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Old Jul 14, 2010, 1:41 AM   #1
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Default Would the Panasonic FZ-35 be overkill?

Hey all!

Long story short, my Panasonic TZ4 hit the door of my car pretty hard during a sharp turn, and it won't focus correctly any more - pictures at anything but 1x zoom are blurred enough that objects are indiscernible. So, I need a new camera.

I've got it narrowed down to the Panasonic ZS-5 or the FZ-35.

I'll mostly use it during short hikes, backpacking trips, and drives. It might also get used for occasional shots with friends. I'm not sure I'd even say photography is a hobby, but I like to go scenic places - and when I do, I like to take pictures and have them turn out well. The TZ-4 was pretty good, but there were times I really couldn't get the picture I wanted.

I've usually been leaning towards the FZ-35 (as in: it's in my Amazon shopping cart). I know the FZ-35 would give me better pictures, but I'm a little worried about the size. Oddly enough, I'm not worried about size because of the hiking and backpacking, more for the casual situations. I've never had a camera that size. I'm worried that I'll be out doing stuff with friends, and not being able to pocket the camera (making me effectively have it "out" the whole time) would get in the way.

I'll be going to Yosemite in a few weeks, and will be getting to Yellowstone before the summer is out, so I'd like to pull the trigger on a camera pretty soon so I can play around with it for a while before I get to places where the pictures really counts. I'm also a college kid on a budget, so I can't get both - I'm banking on the one I do get lasting long enough to make it worth the money.

So really, my main questions are:
Do you think the increase in features & picture quality with the FZ-35 would make it worth the extra $100 and bulk over the ZS-5?

Would it be awkward to carry around a camera the size of the FZ-35? Is it at all pocketable? I do live in northern Michigan most of the time, where it's cool enough that I wear jeans/cargo pants/hoodies/jackets pretty often.

Any other thoughts/advice/recommendations?


Thanks for the help!
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Old Jul 14, 2010, 6:47 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philhohn View Post
Hey all!
Welcome to the forum.

Quote:
So really, my main questions are:
Do you think the increase in features & picture quality with the FZ-35 would make it worth the extra $100 and bulk over the ZS-5?
The FZ35 is one of the better bridge cameras, so you probably
won't be disappointed by it.

Quote:
Would it be awkward to carry around a camera the size of the FZ-35?
Yes. The FZ35 is only a bit smaller than some of the smaller DSLRs.

Quote:
Is it at all pocketable? I do live in northern Michigan most of the time, where it's cool enough that I wear jeans/cargo pants/hoodies/jackets pretty often.
It certainly won't fit in any of my pockets. You will probably need a
carrying case. I use a medium sized Samsonite case. This it too small
for my DSLR, but the FZ35 (FZ25 in my case) will fit nicely. There is
a separate compartment for storing the charger, spare battery etc...
This can be removed and left at home for short trips.

Quote:
Any other thoughts/advice/recommendations?


Thanks for the help!
Your post suggests that you probably need two cameras. A pocketable
compact camera for snapshots and something better, possibly a DSLR
for landscape shots. Alternatively, you might consider one of the larger and
higher quality compacts like the Canon G11, although they are expensive and
not necessarily better than the FZ35. Some of the interchangeable-lens cameras
from Panasonic, Olympus, Samsung or Sony might also be worth considering.
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Old Jul 14, 2010, 6:03 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response corkpix!

A little random, but how would the picture quality with the Canon A650 IS compare with the G11?
Based on the samples from Amazon, they both seem capable of really good shots. What would the benefits of the G11 be?

(I'm asking because I think I found an A650 for about half the price of a G11. If I could find a G11 for $300 it'd be no problem, but the current $400-$450 is a bit outside my price range.)
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Old Jul 14, 2010, 7:59 PM   #4
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philhohn-

As a A-650 owner, perhaps I can offer an insight. Due to its age, the A-650 does not do well at high ISO settings. Simply stated, there is lots of noise. However, in the A-650's defense, the A-650 does very well when the ISO setting is kept below 200 and there is lots of light for your photo.

One of the trump cards of the Canon G-11 is it ability to use ISO 1600, while still maintaining image quality. It even allows the use of ISO 3200 in a pinch if noise reduction software it utilized. The bottom line for me is that the G-11 not only offers much higher ISO capability, but some features are not available on the A-650. That is the reason that the A-650 is half the price (actually it should be priced lower to be at a realistic market price) of the G-11.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 9:24 PM   #5
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Sarah - thanks for the input!

Does the G9 have the same high ISO problems as the A650?
I'm assuming they do since they came out around the same time, just curious to see.
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 9:25 PM   #6
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philhohn-

Yes, the G-9 and the A-650 are both high ISO limited.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 22, 2010, 11:40 AM   #7
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Well, it looks like I got my wish! I managed to get a G11 off of eBay for $300 plus shipping. It came on Tuesday and I'm really liking it so far.

Thanks for the input corkpix and Sarah, it definitely helped me choose!
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Old Jul 22, 2010, 1:33 PM   #8
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philhohn-

Congratulations on your canon G-11 camera. I am sure that you will really enjoy the G-11.

Sarah Joyce
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