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Old Mar 26, 2010, 10:38 AM   #1
sfo
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Default Need help with new P&S selection...

I've been lurking for a while and reading great information. Now I need some help in making a decision on a new camera. I currently have a Powershot S410 and its seen its last days. I have a budget of ~$350 for a new P&S camera.

I have two primary uses for the camera: interior/exterior real estate photos (read wide angle) and I have two new baby boys. Here are some things that are important to me in selecting a new camera:

-wide angle
-good view finder
-quick shots
-image stabilizer
-easy(ish) OS
-good flash range
-battery life

Some of the reviews and other info have led me to the PowerShot SD3500 IS, FinePix F200EXR & Panasonic LX3. of course, I am total newby and would love some help and input.
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Old Mar 26, 2010, 12:22 PM   #2
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sfo-

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

Let's review the cameras you have mentioned:

Canon SD-3500: A nice 24mm wide angle. However, the 14 mp is bothersome. In some cameras like the Panasonic ZS7 it has resulted in decreased image quality.

Fuji F-200EXR: This camera begins at 30.5mm, so it it difficult to call that much of a wide angle. Also to get the best image quality, the EXR system require multiple small adjustment.

Panasonic LX3: This is a very fine camera with a fast F 2.0 lens, and excellent 24mm wide angle, and a large imager, that has a huge reputation. However, it has a very short zoom range and a replacement camera is due sometime in the Fall of 2010. Due to the dated design, I would have some second thoughts.

Here are a couple of additional cameras that you might want to consider:

Canon S-90: This very popular camera, like the LX3 has a larger imager and a very fast F 2.0 lens. It is very capable and has a huge following. It is noted for its high ISO/ low light capabilities.

Sony HX-5: This is another very popular camera with a 25mm wide angle lens position on its zoom range. It uses a new CMOS imager and it has some unique features like the sweep panorama, and the Twilight Mode that takes six photos in rapid succession and the merges them into a single photo while reducing noise and improving clarity.

Because none of these camera have a built in flash unit that is very powerful, I believe that adding a slave flash like the Canon HF-1, which will work with any brand of digital camera would be need for the proposed real estate photos.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Mar 26, 2010, 4:22 PM   #3
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I would go with the Canon S90 as my first choice, Panasonic LX3 second and Sony HX5V third. If you want something easy to use, the Fuji is not a good choice.
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Old Mar 26, 2010, 4:56 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. One important criteria I should have mentioned is my wife will use the camera 99.9% of the time in auto mode. Myself, probably 60/40 towards auto.

Would that eliminate the S-90? Its also a tad over the budget at ~$400, which is not a killer, but a consideration.
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Old Mar 26, 2010, 5:23 PM   #5
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sfo-

If you are willing to use these cameras in the "P" which stands for Programed Auto Mode, you would avoid the pitfall of the 100% auto mode on the Canon S-90 and the F-200EXR cameras which are pretty problematic.

The same is true for the for the balance of the cameras.

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Old Mar 26, 2010, 7:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfo View Post
Thanks for the responses. One important criteria I should have mentioned is my wife will use the camera 99.9% of the time in auto mode. Myself, probably 60/40 towards auto.

Would that eliminate the S-90? Its also a tad over the budget at ~$400, which is not a killer, but a consideration.
The S90 is $359 at Sam's Club and $379 from B&H, Abe's and J&R - all reputable shops if you're not a Sam's Club member. I find Canon's to be very user friendly and I find their scene modes to work fairly well. Programmed Auto works well also as mtclimber said. The only thing the S90 really lacks is a decent zoom but you didn't mention needing the zoom.
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Old Mar 26, 2010, 9:45 PM   #7
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when you mean view finder do you mean lcd or an actually view finder. If you mean actually viewfinder, you will need up to a megazoom and larger bridge camera's
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Old Mar 26, 2010, 10:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acheron View Post
The S90 is $359 at Sam's Club and $379 from B&H, Abe's and J&R - all reputable shops if you're not a Sam's Club member. I find Canon's to be very user friendly and I find their scene modes to work fairly well. Programmed Auto works well also as mtclimber said. The only thing the S90 really lacks is a decent zoom but you didn't mention needing the zoom.
A decent zoom would be nice for baby/kid shots.

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when you mean view finder do you mean lcd or an actually view finder. If you mean actually viewfinder, you will need up to a megazoom and larger bridge camera's
I was referring to LCD. An actual would be a nice to have, but not necessary.

I am also starting to consider HD for the video as a strong nice to have (HX-5V). Kid movies and all for grandparents. Not a lot of reviews/info for that model.
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Old Mar 26, 2010, 10:25 PM   #9
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S90 does not do video, you may want to look at the new canon sx210. Longer zoom 14x optical and wide angle at 28mm eq. Has IS also.

But if you want something less expensive and had a great lens and good zoom, the panasonic ZS3 may fit the bill. 12x optical zoom, HD, 25mm eq wide angle. It is about 240 dollars at all the reputable shops like adorama, bhphoto, jr, and amazon.
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Old Mar 26, 2010, 11:11 PM   #10
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sfo-

It may take a while to assemble all the details, but I feel that the HX5 has more to offer, based on your proposed uses.

Sarah Joyce
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