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Old Jul 27, 2009, 10:51 PM   #1
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Default Help me choose a camera (will purchase this week).

Hi all,
I'm looking for a camera to give my sis as a gift. Here are the requirements:

- she travels quite a bit to different countries, so it can't be overly heavy (doesn't need to be the lightest thing either).

- need to produce sharp, vibrant images (she's had bad luck with her Canon SD850 producing blurry images and her Canon SD400 crapped out after 2 years)

- Zoom is important. I played around wit the ZS3, and the zoom is fantastic, although looking at user taken photos, ALL images look slightly grainy

- HD Video record format is preferred, but not a must

- SD card format is preferred

- Should have a good set of manual options


My budget is 350-400 usd. The main points here are that it should have clear/sharp images, excellent colours.

Camera's I've looked at (at a local camera store): Olympus 8000, Panasonic ZS3, SX200. I'm not limited to these options however. We have quite a few Cam stores around, and I can certainly call and ask if they have other in stock.

Thanks for any help!
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Old Jul 28, 2009, 7:57 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by kevincop130 View Post
Hi,
I am using the Sony Cybershot DSC H20 Digital Camera, it takes incredable pictures, and captures every single detail of the picture. It's amazing!
Thanks for the reply. I googled some images of the H20,and it seems like a pretty hefty camera. Is it larger/heavier than the ZS3?

Sample photos look better than the ZS3 samples I saw!
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Old Jul 28, 2009, 10:07 AM   #3
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If she is getting blurry images with a Canon SD850 there is either something wrong with the camera or she is going to get blurry images with any small camera. That is an excellent little camera with good optical stabilization and lens. It is also one of the last of the breed of pocket cameras with an optical viewfinder, which helps acquire targets and stabilize the camera.

This is a pretty good overview of the cameras in the small superzoom category, which is what you seem to be leaning toward: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/q209grouplongzoom/
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Old Jul 28, 2009, 12:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by slipe View Post
If she is getting blurry images with a Canon SD850 there is either something wrong with the camera or she is going to get blurry images with any small camera. That is an excellent little camera with good optical stabilization and lens. It is also one of the last of the breed of pocket cameras with an optical viewfinder, which helps acquire targets and stabilize the camera.

This is a pretty good overview of the cameras in the small superzoom category, which is what you seem to be leaning toward: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/q209grouplongzoom/
Thanks!
Yes, the Canon was sent back with a letter of complaint (her 2nd broken Canon). Anyway... they fixed it. It work OK for 1 month, and the pictures started getting blurry again.

Ill give the link you posted a good read.

Thanks
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Old Jul 28, 2009, 8:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mr93t View Post
Thanks for the reply. I googled some images of the H20,and it seems like a pretty hefty camera. Is it larger/heavier than the ZS3?

Sample photos look better than the ZS3 samples I saw!
The main thing to keep in mind when comparing these two cameras is the lens. Not only the H20 has a 10x zoom lens vs. 12x of the ZS3, the H20 lens starts at 37mm, which is not nearly as wide as the ZS3 (25mm) and that will impact your ability to take pictures indoors in confined spaces. It is also not as good for landscaping photos because of that same exact reason. The ZS3 has more MP and much better LCD and movie capabilities. The H20 has better flash and uses memory stick pro duo card as opposed to the most common SD format of the Panasonic. The H20 is slightly bigger and heavier. The ZS3 is very compact and has metal body. If I had to choose, I'd go with the Pana ZS3.
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Old Jul 29, 2009, 11:17 AM   #6
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Thanks again for the reply.

OK. I've been looking at sample shots from the ZS3, and I'm not too impressed with the amount of noise (even photos taken in daylight). I will still consider it, but I would like one final opinion from you guys.

For best colour and least amount of noise. It would be nice if it takes decent night shots too!

Putting zoom, video capabilities, etc aside, which one should I go for? again, $400 budget.

1. Panasonic ZS3
2. Canon SX200 (that flash is really annoying)
3. Sony W300 or Sony H20


4. Others? Nikon 630? Olympus 9000?

I'm heading to the store tomorrow
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Old Jul 29, 2009, 11:03 PM   #7
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Out of the three you listed, I think the Canon is a very strong candidate. Yes, the flash design is dumb and my guess is that Canon will fix it because they are loosing customers due to this poor design. But, other than that, it's a solid camera and I think the controls are much better placed than on the ZS3. IQ is very good and noise control is better than the Pana. The W300 is in a different category. It seems to be a good camera but it's not a long zoom. The H20 is also a good camera and if it wasn't for the not-so-wide lens, I'd say you should very seriously consider it. I'm not familiar with any of the Nikon, Olympus or Pentax compact cameras but from what I've read, they are not that great.
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