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mike_d
05-18-2009, 11:57 AM
I'm buying a new Digital Camera and narrowed search down to 3 choices. Anybody have any experiance with these 3 cameras.

1. Sony - Cyber-shot 9.1-Megapixel Digital Camera
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8757268&type=product&id=12026507 03335

2. Canon - Powershot 10.0-Megapixel Digital Camera
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9051045&type=product&id=12180125 27719

3. Nikon - Coolpix 12.1-Megapixel Digital Camera - Black
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9223743&type=product&id=12180621 39060



Any suggestions or adv ice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks Mike

tc
05-18-2009, 01:57 PM
I've had the earlier models, (less mega pixel) of both the Sony Cybershot and the Cannon Powershot. Both were well built Cameras, the Sony wasn't as good with low light levels as the Cannon. With the three choices you have narrowed it down to I would select the Nikon, for the price your getting the highest mega pixels and the most features. You can never go wrong with Nikon's equipment.

Tom

YakMotor
05-18-2009, 04:41 PM
Mike - I used to work in a photo lab and frequently had people asking advice about purchasing a camera. *I found no matter what I told them about a brand I liked they'd buy the one they already had in mind. *So what I try to offer now is general comments ... MY IDEAS on what I think is important.

If at all possible get your hands on 'em. *Ones that function and are not just displayed "dead" on a discount store shelf. *Evaluate how the camera feels to you. *How it "fits." *Do the controls seem logical? *Is the viewfinder comfortable? *If you can't do that next best is to read comments from users. *Reviews like you find with Amazon listings are OK, but you'll do better searching the camera specific forums here"

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/

Looks like your interest is in a "bridge" superzoom capable camera ... bridge meaning a camera between compact point & shoot and changeable lens dSLR. *When I shopped hard for one a few years ago I found folks in the DPreview Panasonic Forum extremely helpful. *I'd narrowed my search to just one at the time, a Panasonic FZ50, and although it was a fairly recent model these dedicated Panny lovers had it and a couple of it's predecessors so they knew a LOT about stuff you won't find in reviews. *By the way DPreview has some of the best reviews I've found on the net, and a extensive database of old and new models. *You'll for sure want to check it out.

For most of the shooting I do here at Lake Amador I like maximum reach. *From the forum I found I could buy a tele extender lens made by Olympus that cost a LOT LESS that Panasonic's and performed just as well. *I also learned about using a red dot gun sight for "shooting" birds in flight. *720mm is approx the 35mm equivalent with the OLY TCON-17 attached. *Great reach comes with a very narrow field of view. *I find it impossible to keep a flying bird or fast moving boat properly framed in the viewfinder that blinks between shots. *I shoot multi shot bursts and can stay on target holding the camera at arms length aiming like a shotgun thru the sight. *The FZ50's autofocus is petty fast and optical image stabilizer FANTASTIC. *It also has a hot shoe, usually used for a external flash, that I conveniently attach the RDS via specialized adapter to. *Most of the shots I posted in the critter thread were taken with the FZ50. *Many with the TCON 1.7x tele lens attached.

This is my first cheapo plastic RDS like you can get for a BBgun attached via homemade mount.
http://img408.imageshack.us/img408/450/fz50rds475st1.jpg

This gives an idea of how it's used.
http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/9017/rdsandviewfindercomposisq9.jpg

Problem with the cheap sight and mount was it moved with the slightest bump. *Once I became a believer (didn't take long) in using the RDS I upgraded to a gun quality sight and a special adapter made just for attaching a sight to a hot shoe. *Getting it sighted-in so the dot aligns with the autofocus spot of the camera is critical. *This setup has been working GREAT for me. Note - I modified the mount adding a thumbscrew and filing off sharp corners.
http://img236.imageshack.us/img236/4623/fz50tcon17rds191du9.jpg

If, after some research, you have specific questions of a general nature I'd be glad to take a shot at 'em.

IMHO megapixels should be a small consideration in selecting a camera. *The numbers are most significant for sales hype.

MB_Kevin
05-18-2009, 09:01 PM
I will probably be asking a similar question soon. I want a good camera but also to be small...Hope you find a good one mike_d.

YakMotor
05-19-2009, 01:45 AM
I ought to mention my recent experience upgrading my maybe 6 year old Casio to a new Panasonic TZ5 (which has already been replaced by a newer model). Main attraction for the TZ5 was wide angle 28mm instead of 35mm and a 10X zoom. Also nice was a larger brighter LCD. On the down side it did not have a eyelevel viewfinder.

