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Which Camera is best in this list for my purposes? and a RANT about prices too... [Long!]



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 7th 07, 04:15 PM posted to rec.photo.digital.zlr
RsH
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 33
Default Which Camera is best in this list for my purposes? and a RANT about prices too... [Long!]

I am looking for a camera for use from a cruise ship's balcony to
[hopefully] catch whales, and to take photos as we come into and go
out of ports both for a cruise to Mexico's west coast and to Alaska.
As well I want to use the camera for other things, but a larger
optical zoom factor is a must. So the following seem to be the cameras
I am considering...

Which of the following is the best choice in your subjective views?

Some use SD cards while others require a unique and expensive memory
stick. Some use AA batteries, while others use custom and expensive Li
Ion Batteries. Each has different features. The lens quality is also
an issue.

Steve's Digicam has NOT reviewed the newest cameras in the list yet,
so I cannot tell if I should even consider those cameras, except that
the 18x Optical Zoom from FujiFilm is definitely a major factor.

I will likely have the camera shipped to Utah as the first cruise is
out of L.A. in about 6 weeks and I can then get it from my son, who
lives in Utah, at the ship, where we will be meeting. I refuse to pay
a higher price in Canada for a camera when the Canadian dollar is
actually worth more so the camera should be cheaper in Canada!

I also, to try to cut off arguements about the relative size of the
market, will point out that the prices are equally distorted for the
EU [which has a larger population than the U.S.], and that the retail
price shown in almost every press release from each of the
manufacturers reflects the price as set in Japan by corporate head
office. The manufacturer's suggested retail price is NOT really set by
the U.S. or Canadian subsidiary. In some cases the corporate set-up
has the Canadian corporation subsidiary to the U.S. corporation, which
adds a layer that has to produce a profit for the U.S. subsidiary, and
that is part of the distortion in price. In other cases both the U.S.
and Canadian operations are direct subsidiaries of the corporate owner
in Japan. I know that... Another difference is that SOME of them
recognise their warranty on both sides of the border, while others
play the game of saying you have to buy in Canada for service in
Canada and in the U.S. for service in the U.S. - since the camera
comes out of the same factory somewhere in asia, that should be horse
manure, and I've rarely seen it actually enforced.

I happen to be a U.S. citizen and a Canadian citizen, born in
Manhattan. So I am not trying to use a Canadian centric view... I find
this sort of price disparity unfair wherever I see it... and the
failure to adjust prices to reflect this sort of inequity most
annoying. You may disagree but there is the old maxim that the
"Customer is Always Right" and we speak with our money. The traffic
over the border to upper New York state this weekend, by shoppers out
of Toronto, has the crossing into the U.S. taking over an hour once
someone gets in line at the border bridges. That is talking with one's
money... and these manufacturers need to get their Canadian prices in
line with their U.S. prices quickly or their Canadian retailers will
be in deep trouble.

[Rumour has it that the prices will be dropping in Canada after a show
that takes place in Toronto next week. All of the major Camera
manufacturers will be at the show, so I plan to ask them directly
about the prices listed below. I have the time to wait a week or two
before ordering, and will definitely take this opportunity.]

For information on the show itself, and a list of 'vendors' go to
http://www.henrys.com/webapp/wcs/sto...o/general.html

So folks, which camera should I buy, and WHY should I choose that
particular model, or not choose a different model, from the following
list. [and Yes, I repeat that I recognise that this will all be
subjective.]

RsH
--------------------------------------------------
1. FujiFilm FinePix S8000fd 18x Optical Zoom 8.0 megapixel 4-AA
batteries, 410 grams

US$284 from Broadway Photo and C$425 from Infonec.com are the
lowest prices TODAY when the U.S. and Canadian dollar are basically
identical in value.

You can replace Broadway's price with US$350 from Sixth Avenue Photo,
since Broadway Photo seems to have a poor reputation. The argument
remains the same.

2. Canon PowerShot SX100-IS 10x Optical Zoom 8.3 megapixel 2-AA
batteries, 285 grams

US$241 from Broadway Photo and C$373 at Mostly Digital in Ontario

Again the prices are out of line since Canon in Japan has set the
wholesale price in Canada at a higher amount than the wholesale price
in the U.S. - This camera is hitting the marketplace NOW in October,
2007 when the U.S. dollar is worth LESS than the Canadian dollar.

