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Old Dec 9, 2009, 7:54 PM   #1
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Default More research leads to more confusion - HELP!!!

I've been looking at the Canon SX200 comparing it to Panny ZS3. After finding out that ZS3 doesn't have any manual controls I was all set on the Canon. I've had the Canon A95 and A540 and was pretty happy with both (especially the flip out LCD on the A95-I wish they still had those on P&S). The only downside for me was the lack of better zoom.

After reading more reviews and forums, I am getting more confused. Sony H20 is mentioned, Panny FZ35, etc.

- I definitely want manual controls.
- I will shoot both outdoor and indoor - let's say 50-50;
- I definitely want long zoom
- I don't want anything too big or heavy; doesn't have to fit into my shirt pocket, but I don't want to feel weighted down with a camera when travelling
- Video is a plus, but I don't use it much. Wouldn't want to be without it, but it's not a strong consideration
- I don't need burst mode, but not having to wait forever between shots is a must

Any suggestions or do I just go with the SX200?

Thanks, David
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Old Dec 9, 2009, 7:58 PM   #2
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Canon SX20IS?
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Old Dec 9, 2009, 8:01 PM   #3
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Canon SX20IS?
I think it would be too heavy and bulky. Forgot to post the budget - around $300.

Thanks.

Last edited by DavidLC; Dec 9, 2009 at 8:15 PM.
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Old Dec 9, 2009, 8:59 PM   #4
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DavidLC-

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

The competing cameras in the under $300 class are in no particular order:

The Panasonic ZR-1- about $226-8X optical zoom
The Panasonic ZS-1- about $229-12X optical zoom
The Panasonic ZS-3- about $272-12X optical zoom
The Canon SX-200-about $269-12X optical zoom
The Canon SX-120-about $199-10X optical zoom
The Sony H-20- about $247-10X optical zoom


The three Panasonic cameras
take brilliant outdoor photos, but due to their very tiny and very weak built in flash unit, their indoor image quality is poor. All three have a wide angle position on the zoom. The ZS3 is well know for its HD video and you can zoom while filming.

The Canon SX-200 has 12X optical zoom with wide angle, and HD video, but you cannot zoom during filming. The real issue with the SX-200 is that is soon as the camera is powered on, the built-in flash unit pops up and stays up the whole time the camera is powered. The SX-200 image quality becomes poor when the ISO is raised above ISO 400.

The Canon SX-120 has 10X optical zoom, but no wide angle position on the zoom. The SX-120 has normal video, not HD video, a good automatic mode, and a good built-in flash unit. The SX-120 has great image quality though and including ISO 800.

The Sony H-20
camera has 10X optical zoom, but no wide angle on the zoom. The H-20 has HD video and you can zoom while filming. The H-20 has the best automatic mode and clearly the best built-in flash unit (Flash Range out to 20 feet) in this class of cameras.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 9, 2009, 9:25 PM   #5
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The Panasonic ZR-1- about $226-8X optical zoom
The Panasonic ZS-1- about $229-12X optical zoom
The Panasonic ZS-3- about $272-12X optical zoom
The Canon SX-200-about $269-12X optical zoom
The Canon SX-120-about $199-10X optical zoom
The Sony H-20- about $247-10X optical zoom
Sarah, thank you for the rundown. Unfortunately, no camera has it all, does it?

I have to discard the ZS3, though a great camera, due to poor indoor picture quality and no manual controls.

It seems to come down to the SX200, SX120 and H20. Due to the better wide angle and zoom, it seems that, at least for my purposes, the SX200 is the top choice.

Any other possibilities if my budget went a bit higher $350 - 400?

Can you share where your price info came from? I haven't seen the SX200 ANYWHERE under $299.

Thank you again, David
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Old Dec 9, 2009, 11:00 PM   #6
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Hi there DavidLC-

Yes, by going up a bit with the budget you have the Canon G-11 at $449.00. It is a wonderful camera with excellent high ISO capability through ISO 1600 and to ISO 3200 in a pinch an when using smaller prints. The G-11 has full auto and manual controls, also does RAW, has a hot shoe, accepts a remote shutter release, and has knock your socks off image quality indoors and outdoors.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 10, 2009, 9:25 AM   #7
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Yes, by going up a bit with the budget you have the Canon G-11 at $449.00.
How does G11 compare with the Panasonic FZ35? That one is a bit lower in price than the G11 and has gobs of additional features over the SX200. It is, however, somewhat bulkier.

It's time to make a decision on size vs. features.

Thank you again for your help.

David
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Old Dec 10, 2009, 11:08 AM   #8
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The Canon G11 is in an entirely different class than the Panasonic FZ35. If a long zoom is most important to you, the Panasonic FZ35 is the way to go. It has a zoom range of 27-486mm. But it's still, at heart, a point-and-shoot digicam with a small 1/2.3 sensor and a nice megazoom lens.

The Canon G11 has a 28-140mm zoom range but has a much larger 1/1.6 sensor (less noise at high ISOs and in low light), has controls set up to make manual operation much easier (although it has automatic and scene modes as well), has an articulating LCD screen on the back and is a much more professional (and rugged) camera overall. With the G11, you will learn to zoom with your feet and pay more attention to image composition.

If you simply need or want that long zoom, the Panasonic FZ35, along with the Canon SX20IS, is at the top of the point-and-shoot megazoom class. The Canon G11 is a step giant closer to a DSLR in a fairly compact package. While a good camera won't necessarily make anyone a good photographer, the G11 will give you the opportunity to learn a lot more. And if you ever move on to a DSLR, you'll still be happy to have the G11 around for occasions when the DSLR is too large or inconvenient. Highly recommended.

Last edited by Biro; Dec 10, 2009 at 11:10 AM.
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Old Dec 10, 2009, 11:46 AM   #9
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Uber long zoom in a p&s = lots of noise and blurring.
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Old Dec 10, 2009, 12:15 PM   #10
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The Canon G11 is in an entirely different class than the Panasonic FZ35. If a long zoom is most important to you, the Panasonic FZ35 is the way to go. It has a zoom range of 27-486mm. But it's still, at heart, a point-and-shoot digicam with a small 1/2.3 sensor and a nice megazoom lens.
This then brings up a question. Please forgive me if it shows my ignorance, but I was hoping that some of you highly experienced photographers wouldn't mind sharing your knowledge.

Since the G11 has only 5x zoom, can I compensate for that in any way by cropping the resulting picture and thus bring the subject closer? With a larger sensor and 10MP it seems like a possibility. Can someone point out a flaw in my logic (or lack thereof)?

Thanks for all your help so far, David
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