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Old May 22, 2010, 12:06 PM   #1
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Default ZS5 vs. ZS6 vs. ZS7

Amazon has the Silver ZS5 going for $240. That's about $75 less than what I paid for the ZS6 from Costco (keep in mind that we are "lucky" here in CA and thanks to our politicians, this "well run" State has a sales tax of 9.25%!!!). The ZS5 is also $70 cheaper than the ZS7 from Amazon (luckily - again but this time for real - we don't pay sales tax (YET) when buying from Amazon and other online retailers who don't have a established business in the State). So, the question is, taking all the differences into consideration, is it worth buying the ZS5 instead of the ZS6/ZS7? It seems to me that the Costco deal (at least here in CA) is not that great. The two primary differences between the ZS5 and ZS6 are the min shutter speed (1/1300 vs. 1/2000) and the LCD (2.7" vs. 3"). To me, the LCD size is not a biggie but the shutter speed is. The ZS7 has a few upgrades over the other two models (GPS, dedicated movie button and AVHCD video recording). So, basically we are paying extra $$$ for the Costco's 90-day return policy and 2 yr warranty.
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Old May 22, 2010, 12:21 PM   #2
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I agree Tullio the GPS is handy for some, but if you set it to work just when the camera is on then battery drain is minimal...the extra settings as you noted are worth everything to me and that is definitely a deal maker...I think this would also help the resale value on the ZS7...I paid extra and got the Red Color as I knew my wife would say (Not another camera!) but after seeing the pictures she is astounded at the ZS7 performance!!!...
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Old May 23, 2010, 6:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tullio View Post
Amazon has the Silver ZS5 going for $240. That's about $75 less than what I paid for the ZS6 from Costco (keep in mind that we are "lucky" here in CA and thanks to our politicians, this "well run" State has a sales tax of 9.25%!!!). The ZS5 is also $70 cheaper than the ZS7 from Amazon (luckily - again but this time for real - we don't pay sales tax (YET) when buying from Amazon and other online retailers who don't have a established business in the State). So, the question is, taking all the differences into consideration, is it worth buying the ZS5 instead of the ZS6/ZS7? It seems to me that the Costco deal (at least here in CA) is not that great. The two primary differences between the ZS5 and ZS6 are the min shutter speed (1/1300 vs. 1/2000) and the LCD (2.7" vs. 3"). To me, the LCD size is not a biggie but the shutter speed is. The ZS7 has a few upgrades over the other two models (GPS, dedicated movie button and AVHCD video recording). So, basically we are paying extra $$$ for the Costco's 90-day return policy and 2 yr warranty.
Hi Tullio,

An excerpt from a user's review of the TS5 on amazon is:

"The main differences I saw between the ZS5 and ZS7 were that the ZS5's screen is 2.7" instead of 3.0", the ZS7 has two custom "My Scene's" instead of one, the ZS7 has a built-in GPS, and the ZS7 also has stereo video instead of mono, with more advanced video technology."

Since the ZS5 has one custom "My Scene's" on the mode dial instead of two like the ZS7, that indicates the ZS5 is like the ZS6 which also has one. The reason is because one mode dial position is used for Movie mode. This means to shoot video, the mode dial must be turned 2 clicks from iAuto or 3 clicks from P-Mode to enter movie mode. Then the shutter button is pressed to start/stop video recording. Then the mode dial is turned back 2-3 clicks to return to still mode.

Compare that to the ZS7 which uses a dedicated button to start and stop movie recordings. Much more convenient and much faster. This one feature caused me to return the ZS6 to Costco and buy a ZS7. Only about a $21 difference after taxes at Costco so well worth the convenience for years of use. Plus the ZS7 has the 3 inch screen with anti-glare coating. I suspect that the 2.7" screen does not have anti-glare coating since the ZS3 uses the 2.7" screen and does not have anti-glare coating. Another bonus of the ZS7 is that it can record HD video in the AVCHD Lite format which uses about half the memory that motion JPEG uses on the ZS6 and I suspect on the ZS5.

