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Old Feb 8, 2006, 6:15 AM   #1
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Some of you have already helped me get an insight into some of the issues. I'm now this far into choosing a new camera:



Key application: taking photos indoors without flash or tripod: in museums and in cathedrals.



Required Features:

- 5 megapixels or more

-zoom range 6x or more (to photograph details of vaults etc)

- image stabilisation feature: for sharper photos in poor lighting conditions



Price range: as covered by shortlist listed below



Shortlist of cameras that meet above requirements (with street price in Euros)

Konica Minolta A200 (8Mp, 7x, E550)

Konica Minolta Z5 (5Mp, 12x, E340)

Konica Minolta Z6 (6Mp, 10x, E350)

Panasonic FZ20 (5Mp, 12x, E440)

Panasonic FZ30 (8Mp, 12x, E570)

Panasonic FZ5 (5Mp, 12x, E350)

Sony H1 (5Mp, 12x, E390)



Now I really need help. Is this a sensible list or not? How should I choose between the cameras on the list?

Please let me know what you think.

Thanks

Bart

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Old Feb 8, 2006, 11:02 AM   #2
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I suggest discarding others choises except A200 because others have lousy wide angle. (and rootkit-virus -Sony uses proprietary+expensive Memory stick)

Zoom number doesn't tell anything solid, today it's used similarly like "megapixels" and touted that bigger number is better while it only tells ratio of longest and shortest focal lengths which are the ones which decide in what camera is good. Now those "super"/"ultra"zooms have 38mm "wide" angle, even much touted FZ30 has just slightly better 35mm which is still way narrower than A200's 28mm.

And architecture and inside photos are area where you need good wide angle... remember that inside you rarely have much space for backsteps. (and in outside backing to street ain't really rational option)



I don't know which street's prices those are but A200's price seems to be little bloated.
Lowest prices are around 420 and at least one shop I keep very reliable has it for 460.

http://www.geizhals.at/eu/
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 3:44 AM   #3
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Thanks very much, E.T. That is a tremendously powerful point.

If I add to my requirements: 'wide-angle must be 30mm or better', then I get a shortlist of exactly one, the A200.

My only worry now is this: How can this be? I define a few, not very strange requirements and then find there is exactly one camera within my pricerange that meets them. Isn't that odd? Have I missed something somewhere?
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 4:56 AM   #4
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Bart150 wrote:
Quote:
My only worry now is this: How can this be? I define a few, not very strange requirements and then find there is exactly one camera within my pricerange that meets them. Isn't that odd? Have I missed something somewhere?
Only thing you missed is fact that advertising is pure BS, it has exactly as much to do with any common sense and truth as Dubya's speeches.
I'm sure you know well how lot of people think that more megapixels means better camera. Now big zoom numbers are used similarly and what's worse, even so many reviewers are singing songs of BS departments and "forget" to mention poor wide angles of these claimed "high end" cameras, sure most cameras lack it but that shouldn't mean it's acceptable for high end cameras.
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 7:49 AM   #5
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personally wouldnt buy a camera from a company that just announced its getting out of the business
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 8:27 AM   #6
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 11:39 AM   #7
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How about the Fuji S9000/S9500? I think it meets your basic requirements. I have the cheaper S5200 and it does quiet well in low light. However, the S9000 has the wide angle 28 MM setting, whereas the widest setting on the S5200 is 38 MM.
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 12:14 PM   #8
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Thanks Robbo, I saw a review which said that the S9000 didn't have any image stabilisation feature.
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 7:10 PM   #9
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I think the S9000 can take decent pictures of the insides of cathedrals without IS.

However, I don't have one and can't say from experience. The S5200 does ok, though.
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Old Feb 12, 2006, 9:03 AM   #10
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Hi Bart 150,

I had a similar problem - I wanted a camera that would have a decent zoom to get shots of architectural details on Roman ruins etc, but wide angle too for landscapes etc. and I did *not* want an SLR.

It was a nightmare trying to find anything that met those requirements! I can't understand it either - the superzooms *never* seem to start with a decent wide angle.

The only two that seemed to do it were the Konica Minolta A2 and the A200 with a 28 - 200mmzoom andIS. I went with the A2 as it has a better quality EVF and I've not been disapointed. You can pick them up on Ebay over in UK for c.£250

Couldn't comment on it's performance in low light tho'.

I'm not that bothered by the fact that Minolta have pulled out of cameras: there must be so many customers of theirs out there they can't just ditch servicing and repairs.

The other option I'm looking at for an additional P&S camera (not as good quality and with noise issues, but fine for holiday snaps) is the Ricoh R3, with a 28 - 200mm zoom and IS.

Good luck and I hope you're happy with whatever you get!
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