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Old Aug 19, 2004, 7:40 PM   #31
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Tim (Wavshrdr),

Thanks for your comments, I find them more encouraging than anything else I've read or seen in these forums. Your requirements/desires seem to tally very well with mine, I'm not so bothered about video (yet) as I use a dedicated digital camcorder but I agree - the speed of response, zoom and AS mean that you can get shots that you'd otherwise miss with another camera. I've noticed that noise and CA doesn't impinge too much on printouts so am not too worried about those inherent problems.

You said:
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I finally figured out in my case at least it was the crappy AUTO WB that was the culprit. Now the photos are much better.
How do you control this, do you switch to manual WB or what?

If you, with your experience,can buy two of these beasts then that's a big plus in KM's favour. The pendulum is swinging back towards the Z3.

Cheers,

Clive
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Old Aug 20, 2004, 1:55 AM   #32
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Clive,

Unfortunately, we need to make a compromise. I consider the FZ20 the best, but I don't want such a bulky camera, because I know myself, and I'd lazy to carry it around.

I chose the Z3 against the S1 because the Z3 flaws are easier to work around:
- noise: NeatImage
- weak flash: external flash
- slower lens: external flash indoors, tripod/live with it outdoors

The S1 has two flaws that can't be worked around and I can't live with:
- no TTL external flash
- slow autofocus even in good light, almost unusable in low light (I missed enough moments because of this with our Canon A40, I don't want it again)

Canon made the announcements of new cameras yesterday. No S2 IS, so I think I will go for the Z3.
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Old Aug 20, 2004, 3:55 AM   #33
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Hi,

Clive if u vanna buy a realy good camera buy the NIKON D70 SLR .

I have noticed to if you are using the auto white balane on Dimage Z3 some times the photos have a yellow layer on it

About noise i think the noise level up to ISO 100 is acceptable. And for long exp time the camera use a black image to filter out the noise.

Zoltan
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Old Aug 20, 2004, 11:34 AM   #34
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Clive- the way I controlled the Auto WB is to totally disable it and manually set it. On the Z2&Z3 you can convert one of the buttons to control one of several different things. One of your choices is WB. Think of it as a macro button with user assignable functions. I just set it to WB and then it brought up a menu and I could quickly choose what WB setting I wanted.

My only concern about the Z3 until I can play with it is that compared to my Z2 it may have a weaker flash. I do hope that is not the case. The Z2 had the best digicam flash I've used. More often than not I had to dial it down a bit. It was definitely bright and did a great job filling in even during bright daylight conditions with the sun behind my subject.

As for noise at higher ISO settings I just use NeatImage to clean them up. I really thought about the FZ20 but I went and played with the FZ10 to get a feel for the basic platform. A few things definitely are keeping me from buying it:

1.)It is BIG! I could stuff my Z2 in my pocket. The FZ series looks much smaller in photos and then you pick one up and oh my God it is big.

2.) Really lame video mode. Come on, QVGA is just a shame to even shoot. Granted these aren't meant to be video recorders but my Z2 did such a great job at it I found that I used it more than I ever thought I would. I always seemed to have my Z2 with me whereas I didn't often have my video recorder.

3.) I really like the fact that the Z1-Z3 take normal AA batteries and not some unique battery. This means I can always have a spare set of batteries with me and much less expensive. It also means I don't have some old useless battery when I buy a new camera. So far only a Sony DSC85 I had could take enough shots that I really didn't need an extra battery for a normal day of shooting. That camera would routinely take over 1000 shots on a charge! No lie even with flash and zoom usage I routinely shot over 1200 pics on one charge!

4.) Price of the FZ20 is still pretty spendy. I can't justify spending $600 for it when up in the price range a real DSLR isn't too far off. Yes, I know it'd cost more but I'd have more pixels and more flexibility.

5.) TTFS (time to first shot) is much faster on the Z2/Z3. That allows me to get a lot more spontaneous shots when I didn't have my camera out and ready. The Z2/Z3 also autofocuses faster which is a big plus for me.

So for me the Z2/Z3 series seems to be the best balance of a long zoom lens. I also can keep using my SD card whereas when I briefly considered the Olympus zoom models I'd have to trash all my SD cards and buy xD cards. Considering I have over 4Gigs of SD cards that'd be a total waste. Another plus with either SD or CF cards I can use my Toshiba e805 to review pics in the field. It has a VGA sized display of 4" diagonally and does a great imitation of a 4"x6" print.

Just my observations and logic for buying another KM. Your mileage my vary and what is best for me may not be best for you. I like to take a lot of outside photos of wildlife and landscapes. I travel the world extensively and I wanted something portable. I am often in remote areas of Siberia so I can't easily find a spare battery should something happen to mine (if it is proprietary for example) but I can ALWAYS find a set of AA batteries if the need arises.

My Z2 was small enough to keep in my coat pocket. Battery life was good. Video was quite good other than an audio sync issue that seemed to afflict some of them but to some it wasn't obvious but I found it was easy to correct. I loved the fact that the camera had a quick TTFS time. It was ready to shoot in under 3 seconds and could compose and snap a pic in less than half a second. I ended up with quite a few keepers instead of having a pic of the bird flying away I actually got it while still on the ground.

