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Old Apr 15, 2005, 9:59 AM   #1
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I am in the market for a new digicam tha I hope to last me at 2 years minimum.

I just ordered and received a Canon A85, which I paid $199 for. I have yet to open it b/c I may end up returning it and getting a different camera. Thought I'd ask here before doing anything else.

I am considering the A85, the A95 and the Panasonic DMC-FZ5 as of this moment. The A95 is about $300 and the FZ% around $450. $450 is pushing it for me, I'd prefer to not spend more than $350 or $400, unless I'm really getting some great improvements in image quality for the extra money.

I take the following types of pics most often:
-Macros of flowers and plants, both indoor and outdoor
-Indoor family shots with little kids (so, there's often a lot of action in those shots)
-Night shots in built-up areas...nite-time skylines are a favorite of mine
-Aquarium shots (which often means zooming in on small moving targets no more than 3 feet away)
-Architecture (so, I need something with few jaggies in the pics)

I will be making prints at 4x6, 5x7 and 8x10 (only a few a year at 8x10).

The things that I like about the FZ5 are the stabilization and zoom capability. I don't like the proprietary battery.

Between the A85 and A95, I like the flip/swivel LCD on the 95, but I'm worried that the pics will be noisier b/c the CCD is the older, smaller size 1/1.8.

Anyone have some advice or even a recommendation for a different camera than I've narrowed it down to?

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Old Apr 15, 2005, 3:17 PM   #2
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Just to clarify, when comparing CCD sensors, consider it like a fraction, so that 1/1.8 is a LARGER sensor than 1/2.5, which in turn is larger than 1/2.7. The A95 has the largest sensor of the three, followed by the FZ5, then the A85. But the A85 is only 4MP, so a smaller sensor is not problematic. It's the FZ5 that squeezes 5MP on the smaller 1/2.5 sensor, which may result in more noise--check the sample pix on DCRP and decide. IMO the picture quality of both of these Canons is terrific.

Regarding image stabilization, at 3X maximum zoomI can't see it's going to be an issue. The Canons have autofocus assist lamps for low light situations and if you use the flash, lighting is seldom an issue. IS isn't for fast moving objects--that's where you need fast shutter speed, and both Canon and Pan goto 1/2000 sec.

If you need the 12X zoom, that's one thing, but high zoom cameras (and the FZ5 is no exception) focus slower and are not the greatest cameras for capturing kids running around.The sample action shots you see from the Pans are mostly sports and are random--very hard to predict action--so you get good shots, but not always what you were after.

All three do fine with night shots and macro.

Personally I would have chosen the A85 or A95 for myself if high zoom hadn't been important in much of my shooting. The A95 does have the flip out screen, but the viewfinder is located farther to the right than on the A85, so keep that in mindif eye viewing position is an issue.

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Old Apr 15, 2005, 3:29 PM   #3
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Good info, thanks.

Now, if I were to splurge and spend $510 (at Dell)on the Canon G6 am I getting myself a camera that is head and shoulders above the others I've been looking at? It would be nice to not have to buy another camera in 2 years because I've become that much more of a enthusiast photographer.

Thanks, this is a very hard decision!
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