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Old Nov 28, 2005, 4:00 AM   #1
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Hi, I am new here and would like to get everyones feedback on which would make a good camera choice for me.

I have read many reviews and comparisons on these cameras (well not many on the Samsung yet) but there is so much confliction out there because every camera has it's issues that I cannot decide. I have looked at and held all of them.

I can get the Samsung Pro 815 delivered to my house for $650.00 (sorry cannot give out my source), $510 shipped for the FZ30, not real sure about the S9500. Pretty good prices on all though so that is not my concern, just want the best overall full auto and manual, 10X or larger optical zoom cameral that I can get. I won't be doing many portrait shoots with it, but I don't want to get in to a high noise issue from zooming and what not. Needs to have high speed/image stabilization.

If you can help narrow it down, please give me your 2 cents.

LarLar


.....oh ya, I believe the Fuji does not have IS, so that one is out I guess, the Samsung has a high speed ISO for a try at IS but have not seen much on this yet, only a few real life reviews out there so far. Let me know if you know anything about this camera, especially in regards to the FZ30 as those are my runners up. Any other cameras that you think I might want to look at too, let me know. Want to get one before Christmas and before my newborn son gets too much older, got 4 regular run of the mill point and shoot digitals that I make trail cameras out of, but they don't cut it for good photography.
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 9:11 AM   #2
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If that Samsung would have IS I would directly discard those others because of Samsung's good wide angle.
The longer the zoom the more useful IS is, good rule of thumb for longest shake free shutter time is 1 second divided by used 35mm equiv focal length. (1/420 s for 420 mm)
Although Samsung's size and weight might reduce shake.


But what kind targets you photograph? Is it more general photography or mostly wild animals?
Because that affects greatly to what you need most.

I myself do mainly general nature photography, cloud photography/thunderstorms +some low light stuff like noctilucent clouds and there's no way I would buy these super/ultra-zooms because good wide angle is so much more useful and needed often... even if that means only 200mm tele.
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 1:06 PM   #3
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I am mainly going to use the camera for family trips, around the house, out in the woods (scenic and wildlife), kid's sporting events, and whatever else I deem worthy I guess. I am really not a serious photographer or anything, just want to be able to take nice shots when I want to. Like the view feature of the LCD on the DZLR's vs the DSLR's (movie mode helps too), which is why I am going this route. The only DSLR that I was considering in my price range was the Olympus E-500 package for around $899 that comes with 2 lens (wide and tele). If I did go with the FZ30 I would buy the wide angle adapter that screws onto the front so I could have the best of both I guess. This can be a bonus too I suppose for have a non telescoping lens coming out of the body, the filters, add on lensand hoods won't extend away from camera.

Thanks for the reply,

LarLar
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Old Nov 29, 2005, 5:14 PM   #4
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Come on now, I know there are much more intelligent folk here than me that can steer me in the right direction. :? I posted something similar over at dpreview and was pretty much told to forget about the prosumer cams and just skip to a dslr because that is where I will end up anyway. You know if it wasn't for not viewing shots with the lcd and having to buy different glass, I would say sure why not. But so far the only close package I can find at a decent price is the Oly E-500 with both lenses, will this work for me? I have no idea.

Thanks,

Joel
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Old Nov 29, 2005, 11:27 PM   #5
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I'm in a similar boat, but I'm not seriously considering any dSLR cameras - I thought about gettingthe Pentax to go with my many Pentax manual lenses, but I just don't want to lug around all that stuff and always seem to have the wrong lens on the camera for the next photo opportunity.

I've been trying to make up my mind between the FZ30 and the S9000 and the more I find out, the harder it is to make a decision. It seems that one isn't drastically better than the other, and both appear to give owners excellent pictures. My thoughts have come to this:

Fuji's camera seems to be somewhat better in low light situations, where a faster shutter speed is needed (i.e., action/sports). If you can use a tripod and a longer shutter speed, the FZ30 can give excellent results. Since I rarely take photos indoors where I would need a faster shutter speed, this isn't a real tie-breaker for me.

The Fuji has the super Macro setting where it can focus on something less than an inch away from the lens. The Panasonic is something like 3" (I believe I read 5cm, so isn't that around 3"?). While I have occasionally used my Sony F717 to focus on something about an inch away, I'm usually taking photos of flowers and 3" is acceptable.

While I'd like the 28mm wide angle of the Fuji, I would rarely use it, so the Panasonic would be acceptable, though the edge here goes to Fuji.

One last, very minor thing is that I have a laptop with a built-in card reader. It doesn't read compact flash, so here the edge would be to Panasonic.

