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Old Jan 6, 2005, 5:15 AM   #1
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hi there,

newbie here - and hoping for a little advice to guide me in the purchase of a new digital camera. I currently have a fujifilm a310, but want to upgrade.

I've narrowed my choices to the following:

Fujifilm S5500/5100 - 4mp, 10x zoom

Panasonic Lumix dmc-fz3 - 3mp, 12x zoom with anti-shake.

(Ifthe Panasonic Lumix dmc-fz15 was available outside of the USI think I would get this - its a 4mp with 12x zoom and anti-shake and got very good reviews)

so my question is - how much of a difference in quality is there between a 3mp camera and a 4mp one?

(Or should I just wait and see if the fz15 becomes available in Europe?)

any advice or comments appreciated,

thanks
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Old Jan 6, 2005, 7:18 AM   #2
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IMHO, if you're going to use the higher zoom capability you NEED image stabilization. Panasonic has a good system for this and they have a good Leica lens. I don't think the name Leica would be associated with the Panasonic if it weren't a good camera. I own an FZ-10 and love it !
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Old Jan 6, 2005, 8:09 AM   #3
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digicamak wrote:
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so my question is - how much of a difference in quality is there between a 3mp camera and a 4mp one?
Quality is more a function of the camera mechanicals (lens, sensor, etc.) and less a function of the number of megapixels. The number of mp's just determines the size of the file, and thus the size of the pictures you can make.

I wouldn't let the number of mp's determine the choice. If you can't do it with 3.2mp, then most likely you won't be able to do it with 4, either....

PhilR.


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Old Jan 6, 2005, 8:22 AM   #4
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The forums are littered with posts about how moremegapixels does not mean more quality... in fact, it may actually mean less quality (because the manufacturer is cramming more light receptors on the same size imaging chip, which can often lead to an increase in digital noise or other problems). A 3 MP camera can produce pictures of sufficient resolution to print quality 8x10 prints (and maybe even bigger if you're willing to settle for less than professional photo quality... I have an 18x24 print hanging in my apartment made by a 3.2mp... but of course you can see some pixelation). I've heardsome good things about the panasonics... and of course Leica lenses havegreat reputations. If you'rezooming, ISis quitehelpful.

Bottom line:Unless you want toregularly print large prints, don't worry about the MP.
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Old Jan 6, 2005, 8:28 AM   #5
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Well, I actually see in many sample digital photos shot with cameras in their highest resolution are actually blurry...I'm talking about the 4 to 8 megapixel range. The pictures only look better after they've been sharpened a bit, and then reduced in image size using a good quality photo editor. But as usual ... when you back away (ie increase distance between you and the picture) from many blurry pictures (small or large) start to look sharper...which is basically the same as reducing the image size using a good photo editing software.
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Old Jan 6, 2005, 10:05 AM   #6
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As others have said mp does not mean quality, it means the size you can print without getting pixelisation... both 3 and 4 mp will print up to 5x7 with photo quality and they will both give you excellent results at 8x10.

Unless you plan to use a tripod for all your shots at full telephoto, get the FZ3.

You could also look at the Canon S1 IS, which is a 3mp camera with 10x zoom, image stabilisation and a great movie mode. One thing is sure, go hold the camera you will buy before making your choice.
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Old Jan 6, 2005, 1:32 PM   #7
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I'm a big fan of image stabilization so I would go with a camer with IS--especially for an ultra-zoom, where shake is more evident at telephoto...
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Old Jan 7, 2005, 4:42 AM   #8
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thanks for replying and for the advice - it's much appreciated. I was leaning towards the panasonic, and you've helped to clarify the mp issue for me - Its highly unlikely that I will be printing higher than 8x10 so it seems to me that the panasonic is the better choice. (I had looked at the canon s1 is, but the reviews for this aren't as good.)
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Old Jan 7, 2005, 6:46 AM   #9
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Hi Digicamac, I am a newbie here also, I recently picked up a Fugi S5100, and am loving it!,,, I had considered the Canon S1, but it just didn't impress me. I have taken quite a few shots with this cam, and most all come out clear enough to enjoy at all stages of zoom, indoors or out, daylight, or low light,using auto4mp normal mode. It appears that because of the extra light brought by the lens, the fast shutter speed, and the light metering, plus the handy focus assist lamp,camera shake is not as bad a problem as I thought, no IS needed,I am quite pleased! I will post pics when I get a chance. later, Mike

Update, some test photos here, note: 2 bridge pics taken handheld acrossa dimly lit room, no flash, at approx.7.5X zoom, about 20ft,,,looking foranother good free Pic hosting site, I'm open to suggestions.

Newest update, midday indoor shots added handheld no zoom, & full zoom, auto, 4meg normal,no flash, about 20ft.

http://photos.yahoo.com/humorousone

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Old Jan 7, 2005, 11:17 AM   #10
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Previous shot, no zoom(see my last post)
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