Advice on a few cameras


TPF Noob!
May 24, 2006
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I'm looking at getting a new digital camera. I have a few that I like. What I want is at least a 7MP camera with good zoom ( 10-12X optical ) and My budget is around 800max CAD. I would like a 2.5" LCD but it's not a deal breaker. I'm leaning towards the advanced point/shoot models because I wouldn't have to buy different lens, like i would for DSLR. Here are some camera's I have been looking at.

Kodak P880 -

Panasonic DMC-FZ30 -

Panasonic DMC-FZ7 -

Sony DSC-H5 -

I'm leaning towards the Sony Because of the price (599 CAD ). it has the zoom & MP I want but no hot shoe. plus a 3" LCD. I looked on ebay and I can get a bracket for a external flash. I like the Panasonic but I;m not sure about the quality.....It has the zoom & MP plus the hot shoe, The down side is that it's 100 bucks more than my max. Gimmy all your feedback....good bad & ugly
Physical sensor-size is really as significant as number of MP...
also in what frequency those pixel-receptors are arrayed over the sensor. A Canon or Nikon DSLR (with a kit lens included in the deal) is a safe choice. These makes have good sensor sizes and specs, as well as good optics. Many other digital cameras have sensors which just don't cut the mustard and are a waste of money if you want to avhieve more than average results. Better to have 6 MP and a decent-sized chip than 7,8+ MP with a small sensor. Visit look at a Canon or Nikon DSLR and view its 'Specifications' page in its review. Note the sensor-sizes and then compare with other makes (if they even bother to inform buyers about what size sensor they use).
officersdr said:
My budget is around 800max CAD. I'm leaning towards the advanced point/shoot models because I wouldn't have to buy different lens, like i would for DSLR.

The camera is going to come with a lens anyway.. and you are going to pay for it, so I think it's better to have one where there is the option to remove it if you want to. Forgive me if DLSRs are beyond your 800 CAD budget. I'm not familiar with how much 800 CAD is.
Dont get the p850 as it has embarrassingly sub-steller photos at night time. it goes beyond noise and is infact shear vandalism on the sensor's part.

The sony h5 produces great colours etc.

The panasonics in that list are not really in the same category as those other two. the fz30 is good, isnt it, holly?
I'm leaning more towards the sony or the fz30...they have the zoom I want with out having to get another lens.

I'll check about the sensors
I don't see anything about the sensor....if you know somewhere i could find it, it would help
As I understand it there's not that much difference at all between the sensor size in various compact digitals (like all those you're looking at). 2framesbelowzero was mentioning sensor size as a reason for choosing a dSLR over one of those cameras - then there really is a difference in sensor size and design.

well the FZ30 I see has the word Leica on it which is good for morale.
It has a 3:2 ratio option which I would prefer to 4:3.
I like the look of the build . Sensor 1/1.8".
Shoots from 1/60th sec to 1/2000th. Has RAW & TIFF capability...
Lens 2.8 at the fast end.
ISO info ?
8.3 MP

The H5
3:2 ratio option
ISO 80-1000
1/2.5" sensor
Carl Zeiss lens...
Start-up time 1sec (vs H2's 5 seconds ..ouch!)
7.2 MP
Shutter speeds ?

it's a tough-one - the Lumix looks a better camera,
but it's got the smaller sensor. (1/1.8" Is smaller than 1/2.5" right ?)

Also, I notice its 'shooting modes:'
Shooting mode
• Program (with shift)
• Aperture Priority
• Shutter Priority
• Manual
• Macro
• Moving Image
• Portrait
• Sports
• Scenery
• Night Scenery
• Night Portrait
• Fireworks
• Party
• Snow
• Self-Portrait
• Food
• Baby
• Soft Skin
• Candle
• Starry Sky
• AE compensation -2.0EV to +2.0 EV in 1/3EV steps
• Auto bracketing


I think they missed out

Old Skool Electro and...
Bossa Nova

I just threw some old chicken bones up in the air, and when they landed in the dirt I divined that I would save a bit more money and buy a DLSR.

