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Old Dec 1, 2005, 4:19 PM   #11
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Yes, you better hurry before they raise prices to european level. Here, in the Third World they charge $$ 680 and Panasonic is going :blah::blah::blah:!!!!

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Old Dec 1, 2005, 4:48 PM   #12
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I just ordered my Panasonic from B&H- they aren't the cheapest, but I've always had great service from them (and they don't try to talk you into lousy accessories). There's a rebate for a free 512 SD memory card if you purchase between Nov. 20 and Dec. 31 - I used the money I would have spent on another card to upgrade my shipping to next day UPS. I can't wait to spend the weekend taking photos and (assuming it doesn't go on the blink again) comparing it with my old Sony F717. I'm SO excited!
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Old Dec 1, 2005, 8:24 PM   #13
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Just curious, you guys going with the silver or the black? Why?

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Old Dec 1, 2005, 10:54 PM   #14
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I went with the black and now sort of wish I had gone with the silver. The black looks a lot like my first 35 mm, so perhaps it was sentimental. Then I thought that most cameras have the black look and the silver is more unusual (and at the same time kind of a "retro" look). When it comes down to it, it doesn't make any difference - they are the same camera.
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Old Dec 2, 2005, 3:58 PM   #15
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I also went with the black one. IMO it just looks cooler. To tell you the truth, I even presume that look of the camera influenced my decision between fuji and panasonic, at least subconciously.
And speaking of the "look". I have to take up the cudgels for that for once. I read so many times that appearance didn't matter etc. which is totally true of course ...theoretically.
But then, isn't it an accessoire that you carry along with you a whole lot of time? I think, it really is a reason to consider. If you don't "like" your camera, there is a chance that you won't take it with you so often. And then, what good is there in owning the most advanced camera when it is mainly catching dust home at your place?
Besides, if design didn't matter, why aren't we all wearing "Moon Boots" in winter?

@ mtngal: I do not whish to spoil your excitement about your new fz30, but I warn you. Do not expect wonders from the fz30 in comparison with the f717. Not because the fz30 wasn't good, but rather because of the quality of your f717, which is not that easy to top, I guess. I gave mine away mainly for the much faster focus and this xtra cool zoom lens.

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Old Dec 3, 2005, 1:16 AM   #16
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I sort-of played with the Panasonic today and I'm impressed (and now that I have it in my hands, I'm glad I got the black). I took one photo at ISO800 and the same view (a little wider) at ISO80. I was surprised that the ISO 800 photo didn't have more noise in it - it wasn't much different than what I'd seen previously with the Sony. I was especially impressed with the manual focus - I think it is easier to use than the F717. I'll have to get used to all that extrazoom and read the manual completely. My first mistake was to use the "portrait" mode in an office with florescent lighting (the manual says it changes the color balance and to only use it outside). There are a whole bunch more options!

Hopefully the rain will stop and it will clear off.
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Old Dec 3, 2005, 5:28 PM   #17
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Thanks again, Ivan, for the "heads up." I just got back from spending some time playing with both cameras, mainly leaving things up to the camera (used either program or aperture priority, used several different metering modes, but didn't try to over-ride the camera). My initial thoughts are:

My Sony's intermittent problems are definitely cold-related - while today it didn't affect the card reader, it definitely affected both the viewfinder/LCD. However, the color problems were not on the pictures, so the sensor doesn't seem to be affected.

The quality of the photosare very similar (shooting JPG fine). The Sony has a faster lens (I hadn't realized that before I started playing with them) and now I'm VERY glad I didn't get the Fuji - it's one of those things I use without really thinking about it, and while I'll find the Panasonic's limitation (compared to the Sony) something to take into consideration, I think I would have gotten very frustrated with the Fuji.

I really love that extra zoom - that's the biggest benefit to the Panasonic.

The auto white balance seems to be better with theF717 - I take many of my photos very early in the morning and the Sony seems to handle the early morning light better than the FZ30. Tomorrow I'll need to take a white paper outside and set one of the custom white balance settings. I love the fact the Panasonic has 2 settings for custom white balance - it'll be great to set one to early morning and leave it there, and still have another place for whatever odd lighting conditions I find myself in.

The Panasonic is a bit sharper - I didn't feel as much need to slightly sharpen the pictures (love Photoshop), like I usually do with many of the landscape photos from the Sony. The little extra sharpness and the extra pixels will be nice when cropping pictures.

The Panasonic's controls are easier to use with gloves on (it was well below freezing this morning, though still no snow) - one of my biggest gripes with the F717. The advantage Sony has for having a separate button to easily change the metering mode is canceled out by the fact that it is so hard tousewith gloves.I think there's another way to do the same thing without going through the menus, but I still haven't figured out all of the controls yet.

Final thing - the LCD screen on the Panasonic is SO much better than the Sony's!

In all,the Panasonicis a worthy replacement for my Sony F717.
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