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Old Jul 25, 2010, 3:05 PM   #1
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Default Jack of all trades P&S

First time poster here. Just embarked on what will be several hours of research on what to replace the ancient Canon SD200 with. What's the best combination of zoom + low light + pocketable form factor? Some thoughts:

SD 4000 - This would have been the automatic pick. But to only get a .8 increase in zoom over my 6 year old camera doesn't seem tolerable.

Z950 - At $110 it's hard to ignore this one. I have trouble trusting Kodak reliability and that indoor shot that Sarah posted in another thread was kinda disappointing. Would have been nice to see how the SD 4000 would have fared on that same shot.

SX210 - Love the zoom, love the brand. Is it better in low light than the ZS7? How come I never see this one recommended?

ZS7 - Wish the low-light abilities were better, even if it meant being bulkier and more expensive.

TL350 - I like the feature set, especially the OLED screen. Is the picture quality anywhere near best-in-class?

Others - ??

One other note... whenever I see sample photos, on sites like Amazon, I always see the good photos. It would be nice to see the lesser photos so I can see what the limitations are and I can judge if they're tolerable or not. If anyone knows of a site like this let me know. Thanks for reading my post.
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Old Jul 25, 2010, 6:23 PM   #2
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Raven-

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

Firstly, the camera you have listed are P+S cameras with small 1/2.33" imagers. These are not DSLR cameras which have a APS-C imager that is 17X larger than the imagers used in these point and shoot cameras. Therefore, these cameras can not be expected to turn in the low light level performance that you might be accustomed to seeing from DSLR cameras.

You also have to keep in mind that cameras like the legendary Canon SD-400 (I own one) had larger imagers that are about twice the size of today's point and shoot cameras. But as good as their outdoor photos were, they were definitely not high ISO capable cameras. Their ISO setting only went to ISO 400. And even at ISO 400 those camera were producing images with very noticeable noise.

The SD-4000, thanks to its F 2.0 lens does have some high ISO capabilities, but it tops out at ISO 1600 and costs around $330.00. In contrast, the Kodak Z-950 is selling at $110.95. Yes that's 1/3 the cost of the Canon SD-4000! It too can shoot at ISO 1600.
You did not like my previously posted sample which got pretty well chewed up by the Forum's dedicated image server. So this time I am posting a link for you which is much better quality. And this image is right out of the camera, all I have done is re-sized the photo for posting.

Just click on this link:http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ko...80_BZWPY-L.jpg

The Panasonic ZS-7 does very well outdoors, but its indoor image quality goes to pot in a hurry, due to its very small, and very weak built-in flash unit. I own a ZS-7 and use an accessory Slave Flash with it indoors to boost the light needed for well exposed photos. By the way, the Kodak Z-950 has a powerful built-in flash unit.

The Canon SX-210 has received very mixed user and professional reviews. It has not been well received, and I like Canon.

The Samsung TL350 has been promised again, and again, and has still not come to market. If you want REAL low light capabilities, take a look at the Samsung TL-500/EX-1 camera with a its F 1.8 lens.

So please tell us, Raven, your proposed budget for this new camera and the kind of photos you like to take.

Sarah Joyce
http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ko...45_5dm3p-L.jpg
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Old Jul 25, 2010, 8:22 PM   #3
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Sarah,

Thanks for the quick reply and the reposting of that photo. The camera I'm shopping for would be taken on alot of active trips like skiing, boating, hiking, sightseeing and the usual parties, gatherings etc. This is why I'm looking for something compact and versatile. No real interest in toting around an SLR or extra lenses. The budget is probably 300ish, but I could go higher. For example, if the SD4000 had a 5x zoom, I'd be willing to go over 400 for that.

Thanks for your take on the different models I listed. By the way, I did notice that the TL350 is available on Amazon and Ebay, so it does appear to be out there. The TL500 looks nice, but the zoom is too prohibitive. Above average zoom and above average low-light ability is the ticket for me.
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Old Jul 25, 2010, 9:33 PM   #4
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Raven-

I wish you luck. Your desires are quite understandable. But there is nothing out there that comes close right now.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 25, 2010, 9:46 PM   #5
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I pruchased a good zoom compact for skiing. Beware, without an optical veiwfinder you can't see diddly in the white, glaring snow environment even with a Delkin shield.

Last edited by pboerger; Jul 25, 2010 at 9:48 PM.
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Old Jul 25, 2010, 10:50 PM   #6
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pboerger,

Yes that's a good point and I discovered that too. I think that an OLED screen, such as those featured on the Samsung TL line will effectively put an end to that problem.

Sarah,

Thanks for lending a hand. I have a feeling my desires will get met in a year or two. In the meantime, I can make a compromise and still get a pretty nice camera.

In the short time that I've been following these forums, I'm pretty impressed with the knowledge around here. I'll definitely be stopping by from time to time.
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Old Jul 26, 2010, 12:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raven313 View Post
I have a feeling my desires will get met in a year or two.
I doubt it. They haven't been able to get a large'ish sensor (a must for good low light shots) in a pocket cam with a 10x+ zoom lens yet. Many people think the backlit sensors are the panacea, and while they are an improvement upon traditional CCD sensors of equal size, their performance is still far behind a larger sensor.

Based on your initial post, it seems you are unaware of the technical reasons why a given camera perform poorly in low light. If you look at the specs for the sensor size and aperture of the Kodak, ZS7, and Canon SX210 listed in your post, you can see that they will perform poorly in low light without ever seeing a single sample photo.
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Old Jul 26, 2010, 1:15 AM   #8
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FiveO is correct. There is really no jack of all trade point and shoot if you include low light.

If you want low light you will need to accept less then a 4x zoom. Something along the lines of the s90 and the panasonic lx3 and lx5.

To have a small jack of all trades you will need to look at getting a compact micro 4/3 camera. And then you are going to need either a megazoom lens for it or 2 lenses. But these camera are not compact pocket cameras.
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Old Jul 26, 2010, 11:38 AM   #9
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The reason that the m4/3 cameras are successful is that they feature a larger imager as well as a larger price and a small selection of lenses. Sony has come out with the APS-C imager, NEX cameras, Samsung has come out with their NX-10 model, also an APS-c imager camera. Now Canon, and Nikon have to announce their EVIL cameras.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 26, 2010, 12:32 PM   #10
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ZS7 Indoor Photos:
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...no-museum.html
Scroll to the bottom of this thread and see indoor shots while eating out with family...
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...-review-3.html
A few more that really show the CCD at work...
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...ss-camera.html
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...ss-camera.html
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...sharpness.html

Last edited by LTZ470; Jul 26, 2010 at 12:37 PM.
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