Panasonic FZ18 digital camera

To: <>
Subject: Panasonic FZ18 digital camera
From: "Gordon and Pam" <>
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2007 14:42:54 +1100
Dear all --

I was a die-hard film camera man, but finally capitulated last year when I
just could no longer afford the cost of film, and digitals were about as

I had waited and saved and got myself a Fuji S6500 (S6000 in some places
overseas)in January.

I carefully made a list of my requirements and desires -- eg, it must take
rechargeable AA batteries and not expensive proprietary batteries, decent
zoom and picture quality. Shooting nature, birds, people, family, landscapes
-- I enjoy it all. I must say I don't specialise in birds though.

While the Fuji inexplicably doesn't have true image stabilisation (why
not???) it does have notably low noise on higher ISO settings -- so much so
that one reviewer reckoned it surpassed many well-regarded SLRs.

A friend has the S9500 (now superseded by the S9600), which has a swivelling
LCD, but my budget wouldn't stretch that far. But yes, it would be nice at

I also find that mine focuses well in lowish light, but of course an
expensive Nikon or Canon SLR would do better and faster.
Limitations: Only 3 frames in rapid shoot mode. I've barely tried manual
focus or manual settings, as it generally works so well. A few more buttons
for quick setting changes wouldn't go astray -- it's all via the screen.

What do I like? Auto-focus (I was highly sceptical after 20 years with
hand-focus, but I'm sold on it) and macro/super-macro capability -- for pics
of tiny insects, little flowers, bits of feather -- it's great if you're
into such things. And it has a 10.7x zoom (I think the 18x only came out
after I bought mine).

My advice?: Figure out what you want and can spend, do your research
(on-line or in shops) and then enjoy and be content with what you get. 

Would I like a fancy top-of-the-range Canon? Yes. But I'd be so precious
about it that my budding photographer son would never get to go off and use
it on his own. 

I like my camera. It does what I need I can have lots of fun with it. 

Gordon Cain
Schofields, NW Sydney


Message: 1
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2007 12:05:55 +1100
From: "Peter Shute" <>
Subject: Panasonic FZ18 digital camera
To: <>,  <>
Content-Type: text/plain;       charset="us-ascii"

I have a Canon Powershot S3 IS, which seems ok, and I know there are happy
S2 owners on this list.  The S5 IS is out now (there was no S4) for about

It has 12x zoom (432mm) and image stabilisation.  The latest model has a
flash hot shoe, which previous models didn't have.

Peter Shute

 wrote on Thursday, 20 December 2007
11:31 AM:
> G'day all
> This has been recommended to me as a non-SLR with a great lens and 18x 
> optical zoom (500mm equivalent).
> Do any of you have one.  If so would you recommend it?
> I'd like it as an all purpose digicam but with the ability to take 
> some decent bird/mammal photos as opportunities present themselves.  
> Our current camera (3x zoom) didn't do the job in Kruger NP last year.
> Also, does it work happily with Apple Leopard and iPhoto?
> What would some of the alternatives be?

Message: 9
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2007 20:04:46 +1100
From: Chris Ross <>
Subject: Panasonic FZ18 digital camera
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed


digicams such as this can produce some nice results, but have their 
limitations.  Images get noisy above ISO100 with results varying between 
models, there's so many it's hard to keep up.  The other limitation is 
autofocus, they really are only any good in bright light and hunt around 
quite a bit if the contrast is poor, this in turn leads to shutter lag 
during which time your bird may have flown. 

They usually allow manual focus but it's ain't easy to use generally.  
Long zoom digicams all have electronic viewfinders which while usable 
aren't the nicest thing around, often a bit grainy, judging focus can be 
an issue, the LCD screen gives a better view, except in bright light.  
Speaking of screens, a swivelling LCD is a very handy feature. allowing 
you to use a stance other than arms out to frame your shots, will be 
helpful in holding it steady at lower shutter speeds, when the light is 
low, sweet and warm

My daughter has an S3IS which I have used a bit, it's a nice little 
digicam but suffers from the issues noted above.  Takes some nice macro 
images.  Image stabilisation is very important with these long 
equivalent focal lengths, you normally can't push the Shutter Speed  
except in bright light due to being restricted to ISO 100 or 200 at most 
to avoid noise.  There are quite a few websites giving reviews on 
digital cameras, such .   I'm still using film myself, 
replacing my big non-digital compatible 500mm f4.5 lens is beyond the 
budget right now.


Chris Ross

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