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Old May 2, 2010, 2:53 AM   #1
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Default Canon S90, Panasonic ZS3, or Sony HX5

Hi everyone, I'm looking to purchase a point and shoot camera and have a few already in mind. I'm looking for zoom and excellent photo quality. I have tried the Canon s90 and found that the photo quality is great! I loved both indoor and outdoor photos.. however it only has 3.8x zoom which doesn't allow me to take outdoor ranged shots. The Sony HX5 provides very good HD video and outdoor photos but when im taking indoor photos its a bit blurry even with the IS and anti-shake mode (this mode also de-saturates my photos and loses a lot of colour). I have not used the ZS3 before so im unsure about the photo quality on it.. it seems to be very good though since it has HD video and mega zoom. I'll be taking a lot of indoor photos as well and lowlight photos is always good... any suggestions about other cameras or which camera I should choose would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old May 2, 2010, 10:58 AM   #2
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xsimplicity-

To be perfectly honest with you, the S-90 remains the master of the low light photo environment when compared to the HX5, ZS3, and ZS7. If more than 50%, or even close to 50% of my photos were to be taken in a low light environment, I would head directly for the S-90 or the G-11, as they both use the same imager.

If you want more zoom, buy a Panasonic ZS1 and the S-90.

Sarah Joyce
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Old May 2, 2010, 11:27 AM   #3
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This is probably one of the decisions most people come across: great low light capability for indoor shots vs. long zoom for outdoor shooting. The thing is, it's too expensive to build a long yet very fast lens, so most cameras with fast lenses have very limited zoom capability (i.e. S90, LX3). So, which one to choose? Well, some of the long zoom models can produce excellent results outdoors and very decent results indoors. I truly believe that having the zoom is a lot more useful than having a great camera with limited zoom, specially if its the only camera you owe. You can always tweak the camera settings for better indoor results but you can not extend its FL (well, some models allow you to attach an adapter tube so a tele-converter can be used but that eliminates the portability factor. In that case, you are better off buying one of those 20x+ optical zoom cameras). So I'd go for a 12x+ zoom camera.
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Old May 2, 2010, 2:19 PM   #4
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It comes down to what you deem most important. If low light is most important, they the s90 has a large edge over both the zs3 and hx5v. But if you need a long zoom the ZS3 is a good price camera around 240 dollar, but if you want a long zoom with all the bells and whistle the hx5v is a very good camera for 350 dollars.
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Old May 2, 2010, 2:55 PM   #5
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This is really tough and very dependent on your needs/wants, as others have mentioned. I just came back from a vacation where I took both a Panasonic FZ38 (for zoom) and a Canon S90 for low light and pocketability. Both were indispensible in certain situations, but there were also situations where it really would have been nice to have had a pocketable 8x-12x zoom camera. If it all came down to one camera, I think I would agree with Tulio that a 12x+ zoom camera will give you the most versatilty. But it really is a question of your shooting style and where you are willing to compromise.
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Old May 2, 2010, 10:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
xsimplicity-

To be perfectly honest with you, the S-90 remains the master of the low light photo environment when compared to the HX5, ZS3, and ZS7. If more than 50%, or even close to 50% of my photos were to be taken in a low light environment, I would head directly for the S-90 or the G-11, as they both use the same imager.

If you want more zoom, buy a Panasonic ZS1 and the S-90.

Sarah Joyce
Yea, I would have thought the S90 would still be one of the top P&S cameras for extraordinary low light results. However, I don't think i'll be taking 50% of my photos in low light... perhaps 25%.

