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Old Mar 14, 2008, 9:22 AM   #1
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Still a (re) searcher, and fortunate that i haven't got to make a choice yet I am thinking about the following;

for my purpose, a safari to Africa in July, I need something with a better Zoom than my current Canon S45 (3x) Still have to decide between compact or slr route, but if I decide to takr the compact route I know there is a fair few choices; Panasonic FZ18, fuji8100, and various models from kodak, sony and canon (S5)

somehow I am getting the impression that there are a few models out there, which might have a less powerful zoom, but have a (so) much better imagequality (better sensor?) The 2 I am specifically thinking about are the fuji s9100/9600 with a approx 10x zoom and also the canon G9, with even a lesser zoom (was it 6x?)



would it be a bad idea, for the purpose described, to get one of them, assume that for 80% of my shots the more limited zoom capability will suffice and for the more distant wildlife rely on either a teleconverter (doubling the range) or on the digital zoom (I am sure i do not need all the pixels on offer to get the level of detail required for my at the most A4 size pictures)



Just for reference; my current canon s45 with its 4 mp, gives me excellent pictures and besides the lack of zoom is "all I need". Can i safely assume that most modern superzooms will either match or surpass its quality (in which case I just can get on with it) or or is it feasible that they could provide worse images? (in which case i'd rather look for a slr)

interested inand grateful for your views
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Old Mar 14, 2008, 1:48 PM   #2
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I'm not familiar with the cameras you've mentioned, but it seems to me that you can zoom with the lens or you can crop in post processing. The cameras you mentioned all have sufficient resolution that evenif you can't zoom out far enough, you would still be able to produce a very good 8x10 from even a 50% crop.

I took a photo with my 3MP Nikon CoolPix 880, cropped it to about 70%, printed it at 8x10, and have it hanging on the wall in my dining room. You need an eye loupe to see the pixelation.
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Old Mar 17, 2008, 11:56 AM   #3
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was this quite a difficult question?

Since i saw lots of sample images on dpreview got myself convinced that superzoom is as good as i need, leaning towards fuji because of use of AA BATTERIES which might be easier to find in the middle of africa than a socket for my charger. And they seem to get good reviews. As it stands could be a choice between s8000 or s9100/9600+ teleconverter (as per original question)

any thoughts?
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Old Mar 17, 2008, 1:07 PM   #4
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I had the S9100 and thought it was a good camera. I have had the Olympus SP-550 and SP-560. I like the latter more because of shorter shutter lag and faster focusing. At ISO 200 and below, I don't think there is much difference in image quality between the 8 megapixel Oly's and the 9 megapixel Fuji's. Also, the Oly's have optical image stabilization. I have used the TCON-17 teleconverter on all three cameras. It works ok. I think there is a slight degradation of image quality - a little sharpness is lost. If it were me going to Africa, I think I would be tempted more by the superzooms, the SP-560, the Fuji S8000, and the Panasonic FZ-18, because they are pretty compact and I think the extra zoom will come in handy when taking pictures of lions and elephants and whatever. I might be tempted most by the Panasonic because of its very short shutter lag and very fast focusing. You can get it for around $300 from several etailers.
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Old Mar 20, 2008, 8:54 PM   #5
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I use a Fuji S9000. I tried a 2.4x converter and found that it degraded the photos more than I could tolerate (and the increase in magnification was not appreciable).

I think that a S9000 (9000 series - 9100, 9600, etc) would serve you well.



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Old Mar 21, 2008, 10:09 PM   #6
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white tulip-

Quite honestly, I still do not think that everyone undersatands your question. perhaps it would be very good if you might clearly re-state your question. Go for it, babe!

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 8, 2008, 9:22 PM   #7
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Not trying to bump this post, I just want to let you know that it seemed to go here:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=16
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Old Apr 8, 2008, 9:33 PM   #8
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JH 2007-

In all fairness, yes, I sincerely believe that we are "rehashing" the very same camera issue, just at a different date.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 8, 2008, 10:28 PM   #9
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White Tulip-

Yes, I certainly do agree that a safari excursion to Africa in July is a very special event that needs our particular attention, so that we get the very best photos.

So, please bear with me. I am going to relate to you the story of a friend who did indeed go on the same kind of safari in Africa. But he did it with a Nikon D-40 and the Nikkor 70-300mm VR lens.

He realized, straight away that an ultra zoom camera was not honestly able, nor equipped to produce the kind of photos that he truly wanted to record his African Safari. I sincerely believe that so how you think that there is some ultrazoom camera out there that might get the photos that you are hoping to get.

White Tulip, my friend, an ultrazoom is really not up to the task that you are considering. It will take a good consumer level DSLR camera to handle the task that you will encounter in Africa.

As many people on this forum are well aware, my husband and I travel all over the world, presenting digital camera and DSLR Seminars. We have seen many people who have seriously misjudged the camera requirements of an African Safari, who arrive in Africa ill prepared to capture the photos that the sincerely hoped to record. In short, it is a failure, they give up or are dissappointed. But they do not get the photos they had hoped to get.

What kind of photos am I talking about? Well, just take a good look, please!







So perhaps we should take a few minutes and get serious. Based on our rather extensive photographic experience, we have found that most people who are embarking upon an African Safari arrive ill prepared, to photographically record what is most probably the very most important trip or experience of their lifetime.

So if there is any "been there, and done that experience" that I can share with you, it is that this is most certainly not the time to scrimp on camera expense. I sincerely believe that this is a time, particularly with the exchange rate very much in your favor, that you should honestly go for a consumer level DSLR camera.

The decision is yours, of course. But perhaps if I share with you a few more photos you might begin to reconsider the REAL CAMERA that you are going to need on your safari in Africa. I have plenty of photos, so enjoy.







So if you would, white tulip, please give some serious consideration to your camra requirements. These photos were all taken with a Nikon D-40 equipped with a Nikkor 70-300mm VR lens.

This post is most probably already too long. However, White Tulip, I sincerely hope that I have given you a few glimpses of what you might encounter. I will post many more safari photos if you desire. Hopefully, you will understand the point that I am attempting to make.

Have a great day!

Sincerely,

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 9, 2008, 2:29 AM   #10
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well, sarah, the proof of the pudding is in the eating; I have been looking at many images on various sites to work out whether the superzooms are up to scratch with regards to image quality and although often they look "OK" or even good, I never thought "wow", how fantastic, until I saw these SLR pictures you posted (and yes please, post a few more), they are so much sharper then what I have seen before.



The strange thing though that when i went to look at comparison photos on digital-resource, the panasonic fz18at iso 100 seemed to somehow beat anything in sharpness what i put against it, even the digital slr's. (I used the image of the various bits of textile and bottles and noted that the cotton seemed so much better defined with the FZ18, as well as the sharpness of the writing on the bottles) Are the comparisons on that site considered to be fair and valid?



anyway

1) thanks ever so much for continuing to "look after me"

2)I know now that at least i need to look at and hold a few slr's with a good zoom before deciding



gerbo
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