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skimom Mar 30, 2009 12:16 AM

Ihad a Canon S1-IS and have really liked it over the years. I loved the big zoom and used it often. I never had a problem with the stabilization feature but westarted having problems with the screenso Ireplaced it with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4. I am really not having much luck with it when I use the full zoom. I know it has the Image stabilizer feature, but all of my pictures when it is zoomed seem to be shaky.

Anyway, I am now looking at getting the Canon SX110 ISor theSony DSC-H10, but I'm nervous that the image stabilizer won't work any better for me with these cameras.

Just wondering if either of these would be a good option or if anyone has other suggestions.

Thanks for any opinions and/or advice!

Greg Chappell Mar 30, 2009 1:48 AM

Holdinga camera out in front of you, zooming to 200-280mm like you can do with a TZ4 or TZ5 and keeping the camera steadyis not easy. I've always been MUCH more comfortable holding the camera up against my eye, be the finder optical or electronic. I own a TZ5 and have had excellent results with it, but the longer focal lengths I want to work at, I'm much more comfortable using either a DSLR or digicam like the Panasonic FZ28 that has a high quality electronic finder.

Sounds like you'd be better off as well concentrating on the same type camera, which I know the Canon you are looking at is. Haven't ever really looked seriously at Sony digicams so I'll let someone else comment about that.

Biro Mar 31, 2009 11:57 PM

Skimom... welcome to Steve's. I think you'll find this a great place to talk photography, even after you've made your purchase.

I realize we tend to group superzooms all in one category, but I believe there is a difference between the class of cameras that include your old S1 IS (and its later variants from Canon) and more-compact superzooms like the TZ series from Panasonic. These smaller cameras are also lighter and often lack a viewfinder, relying instead on the LCD screen on the back.

That means you've got a double whammy: A lighter camera that is less stable in hand and no viewfinder, which means you can't use the act of holding it against your face as a stabilizing force. Electronic image stabilization can only do so much - particularly when you're at maximum telephoto. While I can't be 100 percent sure, I suspect these two factors are a big part of your problem. This is just a more long-winded way of saying the same thing that Greg just told you.

The TZ series is a group of fine cameras. But I think you need to bump up a class category within the superzoom world. You want a camera that's a bit heavier (but not too heavy) and one with a viewfinder for when you're using maximum telephoto - or whenever you need to stabilize the camera by holding it up to your eye.

Here's a recent group comparison test of the better superzooms already on the market. I recommend reading it all the way through and taking a careful look at the photo examples:

You'll note the Canon SX10 IS, the Panasonic FZ28, The Olympus SP-565UZ and the Sony H50 finish at the top. Sony also has the new HX1 coming out in about a month. It promises to be a bit of a breakthrough in the class - if it lives up to its billing.

Hope this helps. Let us know what you decide.

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