You can do one of two things........widen your territory to the nearest larger city or order it online from a reputable vendor who has a reasonable return policy..
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Costco has it and a 90 day return policy...
Personally, I don't think the S5 IS even comes close to the quality and features of an FZ50. But that's just my opinion..
You really need to put your hands on one before you decide. On paper, these two cameras seem similar, but when you handle them they feel quite different. And your personal preferences are probably more important than which of the two outstanding cameras has the better specs..
The FZ50 feels more like a DSLR, in terms of size and weight. Plus the manual zoom and focus rings and the front and back control wheels make it a really nice camera if you shoot in manual mode. Plus the internally zooming lens lets you use polarizers without having to keep readjusting them..
Here's a side by side comparison of the two cameras:.
Http://www.dpreview.com/...ameras=canon_s5is%2Cpanasonic_dmcfz50&show=allMartyPanasonic FZ7, FZ20, FZ30, LX2Olympus C4000, C7000..
My car without seeing it! Bought Sony R1, Fuji S602 without seeing them!.
I am fully satisifed. Internet is great way to have a virtual experience. You can have fair amount of idea about it's size, handling, image-quality..
Just go through some reviews at reputed sites like this one, steves-digicams, imaging-resource etc.FZ50 is the best non-DSLR currently. Best 12x zoom lens around..
Ok I have narrowed it down to the Canon S5 IS or the Pan FZ50 thecanon is carried at alot of local stores here but NO ONE has thepanasonic!!!! Even with all the great reviews, would I be a nut caseto buy it without even SEEING it let alone playing with it before Ibuy it?!?!?!?! Thanks.
Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..
I bought my FZ30 & F20s on that basis - unseen. I am happy with them..
I think you can pretty much believe the collective opinions of the respondents here as well as the reviews, which are done by knowledgeable, skilled, honest people..
This is especially true if technical specifications are most important to you. I care a lot less about body polish than high ISO performance for example...
You can either get on your horse or hop on the stagecoach to venture out to the nearest town which has two supermarkets and a real bakery or do your additions taking stock of the information you can find on the net..
If I may suggest I would list the 10 most important features your next camera must have and sort them for their relative importance and than just tick the boxes..
I believe I would look for the sensor size, zoom range and where it starts on the wide-angle side, swivel out lcd or not, RAW or not, well, that kind of thing..
Personally I own a Panasonix LX2 and like the built quality such that I would choose another Panasonic over Canon if I were unable to travel or so.Hope this helps...
Personally and as a couple of the other guys have already suggested I'd be making a special effort to travel to the closest major retail centre and get your hands on the camera "in the flesh"..
It's amazing just how different the camera can "feel" to different people and how different their expectations can be of it's ergonomics..
A couple of classic examples of mine: I tried out an early Fuji S5000 10x zoom, which had (at that time) precisely the specs on paper that I was looking for. But... as soon as I held it in the store, I knew I couldn't use it comfortably. Why? For some strange reason, Fuji positioned the zoom rocker almost next to the EVF, and, being a "left-eye", I couldn't get my thumb onto the rocker without hitting my nose when my eye was against the EVF. So I could zoom without sighting, or sight without zooming, but not both simultaneously!.
I also used a Panasonic FZ10 12x zoom which looked fabulous on paper especially it's full-range f2.8 lens but had a ridiculously under-designed and majorly uncomfortable right-hand grip. It was so bad that you couldn't hold the camera in one hand due to it's weight/imbalance, and your right index finger automatically fell NOWHERE near the shutter button!.
I've simply quoted those two personal examples as to why I'd NEVER buy a camera without checking it out in my hands. The old adage is true that a (review site) picture's worth a thousand words, but unfortunately if an 1100 word description is what's needed, you're in trouble..
I would say try to make the effort if you can find a store fairly close by..
The handling of the S5 and the FZ50 are quite different. If you felt ok with the s5 you might not enjoy the bulky heavier FZ50. Or you might enjoy it's manual features and stability... Only you can know..
If you cannot do this then go for a seller that has a no hassle return policy...
Is it crazy? No. But it depends if you're picky. If you ARE - then buy both from an online retailer who accepts returns. Use AMEX too, just in case the return is a problem. Does Costco carry your cameras?.
I've purchased lenses and returned them b/c noone locally had them (both turned out to be too heavy to use imho)..
As for sight unseen - bought and paid for a car I'd never seen; for most of us we go to college without ever attending a class; attend high schools without any choice....and still enjoy it..
And am happy. I live in Oaxaca, Mexico, and actually seeing and holding a DSLR is almost impossible.Patrick T. KellyOaxaca, Mexico..
...for most of us we go to college without ever attending a class;.
I tried that, but they kicked me out! .
Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..
I would have no problem buying a camera without first holding it. You buy a camera for it's features more than how it feels in your hands. If you aren't sure if the bigger one is too big, then make a model of it out of carboard..