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Old Mar 5, 2005, 3:42 AM   #1
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I am torn between the canonS1 and the Panasonic FZ3. Anyone got any ideas?


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Old Mar 5, 2005, 6:20 AM   #2
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I have the S1 and love it. I understand they are both good camera's with similar capabilities. 10 X zoom image stabilized good manual controls and so on. I went with the Canon because I had a boatload of compact flash memory already on hand and I liked some of its features. The FZ3 uses SD??? or XD??? The Canonalso apparently also has a much better video than the FZ3, but I haven't played with that very much.

One thing I do like is the flexible LCD on the Canon. I know I was in a group of people at a park for Bears outside of Yellowstone and was able to twist that LCD so I could see it from below and I put it over my head and got a very good shot over a fence that got the bear's full face when everyone else was getting half a face and a fence. That was one example.

The three picture bracketing is very nice. It takes three at different settings and you pick the best and erase the rest. The auto setting is good for the point and shooter and you can do just about as much as you would want with the manual settings.

And as for the 3 megapixels being a problem (on either) well, I dropped down from 4 megapixel camera to the 3 and was just fine with it. I got over the MEGA pixel syndrome early and found I didn't need them. I don't do anything bigger than a 5X7 and I did an 8x10 that still looked good. Four megapixels would be nice though. I guess I am still suffering a little from MEGApixel syndrome. I can't help myself.

I think both camera's are getting a little long in the tooth (by the standards of the constantly moving market) but hey that means getting an extremelygreat camera cheap is my take. I wanted the features of the S1 and that zoom over megapixels and got them in a very nice package. If you do any diving, I hear the S1 has a fantastic waterproof housing available also.

Low light pics are a little tough, I hear the FZ might have the edge there, barely, but there are fixes, you can find right here and neither one has an assist lamp.

Good luck or wait for the replacements. The FZ sort of has em lined up right now already in numerical order (and pricing). I figure the new Canon will soon arrive. But count on at least a hundred to two hundred more (over present prices or even lower once the replacement is out) if you go there, and with the price dropping on digital SLR's, you now get into the situation where if you are spending 4 to 500or more on a camera that is not an SLR and may only have 4 or 5 megapixels, and you can get, for example, a digital rebel 300 (6 megapixels) with lens kit for $799 (American)well you gotta start thinking.

At the moment I have what I want. Long zoom ease of use and good pics. I can't complain and will keep eyeing the prices on the digital SLR's. I think if you shop around you can get below 300 now on an S1. Thatwould be a greatdeal on this good a camera.

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Old Mar 5, 2005, 11:49 AM   #3
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I had to make that decision a few months ago and I went with the S1 IS... but here is how it works out...

If you care about movie mode, the S1 IS is better... otherwise, the FZ3 is better...

So if you don't caer about movie mode, you should go with the FZ3... you should also wait a few months (say 1 or 2 months) and see what happens when 2005 ultra-zooms like the Pansonic FZ4, FZ5, and the Sony H1 are released. Those may be better deals or at worst, I expect the prices of the 2004 models to drop...
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Old Mar 5, 2005, 1:08 PM   #4
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I've been using my friends S1 IS for the last month. It's great. Don't underestimate the value of the twistable LCD--really a great feature. I've taken some great no-flash indoor pics (using natural light from the window) and have been impressed by the picture quality. Movie mode is also excellent. I've heard people say that for overall pic quality, the panasonics make more sense--in fact, they do have a 2.8 lens throughout the zoom--but as I said, I have not wished for anything better than what I've gotten out of the S1 IS.

Bottom line--these are both great cameras--it comes down to variable lcd vs fixed, AA Nimh batteries vs proprietary, and the panasonic has a bit extra zoom. I don't think you can go wrong with either one--I would check both of them out at the store and see which feels better. Also, as other posters mentioned, sony is coming out with a new one H1--and a S1 IS is likely not too far away albeit likely to be signficantly more expensive--in addition to the new panasonics.

Good luck!
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