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Old Feb 24, 2004, 2:58 AM   #1
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Default Need help: Fuji S5000 vs. Minolta Z1 vs. Olympus C-740

Hi all, first time posting but have been reading this and other photo forums recently.
I'm a freelance reporter/photographer with limited budget, and the nearly $1,000 in film costs (price of film plus developing) last year was too much so I'm going digital. I have a limited budget--$500 with accessories, which is why I haven't looked at the cameras one step up (i.e. Fuji 602, S7000, Minolta A1, Olympus C-750, ZE10, etc).
This camera would be used for a bit of everything, but the majority of my use would be shooting auto racing. I use the zoom lens on my N60 quite a bit at the track, hence the reason I've been looking at the 10x optical zoom cameras.
I really like how the S5000 looks, the higher shutter speeds (up to 1/2000, I believe), the continuous shooting mode and I've read good things about the construction. On the downside, I've seen negative comments about the image quality, there's no hotshoe, and I've read of manual focus being odd (I think that was the Fuji I was reading about).
With the Z1, I really like the speed. Low shutter lag and fast shooting--I read one place it said up to 10 fps (!). It also has hotshoe, and from what I've read it's easier to use than the others and has good battery life. I like the looks better than the Olympus, though I prefer the Fuji's style. On the downside is the Z1's construction and fragility.
With the C-740, I've read good things about image quality, construction and the ability to save personal settings. On the downside I've read about the camera being more complicated than the others, no hotshoe, and I don't like the design much since it looks too much like a point-and-shoot camera. Also, I haven't been able to find what the shutter lag on the C-740 is.
At this point I'm probably leaning towards the Z1, but I'm a bit nervous about the fragility (I would def. get an extended warranty if I got that one). I still need to see how the cameras feel in person--so far I've done a ton of online research but haven't actually tried them out yet. Also, since cars usually go too fast for AF to keep up with, I tend to use manual focus a bit--how does the MF work on these three cameras? Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance
Craig
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Old Feb 24, 2004, 10:39 AM   #2
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I'm in a very similar position... almost exactly the same, actually. I've read that the Z1 suffers from a fair amount of purple fringing. But, that doesn't mean it's a complete write-off. I've seen some nice pics taken with it... maybe you could wait and see about the Z2?

About the C-740, from the Dcresource.com review, "In good lighting (with fast shutter speeds), the shutter lag was very short. When taking pictures with slower shutter speeds, the lag will be more pronounced. Of course, you should probably be using a tripod for those shots anyway."

Have you looked at the Panasonic DMC-FZ2? It's only 2MP, but the quality is good, and the zoom is the same as the FZ10.
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 12:48 AM   #3
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Hey, don't everyone rush in at once.
reactor, we are in a similar situation it appears. However, my emphasis is on sports photos more than general all-around (though certainly most any camera could also do general stuff). I had looked at that Panasonic, but I might be doing some prints from time to time so I wanted more than 2 mp. I had to get a roll of film developed today (another $7 process) so I don't really want to wait for the Z2, which appears to cost more than the Z1 and not really offer much more.
While I was getting film developed at Costco, I played around with a Z1 and C-740. The Z1 felt much sturdier than I imagined it would, and it didn't take long at all to figure out the menus. I still don't know how the manual focus works on that thing, and I didn't like how close the zoom switch was to the command dial, but those were minor quibbles. The C-740 evidently wasn't hooked up right because the power wouldn't stay on. I didn't like the tiny power button, and I wasn't impressed by the zoom switch. Plus coming from a SLR film camera, the C-740 didn't feel too comfortable in the hand, though I imagine you get used to it. Neither Costco nor another place I checked had an S5000 so that will be the next step.
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 12:11 PM   #4
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Hmmm... that's interesting. Let me ask you a question now (if I could be so bold ... If I chose the FZ2, would I be doing a stupid thing by going with the 2MP? I'm thinking about 3MP as a standard to aim for, but I haven't printed anything from a digicam before. I wouldn't be printing anything large... something like 6x4. Is there much of a noticable difference between 2 and 3MP, at that size of print?

I'll check out the Z1, since it has your favour. I'm just not completely sold on the purple fringing, and a couple of other issues. Check the review here for more info... just to make your decision a little harder

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/mi...ew/index.shtml
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Old Feb 26, 2004, 7:44 PM   #5
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I haven't printed off a digital before, so I couldn't comment on the difference between a 2 mp and 3 mp camera in that respect. I would imagine the more MP you have the better as far as printing, which is why I've been looking at 3 mp or more. I don't plan on doing much printing (sending stuff mainly by e-mail or burning a CD) but for times when I do need to make a print, I would personally prefer having 3 mp. I must say, however, I haven't really studied that issue so I could be totally wrong. Hopefully someone else could answer your question better, or help me with advice/suggestions for that matter. 8)
I have seen that review of the Z1, and likely most of them. It seems there are ways to set the camera to get around some problems. I know any camera in this price range will have drawbacks, I'm just trying to get the one that suits my needs best.
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Old Feb 26, 2004, 10:11 PM   #6
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I just had a chat to a guy outside of this forum (in a store, funnily enough) and he believed that for small prints, the only advantage to 3MP printing is a slight amount of increased definition and contrast. I think I'd personally be happy with 2MP, but I'll more than likely go for the FZ10, so I can aim for the larger prints if I want to.

Sounds like the Z1 is the camera for you, even if it isn't perfect. And as someone pointed out to me on here, if you buy a 10x zoom camera and it doesn't work for you, they're generally fairly easy to sell.
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Old Feb 29, 2004, 4:58 PM   #7
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Anyone else have advice/suggestions?
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Old Feb 29, 2004, 7:50 PM   #8
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I was recently looking at the same cameras in the same price range, ended up purchasing the Toshiba PDR-M700 and am quite happy with it. Might be worth looking at for you two.
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Old Mar 2, 2004, 5:03 AM   #9
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I'm not sure I understand what the desired price range is in this discussion -- sub $400 street price? The application is outdoor sports photography?

http://www50.shopping.com/xPP-Digita..._least_8x_zoom
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Old Mar 3, 2004, 3:24 PM   #10
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I had looked at the Toshiba, but from what I read it has a couple of the same disadvantages as the Z1 (including construction) and it doesn't have the hotshoe. Also, it seems to be a bit hard to find. One of the prominent digicam sites doesn't list it, and I didn't see it listed at top rated stores like B&H or New Egg.
Pooper, as I stated in the original post I'm looking at $500 level including accessories. It looks like I can get the Z1 with everything for that price at B&H, so I'll be making the purchase soon.
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