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Old Oct 6, 2007, 8:14 PM   #11
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pcake wrote:
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...a cloudy day is not really low light ...
Granted, but ...

coloradoice wrote:
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...cloudy day in a narrow canyon ...
... could pass for night.
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Old Oct 7, 2007, 11:17 AM   #12
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As with the OP ive been looking around for the 'best' Superzoom camera and have spent hours reading forums and reviews trying to work out which would be best for me.

In a dream world, Id have the money and skill to buy a Dslr, but considering my budget probably wouldnt stretch given lenses etc a bridge camera seems the best bet.

Im looking for a good all-rounder, capable of good macros as well as landscape and portrait shots. Im looking to develop photography into more of a hobby, so I want something that I can grow with. My budget is between £150-£250 which is roughly US$300-$500, although prices obviously differ between shores.

After alot of searching, Ive narrowed the list as follows:

Canon S3/S5IS - these were my original favourites and I was going to go this way, but now am not so sure having seen evidence that something else may be a better bet. Ive seen posts which suggest that the S5 may not be much better than an S3 other than the hotshoe, and the picture quality is even inferior.

Panasonic FZ8/FZ18 - the FZ18 sounds good on paper, but I havent really been able to find any good reviews.

Fuji S6000/S8000fd - Ive heard the lack of IS on the S6000 would be a problem, and as I plan on using the extent of the optical zoom, this would probably not help.

Sony H2 - I hadn't originally considered this, but saw that it is comparable with the S3 in spec, and the prolific poster mtclimber gave it a recommendation which I am inclined to believe. This is also the cheapest of the bunch.

Basically, I want to balance cost with performance and while I don't want to spend too much, I would rather pay the extra if there is a significant difference.
Im also wondering whether I should wait until more reviews come out of the newer superzooms on the market. Ill be going to Australia for a month at the beginning of December and plan to make my decision in advance of that.

I know that I cant expect anyone to tell me which to buy as it is obviously subjective to a degree, but any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

John
:?
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Old Oct 7, 2007, 12:19 PM   #13
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Silencio wrote:
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....ive been looking around for the 'best' Superzoom camera and have spent hours reading forums and reviews trying to work out which would be best for me.
As you're (perhaps) in the UK, you could take a look at the dispassionate comparative reviews I've seen of two superzoom contenders, the Kodak Z712is & CanonS5is, from my local camera shop, http://www.wrexham-cameras.com/WHATS...-DIGI-MAIN.htm. I bought their first Z712, and I'm very pleased I did.

There's a link at the top of that page to a discussion of the pros & cons of hybrid vs dSLR for impecunious folk like you & me. If you 'ask for more information' they'll send you their little leaflet of latest mini-reviews, updated every couple of weeks, based on what's actually available currently. I pick one up every time I pass by.

Good luck. I'm amazed I've got my best camera ever for half the price I paid for my first digicam in 2003.

BTW, image stabilization is *wonderful*. I've taken dozens of good shotsthat would have never have succeeded without it, as I'm not in the habit of routinely carrying a solid tripod everywhere.
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Old Oct 7, 2007, 12:55 PM   #14
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Silencio,

Since you mentioned Superzooms and Landscape, I thought I'd point out that, among the cameras you've mentioned, only the Fujis go wider than the standard 35mm equivalent of a 35mm field of view. For landscape photography, many find that 35mm just isn't wide enough, so you might want to take a closer look at the Fujis, even though they don't have IS. Not having IS for the telephoto end may be an inconvenience, but not having a lens that's wide enough may be a handicap.
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Old Oct 7, 2007, 1:08 PM   #15
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Great, thanks for the info guys. I am indeed in England. Ill check out the link. Id heard that the Kodaks were perhaps a little amateurish (not that I am anything else), but will take a look at the model you suggested.

TCav - I had heard that the Fujis may be more suitable for wide-angle so may follow up on that. If I was to go for a different model, could I get add wide-angle lens to help correct the problem.

Sorry if Im being dense, the reason im here is because I need help!
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Old Oct 7, 2007, 1:21 PM   #16
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I should add that the Fuji S8000fd does actually come with IS, and the lens starts at 27mm, beating most others. Sounds like this could be the one...
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Old Oct 7, 2007, 1:28 PM   #17
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Silencio wrote:
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I had heard that the Fujis may be more suitable for wide-angle so may follow up on that. If I was to go for a different model, could I get add wide-angle lens to help correct the problem.
An add-on lens may correct the problem of the camera's lens not zooming out enough, but add-on lenses are a hassle and can introduce probelms of their own. Adding optical elements to your camera can only degrade image quality, sometimes only a very little, but sometimes substantially. Add-on lenses, especially inexpensive third party add-on lenses, are likely to add geometric distortion and chromatic aberration.

If you are going to buy a camera with only one lens (as in, not a dSLR), I think you should make sure the one lens you get will do everything you want.
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Old Oct 7, 2007, 1:31 PM   #18
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Silencio wrote:
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I should add that the Fuji S8000fd does actually come with IS, and the lens starts at 27mm, beating most others. Sounds like this could be the one...
I think that would make up my mind.

If only it didn't use xD Cards ...
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Old Oct 7, 2007, 1:43 PM   #19
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OK, thanks for the tip. Id seen cheap add-on lenses on ebay but was very sceptical of the low prices so would imagine that distortion would be an issue.

I was very tempted to go for the Fuji S8000fd, but my only concern is that the longest shutter is only 4 seconds which is probably a little short for some of the night shots Id like to take. Having looked more into the Panasonic FZ18, which go as wide as 28mm and don't have the same shutter speed restrictions, this looks very good but Ive yet to see a trusted review.

On the other hand, am I worrying too much and asking for more than I need when an older camera would be just as suitable.
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Old Oct 7, 2007, 2:23 PM   #20
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Silencio wrote:
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...Id heard that the Kodaks were perhaps a little amateurish (not that I am anything else), but will take a look...
If you follow the link, you'll see Steve (the Wrexham one, not this one) thinks this is arguable only over 'feel', not over facilities and real 'build quality'. The Canon is plastic-bodied as well, but 'feels' better built, he says.I feel you should get your hands on real specimens in a shop, and decide for yourself, if you haven't done so already.

My Kodak can stay glued to my eye while I alter any setting with no fumbling at all, using one finger and one thumb.This doesn't seem very amateur to me.

Somefolk measure professionalism in kilograms; I don't! The OM series of SLRs were remarkable in their time for small size & weight, and 'real' photographers didn't think they were solid enough. They feel like heavyweights now.

As for TCav's excellent point about landscapes, in-camera or out-of-camera panorama stitching offers a cheap (free, even) alternative to a really wide-angle lens.Out of camera I usually use 'Autostitch' (www.autostitch.com). If it's just 2 shots to get a wide landscape, it's easy to do hand-held, but remember to fix the exposure manually.

Have fun trying them all out, if you can!
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