It was my very positive experience with the FZ50 Panny that centered my attention on Panasonic tho I did look at other brands, none at the time offering the 10X zoom for a small camera.

Anyway, after reading the review on DPreview and searching for user posts and high quality sample photos I came away confident I'd be getting a GREAT camera. Costco had a coupon deal and I bought my first one.

Immediately I didn't like results with the lens zoomed to 10X telephoto. Lacked sharpness. Seemed strange since samples I looked at had been impressive. I tried it out for what will be it's main task ... shooting pics of boxes and instructions that came with stuff I bought so I could them throw the stuff away. It worked VERY well for that. Having the extra wide angle was nice for the task and was also GREAT for panorama scenics. But I couldn't live with the soft focus zoom so I took it back for exchange. I was pretty sure it was defective. Number two had the same problem.

By this time I had become comfortable handling it for the documentation task, but still I didn't like the results I was getting for zoomed-in shots like I expected. #2 went back to Costco just at the time they came out with an even better coupon deal. Got my refund then went back to the camera display. Saw another smaller Panasonic I also liked and seriously considered it even though it was much more expensive. Also looked at the Canon's and Nikon's and etc. In the end TZ5 #3 went in the cart. Decided at the new lower price I could live with less than tack sharp 10x zooms and just enjoy it's wide angle capabilities and ease of use for the docu tasks.

Over time using all three I also found I cannot get the same quality edit results I get from the FZ50 shots. The TZ5 has a different sensor and original shots at wide angle are sharp when I view them, but after resizing them down for the forum they loose their edge and I don't know why. Maybe with more edit practice I'll improve results.

Guess the bottom line is a couple things.

One ... If you're nit-picky like me you ought to consider before you buy the convenience of returning a camera that doesn't meet your expectations. Costco was GREAT in that regard. If I'd bought online or mail order "hassle value" would have been a huge factor.

Two ... Sample pics you find on the net, even full sized camera originals, don't always match results you'll actually get from the camera that's in your hand.

An example shot from TZ5 #3 is in the "Is BIGGER better?" poll post. The original taken at partial zoom looks very sharp. Downsized for the post it lost it's edge which in this case I did not try to re-sharpen in Photoshop.

tc
05-19-2009, 05:36 AM
One thing YakMotor didn't mention about the Panasonic DSLR's is that they use Leica Lens's, which are the best in the industry, and always have been. Regardless of the Camera's megapixil's, good Photographs require good optics. I should have mentioned the Panasonic Models, but you seemed to be choosing between the Sony, Cannon and Nikon, you should also consider Olympus, as they make the same style that your looking at. I use a Olympus EVOLT420 with (2) interchangable lenses, first is a normal range zoom and second is a moderate telephoto zoom. I bought the Olympus together as a package at Costco last year, complete with spare battery pack and Camera Case, and have been very happy with it, it's very simple to use, but has some very advances features, changing lenses is as simple as my old SLR's. Give one a look if you get a chance.

Tom

troutfan
05-19-2009, 06:29 AM
I have a Canon S5Is which is the predecessor to the S10IS you are considering. I am very happy with the camera and the 12X optical zoom. It's a great bridge camera when I eventually upgrade to an SLR. It takes great pictures and with an 8gig card I can take an hour of video and thousands of pictures! 8-)

YakMotor
05-19-2009, 01:25 PM
Shopping for a camera these days is TOUGH! *SO MANY CHOICES!

Bored with TV and not ready to sleep last night I compared specs on cameras you listed. *I looked for in-depth reviews on DPreview but these were passed over. *Instead I concentrated on specs and made notes like this.
DL = dislike *L = like *? = wish I knew

Once I found the Canon used AA batteries I quit looking. *Might be a great camera, but my passed experience with AA's and cameras is not good. *I've got a pot load of rechargeable AA's I use for many other devices, but the new lithium-ion batteries are SO MUCH better in my opinion it's all I will recommend for digital cameras.

