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Old Jul 14, 2008, 11:05 PM   #21
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hello mitch
another pany is the fz50
it will improve your manual focus skills as it has full manual capabilities
if you plan to go dslr later you will definitely want to be able to master using the camera manually as it give you more creativity
however it is bigger
it also has a hot shoe
it is an older model you may get a deal on one
no doubt the pic quality is also very good
dunno all the specs but its worth reviewing the spec sheet
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Old Jul 15, 2008, 11:29 AM   #22
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Hello pete! Thanks for your comment.

Yeah, I am planning to go to DSLR later but I think it would be years for me to master everything, hehe. I was messing around with FZ18's manual focus with the joystick. I need more practice though. I managed to get decent concert photos from about 50 meters away from the stage in low light using manual.

I've bought my FZ18 and loving it. Perhaps for those who are still in the research stage would also add the FZ50 in the list.

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Old Jul 15, 2008, 1:50 PM   #23
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Go online and read the manual for both, because this will give you a very good idea of the user interface.

I really don't care for the menu/user interface system on my S3 IS and the placement of buttons is confusing and I always find myself struggling along to get to the setting I want. The S3 and S5 IS are both limited to 15 second exposure, which will significantly limit your long exposure night photography opportunity.

I can get myself around the menu on my Panasonic DMC-LZ3 much easier. Be sure that you can use all the full range of shutter speeds/aperture settings in the manual mode. Although my camera goes to 60 seconds max in long exposure mode, it can only be used in starry sky program mode.

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Old Jul 15, 2008, 9:09 PM   #24
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I find it strange that no one here mentioned the Olympus sp 570?? It has a lot of features with the most powerful zoom and very good IQ. Nothing bad to say about the fz 18 but the oly not only has more zoom it also has a dedicated hot shoe for flash.
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