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Old Dec 27, 2009, 11:10 PM   #1
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Default Another request for help to choose a camera!

Hello forum members,

I need help choosing a replacement digital camera. Iíve done quite a bit of online research and now find my brain overloaded with comparisons, reviews, specifications, etc. I *think* Iíve narrowed down my decision to a Canon or Panasonic but am definitely interested in input. Today I spent some time in a retail store where I tinkered with the Canon S90, which had good reviews of its low-light capability and fast F2.0 lens. Unfortunately I found the 3.8X zoom to not be long enough to suit me. I also looked at the SX120 and was stunned to find that its 10X zoom was very slow and it struggled to auto-focus on a distant object in the store. I did look at the G10, but found it a bit large for a pocket or small handbag. The store carried no Panasonic cameras. They did carry the Samsung EXR72, but not the 200; but I'm not convinced the Samsung lens is on a par with the Canon or Panasonic. But I'm not stuck on those two brands ... again, my brain is reeling with the many choices out there.

Iíd appreciate hearing your recommendations on a P&S camera that would provide these desired features, in order of importance to me:
  • Outstanding picture quality, especially in low light (secondarily for landscapes/sea scenes)
  • Fast lens, moderate wide angle, decent zoom of 5x or more
  • Large sensor chip
  • 8-12mpxl
  • Decent refresh time (not too much lag time between shots Ė hopefully not an issue if the low-light capability is good)
  • Medium weight of the camera (under 10 oz. maybe?)
  • Exposure modes: Program, auto, manual
  • SDHC memory capability
  • Li-ion rechargeable battery
Iím expecting to spend somewhere around $400, maybe a bit more.

Help will be much appreciated!

Bette
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Old Dec 28, 2009, 10:59 AM   #2
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Bette-

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

Firstly, let's clear up a bit of confusion. The camera you look at today was the FUJI F-72EXR not a Samsung camera. Fuji also produces the F-200EXR camera as well.

Those two cameras (the Fuji F-72EXR and the F-200EXR) along with the Canon S-90 and G-11 (which you ruled out due to its physical size) are the only P+S cameras that are capable of the numerically high ISO settings that seem to be a very high priority for you.

So you have pretty well, already defined all the possible cameras that meet your requirements. In your post you eliminated the Canon S-90 for lacking sufficient zoom, and the canon G-11, as being too big physically. So that leaves the Fuji F-72EXR and the Fuji F-200EXR cameras. As you noted that imager size was very important to you, you really should focus on the F-200EXR as that camera with 5X optical zoom and 12mp of resolution. It is a bit shy on battery life but it is probably one of the most capable numerically high ISO capable cameras in the P+S class today.

The F-200EXR's running mate is the F-72EXR which offers a smaller imager, 10 mp, a slower lens beginning F 3.3 and 10X of optical zoom. Please keep in mind that there is a learning curve involved in dealing with the advanced EXR system. However, for low light level shooting environments, the Fuji F-200EXR, the F-72EXR, and the canon S-90 and G-11 cameras rule the roost.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 28, 2009, 11:33 AM   #3
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Default another request - thanks

Thanks much for your reply. SO sorry for the confusion! I think I made it abundantly clear that indeed my brain was frazzled from all my research. I did indeed mean to refer to the Fuji EXR200, not Samsung. Thanks for your thoughts on the Fuji. I did a bit more research on that camera and it looks like I should keep it in the running, but also it looks to have a much harder learning curve than the Canon. I think I misled you to think I was only looking at the cameras I mentioned. Basically what I meant to convey is that I think I've narrowed my search to a choice between Canon and Panasonic (maybe now adding Fuji), but I did not mean to convey that the models I mentioned were the ONLY ones being considered. I'm eager for other suggestions; such as, I notice that you seem to really favor the Sony HS-2. I haven't personally seen that camera, but I'm also not ruling it out.

One thing I'm fighting in myself is that I know I can't have the capabilities of an SLR in a pocket camera, yet I keep hoping for SLR-quality images. For instance, I love taking photos of sunsets on the ocean, and I love taking portraits of children in low light situations, and of course I hope for outstanding images in both situations, in a wee little camera. Silly me, huh?

That Canon S90 keeps calling to me, but I've also researched the SX200, the G11 and 10, the Sony HS-2 and now the Fuji EXR. Maybe it will boil down to Point-and-Pick?

again, my thanks,
Bette
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Old Dec 28, 2009, 2:12 PM   #4
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Bette-

Have you considered the Olympus E-620 two lens kit (Olympus 14-42mm and Olympus 40-150mm lenses) which www.amazon.com has on sale for $638.00. It is the smallest DSLR camera with in body image stabilization, which is another real advantage.

With the E-620 you would have 28mm to 300mm (in 35mm terms) fully covered in a very small kit, all with full image stabilization.

Another small camera with great image quality would be the Panasonic G-1 camera.

When you have a chance please give me a list of cameras that you now are seriously considering, as it is really not clear from your post. Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 28, 2009, 5:40 PM   #5
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Hi Sarah Joyce,

Thank you -- I had not considered the Olympus but will definitely look into that one. My first digital was an Olympus Stylus 500 5mp, now about 4 1/2 years old. I'm SO ready to upgrade to newer technology and clearer pictures. Just an FYI, my other first cameras were Olympus - a fully manual SLR with tons of awesome lenses circa the '70s and a giant fixed-lens Olympus DLX from the 80s. Those were the days! But oh, how I don't regret NOT lugging all that stuff around!

Anyway, I've narrowed my search now (other than looking into the Olympus you mentioned) to the Canon SX200, the S90, and the Fuji F200EXR. I'm not interested in the Sony due to its prioprietary nature.

Bette
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Old Dec 28, 2009, 7:10 PM   #6
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Bette-

Considering that a numerically high ISO capability is high on your priority list, I think that we should focus on the Canon S-90 and the Fuji F-200EXR cameras. The Canon SX-200 just does not have realistic numerically high ISO capability.

The S-90 is Canon's leading pocket camera.It does have that high ISO capability, a 3.8X optical zoom, and a great deal of shooting flexibility, as it is very fast.

The Fuji F-200EXR uses Fuji's EXR imager system to gain its high ISO capability, it increased high dynamic range, and its added resolution. It is a 12mp camera as opposed to the S-90's 10mp. While the EXR requires a somewhat steeper learning curve, it is capable of producing amazingly good images.

If the choice was left to me, I would choose the Fuji F-200EXR camera as I have seen first hand what the EXR system can produce in terms of image quality through my use of my F-70EXR camera.

I ordered and returned the Canon S-90 camera, because like yourself, Bette, I wanted a little more zoom. Please let us know how we can help you further.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 28, 2009, 7:43 PM   #7
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Sarah, thanks again. I'm going to order the Fuji and the Canon S90 and give them both a good try. I appreciate your help in narrowing the field down to two cameras!
Bette
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Old Dec 28, 2009, 10:02 PM   #8
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You are always welcome, Bette-

The Canon S-90 and the Fuji F-200EXR are both very good cameras. Please let us know your final selection. Thanks!

Sarah Joyce
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