Advice me pls (super zoom)..... Canon Powershot S3 IS or Panasonic DMC-FZ7

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dalimoh, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. dalimoh

    dalimoh Guest

    Hello all,

    I want to buy a super zoom camera.

    I do not mind technicalities (i am doing my PhD in physics) and i like
    talking to experts to know their opinions (thats why i am posting this
    here). No matter what camera i chose I intend to read its manual and
    take experts adviced to get the best outcome of the camera. I am
    someone who intend to put serious effort in this.

    My decision budgetwise came down after reading hundreds of reviews to
    3 cameras,

    Panasonic FZ7
    Canon S3 IS
    Panasonic FZ8 (coming out soon)

    Major differences i noticed between the models are


    is better for outdoors, has better IS system because it corrects for
    both camera shaking and object motion, its pics colors are over
    saturated, no use of AA batteries, poor large LCD screen

    S3 IS

    is better for indoors, its IS system corrects only for camera shake
    but not object motion, amazing video, its pics colors are natural,
    beautiful small LCD screen

    What do i want to do with the camera?

    I want to be able to take decent high quality clear pics outdoors for
    soccer actions, beaches, scenery and landcapes, birds, forest, and
    indoors with family and friends.

    I am not into using tripods, i like point and shoot style.
    I do not intend to print any picture.

    I am not into spending time editing pics or adding special effects
    using software either (graduate school takes most of my time already),
    do all digital photographers edit their photos?

    Can one buy additional special lens for either FZ7 or S3 to be able to
    take super macro pics for insects for example or not ?

    Which battery type is better, some say AA are better some say
    rechargable are better !

    I am unable to make up my mind which camera to chose, to me , both
    copensate each other, and I read hundreds of reviews , those who
    purchased S3 love it because of this and that, and those who purchased
    FZ7 love it because of this and that, and most of those people just
    taking picture by pressing buttons, they are not into spending time
    and effort in getting the best outcome of the camera, so i am unable
    to make up my mind according to their openions because their opinions
    are not authentic openions, i do not know even if I should wait for
    FZ8 to come out or not

    So now I want the experts openions, specially those who have tried
    both cameras S3 and FZ7

    sorry for my long post but you guys are my last resort

    thnx in advance
    dalimoh, Feb 13, 2007
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  2. Well, /you/ are the last resort, actually! I would suggest visiting your
    local camera shop, try handling the various models and seeing which you
    prefer. Then do the honest thing and buy the camera from the shop - not
    off the Internet.

    I've handled the Panasonic FZ5 extensively (I own one) and have been very
    pleased with it. The image quality is superb, and the optics better than
    on the Canon S2 IS (yes,, these are both the generation before). I don't
    want the fuss and bother of AA batteries any more, but I agree that the
    better video and swivel LCD finder on the Canon are plus points.

    Like you, I don't carry a tripod and, also like you, I want images correct
    first time out of the camera with no post-processing required. Properly
    handled, both brands can achieve that.

    Save some pennies and buy last-year's model rather than the latest, and
    most expensive. They will probably have a more sensible number of pixels
    (for the sensor size) as well!

    David J Taylor, Feb 13, 2007
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  3. dalimoh

    babaloo Guest

    When you grow up you may want to advance your skills in photography.
    I believe the Panasonics allow recording in raw format, which is a decided
    Otherwise a commodity is a commodity-some oranges taste better than others
    but they are still oranges: these are all capable jpeg machines.
    babaloo, Feb 13, 2007
  4. Find a store that stocks both the FZ7 and the S3IS (the FZ8 isn't out
    yet), and see which one feels better to you. Which one sits more
    naturally in your hand. Which one has more intuitive controls.

    There isn't actually all that that much difference in image quality or
    much else between the two; to draw the distinctions, the reviewers zoom
    way in and look at a level of detail that isn't going to be apparent
    unless you make big prints.

    Then, if you decide that you like the Panasonic better, figure out
    whether you need the camera now or whether waiting a month for the new
    model is a reasonable option. The FZ8 has, if memory serves, a
    higher-resolution electronic viewfinder and an extra megapixel on the
    main sensor, but is otherwise about the same as the FZ7.

    For whatever it's worth, when I was faced with the same decision ~2
    years ago, I chose the FZ5 over the S2IS. But, your mileage will vary,
    so try the models out for yourself.

