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Old Mar 15, 2006, 3:13 PM   #11
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JungleKing wrote:
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About Fuji Z1/Z2, both are available where I live but I think both are just a little too "weak" cameras for me. Okey, they produce tolerable images at high ISO levels when compared to other ultra-ultraportables, but I bet just about anyone here would pick Sonyt T9 over Fuji Z2. Furthermore, I've read that the picture quality of Z2 is not very good at all. So while Z2 has that great size and does come in black, it just doesn't deliver enough in the performance area. And also, if silverlight didn't like V10 which is a newer and (perhaps) better camera than Z2, then why on earth should I consider Z2.

Okey, so my choice is still between FX01 and F30. First of all, I would ONLY shoot people who aren't moving or are moving just a little bit (having a conversation or whatever). Let's just say that 10 pics out of a thousand would be pics in which people are dancing or moving rapidly. Secondly, I understand that my texts make me seem like the type of guy who is looking for a pro camera with pro photo quality. Don't get me wrong, I do want good photo quality but not at the expense of the physical size of the camera. Right now, I assume that F30 is the biggest camera I can live with and at the same time it offers the best performace. The real question here is that which would be more annoying: feeling a bit of ankwardness due to F30's size or feeling a bit unhappy because of the mediocre low light performance of FX01.

Also, there's also the fact that while FX01 can already be pre-ordered where I live and should appear in stores within a month or two, F30 may not appear in stores until summer.

Right now, I gotta say that I feel more strongly about F30 than aboutÂ* FX01.Â* Maybe it's because F30's design is kinda cool, maybe it's because I still don't think of Panasonic as a REAL camare-manufacturer and maybe it's because I fear I might be making the wrong assumption that F30 is too big for me. Well I will have to try and locate F10 or F11 in my area and test their feel inside my pocket. I think that's the deal-breaker. If F10/F11 feels comfortable inside my pocket then I will choose F30 but if not (if the cam feels heavy or like there's a brick inside my pocket) I will choose and pre-order FX01 in black.


everyone uses different parameters for making a final decision. i bought the pana lx1 based solely on its specs, and i am very happy with it. but it is not for low light/no flash situations unless you use a tripod. i suspect the fx01 will be the same.

i bought the z2 while waiting for a better upgrade to the f10 to serve as a good p&s. but before i decided to get the z2, i looked at the z1 photos at pbase. there were some awful ones and some excellent ones - a signal that the user, rather than the cam, makes the difference. with improved iso and a better lcd, the z2 has given me excellent performance in broad daylight and in low light/no flash situations. it's the "just in case" cam i reach for as i head out the door. now i'm thinking that even though i bought the z2 to "fill in" while waiting for what i hope the f30 will be, maybe the f30 is going to have to be even better than i expected to warrant my giving up the z2 form for the f30 function.
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Old Mar 15, 2006, 3:21 PM   #12
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also, keep in mind that the fuji cameras use xD media and the panasonic uses the SD card. the SD cards are much more popular and thus more inexpensive; i can find a 2GB SD card for $70.
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Old Mar 15, 2006, 3:57 PM   #13
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couldn't agree more. that was one of my other bigÂ* issues with the Fuji.Â* I love that you can buy fast 4GB SD cards on Ebay for $100-120 which are good if you are doing video clips and lots of burst shooting.
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Old Mar 15, 2006, 4:36 PM   #14
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Well I do prefer SD over xD but memorycard type cannot be the deciding factor here. Anyway, I will buy one Sandisk top quality 512MB memorycard (SD or xD) and be done with it. I don't need larger memorycards since I'd upload the pics the next day to my computer so what'd be the point. Okey, if I record movies than the extra capasity would be great but I seriously doubt I'd film clips that last longer than 40-60 seconds.

There's one more point to this. My friend has this camera here:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/spec...ony_dscu20.asp
He has sent me pics taken with this cam in similar conditions I'd use my camera (inside bars, outside bars in the street light, people posing and not moving) and the pics have been decent in my opinion. Okey, they are not great but I'm more interested in capturing the "magic of the moment" than capturing a perfect photo. I guess this would mean that any modern digital cam would suit me since the Sony U20 there is over two years old but on the other hand I'm the type of guy who wants high-tech gadgets that are the latest models. So in this respect, Z2 would not be an option since its not the latest from Fuji. Also, T9 would be an option then, wouldn't it.

