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Torn between two cameras.


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18 replies to this topic

#1 of 19 OFFLINE   JamieD

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Posted October 14 2004 - 04:11 PM

They're a pretty different style. There's the 5MP Canon A95 with its 3X optical zoom, and the S1 IS with the 10x zoom, but just 3.2 MP, with a noticeable difference in image quality. Does anyone out there have any samples they could share of what the 10X digital based zoom is like on the A95? I know it won't be nearly as nice, but would it be that bad?
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#2 of 19 OFFLINE   Dave_vega

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Posted October 15 2004 - 01:18 AM

for the price of the canon s1 why not look into the new panasonic fz3 or fz20? both offer 12x zoom with higher pixel counts ( I think 4 and 5 MP)..theres a full review of the fz3 at www.dpreview.com

#3 of 19 OFFLINE   Andrew Pratt

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Posted October 15 2004 - 02:06 AM

I love my S1 and its features easily make it a huge step up from my previous A60. I have a bunch of photo's listed in the "show us your best pic's" thread below this one if you're interested in what the S1 photo's look like

#4 of 19 OFFLINE   JamieD

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Posted October 15 2004 - 02:34 AM

Andrew, could you post a link to a full size image? I guess I'm just really questioning if 3.2 is high enough. I've been using a 6MP DSLR here at work.
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#5 of 19 OFFLINE   JamieD

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Posted October 15 2004 - 02:43 AM

Locally, the fz20 is about 250 bucks more. If I'm spending that much more, I'd seriously consider a DSLR. I'll check out the fz3 when I can make a few calls..
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#6 of 19 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted October 15 2004 - 03:27 AM

If you're concerned about picture quality, then I wouldn't even consider the digital zoom capability. Just look at the optical zoom.

(Personally, if you can afford it, I'd look at the FZ20. I got one, and I think my old SLR may be permanently retired now! I would only buy a DSLR if you are interested enough in advanced photography to cart around the extra gadgetry they require.)
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#7 of 19 OFFLINE   Andrew Pratt

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Posted October 15 2004 - 03:41 AM

Quote:
Andrew, could you post a link to a full size image?

Sure any one in particular?

#8 of 19 OFFLINE   JamieD

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Posted October 15 2004 - 04:37 AM

No, nothing in particular really. I'm just wondering what the resolution is like of objects, the sky, greenery, the usual.

The thing is, I want a camera I can use for birthdays/times out, but I primarily want one for landscape/event photography.. Like there's a Matthew Good concert coming up, and I want to be able to take a decent shot of him from a distance. To me, that seems to definitely point towards a 10x optical.

Aaron, what real benefits does the FZ20 have that swayed you?
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#9 of 19 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted October 15 2004 - 05:45 AM

Quote:
Aaron, what real benefits does the FZ20 have that swayed you?
  • 12x optical zoom combined with 5 MP resolution
  • Leica quality lens and overall solid feel of the camera
  • Lack of purple fringing issues that plagued many of the earlier 5 MP cameras that I was considering
  • EVF that mimics an SLR viewfinder
  • Decent built-in flash plus hot shoe
  • LOTS of settings to tweak and play around with -- plus simple-to-use auto modes for quick snapping
  • Manual focus ring!!!
  • Good battery life
I've been using a Canon A-1 SLR for over 15 years, but have gotten tired of having to carry around the heavy bag anytime I want to bring it out, and also wanted to get a digital camera. With the 36mm-432mm equivalent zoom lens, EVF, and vast array of optional manual adjustments, the FZ20 is almost like getting a DSLR (feature-wise) without having to lug around extra lenses. And considering that it can be had for under $550 (Circuit City often has it on sale for $539), it was a no-brainer for me. I think it's a great compromise between the small portable digicams and the bulky (and pricy!) DSLRs.

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#10 of 19 OFFLINE   Dave_vega

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Posted October 15 2004 - 06:04 AM

the only reason I suggested the panasonics over the canon s1 is I was about to buy a powershot pro, but after trying it it was so bloody slow..same with the s1..you seriously have to stay in frame for 1 second after the button is pressed..I don't know why canon's have such a slow shutter/record time, but it is inexcusable..I myself own a sony f717 and it is the best camera I have ever shot with..would not trade it for the world..even when I move up to a DSLR..it's IR capabilities are amazing..and it's going for under 500$ at sears right now..

#11 of 19 OFFLINE   ScottHH

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Posted October 15 2004 - 06:38 AM

You could get a feel for the detail in a 3MP image by setting the dSLR you use at work to record medium size jpeg. On the Nikon D70 this is 3.3MP and on the Canon Digital Rebel it's 3MP.

