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Old Feb 17, 2009, 1:49 AM   #1
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I'm hoping for some suggestions for replacement cameras for my Olympus C-750 UZ (Ultra Zoom camera purchased August 2004). I've needed to upgrade the camera for about two years but have been procrastinating since I haven't been able to find a camera that seems just right. I'd like to purchase my new camera before June, so if there are any release coming out later this year I should consider, please let me know.

Things I really like about the Olympus C-750 (and want again in a camera):
1) size - it isn't ultra compact but it can fit in a purse, and is light enough that I was able to take it everywhere I went for over a year without too much inconvenience (size of current camera: 108 x 66 x 69mm/ 4.3 x 2.6 x 2.7in and weight including batteries 340g/ 12oz)
2) photo quality - I've been very pleased with the image quality the camera has produced, the color has been accurate, distortion minimal and the noise levels/fringing somewhat correctable when run through a filter (with newer technology, I'm hoping for a camera that takes even crisper images with less noise)
3) Features: I love the super macro mode, I use the bracketing shots feature a lot, the 10x optical zoom has been perfect for my needs
4) I can attach a polarizing lens (with a lens adapter)
5) good built in flash and takes a larger flash with hot shoe

Things I hate about the camera
1) terrible auto focus, especially in low light; terrible manual focus mode as well, so there is no way to correct focus problems
2) shutter lag
3) can take three shots at a time and then is out of commission for over 30 seconds
4) I love that the camera takes filters but I hate needing a lens adapter to use them. The point of and ultra zoom is not to have to carry around lots of accessories - plus I can't use the lens cap when the filter adapter is on (terrible for hiking as the lens cap dangles and clacks against everything and I'm constantly worried about damaging my polarizing lens.

I would really appreciate recommendations for cameras that incorporate the things I love while fixing the problems of my current camera. I don't really want a camera much bigger or heavier than my current camera. I would like to be able to take prints suitable for framing at least 8x10" if not larger.

Photographs I take most:
nature photography - landscapes and wildlife
Aquarium's - tanks and the animals in them (low light situations)
Water (hence the polarizing lens)

I know I'm asking a lot from one camera- but please let me know if you've found a camera that you love that sounds like it would be a good fit. I've read all the ultra zoom reviews and nothing sounded quite right, but perhaps I just need to hear from someone who's used and had success from one of these cams to change my mind - or maybe there are compact cameras out there powerful enough, that I don't need an ultra zoom? Sorry for the long post, but I want to give as much information as possible - this will be a big investment for me.

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Old Feb 23, 2009, 1:43 AM   #2
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As there are no replies yet –I thought I might throw out a few options I've been considering.:

Canon PowerShot SX200IS - will it be worth the upgrade from the earlier model? Has anyone played with this camera yet? I know it comes out in March - or has anyone tried doing nature photography with the Canon Powershot SX110IS? I'd love to see people's shots with this camera.

I love the size of this camera with the optical zoom – I just want to make sure I can get the image quality I want out of it.

Another option:
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5K - again I like the size and optical zoom

Or would I be better off going with the Panasonic Lumix FZ28? (Which is much more like an SLR in look.) It seems a little to bigger than what I want to me however. Unless it is a markedly better camera, I'd prefer a smaller model.

The last camera I'm looking at is the Canon Powershot G10. It doesn't have the optical zoom like I'm used to, but it the images I've seen from the camera look beautiful.

Again my criteria (price is not a consideration)

1) Portable – I want lighter and smaller than a SLR (otherwise I would buy an SLR)
2) Image quality – crisp images, lower noise levels (I'm not going to shoot above ISO 400 much)
3) Versatility (good low light focus, fast shutter response, fast auto focus)

I would prefer zoom in the 10x range, though would go down to 5x if the camera was better. I don't really need an ultra zoom camera.

I use the polarizing lens I bought for my Olympus 550C all the time – so if the camera could take lens filters that would be a plus. Again I would forgo this feature if it meant getting a camera that better fit the three criteria listed about.

If anyone currently shoots with any of these cameras (or one I haven't mentioned, but that sounds promising), I'd love to see your gallery. I've tried checking out shots on Amazon, but they downsize the photos so much it's hard to gauge quality.

Again I'd very much appreciate any sage advice on this manner. I plan on going to a photo store and playing around, but it's very hard to tell photo quality from what you see on the viewfinder.

Thanks for reading another long post


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Old Feb 23, 2009, 7:53 AM   #3
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Here are some nature shots from Flickr:
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Old Feb 23, 2009, 5:13 PM   #4
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Thank you! That's helpful, I had tried to do something similar in smugmug, but the search didn't work with camera models. The two Panasonics looked better than the canon which surprised me.

Any feedback from people using the cameras would be great too.
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Old Feb 23, 2009, 5:24 PM   #5
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IMO the best choice of the three is the Panasonic FZ-28. Here is a no flash/existing light photo sample taken at ISO 800.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Feb 27, 2009, 5:20 PM   #6
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Very impressive. Thanks!
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