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-   -   Canon SX200, Samsung WB550 or Panasonic DMCZS1K (

nech770 Dec 23, 2009 7:56 PM

Canon SX200, Samsung WB550 or Panasonic DMCZS1K
I posted a request for advice yesterday but got no responses... I have been lurking a while and have always been impressed with how helpful people have been.... quite surprised nobody responded... maybe it is due to the holidays.... I want some advice since if I find a good boxing day price I want to take advantage of it.

I am looking for something for basic family use... taking pics of the kids, during school plays, at the park, birthday parties etc.....
Here is what I would like in a camera...
  • Budget - $250-$300
  • Good clear pictures - wont' be printing larger than 5x7 maybe occasional 8x10 but I want to occasionally crop the photos
  • Easy to use in variety of settings inside and out - mostly will be in auto mode - although the option to control some stuff may lead me to learn more about photography which I have been wanting to do
  • Good Zoom - 10x at least - can't always be in the front at school plays etc when I have other little ones that require a quick exit...
  • Wide angle
  • Small size - so I can put in purse or diaper bag and not add a lot of weight
  • Movie mode is a nice bonus but doesn't need to be HD as I don't even own an HD TV - Zooming in movie mode is good but not essential
I am leaning towards the samsung - but am concerned someone I know in photography told me that I should stick with companies that make cameras - and Samsung is not a camera company... but then I was told they are hitting the market pretty hard and really are coming out on top.
  • Panasonic - less attractive as it does not have HD video, and from what I have been reading not good indoors.
  • Canon SX200 - a little more than I want to spend.. but if it is heads and shoulders above the others I am willing to spend a little more.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance

mtclimber Dec 24, 2009 11:40 AM


In the $250 to $300 range, Personally I see the Sony H-20 as one of the better choices. It has the best auto mode in its class, the best built-in flash in its class, takes HD video and allows you to zoom while filming. It is also priced less than the Canon SX-200.

The Canon Sx-200 is a good camera. However, some folks are very preturbed by the fact that the pop-up built-in flash pops up and into your hand hold area whether you need the flash or not everytime the SX-200 is powered up. Early SX-200 cameras could not zoom while taking HD video. I understand that has now been corrected, but there is still some older stock out there so please be careful in making your selection.

The Panasonic ZS-1 is well priced and it takes wonderful photo outdoors. Problems crop up when you need flash indoors. The built-in flash unti is so small and very under powered that indoor image quality is measurably and negatively affected. I would think twice on the ZS-1. I own one and have to cope with that veryb problem quite frequently. The result is that I never use the camera inside very much at all.

I have no hands on experience with the Samsung WB-500 itself, but my experience with Samsung cameras in general has been very/rather negative. So I would pass on the WB-500.

Have a great day and a Merry Christmas.

Sarah Joyce

nech770 Dec 24, 2009 11:49 AM

Thanks for your reply... The sony is too big... I also want to have the wide angle that is does not have... so that is ruled out.
You are saying that samsung not a good idea - it seemed best bang for buck... has a 24mm instead of 28mm that the canon and panasonic have
Besides the flash issue with the canon and it is more expensive are there any other drawbacks?
I really like the size of the fuji f70 but I have read from your reviews that it is hard to use... so I ruled it out.. How hard is it really?
I am so confused..
Might spend a little more and get the canon... not sure..
Are there any others I am overlooking?

nech770 Dec 24, 2009 11:57 AM

oh yeah maybe you can explain the difference between 24mm and 28mm wide angle? is 24mm really better? I was told that 24mm will make people look fat... something about distortion... it is one thing that attracted me to the samsung was it had the widest angle lens. Maybe it is something I don't need.

mtclimber Dec 24, 2009 2:08 PM


A 24mm (in 35mm terms) lens is typically a great landscape lens. At 24mm you can use to taken photos of a larger group, and fit them all in, but, the will indeed look like they ate very well over the Christmas Holidays and gained 7 to 12 pounds in the process.

I have ordered in another Fuji F-70EXR to take another look at it. I really did not have the time to devote to the F-70EXR to be fair with my analysis. Now with time between Christmas and New Year's Day, I will have enough time to look more closely at the Fuji EXR system. The camera is due to arrive next Monday, December 28th.

Sarah Joyce

nech770 Dec 24, 2009 2:41 PM

thanks I would love to hear your revised opinion of the fuji.. when I played with it at henrys seemed quite nice but then when I went to futureshop it seemed hard to take decent photos... so it worried me.. maybe at henrys they set it up a certain way for good shots or at futureshop with all the people touching it... the settings might have been changed the other way... also hard to tell from the pic on the screen the quality of the pic.. I don't care if the screen is not so clear, but the pics are good on the computer and printing out..
thanks again for replying

mtclimber Dec 24, 2009 2:55 PM

I agree, nech-

I am looking forward to a second look at the Fuji F-70EXR, because I have seen some really excellent photo samples from the camera. I have been told by a good photographer friend that the key is mastering the EXR system which at first glance seems very/somewhat "un-photgraphic" in its approach.

I will keep you posted.

Sarah Joyce

rinniethehun Dec 24, 2009 3:01 PM


Here is a handy focal length comparison tool which you can use to see the difference between 24 and 28mm focal lengths. If you are concerned about available light photography, also consider the Fuji F100 and F200EXR - they are both very good.

Good luck with your search.

the Hun

mtclimber Dec 24, 2009 4:24 PM

Good news, Nech-

The UPS lady just dropped off the Fuji F-70EXR. That was nice of Zmazon to get it out early. So the luch dishes are done and the new F-70's battery is now in the charger.

More later...

Sarah Joyce

mtclimber Dec 24, 2009 7:02 PM

1 Attachment(s)
OK, Nech-

Here is the 1st photo out of the F-70EXR taken indoors at ISO 1600. I think it looks pretty good, what are your thoughts?

Sarah Joyce

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