Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Feb 21, 2009, 8:18 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 26
Default

I know that most folks here seem to like the Panasonic and I have read (and re-read) the posts comparing these two models. I realize though that a lot of folks here are good at using their cameras on manual.

Assuming that I will leave my camera on Auto most of the time (at least until I learn more manual techniques) and I want to capture a busy 3-year old (both inside andout)which of these two models is best?

Thanks!
CynthiaK is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Feb 21, 2009, 12:57 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Biro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 835
Default

Hi Cynthia, welcome to Steve's!

I don't own these cameras but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the Panasonic probably has the edge. That's because in addition to an auto mode, the Panasonic offers an "Intelligent Auto" mode which not only handles your settings automatically... but recognizes the KIND of photo you're trying to take and then selects one of the many "scene" modes which will optimize settings for that kind of photo. Scene modes are a form of auto - but an auto mode with specialized settings for a given situation. Scene modes include "child."

My Panasonic LX3 has the same feature and it works remarkably well - so well that it's kind of spooky. Of course, you can select one of the many scene modes yourself before you even lift the camera to your eye. And the Sony offers scene modes as well (although not as many). So if you just like the Sony better for other reasons, you can avoid using "auto" and make sure you remember to select the "child" scene mode before you chase your three-year old. But you can theoretically leave the Panasonic in the iA mode forever, have it recognize different shooting situations and select the proper scene mode for you, and get great results most of the time.

Auto mode will also work on both cameras - but auto is really an overall compromise that doesn't take into consideration the TYPE of photo you're trying to take. You'll get decent results on auto most of the time - but the ratio of "keepers" will be noticeably higher using iA and/or scene modes.

What's more, the Panasonic is a bit better than the Sony when it comes to image quality at higher ISO settings. ISO used to refer to film speed. But in digital photography, it refers to the sensitivity settings for the camera's sensor. Most camera manufacturers correctly assume that children will be moving rapidly. So when child scene mode is selected, the ISO setting is usually bumped up higher so faster shutter speeds can be used (similar to sports or action modes) in order to freeze the moving subject without blur. When those higher ISO settings are used, the Panasonic is a bit better than the Sony in terms of picture quality - although no camera in this class will be as good as a DSLR.

Of course, relying on auto, scene modes or iA runs the risk of making one lazy and hampering one's photographic development. But if one pays attention to the settings (exposure, aperture and ISO) selected by the camera, one can learn and use that information as a starting point for one's own experimentation. Plus I also understand that one might not want to be experimenting when one is capturing once-in-a-lifetime images of one's child.

I'll add one last piece of advice when it comes to photographing moving children: Because megazoom point-and-shoot cameras don't tend to auto focus as quickly as DSLRs (an issue completely separate from selecting the correct camera settings), I suggest you go into the camera's menu and select "single-area" auto-focus. When you do this, the camera uses a single section in the center of the frame for focusing. That increases auto-focus speed substantially - again increasing your chances of capturing a "keeper" image. But if you're taking a group shot of friends and family, you probably want to go back into the menu and select "multi-area" auto focus.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
Biro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 21, 2009, 2:37 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 26
Default

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Such great advice and great tips! I REALLY appreciate the time you took!
CynthiaK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 21, 2009, 9:00 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

When you are 10,000 miles away, things get screwy!

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 21, 2009, 9:00 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

When you are 10,000 miles away, things get screwy!

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 21, 2009, 9:00 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Double post-

I apologize!

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 21, 2009, 9:01 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Welcome to the Forum, Cynthia-

Biro has provided a very comprehensive answer to your question, and I happen to be in agreement with him. In the ultra zoom category, the Panasonic FZ-28 IMO clearly leads the field followed by the Canon SX-10, and then the Sony H-50 and Kodak Z-1012. The H-50 is a good camera but it does not have the IQ and sharpness of the FZ-28.

If you are interested in low light level photos, the FZ-28 is an excellent choice as this photo illustrates.

Sarah Joyce
Attached Images
 
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 22, 2009, 6:14 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Cynthia-

Here is another no flash, existing light shot with the FZ-28 using an elevated ISO.

Sarah Joyce
Attached Images
 
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 8:14 PM.