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Not quite ready for DSLR but looking for ultrazoom camera
Hey!.

I have about $400 to spend on a camera. I'm not ready for a DSLR this year but one of those will be on my list in 1-2 years. I usually keep cameras for 1yr-2yr max. My last camera was a Panasonic Lumix FZ7. I've mostly had Panasonic's and I feel like switching over to a different camera brand..

I'm looking for a high zoom camera that does not run on AA batteries but comes with a rechargable battery.Zoom at least 12x but 15+ would be better.

Most important to me is that images do not turn out blurry or grainy, otherwise I am pretty good at fixing color in photoshop. So mainly no blurry photos is what i'm looking for. I mainly take outdoor photos of moving objects or tennis photos and wildlife. So zoom and sharp photos are important..

I do not like carrying extra lens around and like I said i'm not ready for DSLR yet..

I like having some manual control but i'm mostly point and shoot. So fast start up time is great.I mostly print 5 x7's and some 8 by 10's..

Cameras that interested me.

Sony DSC-H50 (Love Sony brand and liked samples of photos this camera takes. Seen decent photos of action photos that someone took)Nikon P80 (Read some bad reviews, but Costco sells so I could try it out).

Olympus SP560(Can't afford the 570 I don't think. Read some bad reviews about the Sp560..

Can't buy any Fuji or Canon S5 is because I can't stand putting in batteries. All my cameras had rechargable batteries and that's what I want to stick with for this camera...

Comments (12)

I'd say: go for the H50. Wonderfull camera, too bad the zoom and the wide-angle aren't a little bigger..

Eventhough you want a different brand, most people will tell you the panasonic fz18 is a better zoomcamera (if not the best), and to a certain point I must agree to that. Better specs, but less good in low light. Believe it does not run on AA-batteries, so take a look at that. Certainly for outdoor use it's a lovely camera, although it feels a bit toylike in my opinion..

I'm not a fan of the P80, pictures just don;t look sharp enough to me in the reviews I've read on it. That is all personal though. also didn't feel good for me..

Oh: the Oly 560 en 570 only take AA if I'm correct. 560 has some problems, 570 seems a good camera but seen some massive purple fringing in many pictures..

Good luck looking for a camera, I know it can be a hard choice.....

Erwin_________________________________________________The world can be beautiful if you know how to use the right equipment..

My Pbase is finally online:http://www.pbase.com/ed197907/..

Comment #1

I think you should look carefully at the Panasonic FZ18 before you decide to switch to Sony..

The H50 might not be the improvement you're expecting, so be sure that it is before you splash out on it. Imaging Resource, for instance, weren't too complimentary in their review. They didn't like the mode wheel at all and had image quality issues..

The Panasonic FZ18 has the big zoom you want, and it lets you shoot in raw mode, which ought to overcome most of your misgivings about Panasonic image quality. You certainly shouldn't have any problems getting sharp photos..

If you're not in a hurry, hang on a bit longer. It's almost certain that Panasonic and Canon will introduce new models in the near future. Canon's S5IS in particular is long in the tooth and will almost certainly be joined or replaced by a new model with more zoom that could become the new best in class. The FZ18 will likely be updated and get the improvements (like a better image processor) that made the TZ5 rather better than the TZ3..

Until then, the FZ18 is regarded as the best in class, though I realise it is not going to be for everyone..

Androohttp://Androo.smugmug.com..

Comment #2

Andrew Butterfield wrote:.

I think you should look carefully at the Panasonic FZ18 before youdecide to switch to Sony..

The H50 might not be the improvement you're expecting, so be surethat it is before you splash out on it. Imaging Resource, forinstance, weren't too complimentary in their review. They didn't likethe mode wheel at all and had image quality issues..

The comments about the mode wheel are really nonsense. Can't understand why everybody starts talking about that after 1 reading one review. Try it and you'll see you get used to it within the hour. I certainly did, and I don't have small fingers..

The Panasonic FZ18 has the big zoom you want, and it lets you shootin raw mode, which ought to overcome most of your misgivings aboutPanasonic image quality. You certainly shouldn't have any problemsgetting sharp photos..

RAW is nice, but you have to really know what you are doing if you are going to switch to that. But I agree, it can be a good solution to IQ-problems delivered by the FZ18. Like I said, I agree on it being best in class for most uses, but not for shooting indoors. With correct post-processing of the RAW-image, the FZ18 does have a great lens and some of the low-light noise-problems can probably be solved without to much loss of details. However there are many saying the sensor is the weakest link on this camera, I don;t know it well enough to comment on that, but it certainly sounds reasonable..

