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Old Apr 22, 2009, 11:16 AM   #1
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Hello all,

Looking at buying a super/mega/ultra zoom camera. I have done a bit of research, and come up with the following short list:

Panasonic FZ28
Nikon P90
Pentax X70
Canon SX10

From reading this board, I am leaning towards the FZ28, but I want to see what you people think is right for me…

I have never owned a decent camera before. I know pretty much nothing about photography. I am going with superzoom and not DSLR for travel reasons, and also as a chance to learn about photography, so I am looking for a camera with easy to use menus and a wide variety of settings. I want to take all sorts of photos - indoor, outdoor, things like the moon, wildlife, people etc.

Which one do you think I should get? If yousee a specificadvantage/disadvantage for one of the cameras then let me know - maybe you think RAW format is important, or maybe you see the extra zoom in the Nikon/Pentax is more important. Perhaps one camera performs significantly better when zoomed right in or out? Maybe there is one camera on that list that I shouldn't consider for a particular reason? Cost is not a factor (not going to DSLR).

Thanks for your input!

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Old Apr 22, 2009, 3:44 PM   #2
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If price really is no object consider the Canon SX1. I think it recently arrived in the US and is selling for full price in the few online stores that have them. I would expect the price to come down in a month or so as places like Beach and Abe's get them in stock. The price might not come down to "reasonable" any time soon though. http://www.steves-digicams.com/2009_...onclusion.html

If you aren't big on movies or have a camcorder the SX10 looks like a nice camera. The move mode is really outdated though with no wide angle movies – same with the P90. The V70 shoots wide movies but only at 15fps, which looks jerky. The SX1 has full HD movies in stereo at 1920 X 1080. If the SX1 is too pricey the FZ28 is the camera of choice for movies with 1280 x 720 @ 30 fps.

Some things I like about both Canon cameras are the fully articulated LCD and hot shoe. Flash shots with an internal flash always seem to have a snapshot quality. Put a diffuser on an external unit and flash shots are much better. The dedicated TTL units are easier to use, but even an inexpensive auto unit can give excellent flash shots. Even though the LCD is a little smaller, you can do a lot with an articulated LCD.

Even with the quick autofocus on newer cameras I still have trouble getting that perfect shot in dynamic situations without a properly working continuous focus. That is especially true if you have little kids and want good candids. With a good continuous focus you can hold the shutter halfway and the focus updates until you see the shot you want. Response is virtually instantaneous from a half-press. Panasonic has some odd ideas sometimes and never seems to change them. Their continuous focus is virtually useless as it locks the focus with a half-press, so when the subject moves you have to release the half-press and try again. My current carry everywhere camera is a Panasonic TZ5 and all you have to know about continuous focus is to keep it turned off so it doesn't accidentally ruin your movies and run your battery down.

Other than that one Panasonic strangeness the FZ28 is a very good camera. Raw involves more work but has a lot of advantages. Your overall quality ends up a lot better. It has a good movie mode but isn't true 1080p. The movies look good on an HD TV though. If you don't shoot kids or tend to take candid photos at gatherings or parties it is a great camera for the price. I think all of the cameras you listed have a properly implemented continuous focus other than the Panasonic. I'm just assuming the FZ28 has the odd Panasonic CF as my older FZ did as well as the newer TZ.

I would love to have a SX1, but not at the current price. The high quality EVF, hot shoe, raw, articulated LCD and stereo 1080p movies look really great.

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