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Old Jun 24, 2006, 12:37 AM   #1
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I am an aged woman looking for a camera to use in conjunction with my Kodak DX6440 which I am happy with. I am no camera "Whizz" but enjoy photography and then enhancing my photos with Photoshop. I do not understand lots of the photography terms though. I like my present camera for it's simplicity and great pics but need a larger optical zoom I think. My requirements are firstly good lens which takes top photos, reasonably simple to use, 10 or12 optical zoom, IS, good battery life and charger if possible and not too heavy. I have narrowed my choices to the Panasonic FZ7, Canon S3IS and the new to my country Kodak Z612 which sounds interesting. I realise thatit is not possible to findthe perfect cameraand everyone's needs are different but I just cannot decide what would be best for me. I enjoy taking scenery (panoramas), :?insects, birds and nature in general as well as children and family. I would be grateful for other ideas regarding the three mentioned cameras or indeed, any others thought to be more suitable.

Many thanks.
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Old Jun 25, 2006, 11:04 AM   #2
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I can't comment about the others, but when I did my due diligence for a 'super zoom' for taking distant wildlife/birds, the reviews pretty much all considered the Pany FZ5 as the 'biggest-bang-for-the-buck'.

When the FZ7 came out, it added those features that the FZ5 doesn't have - manual focusing, extended optical zoom for greater reach and a price near where that which I paid for my FZ5.

I've since purchased my FZ30 over the FZ7 for its added features but would suggest looking at the FZ7, given your interests. Yes, the Pany's FZ series have issues with low light and noise intruding above 100ISO. They are light-hungry. But, for me, I'd rather have a bit of noise w/detail that can be had by a little post processing w/Neat Image or the like than to have less noise, chromatic issuesand muddled details.

In the end, you'd probably be happy with any of the choices you've mentioned. But, for me, the Pany FZ line has more going for it when it comes to native optical reach in its zoom capabilities. A newcomer that has been producing some nice images, as well, is the Pany TZ1 that might also be of interest.
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Old Jun 25, 2006, 8:59 PM   #3
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Thanks for your input. I had placed the FZ7 at the top of my list but am still considering my options and hoping for more advice regarding the three I am looking at. I DO want to look at the Kodak Z612 which is not available to me for another week, before making any decision. Thanks again.

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