Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 28, 2010, 6:25 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 15
Default Panasonic ZS3, ZS5, or Canon 210?

Hello,

I have been agonizing over this decision for months now, and any input would be very apprecitaed. Reading some of the other posts have helped too.

I want to replace my current Olympus 710 (3x optical). This camera has served me well, but I started becoming more aware of its limitations. I figured it was time for an upgrade so that I could get at least a 10x optical zoom, higher video resolution (better than VGA 640x480) , and a better stabilization technology. Also, I primarily print 4x6 photos & maybe an occasional 5x7. I enjoy taking photos, especially on vacation (landscapes, peopel, etc). I also wanted something that performs 'well' in low light.

With this in mind I was deciding between the ZS1 and ZS3. Then I heard Panasonic was coming out with the ZS5 and SZ7, and these would have manual controls. So I decided to wait until these came out. I have never owned a camera with manual controls, and am still unsure if this is a must have feature. (Also the GPS is never something I wanted, so I nixed the ZS7.)

Now, I am deciding between the ZS3, ZS5, and canon 210 models.

I have basically nixed the 210 because its burst mode stinks (although if it had a great burst mode it would still be in the running). The ZS3 and ZS5 both have perfect burst modes for me. As far a low light situations the panasonic cameras meet my needs.

My concerns with the ZS5:
1) It has been said that to get the best IQ, one has to utilize the manual controls.
2) I have read on this forum that the higher the MPs, the lower the IQ. Could someone clarify this?
3) The manual control range for aperature isn't super large. At the wide end, the aperarutre is 3.3-6.3. And I don't know enough to know if this will impact images? (I know Aperature is related to DOF, but in my test shots I couldn't tell the difference between a 3.3 & 6.3 ap, although this could be becasue I am still learning)

With the ZS3 you can set min shutter speed. As this camera will be a lg improvement over my current olympus it may be enough. Plus the LCD screen in gorgeous. A part of me is leaning towards this model, but then I think manual controls may be nice. Plus I would still have the iA mode. But again don't know if I need manual controls.

This is a lot of info, but I figured it better to be specific. Any input would be greatly appreaciated!

(I also have seen the Sony HX5 mentioned. I know nothing of sony's IQ compared to Pan and Canon. If anyone thinks this would be a good model to consider please let me know)
world_go is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Mar 28, 2010, 6:32 PM   #2
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 81
Default

(1) I haven't read that but you do need to be prepared to use manual in the event auto can't figure out the settings decently on its own.

(2) Well the sensor is the same size on the new models as the old ones and they upped the MP so yes the IQ has dropped a little.

(3) You're not likely to get any decent DOF on any pocket P&S camera.

Panasonic, Canon and Sony all their pros and cons. It really depends on what you're looking for. Sony and Canon do better with white balance. Sony uses too much NR and Canon has issues with PF/CA. Panasonic has the best overall camera but the Sony performs better in low-light. The Sony HX5V has essentially no manual controls. Despite the NR, the images look quite good across the ISO range. hwoever, if you were printing large prints, the NR would cause the IQ to suffer. Panasonic will require that you spend some time post-processing to correct color in many instances. Canon will probably have you doing the same to remove PF/CA. The bottom line si that they all have their pros/cons so it depends on what you want and which problems you can live with.
Acheron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 28, 2010, 6:40 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

If you see yourself getting into photography more, the manual control would be a good start. But I've seen the photos of the zs3 right out of the camera and they are very good, and right now it is 240 dollars. That is about 100 savings over the untested zs5 and the hx5v.

But I think any of the camera's you mention will do a good job, and a huge improvement over what you currently have. So if you want to save some money the zs3 is a good option.
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 28, 2010, 6:43 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 15
Default

Thanks Acheron.
Can you define NR, PF/CA?
When you talk about color correction on the panasonic, are you refering to whether or not they look 'true to life'?
(I use abobe, so post-processing isn't a problem)
world_go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 28, 2010, 7:11 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Ordo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: BsAs
Posts: 3,452
Default

If you get the zs3, better get two spare batteries.
Ordo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 28, 2010, 8:21 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

world go-

NR=noise reduction
PF/CA=purple fringing around high contrast areas

Panasonic has a weaker than normal White Balance, and often needs adjusting using a photo editing program. All in all, I think that the Sony HX5 might be better for your use, unless you are willing to post process your images. Certainly the HX5 would be easier, and the out of the camera photos are quite good.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 28, 2010, 9:02 PM   #7
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 81
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by world_go View Post
When you talk about color correction on the panasonic, are you refering to whether or not they look 'true to life'?
(I use abobe, so post-processing isn't a problem)
As Sarah Joyce said, Panasonic's white balance is simply below par so at times there will be a color cast over the image that needs to be corrected. I took the attached image from a review of the Panasonic and auto color corrected it in Adobe Photoshop so you can see the difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ordo View Post
If you get the zs3, better get two spare batteries.
I don't personally own one so I don't know if the problem is that drastic but I have heard that the battery performs below its rated number of shots. I've also heard that the Panasonic GPS on the ZS7 eats the battery a lot faster than the Sony HX5V's GPS - thought that's likely due to the huge variance in the way they operate.
Attached Images
 
Acheron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 28, 2010, 10:58 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

acheron-

You are very correct about the Panasonic ZS7's weak WB and the battery consumption. Because the ZS7's GPS takes bearings every minute, it is quite hard on batteries.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Mar 29, 2010 at 10:25 AM.
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 29, 2010, 12:01 AM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 15
Default

Ordo - whatever camera I get I will definitely have 2 batteries. Did that with my current camera and have never been without a battery to use

So the newer models with higher MPs (as in ZS3 vs ZS7) have a lower IQ. Does this point matter if you don't take pics on the highest MP setting - say you take pics at about 7MP?

Good to know about Panasonic's subpar AWB. I always post-process photos before printing, so that may not be a deal breaker for me...
world_go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 29, 2010, 5:21 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3
Default

http://snapsort.com/compare/Panasoni...r-shot_DSC-HX5

world go, I concur with Sarah, take a look at the link (above) to help provide some insight... T
Majormaxie is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 7:16 PM.