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Old May 21, 2005, 2:13 AM   #11
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i agree with Carskick, you will be better suited with a superzoom.. as he says it is just an interpolated 6mp image.. and with interpolation comes noise/artifacts, etc.. i would much rather have a nice clean 5 mp image from which to crop from than a noisy image that i can't manipulate... in general, no matter how good of idea they seem to have, stay away from the digital zoom..
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Old May 21, 2005, 3:36 AM   #12
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Regarding the batteries. 30 dollers seems a lot to me. I've just looked on Ebay (US) and there's new ones going for 11.99 dollars. Quite a few people have bought (including myself) cheaper ones and had no problems at all with them.

As regards losing the charger. Well, what can i say? the same can be said for anything.

On the Pana forum at the moment is a guy that has taken some superb shots in the Rockies. Why not ask him how he got along with the low temperatures?

Yes there is an advantage with AA batteries that you can go anywhere and get them. It is one thing that intially put me off the FZ 20, then when I looked into it , I realised it really wasn't that big a deal - especially when you look at the superb results the camera can produce - like the rockies pictures.

Woody
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Old May 21, 2005, 11:45 AM   #13
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"i agree with Carskick, you will be better suited with a superzoom.. as he says it is just an interpolated 6mp image.. and with interpolation comes noise/artifacts, etc.. i would much rather have a nice clean 5 mp image from which to crop from than a noisy image that i can't manipulate... in general, no matter how good of idea they seem to have, stay away from the digital zoom.."







actually the e550 has MUCH less noise than the FZ5, Z5, and likely the Canon S2. And the digital zoom on that camera is recommended by Steve himself on this very website. There is no quality loss except resolution. Also keep in mind the e550 is a better landscape shooter than the superzooms because it also has a wider lense. I feel the e550 is a credible alternative to the super zooms for outdoor photogrpahy. Alot of people I have spoken with have started grabbing their e550 more often than their Fz15's and 20's because of AA batteries and low noise.

Im waiting on the S2 to make my decisions, but I just may grab the e550. its noise levels simply blow away the other cameras.
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Old May 21, 2005, 11:47 AM   #14
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"Montana500, you say you don't lose resolution with the e550's digital zoom, but remember, in digital zoom mode, it uses a 12MP picture as it's basis and crops it. The 12MP is just an interpolated 6MP picture"







I said you do lose resolution, but not picture quality. You can still take low noise, clear photos at [email protected] 2mp, and 8x @ 2 MP, and [email protected] 6 mp.
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Old May 21, 2005, 12:07 PM   #15
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if you read the review carefully, you will see that the 550 does in fact have the usual softness/artifacts associated with interpolation. and the non-interpolated images suffer from compression problems.. so its not perfect... its good yes.. but no cropped version of a interpolated image, i.e. digital zoom image, will compete with an optical zoom of the same relative composition.. while the digital zoom may be useable, it is still not ideal, as an optical zoom is.. i am not at all saying the camera is not a great camera, because it is.. i am just saying it is just not a substitute for a longer zoom for shooting wildlife pictures, etc... is it better for landscapes, scenics? probably..
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Old May 21, 2005, 12:47 PM   #16
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Outdoorsy,

PhilR. had a couple of real good suggestions...consider a camera that uses AA's, and keep an extra set of Lithiums with you.

I don't know how cold you expect to get up on the mountains, but I've used my S5100 (also one of PhilR.'s suggestions) out in the snow...probably temps in the upper 20's or so, and had no problems with NiMH AA's.

the Hun
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Old May 21, 2005, 1:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
i am not at all saying the camera is not a great camera, because it is.. i am just saying it is just not a substitute for a longer zoom for shooting wildlife pictures, etc... is it better for landscapes, scenics? probably..
And there is the rub. I'd like to get good shots of both landscapes and wildlife. For me, it isn't realistic to get a DSLR for backpacking and have to mess around with lenses, weight, and timing. I'll check out the pictures on the Pana sight. I'm glad that you all have mentionedthe difference between landscapes and wildlife. I take more landscapes than wildlifes, only partly due to the fact that I've only hada 35mm.

I have read that digital zoom is not that great, but will read up on the E550. I think the FZ20 can have a wide angle attachment, but that is going to run in to money and additional weight. I can probably ask around on climbing sites and see if others have hadbattery problems since it does seem that it might be a concern.




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Old May 21, 2005, 1:57 PM   #18
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the fz-5 and fz-20 from panasonic give you an equivelnt of 36mm a the wide end and go all the way to 432... that should be a useable zoom range for both wildlife and landscapes.. for comparison the 550 gives you 32.5 at the wide, not a lot of difference there, and definately doesnt give you the reach, or the image stabilization...

why don't you check out the konica-minolta a200 as well... it boasts 28mm on the wide and 200 on the tele and offers image stabilization as well.. its 8mp, so it will cost you a bit more though...

enjoy, dustin
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Old May 21, 2005, 2:05 PM   #19
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Thanks much for the comparison information Hards80, I have a hard time sifting through all the technical information on the review sites. I'll take a look at the A200 but I suspect I might choke on the price. :lol:
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Old May 21, 2005, 2:59 PM   #20
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just a little bit more comparison that i forgot when i made the last post..

unless you think you are going to need an external flash mount.. the panasonic fz5 will serve you just as well as the fz-20 for 100 dollars less... if you want to save another 100 dollars and can live with 4 mp vs 5 mp, check out the fz-4, it is identical to the fz-5 except for resolution.. plus the fz-4 and fz-5 will be noticebly lighter and smaller than the fz-20..
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