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Old Nov 8, 2004, 10:08 PM   #1
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I'm looking at the Kodak 7590 (5MP, 10x optical).

I have 2 questions:

1 - I'm getting this for my wife. She wants high optical zoom capability. I was also looking at the Canon S1 (3MP)--and it was mentioned the Canon has "Stabilization technology" which helps with better image quality when zoomed (reduces blur from shaking is what I infer).

How does the 7590 do in this regard?

2 - The camera uses SD memory. I have a 256MB SD (ordinary -- purchased at Costco a while back). Is this memory fast enough for the 7590? Would I notice a difference getting faster SD memory? Any recommendations?


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Old Nov 8, 2004, 11:08 PM   #2
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The Kodak does not have image stabilization. I don't think any Kodak has that. For that particular feature, you have to look at Minolta, Canon, or Panasonic.

In actual useage, the speed of a memory card is only important when shooting in "burst mode". When taking pictures one at a time, you won't see any difference, unless you are using a high megapixel camera. Even then, I doubt that fractions of a second will make enough of a difference to make someone go out and spend more money for a faster card.

If you want image stabilization in a fairly small package, look at the Panasonic FZ3 or FX7. The FZ3 has 12x optical, 48x digital zoom, stabilized of course. For a more involved camera, look at the Minolta Z3 or the Panasonic FZ10/15/20. I'm not sure, but Nikon might have one too, although it will probably cost more than the above.

hth,

Phil
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Old Nov 9, 2004, 7:46 PM   #3
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How important is image stabilization in a 10x optical camera? We are amatures and likely to remain such. Is image stabilization a feature that we should rank as important?

I'll look into the Panasonic FZ3 or FX7 and the Minolta Z3(althought it sounds higher budget than we want).

Thanks,

Steve
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Old Nov 9, 2004, 8:21 PM   #4
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Steve Minor wrote:
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How important is image stabilization in a 10x optical camera? We are amatures and likely to remain such. Is image stabilization a feature that we should rank as important?
This is highly debatable. Some people think IS is very useful while others think it's junk. I'm just a newbie but I personally value image stabilization very highly. When I was looking for an ultra-zoom camera, I ruled out all cameras without IS (which narrowed it down it only 3 cameras if I remember correctly ). The reasons I value image stabilization highly are because:

(i) I do not plan to use a tripod. I have no intention of carrying around a tripod--at least for now. Given that, image stabilization will help a lot. Pictures that turn out blurry (due to hand shake) can be taken with an IS camera.

(ii) Since I was interested in an ultra-zoom camera, I think image stabilization is far more important than in a low-zoom (3x, 4x) camera. At high zooms, even a small movement can make the picture blurry and I really think IS is very benefitial.

(iii) I valued video, unlike many people here, and I figure IS will help the video a lot. Video can look horrible if the camera shakes (even a problem on camcorders) and IS is something that should help...

The problem with image stabilization is that only a few cameras support it (the main ones I looked at were Canon Powershot S1 IS, Panasonic DMC-FZ3, and Konica Minolta Z2 (or maybe Z3--can't remember)). So what this means is that if you make IS a key requirement, your choices are less.

If you want to get an idea of IS, go to a store with camera displays (big electronic stores) and look at the camera with IS and without (you can shut it off on cameras). This really doesn't help THAT much because you can't really play around with it to one's liking. Another alternative is to read reviews.

Here is a video of IS demonstration on the Canon Powershot S1 IS courtesy dcresource.com (scroll to the middle where it has the video):
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/ca...ew/index.shtml

Or get a direct link here (not sure if this works):
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/ca...-review/is.mov

Here is another demonstration using Panasonic DMC-FZ3 (scroll to the middle):
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/pa...ew/index.shtml

Direct link to video here:
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/pa...mera_shake.mov

Here are some sample pics using Pansonic DMC-FZ20 (scroll to the bottom):
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicfz20/page5.asp

----

Just to add to PhilR's thoughts, high speed memory card also becomes a requirement when shooting high-quality video. Video generally requires high-speed cards for sure. For example, according to some unconfirmed tests, Canon Powershot S1 IS requires a memory card with around 40x speed (around 2MB/s??) for the highest quality video.

