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Old Mar 8, 2008, 11:51 AM   #1
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Hello everybody,

Sadly my Canon IS S2 was stolen last week. Gladly I was insured and I will receive
the money to buy an equally good camera (S5).

I liked the Canon very much, great pictures, fast response time (and startup time), great movie mode, easy to use (even my girlfriend liked it a lot) and great zoom.

I went to the photoshop to look for a new camera and saw the Lumix FZ18. This camera looks very impressive: 28mm-504mm, widescreen moviemode and according to this site it is a very good cam.

Also the canon S5 looks great (black body, mine was silver), greater LCD (swivel) and Digic III processor.

Which is the better one? (Yes, this the Pana forum, so please a honest answer).

Thanks,

Ultrazoom junkie Maurice.



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Old Mar 18, 2008, 7:38 PM   #2
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I'm researching these two cameras in addition to a couple of others. I'm going in circles. I have and love a Panasonic FZ8. A friend of mine is willing to buy my camera so I'm thinking of stepping up to a newer one.

Points for the Panasonic: I actually prefer the proprietary battery, now that I've used one. They charge pretty quickly and are much lighter to pack around that a pile of AA batteries. I can easily shoot enough photos in a day to need 3-4 changes of batteries. That's a lot of AAs!

I really like the Zoom Resume. I use it regularly. I also like the Tele Macro. I don't see either of those on the Canon S5 IS.

Points for the Canon: I want the hot shoe and the revolving LCD.

Points against the Canon: I don't want to go down in Zoom power, but dropping from 12 to 10 isn't a lot. I do not like the lack of separate access to the SD card. You have to keep the batteries from dropping out while you change your memory card.

People seem to really love their Canon cameras. I've been very happy with my Panasonic. I'm not making much progress in making a decision.


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Old Mar 18, 2008, 7:59 PM   #3
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I'd like to eventually buy an ultrazoom so I'm interested in this comparison.

To me it comes down to this - Both cameras are very good in decent light, but not so great in low light.

If you need the extra zoom and the wide angle, the Panasonic is for you.

If you need the hotshoe and twisting LCD, the Canon is for you.

Personally, the Panasonic offers more of what I want than the Canon.
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Old Mar 18, 2008, 8:37 PM   #4
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Andy and Mac have made an excelent evaluation. The Panasonic FZ-18 is no slouch and neither is the Canon S-5. It all depends on what you really need. The hotshoe on the Canon S-5 makes the S-5 a much more flash capable camerawhen paired with the Canon EX-430 flash.

I ownthe FZ-18 and when we begin discussing flash reach and flash photos, that is where the Panasonic FZ-18 begins to fall down a bit.Even with a good slave flash, the FZ-18 does not have the flash reach or qualityof the S-5 equipped with the EX-430 flash.

But wait! There is yet another side to this issue. I ordered a Canon S-5 from http://www.amazon.com when I was doing the S-5 Flash Tutorial for this forum. I completed the flash tutorial and it was very popular. However, I returned the S-5 to http://www.amazon.com because theS-5 images were just not as sharp as I thought they really should be. And, good friends, that is a fairly common complaint with the S-5 camera. I have seen really sharp, great images posted on various forums, but the S-5 I had in my hot little hands was not that good.

So, what we can conclude from all of these hands on experiences issimply this:

(1) The sharpness quality of the Canon S-5 camera is somewhat variable.

(2) If we had a more powerful slave flash, perhaps we could obtain some comparable flash photos from the Panasonic FZ-18.

In good light the FZ-18 is a hard camera to beat. However, when you have to depend on a slave flash things head south. Please keep in mind that the FZ-18 does very well with flash out to about 18 to 20 feet. However when you want to go beyond 20 feet things get a bit murky. Here is a flash photo sample from the FZ-18 at 15 feet and it is very good. But if you go beyond 20 feet, even with a slave flash, it all heads southbound.

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Old Mar 18, 2008, 9:36 PM   #5
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MacLoyal wrote:
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Points against the Canon: I don't want to go down in Zoom power, but dropping from 12 to 10 isn't a lot.
I was under the impression that S5 was a 12x zoom (36-432 equiv.) as was the FZ8 while the FZ18 is 18x.
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Old Mar 18, 2008, 9:57 PM   #6
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ac-

You are very correct as always. The Panasonic FZ-18 is an 18X optical zoom camera just like the Fuji S-8000 which is also an 18X optical zoom camera and a good camera as well. It seems like those are the best 2 choices at the 18 X optical zoom range.

At the 12X optical zoom range you will find the Canon S-5, and the Kodak Z-712, a very creditable camera in its own right.

At the 10X optical zoom range you will find the the Sony H-3, no wide angle but a pretty darned good camera with a notable flash range. You will also find the Panasonic TZ-3 which does extremely well in good light, but begins to stumble whenflash is used beyond 12 feet.

So there are your choices. Is there any formula that might give some of these cameras that fail in terms of extended flash range and quality a lift? Yes, there might be if we could find a better, longer range slave flash. Here is a sample photo done with a Bower SFD328 slave flash. It is better, but we still could use some more flash output.

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Old Mar 18, 2008, 10:33 PM   #7
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Just to provide an adequate element of balance, here is a photo made with the Panasonic TZ-3 using the very same Bower SFD328 Slave Flash as I used with the FZ-18 photo. Quite clearly, the FZ-18 produced a much better photo than the TZ-3 camera.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Mar 18, 2008, 10:49 PM   #8
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Here is another option. This photo was taken with the Fuji S-6000 camera, that we have not discussed yet, and the very same Bower SFD328 slave flash. Which photo do you like the best??

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Old Mar 18, 2008, 11:03 PM   #9
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Well, I hope you are not getting tired. This photo was without the slave flash made with the Fuji F-20 digicam, a 3X optical zoom camera. So I had to move in a good deal closer. I also got some red eye results, so I took out the red eye with some post processing.

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Old Mar 18, 2008, 11:22 PM   #10
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Well, here is one more ultra zoom. It is the Sony H-3. Because it has a really powerful flash, good out to 23 feet at wide angle, I did not use the slave flash.

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