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Old Sep 25, 2006, 10:16 PM   #1
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Hi All...

I just got my S3 last week and took it on vacation this weekend. While it seems like a GREAT camera I think it might be "too much" camera for me. I found all the displays, choices features of the camera overwelming. I shot mostly in AUTO, and it seems like sometimes my pictures were not in focus, as I am not use to having to hold down the button to "focus" the pic before you take it. I tried to take pics of my daughter on roller coaster, and it seems like they were out of focus everytime. I tried to play around with it, and I just couldn't seem to "get it".

I am wondering if I should look into an alternative camera. I need camera for following use
  • Pics of kids, vacations everyday family life. Want ability for GREAT close up's of kids. [/*]
  • Image stabliazation [/*]
  • Easy to use and not too bulky[/*]
Looking online tonight I saw the Panasonic TZ1...would this be a better alternative for me?

TIA for all the rec's. I am open to any camera, just needs to take great pics, and be easy to use for this very novice picture taker.


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Old Sep 26, 2006, 3:18 AM   #2
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the Canon S3 is a bit bulky, a bit like carrying a toaster in your pocket
the TZ-1 makes more sense being a new generation of camera, and it seems to be capable of producing fine results

just for something completely different, have a look at LX-1, with its native 16 x 9 format

Riley
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Old Sep 26, 2006, 4:12 AM   #3
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All digital cameras have the "half-press to focus and set exposure" and "full-press to take the picture" feature. For things like roller coasters, you need to focus on the track where the car will be BEFORE it gets there, then keep your finger half-way pressed until the car gets into the frame, and then snap it. Otherwise, such pictures will always be out of focus.

It takes a bit of practice, as it will for any camera you buy.

I have found that the longer zoom is terrific for best candids -- especially with children, they often will pose when the see a camera pointing at them, so the further away from them that you are, the better the pictures will be. the S3's 12x optical is terrific for this.

The not-too-bulky aspect may be something the S3 can't overcome. I bought it after doing a lot of research, originally intending to buy a shirt-pocket size camera. But I want that long zoom, and the movie mode (can shoot at 640x480 at 30fps) is terrific, so one camera will serve me quite well in situations where my 20D and extra lenses is overkill, especially since I would also need to have a videocamera with me for those movie moments.

As to whether the Panasonic would be the better camera for you, make a longer list of what you might want from a camera and then put an x on each row in two columns, one for each camera.

Then you have to decide on which trade-offs you're willing to make.

And I've always found that I should buy more than I think I need initially because once I start using something like a digital camera I can think of uses I hadn't even considered when I was first looking around at what to buy.

Your S3 may be too much right now, but with practice and asking questions on this forum (in the appropriate category, the Canon section) you might quickly learn how to master much of what it's capable of and be delighted with it.

I know I am. It's the fourth Canon digital camera in our house.:-)
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Old Sep 26, 2006, 10:06 AM   #4
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samismom-

I very seriously considered the Canon S-3, and the Panasonic TZ-1,because I owned and mostly liked the Canon S-2 as well as earlier Panasonic. However I disciovered the Kodak Z-612. The Z-612 gave me a nice EVF compared to the TZ-1 having just the LCD screen and no viewfinder. And I found the Kodak Z-612 much easier to deal with, had a large and very clear LCD screen, and IS that I feel is even better than the IS on my Canon S-2.

So I am a real happy camper with the Kodak Z-612. It fits in my purse nicely. It is fast and takes great photos. And best of all, it is simple and straight forward. Here is a sample photo.

MT
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Old Sep 26, 2006, 11:07 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input.

Does anyone see any issues with the TZ1 not having a view finder? I noticed some posts about this, and wondered if this is a big deal or not?
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Old Sep 26, 2006, 11:18 AM   #6
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the only time i use mine is when i cant see the LCD, thats ONLY in bright sun
even then the finder is pretty crappy
newer LCD's are better and bright than mine now
the trick is to kill the reflection off your face, then they work fine
i hope that helps

Riley
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Old Sep 26, 2006, 2:28 PM   #7
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The TZ1 does also have a power LCD mode as well as a high angle LCD mode. The power LCD mode is suppose to help out for outdoor pictures. Not sure how much it does actually help. The lithium battery in the TZ1 is also a plus, on average you'll be able to easily take 200 pictures. The Canon S3IS is no doubt 1 of the top of the line digital cameras, I personally just don't care for the ergonomics or the 4-AA batteries to keep up with. I'd rather have a lithium battery, I can just take out of the camera and recharge. The pop up flash on the Canon S3IS is gonna be better than the TZ1's but none the less, the TZ1's flash does seem to do pretty good considering it's just a built in flash. In addition, if you ever have the need to go on a vacation and want to do scuba diving or swim with dolphins, you have the option to purchase an underwater casing specifically designed for the TZ1.

At the end of the day, I don't think you can go wrong with either purchase but if it was me personally, the TZ1 would suit all my needs.
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Old Sep 26, 2006, 2:43 PM   #8
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about batteries
whatever you have, you need backup batteries
and on nicads
they lose charge very quickly even while not in use
and it becomes more difficult remembering what is charged and what is not
looking after them well really means keeping them in sets of equivelent age

lithiums do a very good job really

Riley
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Old Sep 26, 2006, 8:59 PM   #9
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One last question...

Does the TZ1 allow for continuous shooting? I found this feature very nice on the S3, to catch the constant movement of my children playing.

Also, I sawsome reviews aboutthe video shooting to be inmono, not stereo. Does this seem to be an issue?





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Old Sep 30, 2006, 2:02 AM   #10
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samismom wrote:
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One last question...

Does the TZ1 allow for continuous shooting? I found this feature very nice on the S3, to catch the constant movement of my children playing.

Also, I sawsome reviews aboutthe video shooting to be inmono, not stereo. Does this seem to be an issue?




The recording of sound in the video mode is honestly not great. However, it's a camera and at the end of the day, it's next to impossible to find a good camera that has an equally as good video mode. The Canon will prolly have a better movie mode if I'm being honest but how often do you actually use that mode? To answer your question, yes the TZ1 is able to shoot up to 3fps on a continuous mode.
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