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Old Oct 17, 2005, 12:15 PM   #1
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Hi,

I've been doing some reasearch on purchasing a new ultra zoom camera. I've narrowed my list to these three models that are in my price range. I was also considering a Canon S2 IS (slightly out of my price range) but so far from the information I found, it doesn't seem to offer a lot more for what I need over these three cameras to justify the cost.

Fujifilm S5200
Olympus SP-500 UZ
Kodak P850 Zoom

Since these cameras are new, I haven't been able to find any reviews except for previews and specsheets. If anyone has any review links, please post them.

So my question, if anyone has used any of these cameras, what's your opinion on them? Especially in regards to picture quality and capturing motionquality at high zoom.

Thanks
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Old Oct 17, 2005, 2:32 PM   #2
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I cannot offer an informed opinion about these three cameras, but I assume that you have also researched the Panasonic UZ's too, since the top three UZ's are (not in order of quality): Canon S2SI, Panasonic FZ5 or FZ20 or Sony H-1. You ruled out the Canon because of its price, but the Panasonic is clearly within your price range. (The Oly is $379.00 so I am assuming this is in the right ballpark.)
Whatever you do, do not purchase an ultrazoom without image stabilization! It is a very important feature for this type of camera, as it helps to prevent blurry photos at higher zoom range. The only camera of the three you listed that has IS is the Kodak P850. Here are a few user reviews:
http://dcresource.pricegrabber.com/r..._type=masterid
http://reviews.cnet.com/Kodak_EasySh...-31470099.html

I own the Panasonic FZ5 and I just love it. Photo images are sharp, it is easy to use, great battery life and the price is right: $347.00 + .06 shipping in black or $356.00 in silver at www.6ave.com. User reviews here:

http://reviews.cnet.com/Panasonic_Lu...-31346140.html

Or you might consider the FZ20 for a little more: $394.00 in silver. All the best in your final decision.
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Old Oct 17, 2005, 2:36 PM   #3
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shoey-

I am engaged in the same investigation. I have tried the Kodak P-850 and returned it. It is a capable digital camera, but it takes more fiddling with details to get a really excellent photo than I am willing to do. And I am certainly not inexperienced with digital cameras. I have been in the photography business for 53 years.

I will get a Fuji S-5200 to use later this week. I will post again when I have some photo samples to show. For now here is an example photo that pushes the Kodak P-850 to the maximum. This is an existing light/no flash photo made using ISO 400, with the lens set to the maximum optical zoom of 12X. White Balance was on tungsten, and EV-2.0 was used to bring the primary subject's skintones back to normal. I also used a rail in front of me as an improvised tripod. BTW the primary subject is Bernie Fields a well known harmonica instrumentalist.

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Old Oct 17, 2005, 2:48 PM   #4
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Justinian-

With all due respect, as you know, I have owned a long string of Panasonic FZ series cameras. However, in existing light situations they (at least for me) produce too much noise, and poor existing light photos. In good light the Panasonic FZ'sdo quite well. I guess, in the final analysis, you have to really examine what kind of photos have measured priority for you personally.

So in my personal search I have eliminated the FZ-5 simply because I put a lot of personal priority on existing light photos. The FZ-5 may be the perfect digital camera for somebody else, but because of my interest in existing light photos, the FZ-5 will not work for me personally.

Ultra
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Old Oct 17, 2005, 5:44 PM   #5
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Justinian wrote:
Quote:
Whatever you do, do not purchase an ultrazoom without image stabilization!
I don't think this is a very fair statement to make. While I do believe IS is a very nice feature, the S5200 has something that helps stabilize the image...a high ISO. Not only that, but it also helps to stop subject movement (something IS doesn't do). Idon't mean to say high ISO is a replacementfor IS, but having high ISO capability gives the camera a lot of options an IS camera (limited to ISO400) doesn't have.

The Olympus doesn't have either, but is probably the cheapest of them all...
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Old Oct 17, 2005, 10:06 PM   #6
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I did research the Panasonic DMC-FZ30 but as ultrazoom22 stated, the camera suffers from a lot of noise at least this is according to all the reviews I've read on the camera.

From my research, swgod98 is right, there is a lot more to IS for an ultrazoom camera. The fuji compensates with a very high ISO. I recently had the chance to try both cameras at high zoom in a store by simply taking shots of a sign hanging far above the store. I found the S5200 to take a brightercleaner image than the Canon IS with it's IS and ISO set to 400. Now to be fair, except for some research, I'm not experienced with cameras, and perhaps I could have taken better pictures with more optimal settings (if there was any)

So far I'm looking at the Fuji S5200 as my choice, it's a little cheaper and bigger than the other cameras but I felt very comfortable with it. Still I'm taking my time and waiting for some "professional" reviews and the advice of owners before taking the jump.

I haven't been able to find too much information on the Olympus SP-500 UZ and Kodak P850 Zoom short of a few websites posting their specs. In regards to the Kodak P850 Zoom, thanks Ultrazoom for the feedback, I look forward to hearing about your S5200 use, please post your opinions if you get the chance.




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Old Oct 19, 2005, 4:30 PM   #7
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OK, Shoey-

The Fuji S-5200 arrived this morning and I must tell you that I am impressed with it. It has useable ISO settings up to ISO 1600, and does a very nice job at ISO 1600.

Here is an ISO 1600 sample from the Fuji S-5200. Next I will set up to do the same photo with the Kodak P-850 and the Fuji S-5200.

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Old Oct 19, 2005, 5:42 PM   #8
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Shoey-

Here is the promised side by side comparison of the Kodak P-850 and the Fuji S-5200.

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Old Oct 20, 2005, 6:45 PM   #9
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I'm with Ultrazoom - the Fuji S5200 is hands-down the best camera for the money. Try it - you'll be as impressed as I am.
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Old Oct 23, 2005, 4:00 PM   #10
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Ultrazoom,

How can you do a side by side shootout if you returned de p850. and got the s5200 afterwards. Hey i finally worked out the smileything

By the way , this is not an attack on your credibilty, its just confussing to me.



What are your findings on the P850's manual focussing

Regards Nafta






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