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Old Dec 1, 2006, 1:32 AM   #1
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Hello,

I have recently sold my novice Canon PowerShot A75 to upgrade so something more professional. I am looking at the following:

-Panasonic DMC-FZ7S (6MP)

-Canon PowerShot S2IS (5MP)

-FujiFilm S5200 (5MP)



All of these offer great features at a super affordable price for what they are. I am looking for more than just number specs, as I have already looked extensively at those. I am needing speed, good macro, but most of all, image quality. I don't like motion blur, image grain, etc, but I want the best "all arounder." What I suppose I am really looking for is an experienced opinion. Which one will I be the happiest with?All are fantastic, please help...:-)



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Old Dec 1, 2006, 11:41 AM   #2
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I have got to play with all three of these and i would suggest the panasonic.

Reasons:

More megapixels

Good I.S.

Great zoom

Easy to use

very fast continuos frame (Fuji takes to long to take the first shot on continuos)

I have had friends with the s3is that have had screen failures, all in the rotating hinge part. I feel S2/S3 are great except for poor design with that rotating screen.

Once again these are my opinions.

Fuji is very nice but that delay on the first frame is just to long for me. Hope this helps
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Old Dec 1, 2006, 12:32 PM   #3
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Greg and ecap-

For outdoor use in normal lighting, the Panasonic FZ-7 willgive very good camera performance. However, in lower light level shooting, where the ISO has to be increased, there is measurable noise.

The Canon S-2 benefits from IS and an excellent video clip mode, while the Fuji S-5200 turns in just average performance. I you want high ISO capability, take a look at the new Fuji S-6000, the lens-imager-processer combination works quite well. However the S-6000fd would benefit from IS, which would make it an ideal camera.

Among the available ultra zooms, I prefer the Sony H-5 or H-2. They do quite well shooting outdoors and in low light levels I can use up to ISO 400 with excellent results. I own and use all of the cameras I have mentioned, so I am posting from hands on experience, not from just reading reviews and user reports.

MT/Sarah
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Old Dec 1, 2006, 6:35 PM   #4
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First,

Thank you guys so much for replying quickly. You don't know how much this helps me...really.

Second, I have looked at the Sony, but I was disappointed with it not having a Carl Zeiss lense. Sony has used these before and are legendary for their great performance and clarity. However, the Panasonic has a Leica lense, which in my opinion is the best one that I can buy within my price range. Actual Lieca lenses go for near thousand dollar price ranges but I simply don't have that kind of budget. A note with the ISO as well. Perhaps this makes me an unflexible photographer, but I rarely use ANYTHING above ISO 100. The noise and grain I believe ruins the picture, and because of that, if I have to increase my ISO, I will use a tripod and a longer shutter speed instead. Perhaps my biggest issue is image quality, with the ISO not really mattering too much. Much of my work will be done outdoors as well, with macro and full distance. This is why the Canon's ability to macro as close as 0 cm (yes, that's correct) is important. The Leica lense will get me better pictures overall I feel, but the S2 has rave reviews of it's lense and I have always found great detail and color in Canon.

Please reply back with any suggestions. I suppose now that I would only be looking at the Canon S2 IS and the Panasonic Leica. I have eliminated the Fuji thanks to you guys, but now what about the Sony. In comparison to the other two, what's it got going for it? I appreciate everything;

THANKS!!

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Old Dec 1, 2006, 6:55 PM   #5
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" Second, I have looked at the Sony, but I was disappointed with it not having a Carl Zeiss lense."

Greg,

Don't know why you think that. Both the H2 and the H5 have Carl Zeiss lenses. I have used both the S2 IS and the H2, and consider the Sony the better camera. And while I admire your philosophy of staying with ISO 100 or less, it would not be practical for me to carry around a tripod everywhere I go. I don't like lugging a lot of stuff around with me...that's why I'm not a candidate for a DSLR. However, if I were buying a megazoom today, I would take Sarah's advice and get the S6000. I think that it is the best "all around" camera available today...of course, that could all change by Monday morning, if someone comes out with something better.

Good luck with your choice.

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Old Dec 1, 2006, 9:23 PM   #6
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i totally forgot about the s6000, awesome camera. I can not comment on the h2 and h5 but have heard good things. i do know that they have zeiss lenses though. i think all newer sonys do. i would look hard at the s6000, have borrowed a friends at times when i dont want to carry my dslr and have been impressed. i still have bad feelings about that s2.
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Old Dec 1, 2006, 9:42 PM   #7
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Ibought Fuji S-6000fd and really like the camera. I also use and like th Sony H-5 and it does well at ISO 400, but that is the limit. The S-6000does much better at higher ISO settings.

The attached photo was taken at our local optical shop: handheld/ISO 1600/overhead flourescent lights/ 28mm lens setting.

MT/Sarah
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Old Dec 2, 2006, 12:38 AM   #8
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First, thanks for the opinions; those are what I'm looking for right now. And the attached image put a lot of confidence in the Fuji.

