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Old Nov 10, 2005, 4:57 PM   #1
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Hi folks,

to cut a long story short, took delivery of a konica minolta z3 on tuesday, had a few problems, so its going back for a refund. the picture quality i was happy with, and the video mode quality i was happy with, but the build quality and some of the physical and software design elements were a bit too much (clock/date/time resetting after every battery change, lockups, usb cover springing open etc).

i need a new camera!

i will be mainly using it for;

taking pictures of my dogs, so something that has the burst mode would be great for that. also a half decent movie mode with sound, and also av out to tv. (if i can find something as good as the z3 on these fronts, then that will be a big plus).

need a good macro mode.

a screen bigger than the z3 (1.5") will be great.

good build quality (no flimsy usb/sd card covers). maybe something metal perhaps?

something that will take half decent indoor shots on these dull winters days, without needing a flash all the time.

fast time from startup to first picture (essential).

12x zoom, found this very handy in the short time ive had it.

AA batteries preferable, but not that important.

anti shake, or similar. (essential)

a screen that can be seen in low light (does such a thing exist?)

SD card compatible.



and heres what im not too bothered about;

hot shoe for flash.

manual focus.

extra lenses.


thats all i can think of for now. i have around £250 ukp to spend. i dont have a local photography shop that i can get to so i will be buying blind, so to speak. i have been looking at the panasonic fz5, but after reading the review on dcresource, im not so tempted by that. so any advice on brands and models will be a great help.

thanks.

Dave


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Old Nov 10, 2005, 6:42 PM   #2
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Hoof on over and check out the KODAK P850 and the CANON S2IS.
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Old Nov 10, 2005, 8:57 PM   #3
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thanks, just read a review of the kodak and canon, the canon seems to fit my needs best, but unfortunately is way out of my price range. while i was looking, i found the fuji s5600. does anyone have any good or bad experiences with this camera. i know it uses xd cards, and is quite chunky, but overall seems to fit the bill i think.

thanks
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Old Nov 10, 2005, 10:35 PM   #4
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I have had the 5200/5600 for about a month and so far I am enjoying it very much. Takes good clear pictures. It's easy to use on auto and has manual controls. It does not have IS but I've found the antiblur mode works well for me (and I have an tremor). It has a 1.8 LCD, and an EVF that is usable on bright days. Because it has ISO 1600 you can take good low light pictures. The Kodak 850 and the Canon S2 IS, it's main competitors, may have advantages but it's quite a bit cheaper. It's a plastic body, but feels pretty solid. Other people here have also said they like it a lot. Hope that helps.
Ruth
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Old Nov 11, 2005, 8:27 AM   #5
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Thanks Ruth,

I keep seeing people write s5600 / s5200. is that the camera's name or is that two different cameras? ive done a bit of googling and cant find any reviews, do you know where i might find a review for the 5600?

regarding the antiblur thing, does this have the same effect as anti shake and IS?

also is the body all plastic? the reason i ask is that as i was googling, i found it in a well known uk chain (dixons) and it says it has a metal body.

i have found the s5600 for £214 inc delivery and a 1gb fujifilm xd card for £50, this puts the total price around £35 cheaper than that of an panasonic fz20 without a card.

this is all very confusing!

thanks for the help

Dave


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Old Nov 11, 2005, 4:50 PM   #6
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Yes, the 5600/5200 are the same camera--5600 is in Europe I believe and 5200 in the US.
There are many, many threads around here about IS versus antiblur with a lot of technical info. I am not an expert but here is what I can tell you in a general way: Image stabilization is an actual mechanical technique of the camera which corrects blurring from the camera shaking due to an unsteady hand--particularly important for high zoom or low light where the shutter is open longer. Antiblur is just an automatic way of raising the ISO (making the camera more light sensitive) to compensate. It also works with blur created by the motion of an external object so is good for e.g. sports or flying birds. There's lots of argument back and forth as to the value of each of these. All I can say is that the antiblur has worked for me in creating clear images on both long zoom and low light and like I said, I don't have a steady hand.
So far as I know, there aren't any professional reviews but if you look in this forum and in the fuji forum here there are a number of people who have them and have put up pictures with differing ISO's and macros etc. Also check out two other forums that have had quite a number of threads on this camera.
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/ and http://dcresource.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=4
Ruth

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Old Nov 11, 2005, 5:36 PM   #7
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thanks ruth for the info.

i have been playing around with the z3 before it goes back, and i really do like it apart from the things i mentioned. from what people have said in another thread, it seems i have been unlucky with this particular one, so for now, and to avoid any unneeded spending, i think ill swap this for another z3 and give it another few days and see if the same faults resurface, if not, ill keep it.

thanks to all who took the time to reply, much appreciated.

dave

p.s. i have found something that may have been the cause of the lockups. one of the set of 4 batterieswas a lot colder than the others when it came off the charger, i changed to yet another set and voila, all nice and warm and no lockups since. coincidental maybe? i dunno.
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