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Old Jan 2, 2010, 4:11 PM   #1
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Default Replacement for Canon IXUS95 (SD1200) & Nikon 3200

Having been extremely pleased with my Nikon Coolpix 3200 for the last few years, I thought I would upgrade to a Canon Ixus 95IS (or the SD1200 in the US). Got the camera for Christmas and I am so disappointed! Compared to my old Nikon it is awful. Using the auto mode mainly, it is slow to detect which settings to use resulting in missing the shot, sometimes it focuses on the correct things, other times the photo is slightly blurred or completely blurred. The colours are pale, I could go on....

I read loads of reviews on this camera and it was consistently rated highly so I'm thinking perhaps I got a bad one? The Nikon in auto mode is so easy, shoot and point and 95% of the time I get something good with no noise. With the Canon, I'm lucky to get 50% good results. I'm going to try and send it back for a refund.

I'm looking to replace it with something and wondered if you could give me your opinions please. Perhaps a Sony W210 or W220, a Panasonic FS7 or FS15? I mainly use the camera for night out photos, close ups of my cat and holiday snaps. I'm more interested in macro than zoom, video would be nice but doesn't have to be HD. Wouldn't want to spend more than 150. Any other brands I should consider.

Thanks for your help!
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Old Jan 2, 2010, 4:33 PM   #2
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The Panasonic FS-7 would be my choice. It is a better performer than Canon's Sd-1200. if you want to step up from there the Panasonic ZS-1 or ZR-1.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 3, 2010, 3:35 PM   #3
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Thanks for your response. I'll take a look at the FS7 tomorrow at my local shop so I can have a play .

Today I've taken "test" photos with both cameras and the quality difference between my old Nikon 3200 and the new IXUS95 is really noticable on the PC screen. The Nikon is wonderful, really sharp and crisp. I played with the Canon settings and got the colours to be similar but the photos were just not as good. Kind of foggy, noisy and soft.

I seems unbelievable that a camera upgrade can produce downgraded images! Am I expecting too much to get the same crispness from a budget camera these days (even though the Nikon was a budget camera in its day)?

I'm even considering buying something a little out-dated on Ebay to see if I can get something with better image quality. The Nikon's 3.2 megapixels has been fine for my needs but I would like a camera with a larger screen next time. Can anyone suggest any of their old favourites?
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Old Jan 3, 2010, 3:49 PM   #4
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well part of the problem in progression of digital cameras is that the sensors stayed the same size but we quadrupled the amount of pixels on them. this leads to increased noise, some more than others. however, this is often offset by the resolution increase. so while the picture may look noisy and smeary (from noise reduction) when viewed zoomed in to 100%, at normal viewing sizes and print sizes, the increased resolution offsets much of these problems.

so i ask, are your problems with image quality when you zoom in heavily, or are you having image quality problems with 4x6, 5x7 printed photos, or photos viewed at normal sizes?

if you are looking at used cameras. one of my favorite old cameras was Canon's S50. but don't expect a large LCD screen. another popular older camera is Fuji's F30/F31, which did quite well in low light (6mp)
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Old Jan 3, 2010, 4:11 PM   #5
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I'm only looking at the images at screen size, not zooming in. I've uploaded them to tinypic to perhaps get a second opinion, if anyone has time to look, I'd be really grateful. I didn't know what to do with regard to resizing (?) so I clicked both to 17" screen.
This is the photo taken with the Nikon. http://i48.tinypic.com/fu5es1.jpg
This is the photo taken with the Canon. http://i46.tinypic.com/4m1d.jpg
The flash on the Canon doesn't seem even either, it kind of arcs in the top of the photograph. Really not satisfied with it!
Thanks for your suggestions on older cameras too. I'll check them out on Ebay.
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Old Jan 3, 2010, 6:43 PM   #6
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Other than a small difference in lighting created by the Canon camera's flash, I think that the two photos are pretty comparable.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 3, 2010, 7:30 PM   #7
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I don't see anything particularly wrong with either photo. obviously a web-resized image will not tell the entire story of course. but i see no glaring problems.
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Old Jan 5, 2010, 1:42 PM   #8
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OK, I suppose the Canon's photo wasn't too bad but the clarity is definately better on the Nikon (looking at the knots in the wood). Perhaps the resizing changed things on your end. Any how, the Canon has been returned.

Looking ahead to another possible "new" camera, I've checked out the Fuji F31 - WOW its a legend! Secondhand ones sell on Ebay for huge amounts! I was wondering what your thoughts were on the Fuji F200 or F70? They seem to get good results (albeit not quite acheiving the same clarity as the F31). These are only about 70 more than the Panasonic FS7 I was thinking about (and about 40 cheaper than the F31 on Ebay).

Another thought is to stick with what I've got for another 12 months or so to see if any of the manufacturers see sense and turn the clock back a bit?
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Old Jan 5, 2010, 1:49 PM   #9
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The f70exr is capable of great results. but it takes some extra user-input. it is not one that i can recommend to those that just want to put a camera no auto and hit the shutter button.

however, those willing to put some time into the setup, the f70 (and the f200 as well) do really well in low light conditions and have good dynamic range in tough lighting situations.
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