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it is SO hard to choose....camera and printer advice pls

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  #1  
Old 06-11-2006, 01:01 PM
aylaah's Avatar
aylaah aylaah is offline
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it is SO hard to choose....camera and printer advice pls

I'm in the market for a new camera. I want the step below DSLR, after considerable consideration :P I know I don't want SLR yet, but something more advanced than usual compact digital. So I'm looking at Panasonic FZ30, Fujifilm S9500 (9000 in US), and below that the Fuji 5600 (5200 in US) and Kodak P850 (hmm maybe).

I want a mechanical zom, non retractable lens which removes a few from the equation (including that kodak lol), ultra zoom I guess is the class I'm looking at. I saw one tonight with 15x optical and I forgot what it is called lol Might have been a Samsung. Oh the Pro815 or something.

Anyway the Panasonic seems absolutely perfect except for the high noise that in reviews registers as unacceptable from ISO 100. Problem. The Fuji then seems ideal, but has no image stabilisation (Im shaky and I like macro) but has 'antiblur' which Im not sure about. And it uses xD cards over SD, and I already have SD cards here so they would be useless.

EEEEEEEKKKKKK

They are the 'top end' cameras retailing here in Oz for $800 ish (fuji a bit below, panasonic a bit above). At the lower cost level is the lower model fuji and the kodak (and I hate that to get optical zoom in kodak in the 850 I have to lose the mechanical zoom on the 850 which only has 5.8x zoom) which retail around $400.

I was told to look at Nikon D50 DSLR which is cheap in the US here though it is stil $1200 on average. Out of my price range. I could get the Pentax *ist DL for about $900-1000 but it then opens the whole DSLR thing which I'm trying to avoid here - I want to learn about everything else (so high manual features are a good thing) before jumping into SLR and lenses - but the high end cameras can still have filters etc attached to them so I can *begin* to learn.

Anyway rambling lol.

HELP!!!! I am going mad here trying to work out what to give up - SD/image stabilisation, or noise issues? What do I choose? Eek

I use PS7 which is what I would use for noise removal if that helps anyone.


Oh oh oh - and printer advice - I need a printer. Nothing OTT, budget constraints, but the beginnings of decent photo printers? What would that be? Any suggestions?
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Old 06-11-2006, 01:03 PM
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aylaah aylaah is offline
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oops 5.8x optical is in the kodak 880
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Old 06-11-2006, 03:36 PM
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1STLITE 1STLITE is offline
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I have the FZ20. At the time I was looking for exactly what you describe, only I had about 500 to spend on it. I had it narrowed down to the Canon S2IS or the FZ20. I went with the FZ20, several factor - less of that purple fringing and a couple other issues (can't remember them all). If I could have afforded the FZ30 with 8MP instead of 5 as in the FZ20 would hve been great, but I am very pleased with the FZ20.

Noise - Yes, the noise levels are high in either of these cameras, especially at high ISO. But even at 400 on the FZ20 the nise cleans up very nicely with Neat Image, which is what I use for noice removal. Others here will recommend Noise Ninja, but I think either one you will be extremely impressed with, especially if youa re currently using PS7 for noise removal. Seriously - look into one of them.

I will go find a pic before and after at 400 and post them.

As far as printers go, I have had two lower end Epsons, and they are fabulous. I had the R200 and now have the R320. The 320 even has a card reader built in, and can be used without the computer (if this is something you'd be interested in). The next "up" fromt he R320 is the R340. I think they may have discontinued the 320, and the 340 is the replacement. Therefore I got mine with a very nice rebate, great price.

Good luck in your search.

Dawn
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Old 06-11-2006, 04:00 PM
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1STLITE 1STLITE is offline
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Here are the samples. This is a crop of a pic taken at 400ISO, and then noise removal with neat image. No other adjustments were made.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg FZ20 400ISO neat test before.jpg (85.8 KB, 33 views)
File Type: jpg FZ20 400ISO neat test after.jpg (86.3 KB, 34 views)
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Old 06-12-2006, 12:57 AM
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aylaah aylaah is offline
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thanks for that, and the pics too The printers sound good too, I'll look into those!
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Old 07-19-2006, 09:26 PM
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Littlecoo Littlecoo is offline
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Hmmm... I am hunting for a new printer myself. Like you I am trying to find something of good quality that, at the same time, won't financially cripple me.
This is one of the sites that I have wandered onto Here check out the R800.
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