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Old Mar 11, 2005, 10:28 AM   #1
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I've been looking at:
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3 [/*]
  • Olympus 4mp C-765 [/*]
  • Canon Powershot 3.2mp S1 IS
I really need some help deciding which camera is best. Here's a few details about how I think we'll use the camera:
  1. Traveling, we like to zoom in anything far away [/*]
  2. Water Skiiing, we need to be able to take decent pictures of skiers from land and from the boat [/*]
  3. Video, I'm thinking since we don't have a video camera I'd like to be able to take a decent video with the camera. I know length is up to the memory, but I'd like to know which camera is better at video overall, and I don't know how to tell. [/*]
  4. We are NOT big camera people, I want to be able to zoom and get a decent pic, plus hopefully grab some decent video with the camera, that's all.
General questions/comments:
  1. Anyone know if the Olympus 4mp C-765 has image stabilization? Pretty sure we need that...right? [/*]
  2. Is there any other cameras I should be considering? [/*]
  3. Based on my own reading I was originally after the Olympus, but am now leaning towards the Canon. The Panasonic adds extra $$ with the battery it needs so I was less interested there eventhough it sounds just as good. [/*]
  4. Should I be concered that these cameras are on the low side of MP these days?[/*]
BIG thanks in advance for any help you can provide! I've been stressing over this for days now, and we are leaving on a trip this Sunday that I need the camera for.
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Old Mar 11, 2005, 11:19 AM   #2
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Olympus has no image stabilization (IS). I think IS helps high zoom cameras so Iwould try to get one with it... but it isn't THAT major of a feature...

These are mostly 3 megapixels and that is good enough for average 8"x10" prints without cropping. If you mostly plant to print 4x6 (the stanard size) or 5x7 or the occasional 8x10, you are ok. If you plan to print large photos, then you may want to get a camera with 4 MP or 5MP.

Video specs that you would look for are: how long you can take video (some limit you to 30 seconds), maximum resolution (640x480 or better is best), frame rate at the resolution you want (you want around 25+ fps). You also wnat ot make sure that you can record sound (some don't, believe it or not) and can zoom while taking video. Ideally, you should look for one with 640x480 @ 30fps or better.

Overall, the Olympus is the smallest so if size is a major issue, I would look at that (do note that the other ones listed here aren't that much bigger)...

If you don't care about video, the Panasonic is the best. It has brighter lens, slightly stronger zoom, and has best pic quality. It is better than the other ones during low-light (eg. night, indoors, etc) but all digicams have problems in low-light if you don't use flash (most people use flash for night or indoor pics).

Canon S1 IS is the best for video here.

If you care about video, and can live with weak low-light performance, I would go with Canon S1 IS... otherwise, I would go with the Panasonic, even though its video is worse than the rest here...
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Old Mar 11, 2005, 11:55 AM   #3
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I think the S1 IS fits your needs best, and there is one thing you mentioned which would absolutely make this a no-brainer for me. You want to shoot FROM a boat. Digital cameras are computers as well as imaging devices. I could drop my old 35mm camera overboard, retrieve it, dry it out, and still have a functioning camera. Let a wave come over the bow and splash a digital camera, and you may well have an expensive paperweight. Buy the Canon AND the optional underwater housing.
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