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Old Sep 14, 2005, 12:45 PM   #1
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I know that "best" is subjective, but it would be great to get people's feedback. I've read a number of recent posts about $500 range and super zooms. Here's what I'm looking for:

Good zoom for wildlife shots
Good low light response for indoors (low noise)
Uncompressed images (RAW or TIFF)
Video
At least 5MP (prefer higher)
IS?
Accurate color, sharp pics, of course!

Here are some cameras I'm considering:

Konica Minolta A200
Olympus C-8080 (would have to get telephoto converter)
Panasonic FZ5 (not great in low light)

I'm also curious about:
Fuji 9000 (will probably be out of my price range for many months)
Fuji 5200

Thanks!
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Old Sep 14, 2005, 2:17 PM   #2
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Please keep in mind that the Fuji S-9000, the S-5200, and the Olympus C-8080 do NOT have an IS feature. That does not mean that IS is an absolute "must have" feature in my mind, because it isn't for me personally. I own a C-8080 and think it is a great digital camera, and I have had no problems at all with camera movement.

That leaves us considering these IS equipped cameras:

Panasonic FZ-5

KM A-200

Of those two, if we are putting the focus on low light level and night photo capabilities, the KM A-200 would be the better of those two cameras.

That leads us to two more questions: Which has the GREATER priority.

(1) low light level and night photos?

(2) ultra zoom capabilities?

(3) Is IS a "MUST HAVE" priority?

Attached is an Olympus C-8080 photo sample.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 14, 2005, 3:52 PM   #3
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Thanks for your post, Sarah. I'm not sure how critical IS is, but I'd rather not carry a tripod for nature shots if I can avoid it. Don't really want to choose between low light and ultra zoom, although the A200 is a compromise at 7x.

Do you have the 8080 telephoto conversion lens? I'm curious about the quality.

I can spend more than $500, but not a lot more. Anything I've missed in this price range?
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Old Sep 14, 2005, 5:03 PM   #4
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B1ue-

Yes, I have a doubler for my Olympus C-8080, but I am not impressed with it at all, as there is some dasrkening at the corners. The C-8080 is a great camera by itself. Tele-doublers just seem to muddy the water.

I would think that if you want IS then the choice is the KM A-200. If you can pass on the IS the new Fuji S-5200 sureld does offer both great zoom (10X) and high ISO capability. It is due out in late October. The S-5200 will be priced at $399 (US) so that gives you a bit of leeway to purchase chips, and new bag and the like.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 14, 2005, 5:31 PM   #5
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Image quality wise. Which one do you think yeild a more natural look between the A200 and C8080. I am ready to get the A200. Many thanks.
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Old Sep 14, 2005, 7:33 PM   #6
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cuthien-

I actually prefer the colors produced by the Olympus C-8080 to those produced by the KM A-200.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 14, 2005, 8:51 PM   #7
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Sarah, I was hoping the 8080 conversion lens would be better. I've had a chance to test that camera, and I like it in many ways but 5x zoom is not enough. I've spent some time in several KM forums and now I'm not sure about the A200 because of reported issues with focusing, electronics, lcd, etc.

The Fuji 5200 specs look okay, but compared to the above digicams: no hot shoe, smaller prints, no wide angle. If I add that one to my list, it's probably worth reconsidering the FZ5 with F2.8, IS and 12x zoom. And maybe the new Olympus SP-500 UZ...
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Old Sep 14, 2005, 9:05 PM   #8
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Sarah,

I was hoping the A200 would produce better images than the C8080. Darn it. Thanks for the replied.
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Old Sep 14, 2005, 11:22 PM   #9
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I am glad you put the Fuji S9000 on your radar. I think it's the most anticipate camera coming out this month.

As you said, your new camera wouldbe used for wildlife photography, to me it means you be dealing with all kind of weather, the Fuji camera will serve you well. I assume that you had a small digital camera and get tired of that limited 3X zoom, this S9000 has a decent 10X zoom, you have a safe distance from the elephant or the tiger.

The S9000 use 55mm filter size, it's one of the popular size in 35mm lenses, 49mm, 52mm, 58mm, 62mm... easy to find and can be used later if you decide to have a DSLR. Other cameras have very odd filter size. For outdoor, you need some filters and a biger lens shade because you won't expect the lighting is perfect all the time, especially when you have to shoot against the sun. To choose a cameraI need to look at both the technical side and the practical side as well, the practical usefulness of a camera will make my final decision. I don't need a camera with all kind of bells and whistles and when I need a paticular feature, I have to dig deep into layers and layers of menu with both my hands and feet, by that time the tiger is in front of me and wants to give me a big hug...

The S9000 is powered by AA batteries, very cheap to add extra set, keep an eye on lithium rechargeable AAs. I use the S5100 so I beleive the S9000 is designed by the same engineering team, I expect the controls are pretty much the same where the manual setting is the one you need most later on.

Remember, no camera is perfect, other makers have somecapabilities that the S9000 don't. I like the 12X Leica zoom lens of the Panosonic, there is no need to talk about Leica lens. With the 12X zoom I have a comfortable distance from a wild animal, if the elephant charges to me, I still have time to fix my hair before I start to run real fast.

cs.


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