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Old Dec 20, 2009, 1:21 PM   #1
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Default Panny ZS3 or FZ35 to add to Canon S90

Hi everyone -

As some of you may know from my other posts, I own a Canon S90. I am getting some very nice pictures and love the portability, but I am thinking about adding a second camera primarily for the option of additional zoom.

I tend to use my cameras for everday photos (family events, while out and about, etc.) and while traveling. Although I thought I might get more into photography as a hobby (and this is certainly still possible at some point), I don't really tend to go out specifically to take pictures. With this in mind, convenience/size/weight is very important to me. I know that I am not likely to take a lot of gear with me. Ideally, I prefer pocketability, but may be willing to forego this for a second camera if there are enough other advantages (e.g., image quality)

The cameras I have been considering are the Panasonic ZS3 or the FZ35. I prefer the ZS3 for its size and wide angle lens, and the FZ35 for its longer zoom and additional control. I assume the S90 is going to be the go to camera for low light pictures in either case.

Is the decision simply size vs. function? I could see myself possibly carrying both the ZS3 and the S90 or alternating as everyday cameras, but I doubt I would take the FZ35 with me everywhere.

I'm looking for some thoughts as to what would be a good combination for my purposes. Does having two pocket cameras make any sense?

Thoughts appreciated.
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Old Dec 20, 2009, 1:29 PM   #2
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Well a camera is only good to you if you have it with you. And these newer pocket super-zooms actually perform quite well, so going for the ZS3 is not a huge compromise. You would probably only miss the added zoom of the FZ35 if you are trying to shoot wildlife, which I am not sure how often you do. For other uses, 300mm equivalent zoom should be sufficient.

Since you already own the S90 and its Canon. It may simplify your workflow to purchase another canon, letting you use the same software, and get more similar results.

Canon's SX200IS competes quite well with Panasonics ZS3
Canon's SX20IS competes quite well with the FZ35
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Old Dec 20, 2009, 1:50 PM   #3
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You would probably only miss the added zoom of the FZ35 if you are trying to shoot wildlife, which I am not sure how often you do. For other uses, 300mm equivalent zoom should be sufficient.
I could have used that extra zoom last summer when I was in Yellowstone. I wouldn't say that shooting wildlife is a primary use although I will probably do so from time to time. Not sure it makes sense to purchase a camera based on that criteria, though, as I think camera size is a factor that likely will be an issue more often. I think if I go on a trip where I am planning to shoot a lot of wildlife, I may have to consider another purchase at that time.

Thanks for the thoughts about the Canon cameras. From a workflow perspective, that probably makes sense. Reviews for the ZS3 do seem to be somewhat better than the Canon 200IS, but I'm not sure how much of a difference there actually is.
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Old Dec 20, 2009, 2:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jazzer251 View Post
Thanks for the thoughts about the Canon cameras. From a workflow perspective, that probably makes sense. Reviews for the ZS3 do seem to be somewhat better than the Canon 200IS, but I'm not sure how much of a difference there actually is.
Yea, the ZS3 probably is the slightly better camera. But, the better superzooms compacts (Panasonic ZS3, Canon SX200IS, and Sony's H20) all perform quite well. The differences in image quality is really not that different in real world settings.
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Old Dec 20, 2009, 2:40 PM   #5
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jazzer-

I cannot suggest the Panasonic ZS-1, the ZS-3, or the ZR-1. They do very well outdoors, but their image quality is still below that of the FZ-35, and, for me at least, the ZS-1, ZS-3 and ZR-1 have a nearly fatal flaw when you move inside. Their built-in flash is too tiny and not powerful enough to provide equally good image quality when using flash indoors, and these cameras do not do well enough with out flash to overcome that problem either. Even though their wide angle is very attractive. I have hands on experience, as I actually own and use the Panasonic ZS-1 camera.

In terms of both, built-in flash and overall image quality both indoors, when using flash, and outdoors, the FZ-35, in my opinion has a very measurable edge that has to be considered. And yes, I also own and use the FZ-35 as well.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Dec 20, 2009 at 2:42 PM.
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Old Dec 20, 2009, 4:39 PM   #6
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Thanks for your input, Sarah.

I am indeed aware of the shortcoming of these cameras in the indoor/flash department. I guess my thought was that the S90 would be used indoors and in other low light situations while the ZS3 wide and zoom lens would be used for landscape shots and outdoor shots where a longer zoom is needed.

The FZ35 certainly seems to have more going for it overall and the price isn't that much higher than the ZS1 and 3. I just need to decide for myself if the somewhat larger size is going to be a deal breaker for the use for which I intend it.
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