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Old Dec 8, 2009, 7:10 PM   #1
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Default Please Help! Can't decide!

Hi Everyone,

I've had my Sony DSC-P73 for about 4 years now and feel that it's finally time to buy a new camera. The only problem is...I'm going crazy with all the mixed reviews. I'd love to stick with a Sony because my last camera was so good, but it seems like the newer models don't have great image quality.
Anyway, here are the things I'm looking for:

-Compact camera
-Price Range: $200-$300 (maybe $350)
-High quality pictures (not too much blurring)
-Video with good sound quality (I don't really know the difference between the types out there). It would be nice to be able to zoom, but I'm flexible on that.
-Good pictures inside and outside

Bascially, I just want something that takes great photos inside and outside and that has good flash.

The cameras I've been looking at are:

Canon SD1200 IS
Canon SD780 IS
Sony DSC-W290
Sony DSC-H20 (maybe a bit too big though)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3

I'm totally open to other models too. And any advice would be great!!

Thanks!!
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Old Dec 8, 2009, 8:21 PM   #2
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manaimos-

Welcome to the Forum. We're pleased you dropped by.

Ironically, the Sony H-20 camera, which you seem to downgrade due to it little larger size is the v ery best camera in your indicated group. The H-20 has the best automatic mode, the best built-in flash unit in its class, and had HD video that allows zooming while filming. It does not have a wide angle position on its zoom and it has 10X optical zoom.

The next best camera, the Panasonic ZS3 is more expensive, but it is hampered by the poorest built-in flash unit in the class, so indoor photos, using flash are of measurably lesser image quality. The ZS3 does have 12 X optical zoom, a wide angle position on the zoom and HD video.

The Canon SD-780 does do HD video, but it has lesser quality still images, and no wide angle position on its zoom.

The Canon SD-1200 camera does not have HD video, it does not have a wide angle and it has very small control buttons, and a 2.5" LCD instead of a 3.0" LCD screen.

The Sony W-290
has not received high scores at all in the professional reviews. It has poor control positioning, it does not focus sharply, and the images are more noise than other cameras in the class. It does do HD video, has a wide angle, and a 3.0 " LCD screen.

If the choice were left up to me, I would select the Sony H-20 without hesitation. I own and use a Sony H-20 camera and its performance is very good, indeed.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 8, 2009, 8:25 PM   #3
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Hi Sarah,

Thanks so much for your response! Yeah, the H20 sounds amazing! I haven't seen it in the store yet, but from the pictures online, it seems a bit bulky. Do you have any suggestions for a smaller camera that has comparable quality and performance?

Thanks again!
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Old Dec 8, 2009, 8:57 PM   #4
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Sarah,

I also thought I'd mention that I usually always leave my flash on because with my current camera, that results clear pictures. I guess I'm just having a hard time choosing something because I don't know a great deal about what to look for. I just know that I don't want the camera to be too big (the size of my current one is great (Sony DSC-P73) and I've held the Canon SD1200 IS and that size is fine too. Along with that, I really just want clear pictures inside, outside and with things like sunsets and landscape. Sorry, I guess this reply is a bit redundant...you just really seem to know what you're talking about and I wanted to give you more info on what I'm looking for. Thanks again!
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Old Dec 8, 2009, 9:19 PM   #5
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Aaaaand, one more question! Sorry to be annoying! Would you say that there is anything good about the Canon SD1200 IS? My sister has the 1100 and it takes nice pictures with flash (which, like i said is pretty much always on in my camera), but it takes horrible pictures of birthday parties and things like that. Thanks!!
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Old Dec 8, 2009, 9:29 PM   #6
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manainos-

Very clearly, the Sony H-20 is the best camera on your list. The only camera that comes close to the H-20 is the Canon SX-120, but it does not has HD video, nor, like the H-20, does it have a wide angle.

For the record, while the Canon SD-1200 is small, if has a very underpowered built in flash unit that makes indoor photos with flash very problematic. It would not be my choice.

I pretty much gave you an mini review of every camera on your list. As a Digital Camera instructor, I use lots of cameras. The Sony H-20 and the canon SX-120 are very hard to beat.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 8, 2009, 9:33 PM   #7
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Thank you!! I will check it out in the store, but I think this is the one!
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Old Dec 8, 2009, 9:57 PM   #8
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manainos-

The most important thing is that you get the camera you want to purchase.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 9, 2009, 3:40 PM   #9
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Hi,

After thinking about it more, I really want something that's not too bulky and that I can travel around with easily. The Sony DSC H20 still seems wonderful, but I'm concerned about the size. Sarah, do you or anyone else out there recommend any of the Sony, Canon or Panasonic cameras that are out there? I don't really care about HD Video. I mainly just care about sharp, clear photos and a little bit of zoom. I can live with 3x optical, but a little bit more would be great. I want something that takes great photos inside and outside and that's light and easy to put in my jacket pocket. I'm leaving for a month long trip in just a couple of days and would love to get this camera before hand. Any advice would be much appreciated!

Thanks!
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Old Dec 9, 2009, 5:18 PM   #10
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manainos-

As I suggested previously, the Canon SX-120 camera is smaller than the Sony H-20, but it has an excellent built-in flash unit, 10X optical zoom, Standard video, high ISO capability, up to and including ISO 800 and a 3.0"LCD screen.

The Canon SX-120 is currently selling for $199.00 and represents a lot of camera value and very good image quality. It is a perfect travel camera.

Sarah Joyce
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