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Old Jul 21, 2006, 4:39 PM   #1
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I'm looking at buying an ultra compact camera for my wife and I. It will strictly be point & shoot for her, but also something I'd like to play around with (novice trying to get into a little photography). I've set my price range at around $250-$265 and done a ton of research.

Right now my options are the Canon SD450, SD500 and Panasonic FX8, FX9, & FX01. I've also heard great things about the Fuji F30, but it's really out of myset price range.

Right now we have a Sony DSC-P72 which my wife hates. Almost every indoor shot she takes is blurry, and it's too bulky.I agree about the size, but I still like the camera.

I like the Panny's for the IS, but i've heard the Canon's are easier to use for P&S. Basically, I need acamera that she can takesocial andvacation pictures withouthaving to worry about the images being blurry, and one that I can have afun time messing with options like ISO, shutter speed, etc. while producing high quality images. She will never take the camera off of "Auto" or "Simple" Mode.

Any insight would be extremely helpful.

Thanks,

Nick




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Old Jul 21, 2006, 5:17 PM   #2
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Nick-

You might want to tak a look at the Panasonic TZ-1. It is selling on the internet for around $275. It has IS as well as 10X optical zoom in a very small package.I have attached a no flash handheld sample photo taken at ISO800. The TZ-1 can go as high as ISO 1600 when using the scene modes.

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Old Jul 21, 2006, 10:31 PM   #3
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MT,

Thanks for the tip. I'll check out the TZ1 with my wife tomorrow. We're probably going to buy on the net, but I thought a trip to the big box stores would be a good way for her to get a feel for each camera.

That image is very impressive. I see little noise at such a high ISO level...something I've read can be a problem for the Panny's. Very nice shot. Did you use the zoomon this shot as well?

The 10x zoom on the TZ1 is very intriguing, and would be great for shots at sporting events, vacations, etc.

Thanks again for the help, I really appreciate it.

Regards,

Nick
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Old Jul 21, 2006, 10:52 PM   #4
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Nick-

I did use some zoom, the people were about 30 feet from me. The TZ-1 is unique because it has botha totally newrapid focusing processor and a totally new noise processor. Thus, it is unlike the the FZ5/7/10/15/20 & 30.Those arethe new processors that are slated for the new FZ-50, according to a Pansaonic rep who is a good friend.

Overall I have been very impressed with the TZ-1. I carry both the TZ-1 and a Fuji F-30with my DSLR.

MT
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Old Jul 21, 2006, 11:15 PM   #5
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I don't think the TZ-1 would be anywhere near considered an ultra-compact.
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Old Jul 21, 2006, 11:53 PM   #6
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No, I agree the TZ-1 is not an ultra compact. It is, however, one of the smallest full featured ultra-zooms on the market. Here is a photo of the TZ-1 adjacent to a Fuji S-5200, considered to be one of the smaller SLR-like cameras.

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Old Jul 22, 2006, 1:55 AM   #7
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Your indoor shots without flash will be about the same with the two Canons you listed as with your P72. They all have about the same specs as far as aperture at a given zoom. She would do better with one of the Panasonics if nothing was moving because the stabilization would let her shoot at a lower shutter speed without getting blur caused by camera movement. Some of that is wasted because of the less steady hold without an eyelevel viewfinder. But any blur caused by subject motion would be worse shooting at the lower shutter speeds.

The SD500 has a particularly strong flash for a small camera. If you could get your wife to turn the flash on it would probably eliminate the problem of blurry indoor shots. You will find the SD500 is a little larger than the others though.

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Old Jul 22, 2006, 5:57 AM   #8
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reuszenm, why not take a look at the Fuji F10 or F11 or the soon to be available F20?
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Old Jul 22, 2006, 8:37 AM   #9
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All, thanks for the insight. I really like the idea of the TZ1 due to the 10x Zoom and it can use AA batteries, but I am afraid my wife will think it is a little bulky. I just checked the specs and it is almost as large (not quite) as our old P72. We're still going to check it out later today, along with an FX model, both Canons, and maybe the F30. She does like the idea of the IS, but my only concern is that the Panny's will produce much lower quality images while in auto/simple mode next to the Canons.

A couple things that stand out on the FX01 are thewide lens and the slightly larger zoom. And I do like the stronger flash on the SD500.

RE: F10 and F11, I haven't been able to find any new models on the net from reputable sellers. There are some refurbs around $200, but I don't know if I want to chance a refurb on a large purchase like this. And I don't know how long we can wait because we have a vacation coming up in August.

EDIT: I did find the F11 for around $260after some hunting...not bad.

Here's the best prices i've found on the camera's using coupons, net, etc.: FX01=$265, FX8=$233, FX9=$256, F30=$312, SD450=$246, SD500=$245, TZ1=$274.

The price range is pretty close except for the f30. I have to say I'm leaning towards one of the panny's for the IS for my wife, I just worry about image quality in simple mode.

Thanks again to all of your for your help.

-Nick

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