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Old Apr 19, 2010, 9:22 AM   #1
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Default compact with high zoom? zs5 vs h55 and sx210

Hi to all the learned members of this great web site.

I have been struggling with the decision of which camera to buy for a pocketable camera with high zoom. I am looking at the ZS5 the H55 and the SX210. I really don't care about the GPS functionality in the HX5, but it has the CMOS imager, which presumably gives better performance in low-light situations. I have looked at the three of them at best buy, I have shot an image at maximum zoom about 10 feet away and another at about 25 feet with the SX210, the H55 and the ZS5. When I review the photos and zoom them in, the focus seems noticeably sharper on the ZS5 at the higher zooms. Plus, the h55 and sx210 seem noisier, at least thats what I think I'm seeing. The edges of letters and the corners on boxes appear to be sharper on the ZS5, and solid color fields look more grainy with the sony and the canon. I am an amateur birder, and I carry a digital rebel when I am in the field for the mystery birds, but you never know when you might see a bird in migration and want to get a photo if you can't ID it.
I hear there is flare in the ZS5 optics and that the auto white balance is not good. can you set the white balance manually and then rely on it in a natural lighting situation. A good sharp image at zoom is my primary concern (with good color reproduction, of course.), and my experience at best buy has me wondering which camera is best for me.

What about the HX5v? I really don't care about the GPS, but would the image quality be higher at the higher zooms?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 11:06 AM   #2
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ag-

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

Let's begin the discussion with an axiomatic statement. A somewhat larger super zoom camera like the Panasonic FZ-35 or the Canon SX-20 are more capable cameras with much better image quality due to their larger lenses with greater zoom capability. The super zoom and compact zoom cameras are in some cases selling for very similiar prices, at least here in the USA.

The compact zoom class of cameras represents some technical compromises to achieve their pocketable size. We already have a yardstick of sorts, professional reviews have been completed on all three of the major compact zoom classes.

The Canon SX-210 by our own Steve
The ZS7/ZS5 by Trusted Reviews
The Sony HX5 by Photography Blog

The Canon SX-210 and Panasonic ZS7/ZS5 camera were evaluated a having inferior image quality to the cameras that they replaced due to their new 14mp imager. The Sony HX5 received a qualified thumbs up on its review. The Sony H-55 version of the HX5 has not yet received a review. However, user reports and impressions have not been very supportive and enthusiastic.

Just as the reduced resolution of the ZS5 LCD screen is considerably less that the resolution on the ZS7's LCD screen is a fact that cannot be changed, so too is the inclusion of GPS and the compass on the HX5. It too is a fact that cannot be changed.

I occasionally shoot birds, and while I have owned or currently own the Canon SX-10, SX-20, the Panasonic FZ-28, FZ-35, and ZS3, as well as the Sony HX5, if I were birding, I would without the least hesitation reach for the FZ-35 to capture the birds, due to it considerably longer zoom reach, not the Sony HX5.

So in the final analysis, I think that you have to match the camera selected to the job at hand while taking into consideration the technical aspects of the selected camera.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 4:53 PM   #3
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Default compact with high zoom? zs5 vs h55 and sx210 contd.

thank you Sarah. I'm looking for a pocketable camera with a lot of zoom, I was just trying to illustrate one reason why I wanted to emphasize the image quality when zoomed. I use the digital rebel when I'm in the field birding, but I might run into a bird , or some other thing, unexpectedly with only the pocket camera, and want the zoomed image quality to be the most important factor.

Thanks again,

ag1380

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
ag-

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

Let's begin the discussion with an axiomatic statement. A somewhat larger super zoom camera like the Panasonic FZ-35 or the Canon SX-20 are more capable cameras with much better image quality due to their larger lenses with greater zoom capability. The super zoom and compact zoom cameras are in some cases selling for very similiar prices, at least here in the USA.

The compact zoom class of cameras represents some technical compromises to achieve their pocketable size. We already have a yardstick of sorts, professional reviews have been completed on all three of the major compact zoom classes.

The Canon SX-210 by our own Steve
The ZS7/ZS5 by Trusted Reviews
The Sony HX5 by Photography Blog

The Canon SX-210 and Panasonic ZS7/ZS5 camera were evaluated a having inferior image quality to the cameras that they replaced due to their new 14mp imager. The Sony HX5 received a qualified thumbs up on its review. The Sony H-55 version of the HX5 has not yet received a review. However, user reports and impressions have not been very supportive and enthusiastic.

Just as the reduced resolution of the ZS5 LCD screen is considerably less that the resolution on the ZS7's LCD screen is a fact that cannot be changed, so too is the inclusion of GPS and the compass on the HX5. It too is a fact that cannot be changed.

I occasionally shoot birds, and while I have owned or currently own the Canon SX-10, SX-20, the Panasonic FZ-28, FZ-35, and ZS3, as well as the Sony HX5, if I were birding, I would without the least hesitation reach for the FZ-35 to capture the birds, due to it considerably longer zoom reach, not the Sony HX5.

So in the final analysis, I think that you have to match the camera selected to the job at hand while taking into consideration the technical aspects of the selected camera.

Sarah Joyce
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