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Old Feb 27, 2010, 7:06 AM   #1
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Default Advice needed for a new family camera

Hi. Need advice for a new camera. I have a new Canon 120IS but Iím not completely satisfied with it. I find that itís not good with low light and also it is too slow to take shots. I usually use it to take pictures of my baby and by the time the camera clicks to shoot, the moment I want to capture is gone. I donít know the shutter lag of this camera. I definitely prefer something much faster than this one.


Budget

Not more than $400.00

Size

Iím hoping it will not be more than 250g. The lighter the better, but then I noticed that the smaller cameras are usually not as efficient specially when shooting indoors. So Iím willing to compromise a bit of the size.

Features

It will basically be an all around family camera with very good image quality even with low light. I understand that a dslr would most likely have this feature, but I think they are too advanced for me and also they are too bulky and impractical for me to carry around. I was hoping to find something that has near or at least as near as possible to dslr capability but lighter.


-Iím not too particular with the amount of megapixel because I know that most digital cameras these days can cater to my need. The chances of me developing an 8x10 is not much.

-The same with zoom. I donít mind having more zoom, but itís not a priority. I donít know much zoom because more often than not I will just be taking pictures of my babyís milestones. Hence, most of this will be taken indoors which is why I want a camera that has good image quality even when taken indoors.

-should have HD video recording capability.


-Batteries: rechargeable (not the AA type of batteries), long life

-wide angle capability

-other advance features like image stabilization and others is a plus.

-no need for touch screen feature or interchanging lenses.

Brands

Iím only considering 3 brands. Canon, Panasonic and Sony

Iím looking into Panasonic. It seems they have cameras that have advanced capabilities and yet they seem to be small. However I got confused with so many models and series. I donít know which series I should concentrate on. Does anyone know the differences in the series they offer?

So far I have had only Canon cameras. I donít mind a Canon as well. I guess itís just a matter of finding the right model.

Iíve never used a Sony, but Iím open to suggestions



Thank you in advance for your time.



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Old Feb 27, 2010, 7:21 AM   #2
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Panasonic FZ 35
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Old Feb 27, 2010, 11:00 AM   #3
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Panasonic Lumix GF-1 (I'm biased as I got mine this afternoon).

No zoom (if you get the 20mm as I have), however it's pretty much DSLR quality in a compact package, and excellent in low light. I'm not in the US however and it might well be over budget.

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Old Feb 27, 2010, 12:18 PM   #4
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wanderintraveler-

Thus far, the Panasonic FZ-35, a 14 ouce, rather large super zoom camera selling for around $330.00, has been suggested. That is in your budget but the FZ-35 is indeed a very good camera, but larger. Yes, I too, would suggest it, if you had requested a superzoom camera. However, after reading your post I believe that you are looking for something smaller that would fit a pocket or a purse.

The Panasonic GF-1 is another very good camera, but well beyond your $400 budget.
As you posted low ligh level shooting, and fast shot to shot times are difficult for point and shoot cameras.

I would suggest the two cameras that come closest to your specifications. They are the Panasonic LX3 and the Canon S-90. Both cameras are pleasantly small in physical size and have large imagers and fast (F 2.0) lenses. They will be the closes to your requirements.

Have a great weekend.

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Old Feb 27, 2010, 11:06 PM   #5
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Thank you everyone for your advice. I had a quick browse on all your suggestions. I have been looking at the Canon S90 before, but because it doesn't have HD capability hence I put it off the list.
The FZ35, LX3 and GF1 indeed looks high quality and I feel a bit intimidated by their capability since I'm basically used to the automatic point and shoot. I have to take out the GF1 because it's way too high for my budget.
Actually I don't mind having a superzoom. It is definitely a plus. However, I see that it's on the heavy side going 397g. I may still consider this if I could find one get the feel of it. But I see the cost is showing it at more than $500.
The LX3's size is definitely more appealing. I was actually surprised and a bit disappointed that the LX3 is only 2.5x zoom. I suppose the zoom shouldn't matter that much if it's the only downside. I have a question though. Is the shutter lag of this cam much faster than the Canon 120IS that I have? Also, I have been reading about it and I don't understand what is RAW capability. Are these modes of taking pics? Is this camera good for novice photographer like me to learn, who may just use the automatic function or are there complicated buttons to adjust? As for the cost, it seems to be costing almost $500 at $499 based on what I see on the net. Is it correct?
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Old Feb 27, 2010, 11:11 PM   #6
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By the way someone suggested Sony WX1, TX1 and TX7. Any opinion on these cams? I have not fully looked into these cams but I have the impression that Sony is a bit more expensive than other brands that offers the same capabilities.
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Old Feb 27, 2010, 11:12 PM   #7
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SX210 IS has hd it is new from canon and a 14x zoom.

