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Old Feb 18, 2005, 1:45 PM   #1
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I found Steve's list of Best Cams here: http://www.steves-digicams.com/best_cameras.htmlbut it says at the top that the lists are not in order of preference.

So in the 10-12X Optical "Super" Zoom section, what IS the order of preference?

I had a Canon S1 IS and need to buy a new cam now in the same family, which ones are better?

Here's the list:

Panasonic DMC-FZ20
Nikon Coolpix 8800
Fujifilm Finepix S5100
Olympus C-765UZ
Canon Powershot S1 IS
Panasonic DMC-FZ15
Kodak EasyShare DX7590
Kyocera Finecam M410R
Panasonic DMC-FZ3
Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z2
Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z10

Can anyone help? Granted that the list is partly subjective and based on how you'll use the camera, but surely there are better choices than others in this list?

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Old Feb 18, 2005, 2:27 PM   #2
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The FZ10 has a lot to offer. Stabilized 12X zoom that maintains f2.8 all the way to 12X. The only downside to the camera is that the viewfinder and LCD don't brighten in low light making it difficult to frame sometimes. It focuses well in low light with an illuminator and has a very strong flash. The physical controls are very limited and you have to go through the menu for almost everything, but that isn't too bad with the EVF.

The 8800 slows to f5.2 at full zoom losing some of the advantage of the stabilization. Not as good for action shots in zoom for that reason. It has full controls and a raw mode which I really like. It is also 8Mp if you have a wide format printer or want to have something blown up for your wall. There are some focus problems but the owners seem to really like the camera.

The FZ15 doesn't have a hot shoe and the flash is adequate but not as strong as the FZ20. But it has the same great 12 stabilized lens that maintains f2.8.

You already know more than I do about the S1.

I don't see any point in getting a long zoom these days without stabilization unless you are looking for something ultra-compact for a 10X zoom like the Oly 765. You failed to mention the KM Z3. It slows to f4.5 at full zoom but is more compact than the FZ15.

I don't think there is a "best" or even "best for the price". I would pick the FZ20 of the cameras in your list, but it isn't perfect. I have a wide format printer and 5Mp is marginal for me. If you don't need the pixels or hot shoe the FZ3 is easier to tote around. They have two new versions in that size with higher capacity sensors but I haven't read any reviews – I would imagine the noise is a bit high.

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Old Feb 18, 2005, 2:59 PM   #3
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What's the best ultrazoom for low noise at high ISOs, highest figure of merit, fastest shutter speeds in low light (and longest depth of field so I have a margin of error for focusing)??

I have the Canon S1 IS, and it's too noisy and the shutter speeds are too slow in low light, AND the camera is a bit big. (And I can't resolve enough detail and fill the frame enough with far away small objects.)
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Old Feb 18, 2005, 6:23 PM   #4
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If you ignore video, the best one is the Panasonic FZ20. You won't find any other ultra-zoom with f2.8 (throughout) aperature and image stabilization...
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