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Old Jul 17, 2005, 10:54 AM   #1
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As so many others do I am asking advice about buying a camera. I am bitten by the bug for a long zoom camera. I do travel abroad some and this is the reason I would like a long zoom. Often I think how nice it would be to be able to get closer to the subject. I want one that does well in the long zoom and also one that could handle art galleries and museums that do not allow flash. Not sure I would take much for action shots. Do like to take pictures of architecture when overseas.

I currently have a Oly 2040 and have had it for 3 or 4 years. As my name implies I am not very experienced with cameras. I chose this one because it was an automatic that one could grow into. Well, I haven't taken it out of automatic much yet but I am going to work on it.LOL.

I think a 3 or 4MP would be enough because I don't really want to make anything larger than an 8x10. Most all of my pictures are 4x6. But if I happen to get something outstanding an 8x10 would be nice. Movie mode is not high on the list. I guess I would still like a camera that has some growth potential but I am pretty much an out of the box person. I have read enough to know that ISis an issue with the super zoom. I probably won't use a tripod when I travel and sightsee, too much of a hassle to lug it around.

I have seen some pretty reasonably priced ones in this range: Canon S1 IS about $250, Coolpix 4800 $215, Minolta Z1, this you can pick up really cheap, $160. These are prices from KEHCOM. While I would love a the Canon S2 I have a hard time justifying the cost of one in the league. I really don't need to get right away and wonder if the prices will drop some when some more in the S2 caliber come out in the fall. The Z1 is so cheap can you really go wrong? I am not hung up on one brand over another. I think they all have good cameras. I think the scene assist modes seem really nice on the 4800 but do they really work. This was really easy to understand. Th only thing that bothered me about it was the lens cover, it seems kind of fragile. I would like to be able to add a filter to protect the lens. I think that is important. I had to add an extention tube in order to do so on my Oly but feel better about dragging it around. Small is nice but image quality is important.

Any advice or suggestions of what I might look at would be really appreciated. I have read and compared but don't even know enough to know what applies to the kind of uses I am looking for. I appreciate all of you that are so willing to take the time to answer all of the questions for those like me that don't have much of a clue.
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Old Jul 17, 2005, 7:30 PM   #2
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Megazooms make all the sense in the world to me, that's why I bought one. Unfortunately, megazooms aren't necessarily the best cameras for low light, non-flash photography.

At any rate, to address the cameras you've listed, the Canon S1 IS is the best that you've listed. However, it doesn't have an AF assist lamp, so focusing in low light could be a problem.

The Nikon Coolpix 4800 has a 8.3X zoom, so therefore, I don't really consider it a megazoom. It also has zero manual controls, so forget about using it as a learning tool...of course, that may not matter to you.

The Minolta Z1 is OK, if you like the color purple. I say that because, many of the sample pics I've seen have suffered enormously from purple fringing. By the way, that price you quoted from KEH is for a used camera...stay away from that one!

I understand where you're coming from with the price restrictions, but in order to get what you're expecting from a camera, you may have to stretch the budget a bit. One camera which might suit your needs is the Fuji S5100...4 MP, 10X zoom, AA batteries, AF assist lamp, easy to use automatic mode, and full manual controls, should you feel the need to experiment some day.

Hope I've helped some - good luck with your search.

the Hun



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Old Jul 17, 2005, 8:40 PM   #3
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I have looked at that one and it is a possibility. I also saw some really good reviews for the Pan. DMC-FZ3. I am kink of leaning towards it at this point. The Oly 770 or 765 also look like a possibility. I found the DMC FZ3 for 259 from Broadway photo. It is supposed to be new with full warranty. Do people consider an extended warranty a good idea? Or do you figure if it is going to fail, it will do it in the first year?

Thanks for your help and I will check out the Fuji some more.
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Old Jul 17, 2005, 9:55 PM   #4
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Not a Clue-

Take a look at the Olympus C-765. It is very capable and price quite well right now.

Here is a sample photo.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 17, 2005, 9:58 PM   #5
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notaclue wrote:
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I have looked at that one and it is a possibility. I also saw some really good reviews for the Pan. DMC-FZ3. I am kink of leaning towards it at this point. The Oly 770 or 765 also look like a possibility. I found the DMC FZ3 for 259 from Broadway photo. It is supposed to be new with full warranty. Do people consider an extended warranty a good idea? Or do you figure if it is going to fail, it will do it in the first year?

Thanks for your help and I will check out the Fuji some more.
The FZ3 has all the mp's you need, along with manual exposure controls if you one day decide to learn how to use them. It's lens is one of the fastest you can get in the megazoom class, which will maximize your ability to shoot in lower light levels. It also has image stabilization technology, which will also help in lower light levels, or when shooting at the long end of the zoom. At $259, you can't go wrong...

PhilR.
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Old Jul 17, 2005, 10:44 PM   #6
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I had an Olympus 770 and decided to upgrade after 6 months due to lack of image stabiliser. I would never buy another long zoom camera without image stabiliser again. It's very hard to get a clean shot without IS at long zoom or in low light unless you're using a tripod.
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Old Jul 18, 2005, 2:23 PM   #7
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Don't buy from Broadway Photo!

Always go to resellerratings.com before buying (Broadway Photo and its many aliases are scam operations).

Having said that, if you can find an FZ3, I think it would be excellent for your purposes.

The only things that bother me are:

1) cumbersome operation in manual modes
2) noise (as in all ultrazooms)
3) bad skin tones, especially under flash lighting indoors (don't think it's a white balance issue, either)

Having said that, it's fabulous for almost anything else.

I consider IS to be immensely useful, on top of the fast lens on the FZ3.

Finally, don't let go of your 2040 too soon--with its fast lens, you might find that you might still prefer it for your gallery pics.
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Old Jul 18, 2005, 8:37 PM   #8
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I thought I had decided on the FZ3 and find the only place I can find it that is not listed as a refurbished unit is at Broadway Photo. I called them today and they said they were new units. Asked about return and they said 5% restock fee. Wish I knew if I could trust them and if I would be happy with the unit.

I do plan on keeping my Oly 2040 as it has been a nice little camera.

I am very limited as to where I can shop. Most camera all want to sell what they have instock and my local doesn't offer much. I did look and one place had the Coolpix 4800 on display and the Canon S1. None on display but in boxes and had been talking for a while before they took it out of the box. It was $300. From what I read though it seems the FZ3 was rated better.

Sam's has the Minolta Z2 for $250 and you can return. Just can't find many places that sell Panasonic. Camera store said that camera stores don't carry they, they are more of aoffice supply store item.

Now I am really confused.
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Old Jul 20, 2005, 9:50 AM   #9
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I am still looking and comparing cameras. Should I try the not so well thought of camera dealer that says he has a new FZ3 or move up to the FZ4 ? Are those two cameras pretty much the same except for the mp or are there some differences that I am not aware. I haven't been able to find any differences most reviews go on to the FZ 5. Or do I consider the Canon S1?

Several people have commented on the Olym 765/770 as a possible choice but am wondering how you get around not having the IS. What are some of the work arounds beside a tripod? Sarah can ou help me out here?

Thanks for your interest and help.
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Old Jul 20, 2005, 10:29 AM   #10
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Not a Clue-

As long as you keep the shutter speed high and can tolerate the low light focusing problems, due to it low price, the Olympus C-765/C-770 cameras become a viable choice.

If IS is something you treally want then look seriously at the Panasonic FZ-4/FZ-5 cameras.

Sarah Joyce
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