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Old Jun 20, 2005, 3:35 PM   #1
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Dear Forum

Being no longer in the first flush of youth, I think image stabilization might be the most important feature of a digital camera for me. But I've never found any ratings of this feature, nothing to say how well it works when the shutter is fired while the camera is shaking, and whether some camera mdels do a better job than others.

Does this website group cameras by feature? How can I compile a list of cameras which provide IS? Then all I would have to do would be to figure out which of them is best in other respects. Simple, eh?

Suggestions appreciated.

Thank you

FrankkM

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Old Jun 20, 2005, 3:46 PM   #2
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Use the "buyer's guide", type in "image stabilization", read the reviews for what comes up.

PhilR.
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Old Jun 20, 2005, 3:51 PM   #3
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FrankkM

Image stablization is important if your hands are not steady, in low light conditions when the shutter speeds may be longer, or you do not have something to stady the camera on (ie tripod or monopod). IS can not compensate for subject movement. If you are trying to take pictures of a football game while the players are running then IS will not help.


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Old Jun 20, 2005, 4:09 PM   #4
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I would guess they all do their job well, I have not seen any complaints on their performance in the reviews
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 6:36 AM   #5
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Frank

I too am looking and shopping for my first dig camera. I have learned that with a higher than the standard 3x optical zoom lens "Optical Image Stabilization" is very important.

I am a casual photgrapher taking photos of my hunting, fishing, outdoors stuff, etc. in brite light and low light at distances greater than the usual around the house type photo. I wanted a camera that would do all well. A higher powered optical lens appeared to bea necessity. After more discussion I learned that using the camera freehand with the higher powered optical lens, IS would be required for good clear photos.Carrying a bi-pod or similar around with me is out of the question so buying a camera with IS is now a priority. This jumps the price up considerably.

It seems that dig camera technology has not been perfected yet. These are nothing more than computers connected to a lens. They will continually be improved and refined as time goes on and the price will hopefully drop. Not sure what I am going to buy or when but it will likely have to have IS.

Dave


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Old Jun 22, 2005, 7:29 AM   #6
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Cameras with image stabilisation (these are NOT in order of recommendation):
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3 (12x optical zoom)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4 (12x optical zoom)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5 (12x optical zoom)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ10 (12x optical zoom)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ15 (12x optical zoom)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 (12x optical zoom)
Konica Minolta Dimage Z3 (12x optical zoom)
Konica Minolta Dimage Z5 (12x optical zoom)
Sony Cybershot DSC-H1 (12x optical zoom)
Konica Minolta Dimage A2 (7x optical zoom)
Canon Powershot S1 IS (10x optical zoom)
Canon Powershot S2 IS (12x optical zoom)
Nikon Coolpix 8800 (10x optical zoom)

There are probably more out there with IS, so I advise the use of at least one buyers guide (this site has one, as does http://www.imaging-resource.com and other websites. Go to the homepage of this site, click on Digicam-related sites and click Digicam sites to get a list of websites).
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 12:26 PM   #7
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Panasonic makes 3 more stabilized small cameras:
LZ1 – 4Mp 6X zoom
LZ2 – 5Mp 6X zoom
FX7 – 5Mp 3X zoom

They are all point and shoot with no eyelevel viewfinder. There might be some photo enthusiasts at Panasonic. If there are they are being overruled by the bean counters. Someone seems to have discovered that you can make a camera much cheaper if you don't have to fool with zooming optics in the viewfinder. And why try to please the enthusiasts when most of the buyers just want to aim and shoot?

Simon in his dpreview conclusions said the FX7 would be unusable in anything but the brightest light due to camera shake if it weren't for the stabilization. That is true of the other two as well – the stabilization just about makes up for the unsteady hold without an eyelevel viewfinder.

In the 12X category Steve seems to think the Sony H1 and Canon S2 are the cameras of choice if you read his conclusions in the S2 review. But the FZ20 has a hot shoe and is a half stop faster at full zoom. The hot shoe is somewhat offset by the really dumb "feature" Panasonic added that makes it almost impossible to frame an external flash shot in low light. Panasonic is also way behind in the movie mode. I know it isn't a movie camera, but with a 12X stabilized lens it would be nice to be able to take decent movies.

The bean counters at Canon seem to have had their say as well. It comes with only alkaline batteries and you have to buy a charger and batteries. You would also have to buy a lens hood – with that much glass you really need one. A lens hood can't be super effective with that zoom range, but even a less than perfect one has an effect.

The Nikon 8800 has a large 8Mp sensor, but it slows over 2 f-stops at full zoom. That just about negates the advantage of stabilization. It has a raw format, but the cycle times are too slow for it to be useful in anything but static situations.

The KM A200 is in a class of its own. Except for nature photography I think a wide angle is more useful than a long telephoto for everyday photography. The manual zoom ring is great. It buffers raw shots making it a practical format and Adobe RGB is nice. It would be my choice as an all-round stabilized camera if I were going to have only one camera and it didn't have to fit in my pocket. It can't compete with the 12X stabilized zooms for nature photography though.

Stabilization is great at wider angles as well as for telephoto shots. Some people claim to be able to handhold down to 1/4 second at wider angles. I need around 1/6 second. I don't know whether I am pickier with the results or just don't hold the camera as well. But it gives great available light capability.

I find the burst helps when you are shooting at really low shutter speeds. There are moments of null motion and the burst mode makes it more likely to hit one of those null moments. It is also great for getting that exact moment the pelican is hitting the water or the ball is striking the bat. The S2 and FZ series have excellent burst modes. The H1 isn't so great in that category.

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Old Jun 22, 2005, 6:03 PM   #8
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Here is a page that might help you out. I typed in Image Stabilizaion and sorted it by product rating.

http://resellerratings.shopping.com/...ion~S-214~OR-1



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13 years old with a Canon Digital Rebel (300D for the  slower mind), 28-80mm Canon Lens, and Sigma 70-300mm Lens on the way!
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Old Jun 23, 2005, 7:05 AM   #9
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Some of the technical terms that have been mentioned here are well over my head but I am sure they are important to the novice as well as the pro user.

I am not sure what to buy. In my inexperienced opinion, I think with a good zoom lens camera, ISis absolutely necessary therefore I am narrowing my search to those.

Have read some good reports and reviews about Cannon's S1 and S2 cameras. The problem for me is they are priceyand maybe are more camera than I need. The problem with the reviews are some say good and some say bad about every camera I have read about so what is one to do. Very frustrating when trying to research and make an intelligent decision.

Still thinking.

Dave
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Old Jun 23, 2005, 8:56 AM   #10
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Geeek204, I know as well as you do the Digital Rebel is the same as the 300D, but do keep in mind that the name Digital Rebel is used in North America, whilest the 300D is the name used in Europe. That does not mean that we Europeans have slower minds.

Dave, at www.dpreview you can find a glossary of camera jargon. The glossary is divided into four groups: Camera System, Digital Imaging, Exposure, and Optical. At www.imaging-resource.com you can find the heading "Tutorials" on the left of the homepage, with four links under it. Maybe those links can help you out.
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