Canon

DL - AA batteries
L - 20x zoom
L - macro close up
L - Op stabilizer


Sony

L - "nite shot" - a gimmick, but might be fun *
DL - Memory stick - I'm a SD card guy
DL - no hot shoe
L - Op stabilizer - My Sony camcorders have EXCELLENT steady shot technology
L - lens thread - for polarizing filter and maybe tele extender lens
L - shut/aper exp mode
L - manual exp
L - man focus
L - better aperture range than Nikon f 2.7 - 8
L - Li-on battery


Nikon

L - Lion battery
L - wide angle
L - 24x zoom
L - vari angle 3" LCD
L - SD memory card
L - manual mode & shut/aper
DL - no hot shoe
? - Lens thread
L - burst mode
DL - ap range f 2.8 - 5

Of the three I'd pick the Nikon based on specs.


The write-ups of all the cameras mention a bunch of features I see no value in, like smile detection, but maybe it's different for you. *I tend to want basic manual control before special "sports" "fireworks" etc. modes.

Costco had the Panasonic FZ28 at the same time I bought the TZ5. *I recall it was a good deal too, but checked their website last nite and didn't see any Panasonics listed. *Don't know why, but anyway from what I know about it I'd say a Panasonic FZ28 would be one you might consider too. *Also they have a smaller more convenient travel model FZ18 that has a strong zoom that might do it for you. *I used to see a LOT of nice shots in the DPrevie Panasonic Forum from both of those models.

Good LUCK shopping!

MB_Kevin
05-24-2009, 11:12 AM
I was checking out all of these earlier today and I think I like the Panasonic FZ28. Like Yak I only have devices that take SD cards and also don't like the AA batteries.

I need it for taking videos of my daughter. She likes to make this show for youtube and my camera now has bad sound quality. It looks like this one can even take video in HD! 8-)
Also her graduation is coming up and I might be able to zoom in and snap some pic quickly one right after another.
Im going to see if I can find somewhere later to pick it up and see how it feels.

photohawk
05-24-2009, 06:03 PM
You can't go wrong with Canon. I own 4 Canon camera's and love all of them!

troutfan
05-24-2009, 06:36 PM
You can't go wrong with Canon. *I own 4 Canon camera's and love all of them! *
If the AA batteries are a deal breaker I would just say that I don't use my LCD for taking pictures with my Canon S5IS, just for viewing stored pics and the battiereis last a very long time. *I've never considered it a troublesome feature. *I don't have rechargeables and don't need them.

YakMotor
05-24-2009, 06:41 PM
The TZ5 I kind of bad mouthed above actually takes pretty good video for a still camera. Picture quality that is. Audio is POOR. It's 8 bit mono as the specs show for a video I'm editing of hummingbirds around a feeder.
http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/3051/tz5moviespecs.jpg


The mic is marginal quality and it's place on top of the camera right in the natural spot my finger wants to go. I've had to learn to hold the camera different if I shoot video.

While the little bit of TZ5 video I've shot (on a tripod) of the hummingbirds looks good I wouldn't put money on a still camera's video option if quality movies are what you want.

To get best audio on my Sony Digital8 camcorder I hook-up a wireless mic to it's external jack. The mic NEEDS to be close to the source for good sound.

I'll post a link to the video when I get it done.

photohawk
05-24-2009, 07:06 PM
Good point Troutfan! That's what I do to on mine that takes AA.

MB_Kevin
05-24-2009, 08:02 PM
Dang Yak. That is what I was just coming on here to ask! The girl at Ritz cameras was talking me into buying the tz4. She was not talking me into buying it there for some reason but that it was good and smaller. I don't think for most situations I would be taking pic I want a big one. I was thinking of the TZ5.
For someone like me with little knowledge of the manual picture taking features do you think it is a good one to learn on? I have the Kodak easyshare v610 Dual lens 10X optical zoom but am having issues with it. I want to get one of the big ones but I always hated wearing the waist pack to carry the video camera. Sound can be important in my daughters videos but don't need to be great just OK.
Any others in that size you recommend if you haven't already I will re-read your post.

YakMotor
05-25-2009, 12:28 AM
Master Baiter - I believe the TZ4 is very similar, but step down from the TZ5 and HD video recording is one feature it's missing.

Big question is what do you want to do with the camera?

I'll comment on Panasonic because I'm a bit familiar with some models in their line.

