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Old May 11, 2010, 12:50 PM   #1
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Default Image Quality: Canon sx200 vs. Panasonic zs5

I'm looking for a pocketable longer-zoom camera and primary concern is overall IQ. It will mostly be used for outdoor landscape-type shots, but some indoor and low-light/high ISO versatility would be nice as well.

The Panasonic cameras seem to be very well regarded on this forum, and I like the wider lens. Canon has a reputation for good IQ, and the reviews seem to indicate that the sx200 trumps the sx210 in the regard.

Otherwise feature comparison between the zs5 and sx200 seem similar. I'm not interested in video and the LCD size difference isn't a bit concern.

If anybody has experience with either or both, I'd love to hear some feedback.

Thanks!!!
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Old May 11, 2010, 12:52 PM   #2
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Oh.... and I'm not stuck to the Canon or Panasonic either, so other recommendations on units with similar specs are welcome.
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Old May 11, 2010, 1:05 PM   #3
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3puttpar-

In this case, it looks like the Panasonic ZS5 has the image quality edge by a narrow margin. The always popping up built-in flash unit, whether you need it or not, on the Canon SX-200 has been a source of variable frustration to some folks.

Sarah Joyce

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Old May 11, 2010, 3:42 PM   #4
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Thanks for taking the time to reply Sarah. I noticed a thread in the Canon forum a couple of months ago comparing the sx200 vs. sx210. You suggested that the increase of resolution to 14mp in the sx210 adversely affected image quality as compared to the 200, and that the same thing happened to the zs7.

I see that the zs5 and zs7 have the same sensor and resolution. So... even though I like having the manual exposure options, do you think the zs3 might be a better choice based purely on IQ?

...or am I unnecessarily splitting hairs?
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Old May 11, 2010, 7:15 PM   #5
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3puttpar-

I think you are splittling hairs and not addressing the real problem. I could be completely wrong, but reading the tea leaves, I hear image quality, to get the kind of image quality I thing you are looking for will require a step up to something ;ike a Panasonic FZ-35, or even a Sony H-50.

The FZ-35 is cheaper than the SX-210, and the H-50 even cheaper. Yes, the size increase, but the image quality increases even more.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Jul 5, 2010 at 11:16 AM.
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Old May 11, 2010, 11:49 PM   #6
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OK... I had a hunch I might be over-analysing this. I already have a Sony a200 for times when I don't mind carrying a larger camera. For sure I want something small, but of the various features in a camera in that size and price range I was just stating a preference of IQ over video, LCD size, and some other features.

If the difference in IQ between an sx200/zs3/zs5, etc. is small enough that it wouldn't be noticeable on, say, an 8 x 10 print then perhaps I'll concentrate on finding a good deal on any of the above and just enjoy shooting.

Although I could absolutely see myself with an FZ35 at some point.

Thanks again for your input.

--3pp
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Old May 12, 2010, 12:21 PM   #7
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3puttpar-

I own the ZS1, theZS3, and ZS7, as well as a raft of other cameras. But among the ZS series, the ZS7 is the better camera image-wise and flash power-wise by a small margin. So, my money would be on either the ZS5 or ZS7.

But I use my FZ-35 even more than the ZS cameras!

Sarah Joyce
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Old May 12, 2010, 5:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
But among the ZS series, the ZS7 is the better camera image-wise and flash power-wise by a small margin. So, my money would be on either the ZS5 or ZS7.
That's a bit of a turn-around since before you got the ZS7.
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Old May 12, 2010, 5:39 PM   #9
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No it is not, at all, Five-O-

It is a direct result of the Compact Zoom Camera Testing. I went in with an open mind on that comparison test and learned a few things myself. Hands on is the best kind of experience, don't you agree?

There's nothing wrong with getting smarter. It try to get a little smarter every single day.

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Old May 12, 2010, 5:59 PM   #10
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3puttpar-

The comment about the oncoming 14mp cameras two month ago was conjecture. Ib reality the Panasonic ZS5 & ZS7 flash has been improved and the 14mp has worked successfully.

The same was not true for the Canon SX-210. At full zoom, the SX-210 shows decreased image quality. It you can stay away from the 392mm/14X optical zoom and don't pixel peep at a 100% crop, the SX-210 is a good choice.

Sarah Joyce
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