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Old Oct 15, 2003, 9:11 PM   #1
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Default Backpacking through Europe...what 10x zoom digital?

I am taking off in early December for a 3 month backpacking trip through Europe and was planning on purchasing a digital camera for the trip. I think I've decided to go w/ a 10x zoom camera but even after quite a bit of research I'm unsure what to choose.

I'm hoping to buy something around the $400 range (not much more than 450). Here are the cameras I'm looking at most seriously.

Minolta Dimage Z1; Olympus C-750

A few things I'm trying to take into consideration while attempting to make this decision.

1. Fewer sunlight hours b/c it's winter, so want a camera that can
handle this well.

2. Will be mostly taking shots outdoors (i.e. Eiffel tower, the
Trivy fountain, Venetian canals, etc.) but I imagine I'll have
a decent share of indoor shots as well (museums and
churches).

3. I am a true photography novice so I want something that will
take some decent pictures without my needing to do
anything too fancy, but at the same time I'm open to
learning how to use the camera's controls to take better
pictures (I have three months while backpacking to learn
how to make the camera work for me).

4. Looking at 3 megapix cameras since I won't plan on really enlarging much the few pictures I decide to print.

5. Good battery life...I want to make sure I don't find myself w/ dead batteries in the middle of the day while checking out the sites in a city.

6. Want to minimize bulk and weight since everything I take with me I'll be carrying on my back while I hop from city to city and hostel to hostel.


Anyways, I know these might sound like pretty generic things that probably most people look for in a camera....but if there are other things I should be considering let me know.

Please let me know if there are other cameras, besides the Minolta Z1 and the Olympus c-750 I should consider (and why) and what you think of these two I mentioned.

Finally, I think I've decided to purchase the apacer disc steno cp-100 to save my pictures while on the move. Has anyone had any experience with it? Are there similar portable cd burning products out there that I should look at?

I'd appreciate any info anyone can provide. Thanks in advance. (Sorry this is so long!)
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Old Oct 15, 2003, 10:01 PM   #2
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One of your problems is going to be that you are not allowed to take flash shots in most museums and churches. Your two possible solutions are to carry a tripod or get something with stabilization. And for what you have described I would think you would need a wide angle a lot more than a long telephoto.

The Minolta A1 has 28 Ė 200 (eq) on the zoom and image stabilization, but it is pricey and probably a tad heavier than you might want. Panasonic is releasing their stabilized 12X zoom that maintains f2.8 throughout the range next month. It is a little lighter than the A1 but probably as bulky. At a list price of $600 I think it is a bargain.

I think it might be shortsighted to limit your Mp to your immediate needs. Those images are memories and you donít know where you will progress in the future in digital imaging. Not much sense ever getting a wide format photo printer with 3Mp images for example. I guess that is an overstatement Ė you can get decent 13 X 19 prints from 3mp but they look a lot better with 5Mp.

I would buy the Oly 750 over the Z1. It is lighter and has 4Mp. And Iím not sure the mechanism for switching between eye level viewfinder and LCD on the Z1 is sturdy enough for a 3 month backpack.

Anything you buy will have full auto capability to get you by until you go through any learning curve you might want to tackle.
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Old Oct 16, 2003, 7:22 AM   #3
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Actually, the FZ1 is already out, has been for a while. You are probably thinking of the FZ10. The FZ1 is 2MP, the FZ10 is 4MP and will have the wide angle lens and the 1.5 teleconverter, but I believe sold as accessories and not packaged with the camera.
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Old Oct 16, 2003, 9:09 AM   #4
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He said he might want to learn a little about photography while on his trip. The FZ1 is a point and shoot beginnerís camera and inappropriate for anyone interested in anything other than aiming a camera and taking whatever it wants to give you. And 2Mp isnít the way you want to save your memories from a trip of a lifetime IMO.

Like I said Ė Panasonic is about to release a camera next month that might be worthy of consideration. It is an incredible lens attached to a so-so camera, but at least there is room to grow into it.
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Old Oct 16, 2003, 9:28 AM   #5
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I think the C750 would be a good choice for the project you described. You will enjoy the ultra zoom lens. As slipe has pointed out you will need a tripod for most indoor pictures at churches and museums. When I was stationed in Europe, these facilities will not allow flashes because it destroys the pigaments in the paint. The Panasoic FZ10 does have some great pre marketing hype. The camera is to be released in early Novemeber but is listing at $599. You might also consider the C740, about a $100 less than the c750, it is 3.2mp, same lens as the c750.
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Old Oct 16, 2003, 9:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipe
He said he might want to learn a little about photography while on his trip. The FZ1 is a point and shoot beginnerís camera and inappropriate for anyone interested in anything other than aiming a camera and taking whatever it wants to give you. And 2Mp isnít the way you want to save your memories from a trip of a lifetime IMO.

Like I said Ė Panasonic is about to release a camera next month that might be worthy of consideration. It is an incredible lens attached to a so-so camera, but at least there is room to grow into it.
Re-read your post, and then re-read my post.
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Old Oct 16, 2003, 11:04 AM   #7
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If you visit England, Netherlands, north Germany or more north 400 iso is a must, you may even like having 800 iso available.

In museums flash is not allowed, 800 iso with dimmed light may lead to grainy photos. For museums I would advice a camera that allows long exposure (6 sec and up) and maybe a monopod (or the famous shoestring: attach a cord to tripod mount long anough to put your shoe in the dangling end and pull cammera up)

The Panasonic FZ1 may be a nice choice for you, but it lacks iso 800 and most manual options you want.

Some Fuji cameras do have even iso 1600, they are quite fast in shutter response, have manual options, but lack the zoom you wanted.

Another word about 10x zoom; If you expect that to be usefull on top of the Eiffel tower it may be a disapointment. 10x zoom should in optimal conditions give a clear view in the streets around. However account for fog / smogg and lens underperformance for this kind of 'spy shots' of the light city. 5x zoom may even result in better situation photo.
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