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Old Apr 25, 2010, 1:55 PM   #1
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Default two cameras - help us decide please

Hello, I've been referring to Steves site for years, but have not posted in the forum until now. We are actually looking for two cameras, a larger one to replace my old EOS 300D and a smaller one to replace her Powershot A95 that will fit in her purse

For the smaller one, we are looking for IS, medium zoom capability, and would like to do 720p video. Some compacts that look interesting are.
Lumix ZS3 ZS5 ZS7
Canon SX200 SX210
Fuji F80EXR
Sony HX5V
The ZS7 looks very nice, but the weak flash, no Fluorescent WB and undersaturated yellows seem like the biggest drawbacks. I do like the idea of AVCHD, and the ability to zoom during video shooting. The Canons won't zoom during video, the popup flash would be annoying, and it would be nice to have the 460k LCD.
I've never owned a Fuji camera, I don't know much about them. The Sony seems to have a number of negatives is the review I read, but the sample video looks very good.

For the larger one, again IS, higher zoom, 720p or even 1080p, although I also have a Vixia HF100. DSLR is not so portable and I think a superzoom would work better for me at this point. Some I have looked at here are
Canon SX10 SX20 SX1
Fuji HS10
Sony HX1
The SX1 is pricey and discontinued, but maybe worth the extra $$. The SX20 maybe a better choice between the Canons since it is newer, The HS10 looks pretty cool but no reviews yet, The Sony is a little older technology but few cons overall. My aging eyes would like a 3" LCD with 460k, only two of these even have the 3" LCD, but at least I can focus the EVF for shooting.

Any other suggestions would be welcome, please tell us what your choices would be in these two categories.

Last edited by duallydave; Apr 25, 2010 at 2:26 PM.
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Old Apr 25, 2010, 2:26 PM   #2
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I would go with the zs3 over the zs7, think the gps will drain your battery faster. Some say the zs3 has a slight edge on image quaility over the zs5/7 with the slightly lower pixel count. Also the zs3 is about 100 dollars less selling around 230-240 dollars

If you were to look at the zs7, you may also want to look at the sony hx5v. It is about the same price 350. And it is pretty good in image quality. Here are some sample of the hx5v

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/so...pressions.html

The super zoom may be a bit of a let down coming from a dslr. Also if you have any lenses, I would consider something 500D to replace the 300D. It really is not much bigger then the current superzooms out there. But if you really want dslr quality and compactness the olympus E620 is the smallest dslr out there right now. It is a pretty good dslr, just no video. And it really is compact.

From the list of superzoom the new fuji hs10 seem to be very impressive. I has the same issue with all point and shoot, not the best for low light, and not ideal for action. but it has a heck of a zoom, and very good in daylight.

Check out page 23 of this thread.
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fu...amples-23.html

You may also want to look at the panasonic fz35 also. It is a bit less then the fuji. 18x vs 30x
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Old Apr 25, 2010, 3:49 PM   #3
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duallydave-

As the first step in our discussion, let's update some the information contained in your post.

Canon SX-210:
The SX-210 replaces the former SX-200 and does indeed zoom when filming FD video, and the pop-up built-in flash unit can now be stowed and removed from being a nuisance.

Fuji F-80EXR:
The Fuji F-80 camera that replaces the former F-70EXR actually has been professionally reviewed to have less image and video quality than the former F-70EXR camera.

Sony HX5: contrary to your post, the Sony HX5 in a majority of the professional reviews has received a thumbs up with fewer negative than you seem to expect.

For the smaller camera I would consider the Panasonic ZR1 that has 12mp, 8X optical zoom (25mm to 200mm) with upgraded optical image stabilization, and HD video that allow you to zoom while filming. The ZR1 is quite small and will easily slip into your wife's handbag. The ZR1 is currently on sale at Costco stores where the price is $169.99 with a memory card and a case included free.

The Panasonic ZS3 is an option, but with the inventory is dwindling rapidly and no more ZS3's are being manufactured, the price has zoomed from around $225.00 in early January to around $280.00 now that they have become more scarce.

The Panasonic ZS7 is also an option, but being newly introduced, the price is ranging from around $340.00 to around $360.00. The ZS7 features P,S,A, and M modes that were not available on previous models, along with GPS. Compass, and Geo Tagging features. I began a comparison complete with photo samples between the ZS3 and the HX5 today (04/25) On next Wednesday, I will add the ZS7 to the comparisons when I receive that camera. You will find a detailed description of the ZS7 in the Compact Zoom Camera Comparison.

Sony HX5
is the final option for the smaller camera. It is currently priced at around $340 to $349.00. The HX5 has several totally unique features: The Hand Sweep Panorama, and the Twilight Mode that are described in detail in the Compact Zoom Camera Comparison thread. The HX5 also has a usable high ISO capability of ISO 1600. Like the ZS7, the HX5 features GPS, a Compass, and Geo Tagging features

Panasonic ZS3 and ZS7: Both of these cameras, along with the HX-1 are the only cameras among the camera that you mention that have LCD's with a pixel count/resolution of 460,000.

