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I just want a camera!?!?!

I am a mom of 4 girls and an avid scrapbooker looking for the right camera. Any suggestions? I have been reading all the reviews and looking at every company, type, ect. and I am totally confused. If I find a camera that has a great zoom, it doesn't do great action shots, if it takes great action shots it has a terrible zoom and is heavy and bulky. Augh!!! I am looking for a great camera that isn't huge, takes great action shots(my oldest daughter is in lots of sports) and has a great zoom, I also take my own family's/daughter's portraits, I also don't want it to be so heavy it will be a pain lugging it around!! I am looking in the $300-$400 range. If you have any advice I would love to hear from you!

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A little camera with a big zoom.

In reply to: I just want a camera!?!?!

The most popular large zoom cameras cost between $400 and $500 and are large cameras.

There are two cameras by Panasonic that fit your description.

They are small for a 10X zoom camera.

The Panasonic TZ2 and TZ3.
They are identical except the TZ3 has one more megapixel and a larger (3 inch) LCD screen. The price is between $300 and $400.

Here is a look at the specifications:

There is a review of the TZ3....just click the green link just under the photo of the camera.


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In reply to: A little camera with a big zoom.

Thanks so much for your help. I do like all the options those cameras had, and the picture examples were awesome. Now I need to decide if I like that body style, I had been looking at the Canon Powershot S3-IS and really liked the way that one felt with a little more to hold. I'm not happy with the way it took action shots though.
Then I looked at a Nikon SLR D40 and that one just felt too big and I just wasn't sure I really needed to go to an SLR. I wish there was something inbetween.?. I've also looked at the Canon Powershot S5, the Canon Powershot G7 and the Sony CyberShot DSC-H9. But by the time I look at them all I am way confused again. Any ideas on which of these cameras come closest to my needs.

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Just a Camera that can't say no......

In reply to: I just want a camera!?!?!

The Canon S5IS and S3IS are very similar but the S5 is a lot more money. I've had AGFA, Milolta, and Canon cameras, and I've had a Sony HI-8 video camera. I like Canon and Fujifilm the best as companies / offering support, help, etc. I've taken a lot of "fast action" shots due to my work as an engineer. If I were you I'd go for two approaches: 1)Choose between the Canon S3 IS and the Fujiflim S5200. 2) <radical alternative> buy a USED Canon EOS Elan 7 35mm SLR.
This camera can be had at a good photoshop for $120. It is tremendously underrated as a camera compared to the Digitals and it is lighter. Standard lens is a 28-90mm with Macro focusing. Now with the EOS lenses you can pickup a used longer zoom if you want to later. DO NOT buy a lense made before ~ 1998 or so. It will not include the benefits of reverse ray tracing computational techniques in its design. Bottom Line: The Elan 7 will be lighter than an equivalent digital, and the money you save up front will pay for several years film. Yes you do have to get the film developed...... Good Shooting John

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S4/S10 V610

In reply to: I just want a camera!?!?!

The NIkon S10 and its older version are compact 10x zoom cameras with a cool twist design.It also has VR(true image stabilization and not an ISO boost). IS(image stabilation) reduces camera shake. If a camera says its digital stabilization and not lens or CCD shift its useless. If you go to you can find a full 15 page review on the S10 A very(empahsis on very) compact 10x zoom camera is the kodak V610. It doesnt have IS but is very pocketable. My friend has it and likes it, but I havent tried it. Its most noted for its dual lens design.
If you want bigger zoom look at the Sony H7 and H9(15x zoom)and the Olympus SP-550(18x zoom). The 550 has excellent IS but you have to know a bit about cameras(ISO, P mode, etc.) to get good results as auto just doesnt deliver. Also you need a bright day to take good action shots at the longer zoom range(this is problem with such extreme zoom). The sony might have the same problem but to a lesser degree. Basically no GIANT zoom at an indoor court. The H7 and H9 ar nearly identical. The H9 having night vision capabilitities and an articulating screen that is larger than the H7s normal screen. These cameras in this paragrapgh are bigger though and NOT pocketable. They are still light though and fairly compact.

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post problem

In reply to: S4/S10 V610

My post wasnt split into two paragraphs. When I refer to the cameras in this paragraph, at the end of my post, I refer to the 550 and the H7 and H9.

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In reply to: post problem

i would look at the fz50 (which i have) which is about the size of an dslr or its smaller brother the fz8 or fz18 (the fz18 was just announced). The tz3 of what i have seen is pretty cool but without manual controls you cant set your shutter speed for action shots. Usually you want to get to 1/500th of a second or higher to get sharp people action shots. You can do this with the fz8 and fz50. Panasonic has a better lens then both the sony H7/H9 and the Canon s3/s5. There is no purple fringe around the edges with the panasonic cameras. The Leica lens is amazingly sharp. go to and you can see their very in-depth review plus if you go to their forums you can check out great sample shots.

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