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Old Jan 29, 2008, 7:36 AM   #1
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I am wanting the following features
-ability to shoot manually
-12X + optical zoom
-good video capable
-price <$400

Besides normal and family photos I will be shooting some astro stuff while using my telescope.

My 3 contenders at this point are;
Sony DSC-H7
Olympus SP-560
Canon S5-IS
Which one do you folks think is best and why?
Any input is appreciated.
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Old Jan 30, 2008, 12:31 PM   #2
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All are capable. My choice would be the S5 for the following reasons:

1. More consistant IQ throughout it's zoom range.

2. Faster focusing at all zoom settings/distances.

3. A little quicker shot to shot time.

4. Hot shoe for external flash.

5. Better video (at the expense of large file sizes.)

Your milage may vary. You may want to re-phrase the question for the astrophotography portion in the Digiscoping forum.
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Old Jan 30, 2008, 6:07 PM   #3
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[suP]Hi Lake,[/suP]

[suP]All the cameras you mentioned will probably make you happy. I would suggest reading all the reviews, both [/suP]professional and user, that you can find. If you can find reviews that compare these cameras, that's even better. I just bought a new camera and had the selection whittled down to three contenders. All three were good cameras and I made my choice based on the feature mix that I liked best for the type of photos I take. No one else can really guide you concerning that.

[suP]One additional point concerning Ultra Zooms. Olympus started this niche and everyone else followed along. If you study the history of UZ's, Oly is the company who innovates the features and, again, the others follow along. IMO, that's significant![/suP]

Happy hunting,

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Old Jan 30, 2008, 6:50 PM   #4
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I have the Olympus SP-560 (after having had the SP-550) and think it's a good camera. Neverthless, I might pick the Canon S5-IS or the Panasonic FZ-18 because I think they focus faster. The SP-560 does have a bulb mode, allowing up to 8 minute exposures. That's useful for astrophotography.
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Old Jan 30, 2008, 8:02 PM   #5
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put each one in your hand and see if they feel good in your hand before you make the final decision.

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Old Feb 2, 2008, 12:21 AM   #6
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I would add the Panasonic FZ18 to your list. It's got a 28-504 mm Leica lens, 18x zoom, IS, takes raw and is a fast and responsive camera.
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