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Old Aug 22, 2010, 12:50 PM   #1
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Default Nikon S8000, Lumix DSC-SZ7, Canon SX210, Canon SD4500, or Sony DSC-HX5V

I was originally looking at Canon SD4500 but while doing research came upon these other possibilities:
Nikon S8000 ($259), Lumix DSC-SZ7 ($271), Canon SX210 $299), Canon SD4500 ($399), or Sony DSC-HX5V ($339).
They all seem to be same general size & price on Amazon (except SD4500 which is pre-release price).
We have two active grand-kids and we want to be able to quickly catch those "cute" moments.
My two major priorities are:
1. AF Acquisition(press-to-capture, no pre-focus) - My wife refuses to pre-focus.
2.
Battery Life - Want to spend a day at Disney World without worry.

Anybody have experiences with these cameras?
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Old Aug 22, 2010, 2:19 PM   #2
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rjansson-

Each of the suggested cameras have some inherent flaws, in my opinion, that would surely make me think twice before purchasing.

Nikon S-8000: The very slow 3 second start-up time before being able to take your first photo, is a problem. The fact that, in this long zoom camera, you cannot zoom while filming video is a problem. The fact that the S-8000 does not really have a wide angle position within its zoom range is a problem. Yes, the camera does focus quickly, but that hardly overcomes the three list major problems.

Panasonic ZS7: While the ZS7 can take wonderful image in an outdoor setting with lots of light, it does not over come the fact that the ZS7's indoor image quality is lousy. Why is the indoor image quality lousy? Because the ZS7 has a very tiny, and weak built-in flash unit.

Canon SX-210: The SX-210 has received very hit and miss user reviews. It also suffer from reduced image quality at the long end of the zoom. The SX-210 seems to do rather well in the mid range to lower zoom settings, as long as you keep the the ISO setting low.

Canon SD-4500: Unfortunately, this camera has just been introduced, so we don't know much about its performance or image quality. However, with a much slower (F 3.3) lens than the camera it replaced, it might not be much of a high ISO/low light level photo environment camera. We will will not know until we see the first professional and user reviews. It will however, be the smallest 10X optical zoom camera. It will not have a wide angle position on its zoom range. This camera looks to have potential, but only time will tell us more.

Sony HX-5: Like the Panasonic ZS7, this Sony camera does very well outdoors under good lighting conditions. As the ISO setting is increased, the images loose their saturation and take on a "bleached out" look. The video performance of this camera is good, but the sound is really lousy.

I have personally used/ owned each of these cameras, excepting the Canon SD-4500. so I do have hands on experience with each of these cameras. I remain skeptical of the current wave of BSI-CMOS imager cameras. They may indeed be faster, but I have yet to be convinced that the BSI-CMOS imager is better.

Sarah Joyce

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Old Aug 22, 2010, 2:28 PM   #3
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I have to have fast auto-focus and good battery life. I own a Nikon D80 that I like (too bulky to carry around) and a Canon Sd780 which I also like (short battery and no zoom), so am partial to Nikon and Canon. So based on my requirements what would you recommend?
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Old Aug 22, 2010, 3:15 PM   #4
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I don't think you're going to troubles with the AF on any of these cameras and the battery life is at or above average for all of them.

[QUOTE=mtclimber;1132254]rjansson-

Each of the suggested cameras have so inherent flaws, in my opinion, that would surely make me think twice before purchasing.

Nikon S-8000: I don't know much about this camera but based on Nikon's poor rep in P&S cameras for the last few years, I'm not surprised that reviews for this camera are not terribly favorable.

Panasonic ZS7: The ZS7 is indeed a poor performer indoors but so are all of these cameras. While far from perfect, this is still one of the best P&S pocket cams out imho. I own a ZS7.

Canon SX-210: The real problem with this camera is rarely discussed. The lens sucks. Look at all of the reviews and you can see for yourself. I love Canon's processing and colors but after speaking to a slew of current owners, I learned how bad the lens is. I consulted reviews and they confirmed what everyone was telling me.

Canon SD-4500: This camera looks promising. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much info on it yet. It does seem to use the same Sony sensor that has failed to perform in terms of IQ in all previous cameras, but as this is Canon's second go with it, perhaps they've made some improvements (assuming the Sony sensor is even capable of good IQ).

Sony HX-5: I own this camera also and it has a number of problems, but the main issue is that the IQ is simply not up to par.


I would go with the ZS7 or perhaps the SD-4500 if you're willing to gamble on a new camera.
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Old Aug 22, 2010, 4:39 PM   #5
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Five-O-

For what it might be worth: it is reported that the imager used on the Canon SD-4500 is a Canon developed imager.

The SD-4500 shows potential. Only time will tell more. I also own a Panasonic ZS7 and my solution to improving the indoor image quality was to add an accessory Slave Flash. So it all comes down to (1) How long do you want to wait?? (2) How much do you want to spent. The pre-release price of the SD-4500 is around $390.00. In contrast, the Panasonic ZS7 costs around $300.00. That is a substantial dollar dfifference.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 22, 2010, 6:46 PM   #6
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How "bad" is the indoor quality (SZ7)? My indoor photography is 90% grand-kids.
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Old Aug 22, 2010, 7:14 PM   #7
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I pretty much have it narrowed down to:
Nikon S8000 ($259) because fast focus & I am happy with my D80.
Lumix DSC-SZ7 ($271) because of good reviews and Zoom while videoing.
Canon SX210 ($299) because I have had good luck with other Canon Elphs.
The HX5V seems a little pricier and Sony stuff sometimes if "weird" different cables, memory stick, etc.
I'm sure the SD4500 will come down in price, but probably not before October.

Most of the time I just leave it in automatic and let the camera do its thing. Most of my indoor stuff is with my D80.
Basically want a nice pocket-able camera for our trip to Disney World in October.
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Old Aug 22, 2010, 7:27 PM   #8
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I you can handle that 3 second start-up delay on the Nikon S-8000, the no zoom at all when filming video, and no real wide angle wide angle restrictions, you are a dyed in the wool Nikon fan.

I would find those elements hard to deal with on a daily shooting basis. By adding a $15 accessory Slave Flash to the ZS7, you can get the camera back to a "normal" 10 to 13 foot flash range. It seems to me that the ZS-7 would be a lot better than the Nikon S-8000 at approximately the same price.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 22, 2010, 8:18 PM   #9
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Thanks for advice. I seem to be leaning toward the ZS7 (most bang for the buck). I just feel like a traitor to Nikon and Canon.
Also when I think of cameras I don't really think of Panasonic.
What do you mean by "no real wide angle wide angle"?
And what is a Slave Flash?
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Old Aug 22, 2010, 8:27 PM   #10
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If you are going with any of these pns camera, pre focus is something your really need to accept as a practice. Even the s8000 is slow coming from a d80. And if low light is a concern. None of the ones mentions stand out ahead of any other one. As they are really shot well upto 800iso.

the slave flash is an external flash that is trigger with the camera's on board flash. Thus giving it great flash range. The draw back of this it it adds a decent amount of size to the package.
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