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Old Apr 11, 2008, 10:07 AM   #11
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Here are three reviews not usually provided for reference. I use this source, because it provides more depth on the RAW shooting capability of the FZ18. I am listing the links for the FZ18, S5, and Z712 for comparision from the same reveiwer.

http://www.megapixel.net/reviews/pan...8/fz18-gen.php

http://www.megapixel.net/reviews/canon-s5is/s5-gen.php

http://www.megapixel.net/reviews/kodak-z712is/z712is-gen.php


This link explains RAW;

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...aw-files.shtml

Also, links on Flickr for each camera;

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/tags/fz18/interesting/

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/tags/s5/interesting/

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/tags/z712/interesting/

And finally, here's something to chew on while you strive to learn photography;

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm

have fun while you learn, and take lots of pictures, and study them to improve your skills,

Dennis
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Old Apr 11, 2008, 11:46 AM   #12
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Mitch-

Everyone has jumped in to help you, and that is kind of nice.

Andy is a master with camera details, Dennis is an expert an finding interesting links, and hopefully I can supply a bit of knowledge and photo samples. We all work together.

If you want a hot shoe for an external flash, tere is only one choice, and it is the Canon S-5. If you like bright punchy colors, then look to either the Kodak Z-712 or the Sony H-3 can provide those.

The Sony H-3 is another new camera this morning as well, so let's examine it a bit. The H-3 is measurably smaller in physical size that the other cameras in this group, but it will not fit into your jean pocket. The H-3 has 8mp with 10X optical zoom. It do not have an EVF or an OVF, so all of your photo framing is done on the H-3's LCD. The LCD does work well, even in bright sunshine. If you plan to use the Auto Mode exclusively,the H-3is one of the very best cameras on the market today for excellent Auto Mode operation. It also has an excellentflash range that extends easily to 20 feet, and it isthe best camera in this group for using high ISO settings.

Here is an photo sample of what the Sony H-3 can do at ISO 1600. Notice that the shutter speed was fast enough to stop the action of people walking.



Here is another high ISO photo. This one was at ISO 400, and like the photo above, it was taken handheld.





So, Mitch, the Sony H-3might be another camera to consider, if you want a smaller camera, than can use high ISO settings.

Sarah Joyce

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Old Apr 11, 2008, 1:37 PM   #13
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Mitch-

I mentioned above that the Sony H-3 was excellent in utilizing its built-in flash. This photo is a good example. I know it is another photo of my ever patient husband, but this photo shows what the H-3 can do when the flash is used in the Slow Flash mode.

In the Slow Flash mode the H-3 measures the ambient light and then adds very small bit of flash to lighten the shadow. That is exactly how in worked in our sample photo. You will also notice a nice degree of sharpness in the photo.

Sarah Joyce


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Old Apr 14, 2008, 1:27 AM   #14
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Hello guys.

Wow, thanks very much for all the info you supplied. Very valuable and very much appreciated.

I would want to learn macro photography so I guess Kodak Z712IS is out (Thanks Andy).

Thanks Sarah for your samples on Sony H-3. I read about 'em and the major flaw I discovered is that it has no EVF.

Thanks Dennis for the links. The info from your links have helped me with my choice. And I choose... the Panasonic.. hehehe.

Reasons:
1. I am a beginner, excited to learn about photography (still has a loooong way to go) and I would want a camera with as much capability to practice on. Panasonic has a good electronic view finder, a RAW format and more zoom than in all cameras being suggested here.

2. I prefer lithium ion batteries over AA's. The review from http://www.megapixel.net also gave Panasonic a perfect score of 10 for the battery consumption criteria.

3. All of them produces good image quality but Panasonic has more features as explained in my #1. If I were to choose Canon, I would need to buy a telephoto lens in order to compensate the zoom capability of the Panasonic. Panny also has RAW and as I understand, I could do a lot with RAW files.

4. As Dennis' link explained, the gear doesn't matter but the imagination. I wouldn't dream of taking pictures half as good as in the galleries in flickriver.com but I can try. LOL.

5. And some other things..

So in conclusion, I am holding on to Panasonic FZ18. I am waiting for a friend to order this for me as I am outside US.

Thank you all very much for your help. There sure are a bunch of nice people here at steves-digicams. I hope this thread would help others too in same dilemma as mine.
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Old Apr 14, 2008, 10:35 AM   #15
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Mitch-

The Panasonic FZ-8 or FZ-18 (your budget will determine the choice) are both good choices. I own the Fz-18 and like it a lot. It is though very much an outdoor camera, as noise and artefacts become evident as soon as the ISO is raised above ISO 200.

Mitch, it will be a great camera to learn on, and it has some great features, the iA, or Intelligent Auto is very useful and effective. Enjoy your photography and post some photos when you have the opportunity.

Have a great day!

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 15, 2008, 12:55 AM   #16
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Thanks for "watching over me" Sarah Joyce.
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Old Apr 15, 2008, 10:29 AM   #17
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Mitch-

You are very welcome, that is why we are here.

Have a great day!

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 16, 2008, 3:27 PM   #18
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Mitch,

It's always great to finally make a choice on your new camera. While you wait to get your hands on your new FZ18, here's one last link to wander through;

http://www.digicamhelp.com/camera-logs/9/


enjoy your new camera,
Dennis
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Old Apr 22, 2008, 2:56 AM   #19
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Thanks Dennis. I have found this in some of the threads here at steve's digicams and have bookmarked it. :-)
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Old Jul 14, 2008, 11:44 AM   #20
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Updates:

I've had the Panasonic FZ18 for two months now and the Panny and I are still in the "getting-to-know-each-other" stage. LOL. Didn't had much opportunity to test it yet due to a barrage of work and deadlines.

So far, I'm happy with my FZ18. Here's a sample of what it can achieve in good light


This was taken hand-held in Aperture priority mode and taken with no flash. I think I messed around with the contrast and saturation settings with this one.

More of my flower macro shots here:
http://www.photographyquest.net/2008...onic-fz18.html

I know they aren't the best of photos but I think they are pretty decent pics made by a completely ignorant photographer armed with a Panasonic FZ18. Credits to the camera and not the user. hehe.
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