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algold Mar 22, 2006 3:45 PM

mtclimber wrote:

...Keep in mind that we have yet to see the first dSLR camera with IS. ...

Sorry for off-topic, but I think you own one - KM 5D

mtclimber Mar 22, 2006 6:52 PM


I tip my hat to you. You are precisely correct. I apologize for the wayward thought. That is what happens to me when I teach three classes in a single day and drive 320 miles to do.


slipe Mar 22, 2006 7:34 PM

With the choices and prices available I see no reason to get a camera with a 10-12X zoom lens without stabilization. My FZ10 maintains F2.8 all the way to 12X with only the FZ20 as fast. On a bright sunny day I often generate 1/30 second aiming at something in the shade. It takes a steady hold and burst mode for me to hope to get a sharp image at 12X zoom using type 2 stabilization. It would be a waste of time to try the shot without stabilization.

I often find it handy indoors without flash as well. I can get shots I wouldn't even attempt with either of my cameras without stabilization.

Stabilization won't help for action like the soccer shots though. For that you need high ISO. There isn't anything available IMO in a superzoom with high ISO that compensates for not having stabilization. The Fuji F10/11 and probably the F30 are amazing at higher ISO. But they have a relatively large sensor to go with Fuji's great in-camera noise reduction and are only 3X zoom. The other Fujis aren't as good at high ISO. The S9000 would be better for the soccer shots than a stabilized camera though.

The FZ5 & I presume the FZ7 are a little faster than the S2 for both full shutter press lag and cycle times. But the S2 is fast in both categories. I haven't seen numbers for the S3. The S2 is a little bulkier and heavier with the 4 AA batteries installed, but it is still reasonably compact. FZ5 movies are hardly worth shooting but the FZ7 is up to full VGA. So is the S2with stereo wind buffered mics.

I agree with your preference for an eyelevel viewfinder in a long zoom camera. I also agree with your preference for the S2, but you aren't going to fit it in your pocket. The camera you have with you is infinitely better than the great one sitting at home.

briman Mar 23, 2006 7:34 AM

Thanks! I feel like I'm getting closer to a decision. What I'm considering:

IS cameras - Canon S2, Panasonic FZ5/FZ7

Non-IS cameras - Kodak Z7590, Olympus SP500

Seems the Kodak is the easiest to learn and use. How much harder are the Canon and Panasonic? I've read reviews where some say the Canon is easy and some say it's not so easy. Maybe someone can tell me on a scale of 1 - 10 where these four cameras rate on ease of use?

mtclimber Mar 23, 2006 11:24 AM


We really don't know what your experience level really is. I am a digital camera intructor and can pick-up and use just about any camera without any problem. So knowing where you are coming from is important. Therefore, I will grade these cameras on the basis that the buyer is purchasing their very first digital camera. 1 will equal easiest and 5 will equal hardest. Please keep in mind that these judgements are very subjective and variable. All are good cameras.

Kodak Z7590 - 2

Olympus SP-500 - 4

Canon S-2 - 3.6

Panasonic FZ-5/7 -4

Of the four cameras on your short list, if the choice were mine, I would opt for the Canon S-2 due to it's IS, better video clip mode, folding LCD screen, and it macro and super macro modes. I also feel that it also offers thebest cost to value ratio. But please read the reviews closely. These represent only my personal preferances.


briman Mar 23, 2006 1:19 PM

Thanks again MT.

I have been leaning towards the canon for the reasons you and others havelisted. I won't have a problem learning, I just need to motivate my wife to learn. She's capable but won't if she doesn't have to. We have had an Olympus D510 for 4 or 5 yrs so we have been using digital but only point and shoot.

We plan on getting an small camera as well, the Sony p200 or T5. Sony because we earn Sony points on our CC, so it won't cost us any $ for the camera.

Tinkerbell 2002 Mar 23, 2006 7:45 PM

hi briman. did you every choose your camera? i am in same boat debating between canon s2 or s3 (only would wait on that b/c of increased lcd size, 1.8 is so tiny) & panasonic fz7.

i am playing w/a fz7 right now thanks to circuit citys 30 day return policy. i already traded back a kodak p850 b/c of time between shots & flash recycle time. but it was easy easy to use. i miss that about it.

if you chose one i'd liek to know which & hear your feedback. thanks!

mtclimber Mar 23, 2006 7:49 PM

Well, Tinkerbell-

Please tell all of us in detail your analysis of the Panasonic FZ-7. How are the lipstick colors when the prints are produced by Sam's Club? Is the camera easy to use? Are you using all of the FZ-7's many features, including the low light level shooting capability?

What did you pay for your FZ-7 at Circuit City? Your analysis would be greatlyappreciated. Thanks!


mrb Mar 23, 2006 8:41 PM

I too am in the same boat deciding which cam to purchase. The posts here are very helpful and much appreciated!

Tink - I would love to hear any of your feedback. Did you purchase the FZ7 from a local Circuit City retail store? My local store had the FZ5, but said theydid not stock theFZ7 (but it is avail from Circuit City online for $335 +tax).

vwmom Mar 23, 2006 10:41 PM

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I also have a 2 yr old and a 4 yr old. I own the Canon S2 IS and it's been perfect.

The video is outstanding, as well as other camera options. I've had excellent shots from sports and usual toddler/ preschool activities. I've found the rotating/ flip lcd to be one of the best features on the camera. This is what made it stand out from the others. When you're in the back of a classroom for a concert or want that cool ground shot.. or even for holding the camera backwards (being a single mom.. i do this a lot).. it's priceless.

There are only a few users in this forum that have kids and are using their camera for this is the main purpose... It's this point I say, that taking photos of nature, buildings, etc.. is quite different than indoor photos of kids in action.

Here are a couple of shots from my S2. The colors compared to Sony and Panasonic (in my opinion) are surpassed with this camera.

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