Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jul 1, 2007, 7:05 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 51
Default

I had purchased the Panasonic TZ3 last week and just returned it. It has really nice specs for a point and shoot camera, 28-280 mm 10x optical with VGA video and pocket size. What more could I ask for? Well, to say the least, I couldn't get a decent photo in a very dimly lit room (living room). My 4-year old Canon S50 (2003) will blow it away in "point and shoot mode" where as I had to play with ISO and EV etc on the Panasonic to get a sub par picture: No color, no detail, and huge noise. If I lowered the ISO to 200, still noise, but too dark. With my limited knowledge I guess it's the weak flash, noisy ISO, and F3.3. My old Canon has pretty clean photos with higher ISO, decent flash (bad red eye), and F2.8.

What I'd like to accomplish with my new camera is:

Wide angle for indoor family photos and low light things like birthdays and amusement parks at night.

More than 3x optical zoom. I currently can't tell who is behind my boat wakeboarding or tubing when using the video mode. My X50 shoots:

320 x 240 video at 15 fps

35mm x 105 mm

F 2.8

Max flash of 15.7 feet.

I cannot seem to find a camera with the following specs:

Must fit in my pocket. My Canon S50 is the max size. It's pretty thick. It doesn't have to be micro or extreamly small.

I'd like to see at least 6 MP. I'm quite happy with my canon's 5mp, so huge MP is not needed.

I don't do any post editing. Needs to shoot decent photos without editing. Using various preset shooting modes like night, portrait, mountain, etc is fine. I don't expect perfect, hence I'm happy with my S50 quality. And, I don't want to use mega pixels for zoom substitute i.e. I don't want a 12 MP camera with 3x zoom and crop to give the same results as a 7mp with a 6x zoom. I really don't like post editing at all (lazy!)

5x optical zoom, or more is preferred. 3x is too weak for seeing who's on the wake board behind the boat.

F2.8 I guess. I need better very low light shots.

Wide "er"angle, 35mm minimum, more like 28mm would be perfect like the TZ3.

Better noise control at higher ISO.



I'm considering the Canon Power Shot A640, but not sure the zoom is enough (4x), the Canon Power Shot A710 IS (6x), but think it probably is too big. I have yet to get my hands and pocket on one to see how "pocket-able" it is. I've als read some reviews on the Casio Exilim EX-V7, but have seen the photos. They are prettybad/not sharp. It also has a micro sized flash and F3.3 and guess it suck at night pictures.

I see Kodak has announced an EASY SHARE Z1275 camera that sounds decent. It is supposed to hit the market in August. Its also pretty cheap, so I'm hesitant about how good it really is. Typically you get what you pay for.

http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=11208&pq-locale=en_US

It doesn't have huge zoom, but 5x should allow me to see who is behind my boat. The HD video should also give a larger video and thus able to tell who is behind my boat while shooting video.

5x, HD video (1280 × 720) at 30 fps, 12 MP, zoom while shooting video, F2.8, pretty high ISO, and 35 mm - 175mm, flash is rated at 19 feet.

I've never really considered the easy shares to be of great quality. I've really never had much opinion of them really. I have a couple questions:

How isKodak's physical quality?

How is Kodak's ISO for low noise?

How is Kodak's night performance?

The Z1275 doesn't have Optical video stabilization. How is Kodak's digital stabilization?

Are there other cameras I should be considering?

I'd like an S50 with more zoom and better video. I'm not considering the S80 because its still only 3.8 zoom (28x100). I'd get a bigger picture with 8mp, but would have to crop down on the computer or camera and I prefer not to do this.


serpa4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jul 1, 2007, 8:01 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 978
Default

It's very hard to find a fairly compact camera with 6X (or greater)optical zoom, good lowlight performance and image stabilization. The Panasonics are known not to have great lowlight performance. The Kodaks (Z612 and Z712) are ok in low light. TheFujis (S6000fd and F31fd) are better, but don't have image stabilization. If you can compromise on some of your requirements, you may find something.


robbo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 1, 2007, 10:20 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Davenport, IA
Posts: 2,093
Default

The Z885 is too new to have been independently tested and the Z1275 isn't on the market yet so really any comments about either are speculative or nearly so. I have a Z612 and have taken about 1K pictures in 6 mos. Based on what I read in the Kodak forums that's a typical moderate usage and problem reports are very rare for any of the Kodaks.

