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Old Jun 3, 2009, 11:43 AM   #1
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Default Panasonic FX35 or Sony W290

I need a new camera to replace my 4 year old Nikon Coolpix.

I would be using the camera for the following purposes:
1. Shooting pics when I travel abroad
2. Shooting pics at parties and family functions
3. Taking pics & short videos of my baby

I am looking for the following features in the camera:
1. Wide angle lens
2. Widescreen video recording (not necessarily HD but 16:9 recording mandatory)

My budget is maximum US$ 300 and would prefer a compact camera with Li-ion batteries which I can carry in my pockets while travelling & at functions. It should also have a decent battery life.

Cameras which are at the top of my list:
1. Panasonic FX35 (aka FX36): Because it has a 25mm wide angle lens & HD video recording. Has a f/2.8 aperture. Plus is very sleek.
2. Sony W270 / W290: Because it has a 28mm wide angle lens and records HD videos in MPEG4 format so that I can record longer videos. Downside is f/3.3 aperture and excessive 12 MP crammed into the small sensor.

Other cameras considered: Actually I prefer Canon image quality but the cheapest Canon which has wide angle & does widescreen videos is Canon Ixus 110 which is about $400 here. So that rules Canon out.

Fujifilm F200EXR : Very good for low light images but is slightly expensive. Plus doesn't record widescreen videos.

This leaves me only with Sony W270 / W290 and a range of Panasonic cameras such as FS5, FX35 and FX500. I don't need the extra optical zoom at the telephoto end so not considering the TZ5.

Can someone help me choose?
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