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Old Jul 21, 2010, 10:33 PM   #1
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Default FZ35 vs ZS7 for a Canon user

Hi, everyone. It's been a while since I've posted (and then it was to the Canon forums).
I know this subject has been tackled before but want to share some context and hear your thoughts.

First, I've been a longtime Canon user. I learned on an old 35mm Canon decades ago. Today, my primary camera is a Digital Rebel and I'm on my 4th generation Canon P&S digital - the SD 770is (my first one was so early it didn't offer zoom).

I am now looking for what I guess is called a super zoom P&S. The immediate need is for an upcoming family trip to Paris. For almost every vacation I lug the DSLR along with 2 lenses, external flash, etc. But, I'd like to avoid doing that this time and go a bit lighter.

A second need is that I like to attend concerts and sometimes they don't let you bring the DSLR. For example, 2 weeks ago we saw Ringo Starr perform and Paul McCartney was a surprise guest. But, Radio City doesn't allow DSLRs, so I was using my SD770. Even from the 4th row, the pix were less than great:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/graubar...7624447617084/

I'd also like to shoot video occasionally, which the DSLR won't do of course.

Last - my daughter is a competitive skater. Shooting indoors on ice is never very good - even with the DSLR. Adjusting white balance for the ice, then figuring in fluorescent lighting, all while she's moving rather quickly. My wife would like to take pix of her too but doesn't want to deal with the DSLR.

So, I'd like something reasonably small and light, that would work well in both well-lit and not-so-perfect conditions.

From everything I've been reading, Panasonic is really ahead of Canon in the P&S and Super Zooms. I started by looking at the Canon SX20IS but feel that the Lumix FZ35 is superior (and is a bit smaller & lighter). But, as I read more, I'm also tempted by the ZS7. If I could get 90% of the benefit of the FZ35 in the smaller ZS7 body, then it would seem like that's a better bet.

But, my gut tells me that the difference between them is more than 10% (hard to measure, of course). So, I'm thinking that since I have the SD770 for those times I really just want to stick something in my pocket, that the FZ35 is the right choice.

Now - based upon what I've described, which do you think would better suit my needs?

Thanks (and sorry for the long post but thought more details will yield more appropriate answers).
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 11:28 PM   #2
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Did you look at the Canon SD4000?, it has a f/2.0 lens and CMOS sensor for low light shots...also it is 3.8X Zoom...even the Canon S90 would be a good option the ZS7 will never pull it off at concerts if you want quality shots as it starts off at f/3.3 aperture which is already too small for quality low light shots...the FZ35 will do well up to ISO 800, but is ,limited with the CCD sensor in low light and f/2.8 at it's wide end, but when you start zooming the aperture will decrease quickly and limit low light shots...
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 11:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTZ470 View Post
Did you look at the Canon SD4000?, it has a f/2.0 lens and CMOS sensor for low light shots...also it is 3.8X Zoom...even the Canon S90 would be a good option .
thanks - I'm really looking for something with a long zoom - at least 10x - otherwise it won't let me leave the dSLR home. Ideally, I'd like to cover the 28-300mm range with a P&S.
When I know that I'll have low-light situations (and when the situation permits) I'll go back to the dSLR, so the strong zoom is more important for now.
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 11:47 PM   #4
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You might want to rethink the dslr for paris, it is call the city of lights for a reason. Allot to shoot when the sun goes down. And if you want some range and good low light, you will need a dslr.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/tr...ris-night.html

Both S90 is the better low light camera with a f2 lens and larger 1/1.7 sensor vs the 1/2.23 of the sd4000 with a f2 lens. But you may want a bit more reach then either can provide.
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Old Jul 22, 2010, 10:55 PM   #5
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Those night shots are great.
My challenge is one that we all face. If I bring the dSLR, I'll want to bring at least 3 lenses - the f1.8 85mm portrait; the 17-70 and the 70-300mm. Of course, I'll need the Speedlite as well. I can't lug the tripod, but maybe the monopod would work.
So, I'm back to 25 lbs of equipment and a pretty full bag.

If I were traveling alone, that would be fine, but with my 11-y-o daughter in tow, just once I'd like to travel reasonably light.

so, knowing there will be compromises, I'm looking for the P&S that will do the best possible job. Between reach and low-light, I think I'm more willing to sacrifice the low-light condition shots and aim for something with better reach in outdoor/daylight shots.
So, I think that brings me back to the FZ35.
Make sense or do you think I'll just be frustrated and regret my decision a month from now?
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Old Jul 22, 2010, 11:07 PM   #6
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No, you will love the FZ35 for what it is...a great camera...I have two FZ35's and have pre-ordered the newer FZ40 and FZ100 in anticipation that they are going to be "home runs" as far as P&S camera's...all based off the FZ35 performance...
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Old Jul 22, 2010, 11:12 PM   #7
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Micro 4/3 would be my choice with range and good low light. I have a dslr, but after my trip to paris, I have all the confident in my epl-1 with the kit lens and pancake 20mm 1.7 that it will give me great low light photos.
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Old Jul 23, 2010, 12:58 PM   #8
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graubart-

Realistically the FZ-35/38 will shoot with good image quality at ISO 800. But that is the limit. My guess is that you are looking are looking for a low cost option to meet your wife's desire for ice skating photos of your daughter.

You might want to look at the Kodak Z915, a low cost camera with some unusual capabilities. The attached sample photo was taken in our darkened living room at ISO 1600 at 1/200th without flash. So it gives you an idea what the camera can do.

That shutter speed is certainly sufficient for action shots, depending on the lighting in the ice rink. So the Z-915 might be a low cost answer to your problem.

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