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Help - FZ18 ~ SP-570 ~ P80 ~ H50
Hey guys, my old point n shoot died recently & I feel its time for an update. Im what you would call a budding amateur or a photography enthusiast (without the experience or equipment) but I am not entirely new to the world of cameras beyond the point n shoot range. So with the budgetary & availability constraints in mind, Ive found a set of 4 cameras that I would love to hear your opinions on..

The cameras, in order of my personal liking are .

1. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 (FZ18)2. Olympus SP-570-UZ (SP570)3. Nikon Coolpix P-80 (P80)4. Sony DSC H-50 (H50).

Here is a link to the side-by-side comparison of the spec-sheets for these four .

Http://www.dpreview.com/...70uz%2Cpanasonic_dmcfz18%2Csonydsch50&show=all.

So in order, lets start with the FZ18, which to me is a very attractive camera mostly because of the Leica optics. It seems to be a very stable choice but is unfortunately the oldest of these cameras & I havent heard the best news about it's image-stabilization or noise-reduction abilities (which tend to go for overkill). I am hesitant with it, but I also know that if Panasonic were to release an upgrade to the FZ 18 in the next month or two, then thatd be the camera for me..

Before I talk about the SP-570, let me confess that I have never used an Olympus camera before, never even held one in my own hands & dont know about the ease of use or durability or after-sales service it offers. It is an impressive camera on paper, but I am unable to find any reviews flattering enough to justify the price tag it carries (which is almost $100 over the Panasonic & Nikon & $75 over the Sony). It does seem to be the best complete package deal of the lot, and I have been recommended it above the others by a close friend who is a much better photographer than I probably will ever be& but it is still a bit of a mystery. Then there is the deterrent in that it carries a rather small 4 sec min shutter speed & from the test samples I have seen doesnt handle 400 ISO and above too well..

The Nikon seems like the most stable & tried & tested of the lot, as I have had a fair amount of experience with Nikon (the compact L3 (which just died), the D40x (friend over for vacation) & the D80 (the person who recommended the Olympus)) & all of it was good. It seems very comfortable & easy to use & I prefer the Nikkor lens over all the others (save the Leica ofcourse). But Nikon itself has recently come under the hammer for over-softening it's images & this particular model doesnt seem to have the best Image-Stabilization (specially considering the zoom-range)..

And finally, Sony is a company that I am not particularly inclined to, but all the reviews I have read of the H50 have had surprisingly good things to say about the camera. The lower mega-pixel count or the smaller zoom capabilities do not seem deterrents enough for me to discard this camera. But I have been warned (without specific reason) to be weary of Sony & I believe I may be allergic to it's smile-shutter technology..

So thats my dilemma (or conundrum, I personally think conundrum sounds better&) & if you could perhaps tell me of your own experience(s) how these cameras fare against one another or if you can recommend a different camera that possibly offers all this & more then Id really appreciate it.As such, all comments are welcome & I look forward to sorting through them &.

PS: I have also been recommended the Canon G9 but since Im not too keen on it (first impressions) I havent included it in this comparison, but if you feel that I really ought to consider it as an alternative, dont hesitate in putting forward your opinions and/or reasons.....

Comments (8)

Everyone I meet that has a panny fz18 loves it. Nothing but rave reviews. I think your order of preference is pretty close to the way I would look at them. You can't go wrong with the fz18, it comes out on top at most review sites.Nikon D60 18-55vr & 55-200vrSB400Casio Z750..

Comment #1

& I havent heard the best news about it's image-stabilization.

The panasonic probably has the best image stabilization of the entire lot. Panasonic invented mega optical image stabilization, and I've seen nothing but praise for it on the fz18..

Comment #2

Gaurav S wrote:.

1. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 (FZ18)2. Olympus SP-570-UZ (SP570)3. Nikon Coolpix P-80 (P80)4. Sony DSC H-50 (H50).

Fast Raw mode coupled with sharp low distortion lens moves FZ18 to podium.For JPG shooters, Nikon P80 will be better.Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612Thanks for your time...

Comment #3

Ajay0612 wrote:.

Gaurav S wrote:.

1. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 (FZ18)2. Olympus SP-570-UZ (SP570)3. Nikon Coolpix P-80 (P80)4. Sony DSC H-50 (H50).

Fast Raw mode coupled with sharp low distortion lens moves FZ18 topodium.For JPG shooters, Nikon P80 will be better..

With the "CHDK" programs (RAW, 1/33,000 shutter speed, remote shutter, etc.) the Canon S5 blows away the competitioneven without the extra programs compare the pics and video on flickr !.

Http://www.chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK.

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/w-photos/full resolution Canon S5 video http://www.filefactory.com/file/8e57cf..

Comment #4

Bw100 wrote:.

With the "CHDK" programs (RAW, 1/33,000 shutter speed, remoteshutter, etc.) the Canon S5 blows away the competitioneven without the extra programs compare the pics and video on flickr !.

Http://www.chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK.

I haven't really considered the S5 but I have to admit, on a glance the CHDK software seems wonderful. Is it compatible with the G9? Or better yet, how does (in your opinion) the S5 take on the G9?.

EDIT: Just checked and no CHDK (yet) for the G9... It supports the A720 though which was the first camera I was considering when my old one died. I might actually end up getting one of the super-zooms & the A720...

Comment #5

Gaurav S wrote:.

Bw100 wrote:.

With the "CHDK" programs (RAW, 1/33,000 shutter speed, remoteshutter, etc.) the Canon S5 blows away the competitioneven without the extra programs compare the pics and video on flickr !.

Http://www.chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK.

I haven't really considered the S5 but I have to admit, on a glancethe CHDK software seems wonderful. Is it compatible with the G9? Orbetter yet, how does (in your opinion) the S5 take on the G9?.

EDIT: Just checked and no CHDK (yet) for the G9... It supports theA720 though which was the first camera I was considering when my oldone died. I might actually end up getting one of the super-zooms &the A720..

Compare to the costs of going dSLR and all the equivalent lenses you can't go wrong with any of those choices..

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/w-photos/full resolution Canon S5 video http://www.filefactory.com/file/8e57cf..

Comment #6

The canon s5 is a great camera, but what it really came down to for me was the 28mm wide to no CA or distortion 18x zoom on the panny vs. the 35mm 12x zoom on the canon. That is a huge difference for me. Both cameras have very similar iq, and the canon undoutedly is much better for video. Yet I often note that a cheap camcorder will even still perform far better than the s5 video. The zoom is a good bonus, but after having tried the fz18, once you use 28 wide mm shots you'll never want to go back to 35mm..

Comment #7

Bw100 wrote:.

Compare to the costs of going dSLR and all the equivalent lenses youcan't go wrong with any of those choices..

I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to say mate....

Pauw wrote:.

The canon s5 is a great camera, but what it really came down to forme was the 28mm wide to no CA or distortion 18x zoom on the panny vs.the 35mm 12x zoom on the canon. That is a huge difference for me.Both cameras have very similar iq, and the canon undoutedly is muchbetter for video. Yet I often note that a cheap camcorder will evenstill perform far better than the s5 video. The zoom is a good bonus,but after having tried the fz18, once you use 28 wide mm shots you'llnever want to go back to 35mm.

One of the biggest selling points of the s5 is apparently the video capabilities... Which really don't matter to me one bit. I mean I'm looking for the best still-camera that I can buy, video is just not a factor in that...And yeah, the 28mm is a major seller for me even..

Infact, I think I'm sold already....

So unless Panasonic suddenly does decide to bring out the fz68... i'm gonna go for it!.

It's got Leica optics, how much worse can ANYTHING else make it?..

Comment #8

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