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Old Jan 3, 2006, 7:17 AM   #1
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I am in the market for a new digital camera (not DSLR....too expensive). I want a camera with a 10X or higher zoom and a hot shoe for a flash and at least 5 megapixels. I want a camera with good automatic controls, but with the ability to be more creative as I learn more about digital photography. All the reviews I have read leave me really confused. Some of the cameras I have been reading about are: Panasonic FZ20, FZ5, FZ10, Canon S2 IS, the Fuji S5200 and the Konica Minolta DeMage Z3. Can anyone recommend a camera? I am willing to go up to about $500.
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Old Jan 3, 2006, 7:38 AM   #2
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Danbee-

Not all of the cameras you mention have an installed hotshoe. Another camera that almost exactly meets your specifications was left out: it is the Kodak P-850.

The Kodak P-850 has a high quality german made Schneider lens, 12 X optical zoom, IS. a hot shoe, and is fully designed as a sophisticated camera that can at first be used in a fully automatic mode. As the user develops his or her skills, the P-850 offers a full set of manual controls than can also be integrated into the user's photo workflow. The kodak P-50 has received good reviews.

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Old Jan 3, 2006, 7:45 AM   #3
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Danbee-

Here is a photo of the Kodak P-850 which is selling for around $(US) 370 on the internet.

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Old Jan 3, 2006, 7:47 AM   #4
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Thanks a lot mtclimber. I'll take a look at it.
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Old Jan 4, 2006, 10:28 AM   #5
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I recommend the FZ20 it does not have a propriatery hot shoe, they make a flash for it but I use my very old Sunpak 144. You need only to be concerned with hot shoe voltage cant go over 24v mines around 7v.

As far as lenses not many can compare to the lens on the FZ20 with a 2.8 throughout the entire zoom range. The Lecia optics are amazing.

It also has a very good manual focus set up it uses the ring on the lens instead of a lever which on my old fuji I could never get the hang of, the 20 also enlarges a square in the lcd to make it easier to see your focus but find I do better without it it can be turned off.

It has a remote shutter release as well as IS, its very good infully automode I use it mostly but bought it for the totally manual mode, I want the control but havent needed it much not like I wished for it in my fuji.

Im sure youve heard about noise complaints on the FZs (not from owners though) if you compare raw images they are the same as cameras that boast low noise the panasonics just dont do a lot of incamera compensations therefore the images are much sharper, most can be done at 80 ISO so why have the camera remove noise on images that dont need making them soft in the process like most other cameras do.

The FZ30 is also an excellent camera but is just over $500 where the 20 is under $400.

There are lots of pics in the Panasonic forum if you havent allready checked them out. Also if you look under the diff manufactures forums you will find more pics and less problem topics in the Panasonic forum.
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