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Old Jun 17, 2006, 4:29 PM   #1
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I'm looking to upgrade to a nice ultra zoom, preferably for under 500 dollars.

In order of Importance:

Under 500 Dollars
Good stabilization, can't use tripod and need to be able to whip out and shoot
Good Pictures both in ulta zoom and macro
Fast Shutter Speed
Relativly durable
Quick Power up

Right now the best choice would seem to be the Lumix DMC-FZ27. It is fully featured, is relativly fast, has nice AF features, and has a great stabilizer. Any input would be nice,
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Old Jun 17, 2006, 6:28 PM   #2
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I haven't really compared them but my only camera (the Kodak P850) seems to fit most of those needs.

-It costs less than $300 in most places from what I can tell.

-It has optical image stabilization and I can use it's 12 times zoom with no problems unless it is very very windy. (and even then the picture isn't shaky, it just takes the wrong shot because your whole camera moves)

-Again, I have nothing to compare it too, but I have no problems with the pictures while zoomed in and macroing.

-The shutter speed has a maximum of 1/1000. I'm not sure if thats good or not.

-I haven't had it long so I can't speak to the durability, no problems so far.

-The power up... thats not quite so great. Usually from power on the actually snapping a decent picture (taking time to zoom in fully and focus) it takes about 10-15 seconds.

For a bit of an example, the bird in my avatar was shot when it landed in front of me right as I switched the camera on, I didn't have to zoom fully so it took me about 5 seconds to get the shot.
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Old Jun 17, 2006, 7:17 PM   #3
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Take a look at the Panasonic TZ-1. It is smaller than the FZ-7 and it has better high ISO performance. Here is a sample TZ-1 photo taken at ISO 800 with no flash.

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Old Jun 17, 2006, 8:06 PM   #4
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I recommend the Sony H1, or its brothers the H2 and H5.
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Old Jun 18, 2006, 10:42 AM   #5
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Or Canon PowerShot S2 IS

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_reviews/s2is.html

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Old Jun 18, 2006, 12:07 PM   #6
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Thanks for all your comments,
I've read through all the reviews on this and other sights and nothing yet has convinced me to go against steves recemondation of the DMC-FZ7, which I can get for 330 dollars. Low light preformance isn't huge for me (the TXZ-1), I prefer a larger camera, and the FZ7 has less lense distortion. The P850 is a consideration, it's cheap and has almost everythin the FZ7 has, except for the shutter speed and the power up time. I prefer optical stabilisation, which the powershot lacks, unless it has good enough post-processing stabilisiation to fit my needs,
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 3:19 AM   #7
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I don't understand ?

Both the Canon PowerShot S2 and S3 feature true Optical Stablisation.

The FZ7 is a great camera with excellent Leica branded lens, if you are not too finicky with noise.

If you can stretch your budget, the FZ30 might be worth a look ?


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Old Jun 19, 2006, 11:55 AM   #8
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Sadly, as much as I would love a FZ30, the non-telescopic 35mm style lens is just to big for my purposes. At the moment it would seem the decision is betweena FZ7 or a S2, at this point I'm at a loss as of which to get. Their both almost equally priced, and are very closely matched in features (although the fact that the panasonic comes in black might be a kicker, because as much as we might try to deny it looks matter), and they both produce relativly equal photos, if someone has a good comparison or anything of that sort it would be great (I've looked at all the major sites and seen plenty of tech specifications),
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 1:22 PM   #9
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If you are dead set on a camera using a SD card with a swivel screen and fast burst shooting then perhaps the S2 is for you.

If you are looking for the best pictures however, with a powerful flash (though with slow flash recharge) , slow burst speed and it takes memory sticks then the H1 is for you.

Go to a forum where both cameras have plenty of photos posted and see for yourself, see which takes the photos you like best.


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