Quote:
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This is probably one of the decisions most people come across: great low light capability for indoor shots vs. long zoom for outdoor shooting. The thing is, it's too expensive to build a long yet very fast lens, so most cameras with fast lenses have very limited zoom capability (i.e. S90, LX3). So, which one to choose? Well, some of the long zoom models can produce excellent results outdoors and very decent results indoors. I truly believe that having the zoom is a lot more useful than having a great camera with limited zoom, specially if its the only camera you owe. You can always tweak the camera settings for better indoor results but you can not extend its FL (well, some models allow you to attach an adapter tube so a tele-converter can be used but that eliminates the portability factor. In that case, you are better off buying one of those 20x+ optical zoom cameras). So I'd go for a 12x+ zoom camera.
Yea, I originally had the S90 but found that there were some shots I couldn't take due to the distance between me and the subject. I started looking around for a good overall camera and I started to consider the panasonic zs3 but heard its low light wasn't that great so I moved onto the HX5.. the zoom definitely came in handy.

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It comes down to what you deem most important. If low light is most important, they the s90 has a large edge over both the zs3 and hx5v. But if you need a long zoom the ZS3 is a good price camera around 240 dollar, but if you want a long zoom with all the bells and whistle the hx5v is a very good camera for 350 dollars.
Thanks shoturtle, I'm not a pixel peeper and don't view photos at 100% so I think I'll have to drop the s90 from the list since it lacks every other neat function such as zoom and HD video. How would you describe the low light shots for the ZS3? What about the image quality in regards with both indoor and outdoor shots of the ZS3 and the HX5, which would you choose? I checked out the imaging-resource site's comparison with the same photos but I still can't really pinpoint the difference other than the colour on the HX5 has a warmer tint and has more noise reduction... I'm starting to lean more towards keeping the HX5 because of its overall ability (even if it'll take me 5 shots per indoor photo to get it right ...) I guess my choices now are the ZS3 and the HX5

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Originally Posted by Jazzer251 View Post
This is really tough and very dependent on your needs/wants, as others have mentioned. I just came back from a vacation where I took both a Panasonic FZ38 (for zoom) and a Canon S90 for low light and pocketability. Both were indispensible in certain situations, but there were also situations where it really would have been nice to have had a pocketable 8x-12x zoom camera. If it all came down to one camera, I think I would agree with Tulio that a 12x+ zoom camera will give you the most versatilty. But it really is a question of your shooting style and where you are willing to compromise.
Agreed.. however it probably wont be convenient for me to bring more than 1 camera and a video camera everywhere I go (out with some friends, traveling, etc.).. so i'm just looking for an all round camera I guess. I dont mind losing a bit of photo quality (just as long as photos will still come out great in 4x6 prints and at least 50% scaled down from 100%). HD video is just a bonus.. i'm not really concerned if the camera has HD video but cameras with it would be great. I think I will feel more comfortable with a camera with zoom (I definitely wouldn't want to miss out on a fabulous zoomed shot out in the distance).

Last edited by xsimplicity; May 2, 2010 at 10:12 PM.
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Old May 2, 2010, 10:58 PM   #7
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With the ZS3 if you are within 10 ft of your subject it works fine. The Sony has a bit better flash. Both are good upto 800iso, and you can get a workable shot with the sony at 1600 with some post production editing.

I shoot low light allot, without flashes. especially with nightscapes, you are not doing a long exposure. Pretty much rule that out with both the sony and zs3. It will really be noisy. If you are are like a kids school event indoors, like play. Neither the sony or the zs3 will have the low light ability to shoot in that environment.
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Old May 2, 2010, 10:59 PM   #8
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xsimplicity-

Well the HX5 and the ZS3 are both very good choices. The HX5 has warmer color tones and the ZS3 can occasionally be strong in the green range. I shoot with both cameras, and have no problem because I edit all my photos and will make the necessary WB corrections when I see the need. All in all, you cannot go wrong with either camera.

Sarah Joyce
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Old May 2, 2010, 11:06 PM   #9
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Here is an example of what I consider low light, I used a very bright lens. f1.8 match to 1600iso. You may be able to get something kinda close to his with the S90 with a little longer exposure.
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Old May 3, 2010, 12:02 AM   #10
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Very nicely done, Shoturtle-

That T-2 is impressive.

Sarah Joyce
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