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Old Dec 29, 2004, 4:07 AM   #1
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Hi...I've been lurking here forsome time now, while I decided what camera I should buy. After a lot of reading, I chose the Panasonic dmc fz3, as so many people recommend it. Now I have one on order, and it should arrive any day now.

My problem is this...Today my husband and I were browsing by some cameras and he spotted the Canon S1 IS...and fell in love with the look, the feel, and the flip out lcd screen. Now we're both unsure of our original decision.

Is the difference between the 2 cameras so big I shouldn't consider the Canon? Or are they similar enough to just pick the one that felt better? I know the Canon doesn't have that AF assist lamp, but the it does have a manual focus, and a lot of accessories available.

I feel like I'm back at square one...and I only have days to make up my mind! It's not too late to change my order, so that's not an issue, so any comments and help would be extremely appreciated!

Thanks in advance :-)
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Old Dec 29, 2004, 2:27 PM   #2
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Ummmm.....anybody??????
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Old Dec 29, 2004, 2:44 PM   #3
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These cameras are really very similar. They are both 3 megapixels, long zoom, (although the Panasonic has 12X zoom and the Canon has 10X), and they both have image stabilization. I think the FZ3 has a better lens, and it remains f2.8 all the way out to the ful 12X zoom. The Canon has a better movie mode--I think it has 640 x 480 at 30 fps. The movie mode is not that important to me. I have a digital camcorder, and that's what I use when I need to make movies. I have had my FZ3 for three months, and I have still never taken any videos with it. If videos are improtant to you, then you might want to consider the Canon.

I was also considering these two cameras. I was fortunate enough to find a store that had them both in stock, so I could play with them both and make a side by side comparison. That's what did it for me. I found the Panasonic to be much more comfortable and easier to use, and I liked the results I got. If you can get a chance to do a side by side comparison, you should be able to make up your mind. I'm extremely pleased with the FZ3, but if you choose the Canon, you might be equally as pleased.
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Old Dec 29, 2004, 2:51 PM   #4
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I came down to those two and I went with the Canon S1 IS. To put it bluntly, if you care about video, the Canon S1 IS is better than FZ3; but if you don't care about video (only care about still image quality) then the FZ3 is better than S1 IS.

I chose S1 IS over the FZ3, even though the FZ3 has better still pics, because I think I want decent video. However, most people don't care about video on a digicam.

The advantages of the FZ3 over the S1 IS include:

* can keep its aperature at F2.8 throughout zoom (Canon, like nearly all other cameras, has to decrease the aperature opening to F3.1 as you zoom)...keeping aperature low is good
* AF assist lamp... the Canon S1 IS sucks in low light (if you don't use flash, the S1 IS is far inferior to the FZ3 IMO)
* 12x zoom (vs 10x on Canon)
* better pics (this is highly debatable and depends on how much post-processing or in-camera adjustments you like to carry out, but out of the camera (default), S1 IS has soft pics whereas FZ3 has better looking pics).

The only advantages of the S1 IS IMO are:

* far better video mode... the video on FZ3 is not good enough IMO. If you get the FZ3, I doubt you would use the video even 1% of the time.
* better bundled software (supposedly)
* AA batteries (AA is more flexible)
* sleeker design--at least I think so . FZ3 is the standard rectangular square-box like design while the S1 IS is more curved and looks more hip

Accessories and things like that are pretty similar between the cameras. I don't think that's something one needs to worry about. I mean, when you are spending $350 on a camera, I don't know if it's worth buying an add-on lens, or an AC adapter or whatever, for another $50 to $100! If you wanted some of that, you should spend more initially and get a "better", more expensive, camera than buy the add-ons IMO. Canon DOES have little things that make it a bit better (eg. AA batteries instead of proprietary batteries; better bundled software (supposedly); bundled memory card is larger (although it's still too small); etc) but these are minor.

So to sum up, if you care about video, the S1 IS is arguably better; but if you don't care about video, then the FZ3 is better than the S1 IS...
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Old Dec 29, 2004, 2:58 PM   #5
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I would say the soft focus is by design. The more in camera sharpening is done the more likely it is to have jpeg artifacts. It is much easier to sharpen later than it is to remove artifacts.
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Old Dec 29, 2004, 3:18 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input! I think I'll stick with the FZ3, as I don't intend on using the movie mode much at all. I'm sure I would be happy with either camera, but when push comes to shove, picture quality is the foremost thing, and I see now that's where the FZ3 shines.

BTW...I'm in Canada, and although I hit a good sale, both cameras retail for $599 cdn!!

Thanks again,

fffun1


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Old Dec 29, 2004, 3:39 PM   #7
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Around here they are ~300 USD, I think.
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