Anywhere i can test a digital camera?

  herc182 13:01 24 Mar 05

Dear all,

Is there anywhere i would be able to:
a) test a digital camera for a day or so (or longer)
b) go into a store take photos, upload them and see what they look like.

I am eager to do this as i cannot choose (now) between the panasonic FZ20 and FZ5.
The former has been said to have a lot of noise (but i really fancy the manual focus ring and weight of it).

any information would be greatly received.


  Stuartli 13:14 24 Mar 05

The chances of using one "for a day or so" (unless you know someone who has one and may be prepared to lend it to you) are virtually nil.

It would basically become a secondhand item for a retailer and I'm quite sure you wouldn't wish to buy a camera that had been used in this way at its normal price.

An alternative is to go into Jessops, if you are prepared to buy whatever you choose there using its price matching offer if you know of a cheaper supplier.

You will be able to handle and use the camera(s) of your choice and see the resulting shots via the memory card (usually in the store).

  herc182 13:20 24 Mar 05

yes i thought about that. but chances are that i wont buy the camera in Jessops because they wont price match pixmania (apparently). will still go in there and ask if i can test the cameras though.
the fz5 was Around £400 in there wheres i can get it for £314 on pixmainia or £229 on ebay (wont open that can of worms again!).

Really want to test them tho....

the alternative is to buy the camera, see if i am happy with it within first 14days, then return it if i am not. (RIGHT?!)

  Stuartli 13:30 24 Mar 05

Jessops probably won't match Pixmania because it's a French based company.

What's more if anything goes wrong by buying from Pixmania, it's not quite the same as nipping back to Jessops or similar outlet to solve the problem.

As for buying a camera on the basis you suggest then you are within your rights (IIRC) regarding current consumer laws; however, I would seriously question the morality of such a purchase.

Put yourself in the role of the retailer, who would be left with a secondhand item and a lost sale and then imagine what would happen if the majority of customers took such a step.

Rising overheads, ever more government business legislation and diminishing profit margins make life hard enough for most retailers already.

  herc182 13:40 24 Mar 05

The thing is, i am not being dishonest. I genuinely want the camera (Be it the FZ20 or the FZ5). if i am happy with the cameras photo quality then i will keep it, if not i will return. SUrely that is the whole point of money back guarantee? if i am NOT happy with the camera (especially if its taking unacceptable pictures) then it should be returned.
I can see your angle tho. i would not buy it, test it then return it. i am just saying that if i buy it and it doesnt cut the mustard, then its no the end of the world.

  john-232317 14:48 24 Mar 05

How do you know its not you and not the camera causing the unecceptable pictures though.

I have a cheap HP camera and the pictures are magic ;-))

  hssutton 15:19 24 Mar 05

You certainly having problems deciding, however there comes a time when you have to make your mind up. Not sure where you picked up the information regarding noise, but just about all, none DSLRs are prone to noise when you exceed 100 ISO. Have you read the reviews, the following site is one of the best for producing "Honest) unbiased reviews.
click here.

If you care to post your Question here click here

There is member who actually uses the FZ20 as a lightweight alternative to his Canon 20D DSLR. If yougo to thhis site ignore the thread heading, as we have all progressed since it started.

  herc182 15:47 24 Mar 05

Thanks for that. have looked at those sites before (and pretty much every site!). i am now in the final stages of choosing and am looking for user reviews more than anything else as i feel they will tell me more (as they will probably perceive the camera as i will and not nit pick on the finer points). if users are picking up on noise then i will too no doubt (since i am one of those that will demand perfection from whatever i buy, which is why this is all the more diffcult!).

its a lot of money and that is my problem.

might have to bite the bullet on this one....

  pj123 16:57 24 Mar 05

I agree with dadyassa. "How do you know its not you and not the camera causing the unecceptable pictures though."

I have a friend who bought a Nikon D70 SLR camera for £950 and complained to me that the pictures were awful. As a professional photographer I borrowed and used it for a week. The pictures I took were perfect. Am now teaching him how to use it.

  herc182 17:02 24 Mar 05

that is a very valid point and i apologise to dadyassa for not acknowledging it before. Given that i am a novice, it will be a steep learning curve to understand when to use certain settings for aperture setting, shutter speed, exposures etc. with the know how one can always reduce risk of dodgy pics. my main concern at the moment is getting noise in the photos....
any good sites for learning how to use certain settings for a DC?

  Stuartli 17:08 24 Mar 05

Why not start off with a basic £100 3.2MP 3x zoom model from one of the big names, learn how to use it and then move up to a more advanced model.

Otherwise you might be compared to a learner driver whose just passed the test and immediately gone out and bought a McLaren F1....:-)

Unless, of course, you have a quality film camera experience...?

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