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Old Sep 1, 2006, 4:03 PM   #1
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Hi all! I'm new here and as my first post is in this forum you probably know I'm looking for opinions!

I've had an old kodak dx3600 for years now and its been pretty reliable

now I want to step up a little from a basic point and shoot to something I have a bit more control over and spotted the new kodak z612

this site gave it a good review, bu then I saw for not much more money there is the P712 and then Canon S3 IS and Sony DSC-H5 and now I'm in a dilemma! I've read so many specs of so many cameras I can't see the wood for the trees! :O

the z612 is obviosuly quite a bit cheaper than the others

not been able to find much about the p712

so anyone have any experience of any of these? if you've had experience of more than one of them I'd be really interested.

super zoom and IS is important hence my selection - movie mode I'm not bothered about, sports and action shots at gigs (I'm in a band) under low light conditions I want to be able to deal with easily without preempting the shot like I have to with my rather slow dx3600. home printing I'm interested in so compatable printers and their quality are also somehting I want to consider in choosing the camera.

all help appreciated! :-)
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Old Sep 1, 2006, 5:11 PM   #2
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If you want to print big...I think you should go with the p712 (7mp)

I have the kodak p850 and I love it !

(By the way, the p712 is almost the same as the p850, only a few upgrades)

Boily

Edit: I just saw that you want a camera for low light, I am not sure the p712 is the best one for low light situations...

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Old Sep 1, 2006, 5:23 PM   #3
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do you kow how the z612 and p712 compare?
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Old Sep 1, 2006, 6:16 PM   #4
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The S3 has an excellent movie mode in stereo sound, fast burst mode and a small swivel screen. Reasonable ISO 400. A possibly usable ISO 800 for tiny prints, but really only for an absolute truelyemergency use..

The H5 has a massive non swivel screen (superb!) , mono sound, slow limited burst mode, very very powerful, controllable flash but with slow recharge, fractionally better ISO 400 (compared to S3) , a just usable ISO 800 (with a lot of post processing) for small prints (say 4x6s or smaller).

Comes with charger, rechargable batteries, adapter tube for mounting filters for tcons/wcons etc.

What might swing it to the S3 is it uses the cheap SD cards as opposed to the more expensive MS Pro Duo cards used in the Sony.

Also the small swivel screen, which while normally poor outdoors in sunlight (tiny screen + glare = squinting and deciding touse the EVF instead) is actually more at home indoors, where it can actually be seen and can be used to take shots over peoples heads etc , very useful at concerts..

The S3 also has a nice remote control via USB mode and can be set to take shots automatically at preset intervals.
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Old Sep 2, 2006, 12:07 PM   #5
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thanks sintares - useful info

I managed to compare the h5 and s3 in jessops today, and also the kodak p880 (no newer models to be found though)

the lcd on the Sony is huge and made the canon lcd feel smaller than it probably is. I hand't thought of how useful the swivel screen could be though when holding it above your head as you mentioned.

in terms of feel of the things, sony jest felt awkard and the only right way to hold it seemed to cup you left hand around theside of the lens which I wasn't keen on. the s3 though just felt too small and light - I know it has IS, but I expected a heavier camera and I guess that makes it easier to keep still.

the EVF on the s3 was great, but with the H5 I had to hold it away from my eye so I could focus on it, wasn;t impressed at all

then I took hold of the kodak p880. It felt really good, weight wise and grip wise. unfrotuantely they didn; have the battery charged for me to test it out. it doesn;t use AA batterires like the h5 and s3 so thats a con in my eye....

...so I think I need to hunt down a P712 to take a look at now. If anyone has any comments about it then please let me know.

Also I'm still interestd on how these cameras operate in low light conditions - the guy in jessops was a bit useless really, I think I knew more about the cameras than he did having read stuff on the net about them, but obviously its really bright in the shops so could not test low light conditions

thanks

sc
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Old Sep 2, 2006, 12:23 PM   #6
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Go with the P712, unless for some reason you don't like it??? The Kodak P850 works great for outdoor football shots, landscaped, animals e.t.c......... Go to www.steves-digicams.comand go to reviews and read the review on the P712. Maybe you should just think about getting the Kodak P850, you'd save tons of money!!! And then you could get some accessories, for example an Olympus 55mm1.7X TCON, the Raynox 55mm0.66X Wide Angle Lens, The P20 Flash.......... The canon or sony doesn't even have a hotshoe for external flash!!!

shooting_rubber.
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Old Sep 2, 2006, 12:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
the EVF on the s3 was great, but with the H5 I had to hold it away from my eye so I could focus on it, wasn;t impressed at all
Did you try the diopter adjustment lever under the EVF ? Someone may have moved it to adjust the view if they normally wear glasses.

