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Old Apr 7, 2010, 11:00 AM   #1
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Default Another help with picking out a P&S

My current camera is a Fuji 2800 which is still working ok but I'm ready for an upgrade. Most of my pictures are of the "capturing the moment" variety. I don't know a whole lot about photography so I will probably mainly be using the auto setting. I want to be able to pick up the camera and take a picture quickly whether the camera is on or off. So I guess this means a quick startup time and quick focus/capture time.

Things that are important to me are: image quality, 6X+ zoom (preferably 10X), image stabilization, flash and anything else that helps produce a good picture with little effort. I would prefer the camera uses SD card, AA batteries, doesn't have a pop up flash or no lens cap but could live with one or two of these if a camera was "right" for me. I'm also trying to stay around the $200 range but could stretch it a little.

I've tried the following:
Fuji F72EXR (Best Buy's verision of the F70) but had issues with the image quality when using the flash.
Kodak Z950 but didn't like the "freeze" (processing) whenever you took three pictures or so.
I'm currently trying out a Canon SX120 but I'm not a fan of the pop up flash and the amount of time it takes to refresh the flash.
I've pretty much eliminated the Sony H20 because of the card, battery, flash and lens cap issues plus no place around here carries it.
I've also thought about the Kodak Z915 but haven't tried it yet.

Are there any other cameras that may better fit my needs? What's everyones opinion of how the Z950 and the SX120 compare to each other? How does the Z915 stack up against either of these? I've read the SX120 has the best picture quality in it's class, does this seem to be true?

I've read and searched this site and there is a lot of helpful people and information. Thanks to everyone for this.
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Old Apr 7, 2010, 11:30 AM   #2
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You might consider the Ricoh CX1 as an option. For $229.00 USD at Popflash.com you are getting a great deal considering this camera lists for $379.00. This Ricoh model has an all metal body, 7X zoom (28mm-200mm) and a 3" 960K LCD screen. Does not use AA batteries, however if you order from the above dealer you get a free extra battery, 4GB SD card, and free shipping. As far as IQ you can take a look at some photos in the Ricoh folder (it is awful lonely in here). This site has also done a review on this camera, so you can read that. This might be an interesting option for you...
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Old Apr 7, 2010, 11:36 AM   #3
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That Ricoh is a lot of camera for that price. and should be something to consider, you can see from Ancient's postings that it is a fantastic little imager, and build quality on those Ricoh's are always superb.

Another choice for you may be Panasonics ZR1. 8x zoom, HD video with zoom, a very good image stabilizer, good lens. and i saw it at costco the other day for 170$ which is just a steal.
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Old Apr 7, 2010, 11:40 AM   #4
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jamelvin -

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

I would also recommend the Panasonic ZR-1 or the Sony H-20.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 7, 2010, 2:13 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick reply. Both the Ricoh, Panasonic and Sony are hard to find around here and I'm not sure I want to purchase sight unseen. I'm pretty much limited to walmart, target, bestbuy, officedepot, sears and staples in the area. I somehow missed the Budding photographer needing advice.. post as it answers my questions about the two Kodaks in that they lag behind the SX120 in quality. Right now I'm leaning towards keeping the SX120 but may look around and see if I can find the H20 to try out.
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Old Apr 7, 2010, 3:08 PM   #6
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jamelvin-

Neither the Canon SX-120 or the Sony H-20 have a wide angle. How about Panasonic oe Samsung cameras, are they easy to find in your area?

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 8, 2010, 8:17 AM   #7
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I'm not sure that the wide angle will be that big a deal to me. What are the main advantages of having a wide angle. There aren't a lot of Panasonic or Samsungs. I was under the impression that the Panasonics don't have overly good flash capabilities and that's important to me. Are there any Samsungs that stack up well against the SX120 and are in the $200 price range? I've read some about the HZ15 but it's a little higher on BestBuys website.
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Old Apr 8, 2010, 10:41 AM   #8
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jamelvin-

The Panasonic Cameras with that tiny, weak built in flash unit will work fine indoors is use add an accessory Slave Flash unit for $15 to $20. I use a Zeikos brand slave flash with both my ZS and ZR series cameras and it brings the indoor image quality back to normal again.

Samsung cameras have gotten better, but I still have some qualms about build quality and image quality. The HZ15W is better by a small margin than the Canon SX-120 and you get rid of the AA batteries which really make shot to shot times long when using flash.

A wide angle position on the lens gives you a wide area of view. In other words you can fit in a group of people more easily, rather than backing up, and up, to fit everyone in. Wide angles are a big deal to some folks. For me they are nice, but not essential.

I picked up a Panasonic ZR1 for $170 at Costco and I am quite impressed with the 8X optical zoom, and by using the Zeikos Slave Flash I solved the indoor image quality issue.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Apr 8, 2010 at 10:45 AM.
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Old Apr 8, 2010, 1:54 PM   #9
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Sarah, I don't know much about slave flashes and doubt I would use one. The nearest Costco is 100 miles away. The places I've seen have the HZ15W around $280 which is probably out of my price range. I have found a Panasonic ZS1 for $180 at Sams. Is this a better camera than the SX120? Which is the smaller of the two? How much better is the SX120's flash?
thanks.

Last edited by jamelvin; Apr 8, 2010 at 1:58 PM.
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Old Apr 8, 2010, 4:24 PM   #10
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jamelvin-

Please take a look at the attached photo, please. The ZR-1 is available at a good price at www.amazon.com and the they have a 30 day full refund policy with no re-stocking, or any other charges.

Sarah Joyce
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