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Old Jul 11, 2007, 9:02 AM   #1
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Looking to buy a super zoom and would love to get opinions on what you have used or checked out, what you like about certain models, what you don't like...


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Old Jul 11, 2007, 3:23 PM   #2
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Fuji S6000fd

Likes: 28mm wide angle, much better than average low light capability, picture quality, powerful flash, manual zoom ring (+++), AA batteries.

Dislikes: Top end zoom only 300mm, not a great 'auto' everything camera (it takes much better pictures if you have a little knowledge of photography).

For me, the likes certainly outweigh the dislikes...a great all around super zoom.

the Hun


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Old Jul 11, 2007, 3:44 PM   #3
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The Kodak Z612 offers excellent image quality in the "superzoom" class under most conditions, an optical stabilized 35mm-420mm equiv. lens and a bargain price. I've been very pleased with mine. Kodak now offers the Z712 as well which adds a better high ISO capability and in-camera panoramic capability for only $50 more.
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Old Jul 11, 2007, 5:16 PM   #4
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Thank you both for input. I'm curious, Hun. Do you find lack of IS a problem on the Fuji?
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Old Jul 11, 2007, 5:31 PM   #5
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Not at all.

the Hun

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Old Jul 12, 2007, 2:41 PM   #6
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Hi,
I am also looking at upgrading but can't afford a dslr with the zoom lense I want. I have a 765C olympus and love it but would like to upgrade for more optical zoom and image stablization. Unfortunately I haven't seen one with much better quality than I have on my 3 year old camera. I say that from looking at reviews from several sites including this one from Steves. It almost looks like everyone wanted to get the biggest and baddest camera out there and they cut some corners. The picture I've attached was from 40 yards and cropped. No special settings in the landscape mode. To be honest in the reviews of the newer cameras I see issues relating to focus, color fringing, softness, etc, so I think I'll hold off until I see something better than what I have. Going to 12x from 10 is not worth it, I was hoping for better reviews of the SP 550 but they're quite mixed.
Eric
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Old Jul 12, 2007, 8:47 PM   #7
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eharri wrote:
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Hi,
I am also looking at upgrading but can't afford a dslr with the zoom lense I want. I have a 765C olympus and love it but would like to upgrade for more optical zoom and image stablization. Unfortunately I haven't seen one with much better quality than I have on my 3 year old camera.
Quality is probably a constant but capability has grown. The best of breed 12x superzooms (Steve's list)will take will take photos that are simply outside the range of what the Olympus can do. That's what 12x zoom, ISO 400-800, and optical image sabilization accomplish and in the case of my Z612, minimal PP. Within the capabilities of the Olympus on might be hard pressed to see a difference.

Nice picture by the way. Do you have the original EXIF data?
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Old Jul 13, 2007, 8:22 AM   #8
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Eharri, I share your hesitation in investing in a 'super' zoom right now. I really appreciate the comments received and will take each of the suggested models into my local camera store and check them out in person. Itmakes your head spin reading all the reviews and customer comments, though. Amazing how one person will think a particular model is the best thing going and someone else will think is is junk. Thank for sharing your picture. Impressive!

ac.smith. Thank you for your continued feedback on the subject. Question: what is PP? And have you checked out the upgrade to the Z612? Aswe know, sometimes upgrades really aren't upgrades. Also, you seem to have quite a bit of experience. I'm curious, what review site do you personally feel is the most accurate and reliable. (Am I allowed to ask this question under this topic? If not...sorry.)
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Old Jul 13, 2007, 3:11 PM   #9
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A.C.
Thanks for your comments. What I used was landscape mode at a default setting which is ISO 200 and SQ picture quality. The display doens't tell anything else like aperature and shutter speed on that mode.
You seem to have a handle on todays cameras, could you point me in the right direction on cameras to look at with 12x optical or larger that have good picture quality and little noise at full zoom. One of my issues is I quite often get shots that are out to 200 yards like this one I attached and as I crop or enlarge I get a lot of noise. Of course maybe some of the issue is I only have 4 megapixels and at that distance maybe I need 6 or more but it drives me crazy to have a nice animal that I can't get a good quality picture of. I thought about a 2x converter but I'm not sure that's the way to go either. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
thanks, eharri
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Old Jul 18, 2007, 10:34 PM   #10
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eharri wrote:
Quote:
A.C.
Thanks for your comments. What I used was landscape mode at a default setting which is ISO 200 and SQ picture quality. The display doens't tell anything else like aperature and shutter speed on that mode.
You seem to have a handle on todays cameras, could you point me in the right direction on cameras to look at with 12x optical or larger that have good picture quality and little noise at full zoom. One of my issues is I quite often get shots that are out to 200 yards like this one I attached and as I crop or enlarge I get a lot of noise. Of course maybe some of the issue is I only have 4 megapixels and at that distance maybe I need 6 or more but it drives me crazy to have a nice animal that I can't get a good quality picture of. I thought about a 2x converter but I'm not sure that's the way to go either. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
thanks, eharri
Sorry I didn't get back to you earlier, busy weekend and then the forum was down.

There are a number excellent superzoom cameras available but from what I've seen there are no excellent superzoom with zoom ratios beyond 12x. This isbased on what I've seen ofphotos from the 18x Olympus SP550and the 15x Sony H7/H9. Ialso have doubts that more than 7MP on a 1/2.5 sensor is going to do anything exceptcause loss of detail or texture due heavier anti-noise processing. On the subject of noise, the noise on the 1/2.5 sensors in the best of the current cameras subjectively at ISO 400 and ISO 800 is much like that ofASA 400 and ASA 800 35mm films butanything above ISO 800 is worthless. If one absolutely has to operate at ISO 800/1600/3200 with a P&S camera then a 1/1.8 to 1/1.6 sensor is required or forgetP&Ss and get a DSLR.

With these factors in mindI think someone looking the versatility of a superzoom should consider the following cameras:

Kodak Z612 and its conservative update Z712. Canon S3 and its conservative update S5. The Panasonic FZ7 and FZ50. The Sony H2 and H5. All these cameras have 12x zooms and optical image stabilization. If youneed ISO 1600 frequentlythen the Fuji S6000/6500fdis the choice although its telephoto range is less and it doesn't have IS. All of the cameras, while having different strengths will under the majority of circumstances produce quality images.

I have to admit a bias, I have owned a Kodak Z612 since last DEC and have taken over 1K photos with it - 500 from JUN 3 to JUL 3 and am very pleased with the camera. After a lot of pixel peeping at my photos and posted photosfromthe cameras abovethe Z612stands up in the group above and is an absolute bargain at $210-$250 ($180 at Kodak refurb if they have one.)


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