EDIT: silverlight, you mentioned Canon Powershot SD700 IS. Well I know Canon makes quality digital cams, no doubt, but that model is only slightly smaller than Fuji F30, and if those two cams were my only two options, I'd choose F30 in a heartbeat.
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Old Mar 15, 2006, 4:44 PM   #15
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But okey, for arguments sake: let's say that my decision is between Sony T9, Fuji Z2, Panasonic FX01 and Fuji 30.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/comp...0&show=all

Size and style:
Well obviously since I need a pocketable fun camera (I'd most likely keep it inside my inner breast pocket) T9 and Z2 are the winners here. Both look durable (I had my doubts about T9's durability but apperently it's very sturdy). Stylewise I'd give the edge to Z2 just because the design is a bit more simple and logical than T9's.

FX01 is small but not as ideal to be kept inside a pocket than T9 or Z2. And with F30 you'd have to keep it inside a bigger pocket because of its size and note that I'm not for taking carrying cases with me (even if it's attached to my belt).

So sizewinners are T9 and Z2 while style winners are Z2 and FX01 with T9 as a close second.

LCD:
Looking at the specs Z2 has the most pixels in its lcd with FX01 having the least. Of course you cannot judge the lcd by just pixels alone. While Fuji lcds have gained praise I have no doubt that Sony and Panasonic (being big in consumer electronics) have the best lcds, although I did hear a few negative comments about FX9's lcd.

I'd imagine that T9, F30 and FX01 have the best lcds while Z2's lcd might be a bit inferior.

Performance (low light as a priority):
Well obviously F30 is the hands down winner. It has to be! Moreover, F11's performance for example gained respect from advanced photographers with DSLRs so F30 has to be da bomb. From then on, the race is tight. Based on reviews T9 has a very weak flash but hasn't huge noise levels. It has OIS and that helps a bit, and the overall performance I hear is quite decent for an ultracompact, although purple fringing and redeye are visible problems. I have heard that T9 isn't that ideal for low light (then again, I heard the same with FX9). FX01's flash is a bit better to that of T9 (or I think it is) but the problem with FX01 is, again, the noise. Z2 has that Fuji-capability to perform decently in high ISO levels with smaller noise levels but I have heard three or four reviews of Z2 stating that it offers appalling picture quality. I don't know about the flash of Z2 but if you look at the design I bet redeye is less of a problem with Z2 than it is with T9.

So the hands down winner is F30 with FX01 taking silver and T9 the bronze (because I'd imagine that while Z2 has that Fuji-ability in low light T9s overall performance tops the Z2's tad advantage in the low light department).

Overall, my most important criterum was that the camera has to be of the right size and the right size is a size that fits great into my pocket and does not feel like a brick in there when I dance of whatever. In this respect, I should choose either T9 or Z2. But then again, I want performance and do not want to sacrifice it altogether because of the size so here's where FX01 and F30 come in. Now F30 might be too big for me (MIGHT) but it'd offer superior performance. On the other hand, while FX01 seems like a cam that has the best of both worlds (T9, Z2 and F30) I hear it doesn't perform any better in low light than T9 or Z2.

Then there's the point of availability:
Z2 and T9 I can get right now with Z2 being the cheapest of the four. I'd have to wait a while to get FX01 and to get F30 I'd imagine I'd have to wait three to four months. I wouldn't buy the cam in this months anyway but I woudn't want to wait to summer.

I guess one idea is for me to describe the optimal camera for me: it'd be black and about the size of Z2 and T9, perhaps even a bit bigger. The lcd would have to be good and the cam should be easy to use; I don't want to make any manual adjustments. The cam would have to work good in low light situations shooting posing people (not moving). Shooting quality video is not in any way that important. The cam might have widescreen mode but in all honesty altough I have only widescreen displays it isn't that important. I would not print the pics but keep them inside my computer just so I can send them to my friends, add them as below 100kt files in the web or just look at them with my friends while drinking beer and remembering the good old days.

Right now, I have said pretty much everything I have to say. I beg of you to put yourself in my shoes and advice me on this matter. Which cam would you pick (and remember that I'm not on a budget per say and also I'm not in that much of a hurry to buy a cam although I'd like to buy it within two months' time)? Also, you can correct me if I have misrepresented one or many of the cameras I have chosen to this round-up.

Please help!
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Old Mar 15, 2006, 8:13 PM   #16
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How long do you expect your camera to last, and this an important issue to you? Or will you be happy if you have a reason to upgrade to the latest model every year?

You might want to take a look at the thread on "Pocket Digicams and Dust," which I started. My experience is that a camera carried in a pocket will pick up dust on the sensor (or perhaps elsewhere in the optics; either way, it's a problem) within a year. My current pocket camera is a Fuji F10 (forerunner to the F30), a great camera that's just about ideal for your stated purposes. But it already has dust problems after about nine months.

