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Old Nov 16, 2009, 1:01 PM   #1
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Default P&S replacement for Canon PS A80?

I use a Canon Rebel XTi most of the time, but like to have a P&S for those times I do not want to lug around a full dSLR.

I'm replacing my Canon Powershot A80, which has served me well, but is at this point outdated.

Two P&Ss I'm looking at are the Lumix DMC-ZS3 and the Canon PowerShot SX200 IS. They seem pretty close in terms of specs, but the biggest problem I have with either one of them is from an ergonomics standpoint: Unlike my A80, there's nothing to really "hold on to"; they are of the dainty and (I think) rather slippery variety.

Here's a good comparison of both of these:

http://www.neutralday.com/panasonic-...om-comparison/

Any alternatives out there that have comparable specs?

I was considering the Canon G11, but I like the zoom on these two (G1 only goes to 140 mm).

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Old Nov 16, 2009, 1:21 PM   #2
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dg-

I actually own the Panasonic ZS1 and know its, and the ZS3 short comings. The primary glitch is the very small and underpowered built-in flash unit. In actual use the flash range is a paltry 6- to 8 feet. That is not very usable when you have a group o more than 2 people.

The built-in flash unit that pops up every time you power-up, whether you want it or not, on the Canon SX-200 drives many users bananas, and that flash is positioned right where you want to place your left hand when gripping the camera.

So, if you want to remain with Canon, take a look at the SX-110/SX-120 cameras for grip comfort, sharp images, and 10X optical zoom. Another alternative is the Sony H-20 which has the best built-in flash in the travel zoom category, 10X optical zoom, and HD video.

Have a great day.

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Old Nov 16, 2009, 1:29 PM   #3
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for smaller superzooms, those are two great choices.

the only other alternative that comes to mind is the sony h20, it offers comparable image quality and a good flash. the downside is the lens does not have a wide-angle option. its widest is 38mm equivalent, compared to 25,28mm on the panny and canon.
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Old Nov 18, 2009, 12:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
... the biggest problem I have with either one of them is from an ergonomics standpoint: Unlike my A80, there's nothing to really "hold on to"; they are of the dainty and (I think) rather slippery variety.
In today's market the old "full size" compact segment has been taken over by SLR-like ultrazooms. Which do succeed in handling a lot better than the pocket size cameras. Plenty of nice choices in ultrazooms from Canon, Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony. Over a wide range of prices too.

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Old Nov 23, 2009, 2:42 PM   #5
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Thanks, all for the replies. I'll have to check out the Canon SX-110/SX-120 and the Sony H-20, though the wide-angle capabilities of the ZS3 are very appealing. Also, I looked at the ZS3 in a store and that actually has, IMO, slightly better ergonomics: there is a bit of a semi-circular grip to hold on to.
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Old Jan 27, 2010, 11:05 AM   #6
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Default Lumix DMC-ZS7??

Update: I had finally pretty much settled on the Lumix DMC-ZS3 and planned to go to B&H yesterday. Before I went there I saw online that there's now a ZS7:

http://www.dpreview.com/news/1001/10012605panazs7.asp

(Announced this week, I believe, but not yet in stores.) I mentioned the ZS7 to the salesman and he was immediately critical of it, saying that the ZS3 will be a "better camera" because the 14.5 megapixel size is too much for size of the sensor. I never bought into the whole megapixel bonanza pushed by the manufacturers; I just want the best and most current camera I can get, since I tend to keep them for several years (this is replacing my circa 2003 Canon PowerShot A80, as an example).

Will the 14.5 megapixel size likely be detrimental to the picture quality overall?

(I wonder whether the salesman said this because he could feasibly had a sale of the ZS3 on the spot, whereas the ZS7 will not be in stores till Feb. or March.)

The only other question I have about these Lumix cameras concerns the AVCHD HD Lite video. My wife wants to use this to create simple instructional videos to be posted online. I use Nero and wonder whether anyone has had any experience converting the AVCHD format. From what I read you lose some quality, but I just want to make sure I will be able to convert these.

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Old Jan 27, 2010, 11:12 AM   #7
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the salesman was trying to sell you the camera. how could he comment on the image quality of a camera yet to be released.

also i was looking at the pixel density of the zs7 and it appears to be the same as the zs3. so we should not see any more noise if this is truly the case, actually should see less with new processing and new sensor technology. i am not sure how they managed to keep the pixel density the same unless the sensor is slightly larger than the old one, which it may be, as it is meant to do 16:9 without cropping.

anyways, either way, i would not expect it to be worse, more than likely image quality will be quite similar.
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Old Jan 27, 2010, 11:23 AM   #8
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Thanks--as suspected. I know that Canon lowered the number of megapixels on the G11 compared to the G10, but not knowing why, I thought I should check. I'd prefer to wait for the ZS7 because it seems to have additional manual settings, as compared to the ZS3.

Thanks again for your reply.

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Old Jan 27, 2010, 11:25 AM   #9
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The Panasonic ZS-3 is currently at its lowest price point.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 27, 2010, 11:36 AM   #10
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Sarah Joyce: I know--I wondered this week why it had dropped so much. It had been in the $350 range and now it's ~$247.

Estimates I've read indicated that the ZS7 will be around $400; I must question whether the extra features will be worth the add'l cost. And waiting for that to come down doesn't make sense because that's unlikely to happen till prepare to unveil yet another model...
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