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Old Feb 16, 2006, 12:41 AM   #1
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After falling into a river with my much loved Olympus C-740 UZ during a recent fishing trip, I now have to look for a new camera. After looking at the best of the best super zooms on Steve's list, I've narrowed it down to 4 cameras that are within my price range:

-Olympus SP-500 UZ (sentimental favorite since it's more like an upgrade from my old one)

-Panasonic DMC-FZ5K

-Sony Cybershot H1

-Canon Powershot S2 IS (kinda out of my price range, not really looking to spend more than $400 unless it's got major major advantages over the other 3)

I do a lot of hiking and nature activitiesso something compact would be beneficial to me. I think Panasonic is the most compact of the 3.

Image stabilization is also important. Olympus does not have that feature (I would have definitely chosen this one if it had the stabilization feature).

I'mlearning about how toshoot manually, but I've really grown used to pointing and shooting using the different scene modes. I'dbe usingthese scene modes most often: Portrait, Self-Portrait, Landscape, Night Landscape, Sunset, Sports, Party. I'd probably be shooting as much outdoor photography as I would indoors.

I really like the swivel LCD that Canon has, but I'm not sure that alone is worth me purchasing the camera. Iknow Iwon't be using the camera I choose for movies, so that feature does not play into my decision.

Can you please give me further insights? Right now, I think for my needs I'm leaning towards the Panasonic. Your thoughts are much appreciated!

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Old Feb 16, 2006, 1:22 AM   #2
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The FZ5 is a very good camera with an excellent lens. It has a lot of capability for its size.

Where the S2 beats it hands down is the movie mode. I know it isn't a camcorder, but sometimes it is all you have with you.

The FZ7 will be out soon – almost same size but with good movies and 6Mp. The LCD is also larger.

I don't like that the H1 doesn't have a burst mode. I use it often.

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Old Feb 16, 2006, 2:11 AM   #3
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I would agree with the above with the H1.. also I find (personal preferance), that colors seem washed out on it.

I own the S2 and LOVE it. The movie mode is INCREDIBLE.. the stereo sound it awesome.. doesnt' sound like it was taken from a still camera. The rotating lcd is awesome aswell.

Here is a post that a fellow S2 user made in her choice between the S2 and Panasonic.
Inshooting mode, S2 has panorama mode and associated software for you to produce breathtaking panoramic pictures, but Panasonic FZ5 does not have this mode.

In Continuous (Burst) Shooting, S2 allows you to take as many pictures as you want as long as the speed of your SD memory card is fast enough (40X or faster) until the SD card is filled up. FZ5 allows you to take only 7 or 4 pictures in one burst depending on the quality of the picture you choose.

In taking movie, S2 takes standard 640X480 pixels, but FZ5 takes only much smaller size of 320X240 pixels.

In interface with PC and outside world, S2 use USB 2.0 which is much faster than USB 1.1 used on FZ5.

S2 use standard AA rechargeable batteries. In this one month interval of playing with S2, I am very impressed with Energizer AA rechargeable batteries (2500 mAh) purchased from BestBuy. One charge allows me to take more than 1,000 pictures over several days. My experience with my older digital camera with manufacturer's proprietary battery is not so good. The proprietary batteries are more expensive and, yet, do not last as long as these AA rechargeable batteries.

S2 gives options to add telephoto converter or wide-angle converter beyond 12X zoom. FZ5 does not give such options.

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Old Feb 17, 2006, 9:53 AM   #4
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You may want to consider TZ1 as well.
Look cool to me, with 10x zoom & so compact
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Old Feb 17, 2006, 11:34 AM   #5
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Auughhhhh... it's the eyeless camera!!! I still haven't figured out why they removed the darn viewfinder. :shock:
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Old Feb 17, 2006, 12:49 PM   #6
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i think the time of low sensitivity and high noise is over. They are reducing the capabilities of cameras very much. beleive me image stabilization is not a complete solution. I have an S1 and i am stuck on ISO 50. as far as i know S2 is also not capable of taking clean shots above ISO 100.
Maybe you can wait for the reviews of FZ7.
yes the features of canon are excellent; intervalometer, swivel LCD, panorama, movie mode and more..
but i think what you will want after using it a couple of months, is a good picture quality.
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