Waiting for our ZS7 to arrive,
Sky

Last edited by skylark; May 23, 2010 at 6:47 AM.
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Old May 23, 2010, 8:13 AM   #4
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Hi,

I just ordered the ZS7 (Silver) from Amazon for $309.07 and I applied for the Amazon credit card and got $40 AMZ credit so the camera only cost me $269.07 OTD - not bad! I see that the silver went down to $306 today so I hope Amazon will price match.

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Old May 23, 2010, 8:25 AM   #5
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Join the ZS7 revolution! Well done folks can't wait to see your results...
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Old May 23, 2010, 11:26 AM   #6
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Sky, thanks for your thorough analysis on the differences between the ZS5/ZS7. More and more I feel that the ZS6 is really not the best option, except for the benefits of Costco's return policy (well, it comes with a 2Gb card + leather case but I can get a regular case for less than $5 and a 2Gb card won't go very far in terms of capacity. Besides, I have plenty of SD cards). The ZS5 from Amazon is an attractive deal right now as it costs almost $70 less than the ZS7. The dedicated video button on the ZS7 is certainly convenient, no doubt about that. However, since I don't shoot video that much, I think that the E.ZOOM button on the ZS5 will be more useful. The LCD difference may be another big plus on the ZS7, but it's hard to tell w/o seeing both turned ON. I wish I had the chance of testing both models, that would be the ideal.

DKL, you got yourself a great deal with the $40 OFF. Since I already have an Amazon CC, I don't have that option (when I got the card it was $30, so you got an extra $10!!!).
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Old May 23, 2010, 3:09 PM   #7
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I agree with Tullio-

For me at least, the ZS5 seems like a very workable compromise in terms of the cost to value to convenience issues.

Sarah Joyce
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Old May 23, 2010, 3:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tullio View Post
Sky, thanks for your thorough analysis on the differences between the ZS5/ZS7. More and more I feel that the ZS6 is really not the best option, except for the benefits of Costco's return policy (well, it comes with a 2Gb card + leather case but I can get a regular case for less than $5 and a 2Gb card won't go very far in terms of capacity. Besides, I have plenty of SD cards). The ZS5 from Amazon is an attractive deal right now as it costs almost $70 less than the ZS7. The dedicated video button on the ZS7 is certainly convenient, no doubt about that. However, since I don't shoot video that much, I think that the E.ZOOM button on the ZS5 will be more useful. The LCD difference may be another big plus on the ZS7, but it's hard to tell w/o seeing both turned ON. I wish I had the chance of testing both models, that would be the ideal.
Tullio,

Does the ZS5 have the custom presets feature like the ZS6 and ZS7 do? The ZS6 that I tested had too much image enhancement for "certain" indoor shots and I didn't care for that at all. I found that setting up P-mode for indoor shooting and storing it in one of the ZS6's custom presets is invaluable for best "indoor" picture quality. Using my own setup, all of the indoor pictures are much, much better to my eyes.

Outdoors, the iAuto mode works fabulously and I could never hope to set the camera up for better photos. It is the best auto mode I have ever seen! Really, really fabulous! So I will tell my wife to use iAuto mode outdoors and Custom Set-1 for indoor still shots. There will still be two more Custom Sets for future use.

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Old May 23, 2010, 4:13 PM   #9
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I believe it does. The ZS5 is pretty much like the ZS7 when it comes to internal features, except for the video.

How about camera bags for the ZS5/ZS7? Any recommendations anyone?
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Old May 23, 2010, 10:04 PM   #10
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How about camera bags for the ZS5/ZS7? Any recommendations anyone?
Bag to hold camera and accesories? Or case to just hold the camera?

If the latter, I plan to buy the slim leather case sold on eBay for $19.95 including shipping. From all of the feedback that I read for the seller, that case is a perfect fit. Should be great for for my wife to put in her purse when going to parties when spare memory and battery are not necessary. On trips, I'll just carry spare memory and batteries in my knapsack along with the spares I carry for my FZ50.

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