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Old Oct 18, 2004, 7:27 AM   #1
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HI!...Which of these three would take better quality pictures? I would be only printing 4" x 6" pics. Any help wouldbe greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old Oct 18, 2004, 3:59 PM   #2
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You might want to check out www.dpreview.com and look at the FZ3 review. It includes a comparison with the KM Z2 which is an upgrade of the KM Z1. As always, it depends on what you want to do. I'm not that famliar with the S5100, but did look at the others before settling on the FZ20. But my second choice would have been the FZ-3.

The FZ-3 will support a slave flash which can be an existing flash with a slave adapter. The KM Z1/2 take minolta flashes only, so for me the FZ-20 was cheaper than the KM-Z3.
I was interested in wildlife and macro photography which drove me to the FZ-20 because it has manual focus, but you shouldn't need it for regular photography. I'd look at the KM Z-2 over the Z-1 because there were problems with the Z-1's switch finder, but I haven't seen reports of that in the newer Z-2. It also has a much better movie mode than the FZ3. In addition to looking at the reviews here, look also at the www.dpreview.com and www.dcresource.com. I think the latter has reviewed all the camera you are looking at. Good luck.

Bill
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Old Oct 18, 2004, 9:04 PM   #3
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Thanks Bill.

I have read numerous reviews regarding those cameras but still I could not decide. Basically, I would use the camera for people shot but would also like to have a long zoom (I think 6x optical zoom is enough)for fun.

Any suggestions?






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Old Oct 19, 2004, 2:34 PM   #4
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If you can, try holding the camera's. The FZ-3 and the KM Z-2 are smaller than a 135mm SLR but not by much. I finally saw a KM Z-3 (which is the same size as the KM Z-2) in a store and its just slightly larger than the FZ-3. If you don't need the movie mode and manual focus (spot focus is quite good on the FZ's except for some macro shooting) I'd consider the FZ-3 seriously. The image stabilization and the brighter lens really help with long telephoto. It also means that you can use a faster shutter speed for people shots or avoid using the flash sometimes. The progressive capture (i.e., save the last 3 or 4 shots before you RELEASE the shutter button) is about the only feature I wish the FZ's had.

Bill

BTW: long zoom works great for candid people shots from across the park.
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 9:35 PM   #5
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<----Minolta
It is a mystery to me how people make purchasing decisions. I read the forums with some hope to find some insight on the only thing that matters to me, how good are the pictures. After hearing how nice the Minolta was, I bought a Z2. The only good thing about the purchase was the fact that they allowed me to return it. It was a shabby, wobbly piece of plastic that took very soft and randomly exposed shots. The macros were sharp as a tack, but anything else was to par with a plastic disposable you can get at Walmart for $6.
I actually went to the trouble to test out the newer Z3. It feels much nicer than the Z2 and has a longer zoom BUT it is such a slow lens that you can't even think of taking shots indoors without the flash. They downgraded the video on the Z3 also. If you want good pictures, look beyond the Minoltas. I'd like to hear other's opinions that have actually used them (and others)...
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Old Oct 20, 2004, 11:46 AM   #6
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That is why I recommended he look at the FZ-3. Unless he needs the movie mode or manual focuse, the FZ3 seems to produce the best pictures. The only image quality issue with the FZ-3 that I have heard of is Barrel Distortion at full wide angle. The FZ-15 should get rid of that, plus adding manual focus. No sound with movies on the FZ-15 though. If you want to use lower light (60 watt bulb in a living room), or high zoom you need to think about the image stabilization system, plus the FZ's have 2.8 throughout their entire zoom range. Good luck.
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Old Oct 22, 2004, 6:34 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies. Go go go! FZ3! :-)
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