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Old Jan 16, 2006, 9:57 AM   #11
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I think that lucky and audioedge have really defined the key issue.

Some watchful waiting and a bit of patience may bring some nifty surprises if we just wait until PMA finishes and some excellent professional reviews are published on the new crop of cameras.

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Old Jan 17, 2006, 12:04 PM   #12
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@mtclimber:
Yes, the FZ5 is larger than the S4, but as you said there is probably a minimum size for an image stabilised 12x zoom and the FZ5 is probably very close to that minimum. I forgot to say that the S4 has a poor man's image stabiliser, Nikon's proprietary best shot selector. I use the BSS most of the time with my Coolpix 8400 and it works remarkably well, but clearly an image stabiliser is much better.
The two Panasonic cameras mentioned by audioedge are aimed at the advanced low end market currently firmly controlled by Canon's A610, though the specs are very different. These cameras have no viewfinder. Instead they have a very crude (only 85000 pixels), but large display. I really hate the trend of LCD only cameras. For older people like myself, which are far-sighted, have to use glasses or keep the LCD at maximal distance to frame a picture. That is simply unacceptable. Also, using a viewfinder, the camera is stabilised by pressing it against the head. I would have liked to buy a Fuji F10 as a camera for dim light. As it was replaced by the F11 the prices came down nicely. But when I saw that it too is an LCD only camera I quickly turned away.
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Old Jan 17, 2006, 2:23 PM   #13
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audioedge wrote:
Quote:
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0601/06...clz5.asp#specs

http://www.steves-digicams.com/pr/pa...z3-lz5_pr.html

They look tasty, gonna wait till I see some reviews tho. Im in the market for a nice pocketable zoom camera I can take to concerts/gigs etc.
Yes, the LZ3 and LZ5 will be on the market in March. I have the LZ1 and my mother has the LZ2, which have the same body as the LZ3 and LZ5. This is probably the smallest 6X optical zoom camera that you will find right now.

I traded my older, bulkier Fuji 2800Z 6X opt. zoom camera for the more compact, higher res LZ1, which I can fit in my pocket. It's not a bad camera for the money.
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Old Jan 17, 2006, 2:54 PM   #14
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Personally, I am looking forward to see the reviews that the new Panasonic LZ-3 and LZ-5 receive. They seem to be ideal for what I am looking for in a camera.

The LZ-1 and LZ-2 were less than what they seemed to offer. Perhaps the LZ-3 and LZ-5 will hit closer to the mark.

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Old Jan 20, 2006, 4:29 PM   #15
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Thanks everyone for their suggestions to date. I like the size of the Panasonics, and think that I could live with the 6X zoom. However, they've only been getting so-so reviews. Maybe the LZ-3 or 5 will be better. Now, if something with the size of the Canon A620, with its swiveling lcd and good quality, would be available with a 6 or 8x zoom, this would be ideal.

When all of this year's models come out (spring, summer?), maybe there will be something closer to what I'm looking for available. Right now, it seems that with smaller body sizes comes lesser quality shots. The search continues...
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Old Jan 20, 2006, 5:02 PM   #16
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Chou-

I did think of another camera you may want to take a look at. It is the Olympus C-7000. It has 7.1 mp and 5X optical zoom. It has received good reviews. Here is a sample photo.

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Old Jan 21, 2006, 7:45 AM   #17
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Its quite an old camera that C7000, although it does seem to meet some of the posters requirements, I wouldnt recommend it myself due to its age. It recieved a 'Recommended' from DPreview when it first came out:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympu******/
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Old Jan 21, 2006, 9:57 AM   #18
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audioedge-

The problem is the Olympus C-7000 is the only camera I can think of that really meets all of the requirements. The C-7000 may be 2 years old but it is still capable of excellent photos, as my sample proves. I own one.

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Old Jan 21, 2006, 5:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Right now, it seems that with smaller body sizes comes lesser quality shots.
Unless you equate lower zoom with lower quality I don't agree with that. There are some small cameras that take excellent photos with resolutions rivaling or bettering the larger cameras.

The LZ2 wouldn't be my choice of cameras because it doesn't have manual controls or a viewfinder. But if it had the features I wanted I would probably get one. What reviewers see at 100% where they have to scroll to see the entire image doesn't necessarily reflect normal use. It is worth noting that Steve put the LZ2 on his best cameras list. He doesn't put bad cameras on that list. I went through some of the 1700+ LZ2 images up on pbase and most looked pretty good. http://www.pbase.com/cameras/panasonic/lumix_dmc_lz2

There are always better cameras if you wait. But you miss a lot of pictures while you are waiting.

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Old Jan 22, 2006, 12:10 PM   #20
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Slipe-

Many thanks for posting that link. Frankly I was quite impressed with the photots from the Panasonic LZ-2. Due to some not so great links, I thinlk a lot of folks, myself included, have sort of discounted the LZ-2.

After researching the LZ-2 some I found a interesting thing. Many reviewers compared the LZ-2 to the Olympus C-5500. It was logical as both cameras are selling right around the $200.00 mark.

Most importantly, it makes me look forward to the upcoming LZ-3 and LZ-5 with even great anticipation. It will be very interesting indeed to see how Panasonic has improved on the earlier LZ designs. The LZ series fit rather nicely into what has become a niche market for small medium zoom cameras.

Thanks for your post and effectively calling our attention to a very interesting camera. The future looks bright for the LZ series, although some who prefer to have an optical viewfinder on their camera, rather than having to depend on the LCD for photo framing, are going to have to make some adjustments.

The Olympus C-5500 (5mp - 5X optical zoom) the Canon A-610 (5mp - 4X optical zoom) and the Fuji E-900 (9mp - 4X optical zoom)all have real optical viewfinders. So for those that desire a real optical viewfinder, these camera can meet that need. However,the Panasonic LZ series still trumps these cameras because it has a full 6X optical zoom.

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