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Old Dec 14, 2006, 11:36 AM   #1
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Which do you think is a more worthwhile feature for everyday snapshots? The fuji is down to $150 so seems like a good deal.

How much better will image stabilization make a picture vs low noise higher iso shots?
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Old Dec 14, 2006, 1:14 PM   #2
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Assuming all other features being equal - which is never the case. But for the sake of argument assume that they are:

If your subject isn't moving in the majority of cases then IS is more useful.

If your subject might move during the picture (a kid, a dog, whatever) then high ISO performance is more useful (IS doesn't help when your subject moves).

I couldn't see what panasonic you were considering, but if it's any kind of superzoom (anything longer than say 4x) then IS is extremely beneficial because of camera shake that affects shots taken at longer focal lengths. On a DSLR, you're typically holding the lens so the whole setup is more stable (even if it's heavier) - not really the case with the superzooms. So, even though they're lighter I think they're less stable at long focal lengths.
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Old Dec 14, 2006, 1:35 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response. I am looking at just taking static snapshots mostly. The panasonics I am looking at are the Lumix compact cameras like the FX3.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_reviews/fx3.html

My main questions is for static shots, how important is image stablization with a 3-4x zoom or even with no zoom. Will my hand naturally shake enough to make a difference?

Can a fast shutter speed low noise camera like the fuji f20 make up for the lack of image stabilization. ie Using iso 400-800.

Basically I am looking for the best snapshot camera under $200 and preferably close to $150. The fuji F20 seems to be the best buy at around $155. The V10 seems like a good buy at $150 as well, but lacks the quality high ISO of the F20.

I would need to spend at least $215 to get a panasonic that was the same size and had image stabilization.

I know the Canons and Sonys in the price range also get good reviews, but they don't seem to be much better than the f20 (if at all and lack the high iso quality) and cost a lot more.
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Old Dec 14, 2006, 2:59 PM   #4
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Using a camera with decent ISO 400 capabilities like the Canon SD700 or Sony T50 (both out of your price range) you definitely do better for still subjects with stabilization in limited light. Panasonics are noisy enough when you boost the ISO that it is probably a wash or maybe even biased toward the F20.

If you could afford the $200 (online) for a Panasonic FX01 you get a lot of nice features like a better LCD and wide angle. I would personally prefer that to a F20. But choosing between a FX3 and F20 I think you would get more versatility with the F20.

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Old Dec 14, 2006, 3:31 PM   #5
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You advice is greatly appreciated!

Steve did not seem thrilled with the FX01's low light capability, but I see your point about the wide angle lens.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicfx01/page6.asp


Is the tradeoff therefore good low light images with the f20 and sharper daylight images with the image stabalization of the panasonics?

I guess I'm just having trouble figuring out how much of a disability it will be to lose image stabilization.

Some reviews say that it improves images drastically if no tripod is involved. Others say its nice, but not worth giving up other qualities.
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Old Dec 14, 2006, 3:42 PM   #6
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I don't think ISO 400 quite compensates for stabilization, but ISO800 definitely does. ISO 800 shots from the Fuji are quite good unless you want large blowups or do a lot of cropping. And there is always noise reduction software. The Neat Image demo doesn't expire and is considered freeware for home users.

The big advantage of the FX01 is the wide angle. Great for scenery and any shot where you can't back off enough to get the whole image with a regular lens. Wide angle is quite useful in general photography.

I personally like stabilization and prefer it in any camera. But when you are dealing with subject motion it is useless. The high ISO of the Fuji probably gives better overall utility than stabilization in a small camera.

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Old Dec 14, 2006, 3:47 PM   #7
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Thanks again for your input. I guess I am going to have to choose between versatility and sharper low ISO images or wait for Fuji to come out with a camera with image stabilization (and hopefully dropping xd for sd).

I am a real researcher when I buy electronics, but I bet in the real world I won't really care which one I get unless I take a few classes and decide to make digital photography a hobby (which I am thinking of doing)
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Old Dec 15, 2006, 1:42 AM   #8
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If you are thinking of taking a serious photo class in the near future go with the Canon A540. It is in your price range and has full controls. It also takes auxiliary lenses and such. Even adding the cost of a charger and NiMH batteries you should be around $180 online.

Of course it is too large to slip in your pocket, but it wouldn't be a problem carrying it in a jacket pocket.

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Old Dec 15, 2006, 8:34 AM   #9
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JohnG wrote:
Quote:
I couldn't see what panasonic you were considering, but if it's any kind of superzoom (anything longer than say 4x) then IS is extremely beneficial because of camera shake that affects shots taken at longer focal lengths. On a DSLR, you're typically holding the lens so the whole setup is more stable (even if it's heavier) - not really the case with the superzooms. So, even though they're lighter I think they're less stable at long focal lengths.
It might be an exception but when I had an FZ30 it was large enough that I held it like a DSLR
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Old Dec 15, 2006, 8:47 AM   #10
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gwlaw99 wrote:
Quote:
You advice is greatly appreciated!

Steve did not seem thrilled with the FX01's low light capability, but I see your point about the wide angle lens.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicfx01/page6.asp


Is the tradeoff therefore good low light images with the f20 and sharper daylight images with the image stabalization of the panasonics?

I guess I'm just having trouble figuring out how much of a disability it will be to lose image stabilization.

Some reviews say that it improves images drastically if no tripod is involved. Others say its nice, but not worth giving up other qualities.
My Fuji F30 does not have IS, but I get great pictures with it even whenmy 7 year old takes the photos. Its Auto Modetends to use higher ISO speeds than required, which allows the camera to use a faster shutter speeds, thereby helping toeliminate both motion and handshakeblur. It's high ISO performance is pretty good in terms of low noise. I've even gotten decent results at ISO 1600 with just a little noise visible.

My personal opinion is that IS really helps. I have it on my DSLR and wouldn't buy another DSLR without it, but my Fuji F30 does great without it and I would have no problem buying a compact camera without it provided I could get good high ISO perfromance.
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