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Old Sep 8, 2010, 3:17 PM   #1
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Default Researched enough to reach paralysis...

I have a 4 year old Canon PowerShot A710IS (7.1Mp w/ 6x zoom = 5.8-34.8 [35-210 equivalent]). It's been a nice little camera. Very portable and quite nice pics...
BUT
  • I find that I could use something with more zoom. (Daughter #1 plays college soccer, so I can't get too close to the field anymore.)
  • I also could use something w/ better low light capabilities. (Daughter #2 is in musical theater stuff and plays marching band at night football games. The A710IS really can't do anything beyond ISO 200.)
  • I would also like to get a step up in image quality.
  • I would like to keep things as portable as possible.
  • I really need to have a viewfinder.
SO
I started considering compact super zooms: the Panasonic FZ35 (which seems to have advantages over the new FZ40 and FZ100) or the Canon SX20IS (or the anticipated SX30IS update). The $300-$400 price is right for me for this type of camera. But... I'm not sure that they will give me the low light boost I want or as much image quality increase as I'd like.
SO
I started looking at image quality and low light / high ISO as a determining factor, and I ended up at entry level DSLRs, of which the Pentax Kx looks like the best for me. I can get the Pentax K-x with the 18-55mm and 55-300mm lenses kit for under $650. The images, even up to ISO3200, really look great. It's one of the smallest DSLRs, but I'm a bit concerned that it might be bigger than I want to carry around and mess with changing lenses. I could be convinced to spend $650, but cheaper is better too... (I know that there is a rumored Pentax Kr coming, but I suspect its price is going to be a couple hundred higher...)
SO
I tried to find something in between and started looking at cameras like the Canon G11 (or anticipated G12) or the new Nikon P7000. Cameras aren't too big, no messing w/ changing lenses, and image quality would certainly be a step up, but now I'm looking at a 5x-7x zoom with about the same or less reach as my A710IS. Prices are also in the middle around $500.

SO... as my title indicates, I have done enough research to reach total paralysis on figuring out what I want.
  • Would the compact super-zooms do the trick for my needs?
  • Can I be talked into the Pentax Kx as the best long-term camera that I will be happy to carry around with me?
  • Would the improved image quality on the G11/2 or P7000 compensate for the lack of zoom so that I can just plan to crop photos and get better acceptable results?
  • OR... am I missing something and you can suggest something better?
Thank you in advance for any insights you can provide!

Last edited by mgvh; Sep 8, 2010 at 3:57 PM.
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 3:34 PM   #2
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Hello Mgvh ..you have already done a extensively research on cameras .. As you mentioned zoom ,picture quality and size these are three parameters on which u r planning to purchase a new camera ..(In your research u can add Olympus E-PL1 which is micro4/3 camera very portable but with zoom lens bit expensive ..i think wait for Canon G12 specification) ,May be you can get more zoom in G12 ..Nikon P7000 already 7.1 optical zoom with 1/1.7 cmos sensor and recently launch
As per your need if optical zoom is deciding factor then Fz35 is the best option u have in your list
All three parameter Like portability ,pic quality and zoom are deciding factor to choose a camera for you ...

As U are Point and Shoot user so are u willing to wear a camera surrounding your neck like Fz35 and Pentax K-x

Nikon P7000 is only 7.1 optical zoom already u have used 6x with your canon A720IS ..so 1.1x will not give you more difference

Pentax K-x is one of the best entry level Dslr camera which works very well upto 3200 ISO ..If size doest not matter and in future u are willing to spend more money on Pentax lens then go head with pentax K-x ,it is the best choice u have in your list

.Now if zoom is not your deciding factor to choose a camera then surely Nikon P7000(at least wait for some reviews) or canon G12 might be if extra zoom comes .

.Need 18x zoom and comparatively good picture quality as well as good manual control then Panasonic FZ35 ..It works very well upto ISO800 ..But one of the best superzoom hybrid camera ,let me make it clear size difference between FZ35 and Pentax K-X (body only ) is not huge ..

.Want jacket pocket camera with 1/1.7 sensor along with 7.1 zoom and good control on your pic then clear winner is Nikon P7000.

.Now Zoom and size matters but still u want to compromise on pic quality but certainly better then your Canon 710 ..then go for compact superzoom camera like panasonic ZS3 or ZS7 (12x and pocketable ).In zs7 u will have aperture and shutter priority feature .Both camera are excellent to produce nice outdoor pics but indoor really sucks (only upto ISO400).In this segment a new competitor Fuji F300 Exr is recently launch which is 15x and very small in size ..but i will suggest you to wait for some reviews on F300exr ..because exr system doest not give nice pics in Iauto mode ..and some how complicated to use this EXR system ..

So now the choice in your hand ..decide on which are the parameters are imp for you ,but as par your need i will suggest you panasonic FZ35 really a nice superzoom camera

Last edited by sandeepsaman; Sep 8, 2010 at 4:31 PM.
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 6:26 PM   #3
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mgvh-

Based on the photo environments that you describe quite well, the Pentax Kx is the best camera that is able to handle all of the well described photo situations.

Now, then next questions are this:

(1) Does the Kx fall into your budget range?

(2) Is the camera size of the Kx adaptable to your needs?

(3) Does the performance produced by the Kx, mesh well with the user's photographic abilities?

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Old Sep 8, 2010, 6:59 PM   #4
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So far...
I'm appreciating the helpful replies, but you're not helping my paralysis!
@ sandeepsaman: Thank you for your in depth reply. I checked out the ZS3 and ZS7 you suggested, but they caused me to go back and edit my list a bit. I really want a viewfinder. I just haven't gotten used to looking at a screen, dealing with the glare, etc. So, The FZ35 (or perhaps Canon SX30IS depending) remain on the list.

@ mtclimber: I can justify the expense of the Kx if I can justify the results it produces. I'm trying to find if I can borrow one from a friend for a bit, and that should answer the questions. I am used to making adjustments in settings (i.e., I don't just use auto and p&S), but I've never used an interchangeable lens camera. I'm thinking it will be worth the effort...
Thanks again.
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 8:00 PM   #5
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Well, clearly the Pentax Kx is the best of the group for your proposed uses.

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Old Sep 9, 2010, 2:11 AM   #6
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if you want good quality pics, plenty of zoom for daughter number 1's soccer games and good low light capablity - not only the ability to shoot in lower light, but for it to look good - the pentax kx is definitely your best choice, and one that will keep you happy for all sorts of pics. the other cameras you list just aren't going to deliver your combination without compromises, either to zoom length or what you hope quality-wise from your low light pics. and it's pretty light and easy to carry around.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 11:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgvh View Post
...I checked out the ZS3 and ZS7 you suggested, but they caused me to go back and edit my list a bit. ...
They would not do the job anyway. Even though they have a 12x zoom lens, the AF is not fast enough to capture fast motion and IQ is very very poor in low light conditions. Panasonic has a huge problem controlling high ISO noise on their cameras.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 11:34 PM   #8
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Thanks again to all.
The new Pentax Kr reported today certainly looks nice and addresses most of the complaints people have had w/ the Kx (especially the AF confirmation), but I'm not sure that it will be worth the extra cost.
No doubt the Kr will come down in price, but it appears that it will still be at least $200-300 more than the Kx. Hmmm....
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 11:37 PM   #9
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The Kx price is unbeatable considering how good that camera really is. I'd buy it before Pentax discontinues it.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 11:45 PM   #10
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The Kx remains a great camera at a very attractive price.

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