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Old Jul 10, 2006, 6:32 AM   #1
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I'm so tired of picking the wrong camera. Seems like every digital camera I buy I just don't like. Right now I'm using the Sony Smart Zoom CD350 and prior to that I used the HP PhotoSmart C500xi.

My main priority is it takes crystal clear images. I want to be able to look at the picture & say wow! I want to be able to take closeups of the kids & my flowers. I rarely enlarge anything beyond 8x10. It's mainly just an around the house camera. I by no means claim to be a photography so I doubt I'll be buying any additional lenses.And I'm looking to spend under $350.

After much searching and reading, here's what I came up with and would like to know which one you would go with.

Panasonic DMC-FZ7

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20K

Fujifilm Finepix S5200 5.1MP

Canon Powershot A620

Thanks,

Renee


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Old Jul 10, 2006, 8:31 AM   #2
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Hi Renee,

I really like my Canon A620 - it's a terrific P&S camera, though it does not have image stabilization and only goes up to ISO 400. Like you, I am no photographer and have limited funds to sink into my "toys".

Anyway, you can see some of my A620 pics (and also from it's predecessor, a Canon A85) at www.magphotogallery.com. They are cat pictures, and mostof the final 20 pics were taken with either the A85 or A620.
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Old Jul 10, 2006, 9:35 AM   #3
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Renee-

Yes, the Canon A-620 is a very good camera. However, from your list, it appears that you favor a longer zoom. Can you elaborate a bit on your desires about zoom and your tipical subjects. Any low level lighting photos?

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Old Jul 10, 2006, 10:03 AM   #4
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mtclimber wrote:
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Renee-

Yes, the Canon A-620 is a very good camera. However, from your list, it appears that you favor a longer zoom. Can you elaborate a bit on your desires about zoom and your tipical subjects. Any low level lighting photos?

MT
Mm, astute observation regarding the zoom - I hadn't even picked up on the fact that the A620 has the shortest zoom on the list.

Considering how prices have really dropped on the S5200 - Circuit City has it for $255 - I'd probably go with that one, although you could possibly find the A620 for $200-ish on sale. The articulating LCD on the A620 is a good feature, as is the smaller size for grab-n-go moments.

Some people have complained about noisy images on the Panasonic cameras, but I'm sure mtclimber or some other knowledgeable person can address that.
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Old Jul 10, 2006, 10:19 AM   #5
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Recent A620 sample...


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Old Jul 10, 2006, 10:38 AM   #6
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flipped-

That is a great photo from you A-620! The camera measured the light on the cat's face as oppossed to averaging the light throughout the frame. Did you use spot metering, or did you correct it in post processing?

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Old Jul 10, 2006, 12:00 PM   #7
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Thanks for the compliment, mtclimber.The only post processing I did was a little USM on her face - I masked out everything else. Oh, and I also cropped out about 20% of the background.

I set the camera to ISO 100, and let the camera set the aperture automatically. I used the camera's center focus (rather than the usual 9-point AIAF) and had the camera meter the light on her face, rather than the entire room - exactly as you noted!

I had mounted the camera on a desktop tripod and set it on the floor.

I've actually managed to get a few good - and almost good - photos of my cats and other subjects with the A620. Even a blind nut finds a squirrel now and again! I know that as low-end of a camera as the A620 is, I am not as good of a photographer as the A620 is a camera. I experiment, I read various articles and forum posts when I can, and just try to learn.
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Old Jul 10, 2006, 1:07 PM   #8
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flipped-

Please remember that even concert pianists have to practice. The same is true in photography. The more photos we take, the better we get at it. You are doing very well and should be proud of yourself.

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Old Jul 10, 2006, 2:17 PM   #9
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Flipp- thanks for sharing your pictures. Very nice!

About the zoom, I've just always been a zoom person. The closer the image the better. I don't have plans for a ton of those pictures, but thought it would be a nice feature to have. Also, I thought image stablization would be nice when shooting the kids. Seems all my swing pics, bike pics, sports pic never come out.

However, my most important feature is just having a good picture. Seems like with my Sony I can never get a good closeup. Plus it has the disc and I don't like that idea any more. It seemed like it would be handy at the time, but it's more of an inconvenience.

I really appreciate all your opinions.Is there something other than the Panasonics I should look at?

tia,

Renee
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Old Jul 10, 2006, 3:15 PM   #10
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tia-

I have been using the Panasonic TZ-1 for about two months now as a companion/pocket camera to my DSLR's and am very pleased with it. It is small, very handy, has 10X optical zoom, OIS, and the ability to use ISO settings up to 800 quite effectively.

Here is a sample no flash photo taken during a Hans Christian Andersen stage event.

MT
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