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Old Apr 15, 2010, 11:16 PM   #1
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Default Fuji F70EXR/Panasonic FZ35, ZR1/Affordable, reliable, excellent IQ compacts?

Hello forum,

After over a month of reading reviews and comparing specs Iíve reached the usual mental overload and would enjoy the input of those familiar with their cameras Ė nothing beats opinions of actual users.

I have a Nikon D40x 18-70mm, and a Canon Powershot S30 Ė if it werenít for my jiggly hands and what I suspect are the slowly dying insides of my Canon, I wouldnít bother getting a new P-and-S (the specs are still impressive compared to most wee cams out there, IMO).

Like most DSLR users, I want a cam to complement my love of IQ but pop in my bag for Ďjust-in-caseí. How I use my photos is quite specific:

~ I mostly take landscape shots, both of greenery and streetscapes. I use these as context record shots for reference and analysis, so the wider, the better. (27mm or wider)

~ I also take a lot of detail and macro shots of architectural features and plants. I really like when I can take a high quality crop from a fuller shot to highlight a detail. Any optical zoom from 5x and up is fine.

~ I donít take many people pictures, but can go on a pet-photo binge.

~ I take a lot of interior photos of details, and hate how flash mucks up the depth and perspective with shadows and wash-outs. So, low-light yay.

~ Lastly, I take shots in forests, so low-light and contrast are again important.

~ SD cards only, and reasonably pocketable in size.

I suspect most people would be as picky! Iím willing to forgo some, but ideally not all, manual control. I simply donít trust a P-and-S to always capture something. I will be using this cam for on-the-fly and travel photog when I wonít have my SLR around my neck. I donít care about anything else other than IQ and reliability, and I hate softness in a photo.

My budget with this level of pickiness is laughable, but sadly fixed at 350$CAD and under. Preferably under 270$, as I will take this cam into environments I would be loathe to bring my SLR (soil pit, desert, rainforest, ruins, pick-pocket markets, etc.).

I suspect Iíll get the Fuji f70EXR based on price and features, but the fringing thing has me spooked. I did get the Kodak z915 based on reviews, and it was horrible for IQ. Iíve read the Panasonic FZ35 and ZR1 are popular on this forum, and a friend swears by her Panasonic LS1 (although she uses her pics mostly for her blog). Not overwhelmed by the IQ on any of the Samsungs.

What do you think? And thank you very much!
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Old Apr 15, 2010, 11:26 PM   #2
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if you are willing to read my instructions in the Fujifilm forum regarding the proper setup and use of the F70EXR, it does quite well in low-light and has great dynamic range for a p&s. There is some purple fringing if shoot in high contrast areas, but I never had it become a problem in any photos I took.

Just keep in mind the f70exr is in essence a 5mp camera, as you will be using the medium (5mp) mode all the time. its the mode in which the exr system works, and at full resolution noise reduction kills any details.

I also own the ZR1, and in good light it is the better camera. the lens is better and the 25mm wide angle is nice. however, in low light or high dynamic range conditions, the f70exr bests it handily.

fuji f70exr mini-review with several pages of examples
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fu...pressions.html

how to setup your fuji f70exr for nearly any situation
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fu...gs-update.html

Panasonic ZR1 impressions
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...sty-shots.html
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Old Apr 16, 2010, 1:39 AM   #3
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If you don't mind shooting in 5mp then F70 is really nice camera for a p&s category. The DR is excellent for harsh sunlight. The low light shooting is also great till ISO 800 and acceptable till ISO 1600 .

Although most of the people seem to be afraid to use P mode and fear it requires constant fiddling to get best images you can leave the camera in P mode, 5mp, Auto ISO 1600. If you want some control you can choose DR each time or leave that also in Auto DR. I feel its really simple and its not complicated.

The zoom is great for the size of the camera. There are few things which do bother me:

- The flash is crap/weak but you can get away with ISO 800 but the noise may put you off :/ Acutally I prefer to shoot without flash at high ISO whenever possible as the flash seems to do more damage than good :/

- The battery life is decent with 160-180 shots with a mix of flash, you will need an extra battery for day long shooting.

- The Image corners are bit soft, you can get away by shooting in 3.2 mode.

- The video recording is decent with max VGA shooting and zoom availability but the zoom motor noise puts one off.

- The purple fringing is ok, I wont be too worried about it


If you can do some PP and simple noise processing you should be very satisfied even with the ISO 1600 images as they stand out really good. The 800 and 1600 noise is more of fine grain noise so its simple to clean away

Although no mini review, you will find some shots with F70 below.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fu...m-musings.html

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/1074405-post41.html
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Old Apr 17, 2010, 2:11 PM   #4
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Default and how about fuji f80 exr

And what is your opinion about f80 exr, I like its on paper features, spacially new hd video, what your opinions?
It is better tahn tz7-tz10-hx5v in video a low light stills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by archish View Post
If you don't mind shooting in 5mp then F70 is really nice camera for a p&s category. The DR is excellent for harsh sunlight. The low light shooting is also great till ISO 800 and acceptable till ISO 1600 .

Although most of the people seem to be afraid to use P mode and fear it requires constant fiddling to get best images you can leave the camera in P mode, 5mp, Auto ISO 1600. If you want some control you can choose DR each time or leave that also in Auto DR. I feel its really simple and its not complicated.

The zoom is great for the size of the camera. There are few things which do bother me:

- The flash is crap/weak but you can get away with ISO 800 but the noise may put you off :/ Acutally I prefer to shoot without flash at high ISO whenever possible as the flash seems to do more damage than good :/

- The battery life is decent with 160-180 shots with a mix of flash, you will need an extra battery for day long shooting.

- The Image corners are bit soft, you can get away by shooting in 3.2 mode.

- The video recording is decent with max VGA shooting and zoom availability but the zoom motor noise puts one off.

- The purple fringing is ok, I wont be too worried about it


If you can do some PP and simple noise processing you should be very satisfied even with the ISO 1600 images as they stand out really good. The 800 and 1600 noise is more of fine grain noise so its simple to clean away

Although no mini review, you will find some shots with F70 below.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fu...m-musings.html

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/1074405-post41.html
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Old Apr 17, 2010, 2:57 PM   #5
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antonio-

The F-80 has less image quality and high ISO capability than the F-70EXR and it requires to many adjustments.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Apr 19, 2010 at 12:57 AM.
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 12:45 AM   #6
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@ Hards80 and archish - thank you for the setting tips and hands-on opinions! The links are quite helpful.

It is a pity that it is essentially a 5MP camera, but the price point and low-light ability does seem to make it come on top from a panasonic for my needs.

@ zchmalaga - I had looked at the F80, as it is only 50$ more in Canada, but I didn't feel it would be the better camera but just the more pixel-crammed version of the F70. I haven't read anything to make me think that HD on these very small pockets zooms is anything to write home about. The bridge superzooms would be better.
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 12:59 AM   #7
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Tally-Rem-

B&H has had the FZ-35 at $303 with $11 three day UPS shipping. It is a lot more camera and features than the F-70EXR.

Sarah Joyce
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