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-   -   Canon Powershot S3 vs Panasonic Lumix FZ8 (

Synthetic Oct 29, 2007 3:10 AM

So I was definetly decided on the Panasonic until someone informed me that the Canon was better with IS and AWB.

I mainly want to use it for concert photography and occasional self portraits as well as friends.

Can someone tell me any major differences in these 2 cameras, or which one would be "better"?

Synthetic Nov 1, 2007 1:57 PM

nothing? :?

ac.smith Nov 1, 2007 10:25 PM

Both are excellent cameras of about equal performance and image quality. Neither are particularly well suited to concert photography.

Synthetic Nov 3, 2007 12:16 PM

could you suggest one that is?
I keep buying cameras and wasting money, I want to have one for awhile this time and be happy with it.


Greg Chappell Nov 4, 2007 10:58 AM

When it comes to concert photography, I think you could wind up being equallydisappointed buying either camera you've listed here unless your expectations are not too high for really good quality, cleanimages.

You need two things to do concerts well. A fast lens and good higher ISO performance. The FZ8 has the fast lens for a zoom, but not great higher ISO performance. IF you are willing to shoot RAW and work the images in a good image processor, there's a chance you might get something from an FZ8. With either camera, you'll be dealing with excessive noise at higher ISO settings. Unfortunately, the S3is has no RAW option. The lens is plenty fast, again, for a zoom.

As far as differences...well, look at them side by side yourselfsomewhere like here...

There's not a lot to choose from here...they are a lot alike. I think the back LCD on the Panasonic is superior from an image qualitystandpoint, but the S3is LCD can be flipped out, which might be something you could use to shoot over a crowd, assuming you'll be going to concerts where you won't get a camera taken away by security if they spot you with one. It comes down a lot to body styling and which one you like better. The S3 will shoot superior movies if that might be an issue.

If you decide on the S3, the next issue will be to find one since it's now discontinued and not available at many places, but I'm sure you can still run one down somewhere.

I like the FZ8 and have access to one when I want to use it. The last couple of weeks I've been carrying one around, doing stuff like this...

Indoors, I prefer to use my Panasonic FZ50 and Olympus FL50 flash combination. Built-in flash units like the ones on the S3is and FZ8don't provide the quality light I care to use.

Synthetic Nov 4, 2007 8:54 PM

thanks for all the help on those two cameras.
I've done alot of research over the past couple of years, and always ending up buying something I hate.

This time, I'm saving up, and I want to get a really good camera, but one that isn't going to put me into a hole.

So I'm going of a limit around $500. Now what can I get for that, quality wise with respects to what I would like to photograph? (concerts mainly)

Greg Chappell Nov 4, 2007 9:11 PM

How close to the stage do you typically get?

If you are like some friends of mineand typically are always able to get ahold of front row tickets, or at least in the front 5-10 rows, you may be be able to use a camera like the Fuji F31, which is outstanding in terms of high ISO performance, but they don't give you enough zoom that you could sit way back and fill the frame well enough with the performers.

The new FZ18 goes from 28-504mm, and is fast at f4.2 on the tele end. With a camera like that, you could zoom right in on anyone from quite a distance and, using spot metering, probably maintain a decent shutter speed around ISO 400. From what I've seen, the higher ISO performance is improved with the FZ18. I've seen some nice ISO 400 and 800 images shot with it....even a few concert type shots, like here..

Follow the link. I believe there are some additional images posted.

Synthetic Nov 5, 2007 1:43 PM

Usually I go to smaller shows, mid sized venues, that hold maybe 2,000 or so.
So typically I'm closer to the stage.

As for Bon Jovi, I was at one of those shows so thanks for that :)

I have taken some really decent pics even with my crappy 3mp camera I had back a couple of years ago. But obviously I would like them to be a bit more "pro" looking.
I just don't want to regret yet another purchase.

The FZ18 looks pretty good, I know I can't afford a $1000+ camera at this point so I was considering something half the price, just don't know which one to choose.

You guys are the experts here, so naturally this is the first place I come when I need to know something about cameras. I do appreciate the help :)

So my last question (thus far) would be , what is the best camera in the $400-$500 range for concert photography?
(Mainly one that has a very good IS and doesn't smear colors with no flash)

bayani Nov 7, 2007 4:05 AM

P&S cameras, even the ultra zooms like the Canon S5IS are not very good in low light conditions - like an indoor concert. The high ISO performance leaves something to be desired.

A better solution would be to go DSLR.

But if you want to stay away from DSLRs, an ultrazoom p&s like the Canon S5IS with its hot shoe would be a good alternative - granting that you will be allowed to use a flash. The hot shoe of the S5IS allows you to use an external flash like the Canon Sppedlight 430EX with a 140 guidenumber. This will allow you fairly decent shots even from a distance.

bayani Nov 7, 2007 4:09 AM

I faced a similar situation when deciding what camera to buy - wanted one that could take decent indoor photos of my kids on stage. Did not want a DSLR because I wanted a camera with good video also and wanted to bring only 1 device.

I had a p&s ultrazoom (12X optical) but with only a built-in flash. When stage lighting was good, I got acceptable photos. But when lighting was inadequate, the photos turned out too dark.

When the Canon S5IS came out, this solved my problem. Got an external flash and now can shoot even in low light.

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