..or at least find out what shutter-speeds are available on the Sony H5.
this is what I found when searching the net

Key FeaturesImage Sensor TypeCCD #160;
Resolution7.2 Megapixel #160;
Optical Zoom12x #160;
Camera TypeStandard Point and Shoot LensInterchangeable LensWithout Interchangeable Lens #160;
Optical Zoom12x #160;
35mm Zoom Lens36 - 432 mm #160;
Digital Zoom4x #160;
Focus TypeAutofocus & Manual Focus #160;
Focus Range19.7 in. (w) #160;
Macro Focus Range.74 in. (w) #160;
Focal Length6 - 72 mm Image QualityCamera Resolution7.2 Megapixel VideoVideo Resolutions640 x 480 (VGA) • 160 x 112 #160;
Video Speed30 fps #160;
Video FormatMPEG Exposure ControlAperture Rangef8 (t) - f2.8/f3.7 (w/t) #160;
Shutter Speed.25 - 1/2000 sec #160;
White BalanceAuto • Manual • Daylight / Sunny (Preset) • Cloudy (Preset) • Fluorescent (Preset) • Incandescent (Preset) • Flash (Preset) #160;
Frames Per Second1.4 Frames StorageMemory TypeBuilt-in • Memory Stick Duo • Memory Stick Pro #160;
Built-in Memory Size32 #160;
Compression ModesFine • Normal #160;
Compression TypeJPEG FlashISO SpeedsAuto • 100 • 200 • 400 • 800 • 80 • 1000 #160;
Flash FunctionsAuto Flash • Fill-in Flash • Red-eye Reduction Flash • Slow Sync Viewfinder / DisplayLCD PanelWith LCD Panel #160;
LCD Panel Size2 in. #160;
LCD Screen Resolution201,000 pixels #160;
LCD Protected PositionWithout LCD Protected Position InterfacesInterface TypeUSB 2.0 #160;
Video InterfaceVideo Out Included FeaturesSelf Timer2 Sec. • 10 Sec. #160;
Built-in MicrophoneWith Built-in Microphone #160;
Built-in SpeakerWith Built-in Speaker System RequirementsOperating SystemApple Mac OS 9 • Apple Mac OS X • Microsoft Windows ME • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition • Microsoft Windows XP Professional DimensionsWidth4.44 in. #160;
Depth3.69 in. #160;
Height3.25 in. #160;
Weight0.9 lb.
I have the FZ30 and it's a briliant piece of engineering.

I can heartily recommend it.

The reason I bought it are:-

12x zoom at 8mp
15x zoom at 5mp
19x zoom at 3 mp

Swing out LCD and turn-aroundable out of harms way

OIS image staibiliser

Flash shoe

Excellent veiwfinder

Pefect one handed stable operation


The best manual focusing I've found

Excellent macro AF and manual focus.

Of the 4 choices given. I vote for the Panasonic FZ-30. I think it has the best lens out of the 4. According to the spec's has a 55mm thread. So it can also use standard filters without adapters. Thats a big plus in my book. The Sony seems to have a larger ISO range, but Sony memory stick is a minus, as I am not sure anything esle but Sony products use them.
One thing to note about the FZ30: there is a lot of noise.

I had an FZ20 that I really liked, it also produced quite the noisy image. I looked into upgrading when the FZ30 when introduced only to find an even noisier image! Plus, the FZ20 was 2.8 throughout the entire 12x zoom range, the FZ30 is not. I suggest if you like the look of that camera, buy a FZ20 used. :mrgreen:
The noise issue on FZ30's is a bit of a furphy.

As described here from Steves Digicams:-

There has been alot of fuss about the FZ30's noise levels when using ISO speeds of 200 or higher. When we first posted our review of this model, we did not comment much on this subject as we did not feel that the levels were dramatically higher than similar models. Overall the noise levels do increase as the ISO sensitivity is raised - just like you see on almost any camera - with ISO 400 being the worst. Therefore, we do not feel that the FZ30 suffers from "horrible noise issues" like many people have been saying. Judge for yourself by looking out our set of samples from ISO 80 to 400 at both f/8.0 and f/11.0, on our samples page.

Also perhaps try the Panasonic Forum on DP Review Where you'll find lots of samples showing the fantastic clarity of images from this camera.

If noise is a real problem, you can shoot in RAW or use noise reduction software such as Noise Ninja.

I've yet to experience any horrible noise issues at all. But then I shoot mostly at 100/200 ISO.

I agree the FZ20 was a really nice camera and I nearly bought one, but in my opinion the FZ30 is so much better so I waited for it to be available.

BTW the Sony H5 reportadly has the worst purple fringing of any camera in it's class. So I guess it's swings and round-a-bouts, go for the features that best suit your needs.

I'm sorry I didn't realise you had used a FZ30 I thought you were quoting what you'd heard. So I apologise.

My post too, is based on my experience :) . I've owned mine since last September and have rarely touched my *istD since, other than for using with studio lights.


p.s. When it's slightly exaggerated then it's "a bit of a furphy" :wink:

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