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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Feb 24, 2012, 11:15 AM   #1
Member
 
MIMudPuppy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: north eastern Michigan in a cedar swamp with DH and Luna and Ziggy
Posts: 67
Default Waffling! How do I finally Decide?

I'm about to be very long winded, I appreciate all who bear with me, lol.

So here I am, mostly satisfied with little Panasonic LZ8 I bought back in December 2008 for only $109. Sad to say, I mostly used it on the iA setting, barely getting into the manual settings. That seems odd to me now as for years I utilized my old Minolta SLR and its multiple lenses so often, the shutter had to be repaired twice, the 3rd time it failed I finally hung it up and switched to my first digital a 1.3 mp Fujifilm 1300, barely adequate but at that time I was out of work and $200 was a lot of money. It's probably what killed my ability to do things manually. But I digress...

Okay, for other reasons I pretty much stopped taking any photos till last year, and then in July the lens on my LZ8 froze open. I resorted to the "drop" fix, got it to work for half a day, when it froze again, then took it apart and fiddled with it and miraculously got it to work, been find ever since. (I suspect I dislodged a grain of sand.) Apparently, it was enough to kick start me into really reading the manual and I discovered things like auto bracketing, found out it had a B&W and sepia setting, all sorts of things. I'm still actually relearning all I had forgotten. But that scare got me thinking about an upgrade.

Now my dilemma. For months I've been stuck with the idea that it MUST run on AA batteries. I've got a small investment in NiMh eneloops, duracells, charger, etc. Plus I was annoyed at the cost of having to buy a 2nd lithium battery for a spare. I also knew I wanted better low light, a longer zoom, (mine is 5x) and manual controls. I did not want a dSLR because I don't have the extra money for multiple lenses and I've become lazy in my retirement. (Though I did do a LOT of reading on those micro 4/3s!) Because of the cash crunch I also wanted to keep it under $200. Yeah, I know, kind of nuts.

But because of the AA thing I was so limited about the only thing I could come up with was the Canon SX130. When my sister came for Christmas, I discovered she had one. I only played with it for a couple hours and only on the auto setting, it didn't thrill me. Then I toyed with the idea of the SX150, though the increase in megapixels thrills me less. (What I like about my LZ8 is its 8 mp max, one reason I didn't go for it's bigger brother the LZ10). But both are under $200, the 130 has been under $140 for weeks now.

So what changed? I started reading about the Panasonic FZ150 about a week ago. Double my price range, but oh, so nice. When I saw it had a lithium battery, I waffled, then thought, screw the AAs. Unfortunately, (or not?) it meant having to look at all those other non-AA cameras out there, the Panny FZ47, the Canon SX40, and one of the Fuji HS20/25/30. Yesterday I even used that myproductadvisor.com at imaging resource, here's the top 5:

Fuji s2950
Panasonic ZS8
Canon SX150
Fuji s3200 (the only one I hadn't already researched)
Panasonic FZ150

the 10th in the list was the Panasonic FZ47. (I only chose those 3 companies to avoid further head scratching) The main requirements for that list were low light, zoom, manual settings and macro.

The prices for these range from $179 for the ZS8 to the $449 for the FZ150. Sort of all over the map, and rather different cameras.

I really like the what I've read about the FZ150, but that ZS8, maybe it isn't so bad... Also, I helped my neighbor choose his new camera last year, a Panasonic FZ40, he got it for $279 but it's up to $400 now. But he let me borrow it this week and I'm kind of liking it. Haven't really been able to test it outside much, weather, you know (blasted snow storm!)

What I take photos of are my dogs, running, wrestling, sleeping, poultry, wildlife, I do use the movie setting, indoor shots at parties. Fireworks (which I have yet to get a decent pic of), sightseeing, landscapes, occasional group an individual portraits, and macros of fungi, water droplets, etc. Yeah, I know, sounds like I really need a dSLR but it ain't gonna happen.

Should I stick with a less expensive p&s like the SZ8, wait for the FZ150 to drop in price and hope my LZ8 lasts till then and doesn't overly frustrate me, or go with something else? I guess I'm in no real hurry, (though I went to my nephew's wedding last Sunday and the low light photos at the reception stunk!)

Oh and I've raised my price limit to $400, though under $350 would be preferable.

