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Old Jan 7, 2005, 10:38 PM   #1
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Hi all,

Another newby, have decided that my old Fuji Finepix 2400z has reached its limits! (ha ha).

Looking for a new digital preferably around the 4mb mark with 10X optical zoom. Although I plan to do some amateur weddings, etc my main use is for football games so Im looking at something with a decent zoom. I don't plan to use a tripod so I was leaning towards something with image stabilization and something that takes pics quickly. Video is very unimportant.

Would also prefer something that took AA batteries and has the cheapest memory cards as would probably want/need 512mb card.

Although not meeting some of my needs I'm currently looking at the Panasonic FZ20.

Any other suggestions for what I'm after?


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Old Jan 7, 2005, 10:54 PM   #2
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You might look at the Minolta Z3....

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Old Jan 7, 2005, 11:16 PM   #3
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Well, for football games, if you're talking about games at night in a stadium, any of the non-DSLR models will have questionable image quality (because you'll need to use higher ISO speeds, which will increase noise levels). Even at ISO 400, you may find that a high percentage of your shots have motion blur.

So, you'll need to take lots of photos to increase your number of keepers, and use good noise reduction tools to help improve the images later (which may give you usable photos, provided you don't need viewing/print sizes that are too large).

Unless you can budget for a DSLR model, I'd be inclinded to go with one of the Panasonics. They have lenses that can maintain a constant F/2.8 aperture throughout their focal range. Some of the competing models have lenses that tend to lose a lot of their light gathering ability as more zoom as used (requiring slower shutter speeds for any givenISO speedand lighting condition).

Chances are, the DMC-FZ15 (4 Megapixels) would have a little less noise compared to the 5MPDMC-FZ20. However, it would not have the ability to use an external flash (which you may find desirable). The built in flash of these models is much better than most. However, for other conditions (i.e., your Amateur Wedding Photography), you'd have more lighting flexibility using an external flash. Panasonic did makeanother 4MP modelwith a hotshoe (DMC-FZ10).But, it's missing the AF Assist Lamp, and it's built in flash is relatively weak. So, there are pros and cons to any choice.

If budget permits, your best bet would be a DSLR using a bright lens. But, this would be a muchlarger, heavier and more expensive solution with a longer focal length lens that's suitable for sports use (i.e., f/2.8 throughout it's focal range). The Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX HSM lens is a popular choice for sports use if you do decide on a DSLR. It's available in mounts for Nikon, Canon, Minolta and Pentax bodies.On the Nikon, Minolta and Pentax DSLR models, this lens would have a 35mm equivalent focal range of 105-300mm (you have to multiply the actual focal length by 1.5x with these). This lenswould have a 35mm equivalent focal range of 112-320mm on most Canon DSLR models (which have a 1.6x multiplier).

A DSLR would also be much better suited for venues where you are unable to use a flash (as in some Weddings). Although a stabilized lens can help reduce motion blur from camera shake, it won't help reduce motion blur from subject movement (and you may find that flashes are not appropriate/allowed duringsome ceremonies). So, a DSLR model (capable of shooting at higher ISO speeds with lower noise) is recommended, coupled with a brighter lens (and you'd want different focal length lenses for Weddings versus Sports).

So, it's all a matter of size, weight, cost and what areas you're willing to compromise in. No one camera is perfect for all conditions.

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Old Jan 8, 2005, 1:55 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info, there's only 1 or 2 night games in the comp I'll be photographing (and I'm usually to drunk to take photos for the night games anyway) so its mainly for middle of the day use.

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