If you're not in a hurry, hang on a bit longer. It's almost certainthat Panasonic and Canon will introduce new models in the nearfuture. Canon's S5IS in particular is long in the tooth and willalmost certainly be joined or replaced by a new model with more zoomthat could become the new best in class. The FZ18 will likely beupdated and get the improvements (like a better image processor) thatmade the TZ5 rather better than the TZ3..

True, but in this megazoom class new is most of the time not better. For instance: many of the Sony-fans will never exchange their H2/H5 for the new H50. Senzor-size remains the samen, but more pixels on them results in problems that can not always be solved by PP (or in camera processing)..

Until then, the FZ18 is regarded as the best in class, though Irealise it is not going to be for everyone..

_________________________________________________The world can be beautiful if you know how to use the right equipment..

My Pbase is finally online:http://www.pbase.com/ed197907/..

Comment #3

Camerawannabe wrote:.

Can't buy any Fuji or Canon S5 is because I can't stand putting inbatteries. All my cameras had rechargable batteries and that's what Iwant to stick with for this camera..

Don't they all use rechargeable batteries? .. or you don't like AA rechargeables ?For me that was a plus for the Canon S5, I didn't want buy high $$$ batteries!.

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

Comment #4

I had the FZ7. I thought the FZ7 was a nice camera but hated the macro shots and just wasn't a fan of the camera..

I borrow a friends Sony W150. This is a 5x zoom camera that takes gorgeous macro and gorgeous clear 8 x10 pictures as long as the pictures aren't blurry. True, many photos come out blurry but the ones that don't are gorgeous color and really my style. Video quality sucks on Sony as far as i've seen but I don't use video. I was interested in the Sony because it has some manual options I can tinker with and i've seen many photos that i've liked from the camera..

For Nikon, I am not a Nikon fan. I've seen photos of point and shoot people like me and I didn't like the photo quality. I like Olympus, Canon, and Fuji but I would prefer to get Canon DSLR or maybe even Nikon in the future and not right now..

I am probably ordering the Sony. I can't figure out how much bigger it is than the Nikon P80 I saw in a store..

I will be keeping the camera for about 2 years before switching to DSLR. So as long as the pictures aren't blurry i'm good to go. I don't do much low light shooting. Some dusk photos/birthday parties rarely but that's mostly it...

Comment #5

I don't know what you meant for blurry but if it's the blurriness from noise reduction you will have a lot with Sony H50 and as for hand shake or motion blur this can be corrected using the image stabilization (Sony has a worse stabilization than Panasonic or Canon) and improving your technique and knowing to use the shutter priority mode when necessary.If you mean this way of blurriness:.

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

You can't do anything. It's the way the optics work (see about depth of field).VictorBucuresti, Romaniahttp://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m268/victor_petcu/http://picasaweb.google.com/teodor.nitica/..

Comment #6

The fz-18 is clearly superior in the outdoors at iso 100, with it's excellent leica lens. The sensor on the fz-18 is a bit small, but unlike many other new superzooms it only has 8.1 megapixels which really is good. The sony sensor is slightly larger, but with 10.1 megapixels thereby negating any positive effects, causing the iq to be very similar to the panasonic. Thus do you love night shooting, want a 3' lcd tilting TFD, and don't mind blemishing on the edges at the higher zoom? Go with the H50. Do you want the best superzoom leica lens available with nearly no distortion all the way up to 18x zoom, and a 28 wide mm vs the sony 31mm? Go with the fz18. The sony does better indoors with it's superior flash, but when compared with the panny, the competition is close.....

Comment #7

Thank you all for your help. I will have to take at look at the Panasonic FZ18...

Comment #8

FZ18 would also be what I would by for a compact zoom camera. Have heard and read great things about the little gem of a camera. You can't go wrong with it. JerryNikon D60 18-55vr & 55-200vrSB400Casio Z750..

Comment #9

I looked at Panasonic FZ18 samples and I may say that ISO100 is quite good. ISO800 is quite bad but this was normal for this type of camera.If you like the ergonomics of the camera this is a good option.VictorBucuresti, Romaniahttp://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m268/victor_petcu/http://picasaweb.google.com/teodor.nitica/..

Comment #10

Just to be well informed here is a ISO1600 of a dSLR without noise reduction:.

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

For full resolution you can download it from here:http://picasaweb.google.com/vpetcu/Dpreview/photo#5217789816142868130.

Dpreview.com has a full review of Panasonic FZ18 but not for Sony H50 or Nikon P80VictorBucuresti, Romaniahttp://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m268/victor_petcu/http://picasaweb.google.com/teodor.nitica/..

Comment #11

OrlandoRealtor wrote:.

FZ18 would also be what I would by for a compact zoom camera. Haveheard and read great things about the little gem of a camera. Youcan't go wrong with it. Jerry.

Right, also (IMO) you can't go wrong with a Canon S5, with the CHDK program it shoots in RAW with many exceptional manual controls.

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

Comment #12

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