If I would change anything about the Z2 it would have been having IS which the Z3 has and a faster lens which the Z3 doesn't. I would have liked an LCD like my Kodak 6490. That one is amazingly big and bright. The Auto WB failed more often than not. Zoom was a little noisy BUT was usable while in video mode. Many other digicams don't allow you to use the zoom once it has started recording. The Z3 supposedly has a quiter zoom although outdoors the Z2's zoom noise wasn't severe. I wouldn't mind it being 5MP but I almost never had a need for more pixels in most of my shots since I could zoom so close.

So I put my money where my mouth is and bought another KM. I just couldn't resist itsattractive combination of long IS zoom, quick TTFS and capture, AA batteries and good video modes. These more than out weighed the minor quibbles I had. Now if the flash is at least 80% asgood on the Z3 as it was on the Z2 I'll be pretty happy. Last but not least it had a great price.
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Old Aug 20, 2004, 5:17 PM   #35
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A bit concerned about the purple around the white shirts in the street scenes. Is there any way to clean that up (PurpleNinja perhaps)?

Bill
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Old Aug 20, 2004, 5:33 PM   #36
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Tim (Wavshrdr),

You've certainly picked out all the points that made me want the Z3 in the first place and then added a few. I've not handled any of the Z's but I have the FZ10 and yes it's big - too big for casual trips out.

I'm leaning.......

Clive
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Old Aug 20, 2004, 6:16 PM   #37
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wmussatto wrote:
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A bit concerned about the purple around the white shirts in the street scenes. Is there any way to clean that up (PurpleNinja perhaps)?

Bill
Bill - Sorry, no PurpleNinja that I know of but when printing normally you can't see it. The CA that you seems to afflict all of the less than pro level zoom cameras. I had an old Olympus C3030Z that made me hate it so much I bought my Sony DSC85 just because it had much less issue with it.

On the Z2 It wasn't an issue for me even though I am more sensitive to it than most. You can easily touch it up if need be in PS or some other program.

Clive- You'll just have to follow your heart and your pocketbook. I put a lot of thought into my purchase and I guess the most telling thing about it all is even after my Z2 was stolen I still bought essential the same device. First time I have ever done this in my life regardless of product. The Z2/Z3 platform just seems to have the right balance of features that I am looking for.

Are their better cameras out there? Sure but they are WAY more expensive and don't improve performance at a level commensurate with the attendant price increase. Just remember the old 80/20 rule or sometimes known as the law of diminishing returns. You can pay 4 times more than the Z2/Z3 but maybe be luck to get 30% better performance. For 95% of my shots that won't be an issue. Out of that remaning 5% I can make due with some post processing work or a few filters or lens adapters which I had already bought for my Z2 and should work on the Z3. I didn't let that factor into my purchasing decision though. I should have but I wanted to approach it a purely as possible. Found out the will work on my Sony DSC85 I have anyway.

Plus I bought my Z3 at $450 US so I figure even if it is a turd someone on eBay will give me at least $430 for it so I figure it might cost me $25 to test drive it.

-T
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Old Aug 20, 2004, 8:00 PM   #38
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Wavshrdr

I'm an owner of the Z1 and have been looking for a new camera. I love my Z1 and the speed this camera has.One badflaw is the sound the autofocus makes during video mode, oh well.

When I got mine a year ago one of the 1st things I did wasget the white balance off of auto. Use P mode as the main mode,set ISO to 50 (unless light was low), sharpness to hard and noise reduction off. With these settings I've been very happy with the camera.

Reading your post has really sold me on the Z3. I was also looking at the FZ15 & FZ20 but their size, video, price and non use of AA batteries shyed me away.One thing that's a plus with the Z3 for me is that I'mfamiliar with the Z series line (my brother has Z2).

Concerning the Canon S1, I had a chance to play with one at a wal-mart. Since Iam use to the Z1 I found the controls on the S1 not to my liking. I have never liked the zoom control near the shutter (FZ10-FZ20 also near shutter). I have always found that I prefer the zoom control on the back of the camera opperated by my thumb. Also on the S1, I thought the zoom got out there too quick. If you wanted something in mid range it was touchy setting it exactly where youneeded it.Ohhh..... to have a manual zoom ring.

The kicker was that the video was in AVI notMOV. If you have Quicktime Pro you'll understand why. You can edit all your video, piece it together, use filters on it, subtract sound from video or subract video from sound, use slow motion or speed up, import/export other filesto file, full screen (non pro won't), plus turn your video into pictures only or format the file and change it to an AVI or MPEG-4 if you like.....ect

So I agree with you Wavshrdr, the Z3 will be my choice too. I have decided to wait a week or so and get it from a local dealer. Just in case the camera is not all that it should be.......lol
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Old Aug 21, 2004, 4:07 AM   #39
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I tried to remove the yellow color cast just by using Auto Levels in Photoshop from two pictures. Good results for both. So even if you forget to set white balance, you can postprocess the bad pics very quickly.
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Old Aug 21, 2004, 8:19 AM   #40
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Hi,

wmussatto about the purple on the shoots, i have made some tests and by Z3 only shows on 12x zoom. And i think is very acceptable.

If someone wanna make photos on Full Auto then Z3 is not the perfect camera for it. I suggest to buy Nikon 2200 low price camera and full auto. It is perfect for travel shoot's.



Zoltan
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