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Old Oct 7, 2005, 8:10 PM   #1
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I've narrowed my potential buying field to these two cameras. My criteria were:

- Non-dSLR, I enjoy movie modes and am not taking professional images
- Long Zoom, I already have a pocket camera
- Decent movie mode, I do use the feature fairly often
- Image Stabilization, I'm not a big fan of tripods for everyday use
- Would prefer to keep the cost in the $500-$700 range after purchase of a 1GB card and minimal accessories
- Decent versatility, I'm buying this for a year long trip to Korea and anticipate bth indoor and outdoor needs

The S2 is attractive due to it's movie mode. I've viewed a few clips and enjoy the stereo sound and filters, the functional zoom, IS, and autofocus in said movie mode, the seperate record buttons for stills and movies and the ability to switch between them on the fly.

The FZ-30 is attractive due to it's manual focus and zoom rings, which I've found to be very satisfying when playing with the FZ-20 in stores. The larger sensor doesn't hurt either although it's not strictly necessary for my uses. I also like the option of an external flash hotshoe, and the build of the camera in general. The size and weight are very nice and meaty. The lens is also a slight improvement over the S2, although not as much as the old FZ-20 lens.


Low light performance of each camera, they both seem to suffer from overly noisy sensors. Does it work out this way in practice?

Are the manual focus and zoom rings on the FZ-30 really all that useful? It seems it would be hard to really work them properly on a non-optical viewfinder.

I've read some reports from S2 owners that the zoom motor, qhile quiet, is still audible during movie recording. Is this true?

Any non-tangibles here I'm overlooking?
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Old Oct 9, 2005, 12:29 PM   #2
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I don't know anything about the FZ30, but Steve's write-up of the S2IS mentions some chromatic aberration.

If chromatic aberration was important to me (& to me it isn't) I'd consider the FZ5 - while if I was thinking about the FZ 30 I'd wait to see what Steve says about it.
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Old Oct 9, 2005, 1:28 PM   #3
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i just picked up the S2 two days ago and I love it. You can here the zoom if you are filming a real quite scene, but the ability to zoom far out ways the negative. plus being able to snap pics during is cool as hell. I wish it had mpeg4 for longer film times, but with a 2 gb card you get about 15 minutes. I love it.

The fz30 is also quite a bit bigger with its non retractable lens. I have found that the bigger the camera, the less likely you are to use it.
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