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View Poll Results: Which camera?
Panasonic FZ8 2 25.00%
Kodak Z712 IS 1 12.50%
Canon A720 IS 1 12.50%
Fujifilm S700 2 25.00%
Other-specify in post 2 25.00%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Nov 6, 2007, 2:18 PM   #1
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I still can't decide what camera I want to get. I have been looking for months, but still cannot decide. Basically I have narrowed it down:
Panasonic FZ8: Pros-Raw mode, OIS, long zoom. Cons-horrible higher ISO quality.
Canon A720 IS: Pros-OIS, somewhat better higher ISO quality. Cons- no Raw mode, zoom not long.
Kodak Z712 IS: Pros-OIS, long zoom. Cons-no Raw, bad image quality?
Fujifilm S700: Pros-great image quality, very cheap, long zoom. Cons-no OIS, no Raw

Of all these cameras, which take the best images? Which have the best features? My budget is under $250, so I don't have much flexibility. Which camera is the best overall?
I am going to be shooting some photos indoors, but some outdoors too. Which has the best high ISO performance? Which has the best color?
Please vote, then post your reason for the vote.

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Old Nov 9, 2007, 4:10 PM   #2
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Old Nov 9, 2007, 4:31 PM   #3
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Some indoors, some outdoors doesn't tell members a lot. ;-)

I'd suggest mentioning the types of subjects you like to take photos of (people, landscapes, etc.), and in what conditions (be more specific as to lighting condtions, distances from the subject, etc.). Portraits are one thing, sports are another (and the lighting you'll take them in is also important).

If you're not going to need higher ISO speeds (necessary for photos of non-stationary subjects in less than optimum lighting without a flash), or larger print/viewing sizes (if you're only printing smaller prints or the photos are for web use), you gain a bit more flexibility in camera choices.

Ditto for focal lengths needed. For example, I almost never use anything over around 150mm, but some people may like to take sports and wildlife shots and need longer lenses.

There are many variables that go into what may make a good camera choice for a specific user. No one choice is perfect for everyone, and any choice is going to be a compromise in one area or another (size, weight, features, erognomics, focal range/brightness of the lens, noise levels, etc., etc., etc.). ;-)

One user may need a station wagon, another a 4 wheel drive, another a compact for city commuting.

What led you to narrow down your choices to the ones you've mentioned?

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Old Nov 9, 2007, 4:59 PM   #4
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Okay, I will be taking mostly pictures of landscapes, mostly in good lighting, portraits, mostly in good lighting (although sometimes in not the best lighting), and "action" shots (photos of subjects moving), in good lighting. I won't be zooming in too much, so the long zoom isn't a necessity, it's just a handy feature.
As far as why I've narrowed it down, these are pretty much the only cameras out there that have a longer than standard (3x or 4x) zoom, manual controls (full PASM), good image quality (from reviews I've seen), and image stabilization (although the Fuji doesn't have it, it's higher ISO shots are fairly decent).

I'm thinking I'll probably go with the Canon. It has the best higher ISO performance (except for the Fuji, but it has image stabilization). Is there a camera that I'm missing?

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Old Nov 9, 2007, 8:09 PM   #5
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digicamdude wrote:
Okay, I will be taking mostly pictures of landscapes, ...
For landscapes, people generally want a wider angle lens than average. The lenses for the cameras you've listed are as follows:

Canon A720 IS 35mm film equivalent: 35-210mm
FujiFilm S700 35mm film equivalent: 38-380mm
Kodak Z712 35mm film equivalent: 36–432 mm
Panasonic DMC-FZ8 35mm film equivalent: 35-420mm

The Canon and Panasonic are best at 35mm, with the Kodak not far behind at 36mm, and the FujiFilm trailing at 38mm.

Iflandscapes areimportant to you, you might try tofind something wider. There are some P&S digicams that will go as wide as 28mm.
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Old Nov 10, 2007, 1:51 AM   #6
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I know you said your budget is $250, but ...

The Fuji S8000fd is on sale at several reputable etailers for $320 or less. There is a $50 rebate (ask around) or a $30 rebate available for this camera or for any Fuji camera over $200 I think. This camera has IS and a monster zoom, and goes all the way to 28mm for wide angle shots. Check the Fuji forum for sample shots.

If this camera is a no go because of the expense, I would recommend the Canon from your list.
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Old Nov 10, 2007, 2:18 AM   #7
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How about the new Panasonic FZ18?

It has an insane zoom range of 28-500mm f2.8-4.2 equivalent. The difference between 28mm and 35-39mm is very big at the wide angle end.

OK, so the Panasonic high ISO is slightly worse than the competition, but the Leica lenses are great.

All P&S high ISO performance is very poor, even the Fujis. So for lower-light work just make sure you use the flash.

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Old Nov 11, 2007, 10:25 PM   #8
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If zoom is not a premium feature you want, I'd say the Canon A720; if you need the zoom and want the best camera out of the list with that + IS, I'd go Kodak Z712--although the biggest con against that is having to use a Kodak KLIC proprietary battery instead of standard NiMH rechargables (my biggest gripe against Kodak, as it adds more cost that doesn't need to be there and limits your versatility w/o the regular NiMH).
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Old Nov 11, 2007, 11:55 PM   #9
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I would definitely go with the Panasonic. Especially for Landscapes and Portraits, RAW mode will allow you to squeeze every bit of detail out of the camera. Also, with a few Menu changes higher ISO is not as bad as camera defaults, neither is it shooting in RAW. I have an FZ8 as a companion to our SLRs and dSLRs.
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Old Nov 12, 2007, 10:59 AM   #10
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Okay, now I'm really confused. Some people say that the FZ8 is the best choice, some say the A720 IS. Which will have the best low light performance (not on the default settings, but the best settings)? I don't mind shooting in RAW some, but I don't want to all the time.
I have also heard about a hack for Canon cameras that will allow them to shoot in RAW. Would this void my warrenty and does it actually work? If so, what software would I need to edit it?
I'm also considering the Canon SX100 IS. How does it compare to the other two?

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