    Daniel Silevitch, Feb 13, 2007
  5. dalimoh

    ray Guest

    I'm certainly not an expert, but I'd certainly advise you to look through
    the viewfinder on the cameras you are considering. I'd like to suggest you
    also look through the viewfinder of a Kodak EVF. Most manufacturers build
    EVF cameras with about 110k pixel resolution on the Electronic View Finder
    - the Kodak models (I particularly like the P series) use 237k - it makes
    quite a difference.
    ray, Feb 13, 2007
  6. dalimoh

    J. Clarke Guest

    FZ50 and others in that series do, FZ7 and others in that series do
    not, at least not so far--I'd be surprised if the FZ8 did but I
    haven't seen or read a complete review on one.
    J. Clarke, Feb 13, 2007
  7. The FZ8 does do RAW; that was one of the big upgrades between the 7 and
    the 8. DPReview already has a full review up, and they talk about using
    RAW mode to get around the heavy noise reduction.

    Daniel Silevitch, Feb 13, 2007
  8. dalimoh

    J. Clarke Guest

    ???? No IS corrects for object motion. The one on the FZ7 certainly
    Many controls on the image, but no RAW. Don't assume because you see
    oversaturated results that they _must_ be oversaturated.
    Nothing "poor" about it--it works fine.
    Don't have one--it may be better than the Panasonic but I'd be very
    Get an SLR. Period. For fast moving sports with unpredictable action
    get an SLR.
    FZ is fine for these.
    Long lens on the FZ is good, but lag in the EVF can make birds hard to
    Nothing really special about forest.
    FZ is ok with good light for this.
    You're handicapping yourself.
    FZ does fine for insects with the standard lens. Here are a few.

    <[email protected]/sets/72157594534332267/>

    Note that the long macro capability is very nice for this purpose.
    This is a religious issue for some people. It doesn't really matter
    unless you have a special requirement.
    I'd wait for the FZ8 myself--it does everything the FZ7 does and a few
    things besides and has RAW mode, not that that's important to you
    right now but it may be in the future, especially for low light.
    J. Clarke, Feb 13, 2007
  9. dalimoh

    Just D Guest

    I want to buy a super zoom camera.

    Btw, why sir doesn't even consider Olympus with its promising 18X zoom in a
    month or two?

    Just D.
    Just D, Feb 13, 2007
  10. dalimoh

    J. Clarke Guest

    Should have checked dpreview before I wrote that--turns out that one
    of the changes from the FZ7 to the FZ8 is the addition of RAW mode.
    J. Clarke, Feb 13, 2007
  11. dalimoh

    J. Clarke Guest

    Now that looks promising, if it delivers.
    J. Clarke, Feb 13, 2007
  12. dalimoh

    Just D Guest

    "J. Clarke"
    We all saw some test shots made by this camera a few weeks ago. Still want
    to hold this device in my own hands for a while to test it out...) It could
    be a good secondary device for me and primary for my family. Other few are
    too powerful, or instead too light, weak, or just very old to be even

    Just D.
    Just D, Feb 14, 2007
  13. dalimoh

    dalimoh Guest

    good point, the problem is , Olympus is expected to be around $500,
    this is like $100 above my budget

    i have read some of its 1st reviews, it is that expensive basically
    because of its strong zooming power , if it turned out to be a really
    competetive camera with decent features, i might sacrifice an extra
    100 buks for it

    may be the wisest thing to do is to wait till FZ8 and Olympus come out
    and their reviews are complete then decide, i hope they come out soon
    tho, there is no indication about the release date anywhere on the net

    dalimoh, Feb 14, 2007
  14. dalimoh

    Just D Guest

    Sorry, I didn't notice that. From another side you never kept in mind the
    "digital camera" for less than $20. I saw several in the store, that's
    scary! :) Just toys for children.
    Even 12-12 in earlier models was so convenient! But 18, but distortions...
    but the sensor size and difraction... :( So I'd like to hold it just to see
    how it works and make several shots. Yes, it should have advantages as well
    as disadvantages and even weakness that are not yet published because it's
    gonna be sold first...) If customer knew aboud disadvantages first... :)
    A simple math shows 4 times of these extras. :( Everybody would take it for
    1-2 hundreds for sure.
    Having the very nice Fry's Electronics policy working we can get all these
    devices to test them out. Just time and patience.

