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Old Sep 11, 2005, 5:03 AM   #1
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Greetings everyone!!

I'm a loooong time lurker of Steve's site but never really used the forums. This will change very soon. Basically, I shoot cars for a website (http://www.sportcompactmiami.com) and recent events have shown me the inadequacies of my current cam (SL300R). Some of the problems are just lack of additional settings that limit what I can do. I do like the camera for what it does though.

In light of this, I began searching new cameras and wanted the following:

-SD Card (or CF)
-5+MP
-At least 5x zoom
-Manual focus ability
-Hot shoe mount
-Approx. $500 price

This pretty much led me to the Minolta Z5 & Panasonic FZ20. I was more impressed with the FZ20 when I was over at Wolf's getting a feel for them. I also have a substantial investment in SD because my Digicam's, PDA's, MP3 players, flash drives, etc. all use it. My question for you guru's is this.

I recently discovered that they make an adapter for SD Cards that convert them to Compact Flash, so should I take that into account and expand my camera search? I have some Ultra II's that I'd rather not buy again in another format that I can only use in one device. Anyone care to recommend a CF Card camera that also meets my above requirements? Like maybe the 'Nolta A200 or Nik 5400?

TIA!!
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Old Sep 11, 2005, 9:16 AM   #2
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TIA-

Certainly the well respected and much written about Canon S-2 IS is a possibility for you, as it uses CF cards. The camera has a full 12X of optical zoom, full manual controls, a low light level focusing lamp, and it supports add-on wide angle and telephoto lenses as well. It has a highly lauded video clip mode and does excellent close-up shots as well.

It also has the much sought after Image Stabilization System. All in all it is quite a digital camera. It average selling price on the internet is currently $439 (US).

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 11, 2005, 8:25 PM   #3
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Hello! Thanks for the reply. I did test out the S2IS at Circuit City and I really liked everything about it "except" for the lack of a hot shoe mount for external flash. That is a show stopper for me as many of the car shows are held indoors in "club lighting" conditions. As a result, on-board flashes are just not powerful enough in many instances and many shots have to be abandoned.

This is why the FZ20 and Z5 were atop my list. I recently discovered the A200 and it looks very simlar feature wise to the FZ20 but I would like some input on it from anyone here that knows about it.

Thanks again!
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Old Sep 11, 2005, 9:14 PM   #4
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Have you considered using a slave flash along with the Canon S2's built-in flash unit? It would extend your flash range out as far as 25 t0 28 feet. A slave unit would cost between $40 to $50.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 11, 2005, 9:56 PM   #5
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S2 uses SD not CF.

Have you had a look at the canon G6. Optical zoom is only 4x but it's a 7.1Mp and meets your other requirements.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/g6.html

or the dimage A200

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/a200.html
(oops, i see you already have)


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Old Sep 12, 2005, 10:10 AM   #6
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cobrakon wrote:
Quote:
change very soon. Basically, I shoot cars for a website (http://www.sportcompactmiami.com) and recent events have shown me the inadequacies of my current cam (SL300R). Some of the problems are just lack of additional settings that limit what I can do. I do like the camera for what it does though.
imo ... if you're taking promo pics of cars at a shows (not in motion) most of the time, a camera with a wider end than 38mm would do you much more good - something that starts in the 28mm or so. For interior shots you will have to go down even lower, 20mm or less - or you could try stitching or QTVR. CF cards are cheap enough I wouldn't make it an issue.
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Old Sep 12, 2005, 12:48 PM   #7
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cobrakon wrote:
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lack of a hot shoe mount for external flash. That is a show stopper for me as many of the car shows are held indoors in "club lighting" conditions. As a result, on-board flashes are just not powerful enough in many instances and many shots have to be abandoned.
With these criteria imo ...

1) lower than 35mm at the wide end would be great for indoors.

2) you might consider existing-light cameras (ie, less emphasis on flash) - either a Cannon /Nikon dSLR with high ISO capability, or even Olympus E-300with Noise reduction s/w - ESPECIALLY since you're mainly taking shots for web/online, high ISO on most all camera's fine. For P&S there's the Fuji F-10 with very usable high ISO, and perhaps the new Fuji's.

3) with flash, my suggestion would be: Olympus 7070 + FL-36/50 flash, then add the WCON-07C to get 19mm focal length at a later date. The external flash integration on Oly cameras are hard to beat, full TTL control and you can use both in-camera and external flash (bounce).
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