You can replace Broadway's price with US$300 from every photo site
I've found, including Enterprise Photo, since Broadway Photo seems to
have a poor reputation. The argument remains the same.

3. Canon PowerShot S5-IS 12x Optical Zoom 8.3 megapixel 4-AA
batteries, 450 grams

US$299 from Broadway Photo and C$438 from Cendirect.com in Montreal.
Same basic issue on price.... but this camera has been in the market
place longer.

You can replace Broadway's price with US$330 from Enterprise Photo,
since Broadway Photo seems to have a poor reputation. The argument
remains the same.

4. Olympus SP-550UZ 18x Optical Zoom 7.4 megapixel 4-AA batteries, 365
grams

US$276 from Broadway Photo and C$470 from Vistek in Toronto and
Calgary.

You can replace Broadway's price with US$318 from Enterprise Photo,
since Broadway Photo seems to have a poor reputation. The argument
remains the same.

5. Sony CyberShot DSC-H9B 15x Optical Zoom 8.1 megapixel, NP-BG1,
PowerPack, Li-ion battery, 407 grams

US$334 from Broadway Photo and C$459 from Infonec.com in Markham,
Ontario, as suburb of Toronto.

You can replace Broadway's price with US$385 from Enterprise Photo,
since Broadway Photo seems to have a poor reputation. The argument
remains the same.

6. FujiFilm FinePix S700 10x Optical Zoom 7.1 megapixel 4-AA
batteries, 306 grams

US$169 from Broadway Photo and C$229 from Infonec in Toronto.

You can replace Broadway's price with US$188 from Amazon.com, since
Broadway Photo seems to have a poor reputation. The argument remains
the same.

7. Panasonic DMC-FZ18K 18x Optical 8.1 megapixel Li-ion Battery Pack
($80 to replace), 360 grams

US$278 from Broadway Photo and C$549 from all the Canadian sellers I
found.

You can replace Broadway's price with US$390 from Vannis, since
Broadway Photo seems to have a poor reputation. The argument remains
the same.

Weights are without the battery or memory installed, in all cases.

FWIW

RsH



  #2  
Old October 8th 07, 04:27 PM posted to rec.photo.digital.zlr
ray
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,278
Default Which Camera is best in this list for my purposes? and a RANT about prices too... [Long!]

On Sun, 07 Oct 2007 11:15:41 -0400, RsH wrote:

I am looking for a camera for use from a cruise ship's balcony to
[hopefully] catch whales, and to take photos as we come into and go
out of ports both for a cruise to Mexico's west coast and to Alaska.
As well I want to use the camera for other things, but a larger
optical zoom factor is a must. So the following seem to be the cameras
I am considering...

Which of the following is the best choice in your subjective views?

Some use SD cards while others require a unique and expensive memory
stick. Some use AA batteries, while others use custom and expensive Li
Ion Batteries. Each has different features. The lens quality is also
an issue.

Steve's Digicam has NOT reviewed the newest cameras in the list yet,
so I cannot tell if I should even consider those cameras, except that
the 18x Optical Zoom from FujiFilm is definitely a major factor.

I will likely have the camera shipped to Utah as the first cruise is
out of L.A. in about 6 weeks and I can then get it from my son, who
lives in Utah, at the ship, where we will be meeting. I refuse to pay
a higher price in Canada for a camera when the Canadian dollar is
actually worth more so the camera should be cheaper in Canada!

I also, to try to cut off arguements about the relative size of the
market, will point out that the prices are equally distorted for the
EU [which has a larger population than the U.S.], and that the retail
price shown in almost every press release from each of the
manufacturers reflects the price as set in Japan by corporate head
office. The manufacturer's suggested retail price is NOT really set by
the U.S. or Canadian subsidiary. In some cases the corporate set-up
has the Canadian corporation subsidiary to the U.S. corporation, which
adds a layer that has to produce a profit for the U.S. subsidiary, and
that is part of the distortion in price. In other cases both the U.S.
and Canadian operations are direct subsidiaries of the corporate owner
in Japan. I know that... Another difference is that SOME of them
recognise their warranty on both sides of the border, while others
play the game of saying you have to buy in Canada for service in
Canada and in the U.S. for service in the U.S. - since the camera
comes out of the same factory somewhere in asia, that should be horse
manure, and I've rarely seen it actually enforced.

