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Old Nov 7, 2008, 9:43 AM   #1
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I'm looking for a camera around the $300 price tag that takes good outdoor photos and decent indoor photos (I realize most compacts aren't the best indoor cameras).

Main interests: Kids sports, travel, nature, and indoor pictures of kids (school, holidays, etc.). I realize the indoor pictures can be the achille's heal for a lot, if not the majority, of compact cameras.

Two cameras which interest me are the Panasonic TZ5 and Fuji S8100fd. Any inputs on either of these two cameras or suggests for a better camera around the price range mentioned above?

I had bought my wife a Canon A570IS last year and she just plain hates the camera. Between the battery compartment issues and poor indoor shots to include flash/shutter lag, she hasn't been impressed with the camera. It does take rather nice outdoor photos though...

I'm still caught in the SLR world, owning a Canon EOS Elan and Pentax ME Super. Trying to pick a digicam which "I" think she would be happy with is illusive.

Anyways, I truly appreciate all your inputs!

Regards,

Tom in Connecticut
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Old Nov 7, 2008, 4:47 PM   #2
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The Fuji S8100fd has manual controls and as a result is more versatile than the Panasonic TZ5, which is all auto. As an SLR user, you'd probably be more comfortable with the Fuji.
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Old Nov 7, 2008, 7:44 PM   #3
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You didn' task for this, but...

I think the Panasonic FZ28 is the same price as or cheaper than the Fuji S8100. It's got manual controls available and it takes good pictures. You may want to check it out.
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Old Nov 7, 2008, 8:43 PM   #4
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Ditto - check out the FZ28.

$276 at B&H Photo Video.

Probably one of the best deals out there:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html

You can check out some sample images on PBase (just click on MORE if you want to see more shots):

http://www.pbase.com/cameras/panasonic/lumix_dmc_fz28
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Old Nov 7, 2008, 10:38 PM   #5
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So the FZ28 would be a better choice then the TZ5 or S8100fd?

I'd have to check that one out. One thing I should mention is this camera will be more so for my wife then for me. She's been very unhappy with the Canon 570IS that I bought her last year and truthfully after using it a couple of time mysef in Program mode, I understand her pain. The flash recycle time coupled with the poor battery compartment issues really hamper that cameras performance. I know a lot of folks have good luck with it, we must of just got a bad camera.

Thanks! Keep your inputs coming?

Regards,

Tom
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Old Nov 7, 2008, 10:59 PM   #6
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For a few more bucks you could go for an Olympus E-420 with a 14-42mm lens for $442.95 (add to cart for lowest price).

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html

That's a screaming good deal.

Also, the Olympus will be more responsive and give you nice indoor shots.

So, for an extra $140 your getting an all round more useable camera - a big step up from the FZ28 in many respects.

Check out Steve's review:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2008_..._e420_pg7.html

Terry
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Old Nov 8, 2008, 7:36 AM   #7
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Terry,

The Olympus does indeed sound like a very nice camera and probably one I would like for myself (thanks).

I think for my wife, I need to keep it smaller though. Thinking back, she's more inclined to use a camera that fits in her purse (were talking a big purse though) then carrying around a DSLR. I would really need to see all the cameras and compare size and see which wants she likes. If I can talk her into the FZ28 or Olympus that's the direction I would go. If not then I guess the question goes back to, what camera is comparable or better then the TZ5 in size.

Alas, my poor SLR's have both collected dust over the past years ever since we purchased our first digicam (Sony P52). The family room of our house is full of outdoor pictures taken with Pentax or Eos from our trips up into the mountains and bike races. I might have to drop the hint that I would like a DSLR from Santa. In turn I will, with your advice, pursue a smaller camera for her as a everyday alternative.

Again, appreciate all your input! Noticed you were from the Boston area, I'm down here in Connecticut just outside of Foxwoods. I commute up at Harvard a couple of times a year to speak on behalf of patient advocacy (blood clots).

Thanks again!

Regards,

Tom
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Old Nov 8, 2008, 11:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
I think for my wife, I need to keep it smaller though. Thinking back, she's more inclined to use a camera that fits in her purse (were talking a big purse though) then carrying around a DSLR. I would really need to see all the cameras and compare size and see which wants she likes. If I can talk her into the FZ28 or Olympus that's the direction I would go. If not then I guess the question goes back to, what camera is comparable or better then the TZ5 in size.
I'd definitely consider the Sony W150. It's small, takes nice looking pictures, has a viewfinder for use during bright, sunny days and, most importantly, is a very quick small camera - one of the quickest around.

This is taken from Steve's review:

Quote:
The W150 is a robust performer. Power up to first image captured measured 2.5 seconds. Shutter lag, the time between depressing the shutter release and capturing an image, was almost instantaneous when pre-focused and between 2 - 6/10 second including autofocus time, depending on the amount of focus change required. The shot to shot delay measured a fast 1.4 seconds between frames without the flash and between 3 and 4 seconds using the flash, depending on subject distance and battery life. Burst mode was also impressive. I was able to capture 10 full resolution (8M) images in 4.2 seconds, about 2.3fps, which soared by Sony's claim of 1.6fps. The LCD only briefly displays the last captured image between shots; this is when the optical viewfinder comes in handy. Switching to playback mode took about a second. One thing I would like to note is, when you first put the battery back in the W150 after charging, it takes about 6 - 7 seconds for the camera to power up and snap the first shot. However this is only the first time you put a freshly charged pack in. Our tests were done using a Sony 1GB Memory Stick PRO Duo card, 8M quality, Program mode, flash off, and all other settings at default (unless otherwise noted.) Times may vary depending on lighting conditions, camera settings, media, etc.


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Old Nov 8, 2008, 12:17 PM   #9
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Given your wife's desire to be able to put the camera into her pocket or a purse, I would say to forget the FZ28. It's a very nice camera, but pocketable only if you are wearing a jacket with huge pockets. Same thing for the Fuji S8100. I would go with the TZ5 or TZ4 or the W150 (as recommended by Andy) or even the Canon SD870. I know your experience with the A570 wasn't what you had hoped for but I think shutter length wise and flash recycle time wise, the SD870 is better than the A570. Check Steve's review (last page) for his comments on both.
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