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Old Feb 1, 2005, 5:01 PM   #1
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:? I am trying to purchase a new camera and am confused! My options are the Panasonic fz1 or fz3 OR the Minolta z3. My daughter is a competitive cheerleader and I need something with a fantastic optical zoom, ease of use, good all-around camera. I was told that the minolta has less ability to take good shots in lower lighting, but this means nothing to me, (something about light stops???). I am obviously an amateur. Her competitions are indoors and usually a minimum of 40 feet away from where we sit. While there is good lighting at the competitions, I want the most bang for the buck. I have been quoted $200 for the fz1, $310 for the fz3 and $320 for the minolta z3. Is the minolta worth $120 more than the fz1? and is the fz 3 worth $110 more than the fz1????? SOMEONE PLEASE HELP!!!!! In other words, which camera is the best for the money? Also, I need quick processor time so that I can capture the shots as they happen. We have an olympus, but the lag time between pics is horrible.
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Old Feb 2, 2005, 1:57 PM   #2
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I would go wit hthe FZ3...

Indoor is generally considered to be low-light although I guess it depends on the actual stadium. For example, indoor lighting in most high school gyms would be considered low-light. So having a camera that lets in more light is best. The Panasonic FZ3 can keep its aperature at F2.8 while the KM Z3's aperature increases. This means less light will go into the camera with the KM Z3. Therefore the Panasonic FZ3 is better for low light...

Overall the FZ3 is better than the Z3... however, the Z3 is better in one thing: video. If you care about video then the Z3 (along with other cameras like Canon S1 IS, which really sucks in low-light) may be better...
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Old Feb 2, 2005, 4:14 PM   #3
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bought the z3 just to see if i liked the way it feels in my hand. I will say that the KM z3 is much more comfortable and ergonomically correct. The buttons are where your fingers fall, rather than having to adjust, and the time between pics is super fast. I am going to give it a shot at practice tonight, which is in a gymnasium, and see how the pics are.



thanks for your help!
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Old Feb 3, 2005, 2:21 AM   #4
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how did your pictures turn out? i have a z3 and i love it, but i don't think it would be very good for zoom pictures inside.
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Old Feb 3, 2005, 10:49 AM   #5
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I think that I am going to take it back. Almost every pic that I took last night in the gym from a zoom is terribly blurry. I will say that the battery life seems awesome. I took over 200 pics and about 4 min of video and was only down one bar on the battery life. The problem is, I don't know if the KM Z3 is much better. I do know that it is more comfortable to hold. I guess I will know more when I return the FZ3 and try the Z3.



Thanks
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Old Feb 3, 2005, 11:35 AM   #6
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Blurry due to camera shake or blurry due to subject action? You won't be able to achieve shutter speeds fast enough to "freeze" action in low light without strobes. You shouldn't be getting hand shake since the FZ3 is image stabilized.
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Old Feb 3, 2005, 12:38 PM   #7
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cheermom wrote:
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I think that I am going to take it back. Almost every pic that I took last night in the gym from a zoom is terribly blurry. I will say that the battery life seems awesome. I took over 200 pics and about 4 min of video and was only down one bar on the battery life. The problem is, I don't know if the KM Z3 is much better. I do know that it is more comfortable to hold. I guess I will know more when I return the FZ3 and try the Z3.



Thanks
If you are getting blurry pics with the Panasonic FZ3 then no other camera will be better. The blurriness is likely due to too-low shutter speeds. To increase shutter speeds, you need to boost ISO, but this results in way more noise.

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Old Feb 3, 2005, 7:07 PM   #8
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i agree you probably won't have much better luck with the minolta. with the image stabilization hand shake shouldn't be a problem, but unless it is a very brightly lit building, you won't get the shutter speed you need to stop the action. if you do get the minolta, use aperature mode instead of auto. you can set the iso to 400 and get a little more speed that way. the pictures will be noisy, but software can get rid of that.
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Old Feb 3, 2005, 10:55 PM   #9
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Thanks for all of your replys......After holding the Minolta and realizing that at 12x zoom, any shake at all will ruin the pic, I have decided to stay with the fz3 and purchase a monopod to steady the camera for those shots that call for the megazoom. I think that, for what I paid, it is probably all-in-all just what I need, unless I spend the $$ on sn SLR, which is not even where I want to go. I took some test shots with the camera on a tripod and they came out great! No blurr at all.



Thanks again!
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Old Feb 4, 2005, 10:37 AM   #10
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cheermom wrote:
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Thanks for all of your replys......After holding the Minolta and realizing that at 12x zoom, any shake at all will ruin the pic, I have decided to stay with the fz3 and purchase a monopod to steady the camera for those shots that call for the megazoom. I think that, for what I paid, it is probably all-in-all just what I need, unless I spend the $$ on sn SLR, which is not even where I want to go. I took some test shots with the camera on a tripod and they came out great! No blurr at all.



Thanks again!
Also try increasing the ISO by a little bit and then try reducing the noise using some noise removal software. That may help a bit...but I'm not sure if you want to do all that extra stuff...
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