A camera like the FZ28 offers a great zoom range from a useful 28mm wide angle (over 35mm of most point & shoot) to a good reach telephoto. *It has features that are appreciated by thoughtful camera folks like manual exposure adjustment while it still performs well in the no-brainer automatic mode. *It has an eye level EVF (electronic viewfinder) so you can MUCH MORE easily frame telephoto shots. *I'm having difficulty framing shots with the TZ5 in daylight from the LCD at 10x zoom. *It would take a whole lot of practice and a good bit of luck to get a good shot with it of a flying bird or fast moving boat. *If you want to "get into" your new camera I think something with the FZ28's specs would be the direction you'd want to shop. *It's conspicuously a camera, not a shirt pocket accessory.

The TZ5 is rather big and heavy for a shirt pocket camera. *It has significant heft over my old Casio 3x zoom, which even in it's case I could put in a pocket. *Not possible with the protective case that came with the TZ5. *Big glass and zoom make it chunkier than many newer point & shoot's. *No manual exposure mode, but it does have special feature modes that (if I learn how to use 'em) *may cover situations I prefer manual control like night shots.

I could babble my ideas of pros & cons to the bottom of the page. *How about a little show 'n tell instead. *

After down sizing all these I made slight sharpening adjustment to compensate. *The original shots look good in sharpness, but not quite as good as I'm used to getting from the FZ50.
http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/1491/tz5waexample550.jpg

These two I darkened to match the first shot. *When zoomed in the camera's auto exposure "saw" the darker water and not the bright clouds so it adjusted to give the scene a brighter exposure. *
http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/213/TZ5Zoomexample553.jpg

This shows the TZ5 image carries enough quality for cropping. *With a FZ28 you might see clearly thru it's eye level viewfinder the scene like this at 18x and see to shoot accordingly. *With the TZ5, after I saw they had a fish on, I raised it, zoomed in, tried to keep the boat in the center of the LCD, and took multiple shots hoping to catch the action. *
http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/5180/TZ5zoomplus553.jpg

Actually, the 200% mentioned in the pic ... maybe it would be more accurate to say the original image was reduced LESS to get this result.

MB_Kevin
05-25-2009, 07:52 PM
Thanks Yak! I think I might get the TZ5. It seems like a step up from what I have been using. I want to but don't think I will have the time to go photograph diving birds or stuff like that any time soon. I do have my daughters graduation coming up along with a gym show of hers. My Olympus stylus does not do good at all in those situations. I think the bigger camera might get in the way going on rides and stuff at places like 6 flags.
The FZ28 does feel like a great camera and looked like it was taking some nice pic in the store.
Thanks because I would have never looked at Panasonic.

YakMotor
05-25-2009, 11:22 PM
Should have mentioned I'm 95% sure saw the TZ5 in a package deal *(case and memory card) at Sam's Club on Stockton Blvd in So. Sac last Tuesday ... think it was priced at $199. *I didn't stop the cart, but it looked to be the same big moulded plastic rack display packaging that I got mine in at Costco.

Sounds like you'll be doing some inside shooting. Unfortunately all digital camera have weak onboard flash. Don't do well much over 15' so plan to stay close to your subject or have some ideas about steadying the camera to minimize blurr from slow shutter speeds.

MB_Kevin
05-26-2009, 07:28 PM
I just read a bunch of info on them and decided to buy the TZ7. I says they corrected the sound problem with Dolby Digital Stereo Creator. It has a 12x zoom and is supposed to be a little lighter and smaller. I also has AVCHD lite HD videos that is supposed to let you take 2 times as much HD videos with only taking up half the memory.
We will see.

Darin
05-27-2009, 01:29 AM
I read through the threads but I'm still undecided or just confused I guess. Yak maybe you or another sniffer can help me here. I am finally going to break down and buy a new camera. I am still undecided on what to get but I have a couple narrowed down. All the pictures that I take are outdoors. I want a camera that has the maximum zoom/telephoto capabilities. I want to be able to get clear action shots of birds diveing ect. Can I use a cheaper camera and just speed up my shutter speed and get the same results? I also want to be able to use optical filters and be able to manually adjust white balance, aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation, and ISO. Burst is a must and Op stabilizer would be great even though most of my shots are taken from a tripod. Histograms and expossure bracketing would also be great from what I have read. I also want to start takeing good Macro shots. The size of the camerea doesn't matter seeing as I am always carrying a backpack. I was thinking the *Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1K Camera /Leica 14-50mm Lens or the Panasonic DMC-G1 SLR Digital Plus 14-45mm Blue . Is this an overkill for what I need it for? Is there something that you recommend that is cheaper but I will still get the results I need? Will the TZ 5 or LUMIX DMC-FZ28 work for my needs?Also out of the four I mentioned any info on the pro's and cons?
Thanks for any info it is much appreciated.

