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View Full Version : optical image stabilizer vs. good old hand



euxenite
08-01-2004, 08:39 AM
I am debating whether to purchase the well-attested Canon Powershot S1IS, or Panasonic Lumix FZ10. Besides the ultra zoom, however, one of my other main criteria for a camera is portability and ease of shooting. This means go in my bulky pocket, where no tripod will go. So, I am drawn toward the sleek Olympus Camedia C-770. There are good things said about it but no one is really commenting on how accurate its shots are at the max zoom level.

Can anyone with firsthand experience confirm the hand-held performance of the Olympus C-770?

Would I just be better off going with the Lumix model? It seems so BIG.

Thank you for any help you could give,

eux

D70FAN
08-01-2004, 09:06 AM
I am debating whether to purchase the well-attested Canon Powershot S1IS, or Panasonic Lumix FZ10. Besides the ultra zoom, however, one of my other main criteria for a camera is portability and ease of shooting. This means go in my bulky pocket, where no tripod will go. So, I am drawn toward the sleek Olympus Camedia C-770. There are good things said about it but no one is really commenting on how accurate its shots are at the max zoom level.

Can anyone with firsthand experience confirm the hand-held performance of the Olympus C-770?

Would I just be better off going with the Lumix model? It seems so BIG.

Thank you for any help you could give,

eux

Actully I have used all of the 700 family and they are pretty good. My problem is that I need a tripod when the focal length gets past about 135mm, and the shutter speed gets below about 1/30 sec.. Also the problem is not necessarily severe blurring, but minor burring that makes the image appear to be soft or out-of-focus. If you have very steady hands and can shoot at around 1/25 sec. shutter speed then you may not have a problem. When you hang that lens out to 210mm (6x on the FZ) to 420mm (12x on the FZ) any little movement will hose the shot, so even steady hands may have a problem. This is true with any long lens. That's why even professional lenses are adding the Image Stabilizer feature to their longer zooms ($600 to $1700 just for the lens).

The FZ10 is a bit of a lug, but the new FZ series are looking a little less like a dSLR, and more like an all-in-one digital camera, so you might want to check them out in the next month or so when they are released. Minolta also has a new 12x camera comming out the Z3.

The bottom line here is that cameras in the same price bracket as the S1 IS, FZ family, and now the Z3, should have this very useful feature.

John_Reed
08-01-2004, 09:32 AM
I am debating whether to purchase the well-attested Canon Powershot S1IS, or Panasonic Lumix FZ10. Besides the ultra zoom, however, one of my other main criteria for a camera is portability and ease of shooting. This means go in my bulky pocket, where no tripod will go. So, I am drawn toward the sleek Olympus Camedia C-770. There are good things said about it but no one is really commenting on how accurate its shots are at the max zoom level.
Can anyone with firsthand experience confirm the hand-held performance of the Olympus C-770?
Would I just be better off going with the Lumix model? It seems so BIG.
Thank you for any help you could give,
eux
Eux, from the pictures, the Lumix does seem big. You may have to put your hands one to decide whether it's really too big for your "bulky pocket." But I have two Lumixes (or I should say my wife has one and I have another); one is an FZ1 which is slightly larger than the Canon S1, and the other is an FZ10 which is larger again. But either of these cameras will fit in a tummy pack. I ran the Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco this year with my FZ1, and have also taken long runs with my FZ10 in the little pack. I have put the FZ1 in my bulky jacket pocket many times. George mentioned the newly announced Panasonic Lumixes; the new FZ3 is even smaller than my FZ1, with more megapixels and more features, as well as a faster lens than the Canon S1.

euxenite
08-01-2004, 07:44 PM
Thank you both very much for your speedy replies. I appreciate the input and the chance to sound out these ideas with you.

I am leaning toward the Lumix, especially if the new line is smaller. I checked the Panasonic home page and they say they are due out "late summer", so I guess you are correct to say in a month's time. The DMC-FZ20 according to this press page sounds promising <http://www.panasonic.com/consumer_electronics/pressroom/cont2.asp?Filter=12&cont_id=716>.

