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Old Apr 18, 2006, 1:23 PM   #1
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Hello,

I'm currently in search of a sophisticated P&S Camera, either the FZ30 or A200. Which camera can provide me with the best overall performance, image, and features?? I know the FZ30 has better zooming capabities, but I keep hearing about noise image issues. While the A200 has better image, the zooming is quite limited, and I hear it has some performance issues. It seems they are both have pros and cons, but I can't seem to decide on which is the better camera. Please help. Thanks.

Vince
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Old Apr 18, 2006, 3:26 PM   #2
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olmec72 wrote:
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I know the FZ30 has better zooming capabities
Not really, its wide angle isn't good.
Remember that zoom doesn't tell anything concretic, it's just hype they use when they don't have enough better things to advertise.

So what kind targets you would photograph? If it's general photography, landscapes, architecture and such A200 wins hands down.
FZ30 is really better only if wild animals/birds are major targets for you.


Here's some shots taken with cameras using this 28-200mm Minolta GT lens.
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...90&forum_id=87
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...35&forum_id=87
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Old Apr 18, 2006, 4:26 PM   #3
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Sounds like I have my answer...I was thinking of the A200. As to your question, my main purpose would be general photography with some macro and zooming capabilities. But, sinceKM is going to phase out their products, won't the a200 be obsolete soon?? Are their other cameras out there that are just as good as the A200? I'm trying to explore all of my options before purchasing. The reason I'm looking at a P&S camera is that I want the portability, but at the same time I want many features similar to a DSLR. Good image quality with performance and features. Any ideas??
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Old Apr 18, 2006, 5:29 PM   #4
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Is this good enough macro?

And it's about completely distortion/chromatic aberration/corner softness free unlike those media sexy wide angle "super macros". (which also cause serious lightning problems because of very small lens-target distance)

Sony takes over servicing KM cameras, and after warranty period any maker charges so much from repairs there isn't much sense in it so that doesn't differ to any direction.
And cameras won't stop functioning, actually even transfer of servicing was already done and neither of my two A2s stopped functioning.
In fact two years old KM A2 is still most feature rich digicam there is, control layout of it beats even most low end DSLRs, and resolution of EVF is four times that of any other EVF/LCD, also image of EVF is bigger than in others.

And that will be situation propably for many years. Most makers are just interested from kicking people to DSLRs which give way bigger profit margins and for non-SLR side they spew out annual number increase updates of "me-too" dozenware.

First of all there isn't too many cameras which can be called as advanced cameras, even manual/mechanical SLR-like zoom control is very rare despite of its superior accuracy and speed.
Good wide angle is equally rare feature because it's optically hard to do with longer tele and with touting of overhyped zoom-numbers unwide angle dozenwares are easy to sell.


FZ30 isn't really compact:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicfz30/page2.asp
While A200 definitely isn't pocket camera (except for big pocket) it's considerably smaller
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/koni...a200/page2.asp

Only longer tele camera I would keep acceptable for general use is Fuji S9000/9500 with it's 28-300mm lens. (size is quite similar to FZ30)
As big minus it lacks image stabilization.
Sure it's higher ISO shots look cleaner but that's only because of extremely heavy noise removing (causing watercolor effect) and tele end of its lens is considerably dimmer which further decreases that advantage.

Also image stabilization is very helpful with videoclips if you intended to take those. Amount of (that nausea causing) shake in tele end videos is much smaller.
Video clips are also one thing in which mechanical zoom is better, very few button zooms allow zooming while taking video.
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Old Apr 19, 2006, 5:16 AM   #5
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For some people the A200's 28-200mm zoom range is actually better than the 35-420mm of the FZ30. One shouldn't underestimate the value of a 28mm wide angle.
Both cameras have noise problems if you raise the iso beyond 100. The A200 may have a slight advantage here, but it should not be overvalued.
The FZ30 probably has a slightly better movie mode.
Despite having a rather whimpy battery (the same EN-EL1 battery as used by various Nikon cameras) it is remarkably battery efficient and the batteries are very cheap on Ebay. The Lumix cameras are not known to be battery efficient.
The Lumix is certainly the faster camera (AF speed, etc.), but for me the time between two raw shots is much more important and in this respect the A200 is nearly as fast as the FZ30.
The FZ30 is much heavier than the A200. Thus if you want to buy a DSLR later, the A200 makes much more sense than the FZ30.
The FZ30 uses SD cards while the A200 uses CF cards. SD cards are cheaper and smaller, but if you want to buy a DSLR later, then CF cards are more appropriate. CF cards probably stay the primary memory cards for DSLRs.
Both cameras have excellent ergonomics. However, for me the 5 smart custom modes of the A200 were more valuable.
Finally the A200 is considerably cheaper. I had to pay 30% less than the price, which I would have had to pay for the FZ30.
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Old Apr 19, 2006, 6:28 AM   #6
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i own the FZ30 and i am very happy with it.

I do more long range shots so the 35-420 falls in my favour. Also on this note the OIS falls in my favour also. I very rarely take shots in lo light situations and find myself only needing iso as hi as 200 on worst cases so noise isnt an issue for me either.I find the macro mode to be very good but cant get as close as some of the competitors. i find the leica glass to be astounding with its clean clear and sharp images throughout the range. I think batt life is fair but i do have 2 of em. They are expensive. ($70NZD) I much prefer manual zoom as u can zoom at differing speeds and i gues u can zoom during movie mode. not tht i use it anyways. In general i think movie mode is ok, nothing compared to the sony which imo looked clearer and fit abot 4times the amount of video on the same mem card size. Cam is very fast and responsive and Af is fast and accurate. Camera is a solid weight but i think this is good for stability whencomposing long range shots. i dont find this an issue.

I think at the end of the day it comes down to how you connect with the camera. Im sure we have all seen ppl with great hardware but the output is nothing short of junk. I think play with the cams and see what you think.

See work from my FZ30

Macro
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=90

At long end of zoom
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=90

At med zoom
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=90

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=90

Fast Action at long zoom
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=23


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Old Apr 19, 2006, 8:07 AM   #7
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The A200 like the FZ30 has a manual zoom. Also both cameras do not retract the lense when turned off. As the lense retraction mechanism is often a source for troubles, this bodes well for durability of both cameras.
The flash of the FZ30 is more powerful than that of A200.
In the end the decision should be based on the preferred zoom range and the price.
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Old Apr 19, 2006, 9:05 AM   #8
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I had an FZ30 for a month, but sold it to buy a dSLR. For some reason, I just never connected with the camera. I found that it's dynamic range wasn't as good as my old Sony F717 (which had developed problems). From the sample photos here it looked like the A200 had better dynamic range, and I think I might not have a dSLR if I had bought it first.

I found the noise issue over-stated for the FZ30 - if you can use a tripod for lower light conditions (slower shutter speed) and keep the ISO no higher than 200, you'll get good results, especially outdoors or where there's not a great deal of difference between light and dark. A tripod is a necessity for me with that far out of a zoom anyway.

I don't think the type of card should be that big of an issue. My dSLR (Pentax *ist DS) uses SD cards, something I was very happy about since I had bought cards for the FZ30.

As a final comment - the person who bought my FZ30 is still very happy with it and have taken lots of very nice trip pictures.
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