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Old Apr 1, 2012, 5:27 AM   #1
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Default Canon 300HS didn't work out, what now?

Hello all, new guy here with yet another "what camera" question.

A little history.
About three years ago I bought a Canon SD780IS for my first digital camera(I like film lol). I was happy with the image quality and the video but about a year ago its image quality started going downhill for some reason despite having it cleaned. I got tired of it and used the extra warranty I bought and got a full refund around the first of the year so I went camera shopping.

I liked Canon for the IQ and the true-to-life colors so I looked around and the 300HS got rave reviews and it was fairly cheap so ordered one. Got it and started playing with it and realized that the images seemed to be under exposed and fuzzy no matter what I did so I returned it. I was looking at Canon's new P&S's but they seem to be even worse with the IQ since going up to 16MPs so once again I am trying to decide what camera to buy.

My must haves are.

-Image quality and true-to-life colors(Dud lol).
I know I can only do so well with the tiny sensors but If I can do as good or better then my old SD780IS I will be happy.

-Good low light performance.
I will be taking this with me on my hikes/hunts so there are lots of times I take pictures around twilight or even after dark with the aid of my flashlight. I don't need the best is the world but some mildly clean, low noise photos would be nice. Again, if I it can do as well or a bit better then a SD780IS I'll be happy.

-Some manual control and at least 15sec shutter speed capable.
Kinda goes with the above but I like to take some lower light photos like the evening sky, stars, cities, etc so some control is needed. I managed with my old Canon's "manual" mode(ha)that let me pick the AWB and ISO and a long shutter mode.

-Good video that can zoom while recording and have alright low-light performance.
I use the video a lot so having HD video with good sound is a must. 1080P is a definite want but only if the frame rate is 30FPS or higher. The 24FPS on the 300HS was to choppy and gave me headaches lol.

-Zoom of 8x or more.
Since I would take this out doors with me it would be nice to get some nice wildlife shots that I couldn't do with my old Canon.
I know that the higher you go the worse the pictures become but I am not sure at what point the cons outweigh the pros.

-Is NOT a touch screen unless it can be not used at all like some of the Panasonic Lumix cameras.

That is really it, I would kinda like to have highspeed video but that is not a deal breaker since it is really to low a resolution to do much. All the other gadgets like GPS, 3D, etc would be icing on the cake but not a must-have.

Now the hard part is I was hoping to bring this in at $300 or less.

Right now I am looking at a few camera's but I am not sure if they will be any better then the 300HS I had.

At the top of the list is the Sony HX9V since this things seems to be a camcorder with a camera built into it . But there are a few things i am not to sure about.

1. I read that some people think it has great picture while some think that it is have very bad pictures.

Are the pictures really as bad as some folks are saying?

Looking at the comparometer on imaging-resource it's photos do look like they are a little over sharpened but they still seem to have more visible detail the most other cameras.

2. I read in-passing that it is a slow camera. How are the speeds on this thing? are they bearable?

3. Shutter speed. It has a max speed of 1/1600 which seems pretty slow compared to most other camera's but it is one of the few that that are capable of a speed of more the 15sec.

Is 1/1600 fast enough? I am not taking pictures of bullets but I do take some photos of animals and sometimes some slower moving birds.

All-in-all is the Sony a good option? What other camera's are out there that meet my specs and that are under $300?

I guess I can order the Sony and if I really hate it return it but I really hate to do that since it is not really fair to the retailer.

The other camera's I was looking at were Panasonic's new ZS15 and ZS20 except I cannot find any good info on them since they are so new and the ZS20 is out of my current price range, and the Canon 310 and the SX230 except they are limited to 24FPS 1080P so they are towards the bottom.

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Old Apr 1, 2012, 2:46 PM   #2
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Some info on the TZ30,with some video samples and links to images at the bottom of the page...
and another...

Some info on the Canon SX260hs- and bear in mind the GPS-less 240 will be closer to your budget... though only 24fps...!
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Old Apr 1, 2012, 4:16 PM   #3
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you might be able to find the older version of the sx260, the sx230, for around your price, also.

keep in mind that lower light pics will require some compromises. a smaller sensor isn't going to fully deliver the goods - you'll need to adjust down your shutter speed quite a bit and raise your ISO. or you could try the handheld twighlight mods that newer cameras come with. but expect noise.

one option would be to get an older m4/3 camera if you're willing to go with less zoom till you can afford another lens. http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-E-PL1-...3311273&sr=1-1
better low light than any digicam. and you might be able to find a used 14-150 or 45-200 for a reasonable price or even go with older legacy lenses if you're willing to manual focus.
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Old Apr 2, 2012, 4:44 AM   #4
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Simon, thanks for the links. it seems to me that the TZ30 has a bit better color in the videos whereas the HX9V has a bit better color in the still pics. They both are looking like good cameras at this point. I see that Fuji has released their F770EXR that can shoot RAW and has a ever so slightly larger sensor but I cannot find a in-depth review. I think I am leaning towards the TZ30 but I still need to do some more looking. I sure wish there was a camera shop somewhere close to me so I could try before I buy lol.

pcake, that looks like a great camera but it is just to big with the lenses for me to take on outings and the video is to short for me. Plus I really don;t want to mess with extra lenses right now. I completely agree though that it takes much better pics then any P&S though.
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Old Apr 2, 2012, 9:46 AM   #5
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Indeed- not much to go on yet with regards the Fuji F770exr....

I guess we'll have to wait to see who's king of the travel/high zoom compact....
And let's not forget Sony's entry...!
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 12:20 AM   #6
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Yup, I guess we get to hurry up and wait and see which one prevails. I need one pretty quick so I might just flip a coin. From what I can find it seems like the newer TZ30's have better photo's then the older ones, it looks like the newer ones have a bit less noise. Maybe Panasonic did a firmware change after the first run.
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 2:24 AM   #7
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I had the same experience with the Canon! Couldn't believe the poor pic quality. I thought I had gotten a bad one!
Have you checked the Fuji JZ250?
I am looking at it, or the Sony W650.
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 5:12 AM   #8
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I had the some experience with this Canon camera and I'm very satisfied.
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Old Apr 9, 2012, 4:06 AM   #9
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Check out the Canon S95 if IQ is paramount. You can pick up a used one for $220 from B&H or a new one for $390 from Amazon. If you're willing to give up some manual control and IQ in exchange for the zoom, check out the Nikon 9300 for $333 at Amazon.
Disclaimer: I take photos of life rather than live to take photos and my opinions of cameras are reflected accordingly.
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