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Old Jun 29, 2010, 3:12 AM   #11
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So if you use a flash then, is it that important to get a good low light camera? Is it just that you are limited to the flashes range, or is there more to it than that?

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Indoors, you will need to use a flash more when shooting you new baby. As most point and shoots are not great in low light without a flash. To be able to shoot without a flash you will need to give up the zoom. And go with a g11, s90 or lx3 for a point and shot. But if you need better low light for evening indoor shooting, you will benefit from an dslr with a big aperture lens more.
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 3:15 AM   #12
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If you are looking to take photo further then 15ft, you will need a better low light camera. As you are passing the built in flash range. It is really a tough call, as the long zooms are very useful, but you do give up low light performance beyond 15ft. And adding a slave flash just defeats the purpose of a compact camera, as the setup is almost as big a compact dslr or micro 4/3 camera.
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 5:06 PM   #13
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I currently have Sony TX5 (waterproof, better low light, video in mp4) and Panasonic ZS6 (12x zoom). I am planning to take both to upcoming Hawaii vacation and will decide which one I like better. So far, indoors Sony seems better although some pictures do have that water paint quality. With Panasonic I am having hard time getting the exposure right. The gripe I have with Panasonic is that its behavior is non-predictable in iA mode.

- Vikas
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 6:41 PM   #14
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Vikas-

You hit the main issue quite squarely, the Panasonic ZS5,ZS6, and ZS7 are a bit unpredictable when shooting indoors. Therefore to get better indoor light quality and to overcome that unpredictable nature of the Panasonic ZS-series camera indoors, I have had to add a Slave Flash.

My $139.00 Kodak Z-950 does much better in terms of indoor image quality with no need for the accessory Slave Flash and it does HD video.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 11:53 AM   #15
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The biggest trouble with Panasonic is the exposure. Sometimes, it will overexpose and other times it will underexpose and it is utterly unpredictable. It is quite aggressive in selecting slow-sync + high_ISO on its own. Then I get a snapshot with yellow cast, 1/8 second exposure, unsteady picture plus noise!

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Old Jun 30, 2010, 3:27 PM   #16
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Amazing! I've been sitting here at my desk testing the low light and video capacity of the zs6 vs. z950. I'm getting sharper video out of the zs6 but much brighter video out of the z950. I also totally agree about panasonic exposure - the yellow cast, high noise unsteady photo. To me, it looks like the person has started glowing.
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 4:02 PM   #17
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keldunwoody-

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

Thanks for passing on the results of your tests with the Panasonic ZS6 and the Kodak Z-950. While the Z-950 does not have a wide angle position in its zoom range, at $139.99 (the current price at www.amazon.com) it represents a very good value.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 6:07 PM   #18
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Just took the zs6 back to Costco and brought home a Samsung HZ30W, so I will have another camera comparison shortly.

Sarah - on your z950, do have an issue where after you take 3 pictures in a row, you have wait quite a few seconds between each consecutive shot until the buffer completely clears (about 30 seconds on mine if not taking pictures)?
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 6:10 PM   #19
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Just took the zs6 back to Costco and brought home a Samsung HZ30W, so I will have another camera comparison shortly.
Been there ... the HZ30W is a nice cam but below the ZS6/ZS7 in terms of IQ. It does have a much better flash though.
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 6:19 PM   #20
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After thinking about it more and more, and doing reading, I am starting to think that zoom is less important on the compact camera I will be getting. First of all, I can't think of that many times where I actually wished I had a long zoom with me. And secondly, since I will probably get a DSLR eventually or a higher end bridge cam, the zoom is probably not as important for a small camera I will always have with me. It probably will be used mainly for taking pictures of people or whatever that isnt too far away, although I would think it would be a lot of outdoor pics or travel, if I dont want to pack the larger one around. So if I have to choose between indoor image quality and HD video, the video is probably more important so at least i have that with me if the camcorder isnt with me. So maybe I should rule out the Panasonics?
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