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Old Apr 6, 2005, 10:05 AM   #1
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Looking for the best camera possible to take pictures of my fast moving toddler both indoors and out. (I would also like to be capable of taking portrait-style pictures a few times of year and enlarging them.)

Image quality is my #1 priority.

Speedy performance a close second (lots of pics of back of daughter's head ...etc.)

I want to spend less than $600 total (less would be even better.)

Right now I'm considering the Panasonic FZ-20. Any feedback on that for this use?

Any other suggestions for my intended uses?

Thanks so much!
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Old Apr 6, 2005, 12:41 PM   #2
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MistyR75 wrote:
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Looking for the best camera possible

Do you really mean the best camera possible, or the best camera you can get for under $600?

If image quality is truely your biggest consideration, then I could see why you would want the best camera possible. There would be no doubt that you would want to look at a dslr. They would allow you to get the needed shutter speeds at lower light levels when taking pics of moving objects, and they would also have image quality better than what you would get with an FZ20.

If you just want a fixed-lens camera, then just about any of them can take pics of toddlers. You just have to be mindful of their limitations in lower light levels. If this isn't a big deal for you, then an FZ20 would be one good choice out of many. Although I think it is bigger and heavier than what I would be willing to put up with in a fixed-lens cam, it does have numerous features that many cameras don't have, including that great zoom lens that can be focused manually by turning the lens barrel.

I would also say that "speedy performance" and mega-zoom cams such as the FZ20 doesn't go together. Since there is no perfect, or "best" fixed-lens camera, you would have to decide on what features are most important. If you want image quality, then look at the Canon G6. If you want speedy, then look at the Sony's, or perhaps the Minolta "G" series. If you want big zoom, then you would do well to consider the various FZ series cameras from Panasonic. If you want big zoom and good movie mode, then look at the Canon S1 IS or the Minolta Z3.

PhilR.
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Old Apr 6, 2005, 2:40 PM   #3
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PhilR. wrote:
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Do you really mean the best camera possible, or the best camera you can get for under $600?

If image quality is truely your biggest consideration, then I could see why you would want the best camera possible. There would be no doubt that you would want to look at a dslr.
Good point. I have considered a drebel, but I'm VERY new to photography and I just don't know if I'm ready for a SLR. Still considering it though.

Also considering the Olympus c8080 (much more costly than the FZ20 though). I realize that for the price I may as well get the rebel. Is the image quality THAT much better in a low-end dslr? (is it worth having to buy all different lenses, carry them around, etc.?)

Thank you so much for reading my post, and for the helpful information!:-)


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Old Apr 6, 2005, 4:38 PM   #4
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Hi, I used to own Sony DSC-S70 3.3 meg camera but after my second daugther was born wanted to go up to DSLR, bought the first model silver body Canon reble and it was the best buy ever.

It takes great pictures and compared to the Sony the colors are so much more real life it is amazing. Even all my other friends who own fixed lens small portable digital cameras comment how nice the pics are from the canon (they nearly all say they wish they could own one, it'is so nice).

If you are going to spend $600 on a fixed lens, I would definitely go one step further and get the latest Canon rebel, the speed improvements plus 8 meg compared to 6 will make all the difference, if you get that one off pic and want to print large size for all to see, the 8 meg will give you a bigger printable size.

Myself, I'm a novice when it comes to SLR cameras, but the rebel is very very easy to use, and after ready the manual and many practice shots I now mostly do manual settings, while the wife still just uses the auto function. Even my 4 year old daughter was able to hold and shoot away, yes, okay maybe the pics were a little off que, but its as simple as pressing the button.

If you are like my wife and I you will want to take loads of pics of your toddler, in just on a year, we have managed to snap over 6000 times. And the great thing is you then choose the best and print those or do what ever.

Speed, image quality, I would go for Canon rebel, if you are still thinking fixed lens, I will be buying my 3rd small compact after my 2nd Sony T was not as good as I expected. I have done much reading and checking with store salemen and this time would recommend Fuji FinePix F10 http://www.dcviews.com/press/Fuji-F10.htm or http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/spec...finepixf10.aspboth these sites will inform you more. As for the rebel I just found this http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos350d/ The FinePix will give you very close colors to DSLR cameras. I haven't yet bought and cannot say how it will compare to the Canon, but everything on paper and checking the stores make me believe it will be the one.

