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Old Oct 25, 2004, 11:04 AM   #1
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I already own a Fuji A205 and while I've had fun with it, I need a better camera for taking photos of my kids in sports. The problem with my current camera is that it has no adjustments to get a decent photo. This camera will slow shutter speed first to try and get a good picture, which SUCKS for sports. I'd much rather have ISO-400 noise than a blurred subject (foreground & background were in focus :sad. Also my current Fuji has only 3x zoom at F4 aperature.

The sports would be:
Outdoors - cross country running, track, soccer
Lighting - varies (bright daylight, overcast, stadium lights)

Indoors - basketball, volleyball
Lighting - gyms (bright to dark)

I know that for these conditions I really should have a dSLR but my budget does not allow for that.

I'm looking at either the FZ1 or the FZ3. The 12x zoom with no aperature "penalty" and stabilized lens have really sold me on these cameras. I like the speed of the FZ3 at .3 secs AF+shoot, but the price of the FZ1 right now (approx. $250) makes it very attractive. The extra 1MP of the FZ3 is nice, but not worth $100 extra to me. Is the FZ1 missing any features that the FZ3 has?

Decisions, decisions. So I guess my question is what would you do in the same situation?
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Old Oct 25, 2004, 1:57 PM   #2
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dsuds wrote:
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I'm looking at either the FZ1 or the FZ3. The 12x zoom with no aperature "penalty" and stabilized lens have really sold me on these cameras. I like the speed of the FZ3 at .3 secs AF+shoot, but the price of the FZ1 right now (approx. $250) makes it very attractive. The extra 1MP of the FZ3 is nice, but not worth $100 extra to me. Is the FZ1 missing any features that the FZ3 has?

Decisions, decisions. So I guess my question is what would you do in the same situation?
Besides the extra 1MP that you mentioned, there are a few other features that the FZ3 has that the FZ1 does not. The first is full manual control. If you get an FZ1 and upgrade it to version 2 (FZ2), you will add shutter and aperture control, which the FZ1 does not have, but you will still not have full manual control. The FZ3 does.

The FZ3 also has a focus assist lamp,which the FZ1 lacks. This may or may not be important to you, depending on how much low light shooting you do.

The FZ3 has the "improved" Venus 2 engine, although I'm not too sure what the improvements are between Venus 1 and 2.

If, as they say, "size is everything" then be aware that the FZ3 is slightly smaller than the FZ1, but both of them are smaller than the FZ10/15/20. Between the FZ1 and FZ3, I don't notice much of a difference as to how they feel in my hands, but I like their smaller size better than the larger FZ models.

As far as the $100 difference goes, it is significant. However, if you get an FZ3 at Circuit City before the end of October, be aware that they have a mail in rebate good for a carrying case (have not seen it, but have sent in for it) and an extra battery. Again, I have not seen the battery, but since it's coming directly from Panasonic, I assume that it is identical to the one that comes with the camera. They claim that this mail in offer is worth $100, which I suspect is slightly inflated, but it is definiteley worth a fair amount. For this reason, I think the FZ3 is currently a better deal. I don't think you will be disappointed with either camera.
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Old Oct 25, 2004, 2:55 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. I knew that the v2 firmware would add some features to the FZ1 but did not know that you would still not have full manual control. At my current skill level, full manual control is more than I need, but it would be a nice feature to "grow into".

Sounds like the Circuit City deal would be the worth maybe $60-75. This would drop the price difference to about $60. At that price it sure sounds like the FZ3 is the better deal.
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