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Old Aug 25, 2010, 8:06 AM   #1
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Default Need camera ideas

So I am looking to buy a new camera. So far I've owned 2 cameras in my life, a Canon A70 from way back when and I now own Canon SD600 Elph.

I love my Elph but I often feel like I want more granular control of my camera. I also don't like the fact that some images turn out to be grainy in poor light conditions such as outdoor dusk. If I use a flash then people seem to look like they're made of plastic.

I would say I am a Canon fanboy but I'd definitely consider something else. In fact the one camera I am looking at is the Lumix ZS7.

What I like about the ZS7 in particular is the HD mode and the GPS mode. On the other hand I am considering purchasing Eye-Fi which would just give me wireless transfers and geotagging out of the box.

I definitely want to have HD video on my camera but I want the camera to be a significant upgrade from my Elph in terms of photo quality. I don't even know what to look for exactly on these cameras. Amazon can be quite overwhelming when so many of them seem so similar or when you are forced to make a stupid choice between a 12x optical zoom and 1080p video recording (4500IS) versus 3x optical zoom and 720p video recording (s95).

I think I would make use of a wide angle lens and a good zoom. I'll be living abroad for a year so I'll be taking a lot of outdoor photos of architecture etc, which means I need a wide aperture I think. I'll also use this camera for friend gatherings at bars etc so it needs to do well in poor light conditions.

I don't want to move into an DSLR yet. I have a lot to learn yet and I don't want endless features I won't know how to use. My budget is $400 on the upper end, but I would like to stick to $300 or below. The ZS7 is $270 on Amazon at the moment.

Any thoughts or recommendations?
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 9:13 AM   #2
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Hey Joe....

I haven't done the research yet and as much as I love the idea of the GPS feature, the question in my mind is if the camera takes as long to get a fix on the satellites as it does in my car.... the feature won't be worth much to me. I just don't leave my camera on that long and keep moving around ~~~~~ ?

I have a 630 Elph too and really like it's portability and for most applications it works fine for me. I would like more zoom however.... I'm feeling maybe a little too lazy to learn another platform and lately just thinking of upgrading to a newer one.

Lot's to read and learn here, ought to keep you busy. I'll be watching this thread. Good luck !
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 9:44 AM   #3
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Joe I would go for the FZ35 for it is the perfect weight and size and will fair better in dimlit bars than the ZS7 as it has a f/2.8 wide end and a much stronger flash...don't get me wrong i own two ZS7's and 3 FZ35's, but you will struggle with the ZS7 in a dark bar room or pub unless your subjects are less than 8ft away and grouped nicely...the FZ35 will go up to ISO800 giving you advantage and the ZS7 photos are not unusable at ISO800, but not feasible for decent quality either...

I also own the S90 and it is a great indoor/dinner/party/evening around town stroll camera and thats why I bought it, but it is very limited on zoom...

The GPS if turned "On" on the ZS7 will update if it is outdoors all the time even if the camera is off, but it is using battery power so an extra battery would be a plus...I've even had mine update when inside the Ripoffs Holster I carry it in on my belt...you can request it to update at anytime also by select it from the info menu if you want the exact coordinates you are standing at when you take a picture...I have tested mine against a superior DPS (Differential Positioning System) and the ZS7 GPS is within 1-2ft of that system and that is amazing...it is super accurate...

Last edited by LTZ470; Aug 25, 2010 at 9:50 AM.
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 10:01 AM   #4
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Joe I would go for the FZ35 for it is the perfect weight and size and will fair better in dimlit bars than the ZS7 as it has a f/2.8 wide end and a much stronger flash..
Does the aperture of f/2.8 mean it will focus well on objects that are fare off? The description page on amazon seems to tout its macro settings but I wonder how well it will do for things that are far off? What should I be looking for if I want a good balance of both (macro and distance shooting?).

I'm moving to Europe so that's why I think it would be neat to have a GPS because it will get difficult to track all the locations manually. When in Boston it's easy to know where I was at and tag photos accordingly, but out in Madrid it won't be as easy.

