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Old Feb 15, 2007, 3:21 PM   #1
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Hey there, I just want to let everyone know where I'm coming from so you can understand my questions more. For the past couple years I have been interested in digital cameras, and have wanted to buy one on and off. I almost bought a Sony Cybershot T3 a couple years ago, but I decied not to at the time. And now, just recently, I have found a great deal of interest in digital photography. I really enjoy it and I really want to get into it and learn all I can. So every day for the past few weeks I have been spending all the free time I have looking at cameras online and in stores, doing research, and reading up on a lot of things that will help me. I used the "features search" section on dpreview to narrow down my options for cameras I would be interested in. It seems to me that I'm looking for a camera such as the Sony H5, Panasonic FZ7 (or FZ8) or the Canon S3. These three seem to be the most popular models of this type of camera. I have messed around with these cameras at Best Buy and other camera stores, and I think I like the FZ7 the best so far. It does have all the features I'm looking for. I do want manual controls because I really want to learn to use them all correctly. But one feature I was really looking for is the ability to set long exposure times. I love night photography, especially shots with lights and moving cars where their headlights/tailights are blurred. I have read in a couple places that the FZ7 allows a min shutter time of 60s. However, I was reading that comparison on digitalcamerainfo.com about these three cameras and it said the FZ7 could only have a min shutter time of 8s. Can anyone explain this to me? I also have read that the FZ7 is not the best camera for low light situations. Is this true? I guess my questions are: Would the FZ7 be a good first camera for me? Is it decent for night photography? And what is the min shutter speed available? Is there a better camera for what I'm looking for? Also if anyone has any sample photos of night shots taken with their FZ7 could you post them? Thank you so much for your time, and I'm sorry about the length!


EDIT - I almost forgot...does a wide angle lens allow me to capture a wider picture? And could I put one of these on the FZ7? Is it posible to put a fisheye on the FZ7? Thanks.
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Old Feb 15, 2007, 4:58 PM   #2
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Shutter first. Night scenery scene mode is 8 second max. So is shutter priority. Manual setting of shutter and aperture lets you set it for 60 seconds. I just tested as I had no idea.

I have had my FZ7 less then two months and have not taken much at night as it is a cold world. I will attach a couple though. I picked the FZ7 over the competitors you mentioned and have no regrets. What you might want to do is go to flickr and search for groups. I belong to an FZ7 group there and I am sure the other cameras also have groups. Each group has a photo pool so you can see thousands of pictures by the cameras you are considering. Click on any picture below to go to flickr and see a larger version.

First shot, 4 second exposure. I picked the camera up just a bit early.

Second shot is a moon at ISO 400. Supposed to be a noisy camera at that speed but not in this shot. Someday when it a bit warmer I will work on the moon more.

Third shot. The children after midnight. 2 second exposure. Handheld by a shakey dad, so you you can see that O.I.S. helps a bit. Only light the laptop screen.

Last shot. 1 second exposure of the moon, Lake Michigan, and the beach.

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Old Feb 15, 2007, 5:58 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply! I will definately check out Flickr.
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