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Old May 2, 2007, 10:13 PM   #11
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More on the FZ7 - I downloaded the manual and it says that, while shooting @ ISO 800 or 1600, resolution decreases. But the manual doesn't say which is the max resolution for high sensitivity mode. Could anyone who has the FZ7 give me this information?

Thanks and all the best from Brazil

Marcio
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Old May 2, 2007, 10:35 PM   #12
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I like to use superzooms to take sports shots.

If you are taking pictures of outdoor night games/competitions/ or indoor competition, then the high ISO capability of your camera is important. If you are shooting mostly daylight competition, you should be able to handle most things with ISO 200 or lower. In that case the Panasonic or Sony superzooms should be fine.

I have used the Fuji S5200 for about 18 months. It's good in low light. I think theS6000fd/S6500d is better given the same aperture.

I wonder about the S700's low light capabilities. I heard that this camera wasn't using a super CCD, with diagonal positioning of photo sites.

If you are going to take pictures of daylight competitions, any of the superzooms should suffice. For night time shots, I would go first of the Fujis and then the Sony's. DSLR's with bright lenses are the ideal (and much more costly) solution.


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Old May 3, 2007, 6:01 PM   #13
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Hi, Robbo!

robbo wrote:
Quote:
If you are taking pictures of outdoor night games/competitions/ or indoor competition, then the high ISO capability of your camera is important.
(...)
For night time shots, I would go first of the Fujis and then the Sony's. DSLR's with bright lenses are the ideal (and much more costly) solution.
Well, I have budget limitations. No DSLR for me.

After reading that both Z612 and FZ7 decrease resolution in high ISO, the Sony H2 became again an option I should consider - as far as I remember the H2 keeps full resolution at ISO 800 and 1000.

Then comes the shutter speed issue. The H2 doesn't have 1/2000, just 1/1000. But someone in another message board said 1/1000 would do fine for every sport I can imagine (even badminton?). Would you agree with that?

"At 1/1000 you can catch even a flying bullet", the guy said (don't know if he's exagerating...)

Then there's the H2 burst mode, which doesn't look that great compared to the FZ7 and Z612. So I'll keep reading and collecting opinions.

All the best from Brazil

Marcio
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Old May 30, 2007, 2:28 PM   #14
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Well, some update:

About the shutter speed issue: I took my brother's Minolta Z1 to the Pope visit and took a pic of an helicopter during flight. At 1/1000 I was able to see the blades as if the thing was stopped on ground, so I guess 1/1000 does well for sports...

Then, for some time (Memorial Day sale I guess) some online stores had the Canon S3IS for a price I could afford, which prompted me to make some comparisons. However, looking at dpreview.com my impression is that Sony H2 has more vivid colors and less noise than the S3IS, despite of some advantages for Canon like much better burst mode. But the sale is gone and the Canon went beyond my price range again.

So, I'm still looking for friends visiting the US and who could bring me a H2. I need it before the Pan-American Games which I plan to attend :-)

All the best from Brazil

Marcio
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Old May 30, 2007, 4:29 PM   #15
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Marcio:
For many sports you can get good results with 1/400; something faster like 1/600 is often preferable if there is sufficient light. The problem you will have is getting enough light for that, especially indoors, with a digicam. Even with a DSLR, something like indoor basketball is often shot at about 1/400s, f1.8, ISO 1600.

Even if you can get a digicam that does ISO 1600 (and they won't match a DSLR at it), you won't find one with a lens that gets near f1.8. So even if you could get f3.6, which lets in 1/4th as much light, you might find youself limited to 1/100s in that kind of light. So for indoor sports you're moslty talking about noisy blurry snapshots that might be OK for small prints. You probably understand this already, as you mention you've read other threads on it.

I mentioned in another thread recently that the FZ8(or FZ7) and S6000 were my two favorite superzooms, though very different models. So I think you're looking at some good cameras here. Like you I really liked the handling and performance of the smaller Panasonic. It also has a very sharp lens. But also I love the performance of the sensor in the Fuji (I have the F30 with the same sensor), and the image processing generally, including color and contrast as well as noise. And I like the manual zoom ring on that model.

As for the S700, it's very much a budget model, and it seems to be the only model in the Fuji lineup left that doesn't have some version of the super CCD that does well at higher ISO. Fuji offers good value at times on their budget models, but their track record is spotty. I'd probably stay away until there are at least some reviews. I expect there will be a few too many compromises and you might be better off with a slightly older model that had been taretted at a higher price.

The H2 sounds like a good compromise for something smaller than the Fuji. I didn't care for the handling as much on that one, and it felt a bit plasticy to me, but I liked the results. I think it's probably the best model at ISO 400 after the S6000. And f3.7 at the 432mm long end of the zoom is pretty good. If you want something smaller than the Fuji S6000, that may be your best bet.

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Old May 30, 2007, 6:12 PM   #16
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I think that superzooms like the Panasonic, Sony, Canon, etc will serve your needs well in outdoor light, but you will struggle in indoor conditions due to the lower level of light. IS will help to give sharp pictures of still objects, but the shutter speed will not be short enough to freeze rapid movement. I have both a Sony H5 (similar to H2) and an entry level DSLR so can compare the two. As you have observed, the Sony is excellent outdoors and gives vibrant colours and sharp images. I have used it indoors without flash for people shots with reasonable results at up to ISO400.

The picture below was taken with the H5 at a indoor Seaworld show (Pets Ahoy) with a lit stage from about25 metres. Camera settings were about 300mm (9x zoom) and ISO800. Aperture was F4 andthe shutter speedwas 1/125 second. The image is not good, and shots of moving animals had blur.
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Old May 30, 2007, 8:02 PM   #17
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1eyedeer-

Thanks for posting a really good photo. Yes, I too went through a phase where I was seriously looking for the ideal point and shoot camera that would equal or surpass the photo quality of the consumer DSLR cameras out there.

In the final analysis, due to its measurably larger/physically larger size, the imagers used on the consumer level DSLR cameras will almost always surpass the image quality of point and shoot cameras. Yes, I know that, to some folks, is very bad news. However, it has continuusly been proven to be a fact. And, I had to accept that fact as well.

There will be various samples, arguments, and proofs posted out there is cyberspace. However, the fact remains. Consumer level DSLR cameras will almost always surpass the IQ of the so called point and shoot cameras in most tests, especially in high ISO tests. The only exception to the high ISO equation are the Fuji cameras such as the F-30 and S-6000, that do quite well at high ISO settings, but do suffer from measurable detail loss due to a lot of in camera noise reduction.

Mt/Sarah
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Old Sep 5, 2007, 7:59 PM   #18
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I cannot locate is but there was a test of Panasonic IS vs Fuji high ISO methods. In that case Fujifilm came better. I think those tests were done when Panasonic came out with its IS system.

Using higher ISOs reduces the quality over a tripod photo but better than low iso. Same from using IS instead of a tripod. In that case higher ISO was better than the IS method because IS is not perfect as well.

Digital cameras eat batteries (esp with large LCDs) and memory cards. These cards are the most expensive in Sony format (Cheapest is SD cards, XD is in middle). Panasonic batteries may not even be available in 5 years time.

Fuji s700 uses a 46mm filter thread which is not that popular but stepping rings are not that hard to find. If you are spending this much on a camera then you should be using at least a polarizer.

Also try to find if your camera can take videos. My s5600 can take 30fps Videos and so can my Sanyo VPC-C40 (4 MP, 6x Optical zoom, ultra mini camera). In fact I sold my video camera because ifI carry one camera then it will be a still camera. I can always borrow a Video camera for special functions.
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