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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Camera advice

Hey guys, looking to buy a camera, hoping someone can help.
I wanted something powerfull, with good zoom, image stabilization, and something that can shoot action well (not blurring and not laging too much from between pressing the button and the picture being taken). The girl wanted something small and easy to carry. Oh, and if it can fall a few times and not break, well that would be nice too.

Here is what I came up with.

The panasonic TZ5 $235
Or the smaller TX3 $139

Both have 10x optical zoom, optical stabilization and do good with wide angle shots? Not much comment on action shots, except some guy who couldnt take pictures of jets at an airshow with the TZ3. Any advice?

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 01:23 PM
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If you want something pocket sized and easy to use, get a Nikon Coolpix. The "Sport mode" has a shutter priority. You can take pictures of trees beside the road at 50mph without blurring. It will also take series shots up to 16 pictures at 2 FPS simply by pressing and holding the button. In the series shot, though, you do actually lag for about half a second between the first picture and the follow-up shots.

As far as point and shoots, I haven't seen one with a faster shutter yet. If you wanted more than that, you'd be looking at D-SLRs.

Try to avoid any camera being marketed as a dual-role camera. If something will do multiple tasks, it won't do anything really well. Dedicated task cameras are the best. The Nikon has a built in camcorder, but the entire sacrifice of its dual-role came off the camcorder side. The picture is horrible, and it won't capture sound. They didn't do anything that would affect the camera itself. (The newer series have sound capture ability, though)

Also, don't put weight on Digital Zoom. It is like using photoshop instantaneously. It will not zoom in on something it cannot see. Optical zoom is the only way to keep pictures clear, so focus on that number and ignore the digital.

9MP is also higher than what 60% of all photographers (And generally 99% of point-n-shooters) will ever need. Anything 3mp or up is quality enough for 5x7 prints without sacrifice. Never the less.. if that is what you are after...

Here is my recommendation

Nikon Coolpix P60

5x optical zoom

If you have more cash and/or need more MP/zoom, then you can step up to the Coolpix P80, which is a 10.1MP, and has a 18x optical zoom.

For what it is worth, 99.9% of the pictures on my myspace page were taking using a Nikon Coolpix 3200, which is an older model (3.2MP). I am still impressed by the picture quality, even by today's standards.

Here is a Full Resolution Sample of the picture quality. (3200)

Good luck in whatever you decide.

Last edited by ZX6R1033; 04-11-2008 at 01:25 PM.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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The following features are pulling me toward the TZ5
10x vs 5x optical zoom.
Image stabilization
"Intelligent" picture modes. I have a feeling serious photographers hate this thing, but I could easily see myself getting lost in the settings.
The p80 is just too big for what I'm looking for.

Edit: Two things bother me about the TZ5. I cant find the exact figure, but the TZ3 got 250shots per battery. The tz5 will likely get even less. How many battery packs can I carry with me? The other it that at max zoom the edges look soft, lacking contrast. However I found pics of jet in flight, so I guess its got no issues with that.

Last edited by Vash; 04-11-2008 at 02:09 PM.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 02:00 PM
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okay, but it will blur action shots.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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what will?

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 02:30 PM
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Canons are not known to be quality, either. There isn't quite as much noticeable difference in the point-and-shoot market as there is in the D-SLR, but the Canon Rebel series SLRs are known for being very poor cameras. I don't know much about that particular camera, though.

As for the "Battery Packs" (I just noticed you edited your last post), most cameras take standard batteries. I just buy 3-4 packs of rechargeable AA (My camera takes 2 AA batts), and a car charger. the packs come with a home charger. When I went to CA, I took 800+ Pictures and only had to change my batteries out once.

Based on that, I would say whatever camera you get will likely be AA powered, as well. Just buy about 4 sets of AA batteries and a portable charger, and you'll never have to worry about it.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 10:27 PM
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Hey Vash... one other thing I thought of while I was working at night that I should probably mention to you.

No camera on the market is truly neutral in coloration. Every camera (And I do mean EVERY camera) tends to favor a certain shade. For example... Nikon favors blue, while Canon and Olympus favor magenta. If you read through camera reviews, most will mention which direction each camera leans toward, but you should go to a store and try snapping a few pics. (Or try to find some online.) The coloration is all personal preference, but it is definitely a large deciding factor for most.

I will start you off with a few pics from my own collection.

Nikon Coolpix - Favors: Blue

Canon Powershot - Favors: Magenta

HP Photosmart - Favors: Yellow

Olympus Stylus - Favors: Purple/Magenta

Hope that gives you a bit of a boost in your searching.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 06:01 AM
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Our daughter dropped our camera in the bathtub, so I'm going through the same thing right now. My wife's complaint about the swimming Nikon Cool Pix is that it was very slow starting up and shot-to-shot. That's important when you're trying to catch the kids doing something cute or shooting action shots. Too often they had stopped before the camera was ready.

Here's a good resource I found:
Most of the reviews show startup time and shot-to-shot time. Also, check not just the MP, but also the CCD sensor size, and check the field of view along with the zoom.

I was going to get another Nikon, but after researching I'm leaning back toward Canon. We're thinking about getting something a little larger for the better optics, like the Canon G9 or A650.

Where's JBaz anyway? He should have some good advice.

"We didn't trade shoves; I did all the shoving." -Bobby Knight, 1981
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 06:20 AM Thread Starter
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• 1/2.33" Type CCD
• 10.7 million pixels total
• 9.1 million effective pixels

Is that good?

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