I obviously need a camera with an OVF or EVF.
I wouldn't count on that. My Canon S3 IS had an EVF. My current Fuji F45fd lacks any viewfinder, LCD only. But the Fuji LCD has a brightness boost when needed. This actually makes it easier to use in daylight than the Canon with EVF. Too bad the reviews don't do a better job of reporting LCD performance..
For sports photos (like soccer) you need a lot more than just a long lens: ideally you need a camera with an optical viewfinder, that allows you to control the exposure settings (so you can select a fast shutter speed), and fast autofocus / short shutter lag... which IMO adds up to a DSLR. Shooting sports photos on a compact with an LCD screen is possible, but... well, you've tried it..
There are some very good value entry-level DSLRs out there at the moment (Nikon D40, Olympus E-520) - the latter comes with a good twin lens kit that includes the telephoto zoom you will need for shooting soccer games..
I believe the Panasonic FZ18 cost less than the FZ50, is slightly smallerand yet has a long zoom and the EVF as well..
Also, if you can find one, the FZ7 or FZ8 is also a bit smaller stilland boasts the same features. They also use a Lith battery which willget you through a days shooting of soccer without having to worryabout running out of juice. Again, cheaper than the FZ50..
FZ7 & FZ18Shoot first and ask questions later!..
I bought a Panasonic FZ18 for my son and his family. They have two small children (my grandkids). I was visiting them last week and used the FZ18 for soccer and for indoors swimming shots. They came out very well. The FZ18 is a very good action photography camera for it's size and price..
Also, one comment on the TZ5 ... it does have a brightness boost function that works quite well. Did you use it? The only problem with it is that when you boost the brightness, it comes the battery faster. I have a TZ3 and I "solved" this problem buying a spare battery..
Good luck ... Simon.
Also, one comment on the TZ5 ... it does have a brightness boostfunction that works quite well. Did you use it? The only problem withit is that when you boost the brightness, it comes the batteryfaster. I have a TZ3 and I "solved" this problem buying a sparebattery..
Good luck ... Simon.
I can't remember the settings, but I remember trying because it was very sunny. Can't remember the settings, too many in too short a time. I think part of it boils down to both of us being used to VFs and not liking using the LCD also..