Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Dec 15, 2009, 6:39 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4
Default Need a New Point & Shoot

I am in the market for a new Point & Shoot. I had a Canon A620 that grew legs.

I would like one with a good Optical Zoom, image Stabilization, SD(HC preferably) compatible, something fairly new and current so it may be around on the market for awhile and allow plenty of time for support and user base. Budget is no more than about $300-350 max.

I just need something for birthday parties, School plays, vacations, etc. I'm not a pro by any means and just want a good P&S camera to get the good shots of my family.

Thanks
JohnMcD348 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Dec 15, 2009, 9:39 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

JohnMcD-

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

It appears that the class of cameras you are interested in are cameras that are referred to as compact zoom cameras. Two of the very best examples in this class of cameras is the Canon SX-120 and the Sony H-20 cameras. The SX-120 is currently selling for around $199.00 and the H-20 is selling for around $249.00.

The Sony H-20 has 10X optical zoom, is the best choice in this class, with the best automatic mode in the class, the best built-in flash unit in the class with a flash range out to 20+feet, in camera to subject distance. It also has HD video and you can zoom while filming.The H-20 is capable of using ISO settings up to, and including, ISO 800 while still maintaining pretty good image quality. When shot at ISO 400 and below, the H-20 produces very good image quality.

The Canon SX-120 has 10X optical zoom, a good built-in flash unit and does normal video. The canon SX-120 is just a bit physically smaller than the Sony H-20 camera.The SX-120 is capable of using ISO settings up to, and including, ISO 800 while still maintaining pretty good image quality. When shot at ISO 400 and below, the SX-120 produces very good image quality.

Both of these cameras can handle all of the tasks you have outlined, except "school plays." If flash is not allowed in your described school play photo environment, you will need more ISO capability, usually ISO 1600, than either of these two cameras can muster, without showing a lot of electronic noise in their images, that will measurably degraded in image quality. High ISO capability is really something that DSLR cameras do much better than P+S cameras like the Sony H-20 and the Canon SX-120.

You are probably wondering about other cameras in this class like the Panasonic ZR-1, the ZS-1, and the ZS-3, as well as the Fuji F-70 EXR camera. The Panasonic cameras are indeed part of the compact zoom class. They perform very well indeed outdoors, with very good image quality. Their 25mm wide angle position on the zoom is very useful, and makes for almost dramatic looking images.

However, when the Panasonic ZR-1, the ZS-1, and ZS-3 camera come inside, their image quality goes to pot. The image quality plunges from very good to just fair to poor, due to their very week, and very small built-in flash units. The flash range of these three cameras fall dangerously to just 6 feet from camera to subject, the built-in flash units are that weak. I know that for a fact, as I own and use a Panasonic ZS-1 camera all the time. Unless, I attached my $110.00 DigiSlave-3000 Slave flash to the ZS-1 to the ZS-1 to radically increase its flash power of the Panasonic ZS-1, the image quality indoors is pretty miserable. Not only is that slave flash unit an added expense to yourbudget, but it is also something extra you must carry.

The Fuji F-70EXR
is a capable 10X camera , but due to its EXR system it is very complex in terms of setting up and making the proper selections. Even the automatic mode requires manual selection to operate. Most users find the Fuji F-70EXR unnecessarily complex.

So my suggestion is to focus in on the Sony H-20 and the Canon SX-120 cameras. They are the two best cameras in this compact zoom class. Have a great day and a Merry Christmas.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Dec 15, 2009 at 9:46 AM.
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 23, 2009, 1:48 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4
Default

Thank You very much for that information. I had been considering the SX-120 but have read alot of mixed reviews on it. There appear to be as many great reviews as there are poor reviews on this camera. I haven't looked very hard at the H-20 yet but will.

Thank you again for a very informative reply. Any further information or direction you can provide is greatly appreciated.

JTMcD

Last edited by JohnMcD348; Dec 23, 2009 at 1:51 AM.
JohnMcD348 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 28, 2009, 8:27 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4
Default

Well, over the past few days, I've looked at a few other reviews, checked out CameraLabs and think I've decided on the SX20IS. I think maybe it's as sign since right after I mentioned it, the wife showed me it was on sale here locally.
JohnMcD348 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 28, 2009, 10:00 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

That a really good sign, John-

The Canon SX-20 has a lot going for it and has gotten some excellent reviews. Please be sure to handle the camera in the flesh before you purchase. How a camera feels "in hand" can make a big difference.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 30, 2009, 12:12 AM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4
Default

Well, apparently the SX20 is more popular than I thought. No one in my area has one for sale. They're all sold out and not even available in their warehouses. What stinks is they were even listed as sale items in the last Sunday sales papers.
JohnMcD348 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 4:02 AM.