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Old Nov 12, 2004, 9:36 AM   #1
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I'm looking for a long-zoom, compact digital camera and have narrowed my choices down to:

Canon Powershot S1
Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3
Panasonic Lumix FX3

The Kodak Easyshare 7590 and Olympus C770 were originally also on my list, but I've moved them down due to the lack of image stabilization (which as I read is a near-must (?) for long-zoom cameras).

Anyone have any insight on which of these three is the "best"?

Thanks!
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 9:49 AM   #2
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There are already a million threads on this

If you want image quality, go for the Panasonic DMC-FZ3... if you want video, go for Canon S1 IS... if you want something in the middle, the Konica Minolta Z3 should be ok (although I don't know much about the Z3)...

If you want more megapixels and a few more features, you might also want to consider stuff like Panasonic FZ15 and FZ20 (they cost more)...

As far as image stabilization is concerned, don't assume it is a MUST. It's benefitial but I don't know if it is a must... Near the top (1/3 down?), there are two pics shown with an without IS (for Konica Minolta Z3):

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/mi...ew/index.shtml

You can get around without IS but having IS makes life easier...
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 7:45 PM   #3
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You can get around without IS in a ultra zoom if you are willing to carry a tripod. I have seen some samples of photos shot hand held , with and without IS and the difference is huge! I personally don't want to have to carry a tripod around all the time. I bought the FZ20 and IS works really well! Specially when you are using that huge zoom. Even at 48X (using optical and digital zoom), handheld are focused and clear.

If you are looking for compact, the FZ20 is probably a bit larger than you want. It is not a camera you can put in your pocket. It's DSLR shape and size but lighter than the SDLR's and you don't have to carry around all those lens. The FZ3 is probably the one for you in the Panasonic line. Smaller than the FZ15 and FZ20, less megapixels, no hot shoe but IS, that wonderful Leica lens and great picture quality all in a very reasonably prices camera. Definitely worth taking a serious look at. In my opinion (from looking at sample galleries and other members posted photos), the FZ3 picture quality beats the other two camera's you are looking at. JMHO though.



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Old Nov 14, 2004, 5:48 AM   #4
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Don't forget what power source will be easier for you. The Panasonic uses prop. batteries, whilest the Canon and the Konica use AA batteries. It would seem that AA batteries can take more pictures on 1 charge. And if you're without power, you can always go to the nearest store.A lot of shops sell AAs, butthere are fewer places to buy proprieties.In any case, make sure you have 2 sets of batteries.

Basically you need to decide which is the mostconvinient to use. All three cameras have decent image quality (good enough for standard photos). Have a look at www.megapixel.netto see how they rate different aspects of cameras.

I hope you'll be happy with your final choice.

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Old Nov 14, 2004, 9:07 AM   #5
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Preference in batteries is a personal thing. After 2 years of using my old Oly that had a ravenous appetite for AA's , I find it a very welcome treat to have my FZ20 and it's proprietary battery. It only takes 2 hrs to fully charge in it's very small and conventient charger (which plugs into any wall socket) and it holds it's charge for a good long time (at least that's been my experience). I will be buying two more prop. batteries eventually so that I have one in the charger, one in the camera bag and one in the camera. That way, I doubt that I'll ever have a problem with not having power for my camera. I'd chose a prop. battery over AA's anyday.



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Old Nov 15, 2004, 2:34 AM   #6
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Yeah, but you can get a hellofalot of rechargeable AAs for the price you're going to pay for 2 proprietary batteries.

If I'm going to spend that money, I'd rather have a bunch of AAs - because even if I don't have enough, I can always duck into any store and get more for a couple of bucks.

Today's cameras using AAs have a battery life that rivals - and even exceeds - the proprietary batteries.

By the way - why do a lot of people think that Stabilized lenses mean that you'll never, ever have to use a tripod again as long as you own the camera? A stabilized lens will give you 2 or 3 extra stops - that's it. After that, it's back to tripod city.
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Old Nov 15, 2004, 6:36 AM   #7
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EOS RT wrote:
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By the way - why do a lot of people think that Stabilized lenses mean that you'll never, ever have to use a tripod again as long as you own the camera? A stabilized lens will give you 2 or 3 extra stops - that's it. After that, it's back to tripod city.
This is a common mistake by many beginners who mostly read reviews and dish them out in forums, rather than have a actual hands-on usage.

I do agree than IS is helpful in preventing or shall I say reducing camera shake, but shake may still occur.

The Leica lens probably would have 2-3, maybe 4 extra stops when compared to my Olympus C770UZ, but there is nothing that a good tripod can't solve.

I'd say a tripod (even a small cheap one) would be the best accessory for any serious photographers.

And for any serious photographer, I'd recommend the Oly C770UZ/765UZ twins. Better pics, very compact body when compared to other UZs. The 770 has the added bonus of MPEG4 movie mode, limited only by card space. IS..., would be good but not absolutely necessary.

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Old Nov 15, 2004, 6:43 AM   #8
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I am about a day away from choosing between the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3 and the Panasonic DMZ-FZ3. While it would seem the Panasonic is getting the edge when it comes to picture quality, I much prefer the build quality and form factor of the Z3.

Sometimes I think these head-to-head technical comparisons exaggerate/amplify minimal differences into greater significance than they deserve. I am not one to look at every picture I take to look for problems; I just don't want to be hit over the head with obvious picture quality problems.

So, someone reassure me that the KM Z3 will be a good choice... :O
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Old Nov 15, 2004, 9:13 AM   #9
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Argelius wrote:
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So, someone reassure me that the KM Z3 will be a good choice... :O
There aren't too many reviews of the KM Z3 so it's hard to say... it looks like a good camera so I won't complain... if I had the choice, I would go with the Panasonic (I think)...
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Old Nov 15, 2004, 9:24 AM   #10
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EOS RT wrote:
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By the way - why do a lot of people think that Stabilized lenses mean that you'll never, ever have to use a tripod again as long as you own the camera? A stabilized lens will give you 2 or 3 extra stops - that's it. After that, it's back to tripod city.
It's not a question of whether you will use the tripod ever again... rather, it's a question of how often you will use a tripod. For instance, I am more likely to carry the camera alone than carry the tripod. In fact, I would guess that I would carry the camera without a tripod more than 70% of the time. If I go to a sports event, for example, I am more prone to just take the camera than a tripod along with it (it's too big and inconvenient). In situations like that, having IS is a huge bonus.

I'm just a newbie but I really cannot see myself carrying the tripod for normal picture taking. If I get a tripod, I will likely only use it when I go on a "picture session" trip, if you know what I mean.

As far as IS only giving you 2 or 3 f-stops, that's true. BUT those stops are pretty significant. I mean, you are talking very large apertures when you increase by even 1 at that point.

Lastly, people who don't have cars, like me (yeah, it sucks ), have big problems with tripods--or at least I imagine I will. Carrying a tripod in a bus or even on foot is kind of tough. One of my friends, who is a more serious photographer, has a car and a tripod. He just leaves the tripod in his trunk and it is available to him wherever he goes. Unfortunatley, that is not the case with me.

So to sum it up, I think how much you value IS depends on how often you take "serious pics" and how often you take typical pics. People like me are likely to take more "normal" pics than "serious" pics...
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