The possibilities for your own camera are the Fuji HS-10 ($499), the Panasonic HX-1 ($369), the Panasonic FZ-35 ($303) and the Canon SX-20 ($369) or an entry level DSLR camera as mentioned by shoturtle in his post.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 25, 2010, 4:06 PM   #4
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I would probably avoid the f80exr unless you wife wants to do alot of mode swapping and setup and preparation. I have the f70exr and it takes some setup and changing to get good results (but when you do, it performs.)

I have the Panasonic ZR1, mentioned previously in Sarah's post, and i have been happy with it. Good lens, good image quality and will shoot HD video. Its most attractive when you consider its pricetag.

I would probably choose between it and the Sony HX5. Sony offers quite a bit larger feature set and more control, and probably does better in low light, at a cost.

If you are certain you are willing to take an image quality decrease in tradeoff for more portability. I would narrow my superzoom list to the Panny Fz35, Canon Sx20IS, and the Fuji HS10. The Panny and Canon perform remarkably similarly for all intents and purposes, the Panny is just a bit smaller due to its proprietary battery use. The Fuji HS10 has by far the largest zoom range and most versatility, and does quite well at high ISO (http://kimletkeman.blogspot.com/2010...so-ladder.html)
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Old Apr 25, 2010, 6:48 PM   #5
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Thank you all for your great comments and suggestions! The ZS3 probably would be better than the ZS7, The GPS is probably not that useful for her camera. I am leaning more towards the HX5 after reading more about it, fewer manual adjustments are probably a good thing for her uses. The low light capabilities and twilight modes sound good for that camera also. The ZR1 is good as far as size and cost, but I'm thinking I'd like to be a little more upscale. The SX-210 does look a little better than I thought, though, thanks for the updates, and I will look closer at it also. I think at the moment I'm leaning towards the HX5.

The 500D is a big improvement over my 300D, a much nicer display and almost three times the resolution. It would be a good idea to be able to still use my 75-300 USM zoom lens, but no IS that way and substantially more money, especially if I got an IS zoom lens for it. The video is not a big deal, my HF100 does a great job and is very portable. I don't know that the Olympus smaller size makes it that much more portable, as carrying around extra lenses is part of the portability issue, and by the time I got a zoom lens for it I would pay twice the cost of an HS10. I just don't take that many pictures these days, especially since I sold my camper.

I need to take a closer look at the FZ-35, I have not really checked it out. Hopefully there will be reviews coming out soon for the HS10, it does look very nice and is probably at the top of my list at the moment. I've always liked Canons, but they seem to be falling a little behind compared to the competition at the moment anyway. The HS10 looks pretty amazing for the size and cost.

Last edited by duallydave; Apr 25, 2010 at 6:51 PM.
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Old Apr 25, 2010, 9:39 PM   #6
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Actually the olympus is about the size of the megazooms, and the 4/3 sensor is 4 times larger then any point and shoot sensor. My family travel allot, and we almost went with the olympus e620, but opted for the even smaller micro 4/2 camera. The olympus epl-1. Same size sensor, much smaller package. We just do not shoot action with it, as the evil are not quite at dslr speed, but way faster then any point and shoot, and now shutter lag. Which is a big plus with a small camera. It may be a good option giving you the best of both world.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ol...mpression.html

There is another solution is you what to keep the control of a dslr and just give up slightly on image quality and not carry 2 lenses. You can go with a dslr, with a megazoom lens like the tamron 18-270VC or sigma 18-250OS
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Last edited by shoturtle; Apr 25, 2010 at 10:29 PM.
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 8:31 PM   #7
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I guess I'm confused shoturtle - when I search for the olympus E620 I see this
http://www.steves-digicams.com/camer...cal-views.html
That one is what I was looking at when I said it was not much more portable

This one however does look more portable
http://www.steves-digicams.com/camer...l1-review.html
That one I will look at also - thanks.
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 8:36 PM   #8
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the picture does not show how small both camera are. the 620 is really not as big as the review photo make it seem like

And I have the epl-1 and it is really a small camera. And the lens can be retracted back to make it more compact. Check out my first impression thread, it show the camera in the palm of my hand. Also the EVF is an option. That is easily removable.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ol...mpression.html
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Last edited by shoturtle; Apr 26, 2010 at 8:56 PM.
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 8:41 PM   #9
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also if you check out post 38 of the thread, you will see a side by side comparison of the epl-1 next to a canon T1i.
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 8:54 PM   #10
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The E-620 with the Olympus 40-150mm lens attached is only about a 1/2" larger than the EPL1 with the Panasonic 40-200mm attached. The E-600 and E-620 are small.

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