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Old Jan 22, 2005, 10:28 PM   #1
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I will be using the camera to take pictures of my two young children. I have a digital camera that is 3 years old and it drives me nuts because between the time I press the button to take the picture and when the picture is taken the kids are long gone and I get a picture of the floor. So I need something quicker. Also, thinking that I might like something with a higher zoom and good flash for those school plays and such. I do not care about size and I will not be using the camera for video. I have been doing a lot of research but I just can't make a decision. I was looking at the Olympus C 765 but now I a may be leaning toward the Panasonic FZ3. Loooking to spend about $400 or less. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Jan 23, 2005, 1:09 AM   #2
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Moving objects and low-light situations (eg. indoors, night, etc) are always hard. I don't think it matters what camera you use (not counting expensive DSLRs). Modern cameras are MUCH faster than what they were just 2 years ago. So you will likely see a big improvement in speed. However, digicams are still slow when it comes to focusing (i.e. autofocus) and that is slower than what I would like to see. In any case, you will see speed improvement with modern cameras.

The Panasonic DMC-FZ3 is one of the best cameras around and it would be a good choice for you. If you can use flash in your school plays or whatever, you might want to get one of the (more expensive) models with a flash hot-shoe that allows external flashes to be added (eg. Panasonic FZ15, FZ20).
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Old Jan 23, 2005, 3:46 PM   #3
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If you don't care about size and am interested in a longer zoom, I'd echo Sivaram's comments on the FZ3 (although it's actually quite small, just not as small as the latest compact/subcompact camera). I wouldn't consider a longer zoom without image stabilization (I've got a Kodak 10X DX6490 and a Panny FZ1 12X), as it will make it much more usable without a tripod - and also improves your "less zoomy" pics by allowing a slower shutter speed. You could also investigate the Canon S1, as well as the Minolta Z3/4's, as well as the larger Panasonic zooms.
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