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Old Apr 18, 2010, 4:16 PM   #1
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Default Need help picking new camera!

Hi,
I am looking to buy a new compact digital camera. I currently have a sony DSC-W150. The camera is ok, but lacks a good zoom and good quality photos at night.

My criteria is:
- at least 10x zoom
- Ability to zoom during filming
- Good in low light situations, nighttime photos
- no more then $350

Also, I am looking mostly for point and shoot, I am likely to mostly use automatic settings, though I may try to fiddle around with the other settings occasionally.

Thank you for your help!!
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Old Apr 18, 2010, 7:04 PM   #2
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sporke-

You have a unique opportunity to save some money as long as the remaining inventory of the Sony H-20 hold up. The H-20 is widely acknowledged to have the best Automatic Mode and the best Built-in Flash unit in the compact zoom class of cameras.

It has 10X optical zoom (38mm to 380mm), very good image quality, excellent Flash Range, and it takes HD videos and allows zooming while filming. Currently it is selling at around $250.00.

Other than the H-20 you have the 14mp Panasonic ZS7, and the Canon SX-210 which have both received negative professional reviews faulting the inferior image quality brought on by the new 14mp imager.

The Sony HX5, the first Sony camera to use SD cards, does not seem to have those image quality problems. It also features some unique features as well. We have a lot of activity on the HX5 in our Sony P+S folder, with now almost 170 posts, tech tips, and many photo samples in the thread based on user impressions on the Sony HX5 camera. The HX5 sells for $349.00.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 3:03 AM   #3
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Thank you Sarah.

Couple of questions. You mentioned the H20 first. I noticed that this is last years model. Is this one better then the 2010 models?

Can you elaborate on the problems with the Panasonic and the Canon? (I didn't quite understand...)

What do you think of Samsung cameras?

Thank you so much for your help,
Amy
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 10:36 AM   #4
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amy-

Yes, the Sony H-20 is a 2009 model. But it is an opportunity to save $80+ while getting a camera with a much better Automatic Mode, Built-in Flash Unit, and a good deal of the features of the HX5 and a savings.

If you shoot in the Automatic Mode and take indoor photos with flash, the H-20 is a better performer on those two counts than the 2010 HX5 model. The H-20 has a maximum zoom of 380mm and the HX5 has a maximum zoom of 250mm (in 35mm terms) but the H-20 does not have a wide angle position on its zoom range.

The Panasonic ZS7 and ZS5 along with the Canon SX-210 all use the new 14mp imager. On their professional reviews the were all graded downward as having inferior image quality when compared to the camera they replaced with fewer megapixels. When you cram 2,000,000 more pixels onto the exact same size imager plate, the photosites (the technical name for individual pixels) therefore each pixel has to become smaller in diameter and closer to its neighboring pixels to fit on to the imager plate or assembly. The result of doing that is with the individual pixels now even smaller and closer together you get a field of interference that adversely affects image quality.

While I own several Samsung cameras, and in the last 18 months Samsung has gotten a bit better, I personally still have some real qualms about Samsung quality and reliability.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 3:21 AM   #5
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Hi Sarah,
Thanks again for answering all my questions. You have been very helpful.

You said that the Panasonic ZS5 and ZS7 have problems because they are 14mp. But when I was looking at their specs they are both only 12.1 mp. Is this correct?
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 10:52 AM   #6
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Amy-

I apologize, that was my typo, it was supposed to read 12mp, I apparently did that more than once yesterday. I am sorry. Anyway, take a good look at Trusted Review's recent review of the ZS5/ZS7 and you can see that the image quality was found inferior.

Again I apologize for the error, I was answering posts quickly before I left to teach my Photoshop course.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 22, 2010, 4:53 AM   #7
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Hi,

I noticed that you had a review of the Canon Sx200 on this website. You sounded very happy with it. Would you recommend it? Do you think that the SX200 is better than the SX210?

Thanks again for all your help,
Amy
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Old Apr 22, 2010, 10:20 AM   #8
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Amy-

As you can see reading recent posts in the Canon P+S folder, there are still a lot of folks, myself included, who like the Canon SX-200. But we are probably a minority lot. We developed a "work around" for the forever popping up built-in flash unit and we do not use the HD video, therefore the fact that the SX-200 was unable to zoom while filming HD video was not a factor at all for us.

Photographically that SX-200 was a pretty capable camera. In addition it has an nice zoom range and was fairly small in size. It has become more attractive with the recent drop in price forced by the introduction of the SX-210 camera.

However, it will appeal to a rather limited audience.

Sarah Joyce
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