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Old Apr 20, 2006, 5:36 PM   #11
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Thank you, MT.

I really appreciate it.

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Old Apr 21, 2006, 12:24 AM   #12
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I had an FZ30 for a month and ended up selling it for a dSLR. I didn't find the wide angle capability (lack there-of) a problem at all - it was actually a bit wider than my old camera. I loved the long zoom and used it for all kinds of things. The macro capability worked great for the most part, though I found that as soon as you zoomed in, the focusing distance changed quickly. While that was annoying once in a while, it certainly didn't bother me much.

I thought the noise issue was over-blown. The camera just doesn't process the noise as much as the Fuji or other similar cameras - it isn't all that much noisier. What really bothered me was the lack of dynamic range - the ability to show some detail in shadows. When I looked at sample photos, it seemed that the A200 was more capable with photos having a greater range of lighting. The FZ30 takes very nice pictures after dark if you have a tripod, use 200 ISO and a long shutter speed.

I agree with tclune - I found the IS less helpful than I had expected. I couldn't quite control the camera well enough without a tripod, partly because I was more likely to use the long end of the zoom and often in shadows. There just didn't seem to be a better fixed lens camera for what I wanted, so I ended up buying a dSLR and am much happier with my pictures (my dSLR doesn't have IS and I don't miss it, though my longest lens is only 200mm).

The FZ30 isn't exactly a lightweight for a camera. I didn't notice much difference when carrying the *ist DS and kit lens. My bag has recently lost weight - I swappedmy niecean old, heavy,Kiron zoom lens for a couple of old primes (she has my old film camera and lenses). It's actually been fun re-discovering photo equipment I haven't looked at in at least 3 or more years.

One last note - the person I sold my FZ30 to still has it and loves it. While it wasn't the right camera for me, it might be the perfect camera for you. I'm not convinced that there is any fixed lens camera that is significantly better, just ones that have different capabilties.
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Old Apr 21, 2006, 5:09 PM   #13
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thank you very much for the comments!!!

glad to hear some of the stuff that was considered "bad" isnt that horrible after all.

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Old Apr 21, 2006, 11:10 PM   #14
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algold wrote:
The Pana's wide angle lens is about US$250, which brings the total size and cost very close to the size and cost of something like a two lens Olympus E300/E500 kit or a Nikon D50 with 18-200mm Sigma or Tokina lens, and you do get better quality pics with DSLRs especially in low-light and action/sport shots, although you loose macro and video.

The Panny conversion lenses areoverpriced. There are much cheaper conversion lenses out there.
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