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Old May 12, 2008, 5:52 AM   #1
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Hi everyone.

I have upto £200 to spend and I'm looking for a super zoom camera with preference to something with an 18 X optical zoom but I don't wish to enter the dSLR territory just yet.

I've decided it's time to start using a manual camera and my first find was the Fuji S5700 which looks very good. Using the Flickr camera search and this website I got a lot of info on the camera, I went to a shop in town to try it out and I liked it but I couldnt make myself finally buy it for some reason.

Then I found the Fuji S5800 and just as I found that I also discovered the Fuji S8000fd which looked felt and seemed really good but the reviews are VERY mixed to say the least. One website took 30 odd reviews and gave it a general score and it got 96/100 which was good. But still I feel a little put off by it.

I had also looked at the Panasonic DMC-TZ3 but as it doesnt have any manual control I swayed away from that and kept it as a last resort type thing.

Now I've heard of the Olympus 570, is it ? and the Canon G5 is. The thing is though, and I know this, is that no camera that is super zoom is 100% perfect, and everytime I think I find one I will buy I find another !

I'm looking to get whatever camera I settle for betwen now and the end of the month.

Can any of you advise me on which is the best digital super zoom for around the £200 mark ? or the closest to it. I want it for general photography, as in I will use it for anything and everything. Multi burst mode, night photography, indoors images, daytime shots, close ups and movie mode with zoom enabled.

MY list goes on but those are some of the basics however most importantly I want something that gives clear sharp images.

Thank you
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Old May 12, 2008, 10:10 AM   #2
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I think the Fuji S8000 has the sharpest images.
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Old May 12, 2008, 9:39 PM   #3
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I've actually just discovered yet another camera in the Pasonic FZ18 which looks great and has a better image quality than anything else I've looked at so far.

It's a little over my price range but I could probably stretch to it.

Hm.
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Old May 13, 2008, 11:39 AM   #4
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edn1 wrote:
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...digital super zoom for around the £200 mark ? or the closest to it. ...general photography...Multi burst mode, night photography, indoors images, daytime shots, close ups and movie mode with zoom enabled.
The Kodak Z712is and Z812is are only 12x, but all the other features are there except zoom-enabled movie and macro, but that's asking a lot of a cheap superzoom lens. I and quite a few others round here are happy with the Z612 & Z712,especially the value for money. The eye-level electronic viewfinder is wonderful. There are numerous specimen shots in these forums if you search for them.

You're asking a lot for £200. In particular you won't get very good high ISO performance, if that's what you mean by 'night photography', without going to a dSLR-sized sensor.

If you want reasonable movies, buy one of the excellent low-price DVC tape camcorders, which are also ridiculously good value ay well under £150.

Good luck!
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Old May 13, 2008, 2:23 PM   #5
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I would check ebay if you want a good deal. I purchased the olympus SP 560 from cameta auctions on there and they were very reliable. The 550 had some issues and gave oly a bad reputation but they ironed out most of the issues by the time they got to the 560. The thing is you can get the 560 with all the goodies that you need to get with any camera you purchase for less than the cost of the 570 with nothing. I got rechargable batteries and charger, 2 gig oly card, USB cords, card reader, olympus master software, camera bag, free prints, and a year subscription to a photo mag for under 400 US dollars. It's a sturdy well built camera and although not dslr quality it gives pretty good IQ. Here is a shot I took from 25 feet away at full zoom 486mm equivalent, and cropped. There is a learning curve, it has many functions but if you're willing to spend a little time it's a very good buy for the money.

Eric
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Old May 13, 2008, 3:26 PM   #6
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Thank you both Alan T and eharrim for your input.

Having read an other review of the Panasonic TZ18 I am engding towards that. I'm heading to a camera shop tomorrow to try it out to see what I think of the real thing.

Allan T thanks for the suggestion of the Kodaks. Those are not something I have actually come across in my search so far for this type of camera so I will take a look at them also.

I've seen and read about the olympus range but I didn't quite get into them. Just something about them I didn't like.

Regarding Ebay, I stay well away from that site. However I will certainly look into the Olmypus as that shot was very impressive.

Thanks again for the input. I'm just going to search the forums for shots others have taken with various cameras.


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Old May 14, 2008, 1:44 PM   #7
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Well I took a trip to a camera store in town and had a VERY brief go of the FZ18 and my god was it brilliant. In the brief time I held it i was convinced that this is the camera for me.

I walked along to another shop that sells cameras and they had it too so got a slightly longer hold of the camera and I'm positive this is the right model for me.

I was instantly pleased with the image stabilisation and i underestimed just how quickly it focus' in on subjects. I zoomed into 18 X and as quick as it was at 18 x it was focused, honestly I was utterly amazed.

Last week I had tried out the Fuji S8000fd and it just couldnt focus on a subject not two arms lenghts away in front of it wheras the FZ18 did it in an instant.

Going to try and order the FZ18 tomorrow and hopefully get it within 1 - 2 days.
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Old May 15, 2008, 10:23 PM   #8
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Post your impressions. I currently own the FZ8 and I love it, but the allure of more zoom power is calling to me. I've ruled out the new Nikon 18x zoom for a few reasons so I'm still looking at staying Panasonic.

I just wish these superzoom models would come out with a rotating LCD.
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Old May 16, 2008, 1:17 PM   #9
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I will do. I received it this morning but have only just gotten round to taking it out the box now due to work.

Battery is currently charger then going to test it out.
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