Hope this has helped.
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Old Apr 6, 2005, 5:58 PM   #5
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MistyR75 wrote:
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Good point. I have considered a drebel, but I'm VERY new to photography and I just don't know if I'm ready for a SLR.
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Why would it matter if you are or are not ready? Unless there is a cost issue, one just has to make a decision as to whether or not the want that level of image quality. Either you do, or you don't, and that type of decision is independant of your level of photography knowledge. If you are worried about using one - just put it on auto and fire away, and then learn about the other features as you have time.
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(is it worth having to buy all different lenses, carry them around, etc.?)
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Only you can make a decide if it is worth it. Personally, I don't care to lug that stuff around, which is why I didn't replace my 35mm slr after the wifey broke it. I use an FZ Panny, and I do well with it since I know it's limitations. I think that you will have to make a decision based on a compromise of some type. You can compromise your budget and get the camera that will fulfill your desire of image quality and speedy operation, or you can compromise your requirements and stay within your budget.
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Old Apr 6, 2005, 7:38 PM   #6
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scottjapan wrote:
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It takes great pictures and compared to the Sony the colors are so much more real life it is amazing.

Is this with or without post-processing? (I just don't have a lot of timeto spend onthat, although I think it would be fun to learn.)

Thanks for all ofthe info......very helpful.:-)
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Old Apr 6, 2005, 8:03 PM   #7
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How about the new Fuji Finepix F10? It has only 3X optical zoom, but is supposed to have a short shutter lag and decent low light performance.Six megapixels at all ISO's. It runs about $350 online.

The FZ-20 is supposed to be great ultra zoom camera, but ultra zooms are usually not the best at low light pictures.
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Old Apr 6, 2005, 10:49 PM   #8
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robbo wrote:
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The FZ-20 is supposed to be great ultra zoom camera, but ultra zooms are usually not the best at low light pictures.
Given that the FZ20 is f/2.8, and that just about every other fixed-lens camera out there is f/2.8 or greater, then one would have to say that if the 20 is not the best at low light pics, then most every other camera would not be the best either, regardless of zoom size. I think that lens speed and ISO have more to do with low light ability, rather than zoom size. IOW, a 3x Canon A85 at 3x will force you to use a slower shutter speed than will an FZ20 at 12x (using equal ISO).

Actually, the FZ20, like many other digicams, can take very good pics in low light levels. Just don't expect a lot of shutter speed to go along with it....

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Old Apr 6, 2005, 10:56 PM   #9
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The FZ-20 is supposed to be great ultra zoom camera, but ultra zooms are usually not the best at low light pictures.
What do you base that on? The FZ20 maintains f2.8 throughout its zoom range. The stabilization is good for at least 2 f-stops, letting you take a handheld shot in ΒΌ the light at all zoom ranges. It is overall one of the better low light cameras on the market.

There are a limited number with f2 or f1.8 like the Canon G series or the Oly 5050, but they aren't quite as fast as the FZ20 once you zoom them out.

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Old Apr 7, 2005, 3:39 AM   #10
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OK, OK. I concede. The FZ-20's combination of stabilization and fast lens make it a pretty good candidate for pictures indoors or out. It's maybe a bigger camera than I would want to carry around while trailing a small child's rapid moviements, but everybody is different. Some people won't mind.

Here's what I was thinking. The ultra zoom cameras usually have smaller sensors. -The FZ-20's sensor is 1/2.5. The Fuji F-10's is 1/1.7. Yes, the expensive zooms (The A200, the Nikon 8800, are different. They have big sensors. Everything else being equal, smaller sensors mean more noise at higher ISO's. Yes, the stabilization and fast lens make it possible to get away with using lower ISO's.

However, unless Misty's toddler is super fast, a big zoom is probably not necessary.

The F-10 has a a lens almost as fast at wide angle (though no stabilization). It also has a very short shutter lag and pretty good image quality at higher ISO's (from the pictures I have seen). The highest ISO is 1600.It's small enough to stick in your pocket.

So, yes, the FZ-20 could fit the bill. However, I would want a smaller camera if I were taking pictures of fast moving kids around the house. If I were going to get an ultra zoom, I would probably get the FZ-5 instead.

Anyway, you made some good points. I stand (sit) corrected.


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