Finally, I can't seem to find any stores around here that has either one of them, so I'm buying blind. The talk around here about some of the Fuji cameras being defective concerns me (just the hassle of getting it repaired, sending it back etc.) even though it seems that Fuji is very prompt about repairing them. I think the Fuji is better for what I want to do with a camera, but the initial build quality and the bother of possibly getting a bad one that will need repair just might push me over to the Panasonic. Is there anything else in all this that I should consider? Hopefully I'll be ordering my new camera on Dec. 1st.
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Old Nov 29, 2005, 11:53 PM   #6
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LarLar wrote:
Quote:
I am mainly going to use the camera for family trips, around the house, out in the woods (scenic and wildlife), kid's sporting events, and whatever else I deem worthy I guess. I am really not a serious photographer or anything, just want to be able to take nice shots when I want to. Like the view feature of the LCD on the DZLR's vs the DSLR's (movie mode helps too), which is why I am going this route. The only DSLR that I was considering in my price range was the Olympus E-500 package for around $899 that comes with 2 lens (wide and tele). If I did go with the FZ30 I would buy the wide angle adapter that screws onto the front so I could have the best of both I guess. This can be a bonus too I suppose for have a non telescoping lens coming out of the body, the filters, add on lensand hoods won't extend away from camera.

Thanks for the reply,

LarLar
Quote:
Actually the Olympus E-300, which is not really a step down, just different features can be had from Dell for $699 right now with coupon, with two lens.
Quote:
Very solid camera...
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Old Nov 30, 2005, 2:27 PM   #7
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mtngal wrote:
Quote:
I'm in a similar boat, .......

So am I.

but I'm not seriously considering any dSLR cameras - I thought about gettingthe Pentax to go with my many Pentax manual lenses, but I just don't want to lug around all that stuff and always seem to have the wrong lens on the camera for the next photo opportunity.

Exactly my point.


The Fuji has the super Macro setting where it can focus on something less than an inch away from the lens. The Panasonic is something like 3" (I believe I read 5cm, so isn't that around 3"?).

5cm is around 2". I've seen marvelous macro shots from the fz30.

While I'd like the 28mm wide angle of the Fuji, I would rarely use it, so the Panasonic would be acceptable, though the edge here goes to Fuji.

I totally agree. Though, I happen to have a small and light wide angle conversion lens (dcr 0.720) from raynox which is supposed to work fine with the fz30, transforming its wide angle to around 25 mm! Yes I know, this means carrying equipment again, but honestly, it is really small and cheap....well, your decision anyway.

The talk around here about some of the Fuji cameras being defective concerns me

me too...

Is there anything else in all this that I should consider? Hopefully I'll be ordering my new camera on Dec. 1st.

I believe so:
there is the optical image stabilizer, which makes it easier to get the shot at long focal lengths.

there is panasonic's much faster lens (f3.7 at 420mm in stead of 4.7 at 300mm!!)

and there is (i.e. I assume there is) a shallower depth of field with the leica lens, if so desired

greetings
Ivan

PS: please excuse the awkward way of quotation. I don't know how to do it correctly
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Old Nov 30, 2005, 11:16 PM   #8
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The way you did the quoting was very clear - it sure got the point across. I hadn't picked up on the faster lens - that is something that would make a difference to me. The other thing I hadn't compared that would make a big difference is weight. They are almost the same weight - the couple of grams difference isn't enough to be very significant, but when you're hiking every little bit helps, and the Panasonic appears to be slightly lighter.

One of the things I've noticed reading these photo forums (it's been great fun, why didn't I do this before?) is that there are lots of pretty fanatic Fuji owners, along with some really unhappy owners. It seems that the Panasonic has a similar number of fanatically happy owners, and a number of people who have decided not to get one (various people). I don't see the number of people who bought one and who didn't like it. Besides, I'll probably order whatever I get at B&H and the Panasonic is $10 cheaper (not much, but a bit).

Thanks for pointing out something I missed - now all I have to do is wait until tomorrow when I can finally order the Panasonic.
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Old Dec 1, 2005, 12:05 AM   #9
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I think I will go with the FZ30, ordering tonight or tomorrow I guess. If you folks know of a better place to order than $510 shipped from WiseTronics, let me know. Don't even know if they are a good place, have to check their return policy and what not.

Great replys guys, was hoping for a couple of owners or at least a few that have tried the Pro 815 and the FZ30 who aren't biased to give some good feedback oh well. I am still torn between the two, but the IS and the non external tele zoom are selling me to the FZ30 so far. The LCD's are awesome on the Samsung though, I am thinking if I don't fall in love with the FZ30 I can always upgrade in a year or so and possibly get the Pro 815's replacement if its out yet. If they fix a few flaws it would be a great choice hands down.

Let me know if you have some more info for me. Thanks a lot!!!!!!!:|

Joel
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Old Dec 1, 2005, 11:56 AM   #10
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They raised the price by $10 at WiseTronics, I need to hurry and just do it before it gets much higher.

Joel
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