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which is better?

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how important and usefull is image stabilization?

"Kitt" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
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> vanderlej wrote:
>> thanks

> One difference I noticed was the absence of image stabilization on one
> of them. Is that not important to you and if not, why pay more for it?
> You should be able to find cameras without it for less, if it's not
> important or add another one with it to give you more choice if it's
> something you do really want.

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vanderlej wrote:

> how important and usefull is image stabilization?

Personally, I think it's very important. I find that it
saves a lot of what would otherwise come out as blurred
shots when shooting in poor light and the resultant slow
shutter speed, especially near the long end of the zoom.
Unless you're going to always shoot in good light at fast
shutter speeds and/or with a tripod, you'll see a big

If you really are a beginner and not just being modest,
I think I know what you're going through because I was in
the same situation myself not long ago. Questions about
what you need or what you want to do can just make the
issue even more confusing. I still consider myself a novice
in digital photography, but slightly less so than a few
months ago.

I think what you need is a camera that's powerful and
versatile enough to let your interests grow, without being
overly expensive or complex.

I have not used any of the three cameras mentioned, and I
know nothing about the K-M except what's written in reviews,
but I had the older Fuji S3500 until a couple of months ago,
and I'm using the Panasonic FZ5's big brother the FZ20. So,
based partly on the specs, partly on reviews and partly on
my experience with other models of the same brand, and the
fact that manufacturers tend to keep incorporating the same
strengths and weaknesses in their line of products, here's
my 2 cents worth.

Pros for the Panasonic FZ5 :
Image stabiliser - a major factor IMHO.
Significantly smaller and lighter.
Wider optical zoom range.
More powerful lens (f/2.8 vs 3.2)
Shorter minimum focus distance
More powerful flash
Cheaper memory card type

Pros for the Fuji S5200 :
More pleasing color out of the box (though this is partly
subjective and some will probably disagree)
Better movie mode
3:2 format - convenient for printing at 4x6 without cropping.
Less noise
Wider ISO range

There are other differences that favor one or the other and
may be significant for more experienced users, but less so
for beginners. Some factors such as the type of battery used
is rather controversial and a matter of personal choice.

I liked my Fuji S3500 and still think it was a very nice
entry-level camera with only one real flaw which, according
to reviews, is still evident in the S5200. That's highlight
clipping where there's loss of detail in bright areas of a
high-contrast scene. Personally speaking, between the Fuji
S5200 and the Pana FZ5, I'd choose the latter.

You might also consider going for the newer FZ7 which has
more resolution, 3:2 format, better movie mode and a larger

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vanderlej wrote:
> how important and usefull is image stabilization?

It's not very important at all if you run around with your camera on a
monopod or tripod all the time. If you don't, it could be very
important, especially if you do a lot of close up work or use the long
end of the telephoto very much. I can't speak for any on your list,
but we have both the Canon S1 IS and the S2 IS and we're very happy
with them. The S3 IS is the most current model of that camera. The
movable view screen, great movie mode and flexibility of shooting modes
are the pluses we enjoy with these cameras and the Image Stabilization
has saved many an otherwise bad shot. YMMV, but I would recommend it
if you don't use a tripod and shoot in less than ideal conditions very


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