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View Full Version : Help with new camera, willing to take all suggestions



Kdawg8
06-27-2007, 11:24 AM
I'm looking for a digital camera, my first one, I've been using my parents Sony and it works but is a bit bulky and want something smaller. As of now I've been looking at the Canon SD800 IS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3K and I can't decide, but will also listen to suggestions anyone has that may be better suited for me:

Budget

Around $300-350

Size

Smaller the better

Features

How many megapixels will suffice for you? 7 should be fine

* What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x, Other - Specify)
Not sure

* How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10)
9

Do you care for manual controls? No

General Usage

* What will you generally use the camera for?
Pictures with friends and also for sporting events I attend, mostly football games, also will sometimes take video at football games.

* Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?
On occasion if I get a really good shot

Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos?
Sometimes

Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos?
Yes

Miscellaneous

Are there particular brands you like or hate?
No

Are there particular models you already have in mind?
Canon SD800 IS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3K

(If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD)
I'm thinking Wide Angle and IS would be good for football games.

John_Reed
06-27-2007, 11:45 AM
They're both good cameras. The Canon has an optical viewfinder, the TZ3 doesn't. On the other hand, the Canon's zoom reaches out to only ~105mm, whereas the TZ3's zoom reaches to 280mm. So if you're really interested in shooting sporting events, you'd get pretty frustrated with the short reach of the Canon, compared to the much longer reach of the TZ3. I know that very thing has happened to me; I have a Panasonic FX50, with essentially the same zoom range as the SD 800, and though it's smaller than the TZ3, I bought the TZ3 anyway because I was frustrated with the camera's short reach. You can take a look at the photos in my TZ3 gallery. (http://john-reed.smugmug.com/gallery/2762845) I don't have any sporting events to show, but there are a few action shots in there, of birds flying around or sucking nectar?

David Metsky
06-27-2007, 01:21 PM
As John said, for sports you are going to want zoom. You're going to be disappointed with the reach of the SD800. Wide angle actually is pretty useless at sporting events unless you are trying to capture the whole field, but all the players will just be little dots.

Kdawg8
06-27-2007, 02:46 PM
I was heavily leaning towards the SD800 the other day but started to come around towards the Panasonic after I saw the zoom features. I haven't seen it in person yet so I will probably go check out a Panasonic today and if it's good I'll go with that.

There are times I like to take pictures of the entire field and stadium so the wide angle is something I would definitely use.

John_Reed
06-27-2007, 02:58 PM
I was heavily leaning towards the SD800 the other day but started to come around towards the Panasonic after I saw the zoom features. I haven't seen it in person yet so I will probably go check out a Panasonic today and if it's good I'll go with that.

There are times I like to take pictures of the entire field and stadium so the wide angle is something I would definitely use.If you're shooting wide angle with the TZ3, it uniquely will give you the 28mm in all aspect ratios. In particular, in the 16:9 ratio, its horizontal field of view is wider what than the normal 4:3 aspect ratio will give you. Wider than wide? Something like that. It's been calculated that to get the same HFOV with a 28mm lens shooting in 4:3, your SD 800 would have to really be a 25mm lens. So you'll get something like panoramic views from the TZ3 in its 16:9 mode.

Kdawg8
06-28-2007, 10:44 AM
Thanks for the tips, after going to the store and checking out the Panasonic, although it was bigger than I wanted, I went with it because of the extra zoom. I've been to numerous games where I've been frustrated by the lack of zoom on the camera and couldn't get a better shot so it was the deciding factor for me.