FZ 35 and 38 are good choices.

GF1 is a camera that can grow with you as it is a EVIL camera. As there is more lenses coming out for it. But if you were to go the route of the EVIL, the olympus EPL-1 is a bit less. Both these camera has the bigger 4/3 sensor. So they are better in low light shots then bridge and point and shoots.

The nice thing about the lx3 is you can change the aspect ratio on the camera. It can some like, while other do not. But it is a good bridge camera, and it is compact.
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Last edited by shoturtle; Feb 27, 2010 at 11:14 PM.
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Old Feb 27, 2010, 11:29 PM   #8
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wanderintraveler-

Both the Canon S-90 and the Panasonic LX-3 have a shutter lag of 0.1 second.

If the FZ-35 is too large and you want more zoom, take a look at the Sony H-20. It has the best Automatic Mode and the best built-in flash unit in the compact zoom class. It also does HD video and you can zoom while filming video. It is currently selling for around $230.00.

If the FZ-35 is too large and you want more zoom, take a look at the Samsung HZ15W with 12.0mp, virtually no shutter lag at all, does HD video mand you can zoom while filming. Amazon has it for $187.00.

If the FZ-35 is too large and you want more zoom, take a look at the Panasonic ZS-3 with 12.0mp 12X optical zoom, a record breaking HD video where you can zoom while filming. It has very little shutter lag. It is at an all time low price of around $230. It has a fantastic 25mm wide angle, outdoor image quality is great, indoor image quality is hampered by the small, weak built-in flash unit.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Feb 28, 2010, 12:20 AM   #9
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I have looked into the Panasonic ZS3, the price is definitely tempting and even below my budget. Even with telezoom it's cheaper than LX3. But I wonder what is it in LX3 that makes is more expensive than ZS3. I was trying to compare it side by side. Is it the flash range? That seems to be the more obvious. Just wanted to know what I'm bypassing if I buy the cheaper ZS3. But you mentioned the weak flash that could compromise the indoor image quality. I don't want to make the same mistake again so if that's the main difference I would still go for LX3.

By the way, while looking into the ZS3, it seems there are newer models ZS5 and ZS7. Are they improvements to ZS3?

Sony H20 seems good as well. I will look into it.

I was also wondering if the LX3 has new versions of it because I noticed that it's a 2008 model? It must be a very good cam because inspite of being an old model it's still catching at a high price.

Last edited by wanderintraveler; Feb 28, 2010 at 12:26 AM.
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Old Feb 28, 2010, 10:28 AM   #10
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wanderintraveler-

On the positive side, the Panasonic LX-3 has a very fast F 2.0 lens, and a larger imager than the ZS-3 camera. On the negative side, the LX-3 has a very limited zoom range. A replacement for the LX-3 should be announced in early summer 2010.

On the positive side the Panasonic ZS-3 a wonderful 25mm wide angle, and excellent outdoor image quality. On the negative side, the ZS3 has a small, weak built-in flash unit, that pulls down the indoor image quality. I overcome the built-in flash unit problem, by using a Canon HF-1 slave flash. The new introduced, ZS-7, has received its first professional review, and it certainly was not entirely positive. The battery life has been measurably reduced by the included GPS unit. The 14mp resolution has also reduced the image quality. www.trustedreviews.com/digita...ix-DMC-TZ10/p1

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Feb 28, 2010 at 10:31 AM.
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