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Old Nov 5, 2004, 8:07 AM   #1
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I need the help of "digital gurus"...I am deliberating between the 3 cameras above but let me first give you a brief recap of my digital adventure. I started it almost 4 years ago with the Coolpix 990. To this day, it took some of the BEST pictures. I ended up selling it though b/c it was too bulky/heavy (although built like a tank!) and there was no AUDIO. I also kept pressing buttons and changing defaults which became frustrating. Mainly seeking a smaller camera with AUDIO, I then purchased a SONY Camera. I don't remember much about it b/c I sold that almost immediately - the picture quality was horrible. Now, I am in the land of Canons with the S50 which and Elph S410. While both take VERY GOOD pictures, they are still not as good as the ones I took years ago with my COOLPIX- there's my frustration! I am thinking of going back to Nikon (my first love) except on most of their cameras >$500, the shutter lag is Maddening. I actually tried out the Coolpix 4200 - it was SOOOO SLOW. What I am seeking is a "compact" camera with ZOOM and Video with AUDIO AND LOW SHUTTER LAG that will let take AWESOME pictures I mainly take INDOOR pictures of my kids and items for ebay. With the ELPH, I always have to "adjust" the picture with ADOBE. The flash is TOO BRIGHT so I usually have to turn it off and lighten it via Adobe. I'd like to be able to take GREAT pictures without consistently adjusting it. So.....am I on the right track looking at Canon S1 IS, Coolpix 5700, and Lumix Z3? If so, which one do you think would suit me best? My one hesitation with the Coolpix 5700 is that I have read many reviews online that said it broke after only a few months. Thanks in advance for your input. OR, SHOULD I SAVE UP AND GET THE DIGITAL REBEL??? I want this to be my LAST CAMERA for a few years.
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Old Nov 5, 2004, 8:44 AM   #2
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This is just my newbie opinion...

I don't think the ultra-zooms are best for what you are trying to do. A lot of the ultra-zooms have problems in low-light (night, indoors, etc) compared to normal (low-zoom) cameras.

Many of the ultra-zooms also have warping problems at the wide-angle (taking pics close to you) compared to a normal (low-zoom) camera.

The ultra-zooms are really suited for outdoor, long-range photography (eg. sporting events, nature (birds, animals), etc). I'm not saying this is all they CAN be used for; allf I'm saying is that this where they shine. What you seek is something that is best for close-up photography. For instance, I don't know how helpful a zoom camera is for ebay pics of items.

ROUGHLY speaking (and this is just my newbie opinion), the normal cameras will beat the ultra-zooms for short-range photos. For example, the Canon Powershot G6 is arguably better for general photography than the Powershot S1 IS (although these aren't exactly in the same price range so the comparison is a bit iffy). In any case, I think you should consider the normal 3x to 6x zoom cameras. For the same price as an ultra-zoom, you can probably get a 4x zoom, 5MP camera with good picture quality.

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Old Nov 5, 2004, 8:47 AM   #3
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Having said all that, of the three you listed, you should go for the Panasonic DMC-FZ3 if picture quality is your primary factor, and go for the Canon S1 IS if video matters a lot to you. Both of these, especially the S1 IS, has auto-focus problems in low-light and at the telephoto zoom...
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Old Nov 5, 2004, 8:53 AM   #4
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I forgot to mention that I was considering waiting for a GOOD DEAL on the Canon G6...you made a very good point - thank you!
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Old Nov 5, 2004, 3:42 PM   #5
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Sivaram Velauthapillai wrote:
Quote:
This is just my newbie opinion...

I don't think the ultra-zooms are best for what you are trying to do. A lot of the ultra-zooms have problems in low-light (night, indoors, etc) compared to normal (low-zoom) cameras.

Many of the ultra-zooms also have warping problems at the wide-angle (taking pics close to you) compared to a normal (low-zoom) camera.

The ultra-zooms are really suited for outdoor, long-range photography (eg. sporting events, nature (birds, animals), etc). I'm not saying this is all they CAN be used for; allf I'm saying is that this where they shine. What you seek is something that is best for close-up photography. For instance, I don't know how helpful a zoom camera is for ebay pics of items.

ROUGHLY speaking (and this is just my newbie opinion), the normal cameras will beat the ultra-zooms for short-range photos. For example, the Canon Powershot G6 is arguably better for general photography than the Powershot S1 IS (although these aren't exactly in the same price range so the comparison is a bit iffy). In any case, I think you should consider the normal 3x to 6x zoom cameras. For the same price as an ultra-zoom, you can probably get a 4x zoom, 5MP camera with good picture quality.

I'm sorry to dissagree, but I have an FZ20, and it takes great pics at all ditances, as well as great macro shots. And as far as focusing goes I took several night shots and low light shots and never had a problem with focusing.

I will say that focusing with any big zoom takes a little practice.

The Lumix line is probably the best on the market as far as the big zooms go, and the FZ20 is comparible with some of the DSLR's in the $1,000.00 to $1,500.00 range.

Dont take my word for it... Read the reviews, and look at the samples.

Good luck on what ever you choose.

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Old Nov 5, 2004, 4:38 PM   #6
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I just came back from Circuit City. The guys there were extremely accomodating and took pictures of my baby with the Canon G6, Lumix Z20 , and the brand spanking new
Sony Cyber-shot® DSC-V3 7.2-Megapixel Digital Camera !!!!! wow !!!
To be honest, my expectations were the LOWEST for the Sony based on my own experience with a 3.2 Mavica camera I had a couple of years ago. Then, they printed them out on the spot for me .... first, the Panasonic which was "very good", then the Canon which was "almost perfect" and finally the SONY "which blew my mind away". The colors esp. the skin tone was so TRUE with the SONY. The Canon was the next closest but just the slightest bit "bleached" looking. And as far as needing the Zoom, the guys at CC made a good point which is that the reason my macro portraits of my baby was overexposed with my ELPH was because I was too close to the subject. The SONY has a 4x optical zoom which is much better (plus the flash isn't right next to the lens like on a compact camera. I also liked the feel of the SONY the best. I have small hands and the G6 stuck out too much for my comfort (the battery compartment). I also like it's huge LCD screen and the fact that you can either use a memory stick OR a compact flash which I already own! Now, I just need to find one on sale! I wish I could show you the picture I took. AMAZING! Looks like a 35 mm picture. If you haven't checked out this camera yet (they said it's only been out a week) then do it soon. I think you will be extremely pleased with its build and quality.


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Old Nov 5, 2004, 10:52 PM   #7
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I'm sorry. I thought you said you wanted a zoom camera.

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Old Nov 8, 2004, 8:04 AM   #8
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hi bobc-
You might be happy to hear that I,too, have joined the LUMIX FZ-20 CLUB. I just ordered one from Butterflyphoto !!! After careful reviewing, I realized that the guys at CC had taken the LUMIX photo on LOW resolution (!) so I had them re-take it. What can I say? It was BEAUTIFUL. Also, I'm happy to report that I didn't notice the "noise" I have read about online. Plus, you're right, the SONY only has 4x optical zoom which is not much at all! And to be honest, in my humble opinion, this is the FIRST and ONLY GREAT digital camera produced by SONY so I would be concerned about long-term quality.

Do you use an external flash? If so, which one?
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