    Just D.
    Just D, Feb 14, 2007
  15. dalimoh

    ASAAR Guest

    While all of the cameras you mentioned will take good pictures
    most of the time, they are not going to be very good for action
    sports such as soccer. For this, IS won't help, and I'm not sure
    why you think that some cameras have IS that reduces object motion.
    For indoor shots you're going to find that these cameras leave a lot
    to be desired for flash photography, because the flash is generally
    pretty weak, produces redeye too often, and often produces harsh,
    unnatural appearing shadows. A P&S that has a hotshoe would help a
    lot by allowing the use of one or more external flashes.

    Although you say that you want a "super zoom" camera, you're
    likely to realize sooner or later that an inexpensive DLSR with a
    moderately wide zoom would produce a far greater number of really
    good pictures than a P&S, and it can in many cases allow you to get
    good, clear indoor shots without having to use a flash at all, where
    P&S cameras would be struggling with their underpowered popup
    flashes. FWIW, I've owned and used at least 5 digital cameras over
    the last 7 years, all of them P&S. I'll probably get a DSLR by
    early next year or sooner. An inexpensive DSLR might even cost less
    than getting one of these P&S cameras if you include the cost of
    additional lenses, flash, etc. Even superzoom lenses don't usually
    go wide enough for really good landscapes, and I needed to get a
    wide angle adapter for my P&S even though it has a 10:1 zoom.
    Decent quality add-on lenses aren't cheap.

    Then do you really need to use a super zoom? You can do an awful
    lot of zooming on a computer monitor if the camera has at least a 4
    or 5 megapixel sensor. Also, try taking a picture of a distant bird
    at the tele end of the super zoom and I think that you'll find that
    a tripod is required. All IS will do is reduce the camera blur
    enough so that you can tell that the bird isn't really a cat. :)
    ASAAR, Feb 14, 2007
  16. dalimoh

    dalimoh Guest

    Do you have in mind certain models of cheap DSLR coming out soon?
    and execuse my ignorance what is FWIW?
    well, i meant i wont be using the tripod v often, defenitely if i want
    to get a nice pic of the moon or a will be using it :)

    dalimoh, Feb 14, 2007
  17. dalimoh

    Jim Redelfs Guest

    Jim Redelfs, Feb 14, 2007
  18. dalimoh

    Guest Guest

    Forget about all those old model 12x zooms, all been benchmarked and
    improved on, get into the BEST :

    Olympus 18x zoom[WOW!] together with the widest lens 28mm of the
    superzooms, best battery life, best screen, best, fastest etc etc

    Yeap, SP-550 UL is the way to go:

    Just wonder if General Electric are going to have one too?

    Guest, Feb 14, 2007
  19. dalimoh

    ASAAR Guest

    Nikon's D40 is fairly inexpensive. More than you were planning on
    spending for just the P&S, but about the same if extra lenses and
    things were added. The just discontinued Nikon D50 is a slightly
    more capable DSLR with very good low light performance, and at least
    as recently as several weeks ago remaining stock was selling for
    about the same price. IIRC (if I recall correctly) about $5xx
    including lens. When they eventually get too scarce, prices go back
    up again. Even used DSLRs (if not too old) such as Canon's 300D,
    350D and those from other manufacturers can be bought at reasonable
    prices. They'll all focus and lock on to fast moving critters such
    as pets, infants, etc. while P&S cameras will either have focused
    inaccurately or the lens would still be "hunting". The one thing a
    DSLR won't do is shoot videos. If you need that, then the Canon S2
    IS and S3 IS excels with (I think) the ability to zoom while
    shooting and it records stereo audio, which isn't especially
    important unless you're trying to make sense of several people
    speaking simultaneously.

    And FWIW, that acronym is used to say "For What It's Worth". :)
    ASAAR, Feb 14, 2007
  20. dalimoh

    dalimoh Guest

    well as i said this is a bit expensive for me, besides this camera's
    reviews are not complete yet

    meanwhile i found the 1st sign for FZ8 coming out at $350 which is
    quite an affordable price from panasonic site, v long link

    dalimoh, Feb 14, 2007
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