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Old Dec 22, 2005, 6:45 AM   #1
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To all Steves Forum members,

I recently purchased a Sony Cybershot DSC-S60. The 4.1mp sensor is enough for me. The issue I have is with my optical zoom. It only reaches 3x (117mm). I am an avid tennis fan and am urgently seeking a new camera for the Australian Open in January. I need some quality photos to make the front page of my site (tennis-forums.com). I don't really have the money for a DSLR, so I am instead searching for a compact ultra-zoom. I'd be happy with 8x optical zoom minimum.

I have found a few options, and searched for reviews. My top possibility is the Fuji Finepix S5200, (S5600 in Europe) or maybe even the Kodak Z740.

Does anyone have any first hand experience with the two mentioned cameras, or could they recommend another ultra-zoom compact within the $300-$400 price bracket.

Thanks in advance,
Luc
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 7:51 AM   #2
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Hi Luc, welcome to the forum.
You can consider Panasonic FZ5 (12x), or if u prefer even more smaller Nikon S4 (10x). FZ5 have image stabilizer while S4 don't have.
IS may come handy if you using higher zoom.
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 6:51 PM   #3
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If you're shooting sports and you want to freeze the action, then you need a lens that is not only long but also fast. Indeed, Panasonic's lenses are the fastest long lenses: The FZ3, FZ10 and FZ20 can stay at f2.8 all the way to 420mm, and the FZ4 and FZ5 are just a wee bit slower at the telephoto end, with a still-exceptional max aperture of f3.3. The FZ30 is slower, at f3.7. Canon's S1-IS and S2-IS also have lots of zoom and stabilization. The S1-IS can stay at f3.1 at the telephoto end, and the S2 at f3.5.

Fuji's cameras also have some fast lenses. The S5000 and S5100 can do f3.1 at 10X zoom, and the S5200/5600 can do f3.5, without stabilization. The big-zoom Olympus have similar lens apertures and equivalent focal lengths. The Minoltas can only do about f4.5 at 10X zoom, and the Nikon can do f6.3.

So I'd say the Panasonics or the Canons would be the winners, since they have very fast lenses AND stabilization. (These Canons are a little overpriced, IMO). Some of the Fujis are a little faster, but they don't have stabilization. The Minoltas have rock-solid stabilization, but are not as fast.

More comparisons at

http://www.airshowfan.com/guide-to-d...igital-cameras
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 8:11 PM   #4
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Thanks very much for your suggestions guys. I will definitely consider them.

My main concern with the Lumix FZ5 and FZ4 are the substantial ammounts of noise at full size. Like I said, I am on a tight budget ($300-$400) and the Canon's just seem out of reach.

In regards to the Fuji S5200, does the anti-blur mode act in the same manner as the image stabilization?
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 9:15 PM   #5
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I'm fairly sure that "anti blur" on cameras that don't have image stabilization refers to cranking up the ISO to allow for faster shutter speeds. The Fuji S5200 does have exceptional high-ISO performance, which makes it capable, in practice, of even faster shutter speeds than the Panasonics (despite the Panasonics' slightly faster lens).

The Panasonics won't have a noise problem if you keep the ISO down. Besides, the main reason why Panasonics are a tad noisier is that other cameras use in-camera noise reduction, which leads to pictures that are not as sharp. So you can increase the ISO and then remove the noise on your computer later, which is better than having a camera do it for you and lose detail which you might want.
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 9:39 PM   #6
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So ultimately, you're suggesting the Lumix FZ4?
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 10:41 PM   #7
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Sorry. I am again uncertain. I don't think I will be buying the DMC-FZ5- too pricey. The FZ4 has no sound with video recording, and is also a tad on the expensive side.

I am really back to square one again. If I get the Fuji, I won't have image stabilization. Will the higher ISO compensate for the lack of image stabilization?


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Old Dec 22, 2005, 11:04 PM   #8
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hmmm I thought FZ5 is below $400, shoud be within your budget :roll:
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 11:16 PM   #9
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AU$400
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