with!

You guys are lucky in the USA for the prices of cameras, even with the £/$ at 1.7, the best price I can get the Fz30 for in the UK is £365 (incl tax & shipping) which is $620

I have contemplated a US on-line purchase (I have a friend currently in Williamsburg for the Easter hols. and he'll be back there at the end of May) but Panasonic will only give a lower warranty in the UK for a US-sourced camera.

I'm told that only Olympus give a full international warranty with their products??

Once again, thanks.

May 'speak' with you again,

Gerry
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Old Apr 14, 2006, 12:21 PM   #26
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Gerry, the FZ30 does have time-lapsed shooting. -David
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Old Apr 14, 2006, 1:47 PM   #27
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Hi Gerry, I believe my post was not clear. I did not get the FZ30,David did.I actually have the H1 (the FZ30 was a bit pricey at the time). However, I am very familiar withthe FZ30and its capabilities. But, David already answered your question. You can't go wrong with it, specially at the current prices.
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Old Apr 14, 2006, 2:38 PM   #28
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Good Morning/Afternoon Tullio and David,

I'm a confused about the time quoted on the Forum postings; it seems that it isthe time at the 'receiving' end as by mywatch it is now 7.23pm (BST - British Summer Time) here so it must be 5 hours earlier in Maryland and another ?hours earlier in Calafornia.

Anyhow, I digress, many thanks for your prompt replies to my posting; it is looking more and more likely that I shall go for the FZ30, but as I said, I'm not busting (if you believe that, you'll believe anything!) to buy right now, so I may as well wait until the S3 hits the stores (or is there something else coming out very soon that is equally delectable?).

May I take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very blesséd Easter/Passover ( it is quite unique that this weekend sees the western Christian, the Orthodox Christian and the Jewish Passover all coming together at the same time; I only wish that it is a portent of things to come)

May your God go with you,

Gerry

P.S. What part of Maryland are you, David? I was with friends in Woodstock last December as part of a few days in DC and 2 weeks in Williamsburg with friends from Britain.
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Old Apr 14, 2006, 5:56 PM   #29
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Well, the Sony H2/H5 are also hitting the streets between now and June (H2 now, H5 in June). The H2 is very comparable to the S3 in many respects but the H5 I believeis a superior camerathan the S3. And by the way, the S3comes equippedwith the Sony 6 MP sensor.
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