Upgrading My Camera

gldno1December 1, 2007

I am torn between Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ18 and the Canon S3 or S5 IS.

Any good advice? I use am no expert, just love good nature shots and of course family pictures.

Please don't get real technical with your response; I won't understand it anyway.


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Boy, you do have a dilemma. Stevesdigicams.com list the Panasonic and the S5 as two of the best super zooms there are.
And also a Sony H9 and H7! I think they both have even more zoom than the Canon. I think you'll probably be happy with whichever one you get. Read their ratings on:
and stevesdigicams.com

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 7:24PM
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Wow, the Lumix has x18 optical zoom. Amazing. If I were you, I'd also read the user forums on those 2 sites above, and see what the people who have those cams actually think of them!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 7:28PM
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Thanks. I have read every review I could Google! But haven't read the user's reviews. Guess I missed that.

One review on some photography site thought the S3 took a better picture that the S5. It gets very confusing.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 6:58AM
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From personal experience, I know Sony and Canon cameras are usually excellent. I'm sure lots of people love the Panosonic, too! Another thing you could do, if there are camera stores or if you have a big WalMart or Best Buy near you, is look at those models, hold them, see which you like. You probably can't really go wrong with any of them.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 12:15AM
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I have the S3 and love it! I love the super zoom and the image stabilization.

It has been a rugged camera for me and gets heavy use. Easy to use on the auto settings, but fun to play with on the other settings also.

I like the continous shooting in Sports Mode.

It also takes fantastic video. I didn't buy the camera for this, but I never get my regular video camera out anymore -ever!

The S5 has the hot shoe for an external flash - that would be nice.

I saw Target has the S5 for $399 this week.

I order all my cameras from NewEgg though.

I have found the user reviews at Steves and other forums very helpful.

Also, the Canon forums are helpful to me now. I have improved my photography by reading them.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 8:37AM
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Our closest Wal-Mart doesn't carry much, no Panasonics. The only photography store doesn't carry them either. I haven't tried BestBuy. Most serious shops are about 45 minutes from us which means about a 4-hr trip once you check out many stores...........and I hate shopping.

I wonder about the 18x Zoom as compared to the 12X on the Canons. I have never had extended zoom so can't get my mind around the difference it would make.

Of course anything will be such a step up from my little A60 Canon, which I love.

Then that has led to research on batteries, smart chargers, etc......and it goes on.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 7:28AM
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In my humble opinion, you won't be unhappy with either one. I have the Panasonic fz20 (older version of the one you are looking at) and it is a very well made camera with an excellent Leica lens and good stabilization. It used to be hard to find tele convertor lenses for Panasonic but not anymore. You can find as many add on lenses, filters, etc as you can for Canon. I've used the Canon S3 and S5 and liked both very much. If I were looking for a Canon, I would choose the S3 because the S5 isn't really that much better.

It comes down to the 18x 28-504mm vs 12x 36-432mm lens and the price. Both have 8mp, basically equal sensors, good stabilization, and similar everything else. Something you can do is go to pbase, put each camera into their search feature and see lots of photos taken with these cameras.

Oh, and if you are interested in nature photography check out the bird forum here on gardenweb. There are some excellent photographers there to give their advise and you can search back and look at some of their bird photos. Something as small as a bird with almost constant movement gives you a good basis for how a camera handles.

Just some thoughts on research.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bird forum

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 8:42AM
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beancounter, thanks very much, I think it was someone named Bob that talked so favorably about the Panasonic and Vann's some time back. He was on the Bird forum I believe.

I also takes lots of shots of my flower beds and garden and the farm, so want a very good macro feature and good color representation.

I am taking my time, because this will be it for me in
digital cameras for a long time!

Off to the bird forum,

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 10:46AM
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I do enjoy the macro and super macro settings on my S3. I didn't think I would use it that much - but I do!

This summer's Marigold - up close.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 10:16AM
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