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Old Aug 22, 2009, 7:10 AM   #1
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Default Help me choose a good digicam

Hi, I am a novice to photography. Never used a camera before. Therefore I need your advice in buying a good digicam

Purpose - Travel, Capture scenic beauties, indoors and outdoors, people, groups, actions / motions etc.

Preferences - a)Wide-angle, b)Sharper Quality, c)freedom to experiment and learn, d)minimum 10 MP, e)minimum 10x zoom e) HD movie facility (though not frequently used), g)easy to carry while on travel and f) easy to operate for a novice like me.

My budget - preferably less than 400$

I have narrowed down to the following models within the specific price range :

upto USD 400$

1) Kodak Z1015 IS / Z980
2) Fuji S1500 / S2000 HD
3) Nikon L100
4) Sony H20

above USD 400$ (can stretch a little bit if it offers great features)
1) Sony HX1
2) Panasonic TZ6 / TZ7 / FZ28
3) Canon SX1 IS / SX 200 IS
4) Nikon P90
5) Olympus SP 590UZ

Please help me select one under each of these price ranges.

Thanks for your advice in advance.
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Old Aug 22, 2009, 12:16 PM   #2
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srinicam-

Because you has specified that the camera's physical size is a personal priority, out of the first group, I would suggest the Sony H-20 Camera. The camera has very good image quality, great flash range for indoor shots, takes video clips, and it is the physically smallest of the first group. Here in the USA, the Sony H-20 is selling for around $(US) 250.00.

In the second group the lowest price and size physical award goes to the Panasonic ZS1/TZ-6 camera. The camera produces very good image quality outdoors. However, indoors, due to a small flash and minimum flash range, the camera struggles to produce good images. This camera does not have video clip capability. Here in the USA the ZS1/TZ-6 is selling for around $(US) 240.00.

The Panasonic ZS3/TZ-7 has the very same size, photo quality and flash problem as its smaller brother the ZS1/TZ-6 camera. However, the ZS3/TZ-7 does take HD video clips. All of the other cameras in the second group are physically larger in size as well as more expensive in price.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Aug 22, 2009 at 12:18 PM.
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Old Aug 23, 2009, 10:55 AM   #3
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After an initial spur of excitement over the ZS1/ZS3 models, I have now pretty much scratched them from my wish list. The camera has great limitations with its iA mode only. I've seen some pretty horrible images coming out of the ZS3 and since the EXIF data did not flag any weird setting, it made me believe that the default settings were not necessarily the most ideal. The problem is, one can not change them in any way. So, you are pretty much at their mercy. Canon has just announced 5 new models covering a wide spectrum of functionalities. Unless you must purchase a camera immediately, I'd hold on and wait for the new models to hit the market before making any buying decisions. BTW, Sony is also releasing its WX1 model, which is packed with very innovative features. Fuji is also releasing a new model that sounds promising (even though I'm not a Fuji fan).
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 6:47 AM   #4
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Hi,

I also preferred H20 in the beginning. But I am also looking at wide angle lens, eventhough I don't how important it is to capture panaromic views. Would you still recommend the same if I add two more options to choose -

i) Canon SX200 IS
ii) Fuji 200 EXR
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 7:38 AM   #5
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I'd go with the Panasonic ZS1 or ZS3. Steve's review of the ZS3 called the outdoor image quality "outstanding" and said that indoors it showed "the same great exposure and color, as well as a crisp image from edge to edge." I've been very impressed with the sample photos I've seen.
http://www.flickr.com/cameras/panasonic/dmc-zs3/
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 9:10 AM   #6
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If you prefer a wide angle lens, then the Panasonic ZS1 or ZS3 cameras will be your choice. The ZS3 is capable of recording video clips, the ZS1 has no video clip feature. These cameras are fully automatic cameras. They do very well with outdoor photos. Indoors, you will have to use the camera's built-in flash which is limited to a 6 to 10 feet distance between camera and subject.

Sarah Joyce

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Old Aug 25, 2009, 11:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
The ZS3 is capable of recording video clips, the ZS1 has no video clip feature.
Sarah Joyce
I'm not sure I understand the statement. The ZS1 does have video capability. What it does not have is a dedicated movie button like the ZS3 and it does not record at 1280x720 resolution. Also, the LCD has half the resolution of the ZS3.

To be honest, I've seen good but also very bad images coming out of the ZS3. At first I thought the ZS3 was superior to the Canon SX200 IS but I'm no longer sure of that.
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 11:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyfromVA View Post
I'd go with the Panasonic ZS1 or ZS3. Steve's review of the ZS3 called the outdoor image quality "outstanding" and said that indoors it showed "the same great exposure and color, as well as a crisp image from edge to edge." I've been very impressed with the sample photos I've seen.
http://www.flickr.com/cameras/panasonic/dmc-zs3/
I believe every camera out there is capable of taking good photos. The question is, how many bad ones the camera takes before that one good picture can be selected and posted on the internet? I've also seen some good images from the ZS3 but, I've seen some real bad ones as well, reason for my position against the ZS3.
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 11:28 AM   #9
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Default Panasonic ZS1 Video & Extended Flash Range

Hi Tullio-

Thanks for catching that error. I left out the term HD. The sentence should read the Panasonic ZS-1 is not capable of taking HD video clips, but does record normal video clips.

I also solved the ZS1's very minimal flash range. I pulled out my DigiSlave 300 slave flash and when combined with the ZS1 it will extend the flash range out to 20 feet with no difficulty and even do bounce flash as well.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 12:20 PM   #10
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Here's my problem...the combined package (ZS1 + slave flash) is huge and probably very awkward to use. It totally defeats the purpose of having an ultra compact long zoom camera.
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