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looking for best ultra zoom
Hello all. I am looking for a new camera - something with an optical zoom of at least 10X. After reading many reviews here and elsewhere, I seem to have found myself torn between the Nikon Coolpix 8800 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20. A couple items regarding my specific photo requirements: I'm an architect and want something I can shoot both indoors and outdoors (that zoom will really help with those details high atop a Gothic cathedral). In addition, I would be doing a good deal of outdoor/general photography (you know .. kids and flowers and whatnot).

The Panasonic, on the other hand, looks to be faster, take more consistent shots (based on reviews), has a somewhat longer zoom (12X), and I like that a lens hood is included. Both seem to be somewhat noisy, though I guess software can deal with some of that (and I think the 8MP Nikon will give me more resolution with which to play in terms of software manipulation). Anyway .. am torn. It looks like I can find the Nikon for close to the same price as the Panasonic so I don't think price is a huge factor.

Thanks...

Comments (5)

I'm in the same boat. Yesterday I was gung ho on the 8800. Today I'm ready to order the FZ20. I know the extra zoom and faster/better lens on the FZ20 will be more useful to me than the extra 3MPI won't be doing any large-format printing. Also, I *really* don't like having to wait on the camera to store pictures to the memory card. The FZ is much faster at that than the Canon.

I'd no more take movies with a still camera than stills with a movie camera. Much is made of the noise at high ISO, but, again, that's mostly a factor with large-format prints. Sorry, I'm not an expert. I've never even laid hands on either of these cameras. Just summarizing my thoughts after a couple days of hard surfing...

Comment #1

I had the FZ20. Now I'm waiting for the Sony H1, and am attempting to get my hands on a Dimage Z5. I've also used the Canon S1 IS and am considering it in spite of being 3.2 megapixels. I found the color hue accuracy of the FZ20 unnaceptable, and didn't like the lack of gain-up on the LCD and EFV for indoors shooting. Odd they didn't include it, given that the onboard flash has pretty good coverage...

Comment #2

I have the FZ5. Its claimed to be a bit faster than the FZ20. Indoor color is a lighting problem, but if auto mode won't fix it, the white balance can be adjusted, or you may want to use light filters. I've gotten great indoor colors, and bad ones when I tried to override the auto mode. Settings can let you adjust pretty much everything with the FZ5. I love the 12x zoom too...

Comment #3

I have the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ5, it has lots of "refinements" and a fabulous l2 x zoom plus image stabiliser which is good too, am still learning though...

Comment #4

I have recently bought the Canon S2 IS with 5 mp and so far, have produced quite good photos. I find the speed to lay down images and the start up speed to be very good. The 12x zoom is excellent as is the IS stystem. It allows lots of different auto shots as well as manual options. However, this is my first digital camera so I'm still learning. Celia..

Comment #5

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