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Old Dec 31, 2004, 2:35 PM   #11
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You have some nice pics there man. I think you have talent. Here are my thoughts, in addition to what others mentioned above...

It looks like you DON'T need zoom. Most of your pics seem to be relatively close-up pics. Where high zoom will help is if you are concentrating on a subject far away (eg. a bird or animal a few hundread meters from you; a sports athlete on the field, while you are standing way up in the stands). High zoom is generally recommended for outdoor sports photography (since most users will be very far from the field). But your pics seem to be a bit closer. For this, you really don't need 10x zoom IMO... I don't know... I think you are going to have to decide if you want high zoom (which generally helps most sports on an outdoor field although probably not skateboarding) or go with a low-zoom one...

(as a side note, I would say most cameras come with 3x or 4x optical zoom (ignore digital zoom), with mid-zoom prosumers at around 6x zoom, and ultra-zooms at 10x+ zoom).

As far as how much zoom helps, I'll post some sample pics with my Canon S1 IS (which is 10x zoom) to give you an idea... look for the posts below... This really depends on the specs but roughly speaking, a 10x camera will make your pics 7x larger than what your eyes see. A 50mm lens is supposedly equivalent to your eyes. Anything larger is considered telephoto and enlarges. So an ultra-zoom with a maximum 350mm lens (in 35mm terms) will enlarge your pics 7x (7*50mm=350mm). So look at something around you (say a person doing something) and think whether you really need it enlarged 7x or not? If not, then ultra-zoom probably doesn't benefit you... anyway, I'll post some pics...

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US$650 will get you a nice mid-end prosumer camera. The best ultra-zoom IMO is the Panasonic FZ20.... if you want low-zoom, look at cameras like Canon G6 and Sony V3.... I think some serious features that you might want are manual focus, optical viewfinder (none of the ultra-zooms have optical viewfinders; they have electronic viewfinder/EVF), flash hot-shoe add-on, and stuff like that. I would look for these minor things after looking at the camera's major features (eg. optical zoom, megapixels, price, smallest aperature (F-number), lens, etc).

Some of the things you mentioned, like black&white, are supported by nearly all cameras. Just double-check if a camera has this after picking a few (because you are almost guaranteed to have b&w, sepia, and other modes)... furthermore, nearly all the mid-end (and higher) prosumers allow you to attach add-on filters and stuff so you can safely assume your camera has that capability (and double-check last)...

Lastly, if you are a bit worried or unsure, you might just want to spend $350 or $400 on a slightly lower-end camera and then upgrade in a few years or something. For example, if you are unsure and want a high-zoom, instead of the Panasonic FZ20, you can get the Panasonic FZ3 (which is 3 megapixels, smaller LCD, no flash hot-shoe, etc) which costs almost 30% less.

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A lot of cameras have b&w so that isn't a big worry (just double-check though). I'm just a newbie but I find a lot of amateur photographers recommending that you take pics in colour and then convert it to black&white using an image editing program. You have more control that way. But of course if you don't have a computer then you really need b&w in the camera.
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If I had to pick one camera, I would probably recommend something like the Canon G6 to you...
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Old Dec 31, 2004, 2:56 PM   #12
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Here is a pic with no zoom (1x zoom):

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Old Dec 31, 2004, 2:58 PM   #13
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Here is one with roughly 3x zoom:

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Old Dec 31, 2004, 2:59 PM   #14
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Here is one with 10x zoom... hope these pics give you a rough idea of what you need...

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Old Dec 31, 2004, 3:34 PM   #15
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o man , sorry to confuse you but those werent my pictures, im just a begginer and have never owned a camera before.sprry for the confusion.
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Old Jan 1, 2005, 12:31 PM   #16
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i was looking at the sony dv3 and really like it, what do you guy`s think about the camera?
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Old Jan 1, 2005, 12:53 PM   #17
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snap wrote:
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i was looking at the sony dv3 and really like it, what do you guy`s think about the camera?
Have you compared it to the Canon G6? Those two are the main competitors to each other. Canon has a faster lens (F2.0 at wide-angle) and is supposedly good with ISO performance. But Sony is just as good in many other respects. Compare them side-by-side (or something) and see which one you like... I don't think you can go wrong with either of them...
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Old Jan 1, 2005, 1:06 PM   #18
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yeah thats what i was just lookign at, abotu the same megapixles, about the same zoom. and do you mean physically wich onei like? and in your opinion wich one is better for the kind of pictures i would like to take, and better overall quality? and wich has better feautres,etc,etc?
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Old Jan 2, 2005, 1:16 AM   #19
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i dont see many differences, does anyone have a lin kto both reviews or a place that compares them?
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Old Jan 2, 2005, 7:20 AM   #20
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you should look at the pentax optio 750z too....
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