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Old Feb 2, 2010, 1:40 PM   #1
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Default Best P&S around $200 - $300

Hi!

I'm new to Cameras in general, I've never owned one before, but this summer I'm going to Cortona, Italy and wanted to get a camera soon and train myself to taking awesome photos.

I'm looking for a camera that would do great outdoor shots and very nice indoor shots as well.

The models I'm sort of looking at would be:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H20
Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR

I am very open to any suggestions and appreciate all of your help!

Thanks!
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Old Feb 2, 2010, 1:58 PM   #2
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the Panasonic FZ35 is the most capable camera of the bunch. It has the best image quality, even allowing you to shoot RAW. Has a very nice lens with wide-angle to nice telephoto capabilities, and has by far the largest pop-up flash range of any digicam. And ha a full host of manual controls to learn and tweak your photographic experience. Just be aware it is not a pocket camera.
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Old Feb 2, 2010, 2:19 PM   #3
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Hmm, I guess I am looking for something a little more pocketable, however it still wouldn't be the worst thing if it wasn't.

Thanks
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Old Feb 2, 2010, 4:50 PM   #4
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Anson-

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

There is a whole category of cameras that are about the size of the Panasonic ZS-3. They are called pocket zoom cameras. The leaders in that market niche are:

Panasonic ZS-3: 12X optical zoom along with HD video that allows zooming while filming. This mostly automatic camera starts with a very desirable 25mm wide angle and extends to 300mm. It is currently at its lowest price in a year, due to the announcement of the replacement model due on dealer shelves in mid April. The ZS-3 has excellent outdoor image quality, but it is hampered indoors due to it very tiny, weak built-in flash unit.Price: $250

Canon SX-200: is also a 12X optical zoom camera with HD video, but you cannot zoom while filming. It zoom begins at 28mm and extends to 336mm. It also has a built-in flash unoit that pops up whether you need it or not when the camera is powered on. The Sx-200's built-in flash beats the flash on the ZS-3 by a wide margin, so that you are insured of good indoor and outdoor image quality. A replacement model, the SX-300 is due to be announced at the end of the month. It will correct the problem flash and the inability to zoom while filming HD video and several other changes. Price: around $300.

Samsung HZ-15W: 10X optical zoom. The zoom begins at a very, very attractive 24mm and extends to 240mm. It has HD video and you can zoom while filming. It has a good built-in flash unit so you are assured of very good indoor and outdoor image quality. We will be doing a mini review on the Samsung HZ-15W in this forum, beginning 02 February. Price:$229

Sony H-20: 10X optical zoom like the Samsung. It has no wide angle position on the zoom, but it does have the best Automatic Mode and the best built-in flash flass in the category with very good indoor and outdoor image quality. It also does HD video and you can zoom while filming. Price: $240

Sony HX5:
10X optical zoom. The zoom begins at a very nice 25mm- and extends to 250mm. It does HD video and you can zoom while filming. It has several unique features not available on the other four cameras. It has the Twlight Mode that takes three exposures and merges them into a single high quality image using the best portions of the three photos. The Sweep Panorama is another unique feature. It allow the user to sweep the hand held camera in either the horizontal or vertical plane, taking a total of 10 photos in 1 second. The camera then merges thos photos into a seamless single. but very wide photo in the camera. Price:$350

So there is a quick run down on the five leading contenders in the pocket zoom category.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Feb 2, 2010 at 4:56 PM.
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Old Feb 2, 2010, 8:32 PM   #5
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Thank you so much! I appreciate it a great deal!
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Old Feb 2, 2010, 8:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post

Sony HX5:
10X optical zoom. The zoom begins at a very nice 25mm- and extends to 250mm. It does HD video and you can zoom while filming. It has several unique features not available on the other four cameras. It has the Twlight Mode that takes three exposures and merges them into a single high quality image using the best portions of the three photos. The Sweep Panorama is another unique feature. It allow the user to sweep the hand held camera in either the horizontal or vertical plane, taking a total of 10 photos in 1 second. The camera then merges thos photos into a seamless single. but very wide photo in the camera. Price:$350

Sarah Joyce
Sarah,
Is this one out yet? Are there any professional reviews yet? Couldn't find any... as you know I am on a quest for a cam...
Nech
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Old Feb 2, 2010, 11:39 PM   #7
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Nech-

The Sony HX-5 is now available at www.sonystyle.com, and it is scheduled to arrive at Amazon in mid February.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Feb 2, 2010, 11:59 PM   #8
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Sarah,
Thanks for the info... any reviews you have seen yet?
I think it is probably out of my price range.. but just wondering...
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Old Feb 3, 2010, 12:10 AM   #9
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Nech-

The USA price is pegged at $(US)350.00, as because it is brand new, I do not expect that price to be discounted for 4 to 6 months.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Feb 8, 2010, 12:20 PM   #10
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I keep looking at these cameras and I find more and more that one camera isn't better than another one. No one commented on the F200EXR, I hear that one may have a bit of a learning curve. Also I keep coming back to the Panasonic DMC-ZS3, but then I find a new camera and look at that and I'm just so confused. Sorry for the rant and thanks for all the help
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