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Old Nov 26, 2004, 11:35 PM   #1
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Requirements:

1. Must support conversion lenses

2. Must have hotshoe.

3. Must not use proprietary batteries (Dang that Panasonic...)

4. Image Stabilization strongly desired.

5. Metal body

5. Price in the $400 range.

So far I've looked at the S1, the Dimage, the Oly 750 UZ, and the Panasonic FZ 20. I'd like an Olympus Rebel SLR but that camera is not in my current camera budget. Might the Dimage S3 be what I need? Too bad it looks quirky.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 1:15 AM   #2
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I am not giving advice on the camera you should buy, but querying why you feel a metal body is necessary. As an SLR user for many years my first "plastic" body was over 10 years ago, a Canon, and now I have the Nikon D70, also non metal. But you should consider that Formula One cars are no longer made of metal because carbon fibre is inherently stronger. My cameras have been dropped and suffered a scuff but no breakage. I think that you are unfairly restricting the choices of camera out there and penalising yourself in the process. Reconsider!


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Old Nov 27, 2004, 10:02 AM   #3
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cameranserai wrote:
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I am not giving advice on the camera you should buy, but querying why you feel a metal body is necessary. As an SLR user for many years my first "plastic" body was over 10 years ago, a Canon, and now I have the Nikon D70, also non metal. But you should consider that Formula One cars are no longer made of metal because carbon fibre is inherently stronger. My cameras have been dropped and suffered a scuff but no breakage. I think that you are unfairly restricting the choices of camera out there and penalising yourself in the process. Reconsider!
True BUT... do note that there is the cheap plastic :angry: and the more rugged good plastic... a lot of the lower-end to mid-end consumer and prosumer cameras use cheap plastic. The higher-end prosumers and DSLRs use the good quality hard plastic. For example, my Canon S1 IS (mid-end prosumer) is made of cheap plastic. I'm pretty sure it will crack if I drop my camera. Whereas my film SLR camera (Canon Rebel) is made of hard plastic and likely won't crack if you drop it...
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 10:16 AM   #4
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Heavy B wrote:
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Requirements:
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5. Metal body
Metal Body, huh?

Well, as others have mentioned, I'd reconsider this one, too. Plastic is also lighter (and you may appreciate this if you're lugging a camera around a lot).

If you drop a camera, the body is probablynotwhat you'll need to worry about most anyway (I'd be worried about damage to the lens, etc.).

Although I've seen cameras survive drops (and I've dropped both plastic and metal framed models in the past), some users haven't been so lucky (and lens mechanism damage is common).

Now, it's too bad Glock doesn't make cameras:

Quote:
[align=left]High-Impact Resistant Polymer[/align]
The frame on a GLOCK handgun is made out of a synthetic that is actually stronger than steel, yet 86% lighter. It's virtually indestructible. A GLOCK pistol can withstand temperatures ranging from -40°C (-40 F) to +70°C (+158 F) and still come out firing.


http://www.glock.com/advantage.htm
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 10:49 AM   #5
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JimC wrote:
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Now, it's too bad Glock doesn't make cameras:

That's true, but if they did, then Vivitar/Aptek/Concord would make pistols, and what a nightmare that would be!

Phil


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Old Nov 27, 2004, 10:56 AM   #6
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Heavy B wrote:
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Might the Dimage S3 be what I need? Too bad it looks quirky.
You probably mean the Z3. If so, then with the exception of the metal body thing discussed above, then afaik the Z3 is the only camera that meets your requirements. At least you won't have to agonize over a decision like some do -- you just have to get over the lack of a metal body (it probably has a metal frame).

Phil
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 4:10 PM   #7
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Thanks very much for all the responses.

I'm familar w/ polymer frame handguns - Glock likely being the most familiar. Overall I agree w/ everyone...the thing I was truly concerned with was the effects over time of torsion.

I currently own a Fuji Finepix 2.0megapixel (don't recall the model). It works well enough but over time has taught me what I want and don't want in a mid-priced digital. The most notable issues I have w/ my current Fuji are the weak flash, weak zoom, and "reload" time between shots.

Then again my Fuji is a product of a prior generation of technology. Based on what I paid relative to the performance I got out of it I am overall a happy customer.

One thing that I have noted is that the body of the Fuji is becoming a bit loose. Of course I've had it for 4 years and about 75000 frequent flier miles. I don't have any illusions regarding the survivability of the innards of a $400 camera that is dropped. I was, however, presuming that a metal frame would provide added rigidity and longer service life.

Based on what I want I think I'll be looking into the Dimage Z3. If any of you have any better suggestions then I'm listening.

Thanks again for all the help.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 4:41 PM   #8
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Heavy B wrote:
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I was, however, presuming that a metal frame would provide added rigidity and longer service life.

Based on what I want I think I'll be looking into the Dimage Z3. If any of you have any better suggestions then I'm listening.

Yes, a metal frame probably would provide that, but then again you didn't originally state that you wanted a metal-framed camera. You stated you wanted a metal-bodied camera, and now you are talking of a metal-framed camera. Many cameras that are plastic on the outside (iow a plastic body)have metal frames, which is why the posters above say not to put much emphasis on a metal body (and I certainly would agree).

As for better suggestions - there are lots of better suggestions, and certainly I have my own for not buying a Z3. But as stated above, unless you are willing to change your specifications a bit, then the Z3 is pretty much it. You might as well go out and buy one. If you are willing to let go of the proprietary battery thing, then give consideration to the Panasonic FZ10.

Phil
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 4:57 PM   #9
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Well, I'd also recommend not worrying about the proprietary battery issue.

I've owned models using both battery types, and I've come to prefer Lithium Ion.

For one thing, I hate fumbling with multiple batteries, andtrying to get themin the camera correctly (looking for the tiny +- marksin the battery compartments or the compartment door).

Lithium Ions also hold their charge better when sitting unused.

In any event, I personally would not select a camera model based on battery type. I'd look at how you plan on using one. A model like the Panasonic DMC-FZ20 does have it's advantages over the Konica-Minolta Z3 (it has much brighter lens when using zoom, has a focus assist lamp, captures more detail, has much better flash range which doesn't decrease using zoom, etc.).

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Old Nov 27, 2004, 5:17 PM   #10
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JimC wrote:
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A model like the Panasonic DMC-FZ20 does have it's advantages over the Konica-Minolta Z3

I think the FZ20 is a great idea, but I doubt that one would find one at or under the $400 requirement. The FZ3 can, but doesn't have a hotshoe. I think that the only Panasonic that will meet the hotshoe/cost requirement would be the FZ10.

Phil
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