FFG

Chief_Sniffer
05-27-2009, 05:48 AM
I've been using Olympus since I got my first DSLR and am a fan of 4/3's (currently using an E-3 with the 12-60 2.8-4 and 50-200 2.8-3.5 SWD's), and the Panasonic are good cameras, and the 14-50 its a superb piece of glass.

The G1's biggest advantage is it's size, but Olympus is coming out with it's first m4/3's cameras in June so you might want to see what they've got up their sleeve.

YakMotor
05-27-2009, 01:50 PM
FFG - Shopping the class of cameras, dSLR, you are now considering is IMHO a daunting task. *SO MUCH to learn about and so many persuasive ads highlighting "goodies" to sway your eye. *It's a class out of my desired league in both cost and camera system complexity.

Oh YES, I DO read about dSLR's with their cool new features and promise of better photos and I start to drool and before long I WANT ONE! *So far my sanity has returned before I over extend my credit line.

Sanity for me is realizing I'm happy with what I've got now, and, although I LOVE new techie toys, a new camera would not likely do a whole lot to improve my photos.

Trevor Carpenter is a frequent poster in the dpreview Panasonic Forum. *The quality of his FZ50 photos and his thoughtful comments were a huge in helping me to decide to buy one. *Trevor and I don't always see eye to eye. *Although he's the one who told me about using a RDS sight, his opinion now seems to be they aren't worth a pile of seagull poop.

For the past eight or so months Trevor's had a BIG problem. *He hangs out with bird fancying camera club people who own and shoot big buck dSLR's with monster lenses. *He envies their best shots. *(Like our Chief_Sniffer's Canada goose) *He's also a guy who's in touch with the latest gear and seems to have pounds burning a hole in his pocket. *(He's British) *I can tell he's just dying to buy a new and better camera, but his BIG problem is knowing what he's getting with his ancient three year old FZ50 is darn good.

Here' a link to one of his popular thoughtful threads. *This one debates optical, through the lens glass, (dSLR) viewfinders against EVF, electronic viewfinders (little TV screens inside the eyepiece.)

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1033&thread=31946730

The Panny DMC-L1 is kinda "old" and I don't recall much popularity in the forum ... but of course I was focused on stuff about my own camera the FZ50. *Right now the G1 and GH1 are hot topics. *As is the TZ7/ZS3 that Master Baiter is interested in. *My best advice is to read and jump in if you have specific questions.

I see many reviews in Amazon and such from people who have plunked down big bucks that seem to write to justify their good judgement. *Some people in the Panny get passed that hang-up and can discuss CONS along with the pros.

My old hobby 35mm Nikon gear bag was huge and weighed a TON! *When I worked as a photog I carried two or three big bags or cases. *It's a JOY for me now to put my whole kit between my knees in the kayak or in the bottom of a paper grocery sack (for in vehicle disguise) *My focus is on what I can do with the "tool" rather than making a hobby of the camera itself. *It's certainly not wrong to "get into" gear it's just a different persuit.

http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/6448/fz50accessoriescaseac6.jpg

Oh, if I was shopping right now for a new camera I'd try to find another FZ50.

metalmouth
05-27-2009, 02:06 PM
You left out one piece of equipment in you pic Yak. Where's the paper bag?? *;)

Chief_Sniffer
05-27-2009, 03:36 PM
Necessity brought me to my dslr as my trusty but ancient Nikon Coolpix 995 bought the farm during a panga ride out of LaPaz with Pablo the Hurricane Hunter *:o .

The E-3 and the lenses have the best weatherproofing among all the dslr's. In body stabilization which my old body really appreciates, and a dust removal system that works very well.

These all matched the things I find important given how much of my shooting is on or around water.

YakMotor
05-27-2009, 06:54 PM
Master Baiter - After reading early postings on the TZ7/ZS3 in the dpreview forum I was very much attracted to it. *In fact for awhile I was convinced I'd get one to replace my first problematic TZ5, but at that moment it wasn't available.

