Need advice on this camera

hummersteveSeptember 27, 2007

I just have a cheap generic camera and not satisfied with it and am thinking of moving up to this one. Does anyone have this camera or any ideas about it?

Here is a link that might be useful: camera review

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Sounds like an excellent step-up camera...Makes me think twice about going entry level dslr...


    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 8:34PM
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I've been looking at this one too. The 12X Leica zoom is a nice feature. I'm also interested in the Canon S5 IS. And thinking about making the jump to a dSLR. Still haven't decided...

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 5:32PM
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I have the 2005 version, the FZ5. I love it, and would love the FZ8 even more.

Except for party pictures, most of the shots on my Flickr pages were taken with the Panasonic. Click here if you'd like to take a look.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 9:52AM
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I should have mentioned that a few of my recently-posted Flickr family photos are oldies (35mm). But anything nature-related, or taken around garden or barnyard, was shot with the Panasonic Lumix.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 9:56AM
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steve, I don't think you can go far wrong with that camera. With a cannon, you are much more likely to be able to find reasonably priced add ons like tele-converters, filters, etc.

I am looking at that camera too. Right now I am asking myself some questions like what kinds of photos do I plan to shoot. My current Panasonic camera has a great lens but a small sensor. I'm having trouble in low light situations. If you plan to do a lot of indoor or night photos, be sure to get a camera with a larger sensor. Also, the cost of a teleconverter lens for my Panasonic was roughly the price of that Cannon S5 IS camera. Filters for my Panasonic run twice the price of those of a Cannon. Just some things to think about.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 8:56AM
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If you can find a store or on-line retailer who still has a couple Canon S3s, you can get a great price. Most of my local stores only have the S5 now. I saw a couple S3 floor models for under $300, but don't want something that's probably been badly handled. Then I found one place with 3 S3s left - new and in the box. I quoted the floor model price from their competitor and was able to purchase it (yesterday!) for $279. It feels like a real bargain and I've very excited about it!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 6:12PM
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alisande and bean counter

Thanks for your comments and I just wanted to tell you of a seller on ebay who is offering this camera with many extras including an extra telephoto lens and wide angle lens. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Here is a link that might be useful: panasonic camera

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 10:31PM
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It looks like has the same package for $479.00. Buying piece by piece at the best prices wouldn't get you better savings. Two things I would clarify with the ebay seller. The shipping costs are not clear to me. Also, will they take the package back if you aren't satisfied with the quality of the add on lenses? The 2-lenses and 3-filters are items that may not give you satisfaction depending on their quality.

I have a Panasonic DMC FZ20 which takes pretty good photos. Some of my complaints have been addressed with the newer Lumix series cameras--according to one of the camera review sites. My camera doesn't do well in low light, the FZ8 is reported to have fixed that noise problem. Also the 8 has a popular lens size so you shouldn't have trouble or high costs finding filters, etc. All Panasonics have good stabilization. Their Leica lens are top quality. The new ones shoot in RAW which is good.

All the accessories that come with this package appear to be off brand and inexpensive. That isn't always a real bad thing. It lets you experiment with tele-converters, various filters, tripod, etc. If it turns out you develop a burning desire to take really professional quality wildlife photos and need a better lens/camera you can upgrade later. You should be able to get good portraits with this camera. IMHO too many people jump in and pay $1000 for a DSLR and another $1000 for lenses. All of that stuff sits in a drawer and gets used at graduations, birthdays and vacations. My point is, you can learn a lot with this package. Which ever camera you choose, spend another $50-100 and get Photoshop Elements software and a good manual.

Also consider the Cannon S3. A lot of people love this camera. Check out the birding forum. Ken has an S3 and just got a fairly good quality 1.7 tele-converter. His bird photos are wonderful. He's a nice guy, and will answer your questions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ken's bird closeups

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 9:40AM
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bean counter--- thanks for your detailed comments, I wasnt able to look at Kenns pics for some reason will try again later. Ive never had a camera of this quality and am uneducated on the useage of the lenses, but I notice that walmart also has the FZ8 for under $300 . I was in a hurray when I looked at it but I dont remember it having the extra lens or the 2.o GB card, it had filters but Im still in the dark as to what they would do for me. Would you recommend that I just get the camera kit from WM even though it wont have the extras. Most of my shots will be of hummers, garden flowers and closeups and posting on forums. I dont know about the cannon S3 I will check into it. Also you mentioned the noise of the z8 and on the revue of the camera the noise was the only negative brought up.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 1:43PM
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I know how hard it is to choose. I agonized for months. Steve, I think you will like the Panasonic camera with or without the extra lense and filters at any price under $300. At least for the things you mention. There is something to be said for buying at Walmart. They usually let you return items for a full refund, no questions. I would make sure of their return policy before buying.

The noise problem in low light may or may not bother you. I cannot take a photo of a full moon. Even with the timer the noise (speckles) is terrible.

The camera comes with a 12x lens that is ok for most things. That 2x tele converter lens add-on would let you get real up close to the hummers sitting on the feeders. That would be nice to have. Bought separately they can be under $100--usually.

The tripod you may use less often--probably under $15 to buy a comparable one. The lens filters you may use to do things like correct the color of florescent lites when taking indoor photos. To buy a comparable bag separate $15 to $30. The 2 gig cards are under $30 at amazon and hold hundreds of photos. The card readers are under $15 at amazon.

You can look at my Panasonic photos if you want to. There are about 9 photos on the middle of the first page that were taken with a film camera and scanned to digital. In the horses and dogs album many are scanned from film. Go directly to page 2 and avoid the scanned pix. Double click on the thumbnail to enlarge. My flower photos are crisp and clear, good color, you can get real close and photograph one petal of a rose if you want to.

I've seen the Cannon S3 at real cheap prices too, you just have to shop online. Keep in mind the Cannon is one of the best selling cameras available and the favorite of many. That says a great deal about it.

Panasonic photo samples:

Here is a link that might be useful: Photobucket album

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 5:05PM
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I don't know anything about the camera but.....I saved a lot of money buying from a place in New York. Don't be afraid to go to Ebay. look at the ads that have a store. I have 2 friends, pros with pictures, that do this. Check out your local stores first and then call these places. Any questions, email me. I ordered and had my stuff the next day. Very pleased with what I bought and the service.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 9:11AM
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Thanks guys for all your input I still have not made up my mind and I have been busy . I think last I checked about a month ago or longer walmart had this camera for $297 or so. Also they have it in black which I like. With the cheap digital I have its hard to get color right inside or out. I have some blue flowers inside that I tried to take shots of and I get several variations of blue, violet,etc. Ive that the cannon ae is , something like that takes better closeups than this camera. I also saw a review which one person said the images werent good. Im still looking or maybe waiting to see if walmart will have sale on this camera , havent checked there lately.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 2:20AM
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