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Old Apr 18, 2008, 8:17 PM   #1
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I'm having the hardest time deciding which camera to get. I've narrowed it down to 3-4 ultra-zoom cameras. I think. I say I think because if there is a better solution please chime in with one.

My own observations so far, if I'm wrong, let me know!

Canon S5 IS - very high IQ as it offers super-fine JPG option.

Panasonic FZ50 - older but, still getting high praise for IQ in another forum, 20MB RAW images doesn't sound too pleasing too me. I could live with that if all else was excellent IQ-wise.

Fuji S100FS - pricey, is it worth it? I haven't seen a lot of images yet.

Panasonic FZ18 - this one I'm unsure of, a friend has one and the IQ seems quite off when grass/trees (leaves) seem a bit "blended".

Now, here is where is gets difficult... Wants, Needs, etc;

The specs I really want are;
- Manual zoom ring (S5 IS does not have this)
- Internal focusing

The specs I really need are;
- of course, the best IQ possible in this class
- fast lens (the FZ50 and S5 IS are faster on the tele end than the new S100FS)
- full manual control
- low compressed JPG
- the least amount or barrel distortion / pin cushioning

The specs I can take or leave, doesn't matter;
- external flash (hot-shoe)
- RAW imaging
- 28 or 36mm wide end
- 400 or 500mm on the tele end
- physical size doesn't matter

So, that is where I'm at, any help would be great to narrow the field or choice to 1!

TIA.

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Old Apr 18, 2008, 8:40 PM   #2
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TIA/mfocus-

When you understand that the Pansonic FZ-50 here in the USA costs just $(US) 340.10 delivered to your home, that has to immediately make you take a second look at the FZ-50. The FZ 50 is 10mp and it is equipped with a 1/1.8 CCD imager which is a much larger CCD imager than you will find on the Canon S-5, which is a 1/2.5 CCD.

If the majority of your photos will be taken outdoors, then IMHO the FZ-50 is the clear choice. If the majority of your photos are NOT taken outdoors, then we have to consider the external flash options for each of these cameras.

The FZ-50 can use their own Panasonic flashes, or they can use the Olympus FL-36 or FL-50 model flashes. The S-5 has a hotshoe that is new this year. The usual combination for the S-5 camera is to use the Canon EX-430 Flash.

Based on the low price for the FZ-50, its measurable larger CCD, and the fact that I laready own an Olympus FL-50 flash, I returned the Canon S-5 and I ordered the Panasonic FZ-50 camera.

I will leave you with three FZ-50 photo samples. And they are really amazing.

Sarah Joyce








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Old Apr 18, 2008, 9:19 PM   #3
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Thank you mtclimber,

I just was phoning around locally and the FZ50 is no where to be found. The S5 IS is $379 and looking at the S100FS is $679 (all Canadian $ btw) I doubt the Fuji is twice the camera in terms of IQ ...or is it?

Oh, I forgot to mention the type of shooting I do. Some indoors of the kids, family, etc. Same goes for outside, family and nature, mainly birding.

Have you tried the 1.5x telephoto extender on the S5?


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Old Apr 18, 2008, 10:29 PM   #4
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mfocus-

I am sorry to say that I have had no experience at all with the supplementary lenses available on the Canon S-5 Camera. Our circumstances may indeed differ somewhat, and I know that the Canon S-5 is a very good camera. So I stand ready to supply any other info you might need to make your camera decision.

Perhaps it is indeed something unique to the USA, but when I found that I could purchase a Panasonic FZ-50 for just $(US) 340.10. My decision was made.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 19, 2008, 12:14 AM   #5
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mtclimber wrote:
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mfocus-

I am sorry to say that I have had no experience at all with the supplementary lenses available on the Canon S-5 Camera. Our circumstances may indeed differ somewhat, and I know that the Canon S-5 is a very good camera. So I stand ready to supply any other info you might need to make your camera decision.

Perhaps it is indeed something unique to the USA, but when I found that I could purchase a Panasonic FZ-50 for just $(US) 340.10. My decision was made.

Sarah Joyce
Thanks again Sarah,

I like the f-stop of the S5 IS, f/3.5 at 400mm+, try that with a dSLR and I'd have to take out a 2nd mortgage :lol:. The tele-extender is not a need, just a thought. I'll see if I really need one.

I was looking at samples of the S5 IS by Terry Thormin at http://www.pbase.com/terrythormin ...I don't think I can go to wrong with this camera for birding or anything else.

The S100FS is almost double in price, the FZ50 is not an option (unless I find one tomorrow) and the FZ18 has 80mm more tele, not a big difference. I'm off tomorrow to look at the S5 IS in person.
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Old Apr 19, 2008, 12:45 AM   #6
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Good Luck to you, mfocus-

The Canon S-5 is a great camera.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 25, 2008, 10:44 PM   #7
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Did you notice that the Canon S5 is the cheapest of the bunch, has a fully rotatable LCD, a flash hot shoe, big zoom, and is small?

Yes, it doesnt have the manual ring, and the EVF has too many pixels, but the half way tilt LCD on the FZ-50 is useless, and the new Fuji is way too expensive.
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Old Apr 25, 2008, 11:43 PM   #8
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But folks-

It seems like every day, I learn a bit more. Keep in mind that ultrazooms also have their weaknesses. Usuall it is the less than excellent high ISO photos. But here is an exception that you might want to know about.

It all depends on what you are looking for. I can show you Sony H-3 photos that can be taken out to a 23 foot flash range, which the Canon S-5 cannot do unless it is equipped with a Canon EX-430 flash (another $240 investment.)

Take a look at these photos (beautifully taken by a poster on this forum, Jeanette62, I am new to the H-3, I am hoping to do this well in the future.)taken with the Sony H-3. The Canon S-5 cannot do that ever, because these photos were taken with the H-3 WITHOUT flash.

I leave tomorrow (04/26) for 93+ days of professional digital camera instructing on cruise ships around the world, so there will be no discussion time available to us. However, my hope is that you will take a good look at the potential of such a camer as the Sony H-3. It costs less than the Canon S-5 and can do a bit more, excepting that hot shoe. These photos came from a H-3 poster on this forum, named Jeanette62.

Sarah Joyce







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Old Apr 27, 2008, 1:48 PM   #9
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mtclimber wrote:
Quote:
But folks-

It seems like every day, I learn a bit more. Keep in mind that ultrazooms also have their weaknesses. Usuall it is the less than excellent high ISO photos. But here is an exception that you might want to know about.

It all depends on what you are looking for. I can show you Sony H-3 photos that can be taken out to a 23 foot flash range, which the Canon S-5 cannot do unless it is equipped with a Canon EX-430 flash (another $240 investment.)

Take a look at these photos (beautifully taken by a poster on this forum, Jeanette62, I am new to the H-3, I am hoping to do this well in the future.)taken with the Sony H-3. The Canon S-5 cannot do that ever, because these photos were taken with the H-3 WITHOUT flash.

I leave tomorrow (04/26) for 93+ days of professional digital camera instructing on cruise ships around the world, so there will be no discussion time available to us. However, my hope is that you will take a good look at the potential of such a camer as the Sony H-3. It costs less than the Canon S-5 and can do a bit more, excepting that hot shoe. These photos came from a H-3 poster on this forum, named Jeanette62.

Sarah Joyce





Quote:

Hi these 3 photos were taken by myself at a Westlife concert .

It was the 1st time i had used the camera at an indoor arena concerti used advanced sports mode , no flash and iso is auto on this settng iso was actualy automaticaly set to 800 some lower some higher well here is the screen capture below with the settings of the top photo



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