To sum up, memory card matters if:

(i) you are shooting high-quality video
(ii) using continuous mode as PhilR above mentions (this is the mode where you take a lot of pics quickly eg. 3 pictures per second).

For general picture taking with the non-DSLR cameras, high-speed memory plays little role...

---------

Hope that helps...
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Old Nov 9, 2004, 9:56 PM   #5
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Steve Minor wrote:
Quote:
How important is image stabilization in a 10x optical camera?
Depends -- how steady can you hold a camera? I have found that IS does make a difference at high zoom levels (and 10x is fairly high), and I plan on doing some wildlife photography which for me makes a high-zoom camera a must. For the average person however, most pics are taken at zoom levels where IS is not needed. On the other hand, your wife wants high zoom capability. IMO, you should rank IS as a feature upon which you should give serious consideration.

Phil
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Old Nov 9, 2004, 10:22 PM   #6
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1 other thing to bear in mind about IS.

IS doesn't necessarily means clear and sharp photos if there are excessive movements, but it helps to reduce the effects of normal amounts of camera shake. The main thing in photography, I believe, is to make sure you have plenty of practice and try and correct any bad habits you might have (a bit like your golf swing).

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. The only time when IS would be handy for me would in low-light or indoor situation at max zoom. But in bright sunlight/outdoors, you can't actually see the difference.

Anyway, put your priorities where necessary.

What do you want in a digital camera?

Type of photography?
Megapixels vs prints you want to make?
Camera size/weight?
Type of battery?
Memory format?
IS?
Movie Mode?
etc...

That should put everything in place for you.

I got my C770UZ (black) for about $485 from Japan, including an original carry bag, extra battery and USB card reader. No remote in Japanese spec though.

Thon




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Old Nov 9, 2004, 10:59 PM   #7
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Sivaram (and others),thanks for comments. I appreciate it. There are so many choices (many are good). I simply want the best camera I can get for the ~$400 taking into account I want at leats 7x optical, 3+ MP and something that takes good shots.

My thoughts on these cameras:

Canon S1 - Nice camera. The only nag I have is that it is only 3.x MP. I've foudn it for $313.

Kodak 7590 - Nice camera, but I think it fell off my list because it doesn't have IS.

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).

Minolta Z3 - Wow, what a great sounding camera (fast, great video) until I read about the so-so image quality (which is kind of important). I've take this model off my list.

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.

Thon,

Type of photography? Casual, family activities,scenic at times.Megapixels vs prints you want to make? We want up to 8x10--probably rarely larger.
Camera size/weight? not an issue--just not too large.
Type of battery? Preferably standard NiMH
Memory format? I have 1x 256MB SD (nothing special)
IS? Yes
Movie Mode? I would love 640x480 30fps--a nice bonus.

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Old Nov 10, 2004, 4:28 AM   #8
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PANASONIC FZ15 or FZ20 would be your best bets. They were also in my list before going for the Oly C770UZ.

FZ20 has noise problems, but can be fixed with NeatImage or NoiseNinja.
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 9:55 AM   #9
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Panasonic DMC-FZ20 is one of the top cameras of this year IMO (I'm just a newbie but I would nominate it for camera of the year :| ). I don't thik you can go wrong with it (12x zoom, 5MP, IS, very good pics, etc)... the only thing that sucks about it is the video (no 640x480) but you can't have everything... FZ20 is also larger than the rest... Do note that the FZ20 costs a lot more than the FZ3/S1 IS/Konica Minolta/etc...

When I made my decision, it came down to Panasonic DMC-FZ3 vs Canon Powershot S1 IS. I went with the S1 because of the video (I think other family members may enjoy it); if I didn't care about the video, I would have gone with the FZ3... (the FZ20 is out of my price range )
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 9:56 AM   #10
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Thon wrote:
Quote:
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...
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