"I want a camera I can use for birthdays/times out"
To me that means a small point and shoot

"but I primarily want one for landscape"
This implies a wide lens. For me that's at least as wide as 28mm, I prefer 24mm. Canon does make 0.7x Wide-angle Converter Lens for both of the cameras you mentioned.

"event photography--to be able to take a decent shot of him from a distance"
This implies a substantial telephoto lens.

Do you plan on making prints that are 8x10 or bigger? If so landscapes with the S1 might be dissapointing relative to the A95. If taking closeups at a concert are important, I don't think the A95 will give you usable images. One other point, the Maximum Aperture on the A95 is F2.8-F4.9, whereas it is F2.8 - F3.1 on the S1. This suggests that the lens is better on the S1 (which makes sense as it cost $100 more).

So, if big prints are more important, the A95
If your concert photographs are more important, the S1 (or the Panasonic fz3, as dpreview compared it very favorably to the S1).

#12 of 19 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted October 15 2004 - 07:12 AM

A couple items I forgot to mention about the FZ20:

It has a nice Image Stabilization feature.

There are wide-angle and telephoto adapter lenses available for it, but they are RIDICULOUSLY expensive. (Something like $350-$400 each. I don't know why they even bother to make them.) There may be less-expensive third-party adapters, though.
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#13 of 19 OFFLINE   Andrew Pratt

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Posted October 15 2004 - 09:02 AM

Aaron you might want to email LensMate and see if they have any plans for FZ20 adaptors etc. I have an adaptor for my S1 on route from them.

#14 of 19 OFFLINE   JamieD

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Posted October 15 2004 - 10:57 AM

Well, after calling around, there's only one place locally who might carry the fz20, and they'd be looking at a price over 250 dollars more expensive. Which is a shame.

I was talking to a place which offers the S1. They said they're cool with people taking a couple of weeks to test a camera out. So I may pick up the S1 and give it a shot until a place near here gets in the FZ20.. Which DOES look like a kickass camera.
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#15 of 19 OFFLINE   Andrew Pratt

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Posted October 16 2004 - 03:42 AM

Quote:
Andrew, could you post a link to a full size image?

Ok here's the Maple Leaf at its full resolution

#16 of 19 OFFLINE   Thomas Newton

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Posted October 16 2004 - 05:31 PM

Quote:
I was talking to a place which offers the S1. They said they're cool with people taking a couple of weeks to test a camera out. So I may pick up the S1 and give it a shot until a place near here gets in the FZ20.. Which DOES look like a kickass camera.

There's a Panasonic FZ23 that has a Leica lens, 12x optical zoom, constant maximum aperture of f/2.8, and image stabilization. Someone reminded me of it in another thread. Its resolution is only 3.x megapixels (comparable to the Canon S1S's), but at $400, it's $200 cheaper than the FZ20.

The Minolta dImage Z3 has a 12x optical zoom, 4 megapixel resolution, and image stabilization, for something like $500. The previous model (the Z2) reportedly had the long zoom, but not the image stabilization feature.

The Canon G6 is a nice-looking camera. It only has a 4x optical zoom range, with no image stabilization. On the other hand, it has a flash shoe that takes several TTL bounce flash units. Being able to use a real flash without having to do calculations is a very attractive feature to me -- I have that on my film SLR, and it has saved indoor pictures from redeye any number of times. The other features of the G6 that are attractive are the swivel LCD, and the review that claimed that the noise levels on the G6 were not as bad as with assorted eight megapixel prosumer cameras.

Then again, by the time you buy a G6 and a SpeedLight, you are approaching the $1K mark, where the DSLRs beckon...

#17 of 19 OFFLINE   JamieD

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Posted October 17 2004 - 01:50 AM

Quote:
Then again, by the time you buy a G6 and a SpeedLight, you are approaching the $1K mark, where the DSLRs beckon...


Indeed.

Well, after several good suggestions, most of which I tried out in the stores, I decided to go with the S1 for now. I'll probably post some pics once I get a bit more comfortable with it. I do think the resolution will be satisfactory.. not as much as I'm used to, but it'll do the job. (Which Andrew's shots show pretty clearly.)

Andrew, have you received products from Lensmate before? I've got my eye on a couple of their products..
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#18 of 19 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted October 17 2004 - 09:47 AM

Congrats on your new camera.

BTW, Lensmate is a fine company. Very many Canon digicam owners have gotten good service from them. I have 3 adapters (and a couple filters and assorted accessories) from them for my retired G3 as well.

Enjoy!

_Man_

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#19 of 19 OFFLINE   Andrew Pratt

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Posted October 18 2004 - 04:39 AM

Quote:
Andrew, have you received products from Lensmate before?

No but as _Man_ points out their reputation is stellar.


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