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Old Mar 12, 2006, 3:22 PM   #1
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I need help picking a super zoom camera. I am going on a trip to Alaska in May and need to update my Panasonic PV-SD4090 for something I can "grow into" in my retirement. My husband still has his Minolta SRT-200, so he can help me learn stuff if I decide on a digital with a lot of manual features. I don't want a dslr, not willing to spend the money and don't want to deal with a lot of extra stuff. So far I kind of like Canon S2IS, Panasonic DMC-FZ7, Kodak P850, Sony H1, Fuji S5200 and Panasonic DMC-FZ30.

I will be taking a lot of outdoor pictures. I will probably develop most into 4X6, but I want to learn to take some "artsy" pics also and want to make some 13X19 size to hang on my walls. I am reading about "noise". I don't know what ISO 400 means, so I don't know if I will go past the 80. I do know that I will probably use auto most of the time on the Alaska trip as I won't have time to learn a lot.

Please give me your opinions, especially if you have firsthand experience with one or more of these cameras. I really appreciate any help I can get. Thanks!
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Old Mar 12, 2006, 4:18 PM   #2
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sailboater-

I have no way of knowing how far into the future your trip to Alaska might be. However, it would surely be a benefit to you,if you could get your camera early on so that you canreally become comfortable and skilled withyour new cameraPRIOR to your trip. The result will be much better photos while on the Alaskan trip.

The prices on the Canon S-2 IS, the Panasonic FZ-5, and the Sony H-1 has tumbled quite a bit due to the introduction of new models. Personally I like the highly rated Canon S-2 IS a lot. It has also received excellent professional reviews and user comments.

Here is an example photo from the Canon S-2 IS. I hope that you like it.

MT


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Old Mar 12, 2006, 8:06 PM   #3
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The S2 is a great camera.. I've got excellent things to say about it.. no complaints truefully.. I've seen a minor issue with noise at high ISO.. but this has been with poor poor lighting. Any issue of this is easily cleared up with a little post processing. Out of about 400 photos, I may edit 20 at most. Unless you are going to go DSLR, this will be an issue with any consumer ultrazoom cam.

I've taken thousands of photos, and am still learning. It takes great photos straight out of the box, and there is a lot of room to grow with the camera. I learn new things about it all the time.

As for 'artsy'.. not sure what you mean by that.. But the S2 also has a 'colors' option. Where you can play with colors right in the shooting mode. I've just started doing new things with it, and it's pretty exciting.

This was taken across the park at full zoom


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Old Mar 12, 2006, 8:07 PM   #4
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Playing with 'colors' and a mirror.
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Old Mar 12, 2006, 8:07 PM   #5
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'colors and macro'


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Old Mar 12, 2006, 8:09 PM   #6
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You can highlight any color you want.. This was dark.. was trying to do it without the flash.. prob should have..lol


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Old Mar 13, 2006, 2:38 PM   #7
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I too am looking for the best 12x optical zoom camera for the price... as far as clear, crisp quality photos both action and still at distance as well as close range. Probably won't be printing anything large.

I am assuming that 'image stabilization' would be the feature that would be the most appreciated after the optical zoom.



(Not that steady and eyes are not getting any better...)
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Old Mar 13, 2006, 2:41 PM   #8
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And the ones I have been 'trying' to check out are:

Canon PowerShot S2 IS

Fuji FinePix S5200

Sony CyberShot DSC-H1

Panasonic Lumnix DMC-FZ30 K



I think these are all Image Stablized... (I realize that the Fuji is 10xoptical.)



I remember seeing Kodak P850 too...
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Old Mar 13, 2006, 2:43 PM   #9
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The stabilization between the Sony and Canon.. The S2 wins in my opinion.. But yes, especially with the ultra zoom.. you need IS. Panasonic and Sony call it something else.
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Old Mar 13, 2006, 2:46 PM   #10
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Thank you all so much for your opinions. And I really liked your photos!

My trip will be in May. I just plan to use auto for the trip unless I find I have a steep learning curve.

I did some more research and also read an article posted here called "camera clash". After reading that article, I have decided to stick with Panasonic and get the DMC-FZ30k. If a professional picked that camera of all the point and shoot ones out there to compare with a DSLR (Canon EOS 20D), then I think that is telling me something. I was leaning towards to Panasonic when I asked for help but was concerned with the "noise" issue. I believe this might be an issue with most of the cameras and can use the clean up software, which I love to mess with anyway, to fix. I really like the idea of just one piece of equipment to travel with.

By artsy pictures. I meant something that might win a photo contest.

Now, if someone can tell me where I can get the Panasonic for under $400 from a reputable site, I would be happy!
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