I happen to be a U.S. citizen and a Canadian citizen, born in
Manhattan. So I am not trying to use a Canadian centric view... I find
this sort of price disparity unfair wherever I see it... and the
failure to adjust prices to reflect this sort of inequity most
annoying. You may disagree but there is the old maxim that the
"Customer is Always Right" and we speak with our money. The traffic
over the border to upper New York state this weekend, by shoppers out
of Toronto, has the crossing into the U.S. taking over an hour once
someone gets in line at the border bridges. That is talking with one's
money... and these manufacturers need to get their Canadian prices in
line with their U.S. prices quickly or their Canadian retailers will
be in deep trouble.

[Rumour has it that the prices will be dropping in Canada after a show
that takes place in Toronto next week. All of the major Camera
manufacturers will be at the show, so I plan to ask them directly
about the prices listed below. I have the time to wait a week or two
before ordering, and will definitely take this opportunity.]

For information on the show itself, and a list of 'vendors' go to
http://www.henrys.com/webapp/wcs/sto...o/general.html

So folks, which camera should I buy, and WHY should I choose that
particular model, or not choose a different model, from the following
list. [and Yes, I repeat that I recognise that this will all be
subjective.]

RsH
--------------------------------------------------
1. FujiFilm FinePix S8000fd 18x Optical Zoom 8.0 megapixel 4-AA
batteries, 410 grams

US$284 from Broadway Photo and C$425 from Infonec.com are the
lowest prices TODAY when the U.S. and Canadian dollar are basically
identical in value.

You can replace Broadway's price with US$350 from Sixth Avenue Photo,
since Broadway Photo seems to have a poor reputation. The argument
remains the same.

2. Canon PowerShot SX100-IS 10x Optical Zoom 8.3 megapixel 2-AA
batteries, 285 grams

US$241 from Broadway Photo and C$373 at Mostly Digital in Ontario

Again the prices are out of line since Canon in Japan has set the
wholesale price in Canada at a higher amount than the wholesale price
in the U.S. - This camera is hitting the marketplace NOW in October,
2007 when the U.S. dollar is worth LESS than the Canadian dollar.

You can replace Broadway's price with US$300 from every photo site
I've found, including Enterprise Photo, since Broadway Photo seems to
have a poor reputation. The argument remains the same.

3. Canon PowerShot S5-IS 12x Optical Zoom 8.3 megapixel 4-AA
batteries, 450 grams

US$299 from Broadway Photo and C$438 from Cendirect.com in Montreal.
Same basic issue on price.... but this camera has been in the market
place longer.

You can replace Broadway's price with US$330 from Enterprise Photo,
since Broadway Photo seems to have a poor reputation. The argument
remains the same.

4. Olympus SP-550UZ 18x Optical Zoom 7.4 megapixel 4-AA batteries, 365
grams

US$276 from Broadway Photo and C$470 from Vistek in Toronto and
Calgary.

You can replace Broadway's price with US$318 from Enterprise Photo,
since Broadway Photo seems to have a poor reputation. The argument
remains the same.

5. Sony CyberShot DSC-H9B 15x Optical Zoom 8.1 megapixel, NP-BG1,
PowerPack, Li-ion battery, 407 grams

US$334 from Broadway Photo and C$459 from Infonec.com in Markham,
Ontario, as suburb of Toronto.

You can replace Broadway's price with US$385 from Enterprise Photo,
since Broadway Photo seems to have a poor reputation. The argument
remains the same.

6. FujiFilm FinePix S700 10x Optical Zoom 7.1 megapixel 4-AA
batteries, 306 grams

US$169 from Broadway Photo and C$229 from Infonec in Toronto.

You can replace Broadway's price with US$188 from Amazon.com, since
Broadway Photo seems to have a poor reputation. The argument remains
the same.

