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Old Apr 9, 2010, 12:50 PM   #1
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Hello,

Apologies for what will likely be another repeat thread on camera selection. I'm looking for a camera in the $200-250 price range that will be used first on a vacation and afterwords for day to day use. I want the best image quality and most control over camera settings as possible. I enjoy taking macro shots so having the ability to take decent ones would be beneficial too. The ability to take HD movies doesn't matter to me, I doubt I'll ever use the feature. I have numerous friends who are photographers and it interests me a lot. I've played with all sorts of different cameras, from the cheapest point and shoot up to a Nikon D90. While I wish I could get an entry level dSLR, it's not in the budget at the moment.

So far I've really only thought about the Canon Powershot SX120 IS, but I'm looking for other suggestions. If I've omitted other details which would help in suggestions please let me know.

Thank you all for your help.
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Old Apr 9, 2010, 3:09 PM   #2
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vercro-

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

The Panasonic ZR1, the Fuji F-70 EXR, the Canon SX-120, the Sony W-350, Canon A-3000, the Canon A-3100, the Canon SD-1400, Canon SD-940, Canon Sd-980, Casio G-1, Casio H-10, Casio Z2000, Fuji XP-10, Kodak M980, Kodak Z950, Nikon S4000, Nikon S6000, Nikon S640, Nikon S-70, Olympus SP-600, Olympus Stylus 5010, Olympus Stylus 7040, Olympus Stylus 9000, Olympus Stylus Tough 3000, Panasonic FH20, Panasonic FX-580, Panasonic TS1, Panasonic ZR1, Pentax I-10, Samsung TL-225, Samsung TL-320, Sony W-330, Sony W-370, and Sony WX1 are all in your price range.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 1:01 PM   #3
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Thank you for the warm welcome, and thank you for the list!

Which of these would you recommend in regards to image quality, amount of manual settings, and a good zoom with stabilization.

If I open the price range up to a max of $300, will I get more for my money? So far from what I've read the Canon SX120 still seems to be the best but I'd like a few more opinions from well informed people such as yourselves before I decide.

Thanks again
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 3:00 PM   #4
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verco

The best buy is the Sony HX5 at $349 - the HX5 is the 1st Sony camera to use SD cards.

The 2nd best buy is the Sony H-20 at $249

The 3rd best buy is the Panasonic ZR1 at $170 at Costco

All three cameras have full stabilization.
The HX5 has HD video and 10X optical zoom. The H-20 has the best auto mode and the best built-in flash in the compact zoom class. It also has 10X optical zoom and does HD video. The Panasonic ZR1 has 8X optical zoom and does standard video. The built-in flash on the ZR1 is tinny and weak, therefore, to restore indoor image quality to normal you have to us an accessory Slave Flash costing $15 to$20.

Sarah Joyce

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Old Apr 12, 2010, 6:04 PM   #5
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The HX5 definitely looks great, but the only price I can find for it in Canada is $400, which is a little bit out of my price range. I can only find it for sale from Sony themselves, no third party retailers.

The H20 was on the list, but once I factored in the price of severely overpriced memory sticks, it was pushed out of my range.

The ZR1 does look good, but I'm not very fond of having to use an additional flash to ensure top quality if I just want to snap a quick picture of the little girl or the cat.

Sorry to be so picky, but I like to be absolutely sure I'm getting the top product for my money. Thanks again for all your help, your knowledge and kindness sharing it is outstanding.
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 7:27 PM   #6
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The Panasonic ZS3 is another option if you can still find one. They are getting scarce at this point, especially after selling around $240 USD for a couple months - which was quite the deal for this camera.

Since you have already mentioned that you don't care about video, I wouldn't go with the Sony. While it is a good all-around cam and has some nice features, there are many cameras that will offer you better IQ for photos if that is your primary concern.
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 7:51 PM   #7
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Thanks for some good ideas, FiveO

Now a question for Verco-

How much zoom do you need? How many mps do you need? The 10mp 5X optical zoom Panasonic FX-500 is closing out here in the USA at less than $(US)200.00. And it has a usable built-in flash unit. Some other cameras to look at would be the Sony W-350, if you don't need a wide angle lens position, the Canon SX-120.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Apr 12, 2010 at 8:05 PM.
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 8:17 PM   #8
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I'd like a 10x zoom or more. As for MP, I don't really care much. From what I understand, a 10MP camera is all you really need. I wouldn't mind having a wide angle lens, but it's not absolutely essential.
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 8:26 PM   #9
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Vercro-

OK thanks for the answer. Take a look at the Samsung HW15Z which I know is sold in Canada, 12mp 10mps beginning at 24mm and running to 240mm. So there is your wide angle.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 8:46 PM   #10
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Hi Sarah,

I can't find any mention of that model anywhere, however from what you say and from a quick search of these forums it looks like the HW15Z is the same as the WB550, which is within my price range and easily available in my area.
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