And while the S3 and H5 don't have a hot shoe, I would not use that as a basis of picking a general purpose camera.

Look at the review of the P850 on dpreview and especially the "compared to" photo tests vs thethe Canon S2.

The S2 has the advantage at ISO 50 , and increases its lead at 400. And as noted the white balance on the Kodak sucks at 400 unless you use RAW instead of jpeg.

The S3 is better than the S2 and fractionally worse than the H5 , so if the P850 fails the test vs the S2 then comparing it to the newer Canon or Sony .. umm...

And then lets look at the resolution chart tests, the S2 and H1 beat it into a bloody heap ..Andthose are thepredecessors of the cameras you are considering.

From the final summing up..

Quote:
the slow, often unreliable focus in low light (and at the long end of the zoom) and the complete defocusing every time you move the zoom

Much worse than the minor handling and performance niggles is the overall softness - and generally over-processed appearance - of the images captured. The P850's inability to capture crisp detail will be a serious issue if you intend to produce prints at larger sizes. Conversely, if you stick to prints of less than about 5x7 inches you're unlikely to be troubled by the lack of resolution

But the poor low light performance (focusing and high ISO noise), the softness, the excessive noise reduction and sharpening and the fact that this is the first camera I've tested in years that actually crashed on me more than once (requiring the removal of the battery to reset it) means I can't unreservedly recommend it.

personally would be happier losing the RAW capture and hot shoe and spending the same money on a Panasonic FZ5

scrapes a recommended, but a recommended with real reservations

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Old Sep 2, 2006, 1:22 PM   #8
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shooting_rubber wrote:
Quote:
Go with the P712, unless for some reason you don't like it??? The Kodak P850 works great for outdoor football shots, landscaped, animals e.t.c......... Go to http://www.steves-digicams.comand go to reviews and read the review on the P712. Maybe you should just think about getting the Kodak P850, you'd save tons of money!!! And then you could get some accessories, for example an Olympus 55mm1.7X TCON, the Raynox 55mm0.66X Wide Angle Lens, The P20 Flash.......... The canon or sony doesn't even have a hotshoe for external flash!!!

shooting_rubber.

steve digicams does not have a p712 review (EDIT: snice writing this post one has been added to the review setcion!)

I assume I can get additoinal lenses and filters for the sony and canon also, flash is not that important....it deosn;t work well in gigs as it overexposes stuff close to you, better relying on stage lights etc. imo which is why I need it to work well in low light conditions


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Old Sep 2, 2006, 1:25 PM   #9
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Sintares wrote:
Quote:
Did you try the diopter adjustment lever under the EVF ? Someone may have moved it to adjust the view if they normally wear glasses.

And while the S3 and H5 don't have a hot shoe, I would not use that as a basis of picking a general purpose camera.

Look at the review of the P850 on dpreview and especially the "compared to" photo tests vs thethe Canon S2.

The S2 has the advantage at ISO 50 , and increases its lead at 400. And as noted the white balance on the Kodak sucks at 400 unless you use RAW instead of jpeg.

The S3 is better than the S2 and fractionally worse than the H5 , so if the P850 fails the test vs the S2 then comparing it to the newer Canon or Sony .. umm...

And then lets look at the resolution chart tests, the S2 and H1 beat it into a bloody heap ..Andthose are thepredecessors of the cameras you are considering.

well I'm not really looking at the P850/880 but the p712, however there seems to be marginal differene so the comments on the earlier models probably still hold true for P712, reviews seem to concur about noise at higher ISO

in your opinion is the H5 better in low light as the s3?




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Old Sep 2, 2006, 1:52 PM   #10
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The Sony uses more noise reduction so you see less noise but more of the "watercolor"/"smudgy" look that can obscure fine detail.

That said I still prefer it at 400 and 800 can be usable with a bit of post processing.

Really they are so close, some prefer the noise and hate the "watercolor" look, some the other way around.

I would take a test high ISO shot in store, borrow a memory stick (duo) if you have to then print out at home and see which you like best.

Just try to make sure the store hasn't crippled one or the other by "adjusting" the settings to the worse possible.

One store I know wanted to shift a load of older Canon S2s to make way forthe newerS3sand the display Sony H2 and H5were set to the worst possible sharpness / contrast /color setting while the Canons where set to normal ..


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