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Old Nov 19, 2010, 10:31 AM   #1
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Default Overwhelmed by Ultrazoom choices......

I have spent weeks researching the purchase of a new camera, and as many before me, I have turned here for help.

Over the last several years, I have purchased Kodak cameras and their design and performance have worked well for me. The sports setting has
been great, and the picture quality has been wonderful. The last camera (Z 1012IS) did not seem to be made as well. The rubber eyepiece on the viewfinder (which I use often) started to tear away. When Kodak informed me that it would be a minimum of $110 to have this fixed I found that no camera shops will even touch a Kodak. sigh. As my camera use increases, I want a camera that I can at least take to a local shop if I have issues.

I use my camera to take many photos & videos of our teenagers behind our boat skiing and tubing, so having a good long zoom, image stabilization and an easily accessible sports mode is very important to me. I don't care whether I have a regular viewfinder or EVF, but I have to have something because of being in bright. I also use my camera for general purpose family photos and work related pictures needing a good Macro setting.

My big issue is after reading many reviews, and "which camera should I buy?" forms, I am led to the same ultrazoom cameras:

Nikon p100
Canon SX30 IS,
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100
Fujifilm Finepix S2800SD
Sony DSC-HX1

All these cameras are what I am looking for: not a pocket camera, not a DSLR, and all have things I love. However, when I go online and read reviews, ALL of the above cameras get bad reviews for image quality. I realize it is subjective, but I don't want to sacrifice the clear images that I have enjoyed for years when I am supposedly upgrading. The Nikon is my favorite, as I have visited Best Buy and actually handled the cameras and used the controls. I am a woman and have smaller hands, so while the Canon is a great camera, it is a bit too big. Also, I love the rechargable lithium-ion batteries over the AA batteries. I had pretty much made my decision to buy the Nikon p100, and now I read how lousy the image quality is.

Can you please give me some guidance?
Thank you!
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Old Nov 19, 2010, 11:27 AM   #2
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im kind of in the same boat..........i REALLY want that canon sx30 is but all i read is that is has chromatic something in every image......BUT man that optical zoom is awesome. my biggest thing is do i want another big camera? or a smaller camera that will do a majority of the same things the bigger will do? and if i choose a bigger camera why not get a dslr? some of the best advice i have recieved is..................

go to a camera store.........not a big box store........and get the advice from an actual camera guru...not someone who is usually in the tv dept thats covering cameras today as a fill in. in that camera store handle each and every camera......take in your own memory stick use it to take pics throughout the store......make notes........ask every question you can.......even the stupid ones.....then go home and make your own pro-con list.........
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Old Nov 19, 2010, 12:15 PM   #3
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Flickr images from SX30 http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=sx30&w=all
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Old Nov 19, 2010, 12:20 PM   #4
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In addition to the Panasonic FZ100, there is the original FZ35/38, and the newer FZ40. They all get good ratings for photo quality. Does anyone have personal experience with any of these cameras? There is no store locally that carry them so that I can actually hold them in my hands and use the controls. I feel I could use the FZ35, but don't know about the toggle switch as opposed to the newer jog dial on the FZ40. Help!
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Old Nov 19, 2010, 1:33 PM   #5
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Do look up Pani FZ35 or Fuji HS10
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Old Nov 20, 2010, 2:18 AM   #6
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If you will be in good sunlight which you should be if your family is water skiing the FZ100 will give you great photos and excellent video...it's size is smaller and lighter than the Canon SX30 which would probably be a positive...the problem with the CCD Sensor cameras I.E. Canon SX30, Panasonic FZ35-40, etc is when the sunlight gets directed into the lens it will cause purplish streaks in the video that will be visible...the FZ100 has a CMOS Sensor that will not do this and allow you to get some excellent video...
Others here are more knowledgable than me on the video end but I have seen the streaks several times myself in the CCD Sensors...while they take excellent photos they can be limited on videos...
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Old Nov 20, 2010, 10:30 AM   #7
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I am going to follow some earlier advice and go to a local (very reputable) locally-owned camera store today. I have called and they have told me that I can bring my SD card and take pictures with every camera they have. Then I can take it home and put the pictures on my computer and "diagnose" them. Though I have read some complaints about the picture quality of the Nikon P100, the guy at the store told me that they have sold quite a few and people just love them - especially because of the CMOS. He says that there are paid employees of many camera companies that have jobs giving bad reviews to other cameras. Whether this is true or not, I need to try the cameras for myself. Unfortunately, there is NO store within 200 miles that carry any of the "nicer" Panasonic cameras. When I called Panasonic yesterday to talk with them about this, I had a difficult time reaching them and got disconnected once. They are like Kodak; camera stores will not work on Panasonic cameras.

I will keep you posted!
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Old Nov 20, 2010, 11:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marke1 View Post
Unfortunately, there is NO store within 200 miles that carry any of the "nicer" Panasonic cameras. When I called Panasonic yesterday to talk with them about this, I had a difficult time reaching them and got disconnected once. They are like Kodak; camera stores will not work on Panasonic cameras.

I will keep you posted!
Goodness, I wouldn't imagine there are many places on the planet where that is true! Where do you live?

They are all reasonable cameras, if availability is an issue then just get whatever you can.

The Panasonic is probably slightly better than the others, but I really like the Canon with its astonishing range.

If you like the Nikon though then get that, these cameras are really not all that different, minor differences in quality are blown out of all proportion on the review sites.
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Old Nov 20, 2010, 12:19 PM   #9
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cant help you with any of the camera's except the sony dsc-hx1.... i had the dsc-h10 and for pictures its pretty good... but when it comes to videos, you cant zoom while filming (you can with the h20) and the video would go out of focus whenever you move the camera or what you are filming moves....
hope that helps
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Old Nov 20, 2010, 3:54 PM   #10
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Just got back from the camera store, and tried the Canon SX30 IS and the the Nikon p100. I took quite a few pictures, doing my best to duplicate the shots with the second camera. I really loved the feel of the Nikon in my hands and also the viewfinder (not the display) is bigger on the Nikon than on the Canon.

When I got home, I downloaded the pictures to my Mac and started the comparison. At first, I was really disappointed that the Canon seemed to have the clearer pictures of the two. After noticing some people in one set of pictures I realized the images had downloaded in a different order than how I had taken them. It was the Nikon photos that were sharper than the Canon! I am so happy and my decision is made. Thanks to BRYMAN that recommended I got to a local store and to PERIPATETIC for reminding me that the cameras are actually all similar and that the "minor differences in quality are blown out of all proportion on the review sites."
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