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Old Aug 5, 2010, 10:46 AM   #1
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Default Camera for vacations

Dear all,

I'm a student looking for a new camera for traveling with the best combination of:

1)Good image quality
2)Price(below $350, cheaper is better)
3)low light image. (quality don't need to be great but at least acceptable)

After much research on the internet, I've narrowed down to 3 cameras

1) Canon SD4000/300HS
2) Panasonic TZ8/ZS5
3) Panasonic FH20/FS30

I know it's not fair to compare these 3 cameras but if the image quality of the cheaper camera is comparable to the more expensive ones, then i would not like to spend that extra money. I'm willing to sacrifice a bit of image quality for a cheaper price.

I believe these 3 cameras can perform well under good lighting condition. What I'm worried is the low light performance, the SD4000/300HS without doubt can do well under low light. What about TZ8/ZS5 and FH20/FS30, is the low light image quality of these 2 really that bad? As stated above i don't need a low light night image but at least acceptable.

I've read some review that said that FH20/FS30 low light performance is good(somehow i doubt it), it is true?

Which camera is more suitable based on my requirement? Please help me out. Thanks for reading my post.
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Old Aug 5, 2010, 11:35 AM   #2
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The zs5 would be my choice if you need a decent zoom. Yes the low light is pretty bad if you are out of flash range and using high iso pass 800. It gets noise. The sd4000 is a bit better with the f2.0 lens up close. But zoom out it is not that great either. They all use a very small sensor 1/2.23 which does not make for good low light photography.
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Old Aug 5, 2010, 1:47 PM   #3
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c_calvin-

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

Here is a money saving suggestion for you. Take a look at the Kodak Z-950 camera. It is selling for around $131.00 at www.amazon.com. It is a 12mp camera with 10X optical zoom, and HD video. The camera is very good, in fact I own two of them for family use and they have served our 5 family members very well.

The Z-950 is also pleasantly small, making it an excellent travel camera.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Aug 5, 2010 at 5:43 PM.
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Old Aug 5, 2010, 3:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
The zs5 would be my choice if you need a decent zoom. Yes the low light is pretty bad if you are out of flash range and using high iso pass 800. It gets noise. The sd4000 is a bit better with the f2.0 lens up close. But zoom out it is not that great either. They all use a very small sensor 1/2.23 which does not make for good low light photography.
Thank you for your reply.
What about the performance in low light without firing flash? I don't really like to use flash except in really dark situation.
Is the quality of ZS5 handheld low light image comparable to those handheld twilight shot by Sony TX5, TX7 ?

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Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
c_calvin-

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

Here is a money saving suggestion for you. Take a look at the Kodak Z-950 camera. It is selling for $110.95 at www.amazon.com. It is a 12mp camera with 10X optical zoom, and HD video. The camera is very good, in fact I own two of them for family use and they have served our 5 family members very well.

The Z-950 is also pleasantly small, making it an excellent travel camera.

Sarah Joyce
Thank you for your suggestion. I will do some research on the Z-950.
If i would like to choose between SD4000, ZS5, FH20 only, which one do you think is more worth it?
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Old Aug 5, 2010, 3:37 PM   #5
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most point and shoot have flash ranges form 8-15 feet, and with the 1/2.23 sensors these camera uses. They really are not great for low light. If that is important to you. You will have to give up some reach, and look at cameras with 2.5-4x zooms like the canon s90 for a compact camera, or slightly larger the panasonic lx3 or lx5, samsung ex1 or the larger canon g11. These camera preform decent at 1600iso without a flash.
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Old Aug 5, 2010, 5:50 PM   #6
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c.calvin-

The Panasonic ZS5/7 have very poor low light shooting abilities without flash. When you get to ISO 800 your image quality is measurably impacted.

If you want to shoot in the Automatic Mode, the Canon SD-4000 is designed for low light shooting and it does a pretty good job. The S-90 does better in low light levels, but has a poor Automatic Mode.

The Kodak Z-915 has the best low light level capabilities in the under $200.00 price range, but it does not have HD video. The Kodak Z-950, like its companion camera the Z-950 has the same low light level capabilities (easily up to ISO 800) and adds HD video.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Aug 5, 2010 at 5:55 PM.
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Old Aug 8, 2010, 5:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c_calvin View Post
I know it's not fair to compare these 3 cameras but if the image quality of the cheaper camera is comparable to the more expensive ones, then i would not like to spend that extra money. I'm willing to sacrifice a bit of image quality for a cheaper price.
I can only comment on the SD4000/300HS which i recently purchased. The images look fine when zoomed out, which you would normally be on a PC screen. However, if you zoom in to 100%, you will notice that it shows a little less details than older cameras in the same series from Canon.

If you, like me, will frequently crop images to only show some details, it might not be the best choice. However, for just taking pictures without zooming in to 100% and fiddling around, it seems very nice.
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