I won't babble much why I didn't wait for the TZ7 which involved cost and a couple negatives I saw, but will say in anticipation of buying one when I found a GREAT DEAL for AVCHD editing software I did buy that.

AVCHD is kind of new on the block as a video format and requires newer editing software technology. *I don't understand the ins and outs of it all, but when I saw Corel's VideoStudio Pro X2 on sale I bought it. *I've cracked the manual and tossed the box (after taking pics of it), but have not installed the software. *If you do get a TZ7 my VideoStudio might appreciate a better home with you.

One BIG attraction to me for the TZ7 was its built-in extra wide angle lens. *I think it's something you'd also appreciate as a lens with a 90 degree angle of view can be a great tool for scenic photography. *For someone with a boat or the need to shoot in tight quarters it's also is a benefit. *Shot these with the Olympus WCON 07 wide angle adapter on my FZ50. In my old days I frowned on screwing a adapter lens on the front preferring to maintain quality by changing the whole lens. (one of the reason my SLR camera bag was so heavy.

http://img75.imageshack.us/img75/1152/markacceleratesyg4.jpg

http://img216.imageshack.us/img216/3397/WelcometoNRiver652.jpg

http://img61.imageshack.us/img61/1958/wideangle475waj6.jpg


http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/872/daffodilswa01ho5.jpg

MB_Kevin
05-27-2009, 08:28 PM
Im glad to hear the good words YakMotor! I already ordered it. It was the ZS3. I want a good camera but size is a factor. I almost got the TZ5 but after you talked about the sound problem and I seen the TZ7 was supposed to be better in that area I decided it might be worth the extra $$. I would have wanted to upgrade it in no time. I will post some pic after I get it.
Thanks for all your help. I was wanting to buy a better camera and had no idea what to look for. Your posts is what lead me to this one. Otherwise I would have had no Idea what to get. I went in to buy a cheep camera for the boat when my daughter talked me into buying the Kodak v610 and I had done no research and that was not a good Idea. I feel good about this one.
As far as the AVCHD HD video will I be able to plug it into my HD TV and view it or is that to new for my 1 year old TV?

MB_Kevin
05-27-2009, 08:37 PM
I also still feel good about my purchase of the Olympus stylus because they serve different purposes. It is great for underwater pic and on the boat or at work. It takes OK pic and seems almost indestructible. I will still get good use out of it but when I want good pic with a good zoom or good videos I will be using the new TZ7.

YakMotor
05-27-2009, 10:42 PM
Master Baiter - I suspect you've seen this thread with a BUNCH of nice examples from the TZ7/ZS3, but maybe someone else would also be interested.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1033&thread=31946265

I'm not sure how your ZS3 will accomadate HD playback to your HDTV. The TZ5 requires a special, rather pricey, proprietary cable that goes from the camera to the component input on the HDTV.

Chief_Sniffer - You posted some EXCELLENT examples from your camera. *"4/3" was all the buzz in the Panny forum when the G1 came out. *I know 4/3 has something to do with the sensor chip, but I don't understand it's benefits except it's larger than what's in my FZ50 and most other small sized digitals. *Also, how about some of your thoughts about using a dslr for outdoor photography?

LOVE the Bald Eagle and Canada goose and the line-up of bass boaters at Clear Lake. *Did you get 'em blasting off? *

Chief_Sniffer
05-28-2009, 06:42 AM
Here is a pic during the blastoff..
http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i171/allenbonslett/clear11.jpg

Lets see if I can explain the sensors clearly (it's a confusing subject)...

A 'full-frame' dslr sensor (Nkon D3X, Canon EOS 1D MkII are the flagships of this and very $$$) is the same size 2x3 area as the 35mm film did.

Most of the other dslr's have an APS-C sized 2x3 ratio sensor that is approximately 60% of the size of the full size sensor. These are the Canon Rebel variations and it's mid level cameras (50D), the Nikons, Pentax, Sony etc.

These all carried the legacy of the 35mm film frame with them (the 2x3 ratio), and was a decision that allowed access to much of the big two's older equipment.

Olympus, Panasonic, Leica and a few others took the opportunity to engineer a new sensor, the 4/3's system. It's a smaller sensor, with a 3x4 ratio and brings pluses and minuses.

The biggest minus is that it's high ISO (above 800) performance is definitely more noisy than the Canon/Nikon offerings.

The latest is the Micro 4/3's of which the Panasonic G1/GH1 are the first out of the gate. The first Olympus cameras are due next month.

