I'm currently into the decision which digital camera to buy.
The camera should suit all-day, aviation spotting and also holiday needs. Minimum 3,3 MegaPixel to get good 20x30cm prints. Minimum reachable zoom should be around 250mm to get some details. Compact Flash cards as memory system, SM is limited to 128megs and MS and SD are much to expensive. Price of cam should be as low as possible, that's clear
Current selection is:
Nikon CoolPix 885 + 2x/3x tele converter (maybe EagleEye SuperZoom)
Really small, good to take along, lots of manual functions, good makro, but has a little problem of too much red in scenes with artifical light. Only 114mm without converters. Kind of a "girl's cam" style.
About 530 Euro, 2/3/5x Converters 125/250/250 Euro.
Nikon CoolPix 995 + 2x/3x Teleconverter (maybe EagleEye SuperZoom)
Most manual functions, no real weaks. Autofocus needs much light. Costs more than the 885, better colors and 153mm maximum tele. Much more heavier and bigger than the 885.
About 670 Euro, 2/3/5x Converters 125/250/250 Euro.
Minolta Dimage 5 as is.
Great quality, many professional functions, but very power-hungry. Big block to carry around. Slow autofocus. No way to get more tele than 250mm, maybe there are 3rd party converters available?!?
About 640 Euro, a really good price for that monster.
Fujifilm FinePix S602 Zoom + 1.5 Teleconverter
Features 315mm max. tele zoom with the converter and if you look at both the FinePix 6900 Zoom (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fuji6900z/) and the changes Fuji will make to it to get the S602, it should have the best quality of all four cameras with nearly all weaks eliminated. Start of production around may.
Will cost about 900 Euro and about 130 for the 1.5x converter.
I'm now concentrating on the Nikon section, since the Minolta is kind of too big and too heavy to suit as an all-day-cam and I just don't have the money for 2 cams.
The Fuji will be too expensive, too, I think.
Main thing I do not really like with the Nikons are their really small lens systems and the very high apertures in tele mode. Yes, I did read (quite) every review available about that cams and even the picture results with 5x converter were just fine and better than I ever expected.
But what about sunset shooting? Is it possible to take hand shots with a cam with an 5.1 aperture at tele and added 2x converter?
The S602 features an 2.8-3.1 aperture, but the prize...
The separate opical view finders aren't very suitable to use with teleconverters, too...
Another thing, the 995 with 2x tele converter is about 800 Euro, thats much more than the Minolta...
I just can't decide...
Perhaps some users of one of the Nikons could say some words to my critic points?!? Peter Unmuth?
Thanks very much!!!