7. Panasonic DMC-FZ18K 18x Optical 8.1 megapixel Li-ion Battery Pack
($80 to replace), 360 grams

US$278 from Broadway Photo and C$549 from all the Canadian sellers I
found.

You can replace Broadway's price with US$390 from Vannis, since
Broadway Photo seems to have a poor reputation. The argument remains
the same.

Weights are without the battery or memory installed, in all cases.

FWIW

RsH


First thing I would recommend before buying ANY EVF camera - look through
it. Personally, I find that the DVFs having only 110k pixels or so to be
highly pixellated - I cannot really frame a picture because it bothers me
too much. Other folks are evidently not bothered so much. Several cameras
have EVFs with at least 220k pixels - the image is MUCH better. Don't know
about you, but I don't want to curse at the camera every time I frame a
shot. Last year I settled on a Kodak P850 - refurb from the Kodak online
store - and I'm quite satisfied. The P series has been discontinued, but
some remain at the online store.

  #3  
Old October 19th 07, 02:33 AM posted to rec.photo.digital.zlr
RsH
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 33
Default Which Camera is best in this list for my purposes? and a RANT about prices too... [Long!]

On Thu, 18 Oct 2007 16:27:47 -0500, Lew
wrote:


For whale pictures you need the longest zoom you can get that is
stabilized for hand holding. Tripods are not very useful on a boat. I
have not seen whales from the three cruise ships I have been on, but did
get good pictures from a whale watching boat during a port call on a
Hawaii cruise. I was using a Panasonic FZ-40 with 420mm equivalent, and
wished for still more length. Lighting is usually sufficient for noise
to not be a problem.


The FujiFilm has an 18x optical zoom and is equivalent to 486mm at
maximum zoom, or eqivalent to close to a 500mm zoom lens on a 35mm
camera, which I can remember was a LONG zoom years ago.

I have had no dealings with the sellers you mention. I have had good
results with B&H, Adorama, and Amazon.com. I know of at least two cases,
and have heard of others, where a company would sell cameras at a low
price but will be "temporarily out of stock" if you don't buy their
over-priced accessories such as memory cards, batteries, or expedited
shipping. For just the camera they will take the order but not ship.
Your credit card may be charged. You learn of the stock problem when you
check to see why you have not received the order.


Ended up buying the FujiFilm S8000fd from Beach Camera in New Jersey
via my son, who lives in Utah. He ordered it online on Monday, and
FedEx got it from Beach on Tuesday. It left New Jersey on Wednesday,
according to the tracking number from FedEx. It should arrive in Utah
on Monday or Tuesday of next week... and has to be signed for.

Beach has an excellent reputation these days, from what I was able to
find on the web, and the camera has a full FujiFilm U.S. warranty,
which is recognised here in Canada.

I will get it from him in late November and when I return to Canada
will have been in the U.S. and Mexico for 8 days, so it will be under
my exemption from GST and PST as it is [far] less than the C$400.00
import limit free of taxes and duties that I will be permitted. The
savings is $190.91 in Canadian dollars by having my son order it, and
since he gets cash back from his credit card for making the purchase,
he's happy too.

  #4  
Old October 19th 07, 07:15 AM posted to rec.photo.digital.zlr
David J Taylor[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,162
Default Which Camera is best in this list for my purposes? and a RANT about prices too... [Long!]

Lew wrote:
[]
For whale pictures you need the longest zoom you can get that is
stabilized for hand holding. Tripods are not very useful on a boat. I
have not seen whales from the three cruise ships I have been on, but
did get good pictures from a whale watching boat during a port call
on a Hawaii cruise. I was using a Panasonic FZ-40 with 420mm
equivalent, and wished for still more length. Lighting is usually
sufficient for noise to not be a problem.


While I've not done whale pictures myself, I have found that the 420mm
zoom on the Panasonic FZ20 and FZ5 which my wife and I own performs very
well. Their Leica lenses have excellent image quality. Yes, you may like
more zoom, but perhaps the most important thing (my wife says) is timing
both in spotting the whales and in getting the peak of the action!

Cheers,
David


 




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