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Digital "Superzoom" Cameras - Which To Buy?  
User currently offlineFanofjets From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1985 posts, RR: 3
Posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4569 times:

I am looking for a reliable, quality digital camera with good zoom capability, but do not have the budget for one of the big SLRs. I am not a professional photographer but a knowledgable amateur (I played with shutter speeds and aperture settings on my old film SLR). Two cameras that have garnered good ratings are the Canon PowerShot S2 IS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5 (with the Leica lens); both have 12x optical zoom and 5 MP, probably more than sufficient for my needs. Has anyone here used either camera? What are your recommendations? Thanks so much for your help!


The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineThom@s From Norway, joined Oct 2000, 11953 posts, RR: 46
Reply 1, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4503 times:

I purchased a Panasonic FZ-20 in January, and have not regretted that investment. The Leica lens is great, and the 5MP is a nice step up from the 3,2 I had previously. Captures the colors and the mood in the image very well I think.


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Thomas Andre Hjelmen



The FZ 20 works very well. Even when taking photos of moving objects (like aircraft) on full tele, 12x zoom, the images come out nice and sharp. (Provided the light conditions are ok) Much thanks to the built in image stabilizer. In the example below I was quite far away from the runway, but still managed to get a pretty nice "closeup" of the plane as it passed by.

http://www1.airpics.com/showimg.php?imgid=74689

The wideangle could be better, but it's still ok. In terms of aviation photography you can fit a cockpit in the frame.

http://www1.airpics.com/showimg.php?imgid=73859

So I'd recommend it.  Smile

Thom@s



"If guns don't kill people, people kill people - does that mean toasters don't toast toast, toast toast toast?"
User currently offlineJorge1812 From Germany, joined Apr 2004, 3149 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4494 times:

I'm using the Olympus C-750 with 10x optical zoom and 4MP. Newer models with more MP might be available. It's a good camera but a bit too slow for aviation photography. Needs lot's of practicing before getting propper shots of flying aircraft.

http://www.airliners.net/search/phot...h?photographersearch=Georg%20Noack

Georg.


User currently offlineVbonina From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 11 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4488 times:

If you're going to go with a 12x zoom, you really need IS. (Image Stabilization)
The Panasonic FZ-20 has it. My son owns one and believe me you will be amazed the quality of high zoom photos.
Good Luck
Vince


User currently offlineSincil From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4414 times:

I also have a FZ-20 - As per the other comments, it is a fantastic camera and I recommend!

User currently offlineGPHOTO From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 829 posts, RR: 24
Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 4408 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR

I have a Panasonic FZ-20, definitely a good camera in this category.

Best regards,

Jim



Erm, is this thing on?
User currently offlineSignalOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 4408 times:

Hi,

Quoting Fanofjets (Thread starter):
and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5

I use a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5, and I am very pleased with it. Very pleased. I got it about 2 months ago. The Zoom is terrific, all the manual settings you can use are fantastic, and there are plenty of adjustments and options you can use (like setting the White Balance) when taking Photographs. The pre-programmed modes (for example "snow mode" are very good, and there are plenty of different modes to pick to take you pictures with, like "shutter-priority"). The Panasonic FZ5 has the Image Stabilization, which is brilliant!

If you have any more questions, please ask!

Now I have the Camera, I recommend reading all the reviews online, especially This one. As they are all (most of them) very good, reliable reviews on the Camera. For help From a Spotters point of view though, I'm sure we can all help!  

I recommend this Camera entirely,and, here you can find my best Photo's I have taken with the Camera, after about 2 months with it, and a tiny bit of editing.

Here you can view the thread which helped me decide what Camera to buy (including Panasonic Cameras): Advice/Help: What Digital Camera Should I Buy? (by SignalOne Apr 18 2005 in Aviation Photography)

and here there is a comparison between the Canon and Panasonic Digital Cameras: RE: Assistance Needed - Canon Vs. Panasonic (by Flygmolinafmly May 19 2005 in Aviation Photography)


By the way, the FZ20 is similar to the FZ5, there are lots of comparisons online between the two, and I am sure you can compare the Two on the Panasonic Website, to see which one suits your needs. For starters, the FZ5 is smaller, and does not have a "Hot Shoe". Both the FZ5 and the FZ20 have Image Stabilization, 12x Zoom and 5 Mega-Pixels.

Cheers, Ryan 



[Edited 2005-06-14 19:53:23]

User currently offlineAC_B777 From Canada, joined Aug 2000, 809 posts, RR: 13
Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4382 times:

I own the Panasonic DMC FZ15 which is one step down from the FZ20, and I love it.
The main difference between the FZ15 and the FZ20 is 1MP. the 15 is 4MP and the 20 is 5MP.
The zoom range is awesome along with the Image Stabilization. The Leica is nice as well.
I could'nt afford the extra $200CAD for the FZ20 so I bought the FZ15, and I have been pleased with it.



In life, some days you are the bug..... some days you are the windshield!
User currently offlineFanofjets From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1985 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4331 times:

Hey, thanks guys. I really appreciate your help. Seems as if the Panasonic and Leica duo have some happy fans. I am glad to know that there is a decent digitial camera for aviation photography without having to spend a fortune on a digital SLR (as much as I'd like to own one). I'm going to purchase one of the LUMIX DMCs - I just have to see which one I can afford. At the very least the FZ5 should serve very well. I would also like to thank everyone for the helpful links and reviews; I plan to read each one.

By the way, great shots - though the credit goes to the photographers more than the camera  Smile



The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
User currently offlineThom@s From Norway, joined Oct 2000, 11953 posts, RR: 46
Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4321 times:

I paid around £530 for my FZ 20. (Bought it over the counter at a nearby store in order to get it quickly and safely)

But you can find the FZ20 on nomatica.com for a more reasonable price. This one starts off at £340. http://www.nomatica.co.uk/photo/dmcfz20sEN.htm
Shipping will cost some extra though, but I still believe it is a nice price all together.

Just a tip.  Smile

Thom@s



"If guns don't kill people, people kill people - does that mean toasters don't toast toast, toast toast toast?"
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