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Old Nov 10, 2004, 11:06 AM   #11
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Steve Minor wrote:
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Panasonic FZ15 ($415 delivered) - Nice camera--probably my #1 choice at this point. The FZ20 is also an option (only $60 more street price for 5MP).

[...]

So, I'm now leaning towards the Panasonic FZ15/20 or possibly the S1. I'll be doing some more reading. Thanks for the tips guys... I think I'm sold on IS so that helps simplify my options.
Also check the FZ10, cheaper than the FZ20. 4Mp, and it has the hotshoe (for external flash) and the audio recording the FZ15 is missing. It lacks the Focus-assistant light, though. With your 256 Mb SD card you could record more than 140 pics in maximum quality and size (2304 x 1728) or 8 minutes of video at 30 fps. And you have ISO 50.
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 1:02 PM   #12
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Of course, IS isn't a new technology at all. I remember my old Sony Mavica FD-91 (with its 14x [518mm] zoom) had it years ago. It worked.
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 6:56 PM   #13
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Sivaram, how do you like your S1? What is the largest printout you would like to make with 3.2MP?

One advantage of the Panasonic cameras is that they come with re-chargeable batteries and charger. An extra expense with the S1.

The S1 ($319) plus batteries and charger come close to $400. The Panasonic is like $475. Then of course I can use my 256MB SD memory I already have with the FZ20.

Hmm. The FZ10 is under $400. That is another viable option.
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 6:57 PM   #14
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José A. wrote:
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Also check the FZ10, cheaper than the FZ20. 4Mp, and it has the hotshoe (for external flash) and the audio recording the FZ15 is missing. It lacks the Focus-assistant light, though. With your 256 Mb SD card you could record more than 140 pics in maximum quality and size (2304 x 1728) or 8 minutes of video at 30 fps. And you have ISO 50.
The FZ10 is around $380 it appears. The FZ20 is around $475. Is the difference worth $100?

Also, I'm pretty new to all of this. ISO 50... What is it's strength and why isn't this commonly included in other cameras?
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Old Nov 11, 2004, 12:47 AM   #15
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Sivaram Velauthapillai wrote:
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I have a 10X Olympus C770UZ, fantastic camera, very compact for a 10X zoom, but no IS. My main factors in the choice are the compact size, good photos and MPEG4 movie mode.
How's your video? How big are they? MPEG4 is a huge plus when it comes to video but I'm not sure how good it is... How long is a video shot with 1GB memory card? With the Canon S1 IS (no MPEG) you get 9 minutes with 1GB...
The MPEG4 is good. The advantage is you can get lots of video time for less memory. I did a short video for 7 mins for about 60MBs (if I'm not wrong. Need to recheck my backup CDs for this).
Edit: Wrong!!! 4 1/2 mins for 66MBs, so a 128MB card would be able to take a 9 min or so MPEG4 video.

And the best player for MPEG4 is the Apple Quicktime (latest version).
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Old Nov 11, 2004, 12:52 AM   #16
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Steve Minor wrote:
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José A. wrote:
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Also check the FZ10, cheaper than the FZ20. 4Mp, and it has the hotshoe (for external flash) and the audio recording the FZ15 is missing. It lacks the Focus-assistant light, though. With your 256 Mb SD card you could record more than 140 pics in maximum quality and size (2304 x 1728) or 8 minutes of video at 30 fps. And you have ISO 50.
The FZ10 is around $380 it appears.* The FZ20 is around $475.* Is the difference worth $100?

Also, I'm pretty new to all of this.* ISO 50... What is it's strength and why isn't this commonly included in other cameras?
The ISO game.

The various makers seems to have different sets of ISO standards. In some, ISO 50 is rather similar to the ISO 64 or ISO 80 in other cameras. Similarly, ISO 200 in one camera may be ISO 400 in another.

Camera makers... please explain.
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Old Nov 11, 2004, 9:30 AM   #17
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Steve Minor wrote:
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Sivaram, how do you like your S1? What is the largest printout you would like to make with 3.2MP?
I actually don't have the camera yet. My brother, who is working in the States, bought it for me. I'm in Canada and the camera prices are much higher. Not only are the prices lower in the States, you generally dont' pay taxes either. So I don't have the camera yet

My brother really isn't into photography and likely prefers point&shoot compact cameras but based on him playing around with it, here are his comments so far (I'm mainly including the criticisms so that you can get a rough idea):

* wide-angle is too low: I don't remember off the top of my head but I think the Canon has 38mm(?) as its lowest wide-angle. When taking pics indoors you have to step back a bit to get everyone in the room.

