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Old May 23, 2008, 10:23 AM   #1
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Hi there

I'm currently trying to decide between a Canon A650IS and the Panasonic TZ5. I had the TZ3 for a while and was never quite content with the soft pictures it would produce. I did really like the wide angle lens and the long zoom. Although I know the long zoom did contribute to the darker pictures I would get sometimes.

I have checked out the a650is and played around with it (friend has one), put my mem card in and took pictures, and they look very nice on the comp. screen.

I've been intrigued by the tz5 and its supposed small improvements. I do like the longer zoom and wide angle lens with pretty much no drawbacks like some. (distortion of vertical objects mainly).

I'm just a point and shoot person, I rarely if ever mess with the settings and leave a camera on auto. I do know that the tz5 is 9.1 and the canon is 12.1 but also understand that MPX count is not king always.

My pictures are about half and half indoors and out. I rarely print anything out, just archive to CD after we return from a trip or an event. My wife on the other hand prints out a lot of things from her a720is.

We're getting ready to leave for 2 weeks touring SoCal and have the ability to get one of these cameras in-hand before we leave and definitely want one of them. Most of this trip will be outdoors (probably 3/4 at least), and I also see the difference between 4 AA and the battery pack, and also the weight issue.

The swiveling lens means nothing to me really, as it is actually smaller than her 720.



What would you folks recommend? Both cameras are the same price right now so that isn't even helping this issue!



Thank you for reading and hopefully sharing some advice.
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Old May 23, 2008, 10:58 AM   #2
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You would be MUCH more pleased with the TZ5 than you were the TZ3. Here isa sample folder from a vacation I just returned from. Other than the flash shots and one or two where I used spot metering in the Auto mode, these were all shot using the iA (intelligent Auto) strictly point & shoot mode of the TZ5....I simply zoomed, composed and shot, and I was very happy with the results..

http://gmchappell.smugmug.com/galler...96939589_cmkXQ

The iA mode is definitely the ticket for strict point & shooters. It's the first real virtuallyfool-proof mode I've seen in using this series.

Those are uploaded at their original size, so you can place your curser over the selected image on the right and click the "save photo" icon if you want to download and view any of them on your own computer.

Here's another file where I've been compiling various images since picking up my TZ5 around a month ago...

http://gmchappell.smugmug.com/galler...99847983_yjWup

The multi-segment metering on the TZ5is much more accurate. In the regular Auto mode, I don't have to dial in compensation nearly as much as I was doing with my TZ3.

In the regular auto mode, when you use flash there's an option to enable red eye CORRECTION, where the camera will remove redeye at the time you shoot the image. I've done everything I can to try and force a picture with redeyeusingpeopleand haven't been able to yet other than with animals....I don't know that anyone's figured out a good animal redeye correction option yet other than simply using a DSLR ordigican with a hot shoeannd separate flash!
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Old May 23, 2008, 11:10 AM   #3
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hellspawn-

I ordered both the Panasonic TZ-5 and the Canon A-650IS. I ended up returning the A-650IS. The size of the TZ-5 is great and I also like the 16:9 format too. The TZ-5 is a very capable camera and it meets my needs really nicely.

For me, the big improvement is in the much better high ISO performance. The one negative is the rather weak built-in flash.

Sarah Joyce




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Old May 23, 2008, 8:32 PM   #4
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Greg


Those are some very nice shots, thank you for sharing the links. I have a feeling I would like the iA mode the best I've had about 24 hrs with a borrowed a650is and the folding screen kind of keeps annoying me for whatever reason and the weight is really noticeable. The pics are very nice and the ability to use 4 AA, but hmm..

I'll have to get my hands on a TZ5 asap, but the comments I'm seeing make me think I'd like it a bit more.



thank you again!
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Old May 23, 2008, 8:35 PM   #5
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I'm doing the same thing to help decide, hoping it arrives on Saturday. I really do like the wide angle.. after reading what you and Greg have written I'm very anxious to get this camera and see.I have a feeling it will be a winner. thank you!
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Old May 23, 2008, 8:45 PM   #6
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Hellspawn wrote:
Quote:
Greg


Those are some very nice shots, thank you for sharing the links. I have a feeling I would like the iA mode the best I've had about 24 hrs with a borrowed a650is and the folding screen kind of keeps annoying me for whatever reason and the weight is really noticeable. The pics are very nice and the ability to use 4 AA, but hmm..

I'll have to get my hands on a TZ5 asap, but the comments I'm seeing make me think I'd like it a bit more.



thank you again!
The A650is is a very, very nice camera. Why Canon has not seen fit to go to the 28mm wide angle lens on this series is a mystery to me. I guess until they feel like they're losing an appreciable amount of sales due to the competition, they'll keep churning out what they've been building and let others do what they want. Seems to work for them.Like Mel Brooks once said, it's good to be the King.

Today Itook what has to be one of the ultimate tests as to how well the redeye correction works on the TZ5. The image below was shot indoorsat 280mm, ISO 400 and around 6-7 feet away. In the past, doing this with a built-in flash so close to the lens was a sure firerecipe for devil-like redeye, but with the redeye correction turned on, the results are very nice. This is straight out of the camera...


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Old May 23, 2008, 10:14 PM   #7
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Hellspawn wrote:
Quote:
Greg


Those are some very nice shots, thank you for sharing the links. I have a feeling I would like the iA mode the best I've had about 24 hrs with a borrowed a650is and the folding screen kind of keeps annoying me for whatever reason and the weight is really noticeable. The pics are very nice and the ability to use 4 AA, but hmm..

I'll have to get my hands on a TZ5 asap, but the comments I'm seeing make me think I'd like it a bit more.



thank you again!
A good alternative to the A650IS is the A720IS, which is smaller, lighter, lacks the foldout LCD, but has the same lens as the A650IS and picture quality that's very similar. The A720IS also has full manual controls.
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Old May 25, 2008, 12:12 AM   #8
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Yea the wife has the 720..
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Old May 27, 2008, 9:22 AM   #9
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Can someone please comment on the difference in picture quality between the A650 and the TZ5 at higher ISOs ?
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