This system eliminates the mirror in favor of an Electronic View Finder (EVF) which allows for a significant size reduction.

So I hope that muddied the waters even further! *;D

I like DSLR's, and I love photography.. but I believe that the camera that WORKS for you is the one you should use. I'm not a fan of the megapixel war, it just uses more disk space. I know people who take tremendous pictures with 4-5 MP cameras, and people who take questionable shots with 24MP ones...

Darin
06-03-2009, 12:41 AM
Ok guys. First off thanks for all the info. I have spent countless hours the last few days trying to figure out what direction to go. Thanks Yak, dpreview has unlimited knowledge and has been my #1 resource. In short, my head is ready to explode but I have learned allot more than I had planned on for digital cameras. Here is where it gets sketchy. I have decide not to buy new and go used. With the economy I have found some pretty good deals out there. I will not have it shipped I must be able to put it in my hands. Tomorrow I am going to check out a Nikon D200 with a TAMRON AF 28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 lens. The guy is willing to let it go for 600 buxs. If it checks out I plan on buying it. Is there any negative/positive feedback about something I need to know? Don't be shy let me know what you really think, it will be much appreciated.

tc
06-03-2009, 02:03 PM
FFG, I don't know the difference between the D200 and the D60, both are 10.2mp. Costco is currently offering a D60 with 18-55mm and 55-200mm Lenses for $699. This may be worth checking out at your local Costco, I know when I bought my Olympus E420 at Costco last year, they were in stock, so I got to play with it first. It's nice being able to get the two sizes in lenses, because you just can't handle everything with only one, these are also factory lenses, not after market. I've never been impressed with after market lenses, they just dont work as well as the OEM stuff. :o :o

Tom

MB_Kevin
06-03-2009, 08:51 PM
I have some Camera Advice. Don't buy it on amazon. ;D I ordered that thing for ever ago and now find out is wont arrive until Friday. It is not a big deal this time because I don't need it but still disappointed it is taking this long. :P
Thanks for the link YakMotor! It was a good read.

YakMotor
06-03-2009, 10:01 PM
A gripe about Amazon? *Shucks! *I was hoping to see sample shots from your new ZS3.

I differ on your opinion about buying from Amazon. *A couple months ago I ordered a pre-release Blu-ray. *I was on a trial period for their special two day shipping premium. *I ended the trial without buying, but they sent the DVD 2 day anyway ... well actually it arrived in only 1 day! Quite a feat considering my rural location.

And now they emailed to say the price had gone down since my original order so they are refunding me a buck! *I saw this just before coming here to read your post. This is the second time I've been credited for a un-asked for price change refund.
http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/9880/amazonrefund.jpg

I've read some bad stuff about Amazon, but so far they and affiliated dealers hav been VERY good to me. *I'm loving my new high tech $1 Samsung Eternity cell phone!

So while you're playing it cool waiting til Friday go here to download your camera manual and start your studies! *::)
http://www2.panasonic.com/consumer-electronics/support/Cameras-Camcorders/Digital-Cameras/Lumix-Digital-Cameras/model.DMC-ZS3S

Chief_Sniffer
06-04-2009, 02:00 PM
While I end up ordering a number of things from Amazon over the course of a year.. where it drives me bonker is when you order multiple items.

You order 10 things, that come in 11 boxes on 12 different days. :o

Chief_Sniffer
06-04-2009, 02:04 PM
If you think the ZS3 is giving you problems coming up with, the Panny LX-3 is insanely horrible to try and find.

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i171/allenbonslett/camera-front-angled.jpg

I'm craving one as a sort of pocket cam.

MB_Kevin
06-04-2009, 08:45 PM
I was just giving them a bad time YakMotor. *They got me my memory card fast just the camera has taken like 12 days. * I even got the credit card I signed up for for the $30 off *and still not the camera. *I was kind of hoping to get the camera last Saturday before my daughters gym class and then seen it was coming this Friday. *;D
*I thought UPS ground would have been about 5 days but it don't look like they shipped it for a few days. *Im just used to on Ebay I usually get my order in a few days. *Hopefully it comes tomorrow. *8-)
*I was taking pic of these ducks and geese wishing I had my new camera for it.

http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/8200/p5310002.jpg

http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/2787/p5310007g.jpg

My daughter thought there was something wrong with this duck. *She thought it had lost its wing but I told her it would have stubbies or something. *One skinny duck.

http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/9509/p5310006d.jpg

YakMotor
06-05-2009, 12:55 AM
Master Baiter - Looks to me like those fat white ducks in your first shot are discussing your frumpy old camera and have told the brute in the second shot to beak target your groin if you don't show up next time carrying something better!

