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Old Jan 26, 2007, 1:10 PM   #1
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I can't make up my mind on what camera to pursue. I want something to take with me on a trip to Ireland(1week), and for general use after that. There will probably be a lot of outdoor shots, as well as indoor in pubs, of people, of the St. Patricks day parade, of castles etc. I want something that I can play around with someday and learn a bit about photography with, but to be realistic, I'm going to be pretty busy so it's going to be a lot of point and shoot for awhile.

I like the idea of a megazoom, they seem to have lots of manual extras that I will learn about down the road and being able to take shots from a distance will be nice. I'll probably be carrying a small daysack around with me, so size isn't a major concern.

My first advisor praised the Canon S3IS/S2IS, I looked into it and liked it and at the same time stumbled onto the Panasonic FZ7. Turns out my dad just purchased one, I played around with it some in his house, and found I need to learn a lot as I was having trouble keeping my point and shoot shots from becoming too blurry.

I guess my big concern is I don't know what a good value is. I've found the FZ7 online for $275 shipped. I think I can get the S2IS for around $200 used or from dell for about $220 new. But then I am stepping back a generation. General consensus has been that the S3 is nicer that the Fz7, but does the same go for the older s2? Also people keep bragging on the LEICA lens of the panasonic.

Then there are the FZ30/50. I covet these but my budget should be $300 or less. I found someone who offered me his old fz20 with memory card, bag, lens filter, extra battery and remote for $250. This seems like a good deal, but then I'm back two generations etc.
Then someone brought up the Sony H2.


Then I found a Sony F707 for $350 with - DSC F707 camera, Genuine Leather Sony form-fitting case,AC-L10B charger, Sony NP-FM50 battery

2-Sony 128mb Memory Sticks, Sony camera strap (that is clearly grubby, it's had a LOT of use), 2x telephoto lens with pouch , Sunpak polarizing filter with it's box , Sunpak UV Filter with it's box, usb cable to offload pics
Also included will be the original paperwork



Then once I figure all of that out I have to decipher memory cards and their speeds.

I'm well and truly lost. I was hoping to find a megazoom shoutout that compared all of the offerings and included previous generations of offerings etc. But that doesnt seem to exist. Advice appreciated.
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Old Jan 26, 2007, 4:25 PM   #2
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The biggest bang for the buck is the Panasonic FZ-7 at $275.00. It is not a difficult camera to learn and is capable of excellent photos. Here is a sample photo taken with the FZ-7.

MT/Sarah
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Old Jan 26, 2007, 10:53 PM   #3
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Turin

With what you are looking at the Sony 707 has a very fast lens f/2- f2.4 as well as the laser focus system and night shot, providing it has reasonable actuations on the clock it isvery hard to beat, I have the Sony H5 and the wife's Sony W100 as well as the F707 which is still the best digital camera I own, the Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens on the 707 is sharp as a tact.The new the price was USD$1000, and the sad truth isno none DSLR is made today with as fast as lens.


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Old Jan 29, 2007, 7:22 AM   #4
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Wirraway wrote:
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With what you are looking at the Sony 707 has a very fast lens f/2- f2.4 as well as the laser focus system and night shot, providing it has reasonable actuations on the clock it isvery hard to beat, I have the Sony H5 and the wife's Sony W100 as well as the F707 which is still the best digital camera I own, the Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens on the 707 is sharp as a tact.The new the price was USD$1000, and the sad truth isno none DSLR is made today with as fast as lens.



Nice photo, both foto's in this thread seem nice, but your's seems sharper. This probably has more to do with the photographer and post processing I would think. I'm still not set on any one camera. I would have thought the f720 and f707 would have the most amount of manual controls, but would suffer because they are one generation old.

The s2is falls in the one generation old category as well, but it's pretty cheap compared to other option. The fz7 has the leica lens that i dont know anything about but gets good reviews, but I hear a lot of harping about it being noisy at low iso. And of course If I'm including the f707 at $350, I should probably look at the s3is as a possibility, I'm still not to sure on all the features the f707 has over the other cameras, but it seems like a fairly serious camera even if it is ugly.

I'm still confused, welcome to more advice but I'm going to start reading all over again.
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Old Jan 29, 2007, 9:46 AM   #5
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turin-

Because I am a digital camera instructor, I have/do owned/own all of the ultra zoom cameras. Here is what I have found in using the FZ series cameras and I have used the FZ1, FZ5, FZ7FZ10, and FZ20. The Leica lens is excellent. Yes, noise can realisticly be a real problem. However, there is a way to avoid that noise problem that is very simple. Limit your ISO settings to ISO 200 and below. That is how I took that photo of Andy Buenger that I posted.

With the current price of the Panasonic TZ-1 (5mp, IS, 10X optical zoom, very small in size) and FZ-7 (6mp, IS, 12X optical zoom, somewhat larger in size) below $(US) 300.00, these are cameras worth considering, as long as you can work with the ISO 200 limitation. The photos from both Panasonics are wonderful in natural lighting and ISO below 200.

