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Old Mar 31, 2010, 12:14 PM   #1
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Default Need a pocket P&S camera

I am looking for a P&S camera that can fit in my pocket along with my iPhone. I had a Panasonic FS15 camera last year, and that was able to fit perfectly fine in my pocket with my iPhone. I am willing to spend up to $200.

Image quality is probably the most important thing. I ended up returning the Panasonic FS15 last year, because it showed small yellow blotches everywhere when flash wasn't used indoors, and it was also a bit blurry without flash outdoors.

I do have a Canon A650 right now, which I like, but it is too large for my pocket. The reason I got the Panasonic FS15 last year is because I had read so many great things about the ZS3. But I guess the great image quality of the ZS3 didn't make it into their lower end FS15. If the image quality of the 2010 low-to-mid range Panasonic models have improved, then I'd be willing to consider one, otherwise I'd have to look at a different brand. I'm open to pretty much all brands.

Other features that I need are:
- at least 3X to 5X optical zoom
- wide angle
- optical image stabilization
- movies
- orientation sensor
- SDHC memory

And I also have a question about those new cameras with non-extending lenses - what are the pros/cons of those versus the traditional extending lenses?

Thanks for any recommendations.
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 12:42 PM   #2
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slphoto-

Welcome to the Forum. We're glad you dropped by.

In the under $200 range the cameras available tend to be larger than true pocket size. Oddly enough, the one exception is the Samsung SL420 priced at around $110. It is credit card sized and about 1/2 to 5/8" thick.

Regarding cameras with fixed lenses, please give me a few examples. Thanks.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 12:43 PM   #3
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Well the ZS3 is about $240 now if you're still interested in it. It's slightly above your budget but it's probably heads above any other $200 camera you can get.

* Just checked and B&H still has it for $240
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 1:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
In the under $200 range the cameras available tend to be larger than true pocket size. Oddly enough, the one exception is the Samsung SL420 priced at around $110. It is credit card sized and about 1/2 to 5/8" thick.
It doesn't have to be too thin. The FS15 I tried last year was 0.85" thick, and there were some other cameras similarly sized and priced.

Quote:
Regarding cameras with fixed lenses, please give me a few examples. Thanks.
Here are a couple examples of the non-extending lens:

Panasonic FP1K: http://www2.panasonic.com/consumer-e...00000000005702

Nikon S70: http://www.nikonusa.com/Find-Your-Ni...OLPIX-S70.html

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Originally Posted by Acheron View Post
Well the ZS3 is about $240 now if you're still interested in it. It's slightly above your budget but it's probably heads above any other $200 camera you can get.

* Just checked and B&H still has it for $240
The ZS3 is also 1.3" thick, so I'm not sure if that can comfortably fit in my pocket. It is interesting that the ZS3 is still available, now that the ZS7 is out. Wonder if the price of the ZS3 might drop even further?
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 1:41 PM   #5
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slphoto-

Be aware that the image quality from the ZS3 is only average to below average indoors due to the very tiny built-in flash.

Regarding fixed lens cameras. There is no particular advantage to the lens being fixed. The design just makes the camera thinner.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 3:56 PM   #6
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I wouldn't count on the ZS3 dropping any further. At best you might get another $15-20 off. They are clearancing them out now to make room for the ZS7. The ZS7 and the equivalently sized models from Sony and Canon fit in my pocket but I am a product of the 90s and still wear loose fit jeans so take that for what you will.

If IQ is of importance, I would stay away from Nikon's pocket cams. In general, nothing is going to do great indoors w/o a flash in that size and price range. The Sony Exmor-based models or Fujis Super CCD models are probably the best bet for indoor use.
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Old Apr 1, 2010, 2:37 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info, guys.

I also noticed that some of the new Canons have a "Low Light" mode. For example, the SD1300:

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...delFeaturesAct

Wonder if that is actually effective, or some marketing gimmick? Hmm, I just downloaded the manual, and there's just a very small section that mentions it, and it says it just changes the ISO and shutter speed for you, and forces your images to be saved at 1600x1200. Not sure how useful that is - I could probably just manually change the ISO and shutter speed, and then be able to save the image at the largest size!

Last edited by slphoto; Apr 1, 2010 at 2:43 PM.
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Old Apr 1, 2010, 3:17 PM   #8
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I'm going to vote marketing gimmick. I think only Sony and Fuji have produced decent results with these tiny sensors in low-light. My Panasonic camcorder has a low-light mode as well and it essentially just makes the image look worse by brightening it up and highlighting the noise.
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Old Apr 1, 2010, 9:04 PM   #9
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People love automation in their cameras. The SD1300 just reduces the camera resolution at high ISO speeds automatically. Fuji used the same strategy years ago, and it was effective in getting the photo, but because restoring the photos to high resolution was a difficult process, it was not too popular.

High ISO capable cameras such as the Canon S-90 and even the newly introduced Sony HX5 which does not quite do as well as the S-90, are few and far between.

Sarah Joyce

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