Which of these Digital Cameras would you pick?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Wes, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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  2. Drew Bethel

    Drew Bethel Screenwriter

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    See if you can find an Olympus C-5050 around still...the 5060 replaces it but the 5050 has been a huge success. You can also find better reviews at dpreview.com
     
  3. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    They do not have nearly powerful enough lenes. That is my fustration about the Nikon I have now is that it only has a 3x Zoom!

    Wes
     
  4. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    What are the 3 cameras? If you don't mind going a little over $500, then Circuit City puts the new Panasonic FZ20 (5 MP, 12x zoom lens with Image Stabilization) on sale for $539 every couple of weeks. I think they have free shipping, too.
     
  5. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Aaron,

    Looks like he included the FZ20 on his short list already.

    From the perspective of the lens itself, I'd think the FZ20 would likely be best, especially since it offers image stabilization. But I have no idea about most everything else on these models. Each one has its own share of fans. If you need useable manual focus, you should probably forget the Nikon CP5700. I hear plenty of bad things about its focus capabilities. Don't know about the other two.

    One thing to note about manual focus is that just about all compact digicams are rather lacking for useable manual focus. Even most DSLRs aren't great for that. However, the compacts do benefit from large depth of field inherent to their small lens and sensor design, so it's often pretty easy to guesstimate your focus or just use a hyperfocal distance setting.

    Offhand, the only models I can think of that might have decent manual focus capability are the Minolta A series. Try checking out the A1 for your ballpark. It has sensor-level image stabilization, 7x zoom lens (28-200mm 35mm equiv), allows both wide and tele converters for extra reach or FOV, is pretty fast and responsive for a "compact", has many fans for its general ergonomics and handling, and probably fits your description for size and such. Image quality is not quite top notch compared to the very best 5MP digicams, but probably close enough.

    You can find a review of it at dpreview.com over here:

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/minoltadimagea1/

    If you don't need quite as much reach as those you listed *or* are willing to use a tele converter to get the extra reach, then the A1 might be just the camera you're looking for. Hmmm... Actually, the A1 has same tele reach as the Fuji 7000 plus more wideangle, so you won't be missing out on zoom range compared to that camera.

    _Man_
     
  6. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    Ooooooh, I like the A1! I will have to look harder into that!

    Things I do not like about the FZ20 are it does not have a LCD screen that will angle, can be a problem at times!
    And I am blind it the right eye and looks as if the eye viewer could be a problem with viewing with the Left eye!

    Thanks
    Wes
     
  7. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Those are pretty reasonable concerns. When I get home, I'll try using the EVF with my left eye and let you know how it works.
     
  8. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    Thanks Aaron that would be a big help! The FZ20 is in first place but quite concerned about the Left Eye issue!

    Wes
     
  9. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    I gave it a quick try with the left eye, and it seemed OK. I have a honkin' big schnozz, too. [​IMG] I'll try it again and let you know if it seems like it'd be OK for extended left-eye use.

    One nice thing that the EVF has is a diopter dial -- it seems that not all new digicams are equipped with that. You should probably put that on your feature list since you have eye issues.
     
  10. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Um, what? Flip the switch off, focus to your hearts content.

    Sam
     
  11. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    LOL! Sure you can do that, but that does not mean it works "great". [​IMG]

    I will say though that the Canon DSLRs are probably better for manual focus than the Nikon's since they usually offer larger viewfinders.

    What would work great would be a large viewfinder w/ split-image circle screen for MF assist. No MF assist that relies on the camera's AF system is all that great -- afterall, the point of using MF is usually that the AF is not quite good enough. [​IMG]

    Anyway, see here for an insightful read on SLR viewfinders that never gets talked about in the various review sites:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...wfinders.shtml

    _Man_
     
  12. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Oh, you dont have to convince me that DSLR viewfinders arent all that, I sure wish one was as good as the Nikon F3 HP (High eyepoint) film camera that I started 35mm with.

    You have to admit that DSLRs are WORLDS better at manual focus than ANY digicam is tho. The wacky little left and right arrows used by the cheap A75 I nabbed for an upcoming trip have me screaaaaaming to have a nice solid ring to turn!

    Sam
     
  13. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    I'm piping up again -- the FZ20 has a sweet focus ring! [​IMG]

    Remind me and I'll show you during the "upcoming trip."
    [​IMG]
     
  14. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Ha ha.

    Actually, w/ the small lenses and sensors of compacts and the resultant large DoF, it's often not that hard to get manual focus to work well enough if you understand how DoF works and figure out the particular characteristics of your compact (w/ help from a DoF calculator beforehand). Most of them don't have that many focus steps either and just rely on large DoF anyway.

    That's what I did w/ my Canon G3. I actually relied on manual focus at least as much as AF on the G3. Of course, the way I used the MF function wasn't quite the same way we normally think of using it. [​IMG]

    _Man_
     
  15. John Chow

    John Chow Second Unit

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    Aaron,

    Agreed, the Focus ring on the FZ10 and FZ20 is pretty sweet [​IMG] I don't use manual shooting all that often, but when the AF is acting up, it really comes in handy.

    Wes,

    As you no doubt know, reading up on specs, and doing the appropriate internet research is great to narrow down your options, but for the general usage/feel type questions, go find a Wolf/Ritz camera, or Circuit City even, and play around with the cameras. Only you will know what feels comfortable to you. Cameras are probably only slightly less subjective than speakers [​IMG]
     
  16. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    Tell me is "hi-speed" SD cards a must? And what is the diff between SD and MMC cards?
     
  17. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    I believe that one difference is that the "Secure" Digital cards have extra circuitry to let a music player "secure" your own music against you! (See also: "MagicGate" forms of Memory Stick / Memory Stick Pro, and Sony Playstation 2 memory cards.)

    As far as I know, digital cameras don't use the "security" feature. (The day my digital camera "secures" my pictures against me is the day it goes in the trash.) The SD cards act as regular memory for photo applications.

    There may be other differences; I'm not an expert on these card formats.
     
  18. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    From what I understand, if you shoot a big burst of frames in continuous mode, a fast memory card will speed up the buffer flush significantly, especially if you're shooting RAW or TIFF. It'll probably also help speed up playback/review of pics. That's how most of the better compact digicams work. Few, if any, non-DSLRs will benefit fully by doing simultaneous fill-and-flush of the image buffer during continuous mode shooting.

    Still, if you often shoot long continuous bursts at best quality, you will want the faster cards so you don't end up waiting upto a minute for the buffer to flush.

    And of course, a faster card will help speed up file transfer to your computer if your card reader is any good (or the camera has USB 2.0).

    _Man_
     
  19. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    Has the stationary LCD panel been a problem when shooting with the FZ20? I have a Nikon that has a rotating LCd and has been nice, guess I'm just getting old and do not want to lay on the ground to get that shot I used to get.:b

    Wes
     
  20. John Chow

    John Chow Second Unit

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    It really depends on your shooting habits and what you normally take pictures of. If you're doing a bunch of landscape photography, then no, i'd say the fixed LCD is not an issue. If you're doing a lot of macro closeups of flowers, insects, etc., then it would probably be more inconvenient. It really comes down to how often you use the rotating LCD on your Nikon. You should be able to use this to judge how much this will bother you.

    You'll definitely want to go with SD card instead of MMC just because they're faster. Man Fai pretty much summed up the benefits of getting the faster SD card. On the FZ10 it makes a huge difference, but I'm not so sure on the FZ20 since they've changed their engine and possibly buffer amounts.
     

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