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Old Feb 23, 2005, 4:36 PM   #1
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I've been reading on these forums some things that have been said about the Z3 and it's not very encouraging, as this was the camera I had practically set myself on buying with my tax $$ in two days. I checked it out in the store and I was blown away by it compared to my current camera (JVC GC-A70) but am discouraged by many posts here. So I will ask this, as this forum says...should I buy this camera? I am a total newb at "real" cameras and want to learn about fstops and apertures after having a locked setting P&S for so long.

Is there a camera I should be thinking of instead? My main concern is I want one that uses AA batteries. I'm willing to buy a new card format (mine uses SD and I'd prefer taht of course) but I will not pay $50 or more for a proprietary L-Ion battery. This camera is going to break my budget and I cannot afford to make a bad choice to be honest with you. I really want the 12x zoom but will settle for 10x as I like getting shots of birds and trying to get close with no zoom is a joke. I will consider a lower optical zoom if the camera is spectacular. Max spending with new 512MB card is $600

My current camera:

one of my best pics with it (a peacock):


edit: I'm looking at the Canon S1 as an alternate. Megapixels dont' mean much to me as I don't print at all. Would this be a better alternative? I've seen some sweet photos with a Canon but I'd like the forum's opinion.
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Old Feb 23, 2005, 7:56 PM   #2
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KM announced a new one.. Z5... so it's worth looking at that...

I like the Canon S1 IS over the Z3 (and I bought the S1 IS instead of Z3)... One reason the S1 IS is better than Z3 is because it has brighter lens (max aperature of f3.1 at max zoom on the Canon)... THe Konica Minolta and the Canon are best if you care about video...

Having said that, the best ultra-zoom (if you don't care about video) is the Panasonic Lumix line (eg. Panasonic FZ3/FZ15/FZ20, or the newly announced FZ4 and FZ5). I'm not sure about the new models but of the 2004 models, the FZ3 or FZ15 is the closest to the KM Z3. The Panasonic FZ3 and the older ones (supposedly the newer ones aren't the same) are better because they have a brighter lens (can keep aperature at F2.8 thoughout zoom).

So if I didn't care about video, I would look at something like Panasonic FZ3...
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Old Feb 23, 2005, 8:56 PM   #3
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If you do care about video, another choice is the Fuji S5100. No stabilization, and "just" 10X optical zoom with some complaints about slight vignetting. However, overall, the people who get it are happy with it.

It does use AA's. It has a very good video mode. It has lots of manual options.

The best thing about is its price. You can get it online (I recommend www.buydig.com) for less than $270 delivered. I bought a 512 Meg xD card for less than $65 from newegg.

Anyway, I think it's work a look.

Good luck!
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Old Feb 23, 2005, 9:50 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies guys...I'm looking at the S5100 and the S1 IS now. I'm most concerned with overall image quality in all modes. I really don't care about looks and I'm used to a hard to use camera after my JVC.

Of the 3 cameras in this thread, what would the members go with? Or perhaps recommend a 4th camera? 3 or 4 MP is fine as I most likely will never need to make prints.

quick question: Are HP or Kodak cameras worth considering over the models above? I've heard disparaing things about HP and Kodaks but especially HP. I played with a Kodak with 10x zoom and was impressed but of I'd like a second or 5th opinion. Thanks to all in advance.
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Old Feb 24, 2005, 8:49 AM   #5
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I found less noise in pics,& video, sharper pics, and faster,easier, focusing, and faster shooting groups,in lowlight,with theFugi S5100, ascompared to theCanon S1. The Image Stabilization feature didn't impress me as much as I thought, plus you have unlimited video, it depends on the XD card size you use,So the Canon went back. But, The S1 offers zoom in the video, the decent videosound quality, appeared just as good on both cameras.Conclusion, if alot of your shooting is indoors, the Fugi is hard to beat, by any camera in it's class!,,, Good Luck, Mike
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