Kodak has been increasing emphasis on low light performance and the Z612 is on a par with the Canon S3 and the Z712 is improved above that level. The low light kings are the large sensor Fuji's but none have optical image stabilization.

All cameras will have trade-off compared to your wants list so you will have to decide what you must have.
ac.smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 2, 2007, 3:28 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 51
Default

Well, I hate to do it, but I guess I'll get both and test them next to my Canon s50. I've just beenhappy with the S50 low light performance that many are disappointing next to it. I will pick up a Canon A710 IS today from Circuit City and also just ordered the Kodak 1275 which is SUPPOSED to ship on the 4th with free over night shipping. I'll have both side by side. I can return what is poorest. If the Kodak goes back, I'm out shipping return fees, but to loose $15 to have a better choice is easily acceptable. You know, I'd pony out several hundred for a good camera. I'm not shopping for a bargan. It's just thatthe very nice, high dollar, cameras are all too big. I had one of the first Minolta DiMage 7 which took very nice photos, but just too big. When riding roller costers in the park, I had to always leave it on the shelves, etc and couldn't keep it in my pocket.

I'm leaning towards (spec. wise) the Kodak. I think the HD video, 12mp, smaller size, and longer range flash will win over the additional 1x zoom (6x canon vs 5x Kodak). I'd like sharp photos with low noise in the 400 ISO range with F2.8. The Steve's and Dpreview both rate the 710 as a pretty good camera. Its photos are quite acceptable, but need to test the low light stuff. I wish steeve would post more indoor, low ligt, sample photos to evaluage the flash, red eye, and ISO noise. The TZ3 ISO 200 is quite bad. Kodak, from the reviews is pretty low noise, but this is due to the heavy blurring. Guess the side by side will be the best way to tell. I'm at my father's house. He has the TZ3. We bought them together. Guess I'll be testing the:

Panasonic TZ3

Canon A710 IS

Canon S50

Kodak Z1275 (if its here by Friday when we take our family camping trip)
serpa4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 2, 2007, 7:56 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 978
Default

You can see another review of the Canon A710 IS, complete with pictures taken at different ISO's, at:

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/ca...t_a710-review/
robbo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 3, 2007, 12:08 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 51
Default

Good review. ISO seems good to 200 and usable at 400. With 6x and 35mm, it may be the way to go. I'm waiting for the 1275 to come in.


serpa4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 3, 2007, 12:30 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
meanstreak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,234
Default

serpa4 wrote:
Quote:
Well, I hate to do it, but I guess I'll get both and test them next to my Canon s50. I've just beenhappy with the S50 low light performance that many are disappointing next to it. I will pick up a Canon A710 IS today from Circuit City and also just ordered the Kodak 1275 which is SUPPOSED to ship on the 4th with free over night shipping. I'll have both side by side. I can return what is poorest. If the Kodak goes back, I'm out shipping return fees, but to loose $15 to have a better choice is easily acceptable.
I believe Circuit City has arestocking fee on opened items.


meanstreak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 8, 2007, 2:19 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1
Default

serpa4,

I would very much like to here about your comparison the these cameras as I am looking for a camera with the same criteria as you are. I was considering the TZ3 but am concerned about your low light comments. Please let us know what you found out!!

thanks

We have the A710 IS at work and it is small enough for the pocket but only 6x. Still a little noisy in low light too. B&H indicate it is no longer available.
hoosker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 9, 2007, 3:13 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

hoosker-

Yes, there is a rumor out today over on dpreview's Canon Forum, that on 08/30 there will be an announcement of the G-9, the A650, and a follow-on for the A-710IS, which might be called the A-720IS, who knows?

I had a brand new A-710IS arrive this morning, and I am considering returning it, even though it appears to be a gang busters camera. I am a bit disenchanted with my Panny TZ-3. Here is a fairly good ISO 800 shot from the TZ-3. Thus far my results seem somewhat variable.



Sarah Joyce

mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 1:18 AM.