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Old Aug 9, 2008, 9:35 AM   #1
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I've been trying to decide on a new camera to replace my Oly 2100uz, it's just too slow and heavy. I think I've been torturing myself trying to make a decision though! I was all ready to buy a Sony H50, but I tried it in the store and I just didn't like how it felt. I did try the P80 and I really liked how it felt and worked. I can't find anyone around here who still has the FZ18.

I want a camera that is fun, and that I can use on full auto, but I also want manual settings to use. My plroblem is that I'm really worried about IQ on the FZ18...the noise reduction seems pretty awful at times (either smeary or speckly). I really hate how it looks in portraits...see Steve's samples with faces. The FZ18 always seems to have that speckly/fuzzy appearance around the nose and shadowed neck areas. The P80 (and some others) don't seem to have that trouble.

I've taken too long and now I'm down to the wire because I want to get the camera by the end of this week...we're celebrating our 25th anniversary at the end of the month and I want to take it with me on our weekend getaway, so I need time to use it before we go.

I hope I don't sound too pathetic! Any help you can offer I'll appreciate! Thanks!
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Old Aug 9, 2008, 10:32 AM   #2
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Another good ultrazoom with an 18x optical zoom is the Fuji S8100fd. The Canon S5IS "only" has a 12x optical zoom but it's a very fine camera.

Have you considered a smaller camera with a long zoom? The Sony H10 and Canon SX100 have excellent picture quality and are almost pocket sized.
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Old Aug 9, 2008, 11:20 AM   #3
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Thanks for replying Andy. I have considered them, but when I tried out cameras in the store I realized that I can't live without the EVF. The Canon S5 just seemed to "fussy" for me. They didn't have the Fuji 8100, but it's a possibility for me. In looking at comparisons at Digitalversus.com the 8100's images seemed a little softer than some others...hard to determine with just those few pics though. I did read the review on DigitalCameraReview.com and whereas it sounds pretty good, I wish they had done shots of the same things for easier comparison to other digicams. I also looked for other info on the 8100 but there just isn't that much.
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Old Aug 9, 2008, 12:21 PM   #4
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Hi Michelle-

I have handled and shot with all most of the ultra-zooms out there. I am sorry to hear that you did not like the Sony H-50, as I think it is one of the better in the group. The Fuji S-8100 is capable, but in my short experience with it, I did not feel it was 100% consistent. That was probably my fault. The Nikon P-80 is nice and compact but I was not crazy about it WB. The Panasonic FZ-18 is good but it has the older Venus 3 processor. The FZ-18 replacement, the FZ-28 (not out yet)will have the new Venus 4 processor.

Among the 12X optical zoom ultra-zooms, the Canon S-5 is tops and it also has a built in hot shoe as well. To me, it feels good in hand. The S-5's built-in flash is distance limited, that's the reason for the hot shoe. The new Kodak Z-1012 has a very good flash, 10mp, full Manual and Auto controls, a nice Command Dial that allows lots of changes to me made right on the LCD screen without having to enter the menu. the Z-1012 is about the same size as the Nikon P-80 and feels good in hand. It is very easy to learn and to use. It has great facial colors and very accurate WB. The LCD screen on the Z-1012 does not tilt and the image quality is excellent, but not quite as good as the H-50.

I hope that helps a bit. If you want to zero in on any camera and need more info, I am happy to help out, and I will check back on this thread regularly to see if I can help. I also have photo samples if you would like to see them, though you must tak into consideration that photos have to be reduced in size (resolution) to be posted.

Happy Anniversary! Have a great weekend.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 9, 2008, 7:06 PM   #5
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Thanks Sarah Joyce for all of the info. I really don't know why this is so hard except to say that I don't want to be disappointed with IQ after having my 2100 (I don't want to feel like I took a step backwards).

"The Nikon P-80 is nice and compact but I was not crazy about it WB."

WB is White Balance, right? Is that the only thing you didn't like about the P80?

I guess I keep ending up back with the FZ18. Besides IQ, I need the camera to work pretty decently on full auto settings because I know I'll be lazy at times and not want to bother with the other settings. I do want the manual settings too, though as I like to take pics of birds, and do some macro shots. The P80 seems like it may be better using the manual settings, and not necessarily good at auto.

Would you have sample shots from the FZ18 and the P80 that I could look at?

Thank you for all of your help!
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Old Aug 9, 2008, 7:21 PM   #6
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Hi Michele-

I have been checking back once every hour to see if you posted. Thanks for posting. A bit of background I still own 2 very operative Oly C-2100 UZI's. So I understand what you are looking for in terms of image quality.

So, now we are down to samples time. As requested here is a Panasonic FZ-18 sample. This is not my shot, but one from a friend, and I really admired the shot.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 9, 2008, 7:31 PM   #7
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Michelle-

Actually, based on my own personal experience, IMHO the Nikon P-80 handles things more consistently and better when used in the Auto Mode.

So here is you P-80 sample photo. This was taken at nearly max optical zoom under existing light conditions at the Seattle Airport.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 9, 2008, 7:33 PM   #8
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Michelle-

Here is a photo sample from the Koadak Z-1012 from our back deck, looking down at the Pacific Ocean along the Oregon Coast.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 9, 2008, 7:36 PM   #9
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Michelle-

Here is the comparison photo with the Sony H-50 taken from the back Deck of our home looking down at the beach and the Pacific Ocean. I am a digital camera instructor and am doing a comparison between the Sony H-50 and the much less expensive Kodak Z-1012, which is really a great performer and easy to us this weekend.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 9, 2008, 7:41 PM   #10
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Hi again, Michelle-

My conclusion thus far is that the Kodak Z-1012 offers a lot of bang for the buck because it is $(US) 260.00 versus the $(US) 360.00 cost of the Sony H-50.

Let me see if (1) the people are still fishing down on the beach, and (2) if I have the Fuji S-8000 ready to go. Perhaps I can give you a Fuji S-8000 sample as well.

Give me 20 minutes or so please.

Well it was actually quicker than I thought. The fisher folk have packed it in for the day, so, Michelle, you get a photo sample at the S-800's max zoom of the same log as I had in the fishing photos.

Sarah Joyce



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