One suggestion I've picked up is that ultra-compact cameras that do not extend the lens may be somewhat less prone to this problem. This might be a vote in favor of the T9 and Z2.

Again, if you don't mind buying a new pocket camera every year, or perhaps more frequently, you needn't worry about this issue.
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Old Mar 15, 2006, 10:08 PM   #17
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I don't necessarily agree that the F10/F30 is superior to stabilization for static subjects in limited light. The manufacturers are claiming 3 f-stops for stabilization and I find that to be pretty close after using my FZ10 for a couple of years. For the shot you can handhold at ISO100 with stabilization you need ISO800 without it. The F10 and probably the F30 are extremely good at noise at higher ISO, but an ISO 100 shot from a stabilized camera is going to be better than an ISO 800 shot from the Fuji. Same for ISO 200 on the stabilized camera compared to ISO 1600 on the Fuji. That is especially true of the T9 with better than average noise through ISO400.

Where the high ISO is really superior is with action. Where the F10 will freeze action reasonably well in limited light you get a lot of blur with stabilization since the stabilization is just allowing you to handhold at slower shutter speeds. If you are shooting at 1/4 second with stabilization nothing can be moving.

Don't project the low noise capability of the F10 to other Fuji cameras. Looking at the noise tests at DCRP the Z1 wasn't any better than the T9 at higher ISO – and the Fuji doesn't have stabilization like the T9. And it wasn't a particularly good camera. Unless they made some magical improvements on the Z2 it isn't the low light camera you are looking for.

I agree with silverfast that the new SD700 might be a good low light camera. Not only does it have optical stabilization and claimed better high ISO noise, it also has an optical viewfinder for a steadier hold. It might be a little bulky for your needs though.

I've always managed to find a perfect little leather belt pouch for my pocket cameras at my local flea market. I find the camera a lot easier to get at and it is a lot safer for the camera after I put a piece of pliable plastic in the back for the LCD to rest against. There also aren't dust problems. At my age I'm not fashion conscious, so it probably isn't for everyone.


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Old Mar 16, 2006, 12:47 AM   #18
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I do not want or need an optical viewfinder so that's another reason why I do not wish to consider the SD700 IS next to it being the same size class as F30. And about the dust situation: Well I would want to use this camera I'm buying at least three to four years with it being my only camera. My friend has used his U20 for over two years now and it still works, even though on weekends he just puts it in his pocket along with the rest of small things. And remember that in my area coldness is also an issue.

But please, I want to hear more opinions.
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Old Mar 16, 2006, 5:45 AM   #19
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jungleking, try looking at some photos at pbase as well as listening to our opinions. i have both a panasonic and a fuji, as well as a dslr. for low light/no flash, it's fuji or the dslr. ois on the pana does not get me where i want to go in low light situations, even though i seem to be able to hold a camera fairly steady for 1/4 second. i personally think it's likely you will get the best performance - for what you're looking for - from the f30; but i can say of the z2 that its low light performance is noticeably better than my pana lx1, it has the form factor you want, and it's a very handy p&s. but the ultimate reality check is not our opinions, it's the photos the cams take. check them out. you may even end up with the sony if the t7 photos at pbase convince you the t9 would work for you.
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Old Mar 17, 2006, 12:52 PM   #20
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Well this isn't certainly an easy choice. But I have to choose... Looking at the pics at pbase.com taken with different cameras I got the feeling that while there are differences these differences aren't that big unless you start zooming. I guess I have to make a decision based on what feels right.

I really would like an extra-small and black camera so that leaves my with FX01, T9 and Z2. I gotta be honest with you: the negatives reviews of Z2 just make me feel uncertain about the quality of this cam although Fuji should be the low light king in this class. Then there were two... FX01 and T9. From these two my pick is FX01. Its design is more simple and thus better, it seems more sturdy than T9 and in has that widescreen mode (as all of my displays are 16:9 this would be cool). Also, the review at megapixel.net was very promising. And also, FX01 is a brand new camera while T9 is an older model :lol: Well, not that old... In my eyes, the only thing going for T9 is the smaller size, the fact that I feel Sony has a more solid track record with digital cameras and the dust issue: someone mentioned that the type of lens that Sony has it's more durable than Panasonic's lens solution.

So I guess I'll choose Panasonic FX01. I guess my main problems with this camera has been A) the noise-factor B) Panasonic's rep as a camera manufacturer and C) there being cameras in the market that have been branded as "ideal for low light". However, I think I may have overestimated my camera need: after all, I do not want pro-quality, I just want a fun camera, a bar camera, a camera that I can take anywhere and capture magical moments and then looking at these pics from my computer screen. I think FX01 will not dissappoint me...
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