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Old Apr 2, 2010, 4:42 PM   #1
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Default Sony HX5V vs. Panasonic ZS3 or ZS7 vs. Nikon S8000

Hi! I'm a casual photographer, looking for a camera to take pictures of family and friends and vacation shots. I don't need many (really, any) manual controls. I'm looking to replace a broken Casio Exilim Z75; I loved the portability of that camera, but now would like a more powerful zoom, plus the image quality on that camera was fairly soft. I'm looking at mega-zooms -- the Sony HX5V, the Panasonic Lumix ZS3 or ZS7, or the Nikon S8000. I'm leaning towards the Sony HX5V because of its panorama mode and its low light capabilities; however, a friend of mine has the Panasonic ZS3, and I've been very impressed with the quality of the pictures that he's taken; I'm also considering the Nikon S8000 because it has the smallest and slimmest body of the various mega-zooms. Does anyone have any advice as to which mega-zoom camera I should choose? And, given that I've been used to carrying around an ultracompact, will I end up finding all of these mega-zooms too big and bulky? I'd like to find something that's not all that much bigger than the Exilim Z75 that I had, but I'd really like to get better picture quality and a much better zoom. Thanks for any input! Jess
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Old Apr 2, 2010, 5:04 PM   #2
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Do you have a budget, as you have a wide range in price? As the zs7 and HX5V is in the 350 range, and the ZS3 is 230-240 dollars
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Old Apr 2, 2010, 7:45 PM   #3
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opalmom-

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

Among the cameras that you mention, the HX5 is the clear winner. It has a great Auto Mode, both for still photos and for HD videos. The HD video allows zooming while filming and features an Active Super Steady that produces smooth, steady HD videos without bumping and jerkiness.

The HX5 is high ISO capable, with good photo quality right through ISO 1600. The HX5 is a bit larger in size than you old Casio but it has many more features as well. Unique features like the hand sweep panorama, where the HX5 takes 10 photos in one second and then merges then into a single panorama, The Handheld Twilight Mode are but two of the unique features. We have a thread in our Sony P+S Folder with almost 100 posts and many photos. Please take a look at that thread.

The Panasonic ZS3 and ZS7 produces very good outdoor image quality, but their indoor image quality plummets to below average to poor due to their tiny, weak built-in flash unit. Professional reviews of the ZS7 and the Nikon S-8000 have been downgrading the image quality of those cameras due to the 14mp resolution.

Sarah Joyce

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Old Apr 2, 2010, 11:57 PM   #4
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what Sarah Joyce said ... but any of them besides the Nikon would be a reasonable choice. I can't find anything good to say about Nikon P&S cams for the last few years except for their size.
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Old Apr 4, 2010, 1:19 AM   #5
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Thanks for everyone's input!
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Old Apr 4, 2010, 10:29 AM   #6
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opalmom-

We would be interested in what camera you decided on?

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 4, 2010, 11:20 PM   #7
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I'm leaning strongly towards the Sony HX5V -- just trying to figure out if there's a store in my area that carries it/has it in stock, as I'd like to physically hold it in my hands before ordering it on Amazon.
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Old Apr 5, 2010, 12:16 AM   #8
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opalmom-

Thanks!

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 7, 2010, 10:43 AM   #9
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Hi, like opalmom, I am also looking to take pictures of kids/family etc. (casual photography). I already own the FZ35 and pleased w/the camera, but I am looking for something I can stick in my pocket and still get good image quality.

I am also narrowing down my choices to the ZS7, HZ35 and HX5. However, I keep hearing that the image quality is not great on HX5, but all is forgiven b/c of its other features. I've seen some samples, and looks like a lot of details are smeared etc. I don't know if this is really noticeable on 4x6/5x7 prints. Any thoughts?
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Old Apr 7, 2010, 11:46 AM   #10
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bbq797-

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

The Panasonic ZS7 now has reduced image quality due to the MP increase and it has poor indoor image quality due to its very small and weak built-in flash unit. The Samsung HZ35 is still a total question mark. It has not arrived on dealer's shelves, and there are no professional reviews of it. The Sony HX5 is actually better than you think. We have a very active thread in our Sony P+S folder. It has plenty of photo samples and comments. I actually think it is a pretty good camera with more than a few tricks up it sleeve.

Sarah Joyce
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