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Old Mar 24, 2007, 1:20 PM   #1
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I am looking at buying a new ultra zoom digital camera in the next month. I really like all of the features that the S3IS has, and am looking for something similar to this(or perhaps this). I will first tell you exactly what features I prefer, and then hopefully you can offer me some advice. It definitely has to have at least a 10X zoom, and ideally more. It definitely has to have some sort of image stabilization. I really want one that can make pretty good movies(at least as good as the S3IS makes). I know that when I had first looked at the S3IS(almost a year ago), it was considered to be the best out there for the money. It might still be the best for my needs, but I wanted to make sure that something better hadn't come out in the meantime. I know that Canon has a brand new model out that can do all of the stuff that I mentioned above, but I really don't like the styling of that, and it is way too expensive. My limit is approx. $500 CAD. Thanks for all of your help and suggestions.
Matt
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Old Mar 24, 2007, 1:57 PM   #2
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I think it is best for using the lens at the long end (I was considering getting an UZ but decided I'm only going to be happy with a DSLR) as it has the image stabilisation. However, the S6000 is capable of taking stunning pictures and is excellent under low light. There is also the new Olympus 550 to consider, perhaps wait for a review of that.

M
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Old Mar 24, 2007, 4:13 PM   #3
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Not sure why you considered the S3 IS to be the top UZ...I guess it all depends on individual preference. As far as I'm concerned (and you did ask for advice) the S3 would be 4th out of the big 4 UZ models (6 MP UZ, released early to mid-2006, around the same price).

I would rank them as follows: Fuji S6000FD, Sony H2, Panasonic FZ7, and Canon S3 IS.

Justification for ranking the Fuji #1 (IMHO): S6000FD - largest sensor of the 4, best low light capability of the 4 (up to ISO 3200), manual zoom ring and manual focus ring (can zoom in video mode), widest angle at 28mm, only one with RAW capability, most powerful flash, highest resolution LCD (235,000 pixels, 2.5"), uses AA batteries.

S6000FD cons: Largest and heaviest of the 4, top end zoom only reaches 300mm, No IS, and for some people (who shall remain nameless) it uses xD media.

I would put the Sony H2 all by itself in 2nd place, with the FZ7 and the S3 IS in a tie for last. I feel the H2 is a bit better overall than the Panny or the Canon in all lighting situations.

The S3 does have one of the better video functions of the lot, and it has a flip out and twist LCD (for what that's worth). Unfortunately, both the S3 and FZ7 seem to be cursed with poor low light performance, and noise at just about anything but the lowest ISO settings. I think the FZ7 would be slightly better in brightly lit, outdoor settings.

A couple of comparisons:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fuji...00fd/page6.asp

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canons3is/page6.asp

As far as meeting your posted needs, I guess we would have to toss the S6000FD, because you seem to feel you need IS, and the 6000 doesn't have it. I included it because you wanted to know if something better had come out. Regarding IS, I really can't say. I've never owned a camera that had it, so maybe I don't know what I'm missing, but I don't have much of a problem holding my cameras steady, even at a maximum zoom setting...everyone is different. I know some people who actually shut the function off on their cameras.

Good luck with your selection.

the Hun




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Old Mar 24, 2007, 5:11 PM   #4
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Thank you so much for your suggestions so far. To help any other suggestions, I will clarify some things. Just going by what I had heard from others, and also from Consumer Reports, that is how I had determined that the S3IS was one of the best, or perhaps the best of it's class. To help further, maybe I should tell you what I take most of my pictures of, and what is most important to me. For the most part, I will be taking a good portion of all of my pictures at "horse shows". Most of the action will be full daylight, relatively high speed, and sometimes quite far away. Rated from most important to least important, I will rate my features below.
1. An excellent quality picture with a long range zoom.(IS is important, but not mandatory)
2. Excellent quality video. The higher the quality video, the better, but I have seen the S3IS video, and that or better is acceptable.
3. A good quality, "easy to view outside" LCD screen
4. The ability to use AA batteries is really nice. I don't like to have to buy battery packs.
Any other questions to help me out. let me know.
Matt
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Old Mar 24, 2007, 5:27 PM   #5
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I think that all the cameras listed will do nicely, but IMHO the top UZ on the market today has to be the Leica V-Lux 1, 10.0 Megapixel, 12X optical zoom.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

It is prices like it as well.
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Old Mar 24, 2007, 9:52 PM   #6
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mrschmitt wrote:
Quote:
I am looking at buying a new ultra zoom digital camera in the next month. I really like all of the features that the S3IS has, and am looking for something similar to this(or perhaps this). I will first tell you exactly what features I prefer, and then hopefully you can offer me some advice. It definitely has to have at least a 10X zoom, and ideally more.
>Canon S3= 12X

It definitely has to have some sort of image stabilization.

>Canon S3=IS


I really want one that can make pretty good movies(at least as good as the S3IS makes).

>Nobody makes a digicam with the S3 video quality. It is as good as my Samsung and I don't have to haul both around with me.

I know that when I had first looked at the S3IS(almost a year ago), it was considered to be the best out there for the money. It might still be the best for my needs, but I wanted to make sure that something better hadn't come out in the meantime. I know that Canon has a brand new model out that can do all of the stuff that I mentioned above,

>No, Canon has not put out a replacement for the S3. It is still their TOL big zoom, top video performer of any class on the market as of yet in any brand or model. Also, the Canon S3 is as close to a dslr as you can get without paying the big $$$$ than any other camera.


but I really don't like the styling of that, and it is way too expensive. My limit is approx. $500 CAD. Thanks for all of your help and suggestions.
Mat

>The S3 sells for around $419.00 CAD at Future Shop, Best Buy, Staples or Black's on any given week.
>And don't forget, it uses SD cards with up to 1 terabyte capacity. SD are a lot cheaper and can be used in other things than just cameras. Duo Pro and XD are only for their specific brand of camera.
>The S3 uses AA batteries which can be found anywhere and they last a long time. >The swivel screen is a huge asset, everyone who has used one loves it. No more kneeling on your knees. You can shoot around corners, from your waist, and above the crowd with no problem. You can even take your own picture and actually see how it's going to turn out.
>You can shoot macros as close as 0.0 cm, that means right up to the object.
>You can add lenses and filters of any kind or brand.

You want a better camera with those features, you need a dslr and $$$$ for the lenses.

Gerry
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Old Mar 24, 2007, 10:28 PM   #7
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The superzooms which are just entering the market or will be within a month or so are the Kodak Z712, Olympus SP550UZ and the Panasonic FZ50. Read Steve's reviews, the S3IS is on his Best list as are most of the others mention. All the quibbling is over minor differences and no model has a lock on perfection in all aspects.
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Old Mar 24, 2007, 10:34 PM   #8
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Terabyte SD?
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Old Mar 24, 2007, 11:34 PM   #9
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socom wrote:
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Terabyte SD?
Yes, it can use any capacity SDHC card until they get bigger than Gigabytes. Then you will be stuck with only being able to store 1,000,000 pictures on your card.
Bummer eh?
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Old Mar 24, 2007, 11:36 PM   #10
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ac.smith wrote:
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The superzooms which are just entering the market or will be within a month or so are the Kodak Z712, Olympus SP550UZ and the Panasonic FZ50. Read Steve's reviews, the S3IS is on his Best list as are most of the others mention. All the quibbling is over minor differences and no model has a lock on perfection in all aspects.
Let's not forget the Sony H7 and H9
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