As for instant order gratification I've also been spoiled by fast shippers. That was broken recently when I ordered cooking DVDs and books from an outfit associated with a popular show on PBS. They were able to take my money instantly, but declared I might have to wait two to six weeks for delivery! Sheesh! It was a PAIN waiting especially since they offered no package tracking info either. I wonder tho if your new camera may be in short supply as mentioned it's a HOT new model now.

Chief - That Panny LX3 is another new camera I "HAD TO HAVE" for a brief Ineedanewcamera moment. *Saw some fantastic available light shots taken with it in European churches and museums. *With a light gathering f-2, high quality, ultra wide angle lens it's made for that kind of shooting. *IMHO it's a speciality camera for ultra wide and I just don't shoot enough of that type to justify it's cost. *I do think it's a GREAT camera tho. *Oh, and I also recall looking at some very impressive video taken with one. *The guy did a quality test and the LX3 beat out his pricey Canon camcorder for picture quality. *Also. think it'd be a great camera on a boat ... if you can protect it from water splashes.

Chief_Sniffer
06-05-2009, 05:59 AM
That Panny LX3 is another new camera I "HAD TO HAVE" for a brief Ineedanewcamera moment. *Saw some fantastic available light shots taken with it in European churches and museums. *With a light gathering f-2, high quality, ultra wide angle lens it's made for that kind of shooting. *IMHO it's a speciality camera for ultra wide and I just don't shoot enough of that type to justify it's cost. *I do think it's a GREAT camera tho. *Oh, and I also recall looking at some very impressive video taken with one. *The guy did a quality test and the LX3 beat out his pricey Canon camcorder for picture quality. *Also. think it'd be a great camera on a boat ... if you can protect it from water splashes.


What I would like to have it for is just those situations, low light (where Olympus doesn't shine), indoor natural light where a big camera is too obtrusive and those moments where I can just whip it out for a quickie shot that I seem to pass up too much.

I feel like one of the reasons the Image Quality of this camera is rated so high is that it has such a small zoom ration for a P & S. Fortunately, I don't need one now, because availability is not the only issue. Apple Digital Camera Raw Support doesn't cover the LX-3 yet and that is a deal breaker. Why I don't know. Apple has provided updates with support for cameras much newer than the LX-3 so I doubt Apple is ignoring it.

MB_Kevin
06-05-2009, 09:00 PM
I finally got the camera. *I like it. *It is really small it fits in the camera case I use for the camera I have now. *I also like its auto feature. *I was trying to turn on the macro feature but it does that automatically. *It also takes some nice HD videos. *I just plugged it into my HD TV and was able to play it. *I have not really had time to play around with it as I just got it and am working on a custom rod holder but Im sure I will have fun playing with this one. *Here is one of the few quick shots I took. *It even looks great on the 50" screen.

http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/7743/p1000026m.jpg

MB_Kevin
06-06-2009, 08:33 PM
It can take some nice shots. *All were better then my old camera. *I like it.

http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/6412/p1000067v.jpg

YakMotor
06-06-2009, 09:06 PM
Looks like you've gone tropical with that distant turquoise water. *But hey! *Show us the "money!" *Bigger is better ... and surely there must be something purple on that beach way out there worth zooming in on! Glad to hear you're enjoying your new Panasonic ZS3

;D

MB_Kevin
06-08-2009, 07:48 PM
Sorry Yak nothing purple on this beach to take a pic of. *:'( *It is closed for now for some reason. *Im guessing the cliff is sliding down. *I zoomed in on the water a little and some far off hang gliders. Those hang gliders were in the first pic you just can't see them. *When I get some time to play with it I will post some better pic I hope.

http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/2084/p1000088f.jpg

http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/2010/p1000080q.jpg

http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/5851/p1000069j.jpg

http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/9489/p1000068.jpg

I tried to enhance this image but I have no idea what I am doing. It looked a little white to me.

http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/9613/inhanced.jpg

The change don't show up to well in the smaller posted pic's.