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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:57 am 
greetings,

i'm thinking of buying a super zoom camera and have not reached any conclusion so was wondering if anybody here could help me out...

the 3 cameras i'm considering are the ones Gordon Laing has set appart from the rest here on the site, i have read and read reviews on the 3 but still cannot choose one with certainty...and since i want a camera that can shoot sports, such as bodyboard and surf, a big zoom is paramount.. and as i travel, and don't have the money to buy an slr lens with the capacity of these ultra zooms, a bridge camera is the only way to go.

So my first choice was the panasonic lumix fz50, due to the manual control, the flip out screen, the leica lens...but the noise issues are still not making me 100% sure, i figured that i can always shoot raw and adjust the settings on my computer, and being a 10 megapixel camera surely a zoomed out version is still usable? i still don't know is about sequence shooting, i mean how many was anybody able to squeeze out of it per second and for how many seconds? and how fast is it when writing RAW?

the second choice was obviously the olympus 550 uz, mainly due to the zoom, but the colour fringing, no flip out screen, though i could live without it i guess, but the main reason that throws me off this camera is the heavy focus hunting that everybody talks/writes about, i mean, the zoom range on this camera is a dream, and having raw, even though a tad slow writing wise, would of been a no brainer, but without a focus ring and not having a good auto focus is the main reason, that and the sequence shooting at full resolution being limited to only 3 pictures.

finally the in between camera, zoom wise, the sony dsc h9, i had really high hopes for this one, as the zoom and the processor seemed to be promising, but i cannot understand how sony with there give everything plus the kitchen sink philosophy forgot to give such important photographic options such as raw and a noise reduction choice...i still consider it mainly due to the great pictures i've seen, the account that all reviews point it as being fast focusing, sequence shooting at full resolution, 3 inch tiltable screen..it's still an amazing camera, but just not up to par with the photographic options of the others, plus the battery life from what i've read isn't that brilliant either, and that on a trip is hell.

so you see, I'm still pretty confused as to wich of these to choose, still thought of the fujifilm s9600..but the 10x zoom just doesn't seem enough even though it takes better noiseless pictures up till iso 800 from what i've read...

all opinions are welcome...i really can't decide wich of these to choose from...though more inclined to choose the lumix fz50..i fear that it will never take good night shots or indoor shots..

and thanks for the video reviews Gordon Laing, they really make a difference..


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 2:07 pm 
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Location: Germany
Welcome oceans2k5 to CameraLabs forum!

Did you have a chance to hold any of the three cameras in your hand? That could tilt your decision process pretty fast!
Myself has only felt the Pana and I was quite impressed (although I went for the Nikon D80 because I wanted the lowest noise and the best available light shooting.
So there you are: Assuming you're read the thread here http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=688 you know that you have to give up certain things when you stick to the bridge-class superzoom cameras. It's all down to their smaller sensor. So if your priority is indoor and available light shooting - forget about them. But I would assume that the sports you're talking of is mostly done at daylight/outdoors, so don't fret about the noise issue, you will not normally see it.

Personally I'd also tend to the Pana...

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Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 9:47 pm 
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Hi oceans2k5, welcome!

Like Thomas says, you really have to pick them up in person, as one will feel much better to you than the others.

In terms of noise, all the superzooms are pretty bad above 100 iso - sadly that's par for the course for non-DSLRs these days. If you want low noise at higher iso, buy a DSLR, even a budget one like the Nikon D40.

I'd also warn you about the relatively slow focusing and handling speed of a superzoom when it comes to sports, and urge you try one out, even one someone walking down a street outside the camera shop. You might immediately rule them out on being too slow to lock onto the action, too slow to respond to the shutter release, or because of slow continuous shooting. Again, a DSLR is much better in this respect.

But if you do decide a superzoom is best for you overall, you're really comparing their features, look and feel. I'd say the quality is roughly the same and if you want a big improvement, you'll need to go to a DSLR.

Have another look at out Sony H9 verdict becuase it compares the features of them all:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/SonyH9/verdict.shtml

Gordon


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