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Old Sep 9, 2010, 12:18 AM   #1
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I am looking to get a new digital point and shoot. I mostly use a camera for outdoor shots, particularly close ups. I like both super macro shots and close in wildlife shots, which often requires a good zoom. I know many disagree, but I insist on AA batteries; I am just too often forgetful when it comes to recharging and I like the convenience of AAs. I also highly prefer SD memory. I am definitely not a pro and need the convenience of auto settings.

I have been doing a lot of research and had settled on the Kodak z981. However, I was extremely disappointed upon receipt - had major issues with the auto focus. So, I am returning it and resuming the search.

I have narrowed it down to the Olympus 600UZ, which I cannot find many reviews for, or the Casio EX-FH25. The Olympus seems to have the key features I desire and is a very reasonable price so I won't be quite as worried about it on the hiking trail. However, the Casio EX-FH25's better zoom, continuous shooting features, and decent reviews by Steve and others make it appealing also. He mentions image quality, but the Casio is at the top of my price range (I found it for $300) and the alternates he suggests are out of that range. I also wonder if my amateur eye will not be as bothered by the quality. My third consideration is a more compact point and shoot like the Canon SX-130. My main concern here is that I will be disappointed by the zoom capabilities. However, the compact size is appealing in that I could carry it with me just about anywhere very easily.

As you can tell, I am fairly conflicted! Any suggestions (including alternate cameras) would be greatly appreciated.

PS-My current point and shoot is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ5 which I am happy with, but the LDC screen has been damaged due to an unfortunate cat incident.

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Old Sep 9, 2010, 1:07 AM   #2
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When you stated your wants in a camera, the first one that came to mind was Canon's SX20IS. 20x zoom (28-560) lens, great macro mode, good video, flip out LCD to make the macros easier, can mount canon flashes if you need, and it uses AA batteries. I think it would be a better choice over the Oly or Casio.

see Steve's review for full specs and review.
http://www.steves-digicams.com/camer...is-review.html
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 2:30 AM   #3
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Thanks Hards80. I seriously considered that one, but at $350 it is a bit too much above my price range ($300 is the top end). Any other thoughts?
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 10:04 AM   #4
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Well if you are happy with the LZ5, then even a compact point and shoot high zoom like the SX130 from Canon would be a big increase in zoom range, and its 12x starting at 28mm is not giving up too much to the 15x zoom on the Olympus UZ600. And it will be nice and small and light for the hiking trail. It may be worth getting 1 off of Amazon and giving it a try, as they have a 30 day return policy. If its not substantial enough or with enough zoom, then you can return and look into the Casio or spending 50$ more for the SX20IS.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 1:31 PM   #5
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I second the suggestion of the Canon SX-130. It has 12X (28mm to 336mm) optical zoom, full manual and automatic controls, a great macro mode, is powered by AA batteries, does HD video, and is even high ISO capable as well.

Here is a good macro example taken at ISO 500 right on my desk, using just the light of a desk lamp: please just click on the link below

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ca...3_JG2FY-X3.jpg

Here is another indoor flash photo taken with the SX-130:

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ca...3_jLWja-X3.jpg

And if you are concerned about the size of the SX-130, look at this:

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ca...8_K7YuX-X3.jpg

The SX-130 is a very able camera that get my recommendation!

Sarah Joyce

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Old Sep 9, 2010, 4:32 PM   #6
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Panasonic FZ35 is now availible under $300. Do consider it too.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 6:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fayyaz View Post
Panasonic FZ35 is now availible under $300. Do consider it too.
doesn't meet the OP's AA battery requirement.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 6:39 PM   #8
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Fayyaz-

Yes, I agree, the FZ-30 would be the best suggestion. However, the OP wants AA batteries.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 11:02 PM   #9
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Thanks for the feedback all. I did consider the Panasonic FZ-35, but as mentioned, it has the battery issue.

After more consideration, I think I am willing to sacrifice some zoom range for compact size I can easily carry with me regularly. The Canon 130 is a great suggestion. In looking at it and its predecessor the 120, the 120 seems to have a bit longer zoom range. The only other major difference I see is video capability which is not that important to me. Am I missing anything and can anyone strongly recommend one over the other?
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 11:09 PM   #10
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The SX120IS's zoom starts at a 36mm equivelent, while the SX130IS starts at 28mm, which is really quite significantly different. the sx130is also has a newer flash system.

the wide angle lens alone is worth the price difference, especially if you will be shooting alot outdoors where inevitably you will want to shoot a landscape with the ability to get wide to get the scene and emphasize your foreground elements.

(the sx120 was a good cam, but going from 36 down to 28mm really makes a differnence and makes the sx130 a great cam)
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