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Old Mar 23, 2006, 6:36 PM   #11
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I have read my PM.

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Old Mar 23, 2006, 6:41 PM   #12
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You will find the Canon S-2 much easier to use than the Panasonic FZ 5/7. The Panasonic FZ series cameras are plagued, especially in low light level shots, with EXCESSIVE noise. To overcome that noise, photos taken with a FZ5/7 require software programs such as Noise Ninja and Neat Image, as well as a good deal of post processing.

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Old Mar 23, 2006, 8:07 PM   #13
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MT - I appreciate your patience and all your advice. Do I understand you correctly, that the Panasonic FZ7 is generally known to have higher noise than the Canon S2? Is this just for certain types of shots or certain conditions, or across the board? I like to experiment with PP software sometimes, and would like to learn more, but I don't want to be consistently bound by it for good results. In your experience, do the community college courses discuss taking photos and PP?

IS: Itseems like some people favor the Mega OIS on Panasonics, while others claim that Canons system is more effective.

Zoom:My friend says the zoom mechanism for his Olympus SP-500 extends and retracts within the barrel, and I beilve I read that the Pan FZ-30 also operates this way (the FZ-30 looks nice,but probably more camera than I need). Whileon other units the barrel comes in and out for the zoom feature. Does the entire barrel move on both the S2 and FZ7? And are there any advantages to either system?

Software: Is sofware packaged with S2 or FZ7 better?

Thank you.
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Old Mar 23, 2006, 8:55 PM   #14
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Those sure are large cameras (beautiful however). I bet they take awesome pics but I would not wish to haul one of them up a mountain or wear it on my belt.


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Old Mar 24, 2006, 3:09 PM   #15
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mrb-

According to the review that I read on the FZ-7, itbegins to show noise at ISO 200 and it zooms upward from there as the ISO escalates. Yes, Noise Nija and Neat Image do a pretty good job with noise, but IMHO sometimes it is at the cost of some photo sharpness as well.

The IS on both the Panasonic and Canon are both very effective, and I have seen few complaints about IS.

Yes, the lens does retract further on the Olympus SP-500, making for a smaller form factor. However, please keep in mind that the SP-500 does not have IS, but it is smaller than the Canon S-2 and even the Fuji F-5200. The Olympus SP-500 is absolutely tiny/ultra minature when compared with the Panasonic FZ-30. That occurs because the FZ-30 is HUGE!

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Old Mar 24, 2006, 4:22 PM   #16
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How about the FZ20? I know it has a proprietary battery pack but its pretty cheap. The reason the FZ30 is so big is that the lens does not retract into the body.
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 4:39 PM   #17
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pagerboy-

Both camera size and battery types are issues here.

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Old Mar 24, 2006, 4:52 PM   #18
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Rinniethehun wrote: "The S2 IS is a good camera. Also consider the Fuji S5200 and the Sony H1. All three are 10x zooms and take AA batteries. Of the three, only the Fuji doesn't have IS. Is IS necessary? I've never owned a camera that had it, so I don't consider it mandatory. Ask 9 other people, and you'll probably find 5 who will disagree. Keep in mind the following fact...IS will help overcome camera shake...it cannot overcome subject motion. Only high shutter speed and ISO can do that."

Good discussion, but an important point wasn't made: the Fuji lacks OIS but (in my opinion) more than makes up for that by having significantly better low-light performance than the others mentioned, so it would use the faster shutter speeds that make OIS less necessary, as well as working for moving subjects. To put it simply: ISO, not OIS.
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 5:23 PM   #19
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Chris-

Thanks for your opinion. However, the OP is indeed interested in IS, and therefore this argument becomes moot. Be assured that he will read your comments.

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Old Mar 24, 2006, 6:26 PM   #20
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Thanks for the recent reponses everyone!

MT -Based on yourcomments regardingnoise on the Panasoinc at higher ISO, doyou feel that the Canon is better in this regard? No real advantages to the types of zoom barrels that I mentioned above? I am not too concerned about the overall size.

ChrisBrewster - Thanks for your input. The Fuji S5200 does appear to have some outstanding features, and many on this forum recommend it. Do you own one? However, I think I will end up with a camera with IS based on the support that I have seen for it. I understand compensating for movement with higher ISO, but I don't think that I and/or my wife would always remember to change settings for those shots. Something like the S2 sounds like it will take good shots without as much tweaking of the settings. I don't feel quite that advanced yet, and I don't think my wife will be interested in using the settings all that much.

Paperboy - The FZ 20 (and FZ 30) appear to have very good reviews, and I wouldn't mind a proprietary battery pack if the right camera had one (although I do prefer the option to use AA). However, at $450-$550, they are a little more money and a little more advanced than I am ready for right now. Another "soccer dad" has the FZ30 and he is very pleased with it, but he sounds a bit more advanced than I. Maybe in the future I will be ready to step up to something of that caliber and pass on the old camera to one of the kids!

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