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Old Aug 23, 2004, 11:17 AM   #1
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Hi. I'm wondering if anyone can help me. I'm looking for a camera with 12X Optical Zoom, 5 megapixels, Manual Mode as well as Auto, Image Stabiliser, Digital Zoom isn't a priority, burst mode would be very nice to have.

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Old Aug 23, 2004, 11:31 AM   #2
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Panasonic DMC-FZ-20 would be available in September. Beyond that I would suggest a D-SLR.
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Old Aug 23, 2004, 1:25 PM   #3
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There is a fairly long thread on this topic:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=87

The only models that fit the bill precisely are the Minolta Z3 and the Panasonic FZ10 (or, just about to be released, the FZ15/20). The Canon Powershot S1 has stabilisation but only a 10x zoom. The Minolta A1/A2 have 7x zooms. DSLRs have great features but you'd be hard pressed to find a zoom that long and (until the Minolta 7 is released in a couple of months) none have stabilisation built in.

The Panasonic is probably a bit more full-featured and robust; the Z3 is both smaller/lighter and slightly more responsive (so I hear).

By the way, I am speaking from a position of informed ignorance, owning neither of these cameras but (like you) very much in the market. I'm probably going to go for the FZ20 - I just have a better feeling about it.


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Old Aug 23, 2004, 1:26 PM   #4
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Oops, the Z3, FZ10have only 4mp. I should read more carefully, sorry. That leaves the new FZ20 uniquely.
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Old Aug 23, 2004, 2:54 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help guys

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Old Aug 23, 2004, 4:33 PM   #6
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how long do you think it will be before we see zooms bigger than 12x?
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Old Aug 23, 2004, 7:06 PM   #7
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Even with today's technology, zoom lenses are a compromise, that is why distortion figures are generally a little higher in the big zooms than the more modest ones. The complex zooms are also more prone to flare problems. The only saving grace in digicams is that the small size of the image sensor allow for smaller powerful zooms.

Personally I want a big zoom camera, even with their compromises, however 12X is probably a practical limit, beyond that the issues of distortion and other undesireable optical effects would make for poor performance or large, expensive, heavy lenses.

Note that in professional quality SLR lenses, few are more than 3X. The main reason for that is that 35mm is much larger than a digicam sensor, so the lenses much be larger to cover the film (or DSLR sensor'S) area. (Note that even the APS sized sensors of most DSLRs is huge compared with the sensors in the 8MP prosumer class, which are in turn huge compared with the tiny 1/2.5 sensors used in most superzoom models. see http://www.photo.net/equipment/digital/cameras/basics/

Will we see bigger than 12X, of course we will, but bigger is not necessarily better.

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Old Aug 23, 2004, 8:32 PM   #8
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How effective are the add on lenses? For example, which produces better results, a 12x or a 4x with a 2.2 'multiplier'. Particularly if the 4x is a 7 MP vs. a 4 or 5 MP x 12.

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