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Old Mar 21, 2006, 11:07 PM   #1
mrb
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I am new to this board and see that this question is quite popular! I have learned a lot by scrolling through the posts...this is a great board with some experienced people! My wife purchased a Canon A520 (4 MP, 4x opt zoom), which seems to be a nice small cam, but then I saw the high zoom models and thought that could be great for kids soccer games, vacations, etc. So, I returned the A520. I have done a lot of internet research on high zoom digicams, and I will most likely spend a little extra $ for the benefit of IS (assuming it will be worth it?). My sister-in-law has a Kodak Z740, and a friend just got an Olympus SP-500 - theyare both happy with their cams, but I don't want to buy one without IS and then be sorry later. I have been looking for a few months, and I'm glad to see that prices have come down with new models being released in April/May.

I have seen a great deal of positive posts about the Canon S2 IS, so I am heavily leaning toward that cam. I would love a larger LCD (2.5" as on some other brands), but I guessthe 1.8" would do. I would wait for the S3, but the LCD is onlyincreased to 2.0", and the other improvements don't seem to be worth paying list price for a new model ($500). Plus, no reviews yet!

I also like the reviews on the Panasonic FZ7. It is a newer unit, higher MP, and 2.5"LCD, but it takes a proprietary LI-Ion battery (I would like to try to get one that takes AA's for emergencies).

The Sonys also look nice (large LCD, AA's), but Ihave seen more positve reviews on the Canon.Not sure about the Memory Stick either...

So, does it sound as though I am on the right track?? I also need the cam to take good indoor or outdoor shots in full auto mode, since my wife and I will probably stick to point and shoot, at least until we learn a bit about settings.

Finally, where to buy? I see the Canon at many online stores for about $335 now (e.g. Butterly Photo), and then cheaper at cassandramiller.com ($250) and oneclickdigital.com ($292). Are some of these "too good to be true"? I would rather spend a few dollars extra for a seller with a good solid reputation.

ANY TIPS ON THE CAM AND/OR WHERE TO BUY WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!
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Old Mar 22, 2006, 5:32 PM   #2
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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.

I would recommend visiting a camera shop and holding all three of these cameras in your hands and see how they feel. See how quickly they zoom and lock in on a subject.

Here is a rating on oneclick:

http://www.resellerratings.com/seller9679.html

not too good....

I couldn't find anything on cassandra, but since they are selling the S2 for about $100 less than everyone else, I would stay far away.

Good luck with your search.

the Hun



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Old Mar 22, 2006, 11:13 PM   #3
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Thank you for the tips. I have visited a few retailers to try different ones, but have not had a lot of time to do it. I kinda feel like I would need to spend a day with each one to really get a feel for them.

I was not aware of that reseller rating website. Thank you.
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Old Mar 23, 2006, 9:44 AM   #4
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I think I am down to the Canon S2 and the Panasonic FZ7. Any other major advanatages/disadvantages comparing the two?

I would rather have a cam that takes AA's, but is there any advantages to the Pan with LI-Ion batt? How does the batt life, flash regen, etc. compare? How long do the LI-Ion batts last before you need to replace them? Should I be worried that the packs will not be manufactured in a few years? [Maybe post this in the battery forum?]

Any tips on these cams would be appreciated before I purchase.
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Old Mar 23, 2006, 10:08 AM   #5
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Because the Canon S-2 uses four AA sized batteries the flash recycle time is quick. The Canon S-2 will take 550 shots before needing a battery change, whereas the Panasonic FZ-7 will take 320 shots before needing a battery change/recharge.

Performance-wise the two cameras are very similiar. I own both the Panasonic FZ-5 and the Canon S-2. Here is my personal take on them. I like the S-2's better video mode, the macro and supermacro modes, and the articulated LCD screen a lot. Those are features where the FZ-7 cannot quite compare. Noise-wise I personally think that the S-2 does a better job. The Caonon S-2 is also cheaper.

But, the choice is entirely yours. why not check out the FZ-7 review and decide.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_reviews/fz7.html

MT
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Old Mar 23, 2006, 4:50 PM   #6
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Based on MtClimbers recent posts on the "ultra zoom family camera" (see link below), I assume that the Canon S2 is slightly easier to use than the Pan FZ7. Any other comments on ease of use?

(http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=87)

I'm still leaning toward the Canon due to the AA batts and the number of great reviews. I am also still considering the FZ7, primarily due to the 2.5" LCD and good reviews. I don't think the extra MP will make much difference since I will not be printing huge photos. I have handled the S2 in a few stores, but have not been able to find an FZ7 to try out. Circuit City had a FZ5 on display, but someone had vandalized it and it was inoperable!
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Old Mar 23, 2006, 5:21 PM   #7
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I was going to answer, but since you are not talking to me, even though I answered your last post, I can only assume that you do not need my help any further, so I'm out of here. Good luck!

MT
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Old Mar 23, 2006, 5:57 PM   #8
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MtClimber - I'm so sorry that you took offense the way that I worded my post. It was certainly not meant that way!! You seem to have a great amount of experience and all of it is appreciated! I was just saying that I assumed that one was easier to use, based on your post, and any other comments from yourself and/or others would be appreciated. Please forgive me!
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Old Mar 23, 2006, 5:59 PM   #9
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Let others help you then. I volunteer a lot of time to this forum. Just look at the number of posts I have made. I can take a hint and it is as simple as that!

MT
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Old Mar 23, 2006, 6:20 PM   #10
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MtClimber - please read your PM
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