In fact, the FZ20 appears to address all issues for me (size, zoom, speed, IS) except two: Best Shot Selector and Stitch Assist. As I research this more, it seems that the Nikon model gives the best chance in low-lighting conditions since it allows you take several shots and the BSS will choose the sharpest. I can't imagine being able to see the quality of the shot on the small screen. And second, I have grown accustomed to taking panoramic shots and re-formatting them by myself later. From what I read of the Panorama option on the Lumix, it does not seem to offer an automated way to bring composite landscape shots together.

So, in sum, I shall wait to see the price and availability of the FZ20 line. But if you happen to know whether the Lumix can help choose sharp photos (like BSS) or compose landscape shots (like Stitch Assist), it would help clarify my thoughts toward the Panasonic model.

Much appreciatively,

Chris/euxenite

D70FAN
08-01-2004, 07:56 PM
So, in sum, I shall wait to see the price and availability of the FZ20 line. But if you happen to know whether the Lumix can help choose sharp photos (like BSS) or compose landscape shots (like Stitch Assist), it would help clarify my thoughts toward the Panasonic model.

Much appreciatively,

Chris/euxenite

With the Image Stabilization feature BSS is not a factor. I have used BSS on my 990 and it works very well, but IS is a better way to get good pictures in many situations where BSS would not help.

I would think the FZ15 would be the best blend of price and performance, but if that extra megapixel is critical then the FZ20 is your camera.

Good shooting.

John_Reed
08-01-2004, 08:31 PM
Thank you both very much for your speedy replies. I appreciate the input and the chance to sound out these ideas with you.

I am leaning toward the Lumix, especially if the new line is smaller. I checked the Panasonic home page and they say they are due out "late summer", so I guess you are correct to say in a month's time. The DMC-FZ20 according to this press page sounds promising <http://www.panasonic.com/consumer_electronics/pressroom/cont2.asp?Filter=12&cont_id=716>.

In fact, the FZ20 appears to address all issues for me (size, zoom, speed, IS) except two: Best Shot Selector and Stitch Assist. As I research this more, it seems that the Nikon model gives the best chance in low-lighting conditions since it allows you take several shots and the BSS will choose the sharpest. I can't imagine being able to see the quality of the shot on the small screen. And second, I have grown accustomed to taking panoramic shots and re-formatting them by myself later. From what I read of the Panorama option on the Lumix, it does not seem to offer an automated way to bring composite landscape shots together.

So, in sum, I shall wait to see the price and availability of the FZ20 line. But if you happen to know whether the Lumix can help choose sharp photos (like BSS) or compose landscape shots (like Stitch Assist), it would help clarify my thoughts toward the Panasonic model.

Much appreciatively,

Chris/euxenite
I don't know how the latest Nikons do with low-light focusing; I use BSS with my CoolPix 4500 to catch, for example, a flower that's blowing in the breeze, where the BSS will choose the sharpest of a batch of 10 shots. I can do practically the same with the "burst" mode on the Lumix at 4 frames/second. For help on "low light" photos, it's my feeling that the Nikon focusing system is a lot slower than the Lumix system in low light, but maybe that's changed with newer models. And as for panorama stitching, I leave that to the free software that comes with the Lumixes, Arcsoft's Panorama Maker, which seems to do a super job with images once they've been downloaded from the camera.

euxenite
08-01-2004, 09:14 PM
Hmmm...that is amazing food for thought. Thanks a lot guys! I will wait another month and see what is happening on the photo-front. While we are on the topic, where do you like to look for updates on new cameras as they are released?

George, yes I can certainly see your point about the IS over-riding BSS concerns. And the FZ-15 suits me just fine with 4-megapixels.

John, I am pleased to hear about the Panorama software. Currenly I own an outdated Olympus model and it is all I can do just to refrain from making an impulse purchase on any one of these fine models in order to redress the imbalance. : )

But wait I shall.

-Chris

wax
08-05-2004, 07:00 AM
Hmmm...that is amazing food for thought. Thanks a lot guys! I will wait another month and see what is happening on the photo-front. While we are on the topic, where do you like to look for updates on new cameras as they are released?
-Chris

i think http://www.dcresource.com/ is good enough. if you want, www.dpreview.com/ would do too.