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Old Mar 8, 2010, 5:53 PM   #1
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Default Debating on Canon SX1 or Nikon P100

I am looking for a superzoom to replaced my aged Canon S3 IS. The Canon SX1 has a 20x zoom and the Nikon P100 a 26x zoom. Either is fine - I just want the one with the best picture quality.

I do a decent amount of low-light/long-zoom photography without flash (ie. concerts) plus high action kids. I love the HD video of both, and I think you can zoom during video on both with is another feature I really want.

Has anyone messed with these two cameras? Which one has the best image quality? Or is there another superzoom I should be considering?

I have considered a dslr because they have the photo quality I am looking for, but they are not allowed in to many of the concerts I want to photograph. So, I am looking for the best superzoom alternative.

Any help would be so appreciated, since my old camera seems to have died over the weekend.
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Old Mar 8, 2010, 6:08 PM   #2
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Since canon seems to be planning to discontinue the SX1. You will most likely find it going on sale.
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Old Mar 8, 2010, 9:43 PM   #3
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I'm a former S3 IS owner myself - a fantastic camera in its day and still much better than a lot of current P&S digicams. I gave mine to my niece and it continues to give her great service to this very day. I'm sorry your old friend seems to have given up the ghost.

But to your question... SX1 or P100. First, I don't think you're going to find many people who have used the P100 yet. The camera is barely on sale yet. But that doesn't mean we can't talk about it.

As you probably know, both the SX1/SX10 and the Panasonic FZ28/FX38 have been considered the best megazoom digicams in terms of image quality. Between these two... the Canon offers the longer zoom range while the Panny offers a wider/faster/brighter aperture at any point in the focal range the cameras share. This is important considering you plan to do a good amount of low light photography. I also mention it because you may be spoiled a bit by the f/2.8-3.5 aperture of the S3 IS. I know I was. I have yet to see a lens this fast on any megazoom camera - but the Panasonic comes close, especially considering it zooms out to 486mm compared with the S3's 436mm.

If you want the sure thing, opt for either the SX1 or the Panasonic FZ38, just decide if you want more features and a better viewfinder (Canon) or a faster lens with slightly better high ISO performance built into a smaller, lighter camera (Panasonic).

Now... back to the Nikon. I haven't seen many reviews (mostly previews) of this camera. But here is one:

http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-came...-33966421.html

The P100 is basically a reworked P90 with a new sensor. The P90 didn't even come close to either the Canon or Panasonic in terms of image quality. But the P100 has a new back- and side-lit sensor from Sony that is supposed to reduce noise and allow for faster burst modes in good light. It could make a big difference.

But no one has seen many detailed reviews and photo samples yet. The CNET piece is the only one I could find. Of course, the Nikon's long zoom range trumps both the Canon and the Panasonic.

Myself, I'm interested in the Fujifilm HS10, which may have the same sensor. I'm a happy Pentax DSLR owner, but there is a place for megazoom cameras like these. I'm holding off on buying until I see more in-depth reviews of the new generation - but that's easy for me to say because I have my Pentax.

If you need to buy now, then give the Nikon a try - but buy from a place that will allow you to return the camera after a period of time as long as it's undamaged and in the original, undamaged packaging. If there's no place near you, I think Amazon.com gives you 30 days. B&H Photo and Adorama in New York both have great reputations and give you at least two weeks. If you don't like the Nikon, send it back and buy the Canon or Panny.
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Old Mar 8, 2010, 9:56 PM   #4
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i would have a hard look at the Panasonic FZ35, it is smaller than the SX1 and probably bests it by a little bit at higher ISO's. the pop-up flash is stronger too, though it does lack the hotshoe for a ttl flash.

if you wish to stick with canon the sx20is doesn't give up much to the sx1 and is cheaper.
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Old Mar 8, 2010, 10:02 PM   #5
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I agree, Dustin-

The Panasonic is a much more solid choice with very good image quality. The Nikon P-90, the forerunner to the P100 left a whole lot to be desired in terms of it image quality. It is really taking a chance.

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Old Mar 11, 2010, 3:19 PM   #6
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This forum is great - I so appreciate the help and advice! THANK YOU!

To Biro - I loved my S3 IS too. The pictures I got from concerts with no flash and from clear across the venue always shocked people. I had one camera "pro" tell me there was no way I should be able to get shots like that with that camera!

I haven't looked into the Panasonics before - I appreciate the comments about them and I will definitely check them out. I noticed models FZ28/FX38 as well as the FZ35. I am assuming these are three different models? I will look for reviews here on the site.

If anyone has further buying advice, I would be happy to listen!
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Old Mar 11, 2010, 5:16 PM   #7
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The DenverFan-

The Panasonic FZ-35/38 are the same camera, the designation changes with area in the world in which it is sold. The FZ-28 was the forerunner to the FZ-35/38.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 6, 2010, 4:37 PM   #8
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Thank you so much for your advice. I checked into the Panasonic suggested by several of you and it looks perfect for me. Most reviews I have found are extremely favorable and a gentleman at Wolf Camera said it was without question the best super-zoom with the highest image quality. I even noticed a new review for it here on Steve's Digicams. I wouldn't have known to even check it out without all of you. I just ordered it today and I am so excited!

I am looking to get a memory card for it. I saw that it accepts the SDHC format. Can it accept any capacity or class SDHC card? I was thinking of getting the SanDisk 16GB Extreme - SDHC Class 10 High Performance memory card, but I want to make sure it will work before I spend $100 on it.

Again - thanks for your help. This group is a such a blessing to us who need good advice!
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Old Apr 6, 2010, 5:45 PM   #9
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The card should work but why spend out so much when the camera doesn't need that speed?

Extreme IIIs will do the job just fine for all still and video needs.
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Old Apr 6, 2010, 11:55 PM   #10
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Thanks Mark. If the faster card is more than the camera can use, I am happy to spend less money. THIS is why I come here
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