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Old Jul 16, 2009, 5:34 PM   #1
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Default Help Decide on a camera - 4 choices!

I've been trying to help my sister decide on a camera. They are looking at:

Lumix ZS1

Nikon Cool Pix S630

Sony H20

Canon Powershot SX110 IS

They want a big zoom. They had a 3x and want more than that. They don't want anything too complicated or fancy as they like to just turn it on and take the photo. They don't want to learn about or mess with different settings. They want long battery life, fast start up and as short of a delay as possible between shots. They want something they can stick in a backpack or purse.

They take photos inside and out of typical family events. They take a lot of landscape type photos as they vacation around the mountains in Colorado and go hiking. They print 4x6's mostly, but wouldn't go larger than 8x10 if they ever did enlarge.

They would like to keep the price under $300. Her husband would basically like the cheapest camera he can get that will snap a photo. LOL

We are in the middle of reading reviews and trying to dig for as much info on these cameras as we can. I told her that I knew exactly who to ask as you all give such great advice! Any input would be greatly appreciated. Or if you suggest a better choice that they should look into, we would love to hear that.

Thank you so much!!

Last edited by amy129; Jul 16, 2009 at 5:36 PM.
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 6:22 PM   #2
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Amy-

Thanks for posting. On the internet you can find the Kodak Z-1012 IS and the canon SX-100 cameras at less than $(US) 200.00. I favor the Kodak Z-1012 IS, over the Canon SX-10, because Canon SX-110, the Sony H-20, and the Panasonic ZS1 do not have viewfinders. You must frame your photos on those cameras by using the LCD screen, which can be difficult to see in bright sunshine. The Kodak Z-1012 IS has a viewfinder, and none of the other cameras have a viewfinder.

The Kodak Z-1012 IS has 12X optical zoom, IS, and if you read Steve's review of the camera, you will find it did very well indeed. I am a professional digital camera instructor, and my husband and I both use Kodak Z-1012 IS cameras, as our quick, snap shot, family photo cameras.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Jul 16, 2009 at 6:25 PM.
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 9:21 PM   #3
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Thank you so much for the recommendation. I will pass the info along. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your input about this.
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 11:11 PM   #4
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How would you compare the Kodak Z-1012 IS to the Nikon Cool Pix 360? I was also wondering about the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5S.
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Old Jul 17, 2009, 11:58 AM   #5
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Amy-

If the camera's physical size is an important issue and if you have no need for much in the way of manual controls, the Panasonic TZ-5 is an excellent choice. It is basically a point and shoot camera with IS, a lot of zoom (10X optical zoom), and a 28 mm wide angle position on the lens which is helpful when taking photos of large family groups, all in a physically small package. In professional reviews, the Panasonic TZ-5 has received excellent ratings. Another option would be the Panasonic ZS1. It would eliminate the video clips, but give you that great lens that is on the Panasonic ZS3.

The Kodak Z-1012 IS is a physically larger camera than the Panasonic TZ-5. The Z-1012 IS offers IS, 12X optical zoom, and full manual and automatic controls. The Z-1012 IS does not have a wide angle position on the lens. Instead, the lens begins at 36 mm. In professional reviews, the Z-1012 IS has received excellent ratings.

The Nikon 630 (you mentioned the 360, but there is no current Nikon model called the 360) has 7X optical zoom, IS, and no manual controls other than White balance. In professional reviews, it has been noted that the Nikon 630 is very slow to focus in low light level conditions, and has measurably less photographic image quality.

The bottom line, Amy, is this: if the physical size of the camera is an important issue in this case, if manual controls are not important, and if you are willing to accept a little less optical zoom, then the Panasonic TZ-5 is a very good choice.

If you want a bit more zoom (2X) along with full manual and automatic controls, in a somewhat larger physical size, then the Kodak Z-1012 IS camera is a very good choice.

In my opinion, and based on the professional reviews of the Nikon 630, I would remove the 630 from your selection list due to its reduced image quality, and its low light level focusing problems.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Jul 18, 2009 at 11:22 AM.
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Old Jul 18, 2009, 10:25 AM   #6
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Out of these four choices, I'd avoid the H20 to begin with. It's a nice little camera, which produces good images and has a very strong flash for its size but its lens starts at 37mm, not necessarily a landscape or indoor lens. It's too tight and you'll find yourself not having enough room to take indoor family photos. The ZS1 is a 12x zoom cam. It's been praised by its excellent IQ considering its small size. The Canon apparently is also a good cam but much larger compared to the others. I'm not familiar with the Coolpix so I can't say much about it. I'd go with the ZS1 myself. It has a small metal body, excellent IQ, 12x zoom lens with great wide angle and reach and good movie quality.
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