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Old Jan 18, 2010, 7:05 PM   #1
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Default Going around in circles-some input requested

As some here know from my previous posts, I purchased a Canon S90 recently. I did a good bit of research beforehand and have been happy with the camera. As is true with all cameras, however, it is not perfect and does not cover absolutely every situation. I bought it as a "take everywhere" camera, which it certainly is, and it probably can cover a good 75% or more of the photographic situations in which I would like to take pictures. One area it is somewhat limited is in its zoom range. To cover this, I purchased a Panasonic ZS3 when I saw it at a good price, but I have not opened it as I am still considering other options – I have some time to return it if I choose.

I am now driving myself a little nuts about what camera or combination of cameras makes sense for me. Some questions buzzing around my head: Does the S90/ZS3 make sense or is it too duplicative. If I keep only one, even though I like the S90 and think its image quality is better, am I better off keeping the ZS3 for its range flexibility and selling the S90? (this is more rhetorical as I don’t really think I want to sell the S90). Should I keep both pocket cameras for “around town” and buy a superzoom bridge camera like the FZ35 to pair with the S90 when going on vacations or going “out specifically to shoot? Am I better off with the S90 and a small DSLR with a couple of lenses? What about the micro 4/3 systems? And on and on … a victim of my own research J.

Now about me: I am a relative novice and your typical snapshooter and sometimes hobby photographer. I don't specifically use a camera for any "special needs" types of situations -- e.g., sports or kids performances, etc. -- but like most people taking pictures, one never knows what type of situation may come up, so flexibility, within reason, is very helpful. Most of my pictures are travel photos including buildings, landscapes, maybe some museums, occasional jazz clubs and family and other events, etc. I don’t have a ton of time to devote to photography, so it is unlikely I will frequently be going out for a day solely for the purpose of shooting or spend hours manipulating/post processing pictures. I generally prefer smaller, lighter cameras and convenience, but I still would like to have my bases covered.

Perhaps the thing that makes most sense is to use the S90, learn as much as I can (which I am doing) and not bother with anything else now. That was initially my plan. I am, however, anticipating going on vacation in the spring and summer and perhaps wanting something other/in addition to the S90. Particularly, I would like at least to be able to take longer zoom shots if needed and to attach filters (I understand lensmate makes an accessory for the S90 to attach filters, but I also hear it partially obstructs the flash). There is no emergency, but I figure I will need time to learn any camera that I purchase and I am still learning the S90 and about photography in general (which I realize is a lifelong pursuit).

I realize this is very open ended, but I would appreciate any insight, advice, or other thoughts from the experienced folks on this forum.

Thanks very much.
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Old Jan 18, 2010, 7:13 PM   #2
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really the s90/zs3 is a decent combination, but is quite duplicative.

i really think the s90 paired with the FZ-35 would be a better combination. both offer a wealth of manual controls to learn photography with, but also can function in auto modes as well. and they don't overlap as much, the FZ35 is great when you need additional zoom, for example on vacation when you expect to be taking alot of photographs. also, it is larger and has a more user friendly interface for the those days you are out just to photograph, and features a tremendous 18x zoom lens of high quality and HD video.

then you have your s90 for day to day carry or when the light gets lower and you need something that functions in high ISO.
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Old Jan 18, 2010, 7:51 PM   #3
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Jazzer-

I second the FZ-35!
It would make a great addition to the S-90 and do much, more than the ZS-3 while at the same time providing much better image quality and some high ISO capability as well. The FZ-35 does very well at ISO 800.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 18, 2010, 8:12 PM   #4
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Thank you both.

I have been leaning in the direction of the FZ35, but it's easy to get sidetracked. I have also considered a beginning DSLR, but I think I would actually get more use out of the FZ35 due to its weight, size and convenience of not changing lenses. I suppose for my purpose, the only thing I would really be giving up is the ability to narrow depth of field, but since I am likely to be taking many more landscape shots than portraits, that may actually be a positive.

I'm going to go to a store and take a look at it again.
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Old Jan 18, 2010, 8:24 PM   #5
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Jazzer-

The FZ-35 is only 14 ounces.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 20, 2010, 12:37 PM   #6
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Default Does waiting make sense?

I know this is the age old question: buy or wait. But given the PMA in about a month, does it make sense in my situation to wait and see what is on the horizon since I already have the S90? Any likely replacement for the FZ35 expected or is that still too new?
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Old Jan 20, 2010, 1:17 PM   #7
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i am thinking panasonic will release a followup to the ZS1/ZS3, but I am not sure they will replace the FZ35 this quickly. they may have something entirely new as well.
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Old Jan 20, 2010, 7:23 PM   #8
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I agree with Hards-

The likely camera that will get updated is the Panasonic TZ-7/ZS-3, not the FZ-35 which is still pretty new. But that does not foreclose Panasonic jumping to a CMOS imager based camera to go head to head with Sony and their new HX-5 camera.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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