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Old Sep 13, 2010, 10:50 AM   #1
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Hi!, I am new to the forum, although I have been reading the info here for years. I find the site very helpful and hope you can help me with my current quandry.

The 'which new camera' question...

I used to own a Panasonic FZ25,thought it took nice photos and was a good balance between size and quality for travel photography (strictly hobbist here). It died.
I recently bought a Panasonic FZS7, to have a really small camera and see if it was enought for me. I am a bit disappointed. I really miss the viewfinder and feel the pics are not sharp (but quite contrasty) and it doesn't focus really well. It is OK, but I would like a better option for when I really want to take a good photo.
I know I won't change lenses, and DSLR's are a bit out of my price range anyways. I looked at the PanasonicFZ40, and Canon SX 20, but the salesman told me that they will not give me any better quality than the FZ7 I already have as the sensors are the same size.

Is that true?
Is there any option you (out there) would recommend for me as a step up from the FZ7?

Thank you!

Evangeline
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Old Sep 13, 2010, 11:00 AM   #2
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FZ7 has 36mm wide angle and this can be a reason to buy a new camera, even todays compact like SX130 has 28 mm wideangle.

Also if HD video is an option that would be another reason for new camera. FZ40 and FZ100 brandnew but fz38's IQ is better at worst equal with FZ40 or FZ100 and i guess FZ38 could be cheaper.

And i can't believe that how they put that kind of guys in store to help us. If sensor size is low that is it, how about crop factor, focal lenght etc... how about what customer wants from them?
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Old Sep 13, 2010, 2:24 PM   #3
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Evangeline-

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

Imut has raised this issue, but the short answer is that a lot of technology changes have taken place since the FZ-7 was introduced. Therefore, the FZ-30 and its replacement, the FZ-40 offer a lot of technology improvements, and features that have to be taken into consideration.

I see the FZ-30 as a very good buy right now, and the FZ-40 offering added improvements for just $100 more.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 9:35 AM   #4
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Thanks for your info, both of you.

I don't use video really, but do like a wide angle. Do you think either the larger Canon or the FZ 40 (or similar) has better low light capability than the FZ7? What is up with overall picture quality, is it better in the larger camera? Are the sensors bigger? Are there other significant factors?

Thanks again,
Evangeline
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 10:17 AM   #5
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Evangeline-

Thus far, we have discussed super zoom cameras. None of the cameras discussed have substantially larger imagers. Super zoom cameras due to their inherent design have to use smaller imagers. A high ISO setting for a super zoom camera is ISO 800.

When we refer to larger imager cameras P+S cameras, these are indeed very specific cameras, such as the Canon S-90/95. and G-11, the Panasonic LX-3 and LX-5, and the Samsung EX-1. Among these cameras, ISO 1600 is realistically useable.

M4/3 cameras like the Panasonic G-2, G-10, GF-1, GH-1, and the Olympus EP-series have higher prices, interchangeable lenses and are only a small step up in imager size. These cameras will generally speaking be limited to 800 to 1600 ISO. However, there are exceptions, like the Olympus EPL-1 that can squeeze to an ISO 2000 ISO setting.

EVIL Cameras (Electronic Viewfinder Inter Changeable Lens Cameras, generally use an APS-C sized imager, which, once again are somewhat larger. The APS-C category imager is the imager used in most entry and mid level DSLR cameras. What makes the DSLR camera different is that it does not use an Electronic viewfinder, but an optical viewfinder. EVIL cameras top out at around ISO 800, generally speaking. In contrast some DSLR cameras can easily go to ISO 6400 and 12800 ISO in a pinch.

If indeed, a high ISO capability is a #1 priority, but you still want to stay in the P+S category camera, you should be looking at the "larger imager P+S cameras, I listed above. And you will notice there are no super zoom cameras listed among those cameras. beyond that, the next substantial step is to an entry or mid level DSLR camera.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 3:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangeline View Post
...
I recently bought a Panasonic FZS7, ...
Did you buy a FZ7 or a ZS7 (there is no FZS7)? The FZ7 has been discontinued a long time ago, so I think you meant ZS7. The FZ7 has a viewfinder but the ZS7 doesn't.

The salesman does not know what he's talking about. The FZ40 delivers much better IQ than the ZS7, no doubt about that. If you wish to keep the ZS7, then I suggest you lower the MP to 8 to improve IQ. Increase sharpness to +1, contrast to +1 and lower noise reduction to -1. If you like well saturated images, then increase saturation to +1 as well.
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 3:49 PM   #7
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Arrrgh!

Thanks for the great advice and info. I do indeed have an FS7 camera, and I will make the adjustments Tullio recommends.

I am really torn about which camera to get next. I would love to have better images, but the DSLR's sound heavy and expensive if I am not going to use different lenses (and I probably can't find a single lense that has the range I am used to either).

There are a new set of cameras coming out that may be worth waiting for (Canon SX30, Panasonic FZ100). Do you think they will provide significant advantages in terms of image quality and low light, or is this just 'the infinite next-best-thing'?

Thanks again for all the help!
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 6:18 PM   #8
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Evangeline-

IMO the SX-30 and the FZ-100 do not offer a substantial improvement. You would do fine with either the FZ-40 or FZ-35.

Sarah Joyce
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