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Old Feb 26, 2007, 10:51 PM   #1
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I posted this in "what camera to buy" but since most of the cameras are Panys I thought you all would have the most insight.

I have been watching the FZ50 for months. I thought I had decided but then I looked back at the others mentioned. I currently own a small 3 mp Kodak and while I have taken some nice shots with it I want something with a super zoom and more features (manual zoom, focus, option for filters). The things I don't like about the camera I have now are that it has a small zoom, very few manual features and it is really slow at startup and sometimes from shot to shot depending on the situation. I really like the manual focus ring on the FZ50. I'm not sure how easy the joystick type adjustment will be on the others. I also like that most people have said the FZ50 is a tough camera. Some of the others listed were referred to as feeling toy-like, butrelative to what? Are those peoplespeaking from SLR experience or are they just more cheaply made cameras? They would save about $150-$200 over the FZ50 which to me is a ton of money.I have checked stores an hour away (we live in a rural area) and have yet to find any of these cameras so I am asking your advice. If you have any of these are you happy with your choice or would you choose something different knowing what you know now? Is the FZ50 worth $150-$200 more and if so why? Is the FZ8 worth the wait over the FZ7? I'm so torn. I guess the more I look the more confused I get...

Also do you know when the FZ8 will be out? I saw somewhere it releases in February but then another site was preordering for the end of April.
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Old Feb 27, 2007, 3:53 AM   #2
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Hi,

I do not have any of these cameras so I cannot give you any direct help, however I was where you are about 6 months ago wondering about a bunch of cameras and how to decide. In the end I bit the bullet and bought something and started enjoying it. Since then I refuse to take new announcements or reviews seriously, I have something and I try to make the most of what I have.

OK enough tin-pot philosophy. The differences between the FZ7 and the FZ50 that make the $200 worthwhile are:
  1. The FZ50 has a bigger sensor (1/1.8" rather than 1/2.5)
    [/*]
  2. Manual zoom[/*]
  3. Manual focus[/*]
  4. FZ50 is bigger[/*]
  5. FZ50 can shoot RAW[/*]
  6. FZ50 has a fixed lens
    [/*]
The first is an advantage whichever way you look at it. The bigger sensor just gives the camera a little edge in collecting light, which after all is what a camera does. The manual focus and zoom is what sold me on the FZ30, the predecessor to the 50. For me it makes zooming so much better, I just hated those little switch thinggies. I use the manual focus less often but it IS handy in certain situations. The fact that the FZ30 (&the 50) was bigger was good for me, I found most of the modern cameras too little for my hands. The FZ30 just felt right in my hands. The ability to shoot RAW uses a lot of extra card space and means you HAVE TO process all shots, but I kinda like that, so for me it was worth it. (I believe the FZ8 has RAW). The fixed lens appealed to me because there was nothing external moving. I don't know if the fixed lens is more robust or not, but it FEELS more robust to me. Also I think you are ready to shoot quicker without having to wait for the lens to extend.

They were my key differentiators, for you they may be different. Obviously it is hard for you to get your hands on a camera in your location which makes it hard to get the feel of them. I suggest you try similar size cameras. Maybe look at the specs on the site here and try a similar one. Maybe a Canon S3 against a small SLR might give you the sense of how they feel.

In the end I see people getting plenty of great shots with both the FZ50 and the FZ7 and I am sure that whichever way you go you will get some good pics out of the camera. Good luck. Hope this helped a little.
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Old Feb 27, 2007, 8:48 AM   #3
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I have the FZ 7 and love it...if that helps. I have posted lots of shots on this forum with the camera. Donna
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Old Feb 27, 2007, 9:28 AM   #4
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rafinmelb wrote:
Quote:

OK enough tin-pot philosophy. The differences between the FZ7 and the FZ50 that make the $200 worthwhile are:
  1. The FZ50 has a bigger sensor (1/1.8" rather than 1/2.5)
    [/*]
This is a good lead in to a question I have had: how does one read sesnor sizes anyway? Does that mean the FZ7 sensor is one and one-eighth inch and the the FZ50 has a sensor that is one and two-fifths? I have read a few online articles about sensor sizing but they did not clarify this for me.

Addressing the original post though, I also have an FZ7 and think it is a fine camera. Like Donna there a number of posts here with pictures from my FZ7. I also came from a 3 MP kodak with limited user settings and find this camera great. If I could improve it I would like to have manual control of shutter speed extended to the two high ISO settings. I don't know if the FZ50 allows that or not. The FZ7 is a small plastic camera, but it does not feel flimsy and the size allows me to carry it everywhere either hanging on my neck or in a small belt case. I have not used a 612 so I can't compare to that one though. I did like my old Kodak though and thought it made very nice pictures. And with image stabilization and a long zoom the 612 is probably a very nice camera also.
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Old Feb 27, 2007, 3:55 PM   #5
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happy_peasant wrote:
Quote:
This is a good lead in to a question I have had: how does one read sesnor sizes anyway? Does that mean the FZ7 sensor is one and one-eighth inch and the the FZ50 has a sensor that is one and two-fifths? I have read a few online articles about sensor sizing but they did not clarify this for me.

No 1/2.5"and 1/1.8" are old nominations of sensor sizes that are a bit meaningless really. The best explanation and an actual measurement table I have seen are at

http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glos...r_sizes_01.htm

It is really interesting to see just how small the sensors are compared with DSLR (about 10% of the area).
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Old Feb 28, 2007, 1:39 PM   #6
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thanks for that link Rafinmelb,answers a lot of questions about sensor sizes.
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Old Feb 28, 2007, 2:07 PM   #7
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tinosa wrote:
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thanks for that link Rafinmelb,answers a lot of questions about sensor sizes.
Yeah, what he said. Interesting and I copied the chart to my hard drive.
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Old Feb 28, 2007, 4:25 PM   #8
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No worries guys, this is what we are here for, to help each other out where we can.
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