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Old Mar 14, 2006, 9:56 AM   #21
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Well, let's find a beginning point and continue with our discussion. Did you know that we have among the members of this forum a professional horse show photographer? We do and what cameras doe he use: a Canon 20D and a Canon S-2 IS. so we are looking in the correct area for horse show/jumping photography.

LikewiseI have done thousands of weddings and neither of us are overly concerned by how fast a camera "boots up." Most of today's cameras are ready for their first photo in less than three seconds, and some in 1.5 seconds. When you get out of the car it takes more time than that. In each and every review that Steve does, it will tell you exactly how long it takes a particular camera to "boot up," how long it takes to focus the shot , etc. It is all there in the review. So research will solve that question.

The next issue I think is IS. Photographers have taken great photos for 75 years without IS. Not one of the most common consumer dSLR cameras have IS. Is does nothing to stop the action in your photo. It primarily compensates for photographer shake when : (1) the photographer has his ultra zoom out very near its maximum zoom. The reason is that any movement at 10 to 12X optical zoom will be shown much more readily in the photo because the photo is being taken ofa magnified image. (2) IS is also helpfulto steadythe photographerwhen taking shotsin very low light levels withvery low shutter speeds (between 1/10 and 1/30th of a second)and the photographer is unable to use a tripod or an improvised tripod. IS is not a silver bullet. You have to analyze your shots and see if you do a lot of those kind of shots.

Soyou have some questions to ask yourself:

(a) How much zoom do you really need? A 6X camera costs less

(b) Do you really need IS? Cameras without IS cost less

(c) HaveI gone to a camera store and made a real effort to physically handle each camera on my short list? How do those cameras feel in hand?

(d) How about EVF's (electronic viewfinders)? EVF's are a good deal different than normal optical viewfinders. For some folks, they are fine, some don'tlike them.

(e) How about physical camera size? the bigger the camera is the less likely you are to take it with you every time you are out and about. Perhap the weight of your equipment is more than you really desire.

(f) Does my short list of cameras really fit within my budget?

With those basic decisions in place, you will find that you can move ahead much more quickly. You might say that it will be smooth sailing.

MT
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Old Mar 14, 2006, 10:01 AM   #22
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Let me chime in and say something about FZ30. Personally I started with FZ1 which was 2MP 12x cam. I then got FZ5 but mostly shoot wildlife with 10D and 100-400L IS and 400mm IS. I know lots of folks who use FZ30 and get very good shots with it.

Noise concerns are blown out of proportion. Yes, The fuzi F10 and their newer cam with same sensor has lower noise but one uses 10x-12x camera not inside in low light. For day light shots you will not notice much noise at sizes 8x10. Hell I have printed 8x10 from my 2MP FZ1 and people get shocked when they hear the print is from 2MP camera.

Almost any camera with smaller sensor is not going to compare with much larger sensor in dSLRs but if people can't take good pictures with FZ30, then I think they should be blaming something other than the camera.

If you can go to a local store and handle all these camera it would be real nice. Sometimes bigger size helps. I am a small guy and when I was considering dSLR, the canon 300D at the time felt so small and light in my hand. I went for 10D which was heavier.
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Old Mar 26, 2006, 12:15 PM   #23
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MTCLIMBER You seem pretty well informed. I have a kodak 3X optical zoom 5 megapixel point and shoot. I like the size, ease of use, and quality of pictures in good light. I don't like the limited zoom and I have some very poor indoor pics. Many seem kind of grainy. My daughter is a gymnest, not always great lighting at her events. I don't have enough optical zoom a 3x and digital zoom really stinks. A lot of the pictures look grainy. I have a 35MM film camera that takes awsome photos, but nobody wants to carry it. I am assuming that same issue would exist with a dslr. I am ready to purchase another digital camera. I have narrowed my search to Panasonc FZ5, FZ7, or FUji S5200. I like the zoom, and the size of these cameras. I know that the Fuji does not have image stabilization. I have heard many good things about the Panasonics image stabilzation. I have also heard that the Panasonic may be noisier in low light. I don't all the technical stuff. Which would make me happier for my use. Other than the gymnastics, it would be used during vacations, family outings, etc. Please Help. Anyone with actual experience of both cameras please reply.
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Old Mar 26, 2006, 3:25 PM   #24
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ctackett-

I am a Digital Camera Instructor for a state university. Of the cameras you mentioned the Fuji S-5200 will probably be most adapted to photos in the gym. Usually, the don't allow flash photos during gymnastic events so you are going to have to depend on the existing lighting, I would imagine.

The S-5200 has a high ISO capability. Whenever, you are shooting without flash you risk under exposure, slow shutter speeds,and the hostility of some electronic noise. The Panasonic FZ series at above ISO 200 produce noise that can be seen in your photos.

Please keep in mind that that the built-in flash on most digital cameras only has an effective range of 10 to 12 feet. Because photos in the gym are your real goal, I would purchase from someone like Walmart, CircuitCity, or others that have a 30 day return policy on their cameras. That would give you a chance to try out the camera in the gym.

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Old Mar 26, 2006, 3:49 PM   #25
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Thanks for your reply. I had pretty much decided on the fuji s5200 however so many things I read seemed to make a huge deal about the image stabilization. My SLR does not have image stabilization, however to be fair, I have not used that much ZOOM with it. I think about 200 mm is the most I have used. Also, the little digital cameras are lighter and therefore do not benefit from the inertia factor as much as my more massive slr. I figure because it is small and light that image stabilization may be more important on this type of camera. Any thoughts on this?
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Old Mar 26, 2006, 6:33 PM   #26
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ctackett-

I own both the Fuji S-5200 and the Canon S-2 IS, which as the name indicates is stabilized.I really do not think that stabilization is that big an issue, as long as you keep your shutter speed high by using either shutter preference or program shift with the Fuji S-5200.

There is a formula, you know, for that. The shutter speed should equal the reciprocal of the lenszoom position. At a full 10X optical zoom which is equal to a focal length in, 35mm terms, of 380mm, your shutter speed should be 1/400th. When you consider that you have ISO speed capability up to ISO 1600, that should not be a daunting task.

This is just a personal opinion, mind you, but where IS shines is in low light level shooting where you are able, with considerable practice , to hand hold shots down to 1/10th of a second.

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