I looked more into the Eye-fi cards and they only use Wi-fi signals to triangulate your locations. Which is not bad since most metropolitan areas have wi-fi but won't work for me when I'm in a rural area or in Eastern Europe.

That said I like the FZ35 quite a bit, I don't know if I want to give up GPS. I suppose I've spent my whole life without a GPS on a camera but I plan on keeping this camera around for another 3-5 years. It would be nice if it were a bit more "future proof".

Can someone elaborate more on the f/2.8, what it means and how it compares to 3.3-4.9 advertised for the ZS7.
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 10:03 AM   #5
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the FZ35 will go up to ISO800 giving you advantage and the ZS7 photos are not unusable at ISO800
What does that mean, why does it matter? Is higher number better? Some of these cameras can do 3200...
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 10:17 AM   #6
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Joe-

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

I have serious misgivings about you selecting a Panasonic ZS7. It has very good outdoor image quality. However, it has fair to poor indoor image quality simply because its built-in flash unit is very small and weak.The Flash Range on the ZS7 is just 6 feet. Flash Range is the camera to subject distance measured in feet. When the Flash Range distance exceeds 6 feet, your photos begin to get dark and grainy.

Although somewhat larger in physical size, the Panasonic FZ-35 gives you 18X optical zoom, great indoor ( a flash range up to 13 feet) image quality, as well as great outdoor image quality. In addition, you get an EVF or electronic view finder, rather than a bare LCD screen that is difficult to use in bright sunlight.

Unfortunately, there is nothing in the Canon line-up that would really solve your problems in a good fashion.The Canon SX-120 has 10 X optical zoom, a good flash, and good image quality both indoors and outdoors. However, it is powered by 2 AA size batteries and the flash recycle time is anywhere from 4 to 9 seconds.

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Old Aug 25, 2010, 10:20 AM   #7
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@mtclimber

I agree, AA or AAA batteries are NOT an option at all. It's the primary reason I discounted the Canon SX lineup right away.
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 10:46 AM   #8
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Joe get both of them buy them used as most people use them once/twice and send them back that way you are set for a great time and great photos...
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 11:08 AM   #9
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Another option would be the Canon G11 with a Teleconverter attached for outdoors Joe and then the G11 alone could be used indoors sucessfully...

I think the teleconverter for the G11 is 2X so that would give you a decent zoom albeit a little larger camera?
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 11:53 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Joe_the_Plumber View Post
So I am looking to buy a new camera. So far I've owned 2 cameras in my life, a Canon A70 from way back when and I now own Canon SD600 Elph.

I love my Elph but I often feel like I want more granular control of my camera. I also don't like the fact that some images turn out to be grainy in poor light conditions such as outdoor dusk. If I use a flash then people seem to look like they're made of plastic.

I would say I am a Canon fanboy but I'd definitely consider something else. In fact the one camera I am looking at is the Lumix ZS7.

What I like about the ZS7 in particular is the HD mode and the GPS mode. On the other hand I am considering purchasing Eye-Fi which would just give me wireless transfers and geotagging out of the box.

I definitely want to have HD video on my camera but I want the camera to be a significant upgrade from my Elph in terms of photo quality. I don't even know what to look for exactly on these cameras. Amazon can be quite overwhelming when so many of them seem so similar or when you are forced to make a stupid choice between a 12x optical zoom and 1080p video recording (4500IS) versus 3x optical zoom and 720p video recording (s95).

I think I would make use of a wide angle lens and a good zoom. I'll be living abroad for a year so I'll be taking a lot of outdoor photos of architecture etc, which means I need a wide aperture I think. I'll also use this camera for friend gatherings at bars etc so it needs to do well in poor light conditions.

I don't want to move into an DSLR yet. I have a lot to learn yet and I don't want endless features I won't know how to use. My budget is $400 on the upper end, but I would like to stick to $300 or below. The ZS7 is $270 on Amazon at the moment.

Any thoughts or recommendations?

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