So HELP! I think I'm suffering from information overload. And thanks.
MIMudPuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Feb 24, 2012, 5:20 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Bangor,North Wales
Posts: 3,734
Default

If budget allows,the FZ-150 is a very competent "all rounder".
Good zoom range,super fast auto-focus,fast burst modes- including 5.5fps WITH autofocus,HD video modes- with the option of adding external mic's,great image stabiliser,tilt-swivel LCD...etc...
It handles well(much like a small SLR),is well put together,and has all the manual/auto options you'll ever need. As for battery power- I prefer Li-ion batteries,as third party alternatives can be had for a very small outlay(I've always found them to be as good as originals)- and they do seem to last a great deal longer than AA's.
SIMON40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 24, 2012, 5:44 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 601
Default

i have an fz150. the only things i don't love about it are the viewfinder and the quality of the high ISO/darker scenes, which are to be fair at least as good as any other camera in its class.

if you don't need to shoot raw, i suggest you add the canon sx40 to your list. it's $400 on amazon and a few other stores, so less than the fz150. it has a longer zoom than the fz150, which you may or may not use, but it's a good camera. less manual control for video, no raw, but otherwise it sounds like it fits most of your needs well. i hear jpg quality is a little nicer than the fz150 but the bottom line is they're both good all round cameras.
pcake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 24, 2012, 6:46 PM   #4
Member
 
MIMudPuppy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: north eastern Michigan in a cedar swamp with DH and Luna and Ziggy
Posts: 67
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SIMON40 View Post
As for battery power- I prefer Li-ion batteries,as third party alternatives can be had for a very small outlay(I've always found them to be as good as originals)- and they do seem to last a great deal longer than AA's.
What about the things I've read about Panasonic putting some kind of s/w "fix" in their cameras to make them only able to use OEM batteries?
MIMudPuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 24, 2012, 6:47 PM   #5
Member
 
capnblinski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: sw pa.
Posts: 85
Default

After an exhausting search over weeks time - I decided on the Panasonic FZ-150 on the strength of its Leica lens, my record of Panasonic electronics quality, and mostly the clear sharp photographs found across the internet.

The camera is worth that extra $50.

Here is some helpful info:

http://artzen2.com/artzen2-0196.htm
__________________
Dave

~fz50 fan~
capnblinski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 24, 2012, 9:33 PM   #6
Member
 
MIMudPuppy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: north eastern Michigan in a cedar swamp with DH and Luna and Ziggy
Posts: 67
Default

Gorgeous photo manipulation on that website. Thanks for sharing.
MIMudPuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 24, 2012, 11:31 PM   #7
Member
 
capnblinski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: sw pa.
Posts: 85
Default

Your welcome.

Another bonus is the FZ-150 will take regular screw-in glass filters - to my way of thinking it's essential to use least a haze (UV) to protect the lens - sometimes I'll even unscrew the filter, take it off and shoot, and then replace it whilst walking about! I always seem to be misplacing my lens caps.. Also, I like using a good polarizing filter. Hoya brand.

I understand the Nikon 510 won't readily accept filters.
__________________
Dave

~fz50 fan~
capnblinski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 25, 2012, 4:05 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Bangor,North Wales
Posts: 3,734
Default

MIMudPuppy- there are many users of third party batteries out there for the FZ-150.
Just beware some of the cheaper ones will not display the current battery condition/charge indicator.
SIMON40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 25, 2012, 6:58 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
mistwalker1006's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Mississauga< Ontario Canada
Posts: 119
Default

MIMudPuppy I pick up a second ( used) battery from someone who sold their FZ 47 and had extra spare for 1/5 of the original price. Both batteries the one which come with camera and the used one are exactly the same models. So with litle luck and patience you cna find it,
mistwalker1006 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 26, 2012, 5:47 PM   #10
Member
 
capnblinski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: sw pa.
Posts: 85
Default

The battery that the FZ150 takes is designated BMB9PP. If you go to Amazon and/or Google that battery the Panasonic brand is $45 while another brand Wasabi states this is for the FZ150 at a savings of $23. I have heard of some people having probs with third party batteries not showing the remaining charge indicator. Well here is a link and if I find more info, I'll let ya know.

Third party battery on Amazon
__________________
Dave

~fz50 fan~
capnblinski 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 5:41 PM.