• Camera comparisons give you a better understanding of the technical specifications between two different makes and models. In the case of digital cameras, comparisons made between megapixels, sensor size and technology, design, flash functionality and general picture quality all give you a general idea of what you like or dislike in terms of technical features. Visiting the local camera retailer and handling the equipment in question remains the best way to make a real comparison. Great specs doesn't mean the camera will feel good in your hands.

    Canon S5 IS

    The Canon S5 IS offers a list of fine features. The camera boasts an 8 megapixel sensor with Canon's DIGIC III processor that produces a maximum image size of 3264 x 2448 pixels. The ISO sensitivity settings for the S5 IS has three modes--auto, high ISO auto and manual from 80 to 1600. The camera comes equipped with a 2.5 inch variable angle, 207,000 pixel LCD screen that provides 100 percent coverage. The camera also has a maximum continuous shooting speed of 1.5 frames per second (fps). The S5 IS uses the Canon 6.0-72mm 1:2.7-3.5 12x digital zoom. The lens offers a 35mm film equivalent of 36-432mm. Additionally, the S5 IS shoots digital video at the rate of 15 or 30 fps in 640 x 480 resolution or 60/30/15 fps at 320 x 240 resolution. The camera lists a full host of additional features like exposure compensation, exposure bracketing, six exposure modes, nine scene modes and eight white balance modes.

    Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ18

    The Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ18 boasts a full assortment of standard features similar to the S5 IS. The Lumix, equipped with an 8 megapixel sensor, produces a maximum image size of 3264 x 2448 pixels. The ISO settings come in three flavors--auto, high sensitivity (1600 to 6400) and manual from 100 to 1600. Both cameras utilize a 2.5 inch LCD screen although Panasonic's does not state 100 percent coverage. The Lumix boasts double the continuous shooting speed at 3 fps compared to 1.5 on the Canon. Panasonic uses Leica lenses on its line of digital cameras. Anyone familiar with Leica knows the quality of this company's lenses. The camera uses a 4.6-82.8mm 1:2.8-4.2 Leica DC Vario-Elmarit ASPH 18x digital zoom lens; equivalent to a 28-504mm lens on a 35mm camera. The camera also shoots digital video at 30 or 10 fps at 640 x 480, 320 x 240 and 848 x 480 (16:9) resolution. Additional features include exposure compensation, exposure bracketing, eleven exposure modes, 14 scene modes and seven white balance modes plus an additional white balance fine tuning mode.


    Both cameras offer very usable features and high quality image output. Visiting a retailer remains your best source for comparing the two. Pick up each unit, play with the features and functions and take a few shots, then make a decision.


    Digital Photography Review: Canon S5 IS

    Digital Photography Review: Panasonic FZ18

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