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Old Nov 3, 2005, 10:45 PM   #1
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Hi ,This is a great forum,lots of info.I guess Im looing for input on what Uz camera to buy Im kind of leaning to the Olympus sp-500,But im open for comments.I see alot of people like the Fuji 5200.I guess I need to state my needs .I want to be able to zoom in on wildlife,also be able to stop action on like flying birds.Sometimes it might be in low light conditions.Most of my photography will be outdoors.Also how important is image stablization?It seems like from some of the posts Ive read,it just more of a marketing tool.I guess thats about it .Any help would be great .Thanks
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Old Nov 4, 2005, 9:06 AM   #2
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IS is certainly not a marketing tool, but it's not the only way of addressing the basic problem. Here's the problem: Often, especially at long zoom (but also at wide angle in low light),if youtake a picture without a tripod, you cannot set the speed of the shutter fast enough to avoid blurring the image by your natural shake. Good technique can lessen the effect, but the usual rule of thumb for a pro is to set the shutter speed to be at least as fast as the reciprocal of the 35mm-equivalent focal length. For example, at 400 mm, you should shoot at at least 1/400 sec to avoid your natural shakiness. With good IS, you can go down two or three stops, to about 1/100 sec.

Now, IS doesn't help stop a bird in flight. But it does help keep a still life image crisp. An alternative would be to up the ISO rating that the camera can handle. Then, you can use the 1/400 sec setting in lower light. An added benefit of higher ISO settings is that you can stop the bird in flight.

Each approach has virtues. The added benefit of the IS that you don't get with the higher ISO is that you can take pictures at slower shutter speeds without a tripod. If you are interested in effects that depend on that, the IS will help you get the shot and the faster ISO will not. In the best of all possible worlds, you would have low noise, high ISO available, and IS available. That world is populated with dSLRs, and can only be entered by those with fat wallets.


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Old Nov 4, 2005, 12:51 PM   #3
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thanks for the good info.
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Old Nov 6, 2005, 11:57 PM   #4
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Hi there. I have been waiting for the Olympus SP-500 to come out and am glad that I looked at it in person before buying. It is VERY disappointing. It seems cheap and flimsy. I have been using an Olympus Stylus 410 since it was released and love it.

In my search for a UZ camera for wildlife and outdoor photos, I have decided on a Panasonic FZ30. There is just too much info that says this is THE camera in its field. I will order mine tomorrow morning.

best wishes, O
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Old Nov 7, 2005, 3:25 AM   #5
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hi, glaze,

i've had the sp500 for several days now, and love it! contrary to the previous poster, i've found it very nice to hold, solid and just the right weight. i actually spent this afternoon taking photos of seagulls at the full 380mm, on sports scene mode (i'm not up to working out manual settings yet!) and they've come out lovely and crisp. the only blurry ones (perhaps three out of twenty) were caused by focusing problems.

the downside to this camera for me isn't the lack of IS, it's the purple fringing. pretty bad, i'm warning. however, there's so many tutorials on how to fix pf that for me it isn't enough to warrant me returning the camera, which i've had the opportunity to do.

i was originally torn between the sp500 and the fuji 5200, but went with the sp500 for the following reasons: a, i didn't like the aggressive compression and noise reduction on the fuji images; b, the sp500 is more compact (the 5200 has a fixed lens case, and would have been just that little bit too big for me to easily carry around; the sp500 however, i've been carrying around every day, and have caught some great shots) and c, i am planning on printing out large, so the extra megapixel was worth it for me. i prefer olympus images in general, too - the colours appeal to me more, and the colours in the sp500 are pretty accurate.

i've read a few concerns about noise in the images, and graininess, but i haven't noticed anything like the extent that other people seem to. ISO200 is fine; 400 is definitely usable if it's put through neat image.

if you'd like to see some sample images from the sp500, i have some up at http://www.livejournal.com/users/sleuthing . click on the "+ + +" under the images to access the rest. bear in mind though that the only camera i've used - other than the sp500 - was a disposable, so they've all been taken on either auto, scene modes or super macro, and are VERY amateurish. i'm sure that someone with more experience could produce much better results. also bear in mind that they've been heavily re-sized. other than that, a couple have had unsharp-mask applied in photoshop, and auto-contrast. otherwise they're pretty much straight out of the camera.

if you're interested in seeing some 100% crops, let me know and i'll put some up here


- josie.


ps - apologies if this is rambling, but i saw enough mediocre reviews of the sp500 to almost put me off, so i'd like to at least attempt to balance those out!

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Old Nov 7, 2005, 1:25 PM   #6
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oberjager wrote:
Quote:
Hi there. I have been waiting for the Olympus SP-500 to come out and am glad that I looked at it in person before buying. It is VERY disappointing. It seems cheap and flimsy.
I actually think quite the opposite...The SP-500 seems very solid and well built. It also seems to be a very nice size for an UZ camera (if you like small!). It fits 1 hand perfectly (my hand, at least). The problem I've been having with it is at it's full zoom extent, I can't seem to hold the camera still for good shots! Though I've only tried the camera indoors here so far...Guess I'm too used to my S2's IS.

The SP-500 has a longer zoom range than the S5200, but I honestly can't seem to determine why it's nearly $70 more expensive.

My biggest conern with the SP-500 is that it lacks any sort of "camera shake" assist. The lens extends out to 380mm, which is pretty nice! But, without IS (not that IS is required) it can become difficult to hold it steady unless it's bright out (good luck indoors!). The camera also lacks any sort of decent ISO ability (which, to be fair,is typical). Only the S5200 has this.
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Old Nov 7, 2005, 7:45 PM   #7
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I've owned an Olympus 765 UZ for almost 2 years and have been very happy with it.
It is the 4 Mp camera with 10x optical zoom. The images have been good and I have been able to make beautiful 8x10 prints from it. (Never tried to make larger than 8x10).

It has a lot of advanced features but it tends to focus very very slow in low light.

I would guess that the 500 P is like a 6 Mp version of the 765 UZ
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Old Nov 8, 2005, 11:37 AM   #8
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I was considering the 765UZ or the 770UZ because they are known as being great cameras.

Wife and I both have Olympus cameras and I was very eager to get a more advanced Olympus. However, after looking at the SP-500 and others, the choice was clear for me to get a Panasonic FZ30 for wildlife photography.

best wishes, O
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Old Nov 9, 2005, 6:03 AM   #9
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For what it's worth, I've had an OlympusC-755 for over a year - and no complaints.

I don't see any camera currently available (at a reasonable price) that would be a worthy replacement.
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Old Nov 9, 2005, 12:59 PM   #10
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Does anybody know if the sp 500 has AF assist? I can't seem to figure this one out?

Thanks,

H
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