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View Full Version : Which Hi-End Consumer Camera is for me?



Azurael
07-26-2004, 05:22 PM
Hello experienced photographers :D (Seemed like a good idea to flatter the audience first...)

I'm in the market for a consumer high end-ish camera with a specific purpose in mind - computer component reviews - thus I need a good macro mode and fairly high resolution to be able to make out wordings on small chips and the like... I'd also like something I can take relatively nice holiday & scenic pictures, etc with. I've used (not owned :P) many cameras in the past few years and I've taken some not so nice ones with a Fuji F410 (Too small & light, tend to result in camera shake) fairly nice ones with a Canon Powershot S40 and Fuji S602Zoom.

Until I decided I needed something I could do reviews as described above with, I was considering the Powershot S50 as my next choice of camera, in fact. So to my point, it seems to be a toss up between the Fuji S7000 and the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z2 - the only things in my price range with the kind of super macro I need (zoom is less relevant, though more is obviously a good thing). The Fuji is obviously more expensive but has the advantage of 6MPixel resolution and doesn't look quite so much like a toy, along with CF support (Useful since I already have CF cards) & proper USB2 (Which when you're talking about the size of images chucked out of modern cameras could be significant)

Both have a fairly decent movie mode - Good enough for web coverage of trade shows, etc and look to have fairly decent colour reproduction (though I have always been a fan of Fuji optics + CCD technology vs. most other manufacturers). So, I'm all ears now about which would be the better choice for me and if you have any other suggestions, then that's be nice too!

D70FAN
07-26-2004, 05:55 PM
3 Megapixels should suffice. Macro focus down to 5cm would work. So that opens up a group of about 25 cameras that would work.

Of that 25 the FZ10 is the most fun. 4MP, 5cm Macro, 12X stabilized zoom, relatively fast. It's one of the few all-in-one cameras that I would recommend.

Give it (and others) a try, before you buy.

Azurael
07-26-2004, 06:34 PM
I set myself a guide minimum of 4mpixels, preferably 5 really, since I'm looking for something I can use for quality prints too and that won't need upgrading for a while...

I don't care about image stabilising at all, since I'm not planning on over-utilising the zoom. Having used and got a feel for the weight and size of the S602z, I was assuming that I'd probably be able to hold the S7000 steady anyway...

The FZ10 looks like quite an attractive model feature-wise but it costs nearly 100 more than the 6MP Fuji, which is a consideration especially when it only records 320x240 video. I'd also prefer a camera that uses AA batteries and Compactflash. I don't know if this is entirely tue, since I don't have specs to have, but ccording to the review I read, the minimum Macro zoom distance is 4", which is a long short short of what I want.

Jake Conner
07-26-2004, 08:34 PM
While I might pick the FZ10 over it for sheer fun factor, the S7000 does sound like what you need. Go for it!

Jake

D70FAN
07-26-2004, 10:12 PM
I am just not a Fuji camera fan. Using that flim-flam interpolation scheme has always bugged the heck out of me, and they continue to use it. If there were merit to this idea I would think that professionals would be champing at the bit to use it.

Also please do not get hung up on the Pixel count. In consumer all-in-ones a higher number does not always correlate to better pictures.

I don't often disagree with Jake, but the S7000 is just not a good choice in my book. Yes it is a personal opinion, but based on experience.

If you want video buy a JVC mini DV cam for about $300, you will be happier with the result.

Incidently, the macro on the FZ10 is actually 5cm (2 inches).

Jake Conner
07-26-2004, 10:16 PM
Well, the Fuji backs with that flim-flam interpolation scheme *are* what Hasselblad chose as the "official" digital backs for the new H system...

Azurael
07-27-2004, 04:30 AM
The review states that the CCD always captures an interpolated 12mpixel image and then downsizes it to 6mpixel so even if used at it's 'native' resolution, there should logically be more noise than the other 6mp cameras out there. That said, I'm hardly a professional photographer and don't really care - suffices to say that the pictures I have taken with the S602z and (when I could hold it steady enough) the F410 have impressed me and I have no problem with the quality/sharpness/contrast of the images from FujiFilm CCDs provided the images aren't taken at the interpolated resolution.

I don't really think a DV-Cam is nescesary for the kind of short web-clips I'll be making (which will almost certainly get downsized to 320x240 for bandwidth presevation - but I like the facility to take VGA videos), and I can't afford two cameras right now anyway - if I could, I'd be buying something closer to the SLR end of digicams instead considering the relative successes I've had with my somewhat aged Zenit.

Regardless, the FZ10 is very poorly featured for a camera which costs nearly 100 more than the S7000, and roughly 150 more than the DiMAGE Z2 (Though I've since read of sharpness issues with these, and the mechanical screen switch doesn't strike me as a particularly good idea) - It seems I'd be paying mostly for the 12x zoom that I have no need of... I've never pesonally tried a Panasonic camera and thus have no reason to trust them. How about competing models from Minolta and Canon?

Azurael
07-27-2004, 03:54 PM
Sorry for the double post, but how about the Sony DSC-F88? Steve's havea review of it up already and the featureset looks quite nice along with the attractive proposition of being relatively cheap. It's certainly 'different' from the otehr cams I've been looking at, but portability might be an asset too!

D70FAN
07-27-2004, 04:55 PM
Well, the Fuji backs with that flim-flam interpolation scheme *are* what Hasselblad chose as the "official" digital backs for the new H system...

I checked the Hasselblad site, and I could not find the "official" endorsement. Only that they had "partnered" on the H1 project. Prior to that it looks like Kodak and Phase One also are/were "partners".

Nowhere, on the Hasselblad site, is there mention of the Super CCD back.