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Old Dec 7, 2005, 8:37 AM   #1
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I have never had a digital camera before,i have a 35mm slr,I want to use this camera mostly for horse pics,both still and action.I need a digital camera so that i do not have to wait for the pictures to come back from walmart when i am selling a horse by email.Is the fz30 hard to learn to use?I have some computer knowledge,but i am no expert.Will it be hard for a 1st time digital user to learn to use? I was also considering the konica dimage z6,but seems like the fz30 may be a better camera,i need the 12x zoom for barrel racing action pics.Hopefully someone will answer this soon as i am going to try to make a decison today on a camera,i also am thinking some about a fuji s9500,one more megapixi or smaller zoom,still seems like to me from what i read the fz30 is the best camera.But how user friendly is it? Also what else will i need to buy to go with the camera/
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 9:48 AM   #2
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For animal shots Panasonic would be definitely better.

And there ain't such thing as best (even less perfect) camera, every camera is compromise, they just lack different things and one is best only in one aspect.
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 12:45 PM   #3
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I agree about the Panasonic, just remember, with a digital camera you're going to have some shutter lag, which will make nailing an action shot more difficult. You can set to burst mode, but the screen blanks out while shooting. Great pictures? Yes. Good in low light? Yes. Action shots? A little more problematic. However, your only option to improve that would be a dSLR, which has a higher learning curve and is more expensive.

As far as learning the camera, downloading pics onto the computer and e-mailing them, don't even worry about it. Not difficult at all (assuming you've got a USB port on your computer)

Best of luck to you.
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 1:11 PM   #4
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I got my Panasonic FZ30 Friday and itseems to do quite well if you just let the camera do it all.I didn't bother downloading the software that comes with it only because I already have Photoshop and I'm used to that as far as manipulating pictures goes, but it comes with a graphics program as well as a basic viewer. If you want to download photos from the camera and are using XP, all you do isplug inthe USB cable that comes with it and transfer the photos to your hard drive - nothing unusual. There are lots of interesting settings to try out - I've only scratched the surface. There's a panning scene mode but I have no idea yetwhat it doesor how it can assist taking a fast moving object like a barrel racer. I don't think that the extra 1 mp capability is all that big of a deal - I had been using a Sony F717 which is 5 MP and had plenty of information for great photos. And since you'll be emailing your photos, you'll want to make them much smaller than 8 MP or take them at a lower resolution.
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 1:35 PM   #5
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For your purposes you might also consider the Panasonic FZ20. It is f2.8 at full 12X zoom, which gives you almost an extra f-stop for action shots. Stabilization doesn't help for subject motion – it just smoothes out hand shake. Unless you plan to make large prints or crop excessively you don't need the extra pixels.

The FZ30 has raw mode which the FZ20 doesn't. Not sure you would be interested in that, but it gives more versatility in post processing and slightly better shots. It also has a manual zoom ring which is far superior to the electric zoom on the FZ20 IMO. the FZ30 is probably an overall better camera, but maybe not for how you will use it. You will generate more shutter speed at full zoom with the FZ20, and that might be important for action shots on an overcast day. It is also a little smaller and lighter.

Both cameras have an excellent 3 fps burst mode, which helps for action. Unfortunately you can't see exactly what you are shooting after the first shot. I haven't found that to be a big problem with the fast burst, but it irritates some people.

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