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Advice needed, good point & shoot or super zoom
Hello all, I'm guessing people ask this sort of question a lot so sorry in advance if I am repeating things but I have got myself very confused about what camera to buy. Sorry if this goes on a bit but I am off on holiday in 6 weeks to Australia which for me is going to be a once in a lifetime holiday and I want to get the right camera....

Basically I have only ever owned point and shoot compact digital cameras with about 4 x optical zoom. These are the type of camera where I can just select auto or one of the various scene modes and most of the time the shot is good enough for what I want. I love taking pictures but it is purely for fun, the pictures will only ever be viewed on my computer or printed at 6x4 with the very rare A4 print..

I want to get a camera that will offer me more but still work well as an idiots camera, i.e. if I just want to get the camera out of the bag turn it on select auto and snap away I can and get usable results. It needs to cover a range of situations like general holiday snaps both indoor and outdoor and some night shots. I really would like a good zoom so I can get more shots that would not be possible with the cameras I currently own..

After spending months reading reviews on the net I am completely lost, I have chosen various cameras then read something that has put me off. Remember my current knowledge of how to use a camera is zero but I want to change that with time. It seems that by getting a super zoom such as Panasonic FZ18 you have to make compromises somewhere and to get a good shot you have to start playing with white balance, exposure etc. which for now I don't want to do. So am I better off getting a similar camera to the type I have always had but which will cope with most situations or can I get what my heart wants such as the FZ18 and get away with using it on auto whenever I want..

I hope that all makes sense..

Thanks in advance...

Comments (10)

The FZ18 is good.although give the Fuji S8000 a look, too!.

The Fuji is also an 18X zoom camera, but I think it is a little better than the FZ18!.

However, if small and pocketable is what you are after.the Panasonic TZ3 is worth a look..

Go to a store and play with them.that is the only way to really find out which is right for you..

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Remember.always keep the box and everything that came in it!..

Comment #1

If you read most review comparisons, the FZ18 is much better overall than the S8000fd.

The other SuperZoom which is better than the Fuji but maybe not so good as the FZ18 is the Olympus SP560 UZ.

The Fuji is known to preduce alot of the purple/blue banding on high zoom http://public.fotki.com/dlg1/..

Comment #2

Relax. ALL digital cameras have a completely automatic setting. The most complex DSLR can be set to "green box" and handed over to a novice to shoot snapshots. So that is not an issue..

Just look for the controls and portability you must have, and make sure the image quality is sufficient (and that does not necessarily mean the most megapixels at all)..

Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...

Comment #3

Dlg1 wrote:.

If you read most review comparisons, the FZ18 is much better overallthan the S8000fd.

The other SuperZoom which is better than the Fuji but maybe not sogood as the FZ18 is the Olympus SP560 UZ.

And.which one of these have you ever used?.

The Fuji is known to preduce alot of the purple/blue banding on highzoom .

Again, I ask.which one of these have you ever used?.

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

Remember.always keep the box and everything that came in it!..

Comment #4

Aletheia wrote:.

Relax. ALL digital cameras have a completely automatic setting. Themost complex DSLR can be set to "green box" and handed over to anovice to shoot snapshots. So that is not an issue..

You mean, most 'under $1000 DSLR kit bodies' have the green box mode..

You won't find it on the Nikon D300 or higher.Canon 5D.J. D.Colorful Colorado.

Remember.always keep the box and everything that came in it!..

Comment #5

There are lots of cameras that will meet your needs. Some of them have been mentioned in the other posts. For small cameras with 6x optical zooms or greater, the most popular are the Panasonic TZ3 and LZ7, Canon SX100, A720IS, A650IS and G9, and the Sony H3. For the larger SLR-like cameras, the Panasonic FZ18, Fuji S8000, Olympus FZ560, Canon S3 or S5 and Sony H7 or H9 are very popular..

I have the Canon A720IS and I think it's a fine all-around camera. It's also one of the least expensive of the cameras I noted...

Comment #6

Wrong language I guess; I used "green box" because that is what is on ALMOST all digital cameras and for anyone asking this question, it will be on every one. Even the top professional models have a "P" mode that is the equivalent, but allows program shifting..

A 1D Mark III can be put on P mode and used as a point and shoot..

Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...

Comment #7

Aletheia wrote:.

Wrong language I guess; I used "green box" because that is what is onALMOST all digital cameras and for anyone asking this question, itwill be on every one. Even the top professional models have a "P"mode that is the equivalent, but allows program shifting..

A 1D Mark III can be put on P mode and used as a point and shoot..

The 'P' mode is a whole lot different than the 'green box', also known as the 'completely fully automatic everything and can't change anything' mode..

Ever notice how, when in the 'green box', your menu choices change to almost nothing.in otherwords, the camera does it all for you.even pop up the flash!.

'P' stands for 'Program Exposure'.while still an auto exposure mode, the camera takes a meter reading and has preset shutter speed and lens opening values programed in for many different lighting (ie.- exposure values) and sets the camera for that predetermined EV..

And.most cameras will not pop up the flash..

You also have access to all menu, ISO and other settings that you loose in the 'green box'..

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

Remember.always keep the box and everything that came in it!..

Comment #8

Yes, Dear..

Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...

Comment #9

I think you made a fine choice in the Pany FZ18 (this coming from an Canon S5is user). It has a good wide at the low end and great zoom. Since you won't be pixel peeping, we won't talk about the IQ too much here. What's important here, imho, is that you're on vacation and the dpreview on the FZ18 says, "the FZ18 is fun to use, and it's responsive and reliable enough to allow you to snap away to your heart's content". My only gripe about the FZ18 is that it doesn't run on standard batteries. If you run out of power, you can't just pop in to the corner store and get an emergency set of batteries like you could if you had a Canon A650, SX100, or S5 (uses AAs).



P.s. on a side note, I'd get a few memory cards and spread your picture taking across them because cards can fail (not very often), but you said once in a lifetime, and if they are all on one... well... you're screwed if it fails unless you download them everyday...

Comment #10

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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