Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Choosing SLR-likes compare Panasonic DMC-FZ8, Olympus SP-550 and Fujifilm IS-1/S9600. Good, expensive and very expensive.

Let’s continue choosing (the beginning is in the previous post'Choosing Digital zoom cam: Canon PowerShot S5 IS can fight with Sony DSC-H9 or H7; Canon, you really can?').
Our next stop is Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 with 1/2.5 " 7.1 MP sensor 3072 x2304, 36 - 432mm Image stabilization 12x zoom lens from Leica, 2.5” LCD. It costs $300. Taking the piece of cake between high-end compacts (10 MP FZ50 or R1) and DSLR, Panasonic’s DMC-FZ8 offers useful and not expensive SLR-like high quality cameras. Why don’t you buy it if the price suits you and you become a photographer during your trips and want to shoot outdoor pictures and your family? The weight, inc. batteries, is 340 g (12 oz), which is convenient. After 10.1-megapixel (3648 x 2736) LUMIX DMC-FZ50 with Optical Image Stabilizer featuring (12x) optical zoom (equivalent 35 - 420 mm on a 35 mm film camera) f/2.8 LEICA DC lens for five hundred dollars, FZ8 is a clever step, especially after a huge DSC-R1.
More SLR-like camera's Comparison.
Particularly every owner of a cam in the Panasonic DMC-FZ series, for example FZ-30, doesn’t know what to do with that extra pixels resolution for rather big sum of $470. I think that recently the Panasonic marketing experts have deviated from the right route. Is anybody of theirs in the Matsushita now?
Perhaps they should have pressed for less noise in high ISO and reached low prices.
Then goes Fujifilm FinePix IS-1 with 28 mm - 300 mm (10.7x) zoom lens 1/1.6 "9.1 MP (3488 x 2616) and Fujifilm SuperCCD HR (IR sensitive) sensor. This is a specialized infrared sensitive version of the SLR-like S9100 (S9600). The new IS-1 joins quietly introduced S3 Pro UVIR in providing additional sensitivity to the infrared spectrum, used mostly for low enforcement and specialized scientific applications. Additionally you can purchase an add-on hot mirror filter to block IR light and produce results similar to a normal digital camera. Just like S9100 this IS-1 has a 10.7x optical zoom lens and nine megapixel Super CCD sensor. It may be a good gadget for a spy but I could find and unite more useful features for nine hundreds. As for Fujifilm S9100 for $380 (look at the table) it concerns, I think that 2.0” LCD and the weight incl. batteries of 750 g (26.5 oz) can easily prevent such leaders as Sony DSC-H7, H9 and Canon S5 IS from winning.
Let’s go to the Olympus team. First of all there is a new Olympus SP-550 UZ with CCD-shift Image Stabilization, a 15fps burst mode (1.2MP) and a 7.1 megapixel sensor (3072 x 2304) and groovy 18x wide optical zoom (equivalent to 28-504mm on a 35mm camera) 1:2.8-4.5! It has 2.5” LCD and convenient weight of 365g (12.9 oz) without batteries. It is worth $500! It’s really cool for Olympus! Sorry! But Olympus SP-510 UZ for $230 is much more interesting. It has 7.1 million pixels CCD (3072 x 2304) and 10x optical zoom (equiv. to 38-380mm on a 35mm camera), 2.5” LCD, ISO 50-1600 with full 7.1MP, ISO 2500/4000 in 3MP mode via manual setting and 325 g weight without AA batteries. I think that it’s not a bad ultra zoom for shooting your doggy.
Let’s look into the Kodak’s bag. This ‘old guy’ has made a great deal of cams on the photo market recently. What’s now? There are 4 ultra zoom EasyShare cameras:
- Z612: 1/2.5 "6.1 MP sensor (2848 x 2144), 35-420mm optical stabilizing Schneider (12x) zoom lens, 2.5” LCD for $215;
- Z650: 1/2.5 "6.1MP sensor (2848 x 2144), 10x 38-380mm lens, 2.0” LCD for $170;
- Z710: 1/2.5 "7.1 MP sensor (3072 x 2304), 38 - 380mm (10x) zoom lens, 2.0” LCD for $192;
- Z712: 1/2.5 "7.1 MP (3072 x 2304) sensor, 36 - 432mm optical Stabilizing 12x zoom lens, 2.5” LCD for $390. In my opinion, it has no chances!
As a conclusion, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 can get into the fight with Sony DSC-H9, H7, H5 and Canon PowerShot S5. Its advantages are: a good price, a small size and an excellent Leica lens. Fujifilm has made such a mistake with a huge extra pixel cam as Panasonic. There can be good battles: DMC-R1 vs. FinePix IS-1 or Lumix DMC-FZ50 vs. Fujifilm S9100! There will be big bodies and much money. A cool show is coming soon!
I think that Kodak Z710 and Olympus SP-510 UZ are really good for efficient photographers.
For a better comparison I’ll make a table of all those SLR-like camera specification. And of course, I will tell you about my friend’s ultra-zoom camera. He has bought one. What is his choice?
For more information look at: Canon PowerShot S5 vs EOS350D, Sony H9 vs A100; SLR-like cam never comes to SLR or The summary table of the best SLR-like camera specifications posts.
I collect info about all digital cameras. Tell me what you need and we will find the one together. Feel at ease at Comments directory.


Anonymous said...

I've been a Canon fan for many years. Still I got the Panasonic FZ8 because it is the wide zoom range combined with an excellent image stabilization system and high quality optics. It is also very easy to use FZ8. It has a lot of features but the Panasonic guys managed to build a good user’s interface. I’m sure that my Lumix FZ8 is a good choice.

fototramp said...

I'm glad about your good choice. I wonder what sites and resourses do you surf for cams?

Anonymous said...

I like Fujifilm because it has better high ISO performance and the Fuji SuperCCD sensor simply blows away the Panasonic in most instances. Plus I find a wider lens is much more useful than a longer lens.

fototramp said...

In my opinion, Fujifilm has some great SLR-likes with a really good sensor, but the Sony DSC-R1 is better (but so huge). In addition, the Fujifilm S9600 is a very good choice.

Ronen said...

I am all but confused.
please help. I started by wanting the canon s5 is. now after reading I can't decide between that and panasonic fz18 fuji s700 or s9100.
what would you recomend a father of 3 that goes on camping treaps an is an amature at best but want the ability to have high quality pictures, movies of birthday and outdoor landscapes and portraits, some time in dark situations. 300$-400$