With the Sony H-2 (6mp, IS, 12X optical zoom)also below $(US) 300.00 this is also a camera to consider because it will handle ISO settings up to ISO 400 with very little noise. My "On the Radio Show" photo sample was taken with a Sony H-5.

The Canon S-2 and S-3 are excellent cameras and do quite well in outdoor lighting. However, in reality they, just like the Panasonic cameras suffer from an ISO limitation of ISO 200 and below. When they are set to ISO 400 in existing light conditions, they will also show a good deal of noise.

MT/Sarah
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Old Jan 29, 2007, 2:06 PM   #6
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mtclimber wrote:
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Because I am a digital camera instructor, I have/do owned/own all of the ultra zoom cameras. Here is what I have found in using the FZ series cameras and I have used the FZ1, FZ5, FZ7FZ10, and FZ20. The Leica lens is excellent. Yes, noise can realisticly be a real problem. However, there is a way to avoid that noise problem that is very simple. Limit your ISO settings to ISO 200 and below. That is how I took that photo of Andy Buenger that I posted.

With the current price of the Panasonic TZ-1 (5mp, IS, 10X optical zoom, very small in size) and FZ-7 (6mp, IS, 12X optical zoom, somewhat larger in size) below $(US) 300.00, these are cameras worth considering, as long as you can work with the ISO 200 limitation. The photos from both Panasonics are wonderful in natural lighting and ISO below 200.

With the Sony H-2 (6mp, IS, 12X optical zoom)also below $(US) 300.00 this is also a camera to consider because it will handle ISO settings up to ISO 400 with very little noise. My "On the Radio Show" photo sample was taken with a Sony H-5.

The Canon S-2 and S-3 are excellent cameras and do quite well in outdoor lighting. However, in reality they, just like the Panasonic cameras suffer from an ISO limitation of ISO 200 and below. When they are set to ISO 400 in existing light conditions, they will also show a good deal of noise.

MT/Sarah
Thanks again for the great advice! I have an annoying habit of trying to talk experts out of their point of view so that I get a good idea of the why's of their decisions.



So with that said, I noticed you skipped over the F707, I noticed it has a faster aperture(2.0 for wide angle). Now to be honest, I'm entirely new to photo terms, so I'm just respitting what I have read, but with the f707 I would be able to get a faster shutter speed, and that will help minimize blur. I noticed when I played with the fz7 for a few minutes I was ending up with some blurry photos. Granted I was mostly using the auto mode, but I'm also a bit concerned with how much I;m going to be able to learn in my free time over the next month.



I get that the FZ7 is going to be better than the s2 is, but is it $75 better? Also what accessories do you recommend? I need at least a 2 gb sd card, what about those mini tripods I've seen, a case , etc. And where should I look to buy those?



Thank's so much!
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Old Jan 29, 2007, 2:49 PM   #7
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turin-

My major concern about the Sony F707 is that it is now 4 generations old. I had a F717 (the follow-on model to the F707) and I really liked it a lot. However, after I had used it a lot for 3 years I noticed that little things were beginning to wear out and fail, so I sold the camera. It also does NOT have IS and it is ony a 5X optical zoom digital camera. So, there are the reasons why I was a bit negative on the Sony F707.

Yes, the Pansonic FZ-7 will cost a bit more, but IMHO it is worth it. No offense intended, but a mini tripod is not a good investment. Buy a good sturdy, regular sizetripod with a convenient carrying handle at Walmart for around $(US) 30.00, if you want a tripod.

The FZ-7 comes with a lens adapter and sunshade right in the box. You will need either a Polarizer or a UV filter just to protect your lens, it is cheap insurance. Look for a 52mm Polarizer or UZ filter over on e-bay. As I mentioned, it is inexpensive insurance for your lens.That is all you will need.

I really think that you will enjoy the FZ-7 a lot. The attached photo was also taken with the FZ-7 at the full 12X optical zoom. The camera saw the hawk beter than my eyes were able to see him and came away with a great photo. This is a perfect example were the FZ-7's IS and the 12Xoptical zoom aided by a really excellent lens got an excellent photo.

MT/Sarah
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Old Jan 29, 2007, 5:12 PM   #8
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turin-

Here is an indoor/no flash handheld shot I just took with the FZ-7 set at ISO 200. No post processing at all. This is right from the camera.

MT/Sarah
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Old Feb 3, 2007, 10:32 AM   #9
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mtclimber wrote:
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Here is an indoor/no flash handheld shot I just took with the FZ-7 set at ISO 200. No post processing at all. This is right from the camera.

MT/Sarah

Well I bought my fz7 on the day the fz8 was announced, all of my handheld no flash shots are coming out blurry, I suppose I need to work on my technique? Should I hang on to my receipt and consider returning this and buying an fz8? I'm anxiously waiting the review. I managed to snag it for $280, walmart had it come in stock on their website, I got sears to pricematch and got to use my sears giftcard I got for christmas.

Now I just need to get some SD cards, a case etc. Are there any hard rules when buying sd cards? How nice of ones will I need to get?

I was looking at this 60x card for $21 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820233029

or for 10 more I can go up to 133x?

any companies known for good cases?

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Old Feb 3, 2007, 12:37 PM   #10
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