* auto-focus is slow in low-light: This is a major problem with the S1 IS (as well as the Pro1). The auto-focus is slow in low-light (the Panasonic DMC-FZ3 is better in this regard, although all ultra-zooms have problems).

* my brother was impressed with the flash: flash looked good and the pics turned out good. S1 does NOT have an AF-assist lamp for low-light so it is surprising to see good low-light pics with flash...

* video is very good: video looks excellent according to him... he hooked up the camera to the tv directly...

* too big: my brother doesn't like the larger size... but this is ok with me... basically, you can't carry it in your pocket everywhere...


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One advantage of the Panasonic cameras is that they come with re-chargeable batteries and charger. An extra expense with the S1.
Having AA batteries is actually supposed to be better. When you buy an extra rechargeable battery, which you probably will when travelling or something, the cost will be higher and more inconvenient. With AA, you can just buy alkaline AAs when in trouble in the middle of nowhere

One problem with the AAs is that they are too big and take up a huge chunk of a camer's space. I wonder if companies will dump the AAs in the future because right now they take up almost 1/3 of a camera's volume.

In total I spend around US$50 more... $40 for the recharger and then $10 for 4 NiMH batteries... so the cost isn't THAT much... where I spend a lot of money is the memory card. Since I care about video (key reason for picking S1 IS over FZ3), I had to buy a high-speed memory card. I got a good deal though... I got a 1GB Lexar 40x card for around US$80, which actually costs $40 (with mail-in-rebate--hope I don't have any problems with it).

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The S1 ($319) plus batteries and charger come close to $400. The Panasonic is like $475. Then of course I can use my 256MB SD memory I already have with the FZ20.
I probably wasn't as short of cash as you are (although I have no idea what your budget is; for all I know, you could be a millionaire ). Spending a few hundread extra is ok as long as it was for something useful. I consider the recharger to be useful since I can use it for other uses (eg. electrical toothbrush; electrical hair trimmer; etc)... the memory card is also ok because I can use it as temporary storage with my computer (once I get a card reader). Having 1 GB of temp storage is pretty benefitial since I don't have a CD burner and I can use it if the need arises...

So, you are right in saying that the Canon may cost a little bit more... but in the long term I find the costs acceptable... if you go with the S1 your TOTAL costs will DEFINITELY be above the FZ3 because you would want to use the high-quality video and that pretty much requires 1 GB (or more) memory card ...

Quote:
Hmm. The FZ10 is under $400. That is another viable option.
I don't like the FZ10 because it is older technology... FZ3 and FZ20 are new... BUT the difference isn't THAT big it seems...
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Old Nov 12, 2004, 7:30 PM   #18
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Steve Minor wrote:
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ISO 50... What is it's strength and why isn't this commonly included in other cameras?
The ISO in film was (sorry, is) a standard used to indicate its sensitivity to light. So, the higher the ISO number, the less light (faster shutter speeds or lesser apertures- with higher numbers) you need to have a correct exposition. However, in film, you get to see its grain with the highest ISOs.
Back to digital, higher ISO means more noise. They say that dSLRs, due to their larger sensors, can go as far as ISO 800 or more without being too noisy, but in the FZ10, ISO 200 and 400 cause an annoying amount of noise. But sometimes you just need those ISOs, so you can download the freeware from www.imagenomic.com or www.neatimage.com to remove noise later.

So, the strength of ISO 50, which you could use in light-controlled situations, when you can allow yourself to use slow shutter speeds, or when you have a good amount of light (sunny days, for instance) would be the lowest amount of noise. It also can help you to "force" the camera to use slower shutter speeds or smaller apertures (with higher numbers) should you need it.
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Old Nov 14, 2004, 8:51 PM   #19
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Well, I ordered my camera: Panasonic FZ20 Silver

Details:

For comparison, Circuit City wanted it for $599 plus tax (8.9% in WA). They had the SD 512MB Ultra II for $75.99 plus tax.

I ordered the silver model from IBuyPlasma for $476 delivered. I ordered SD 512MB Ultra II for $62 delivered from ZipZoomFly.

Overall, I saved $196 over purchasing it locally at Circuit City. Kind of a sad state for local B&Ms.

Thanks,

Steve
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Old Nov 15, 2004, 4:06 PM   #20
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Hi Steve,

Welcome to the forum

Here are two suggestions:

Take your SD memory to a store.

Have your wife some pics from diff cameras on the SD.

Then let her choose


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