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Old Apr 20, 2006, 5:53 PM   #11
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In response to your question on megazoom cameras, here are the results I and may wife have had with two of them on the best camera list. We have owned a Nikon Coolpix 8800, (which has been been recently discontinued by Nikon although it is still available from a couple of places online) for about 18 months and have taken thousands of pictures with it. The image quality is unbeatable, and the 35mm to 350 mm (35mm equivalent) zoom range is fantastic. The image stabilization is wonderful, and we've never had to set the ISO higher than 100, so noise has not been an issue. From my point of view, the camera has two serious drawbacks which limit its usefulness, particularly for beginners. First, the menu is confusing and difficult to navigate, with some of the most used functions (e.g., white balance and flash control) buried inside other windows. Second, there is a noticeable delay between the time the shutter button is pressed (after the camera is focussed) and the picture is taken.

The other camera we own, which I bought about two weeks after the 8800, is the Konica Minolta A200, which is still for sale even though Sony has bought the Konica Minolta line. I've taken even more pictures than we have with the Nikon, and if I could only own one camera, this is the one I would have. The zoom range is "only" 7x (28mm to 200mm) but this limitation is completely offset in my mind by the versatility and ease of use of this camera. The zoom function is completely manual and very quickly and accurately set by rotating the zoom ring on the lens barrel. Shutter lag is virtually nonexistent, and the menu is intuitive and easily navigated. Furthermore, the image stabilization works very well. I have been able to shoot sharp images in low light at 1/5 second at ISO 100. I find more use for the 28mm setting at the low end of the A200 focal length range than I do at the 350mm focal length of the 8800, but between them we can cover almost everything we can do with our much more cumbersome film SLR systems. The only thing I can't do with one of these two cameras is shoot slide film, which I have to do occasionally.

You should also buy a flash memory card of at least 512 MB capacity--1GB is much better--and at least one spare battery or set of spares for any of these superzooms. Also, I highly recommend a dedicated flash for any camera. These a pricey, but they will last for several years, or maybe forever, before they become obsolete.

I also bought my wife an Olympus SP-350 for valentine's day this year. While this is not a superzoom, it is something she carries in her purse almost everywhere she goes. For the size, weight, ease of use, and picture quality, this little camera is unbeatable by anything I've seen in today's market.
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Old Apr 22, 2006, 7:53 AM   #12
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Magikhat wrote:
Hey Ken

Those shots you took with the FZ30
did you use any special lenses?

or is the camera really that good.. or did
you use programs to fix em up

They say the FZ30 is a darker lens then the FZ20

I dont know which camera to buy

The FZ30 seems like an awesome camera

but theres also the sony H1 and the Cannon S3

ANy suggestions? you seem to love your FZ30.. the pictures
look amazing

THanks- Daniel

Those shots you took with the FZ30
did you use any special lenses? Currently i am only using a uv filter. This doesnt really add any value to the shots, i use it to protect my lens from anything. So short ans No.

or is the camera really that good.. or did
you use programs to fix em up Yes the camera is very good. But i take all my shots with full intention of Post processiong. I take my shots at +1/3 just bcse i like to work down rather than up from photoshop. So short answer. Yes the camea is great and yes i use photosop to adjust levels, saturation etc.

They say the FZ30 is a darker lens then the FZ20
This is usually bcse the FZ20 can go to full telephoto and maintain an aperture of 2.8 (i think) and the FZ30 only hold 2.8 at wide angle then at tele it drops to 3.6 the smaller app would result in darker images if it was taken at the same shutter as 2.8. But ofcourse the shutter speed in the cam will compensate giving you an equivalent image.

I dont know which camera to buy
Ha you sond like me 6 months ago. You really have to figure out what you want to use it for and go into a store and hold it and play around with funcs. No point having the MY most awesome camera if YOU feel totally uncomfortable using it

The FZ30 seems like an awesome camera
Yes i think so as well. I love my FZ and even today after learning and using it for about 6-7months i would still buy this camera again. I love it. I also noticed it today in What is photography mag as top rated super zoom for 2005, fujis9500 2nd and some Olympus 3rd (i think, not sure if it was olympus) So i gues all the bads said about this cam with reference to noise it managed to come back using its other qualitites and rival the others. Then again this is just this 1 mag. Short answer. YES i think its an awesome camera.

but theres also the sony H1 and the Cannon S3
Umm no disrespect to the H1 but i thnk its in a differnet league to the fz30. H1 is more comparable to fz5/7. Canon S3 looks very promising buti have not had the chance to play with it yet. our stores havent even recieved them yet.
So short ans. Yes H1 is good for wat it is at tht price point. H5 would be better and more closely matched. S3 also looks promising. Dont no havent used S3 yet.

Below is a shot straight out of the camera. No PP at all. i only used photoshop to resize the shot to post. This is what they look like straight out of the camera. I havent got around to pp this one. see what you think.

THese were my settings for this shot

Focal: 30mm (142mm - 35mm equiv.)
F-stop: 3.6
Shutter Speed: 1/100
ISO: 200
Metering: Centre Weighted
Program: Aperture Priority
Exposure Compensation: +0.3step (I do this for my Post Processing)
Saturation: Normal
Contrast: Normal
Sharpness: Normal
Noise Reduce: Normal



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Old Apr 22, 2006, 2:52 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the info
I plan on buying the FZ30 on monday

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Old Apr 23, 2006, 8:39 AM   #14
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take a look maybr helpful, sorry its in french.
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