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Old Jul 26, 2010, 3:21 PM   #1
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Hello,

I've been doing quite a bit of research on digital cameras within the past couple of weeks, and I'm trying to narrow down my options to the best quality camera I can get for my dollar. These are the attributes I am interested in having for my camera:

1. Spending $200-$350
2. Excellent low-light images
3. High quality images, including a crisp picture and vibrant colors.
4. Well-functioning flash, without over or underexposing the shot.
5. Motion detection (do not want small movements such as camera shake to blur my images).
6. A camera with a variety of features would be nice, but not necessary.

I've read some real good reviews on a few Canons, including the Canon S90 (although I'm wondering whether or not I can purchase a cheaper Canon camera with similar attributes).

I've also read some good reviews on a few Panasonics, including the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR1 (as far as image quality is concerned).

Another camera I've been eyeing is the Sony Cybershot, specifically the DSC-WX1 and the DCS-HX5V.

Am I missing any cameras that are worth mentioning? Are any of these cameras worth the purchase or fit what I'm looking for? Again, like anyone else, I want to get the best value for my dollar.

I would greatly appreciate any further direction with this!

-Cheryl
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Old Jul 26, 2010, 4:30 PM   #2
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If low light the paramount, the s90 is the best of the compact point and shoot camera. The next ones up will be the canon G11 and panasonic lx3 and then the new lx5, and the samsung ex1. The canon SD4000 is not as good good as the s90, but from reviews it is a ok low light camera.

The zr1 and the wx1 and hx5v are not as good as the s90 or any of the other cameras I mention. The have smaller sensor, which really lower their low light ability.
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Old Jul 26, 2010, 8:41 PM   #3
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Unlike the previous poster, Shoturtle-

I actually own and use the Canon S-90, G-11 and the SD-4000. I also own and use the Samsung TL-500/EX-1, and the Panasonic LX-3 I feel that advice from an actual owner/user is probably more on target, than a person who reads the specifications and is an active poster.

For example the Canon SD-4000 is just as good as the S-90 providing that you do not require RAW images and a Manual mode. That is were actual ownership and every day use provides the best, the most usable, and the most current information.

I also own and use the Sony WX-1 and the HX-5, unlike the previous poster. The WX-1 is soon to be replaced and it has virtually no adjustments. The HX-5 is a good camera, but as the ISO settings are increased, the color bleaches out, and the video sound is below par.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 26, 2010, 9:06 PM   #4
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I have actually went to the store to try to get the right point and shoot camera to replace the one I have, and as I like to shoot in low light allot, none of the smaller sensor camera compare to the 1/1.63 or 1/1.7 sensor cameras. I keep coming back to longer zoom or low light. And I still have not decided which is more important to me. It is not just spec, this is what I have notice trying out each camera, and taking the sample home and viewing the files on my macbook.
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Old Jul 26, 2010, 9:45 PM   #5
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Evening, I can only comment on one camera the Panasonic LX3, that I have had for well over 18 months now. I use it on and off, depending on my travel schedule and what I decide to take with me - either my Pentax dSLR or the LX3.

Originally the LX3 was very sought after, so much that Panasonic ran out of parts and the price soared for 4 to 6 months until they could build more. Now that they have built more, and Panasonic is now in the process of updating/replacing it. So, bottom line - the price has come back in line with your budget.

The LX3 is still an extremely fine P&S camera. Its larger than standard sensor coupled with its Leica f2 lens gives it the opportunity to excel in low light situations. Its focal length is oriented to wide angle landscapes, thus its zoom range is somewhat short (this is one of the LX5 improvements).

Here are some posts with images (low light) from the LX3...
The flash functions well - although the lens is fast enough that you may not need it as much as you may think. There are some orientations - wide angle, where the flash may leave a small shadow in the bottom of the image. The camera is image stabilized.

With the Canon S9 or G11 or the Panasonic LX3 or LX5, I really do not think that you can make a poor decision. Here are some comparison reviews....
So, hope that helps...
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Old Jul 26, 2010, 9:50 PM   #6
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If you want the compact, the s90. But if you move up in size to a jacket pocket camera, either LX or the G11 are excellent cameras for low light. I can not tell the difference between them really even crop in.
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Old Jul 26, 2010, 11:17 PM   #7
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Canon S90 samples without flash inside a old museum Dumas, Texas:
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ca...sh-museum.html

If you scroll down you will see what thwy look like after being shaprened....the first ones are straight out of the camera....taken handheld...
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Old Jul 28, 2010, 6:34 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input, everyone. The Panasonic LX3 looks very tempting, but unfortunately is out of my price range at this time. I checked out the YouTube videos, which I didn't even think of doing, so thanks. I think I'll ditch the Cybershots.

Are there any other cameras that are worth mentioning that are within $200-$350? I just read that the S90 doesn't shoot well in Auto mode and doesn't have a very good zoom, which is somewhat of a turn-off. Any other makes that are all around good cameras? Thanks!

Last edited by ckalina; Jul 28, 2010 at 6:57 PM.
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