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Old Apr 13, 2005, 3:23 AM   #1
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After Much research and reading and asking questions (and from the info I'm learned here) I've narrowed it down somewhat.

This is what I want.

--SLR like (NOT DSLR though)

--Long Zoom

--Image Stabilization ( From what I've read I think I should make this a "must" with the long zoom)

--2/3 CCD sensor (this isn't a must but it seems to me that if it came down to 2 camera's and one had 2/3 and one had smaller than I might as well pick the camera with the bigger sensor)

--I'd really like higher end megapixels (just because I Know that we will have whichever camera we pick out we'll have for YEARS and I don't want it to basically become obsolete) Like I said, I'd like more but I'll take 5

--Size of camera--this may sound like a really dumb "want" but I want a smaller camera (still SLR like but not too big) I LOVE the feel of the fugi S5100 but no IS and only 4mp--I also don't mind the size of the Panasonic FZ20 (But really don't want to go any bigger) and from what I've read on the internet the Minolta A200 is about the right size too. I tried out the Nikon 8800 and I Hated how big it fealt. I would Not want to lug out that camera everday to take picks of the kids.

The camera's I've been thinking of so far are the

Minolta A200--I live in the middle of nowhere and nobody here has one for me to try but it "looks" like the right size from the specs I've seen. Has IS. Has 7 times zoom (not the best but maybe it would be good enough since the mp's are high), really like the flip out view screen. The one thing that worries me about it is that the zoom is on the lense (is that right) so I'm not sure if I could zoom in and out without using both hands.

Panasonic FZ20.--OK size, IS seems really good, Very good Zoom.

Panasonic FZ5--Haven't tried one yet but I know it's a smaller camera (maybe a bit too small for my husband but we'll see), good IS, very good zoom, only has automatic focus but, although my husband says he'd like the camera to be able to manual focus too, I'm really not sure how much we'd ever use it.

Can anybody add to my list of camera's that I "should" be looking at? Or do you have any comments on the ones already on my list. Or any news on any new camera's coming out that I should also maybe wait to look at?

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Old Apr 13, 2005, 4:42 AM   #2
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So you are after a Prosumer camera. Also known as a Bridge camera, as it bridges the gap between high end point and shoot and DSLR.

I've had my Dimage A2, the predecessor to the A200 for a while now and don't envisage upgrading for some time, so I have not kept up to date with the spec of later models. But in response to a couple of your points, yes the A200 has '7x' zoom. but this is 7 x the shortest focal length, which at 28mm, makes the zoom up to a max of 200mm. Not in fact bringing the subject 7x nearer, the same as any camera. TheX factor is a multiple of the shortest focal length. The reason for explaining this is because one camera with, let's say 10x zoom mighthavethe wide end at 35mm (equivalent) which makes the long end 350mm. Pretty good zoom especially if it has IS. But another camera with 10x zoom may have at the wide end a 28mm focal length, which is great for shooting Panoramas, group photographs without the need to squash people together so much, especially indoor shots, but at the long end would 'only' give 280mm. Not to be sniffed at, but not as far obviously as the first example. You have to decide which lens would benefit you more. You can, with most cameras these days, use teleconverters. These attach to the front of the lens and is effectively a magnifying glass, multiplying your focal length by 1.5x, 1.7, 2x etc.

Regarding the "zoom on the lens" with the A200. Don't worry, unless you intend to do a heck of a lot of one handed shooting, which I wouldn't recommend anyway. Any camera I have owned, point & shoot digital, film camera have had electronic zooms. That's fine, very happy with them.......until I got my A2. Like the A200 the zoom is manual, adjusted on the barrel of the lens and once you have used one you will not want to go back to electronic zooms, not permanently anyhow. You can operate the zoom a lot quicker and have more precise control over the adjustment. That's what I think anyway.

The A200 has AS (Anti-Shake), manual Zoom, 2/3 sensor and 28mm-200mm lens, which you can add to.

Sorry for the bias toward the A200, but as I said, I have the A2 and they are similar cameras and I am very happy with mine.

Hope this helps and I'm sure you will get a lot more advice.


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Old Apr 13, 2005, 9:25 PM   #3
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Thank you for explaining the zoom, that makes sense actually. I'm learning--slowly but surely but I'm learning I'm REALLY gonna have to find one of those A200!! I think if it "feels right" in my hand then that will be the way that we will end up going!--I've heard nothing but good things about it!
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Old Apr 15, 2005, 8:51 AM   #4
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Hi Brenda...I'm new at this forum thing and have sent one before, but it looks as if it never got sent...hope it works this time
Just wanted to say that I too, after several months of research on reviews and forums came to decide on either the Minolta A200 or the Panasonic FZ20. I decided to purchase the A200 because of its many features - the zoom, the IS, the megapixels, the flip out screen and the decent movie mode.
However, upon actual use of the A200, I had too much difficulty in getting focused pictures even in broad daylight outdoors and worse of course in low light indoors. Did use a tripod in some instances, but it was too cumbersome. For my purposes ie: catching grandchildren in action or travel shots the A200 would not serve my needs
Luckily, the camera shop allowed me a 7-day trial and I consequently exchanged it for the FZ20. It does not have all the features of the A200, but of what value are the features if I could not get a shot. The 12x zoom lens are phenomenal and now I can get focused candid shots of my grandchildren and one-chance shots in my travels.
Of course the decision is yours, but I'm merely giving you my experience with the A200. Good luck, but be sure to try out your decision before buying.
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Old Apr 15, 2005, 10:39 AM   #5
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The FZ20 rocks my socks. Only issue I've had is forgetting to fix my white balance - the auto setting doesn't work all the time.
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Old Apr 15, 2005, 11:32 PM   #6
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i too am enjoying the fz20. most value for money, in my opinion. peace!
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