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Old Jun 21, 2005, 10:15 AM   #1
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Hi, I currently own a Fujifilm A202 camera, and am looking to upgrade. The biggest problems with this camera is crappy night photo's and no zoom.

I regulary take night photo's, and would like to be able to do so without a flash. Mostly of people. The quality does not need to be great, just reasonably noise free, and definitely no blurring. So I would think that I need a camera with adjustable aperature and shutter speed. Being able to photograph city lights, the moon, etc is also important.

Zoom : the bigger the better.

I also would like to take photo's of landscapes regulary. I dont have any experience with lenses and such, but I take it I need a wide lens or something to effectively capture landscapes. Would a stitching feature like those found on cannon cameras be a good substitute?

I was looking at the Panasonic FZ5. I also see cannon released the s2 recently, except I dont think it's available in South Africa yet. I dont realy want to spend more than the FZ5, but sometimes the extra money is worth it. I will probably not have enough money for a while, so maybe the S2 will be available here by then.

One thing I enjoy about my simple camera is that you dont have to focus at all. The mountains 20 km away is just as in focus as the guy 2m in front of me. Will this still be possible with the better (thus more complicated) cameras mentioned above? No use buying a better camera, only to take worse pictures.

Any advice? Will the FZ5 and S2 suit my needs? If not, are there any non-fiendishly-expensive cameras that will?
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Old Jun 21, 2005, 11:01 AM   #2
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Yes the stitching does give a wide angle capability. I use it often on my C50 because the panorama mode locks the exposure with the first shot and the software identifies the panoramas in order for quick stitching. With no exposures to equalize the stitching is very fast and requires very little overlap.

With my Panasonic the process is a little more laborious but it isn't bad. I made the mistake of assuming all panorama modes were similar and was very disappointed that the Pentax panorama mode is almost useless. It doesn't lock the exposures so you have to use very time consuming stitching software that requires more overlap. The upshot is that it takes 3 shots with the camera held vertically rather than 2, and the stitching time is a nuisance.

I would think Canon would do a better job with their panorama mode than Pentax.

"Night" is a relative term. There isn't a camera that will let you handhold without a flash for night photography. Stabilization at wide angle gives very good available light capability with decent indoor lighting though.

Fuji could blow everyone out of the water with their new Super CCD if they put it in a stabilized camera with a viewfinder. Currently it is only available in a point and shoot with no eyelevel viewfinder. The unsteady hold uses up some of the ISO capability and panoramas would be a challenge with no panorama mode and no manual exposure.

I happened to have these online from another discussion. The first is a 38mm shot (its widest setting) from my C50. The second is a stitch of two 38mm shots taken with the camera held vertically. Not only is it about 27mm but is also 8.5Mp.

38mm


38mm X 2


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Old Jun 23, 2005, 1:18 AM   #3
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So Panasonic also has a panorama assist mode? What is it called?
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