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Old Jul 15, 2005, 11:59 AM   #1
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Hoping to have new camera before a scheduled deep sea fishing trip in two weeks.... but struggling with the decision on which one to get.

I currently have an Olympus C-730 3.2 megapixel CCD 10x optical zoom

I am 95% happy with this camera. I'd just really like to upgrade to a higher MP etc and my poor cam has taken a beating over the past couple of years (latches to hold flaps shut are broke..nicks and scratches etc).

Currently sitting in my shopping cart are the following:

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Olympus C-8080 8MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Wide Zoom
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Why don't they have 10X Optical zoom anymore?

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Nikon Coolpix 8800 8MP Digital Camera with 10x Vibration Reduction Optical Zoom Lens
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Canon PowerShot Pro 1 8MP Digital Camera with 7x Optical Zoom
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I am EXTREMELY pleased with what I've seen on the reviews here and elsewhere for the Nikon Coolpix 8800 but also concerned about my amateur (and that's bragging!) skills.

I take a LOT of pictures every day... usually in "Auto Mode" and always for personal enjoyment..sharing online with family/friends etc and occasionally having some printed up on coffee cups or cards ...

I LOVE taking "macro" shots... close-ups of flowers, bugs, water drops etc...and take a LOT of outdoor shots.... around the ponds, turtles, birds, trees etc...

I'm willing to learn...but I'm a slow learner :?

For video I have the Canon GL2 Digital Camera so I am not as concerned about the quality of video shots or sound. It's nice to have the feature in the digi cam but certainly not required since my GL2 handles the majority of my needs in that area.

Have I missed a camera I should be considering? If not... of the three above, which would you recommend most for someone who wants some features to learn/grow/expand with but at the same time NEEDS good "automatic let the camera decide" settings.

I do not take many "normal" shots. I'm usually dependent on ZOOM (closeup of turtle or bird in the distance) or MACRO face stuck in flower or camera stuck in dog's face type shots :blah:

Any advise for someone in the mood to shop now for the camera that will take me where I need to be over the next couple of years and that will do well outdoors on that deep sea fishing trip right around the corner?

Of note -- I will need to get a card for maximum storage and battery life helps a ton again since most of the pics are done away from plugs.

Pics like the one I attached to this post are the type of pics I enjoy taking most. (cute little guy on a good hair day :bye

Thanks for any advice!


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Old Jul 15, 2005, 2:43 PM   #2
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A few comments, based on your stated requirments....

Nikon 8800 -- slow lens, and much too expensive for a fixed-lens camera. For about $10 more, you can mail-order a new Pentax *istDS w/kit lens, which would provide a huge increase in flexibility for what you want to do. Get a Pentax and decent zoom lens, and you can shoot at ISO's that obviate the need for IS. You can also get a Panasonic FZ20 for less money, but have a faster lens with more zoom, and have IS as well. I just can't see spending that much money for a fixed-lens.

Oly 8080 -- a great camera (I would love to have one), but why would someone whoneeds zoom and macrowant a camera with a wide-angle zoom that only goes to 5 or 6x? An ultra-zoom such as an FZ20 will get you your tele nature shots, and can also do very good macro, especially with the addition of conversion lenses.

Pro1 -- probably a better choice than the Oly for your case, as it has more zoom and a close macro. A bit pricey though, averaging close to $600. If 7x is enough for you, then it would be a good choice. For less money, you can get a Minolta A200, which is 8mp/7x w/IS. It's macro mode doesn't focus as close as the Pro1, so you would have to decide if having IS is worth having to add close-up lenses.

Do read the reviews for the Panasonic FZ20 before you decide. This will give you more zoom for your animal shots, and will give you great macro shots, especially if you add close-up lenses (check the Panny forum for examples). You can get one for less money that any of your three choices. I personally wouldn't spend more than $500 on a fixed-lens camera. Read the reviews for the Pentax as well, as it will fulfill your requirements better than all the rest. It does have an auto setting, which you can use until you learn how to use the advanced features.

PhilR.
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Old Jul 15, 2005, 2:44 PM   #3
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(thinking out loud)

If I read much longer I think I'll end up back on the old 110 Kodak...take the film to be developed and wait a week for it type camera lol.

In the end I'm really leaning toward the
Olympus C-8080 8MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Wide Zoom

I'm just afraid I'm missing something. I'm happy with my existing Olympus for the most part so hopefully an upgrade will turn out to be a good thing. I'm just nervous about the loss of optical zoom (from 10x to 5x yikes!) but impressed by the macro and extra MP quality.

I'm also starting to wonder if I really need 8MP.... I sure do like the quality... but I could go 5MP and improve my zoom with the Sony Cybershot DSCH1.5 MP 12x 'Steady Shot' zoom or the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5 5MP 12X Image Stabilized Optical Zoom. Both of these appear to be able to handle the "macro shots" I so adore as well. Thoughts on them?

Gahhhhh what to do? :angry:

I wish I had some of your pro brains right now!
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Old Jul 15, 2005, 2:45 PM   #4
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ooppsss must have been posting while PhilR. was.... note...reading that post now...not ignoring
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Old Jul 15, 2005, 3:11 PM   #5
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Ok thanks for the feedback. Good points!

The Pentax doesn't appear to have the increased zoom power though..unless I'm reading about the wrong one?

How about what I noted above...

"I'm also starting to wonder if I really need 8MP.... I sure do like the quality... but I could go 5MP and improve my zoom with the Sony Cybershot DSCH1.5 MP 12x 'Steady Shot' zoom or the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5 5MP 12X Image Stabilized Optical Zoom. Both of these appear to be able to handle the "macro shots" I so adore as well. Thoughts on them?"

I'm a bit fearful of adding lenses... back to that amateur problem and needing to "pick up and shoot" w/o much thought. Changing (losing) lenses scares me...

The above two cams both give me about 2 more MP than I have now, plus 2X more optical zoom along with the stabalizer which sounds kind of nice. Both are on Amazon right now for $450 ($2.00 difference when looking at them down to the penny). Are they comparable to your suggestions/thoughts?

It's not like I'm asking for much... just a perfect shot every time whether close or far no matter the lighting or the weather or the skills of the person pushing the button *GRIN*


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Old Jul 15, 2005, 4:19 PM   #6
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I keep changing my mind.... because I think I just decided to buy a camera that's not on my list lol

Canon Powershot S2 IS 5MP Digital Camera with 12x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom

Unless someone says "no, wait..that's not what you think it is"... I think I'm going to buy it ?
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Old Jul 15, 2005, 6:14 PM   #7
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I just got the FZ5 at beach camera. I ordered it last sunday, received the tracking number that night,and the camera arrived yesterday afternoon!!!! It was $399. I took about 50 pictures last night. I still have lots of learning left to do, but am VERY impressed!!!!
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Old Jul 15, 2005, 6:45 PM   #8
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Picolio

just my two cents, for a good point and shoot camera that's about as close to to an slr camera is the new FZ20...it's 5mp, but very very nice. 12x zoom.

don't know much about the powershot. the review looks good on it. i have the fz10, last years model of the fz20 of course, and it's an amazing camera...plus they've made improvements on it as well.

good luck w/ your purchase
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