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Old May 27, 2007, 10:34 AM   #1
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Hello all.

They are both super-zoom and have many positive reviews.

The main feature that is giving me headache is the price of xD comparable to SD cards.

Maybe i would buy the one with have better ISO performance, to night/low light shooting.

What camera would you buy?
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Old May 27, 2007, 11:24 AM   #2
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skywalker.pt wrote:
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Hello all.

They are both super-zoom and have many positive reviews.

The main feature that is giving me headache is the price of xD comparable to SD cards.

Maybe i would buy the one with have better ISO performance, to night/low light shooting.

What camera would you buy?
The Fuji has a couple of things working against it that go a long way in destroying the obviously better sensor in terms of higher ISO performance,

The lens on the Fuji is slower than the Panasonic. At 300mm, it's f4.9, while the Panasonic, at 420mm is f3.1. Not quite two stops, but throw in the added factor of the Panasonic having image stabilization and the Fuji not having image stabilization and the difference in lens speed is even greater in practicethan just comparing the actual numbers, so Fuji gives the better sensor/processing, but then throws away a lot of the advantage in other ways.

Obviously, if you like to haul around a tripod and/or, are extremely steady in your handholding technique, you can overcome some of this, but that f4.9 is still sitting there, limiting your fastest available shutter speeds at the best performing ISO's, which in any camera is still going to be no higher than ISO 400. The Fuji does very well at ISO 800, but I would not want to have to resort to usingit a lot.

And then there's the ugly xd-card situation. I have an xd card-using camera and it's "ok", but I won't be buying another. The SD cards are so superior.

I like the form factor of the Fuji better. I like the manual zoom and, in theory themanual focus, but then, the resolution of the Fujifinder is much lower than the Panasonic, destroying what should be an obvious advantage for the Fuji.

Panasonic needs to work on their processing engine. Fuji needs to work on getting their other specifications up to snuff yo take better advantage of their sensors in this line of camera.

If I had to buy one of these two, I would go with the FZ8. I simply will not buy another camera using xd cards.
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Old May 27, 2007, 11:39 AM   #3
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Greg-

I surely do respect your experience and active work in the Olympus DSLR folder. However on this question I will be going somewhat inan opposite direction.

A bit of background. I own and actively use BOTH the Panasonic FZ-7 and the Fuji S-6000. Yes, there surely is an advantage in the IS that the FZ-8 has. However, that onlycomes into play when shooting with very low shutter speeds. The biggest downside factor for the FZ-8IMO is the characteristic noise pattern of the FZ-8. I am basing my noise evaluation on my shooting with the FZ-7, but in existing light I was forced to shoot at ISO 200 or lower just due to the very visible noise in my photos. Naturally, that is going to result in slow shutter speeds, so the IS is areal world, everydayrequirement.

In contrast, the Fuji S-6000 shows far less noise at higher ISO settings of 200 or higher.As is often the case, neither camera is perfect or ideal. However, in my opinion I would rather be using the Fuji S-6000, than to be limited in my shooting with the FZ-8 to ISO settings of 200 and below.

Both cameras are a compromise, but for my style of shooting at least, the Fuji S-6000 offers more.

MT/Sarah
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Old May 27, 2007, 7:02 PM   #4
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Humm... thank you both.
It's always good reading some different point of views.

BTW, i saw this on Fuji site (S6500fd).
I read somewhere that S6000fd and S6500fd are the same camera... just a different name on different countries...


Pre

"Prevents blur from camera shake and subject motion."



http://www.fujifilm.com/products/dig...0fd/index.html
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Old May 27, 2007, 9:13 PM   #5
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Yes, the Fuji S-6000 and the Fuji S-6500 are indeed the very same camera. The numbers change depending on the area of the world in which the Fuji camera is sold.

MT/Sarah
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Old May 28, 2007, 12:10 AM   #6
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"Picture Stabilization" doesn't do much. It's just a mode which uses high ISOs more readily. Pretty much the same as a sports mode on many cameras. And really marketing hype to counter the fact that Fuji doesn't have the gyroscope based kind of stabilization that is on the Panaxsonic and some other models. In Fuji's case the mode will at least work reasonably well, because they do have better high ISO performance on this model than anyone else.

As for the two cameras in question, they're my two favorite superzooms. Picking one is tough. One thing you might consider is handling; the Panasonic when loaded with battery weighs half as much as the Fuji.

The Panasonic has some really good results in flash photos and outdoor light. It's a quicker performer than the Fuji, with faster shot to shot times and better continuous shooting. The macro mode is better. The lens is a bit sharper, as well as 1.5 stops brighter at the long end. I also have small hands and prefer the smaller camera.

And with all that I think I'd still choose the Fuji. To my eyes, it just takes better pictures. I also really like the 28mm wide angle on the lens. I like the manual zoom and focus rings, but I'd probably be willing to give them up for the smaller model, if all else was equal.

I think if you are posing subjects a few feet in front of the camera for flash shots, or taking outdoor landscapes on a Sunny day, the Panasonic willl beat it. But for almost anything else, candid shots of the family, street photography, indoor events, outdoors in the shade, or at dusk, the Fuji wins out (sometimes by quite a bit).

But alot of this is personal preference. I would suggest trying each out for yourself and decide what you like best as far as ergonomics. And look for yourself at Steve's sample photos, as well as samples of other reviewers or at pbase and see what you think of the image quality, and if the differences (if any) are important to you.

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Old May 28, 2007, 12:13 AM   #7
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First, disclosure: as Sarah knows, I am a very happy Fuji S6000fd owner - I've taken over 4000 shots with mine since Christmas. I've also recently owned Canon, Kodak and Sony, so have no particular brand loyalty.

The Fuji's "Picture Stabilization" is nothing more than the camera automatically boosting the ISO to help ensure a sharper picture. The downside to this is increase noise and loss of detail.

I agree with Greg that xD format is "ugly". There is hope, however, that the S6000fd's successor will use SD cards, as some recent P&S Fuji's do.

Yes, the Fuji's lens is quite a bit slower than the Panny's, BUT... the Fuji at ISO 400 is better than the Panny at ISO 200, and even the Fuji's ISO 800 is competitive with the Panny's ISO 200.

If you are interested in shooting in low-light situations w/o a flash, the S6000fd is a galaxy better than the FZ8. The additional benefit to the Fuji's high-ISO prowess is whereas Image Stabilization helps compensate for camera shake, it does nothing to help subject movement. High ISO helps compensate for both.

The S6000fd shoots a wider but shorter range (28mm to 300mm) whereas the Panasonic shoots 36mm to a very long 432mm.

Finally, as cost-conscious as I am, when buying a $300 camera, spending an extra $10 for an xD card versus SD is pretty miniscule.

As much as I dislike the xD format, there are too many image-quality compromises with the FZ8 for me to ever have seriously considered it. It seems like a great lens gone to waste.

If you care to see S6000fd photos from a rank amateur, my photo gallery is here: http://catographer.smugmug.com/

Good luck with your choice!

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