However, the Fuji is totally out of my price range. I am in high school right now and have a very limited budget. The Fuji S5200 was about the max I will pay for any camera with FujiFilm. That's why I was looking at the 5200 to begin with. The S6000 is going for $374.00 on Amazon, who have some of the lowest prices I have seen. The S2 and Panasonic are both around $270.00, much more acceptable within my tight budget. I have owned a Canon PowerShot as I have said before but I am stepping up, not keeping whatever worked for me. I don't know any other camera maker than Canon as far as digital goes.

The comments for the Sony are great, and I was looking at an H1, not an H2. My bad. And the H2 DOES have a Carl Zeiss in it, the H1 did not.

I am very curious as to why you are worried about the Canon. I'm not knocking it, if anything I want to know of any issue. But the screen issue doesn't seem to be a major problem. What I did find was problems with Sony's CCD. Here is a copied paragraph.

Sony Corp. has disclosed a defect in part of its CCD image sensors and indicated that products featuring these CCDs might "be unable to display images on finders and LCD screens, record images, render sufficient images and so on." The cause of the defect is bonding wire used to joint a CCD chip and a lead frame, which comes off due to aging. Sony offers free repair for products presenting the abovementioned malfunctions.

Especially on a students budget, I want this to last a long time. My dad handed me down his old Canon SLR (without the digital prefix) that he had when he was a teenager. I love that and my Point and Shoot camera so much, perhaps I'm just being biased. I also noticed that the Panasonic didn't go over to well here as well as with anyone else. The conclusion seems to be that Panasonic makes great TVs and DVD players, just not a league heading camera.

So with that in mind, Canon or Sony? The Fuji seems fantastic, I just cant afford it.

But there are plenty of options, and that's why I have posted. Please reply, you know that I appreciate it...

-=Greg=-



http://www.amazon.com/Fujifilm-Finep...F8&s=photo
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Old Dec 2, 2006, 7:41 AM   #9
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Greg-

The Canon S2 is a good camera with excellent video clips and IS. It is has nice 12X optical zoom but it does not have much capability for low light level shooting.

The Fuji S-5200 is a nice camera, has 10X optical zoom, has moderate low light level shooting capability, and is a good performer. Only problem NO IS.

The Sony H-1 is a somewhat dated camera but very good camera. I would consider the H-2 if possible. The H-1 or H-2 can produce good images at ISO 400, but that is about the max ISO before noise becomes a factor.

The Panasonic FZ7 is a good camera for outdoor lighting, has IS, but is quite noisy in low light level shooting situations, requiring ISO settings above ISO 200.

So there is a quick rundown on thefour cameras within your price range. There are also the Fuji F-20 and F-30 which are great low light level cameras, but only have 3X optical zoom. I still like the Fuji S-6000fd best. It is selling for $374 less a $50 Fuji rebate with free shipping, at www.buydig.com, giving a net cost of $324

MT/Sarah

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Old Dec 2, 2006, 9:19 AM   #10
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Greg,

You didn't include a link for your Sony sensor concern, but I believe it has been discussed here in these forums...

http://stevesforums.com/forums/view_...mp;forum_id=28

The H1 is not listed there, so I assume it is not affected.

Keep in mind, Sony provides sensors to other camera manufacturers, maybe even Canon...so, don't be too sure that by buying something other than a Sony, you won't end up with a defective Sony sensor.

I'm not worried about the S2 IS...it's a very good camera. Your original post stated you wanted experienced OPINIONS (caps mine) regarding certain cameras...and you've gotten some very good ones here, especially from Sarah, who's a pro...she teaches digital photography, and has owned and used more cameras than you and I ever will.

I'll give you one more...a very good friend of mine owns a Sony H1. Another owns a Canon S2 IS. I have seen hundreds of pictures taken by both of them. If I had to pick a camera based solely on those pics, the H1 would be an easy choice. Neither of these individuals had previously owned a digicam, and neither was really serious about photography before they bought their respective cams. Would my opinion be different if my friends switched cameras? Maybe...good photography requires a good photographer...the right tool just makes it a lot easier to succeed.

By the way Greg, your statement about wanting your camera to last a long time got me thinking. Considering the camera prices you quoted, the S2 and Panasonic at around $270, and the S6000 (at Amazon) at $374...you might be interested to know that Fuji currently is offering a mail-in rebate on the S6000 of $50. I don't know if Amazon already figured that into their price, but in perusing some links here at Steve's, Buydig is offering the S6000 at $374, with free shipping and no tax (depending on where you live).

http://www2.buydig.com/shop/product....ecome&utm_
medium=cpc&utm_campaign=FJFPS6000FD&sku=FJ FPS6000FD

Decent ratings:

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/BuyDig_Beachtr

Knock $50 off that, and it's down to $324, delivered. That's a difference of $54 from the S2 and/or Panny. What's the difference in 3 years? Just a thought.

Good luck with your choice. Let us know what you end up with.

the Hun

[edited to correct arithmetical brain freeze]
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