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Old Aug 28, 2004, 2:02 PM   #1
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Basically here's the rundown. I have an Olymus D340R, had it for 4 years now, but now it's damaging every card I put in it and the focus isn't functioning anymore. It's had its day and I am looking to replace it. In using it I found out what features I want in a new camera- these are the features I really care about:
- Memory has to be SD or Compact Flash.
- 3+ MP, At the most I want to print 8x10s however I'm leaning towards the 4mp so I can print larger prints - in the future.
- The one thing the olympus bugged me about was the crappy low light shooting. I know there is limitations and I am proficient enough in photoshop to fix stuff, but I want to be able to do minimal fixing. I'm probably going to crop/touch up everything I shoot. I have a hotshoe flash for my film SLR that is nice, so I would, if possible, like to use that to alleviate the low light indoor issue.
- I'd love tiff/raw/jpg options. I just hate starting out with a lossy format to begin with.

These are in order of priority in needs/desires. I realize that maybe what I want is in a full blown digital SLR, if that's the case, I'd welcome recommendations.

So the cameras I am looking at are:
* Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ10 and, of course, the DMC-FZ20 looks about perfect for me right now..
* Canon Powershot S1 IS - friend has this and recommended it.

My main questions are these:

EVF - Can I get used to it, and what are the recommendations in qualities I want in an EVF. Does anyone have problems with it? Just a general consensus would be nice.

If I do over 10x zoom, I'd want image stabilization, offered by both the Canon and Panasonic. Correct?

I'm really looking to the Panasonic, is it worth it to really get the latest model, when the FZ10 will be discounted? I've heard so much about the Leica lense also.

I wish I could stick with Olympus but I refuse to go to the xD Media format.
Or, with my needs, would it behoove me just to hold out and save 2-4 more hundred bucks and buy the dSLR? Or hold off at all until another 6 months or so and see what is new that is coming out? The bad part about that is my Olympus is shot, I'd like to replace it before the holidays.

Thanks in advance, I've joined several groups and lurked, hoping to get some information about each of these cameras

I forgot to mention I am so anal retentive about this stuff because I live in the most horridly rural area known to man, and the only place to purchase cameras is Wal-Mart. (That is within a 50 mile range) So basically I've already been there and they have nothing I can play with in person. Basically I am going to buy this almost blind..

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Old Aug 29, 2004, 12:12 PM   #2
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Please keep in mind that the Panasonic FZ-10 is a physically large digital camera. A lot of folks, myself included don't want a digital camera that physically large. Also Panasonic's warranty covers one year on parts but only 90 days on labor.

It sounds like what you really want is omething with a hot shoe on it that would utilize the flash unit you already own. However, there are problems with that strategy as well. Most hot shoes today are no longer two contact hot shoes. Instead in a effort to sell their own dedicated flash units, camera manufacturers have added as many as five or six contacts to the hot shoe, more or less forcing you into their dedicated flash unit.

Here is a possible solution that may appeal to you. Look at a Kodak DX-7440 and an external flash such as the Digi-Slave flash unit shown and described right here on this website (www.steves-digicams.com). This combination will give you a digital camera that produces excellent digital photos, while having all the bells and whistles such as Manual, Aperture preference, Shutter preference, a large fluid 2 inch LCD, a simplified, but very usable menu structure etc. Coupling the Kodak DX-7440 with the Digi-Slave flash unit will extend your flash range out to 25 to 30 feet with minimal digital camera adjustments.

The Kodak Dx-7440 uses your requested SD chip and the digital camera, the flash, and the flash bracket will set you back less than $350. Is that a possibility? If not you can weave in multiple other solutions, using different digital cameras.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 29, 2004, 9:09 PM   #3
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Thanks I am going to check that out. I actually *love* the look of the Panasonic camera. It is weird but I love the weight and the bigness of my film SLR even though my hands are small.

I am going to check that camera out, the price sounds absolutely fabulous, since I was not happy, but very willing to spend upwards to 800 dollars.

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