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Old Aug 23, 2006, 8:31 AM   #1
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Hi everyone, I am completely new to the world of cameras, be it standard digital or dSLR, and am looking for a dSLR style camera for around £240.
Of course I have done some research and narrowed it down to two different ones:
Sony-Cybershot DSC-H2
or the
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7

I have heard good things about both, and tried them both out at the store, but didn't know what excatly I was looking for...I realised the Panasonic had a farther zoom, but seemed to muddy up at the highest zoom end, although the guy in the shop said this was because of the extreme low battery (it was flashing red) and it should auto focus when you slightly depress the shutter release.
The Sony seemed to hold clarity but i didn't like the zoom button on the back, I much preferred the joystick just around the shutter release on the Panasonic.
Sorry if it is a but long, but which one do you think would suit me the most? Which is better in general?
Thanks

JM

(I have also looked at the Canon S2-IS, but heard that wasn't as good)
(I have posted this on another website but came here to get different [or similar] opinions, so sorry if you've seen this before)
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Old Aug 23, 2006, 11:24 AM   #2
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Hello, I say go with the Panasonic Lumix........

shooting_rubber.
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Old Aug 23, 2006, 11:36 AM   #3
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Hi, I have the FZ7 and love it! The lens seems sharp and fast. I have taken really nice wedding photos and wildlife pics in a refuge near my home. I also have a E-500 which I like for a dslr, but for the money I love the panasonic. I took a pic of a hummingbird which is posted on this forum under "post your pictures" forum in the wildife section "entitled: my best hummer". Check it out. I am just a beginner but I thought the camera did a good job despite that handicap. Donna
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Old Aug 23, 2006, 12:49 PM   #4
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unfortunately something else has been thrown into the mix:
People have started recommending the Canon Powershot S2 IS to me over all the others. What do I do now? Anyone agree. It has a lower mp level but only by 1 mp. I can't get over the gripes about the noise from the Panasonic at over ISO 80, is this true?
Now my question is which is the best of the THREE !?

thanks to those who replied

JM
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Old Aug 23, 2006, 1:30 PM   #5
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Well both the Pany and the Canon have good fast burst modes, compared to the slow and limited Sony burst.

The Canon has an excellent stereo movie mode.

The Sony has a verypowerful, controllableflash (though slow at recharging), takes excellent pictures,and comes with the tube to mount filters and other accessories (teleconvertors etc). Not sure about the Pany, but the Canon has to have the adapter bought later.

Noise will be a problem in the Pany and Canon at even low ISOs and for the Sony at mid to high settings.

Pany

Unfortunately, no matter how good the camera we can't let the noise issue pass; like the LX1 reviewed late last year the FZ7 exhibits an unacceptable level of noise at all ISO settings, most especially at ISO 200+.

Canon S2

Fairly noisy above ISO200

Canon's aggressive noise reduction has produced a very soft overall result that means I'd recommend only using ISO 400 when you really have to..

Sony

Clean images up to ISO 200

The ISO 200 result is remarkably good and the ISO 400 result is perfectly usable for smaller prints. ISO 800 is also just about usable for small prints, though the low noise comes at a price; the loss fine detail and some fairly obvious noise reduction artefacts.


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Old Aug 23, 2006, 2:07 PM   #6
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I have read those reviews on dp. But basically what it is saying is that the Canon and the Sony are level in image quality? or that the Sony is better, I can't figure it out. I basically want a good image camera, with 12x optical zoom and some adjustable settings, I am not a pro and am therefore not looking for extremely detailed stuff here.
The Sony was the one I was banking on being the best for most of the time, but it seems a little too 'automatic' even for me, and it doesn't have the joystick zoom capability either...however the image quality seemed better than the two (FZ7 + H2), although like I mentioned the FZ7 had a very low battery. So what does this mean....??


thanks
JM
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Old Aug 24, 2006, 12:59 AM   #7
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I'd have to go withthe H2.

Jeff Keller had a shootout with the H1 and the S2 here:
http://www.dcresource.com/specials/S2_vs_H1/index.shtml
I liked the H1 a bit better.

And dpreview likes the H2 (very narrowly) over the S3:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonyh2/page14.asp
Quote:
Compared to the most obvious competitors - the Canon S3 IS and Panasonic DMC-FZ7 - the Sony H2 scores highly in handling, image quality and ease of use, and only really falls short in a couple of areas; burst mode, focus speed in low light (specifically at the long end of the zoom) and the slightly underwhelming movie mode. Some users will bemoan the lack of a flash hot shoe and Raw mode, but these are still rare on this class of camera. And things like chromatic aberration and focus hunting at the long end of the zoom are common to most competitor models. The smaller screen is a pity, but the H2's screen is surprisingly good, and the flip side of the downgrade is a significant improvement in battery life - and you get a higher resolution viewfinder.
Quote:
Ultimately the choice when looking at this class of camera is a difficult one, and one that more often than not comes down to handling, personal preference (in terms of the actual output) and how important certain specific features (such as, for example, raw capture) are to you. Of the current crop of 5/6 megapixel super zoom cameras the H2 is still, by a whisker, my personal favorite, and is in many respects a better camera than its high profile competitor, the Canon S3 IS. That it costs a good $100 less than the S3 IS is just the icing on the cake, and will for many I suspect seal the deal.

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Old Aug 24, 2006, 1:35 AM   #8
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I believe the FZ 7 doesnt have a hotshoe
if that drives your interests
nice 2.5" LCD tho
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Old Aug 24, 2006, 5:42 AM   #9
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No the FZ7 does not, however, from reviewing those shootout images, I am leaning more and more towards the Panasonic, mainly because of the horrendous abhorration and purple fringing on the Canon, and the loss of detail on the Sony.

So now it's: Canon : OUT. Sony + Pana : IN.

I will go to a shop soon and try those two. But the pana in general seems to have better image quality, (ie: better lens and I've seen some samples: maintainance of detail unlike the Sony) and one doesn't really need to use ISO 800 + anyway, which is where the main noise occurs.

Thanks again, I would like some more opinions on the Pana, I really want to get to the bottom of this noise thing from someone who owns and has owned / used for an extensive period of time it. Does it really show that much to someone not using very high ISO speeds?

JM
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